In the fall, pea-protein crunchy snack brand PeaTos debuted new packaging more analogous to conventional snack packaging with hopes of catching consumers’ eyes in stores. PeaTos is often stocked in the produce department, and has recently picked up a checkout placement as well, but the brand’s story has turned digital during COVID-19, with ecommerce sales quadrupling to become about 40% of the business. The brand’s D2C site just launched in January.
“[Direct-to-consumer] was just something we were starting noodling on, but suddenly it became center stage,” Desai said. “Now we’ve gone so far to be able to ful!ll from our own o#ces — becoming a makeshift ecommerce company overnight.”One bene!t of ecommerce, on the other hand, is not worrying about store placement, he said; instead, the United States Postal Service (USPS) and United Parcel Service (UPS) essentially became retail partners, Desai said. “The increase in ecommerce has been far greater than the small slowdown in impulse, so it has actually been a huge net positive,” Desai said.
Along with the website launch, the brand debuted variety and bulk packs in January as well, which founder Nick Desai said are “crushing it” during the pandemic. PeaTos previously sold four- packs online and also sells a !ve-pack of Cheese Curls at Kroger. Desai thinks there’s promise in the multipack beyond the pandemic. “I think COVID accelerated the appeal of that, but certainly I don’t think it’s linked to COVID alone,” he said.