The Chobani is one of the best-selling yogurt brands in the country, but it wasn't long ago that the company was just a s...
Foods in ready-to-cook grocery categories haven't changed in ages
They don't deliver what today's consumers needs!
Especially pasta sauce, which is a pillar of the pantry. Cheap brands are price and profit driven, do not taste good and contain artificial ingredients or large amounts of sugar or salt. On the other end of the spectrum, pricier brands focus on irrelevant stories about their restaurant, the 'old country,' or a celebrity chef but don't necessarily deliver a superior product. They're so 'brand-centric' - focused on themselves and their spot in the market, as opposed to what their products bring to consumers' lives.
Breathing new life into ready-to-cook foods.
Jar Goods is on a mission to bring pride and inspiration back to ready-to-cook pantry staples.
The Jar Goods brand is poised to succeed by innovating in stagnant categories that are ripe for disruption.
We believe in living and eating with mindful purpose, but with respect for the constraints of modern life. We help people realize the fullness of their lives through quick and easy foods of the highest quality and flavor.
That's why we are bringing today’s consumer the delicious and premium short-cuts they deserve. Our 'short-cut foods' deliver both quality and convenience and help our consumer get dinner on the table easier, faster, and happier.
Our mission started in the pasta sauce category with the launch of our core line in late 2015 - Classic Red, Classic Spicy, and Classic Vodka. These sauces are absolute stand-outs in this category, bringing the high quality and flavor that the competition has failed to deliver. Jar Goods Classic Red, Spicy, and Vodka are made of 72% tomatoes, contain more olive oil, and are thicker, richer, and more flavorful than competing brands.
We expanded our line with the launch of Vegan Vodka-Style Tomato sauce and Beet + Basil Pesto in May 2018. Vegan Vodka is the only vegan vodka sauce not made with soy protein isolate. We use coconut milk instead for a plant-based version of indulgent vodka sauce. Our Beet + Basil Pesto, which unites the sweet, tangy flavor of roasted, marinated beets with fresh, aromatic basil and savory walnuts, is totally unique in its sub-category.
We are committed to using only natural ingredients to produce clean-label, non-GMO products of the highest flavor and quality.
As part of our mission, we are constantly sharing and gathering ideas from our customers via our recipe hub.
500K jars of joy sold and $1.5M in lifetime sales
...and that's all without any budget for sales or marketing - imagine what we could do with some capital!
Starting with an initial investment of just $150, Melissa and Laura began bottling Classic Red by hand and selling it at farmer's markets. Leveraging the quality of Jar Goods, they got onto store shelves and amassed a loyal local following.
Today, our five flavors are available in 1300 stores, including Whole Foods, Heinen's, and Central Market. They are distributed through the two largest natural foods distributors in the U.S — UNFI and KeHE — and two key regional distributors.
We are skimming market share from the big guys. In 2019, our sales grew 55% to ½ million dollars.
- Learned how to grow and scale Jar Goods in the Chobani Incubator
- Voted one of The 4 Best Tomato Sauces You Could Ever Buy by Men's Health Magazine
- Nurtured and maintained strong partnerships with distributors and retailers.
- Have consistently exceeded sales velocity benchmarks and expectations in a difficult to penetrate category
Inspired by our consumers
Our mantra is 'it's not about us.' It's about our consumers. We help our consumers get dinner on the table easier, faster, and happier by prioritizing their four core needs: quality, versatility, natural ingredients, and emotional validation.
Our target consumer is an urban Boomer, Gen-Xer, or Millennial of average to above average income. Their household is comprised of 2-4 people. They are an omni-channel shopper and they over-index on frequency of grocery shopping trips and size of basket. More and more, this consumer is buying into the authenticity, emotional resonance, and inspiration coming from emerging brands, like Jar Goods.
Our target consumer feels good. They are busy, happy, and fulfilled. They don’t have time or desire to cook from scratch. They are attracted to brands that validate their full lives. They reject the legacy brands guilty of brand-centricity and messaging that condemns consumers for not cooking from scratch.
On-track to reach $5M in sales in 2021
...and even higher growth beyond.
We sell our product through the following channels: distributor, wholesale direct, and direct to consumer.
Jar Goods is on-shelf at 1300 retailers (...and counting...) through four key distributors. We work with the best retailers who merchandise our product pleasantly and offer an exemplary shopping experience to their customers.
We leverage the power of independent retailers and stretch our margin by selling direct to some stores.
Check out our recently launched wholesale ordering platform that streamlines and supports our growing network of wholesale partners: https://wholesale.jargoods.com/
Direct to consumer
We sell our products through the Jar Goods web-site and Amazon, in 3-pack and 6-pack configurations. These e-commerce sales have grown by 10000% in 2020 over 2019.
We have also launched a subscription service, so our customers don’t need to worry about stocking up--we bring it directly to them automatically each month!
A massive space in desperate need of innovation
In a fascinating tweet-storm, Circle Up founder Ryan Caldbeck reported that large CPG brands continue to lose market share to small emerging brands as consumers demand the authenticity and innovation offered by the latter.
It’s the perfect storm...Mr. Caldbeck predicts we are entering the Golden Age for emerging CPG brands, just like Jar Goods.
But what does it mean to be an "authentic" brand? How is it defined? Cited in A recent report from Watershed Communications asked some of today’s millennial shopper what the word means to them.
The Top 5 Attributes Of An Authentic Brand, According to the Study:
- Clean Ingredients
- Quality and great taste, together
- Mission based
- Culturally accurate
Each attribute is a defining characteristic of the Jar Goods brand!
Shelf-stable pasta category market worth $2.57B+
Jar Goods has a total addressable market of $725M within a larger category of $2.57B.
According to Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association, "Specialty foods — let’s not call it “small food” — is now $127 billion of the $890 billion total food market. That’s more than 14% — and it’s likely to grow to 20% in relatively short order." Additionally, the total market for shelf-stable pasta sauces is $2.57B - the specialty food segment of the the total pasta sauce market is $725M. That's just a single category! The addressable market for condiments is $1.928B; for soup is $801M; and for salsas is $353M...Just imagine our products in many food categories - with new products and innovations rolling out, we will be able to capture significant market share in additional categories as we grow.
Just imagine how quickly the value of Jar Goods will rise once we extend across multiple categories, channels, and verticals!
Join us in our mission to offer better ready-to-eat foods, and watch our revenue soar!
Better flavor and better ingredients across the board
The pasta sauce category has remained stale and stagnant for too long. Similar brand stories have been told time and time again. Competing brands are guilty of ‘brand-centricity’ while Jar Goods prioritizes ‘consumer-centricity.’ For example:
Other brands prioritize an irrelevant old recipe while Jar Goods prioritizes taste.
Other brands are too precious for everyday use while Jar Goods prioritizes multiple use cases.
Other brands focus on incorporating eccentric ingredients while Jar Goods prioritizes quality, natural ingredients.
Other brands focus on their restaurant’s story while Jar Goods ensures our products make meal time easier for our consumer.
There is so much white space for Jar Goods to explore!
We get so excited about the future of Jar Goods and how we can offer consumers better products. There is a great deal of white space just within our current category (pasta sauce). Our goal in this category is to innovate and iterate on existing tried and true flavors. Possible product line expansions include:
Italian simmering sauces, like cacciatore
Tapenade - iterations on the classic olive spread
Veggie Pesto - all your favorite mediterranean veggies in pesto form
Vegan Alfredo - sister to Vegan Vodka
Beyond pasta sauce, there is also so much to explore in additional ready-to-cook categories. They are all ripe for disruption as today’s consumer demands more convenience in tandem with taste and quality. We can zoom in on trends such as plant-based diets, wellness, functional nutrition, and special diets like Keto and Paleo. Possible additional categories to explore include:
Ethnic flavors such as French, Indian, Thai, and Scandinavian
Other areas and verticals we’d like to explore include:
Alternative packaging to realize more value such as resealable tetra packs, single serve pouches, multi-gallon jugs
Inclusion in meal kits
Our goal timeline for new product launches is as follows:
Over $300K+ raised to date
Over two rounds, we have raised $327,500 just from Friends & Family! That's a lot of trust and confidence in us. We are determined to deliver big returns to our loved ones.
Our Friends & Family investors include executives, technology pros, VP's of sales, lawyers, engineers, designers, and a few entrepreneurs in their own right - all accomplished and savvy folks who can see the incredible value in investing in Jar Goods at an early stage.
We have also received a $25,000 grant from the Chobani Incubator. It says a lot that Chobani believed in us and invested in us - you should too!
A note from co-founder Melissa Vitelli:
When we started Jar Goods a few years ago, I had been doing a lot of vegetable gardening. The closer I got to my food, the more I thought about entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency. I wanted to write my own narrative in life. I wanted to start a food business.
Concurrently, life was busy and I needed short-cut type foods to take a little heat off the dinner-time crunch. I explored the inner aisles of the grocery store and became perplexed by the myriad of choices - jars, can, pouches, tetra packs, so many flavors and options and claims. They were all so ‘brand-centric’ in their goals - making grandma’s recipe famous, capitalizing on a chef’s fame or maxing profits with the cheapest ingredients. It seemed all about what the consumer was doing for the brand, not what the brand was doing for the consumer. The problem we aim to solve had emerged - superior quality, all natural, delicious short cuts simply didn’t exist. We started Jar Goods to be that brand.
Also at the same time, I was constantly turning to my father-in-law’s regionally famous tomato sauce recipe to make dinner quickly. I used it for everything, from chili to ratatouille to pizza. I wondered why more people didn’t use tomato sauce beyond pasta. This Classic Red tomato sauce was so good, and good for so much more!
At that point, I joined forces with my sister-in-law, Laura. Our goal was to disrupt the status quo of the “inner aisles" of the grocery store and bring more value to ready-to-cook pantry staples. Armed with an initial investment of just $150, we bottled and labeled Pa Vitelli's tomato sauce recipe by hand and branded it Classic Red. The early days of Jar Goods were not unlike other scrappy food start-ups - we sold at farmer’s markets and street fairs, we tested the market and proved our concept, we employed grass-roots efforts and a can-do spirit.
Subsequently, Jar Goods amassed a loyal following and we began getting Classic Red on store shelves. We graduated from self-produced to professionally packed and expanded our line with Classic Vodka and Classic Spicy in September 2015. One year later, we were offered a coveted spot in the Chobani Food Incubator and learned a great deal about how we could offer “Better Food For More People.”
In the beginning, Jar Goods may have been oddly inspired by other brands, but now, our inspiration comes from our consumers. They are busy and fulfilled and don’t have time to cook from scratch. That their lives are full is a triumph not to be exploited or condemned, but celebrated. They should not be relegated to bad quality because they also seek speed and convenience.
We believe in living and eating with mindful purpose, but with respect for the constraints of modern life. We are dedicated to democratizing quality and convenience and helping our consumer get dinner on the table easier, faster, and happier. Join us in our mission to help people realize the fullness of their lives through quick and easy foods.
Melissa Vitelli - Co-Founder & CEO
After beginning her career in fashion photography, Melissa longed to control her fate.
It was her love of gardening and eating healthier foods, coupled with her entrepreneurial drive that moved Melissa to start Jar Goods in 2013. She is skilled in “Big-Picture” thinking, product development, sales, and conceptualizing marketing strategies. Melissa has taken the brand from idea to farmers’ markets to professionally packaged and distributed. It is her motivation and vision that will propel Jar Goods up level after level for years to come.
Laura Vitelli - Co-Founder & Operations Associate
A former Wall Street analyst, Laura is skilled in detail-oriented projects and operations. Laura complements Melissa’s picture big vision with level headed reasoning and a practical approach to business. She ensures our product is always available and works up and down the supply chain to confirm everything is running smoothly. Her favorite part of her work is on-boarding with new retailers and ensuring product flies off the shelf from the get-go.
John Vitelli - Co-Founder & Partner
Husband to Melissa and brother to Laura, John is the engine that keeps Jar Goods moving forward. Skilled in team growth and management acquired during his 20+ years building technology & software engineering teams, John ensures each team member is focused on the most important task. John is currently responsible for Jar Goods’ website, ecommerce growth, email marketing and strategic planning. His penchant for automation has resulted in software integration and data driven decisions that have positioned Jar Goods for years of accelerated growth.