Food and beverage companies have made their presence known once again on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. These are companies ripe for acquisitions, and major food and beverage companies keep an eye out for just such a growth opportunity.
This year’s list for the food and beverage category featured 151 companies, which includes food and beverage manufacturing, technology, and food service, up from 132 companies on last year’s list. While this year’s highest food and beverage ranking is No. 20, last year Quest Nutrition hit No. 2 (57,348% growth), though it is noticeably absent from this year’s list.
Here’s a quick look at some of the leading private food and beverage companies that made the grade this year.
3-year growth: 11,121%
2014 revenue: $23.7 million
Aseptia is the developer of an innovative aseptic process that extends the shelf life and quality of packaged foods without refrigeration, canning, preservatives, or additives. The company made the 2014 list as well, coming in at an even higher rank of No. 15.
70. Fresh Meal Plan
3-year growth: 4,128%
2014 revenue: $10.9 million
Fresh Meal Plan is capitalizing on the food delivery craze, specifically in central and southern Florida, by delivering healthy, freshly prepared meals that fit into several specialized categories. They include Traditional, Paleo, Vegetarian, Pro-preferred (for athletes), Contest Prep (for bodybuilders), Vegan, and the new Signature plan, complete with seasonally wild caught fish, organic poultry, grass-fed meats, ancient grains, and farm-to-table vegetables.
82. Skratch Labs
3-year growth: 3,712%
2014 revenue: $3.9 million
Born out of the idea to make healthier options for athletes, Boulder, CO-based Skratch Labs develops food and beverage products based on real world science, made with natural ingredients, and optimized for an active lifestyle. Products range from hydration mixes to Fruit Drops energy chews, all of which act to keep athletes’ nutrient levels up during prolonged exercise and physical activity.
103. Kill Cliff
3-year growth: 3,259%
2014 revenue: $8.1 million
Kill Cliff is best known for its series of recovery drinks for athletes and active consumers, which are gluten-free, made with no artificial colors or flavors, and made with plant extracts like ginger root, green tea extract, and ginseng root powder. The company also makes cold brew canned coffee and nutrition and recovery bars.
3-year growth: 2,916%
2014 revenue: $8.2 million
Like Fresh Meal Plan, South Florida meal delivery service DeliverLean also offers an assortment of meal plans within similar categories, including The Classic, The Paleo, The Vegetarian, The Vegan, and DL Revamp, an organic plant-based food detox. Harper’s Bazaar ranked DL Revamp one of the best diets for 2015.
127. Bai Brands
3-year growth: 2,866%
2014 revenue: $47.9 million
Bai Brands made headlines this year when Dr Pepper Snapple Group acquired a $15 million minority stake in the company after signing a national distribution deal with Bai Brands in 2013. The company makes antioxidant-rich infusion beverage blends made with coffeefruit and other exotic fruit juices, from pomegranate to clementine. Bai Brands rose in rank this year from No. 160 last year.
129. Love With Food
3-year growth: 2,859%
2014 revenue: $3 million
Love With Food is a subscription snack boxes service wherein consumers give feedback on the organic and all-natural snacks they try so they can receive discounts on future deliveries of the products they like. With growth like this for snack subscriptions, it’s no wonder Kellogg was rumored to be looking into its own subscription service back in June, though General Mills shut down its own, Nibblr.
133. Kohana Coffee
3-year growth: 2,810%
2014 revenue: $5.2 million
An all-around coffee supplier, Kohana Coffee manufactures and supplies ready-to-drink coffee, roasted coffee, coffee concentrate, and, cold brew coffee products, which have been a major coffee trend this summer. Kohana Coffee has climbed in rank from its spot on last year’s list at No. 171.
148. LifeTree Manufacturing
3-year growth: 2,646%
2014 revenue: $5.6 million
LifeTree Manufacturing handles private-label organic, functional food, and custom blended nutraceutical powders and capsules for big box retailers and natural and organic product manufacturers. The company has developed proprietary flow processes to increase output and make its products more affordable.
182. The Good Bean
3-year growth: 2,260%
2014 revenue: $4 million
The Good Bean is capitalizing on both the snacking and health food trends of today by creating bean chips made with a blend of chickpeas, navy beans, lentils, and pea protein along with sweet potatoes and red quinoa. The company also manufactures snack bars made with chickpeas and real fruit.
3-year growth: 2,027%
2014 revenue: $2.1 million
Miami’s ginnybakes specializes in baked goods that also capitalize on certain areas of consumers’ renewed health focus, as the company’s products are gluten-free and non-GMO plus organic, vegan, and kosher. Products include healthy alternatives to baked goods from major processed foods companies, including cookies, bars, and baking mixes.
519. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
3-year growth: 893%
2014 revenue: $6.2 million
As the top brewer on the Inc. 5000 list, this Buellton, CA, father-and-son-owned brewery includes four taprooms with more on the way. The brewery has produced several award-winning beers since its inception five years ago, including recognitions from the Great American Beer Festival and Denver International Beer Competition.
798. Alcohol by Volume
3-year growth: 559%
2014 revenue: $8.8 million
Alcohol by Volume covers a wide-ranging portfolio comprised of wines from a number of premier California vineyards, including Alias Wines, Des Amis Rose, and Manifesto Wine Cellars. The company was also included on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list, though it came in at an even stronger rank at No. 251.
2,910. Stone Brewing Co.
3-year growth: 121%
2014 revenue: $185.8 million
While appearing further down the list, Stone Brewing Co. is an honorable mention due to its high revenue and number of appearances on the Inc. 5000 list, so many that it actually received an Honor Roll award after being named to the list every year since 2007. Stone Brewing also came in at No. 9 on the Brewers Association’s Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies list for 2014.
With the way mergers and acquisitions are taking shape in the food and beverage industries today, it wouldn’t be surprising to see any of the companies on this list snatched up before next year’s list comes out.