Great ressources on D2C and DNVB food and beverage brands

For this first “resources” article, we have chosen to focus on DNVB (acronym for Digital Native Vertical Brands) and more broadly D2C (Direct to consumer) startups. The difference between the two?

  • A D2C brand is selling directly to the consumer, mostly online. This channel is often the only one of the company before a possible diversification toward retail.
  • DNVB definition is more precise. A DNVB is a brand born online that is more or less vertically integrated from sourcing, manufacturing to (digital) distribution. A DNVB has also a deep control of its relationship with the consumer and looks for greater engagement.

While DNVB is becoming more and more used by entrepreneurs to define their venture, it is also becoming a buzz word that is void of its true meaning. Indeed, it is getting rare to find “DNVB startups” that truly master, even at a minimal level, their sourcing, manufacturing (regardless of their marketing) and even their relationship with the consumers.

So, here are five curated resources that we often use at DigitalFoodLab when working with our clients, startups or large corporates:

  • The most fundamental piece is from Andy Dunn, co-founder of Bonobos (vertical brand of pants, sold to Walmart), which has coined the word DNVB almost 5 years ago
  • The related encyclopaedia of DNVBs created 6 years ago with the most famous:
  • Are D2C about selling the best product? Wrong! At least not for everyone. D2C and DNVB get traction by betting on small and underserved customer segments with products slightly improved on features that matter for them.
  • D2C rules are evolving and we are seeing the end of a first generation relying too much on paid acquisition in order to grow fast and get acquired at staggering valuation by corporates. Expect more natural growth, hight costs of acquisitions (CAC) due to competition, more service and diversified touchpoint and channels. Discover the new rules here.
  • A mapping of Foodtech DNVB startups by DigitalFoodLab


FoodTech recap: making food more digital
How many do you need to sell to be profitable?

Leave a Reply