The food industry is under attack—not just science-based meat and dairy alternatives like CNBC Disruptors' Impossible Foods and Hampton Creek but the whole food chain. Blue Apron, which is a subscription-based meal-kit company, is seeking funds to secure a valuation of $2 billion. Instacart is shopping a multibillion-dollar valuation based on delivering groceries.
Goldbely is a food start-up of a different flavor. Think Omaha Steaks and Harry & David re-invented for the e-commerce era. Its online platform connects local food purveyors like bakeries, restaurants, chocolate makers, cheesemongers and coffee shops directly with consumers so the food makers don't need to fight for shelf space at a Whole Foods or big-box retailer. It's farm to table with a stop on the Internet in between.
Because San Francisco-based Goldbely is online, the company said more than 50 percent of its orders come from people living outside the top 50 U.S. metro markets, giving Goldbely a huge addressable market the supermarket chains aren't targeting. It has more than 300 food partners across 45 states, growing at a 300 percent annual rate.
The specialty food market is estimated by the Specialty Food Association as a $109 billion cart waiting to be filled, and that's resulted in $3 million in seed funding from Intel Capital, Y-Combinator and VC luminary Tim Draper or Draper Fisher Jurvetson.