Plantbased Business Hour

How to Get Your Food Business Acquired with Yves Potvin

Three-time founder, Yves Potvin, discusses the current state of the plant-based innovation sector and how to grow a food business to be acquired. Having sold Gardein to Conagra and Yves Veggie Cuisine to Hain Celestial, Yves is now championing Konscious Foods with a plan to be acquired. Learn from this ultra-successful pioneer on The Plant-based Business Hour with Elysabeth Alfano.

Specifically, they discuss

  1. How to have a successful exit/acquisition for your company.
  2. The most important steps in building a robust company.
  3. Why, after starting and successfully selling Yves Veggie Cuisine and Gardein, he decided to start Konscious Foods.
  4. The common mistakes founders make that can implode their companies.
  5. The current state of the industry.

Below is a highlight clip and transcription from our long-form conversation.

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Elysabeth: I’m going to bring on Yves Potvin.

Yves Potvin: Oui, c’est bien. C’est bien!

Elysabeth: Now you said you didn’t start with a road map but now you’ve done it twice. Is there a road map? Can you see the parallel between the two businesses?

Yves Potvin: Is there a road map? You know, every business is different like every child you have is different. Every business is different. When I started Yves Veggie Cuisine I was very lucky because as a Canadian the exchange was very favorable for a Canadian selling in the U.S. When I started my second business the Canadian dollar was stronger than the U.S. dollar so it was not as easy, and the third business, Konscious, it’s a different world as far as marketing.

Ten years ago there was very little social media and now marketing is based off of social media so I would say there’s a different challenge for every destiny and business, but you have to be agile.

Plant-based sushi by Konscious Foods
© Konscious Foods

You mentioned it’s not the strongest, it’s the people who can adapt that survive in business and can react quickly, adapt and change 180 degrees on a dime. It’s really finding what is the right formula and what is the right pricing. The consumer keeps changing constantly so you need to find who is the right customer that you’re selling to. What’s the right price point?

Gardein was more center of the plate than a deli item so really quickly we found that families became our consumers because we were selling chicken nuggets and they were bringing them home as a family. I remember talking to somebody at some point and they said, “Oh, I don’t know your brand.” Then I showed him the package and he said, “Oh we have this every Monday in our house.” So they were flexitarian but they have meatless Mondays. But nothing beats hard work, surrounding yourself with the right people, and constantly bringing innovation to the marketplace I would say.

Elysabeth Alfano is the CEO of VegTech™ Invest, the advisor to the VegTech™ Plant-based Innovation & Climate ETF, EATV. She is also the founder of Plant Powered Consulting and the Host of the Plantbased Business Hour.

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