AF Ventures’ Jordan Gaspar focuses on emerging early childhood nutrition and targets investor growth in the hot new sub-sector
Jordan Gaspar is the founder and managing partner of AF Ventures, a consumer fund that invests in consumer products that are better for you, and the CEO and board member of AF Acquisition Corp., a $224 million SPAC looking for a better one for your consumer good.
Prince: What is the field of intervention of AF Ventures? What kind of holding companies are you looking for?
gaspar: AF Ventures manages more than 30 portfolio companies in the consumer products landscape of food and beverage, health and wellness, beauty and personal care, and pet care, including a wide range of categories such as plant-based and grain-free foods, functional beverages, early childhood nutrition, personalization, and more.
AF Ventures is constantly on the lookout for disruptive brands that have certain key value drivers. We seek authentic brands, offering durable products, strong retail speeds, leading KPIs, visible channel expansion opportunities and a scalable supply chain.
AF Ventures targets investments between $1 million and $10 million in growing, emerging consumer brands that generate between $5 million and $20 million in revenue at the time of investment, with the expectation of growth of at less than 100% year over year.
We’ve had tremendous success finding venture capital and growth-stage brands and helping them evolve into next-generation market leaders. Last year was a landmark year for AF Ventures as our portfolio raised $250 million in total. Our portfolio has seen nearly 100% growth across the platform in average gross annual revenue per position thanks to the quality of the underlying assets, the maturation of the brand and the evolution of our style of ‘investment.
Prince: How big is the global health and wellness industry, and why are you focusing here?
gaspar: The Global Institute for Health and Wellness projects that the Better For You consumer market is valued at $4.4 billion and further growth is expected. Surveys and research by FMCG Gurus, Accenture Strategy Global Consumer and Kerry found that 80% of consumers are looking for healthier food and beverage alternatives, with 63% of purchases influenced by a brand’s core mission and 44% purchase decisions coinciding with declared cleanliness. product labels.
Additionally, their survey and research found that the market growth can be attributed to two key sectors: personal care and beauty products ($955 billion), healthy food and nutrition ($946 billion) .
In 2020, $164 billion was invested by US venture capital firms. Only 3% of that, or $4.5 billion, was for consumer goods companies. Digging a little deeper, of the nearly two thousand active US venture capital funds, only more than 100 focus specifically on food and beverage and the broader consumer landscape.
The low volatility, defensive nature of consumer staples, and sustainability of the exit landscape, including acquisitions of strategic and financial sponsors and IPOs and SPACs, make consumers an attractive investment strategy. The confluence of these dynamics has and will continue to deliver sustainable long-term returns through market cycles.
Prince: From your perspective, what do you think would be a driving trend that investors should pay attention to in 2022?
gaspar: Over the past decade, there has been a sea change in consumer consumption preferences, where younger generations, especially those starting families, are spending more of their disposable income on healthy living. As healthier brands disrupt the general consumer packaged goods industry, significant growth and innovation has taken place in the early childhood nutrition sector as consumers seek healthier alternatives for their infants or their children compared to what was previously available. According to a report by Allied Market Research from December 2020, before the pandemic, the global baby food market was valued at $67.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $96.3 billion by 2027.
Parents’ health concerns continue to rise, particularly in the wake of the US House of Representatives report on products lacking certain nutrients or contaminated with metals, with increased awareness of mothers reporting health issues. breastfeeding and parents seeking solutions to prevent their children from developing allergies. Gen Z moms and dads are coming, and we predict they will prioritize consuming healthy, sustainable, and transparent products that align with their values and address their parenting issues.
As early childhood nutrition receives considerable attention, AF Ventures is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this emerging sub-sector, including recent support from three leading companies providing high-quality nutritional solutions for young children. parents with children: (1) Yumi, a Label Project Purity Award-winning own company whose direct-to-consumer plant-based organic food service targets babies and toddlers with a proprietary predictive analytics model, (2) Ready . Together. Food!, a multinational, healthcare-supported platform addressing early allergen introduction, and (3) ByHeart, a vertically integrated, clinically validated infant nutrition platform in the area of infant formula.
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