These are the top 40 wine and chocolate startups to help you celebrate the new year
Good riddance 2020! To say the least, this year has tested us all. It’s has been a challenging year and the most difficult year for everyone around the world. The fact that we made it to the end of the year is something to be thankful and grateful for. Making it to the end of 2020 is also worth celebrating with a few drinks and nibbles. That’s why we are introducing you to the top 40 wine and chocolate startups to help you celebrate the new year.
From organic chocolate bars to single-serve wine bottles, these startups are making sustainability and convenience more delicious. Indulgence has made a comeback this year, with consumers looking for some comfort during these challenging times. Kroger, one of the largest grocery stores in the U.S, even said that wine and chocolate were among its top 10 trending foods of 2020.
In addition, several studies have also shown an increase in alcohol consumption frequency among adults in America since the beginning of the pandemic, while the US sales of premium chocolate rose by 12.5% between March and August, according to the National Confectioners Association. December marks the end of a challenging year during which accelerating tech adoption in retail went hand in hand with changing consumer behavior.
With that, below are the top 40 wine and chocolate startups, based on data from CB Insights, a research firm that predicts technology trends.
Red, white, and sparkling: Startup companies in this category sell their own branded wines online. Some of these brands highlight the purpose-driven aspects of their business models. For example, France-based Oé focuses on sustainability with organic wines and a bottle deposit system while ONEHOPE donates a portion of its sales to charitable causes.
Single-serve formats are also emerging, with Wander + Ivy offering wine bottles the size of a glass.
Canned wine: As the name indicates, this category includes wine sold in cans, one of the fastest-growing wine segments. Off-premise (outside of bars, restaurants, or hotels) sales of canned wine in the US rose 57% between January and August 2020, according to Nielsen.
Rosé and white canned wine brand Bev, for example, reportedly experienced triple-digit growth during the first months of the pandemic.
Wine appliances & accessories: These startups develop products to improve wine pouring and serving. Plum and 10-Vins create wine-by-the-glass pouring machines to enhance the way wine is dispensed while Aveine offers connected corks that can aerate wine directly as it’s poured.
E-commerce & subscription services: This category includes tech startups that provide platforms to buy wine online as well as startup companies that offer subscription-based wine delivery services. For example, VINEBOX focuses on single-serve wine bottles sold through quarterly and annual subscriptions.
Winc — the most well-funded startup in this category, having raised $61.7 million— creates a taste profile for users based on how much they like salt, citrus, and other flavors, and then sends them a personally tailored wine selection each month.
Chocolate bars: Startup companies in this category focus on the confection of chocolate bars. Some brands like Tony’s Chocolonely focus on social impact by promising a product that is child labor- and slave-free. Others like Dandelion, Raaka Chocolate, and Tokyo-based startup Minimal are “bean-to-bar” chocolate makers, meaning they work directly with cacao beans as opposed to melting large bars of chocolate produced by other companies.
Confectioneries & snacks: This category includes chocolate-based sweets, candies, and snacks. Several of these companies combine the pleasure aspect of chocolate with functional ingredients. This includes Clio Snacks, which offers Greek yogurt-based chocolate-coated snack bars, as well as antioxidant- and probiotic-infused chocolates by SmartLife Chocolate.