Snaxshot #17: Curated Groceries

CaaS is the new Saas bb 🔥

A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.

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🔮 Peek into the future:

  • Grocery stores as we know them are anything but convenient.

  • Rise of CaaS in food/beverage and in favor of niche.

  • Ask Snaxboi column

  • Shop small & local + Spoonful of News

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Welcome to the Newsroom

This is Snaxshot, welcome to our newsroom, come along, if I seem rushed it’s only because we’re putting together our latest issue whilst simultaneously trying to get my steps in. Don’t mind the smoke, we do daily sages just in case our botanical drinks don’t do the trick. Sorry for the loud clicking, that’s just our clacking department, it’s small but they create the perfect keyboard ASMR that helps us focus.

At Snaxshot we are known for our investigative pieces that have uncovered conspiracy theories around Oreo while trying to address some complaints around Double Stuffed cookies coming out as regularly stuffed, an investigation that revealed a Hydrox betrayal and possibly tied them back to the Knights Templar. We’re also known for helping settle debates like “Are Totino’s Rolls Just Savory Gushers?” and a month long investigation led to the conclusion that since Totino’s Rolls predate Gushers, Gushers are in FACT just sweet Totino’s Rolls. You heard it here first.

Grocery Stores Are No Longer Convenient 😥

The news never sleeps, we have enough nootropic and ginger shots to power us through—have you heard? Millennial’s are inundated with options both IRL and URL. Picture this, endless aisles that extend as far as the eye can see, all a sea of sameness. My but have you tried buying something from Amazon lately? It’s literally ALL ADS. And no, I’m not talking about Placebo water, the tasty beverage that is no-tropics, just ads. In our Snaxboi origins issue we touched upon this predicament plaguing our already burnout generation, and it’s no surprise most millennials distrust advertising well into adulthood.

We are driving a shift in consumer behavior as we’ve dethroned boomers as the largest generational group, and GenZ, fast behind us, is estimated to have double our purchasing power and is an even savvier consumer. The revolution is not just on how we’ve disrupted groceries, see Dan Frommer’s the unbundling of the grocery cart, but we are taking the fight URL as well, consider a new movement calling out BigFood trade promotions in grocery stores as “anti competitive practices,” the debate that groceries are designed to make your purchasing decisions before you step into the store as well as rising concerns of the effects of mass consolidation in the grocery space.

Enter CaaS, curation as a service, and the rise of the niche marketplace. In my own words, curation is the ability to remove friction around the discovery process, it’s also a way to establish trust with consumers at a time were we are extremely distrustful.

Curation goes hand in hand with our need to discover new products that hold “better for you” promises as Millennials continue to clean out their pantry, bar carts, fridges, etc. The niche plays into our need for quick convenience, would you rather have to parse through endless search queries of “mushroom coffee” in a gargantuan marketplace that serves you ads and fishy reviews, or would you rather go to a niche shop that specializes in functional shroom products?

Curation also plays into our need for experiential, grocery shopping is already seen as therapeutic for Millennials, you can see touches of this come in the form of niche and personalization URL and serving a side of aesthetics IRL, we want our groceries, but we want to post about it too, as food and beverage have become signalers after a year of having to be indoors. (re: indoor signaling and the cozy economy)

Here are different ways CaaS is playing a part both IRL and URL:

PopUp Grocer: A traveling pop-up grocery store, showcasing hundreds of innovative products and the ultimate source of discovery of upcoming brands IRL. In my own words and experience, PUG is like an Ice Cream Museum meets grocery, every detail about it encourages, UGC (user generated content) I dare you to go into their store and not want to snap their beautiful lined displays, fun decor, or your filled up basket with aesthetically pleasing products. Heads up Chicago, they are in your city next!

Alimentari Flâneur: The best way to explain would be to picture a European market, literally transported and carefully placed in The Market Line in NYC. A combination of Italian/French to mean “food to browse” Alimentari’s mission is beyond beautiful aesthetics, there’s intention behind it’s layout, the produce sourced and the way it’s placed in wicker baskets reconnecting us to a sensorial experience we’ve long lost, bringing back eroticism and literal intimacy with our food, helping us rediscover our humanity through food.

Foxtrot: The CaaS daddy at the moment, having recently raised $42 million in Series B round that will help it expand into more cities (they plan to double their store count this year) they are a combination of cafe, curated wine and the promise of fast delivery, the perfect combo to win over a growing young demographic.

Edy’s Grocer: Based in Greenpoint, Edy’s is a specialty grocer meets millennial pink, a Polish grocery inherited by a chef with Lebanese roots.

Goody Bus: Included here, though they have yet to open, because they claim to be a “mobile” grocery that will focus on giving you new brands to discover.

Epicerie Basta: Based in Montreal, is an independent grocery store that apart from being incredibly Instagrammable, it focuses on carrying purely Quebec products and encourages the use of reusable containers as they try to eliminate single use.

Desiderata: Based in Tepoztlan, it’s a small cafe/grocer that serves curated pantry items sourced locally as well as have the most beautiful display of fresh produce on a daily basis.

SuperCope: Based in CDMX and born during the pandemic by famous Mexican chefs, it’s a cooperative that carries pantry items from it’s coop members (small owned, other restaurants) to help support and guarantee their financial security as well as fair compensation.

Multiverse: Experiential URL niche marketplace that focuses on functional mushroom products and is highly personalized, you can shop by benefit or you can tailor it even more by taking their quiz.

Bubble: It self proclaims itself as “the most transparent marketplace” what makes them standout to me is that they have influencers in the food space curate their own pantry items so you can actually shop from your favorite influencers.

Tiny Bodega: Focusing on BIPOC founders and healthy food and beverage items, these curated boxes are for those who crave constant discovery of new brands and each box is curated around a “utility” ex. diner.

Zippy Pantry: A marketplace for all kinds of functional foods, their products have to fit the “Zippy Seal” which is a stamp of approval from their panel of of chefs, nutritionists, wellness practitioners, and fitness instructors that helped create the criteria.

The Goods Mart: They focus on mission driven products and combine both IRL/URL experience and they are about helping us do good through our purchases, they also have curated lists based on guests.

Umami Cart: Recently launched, they are an online grocery store delivering hundreds of your favorite Asian products and ingredients. Their curated selection includes both traditional staples, as well as up-and-coming Asian-American owned brands.

What’s In Your Basket? 🛒

Now that you’ve taken a peek at our editorial story being put together, I’d love you to meet Nate Rosen, who heads our advice column,Ask Snaxboi.” Nate has been reviewing snacks for the majority of his life and he is our on the ground, grocery store correspondent, most likely to be found perusing the seltzer aisle at Whole Foods.

He answers consumer queries from those who are afraid to ask out loud at their local Erewhon or Trader Joe’s. It’s part of our anonymous consumer hotline program.

Here are some clippings from past issues:

Shop Small + Local 🍪

Gooey’s website + Instagram

Spoonful of News 🥄

See you again next week, a different future, same place.

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