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calendar    Apr 16, 2024

On-Trend | ZeroCarb Lyfe

In this blog we'll be getting to know one of our fastest growing Render Capital portfolio companies - Indiana based ZeroCarb Lyfe, an incredibly tasty zero carb pizza crust and newly launched shelf stable chip.

Organic food sales are booming: According to the USDA, the organic food market in the US reached $58 billion in 2023, showcasing a steady growth trajectory.There were many key reasons why we made the investment in ZeroCarb Lyfe. Many of those lie in the underlying and growing market trends around healthy eating such as:Have you ever had cardboard pizza? You know what I’m talking about - trying to be healthy you picked up the “cauliflower” crust pizza at the store only to have your brain recall “hmm this is exactly what cardboard would taste like wet and put in the oven” - well no fear the healthy Friday night pizza night is back on and with taste and texture you will love! 

The rise of the consumer health food industry is a fascinating story driven by a confluence of factors, most notably a global shift towards health consciousness and well-being. 

Drivers of this shift include:

  • Increased health awareness: Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the link between diet and health, fueled by growing media coverage, public health campaigns, and accessible health information. This has led to a greater demand for food perceived as healthier and more nutritious.
  • Focus on preventative health: The rising costs of healthcare are prompting people to prioritize preventative measures, including choosing a healthy diet. This has shifted interest towards preventive ingredients like antioxidants, probiotics, and whole grains.
  • Personalized nutrition: Advancements in scientific research and data analytics are paving the way for personalized nutrition. Consumers are increasingly opting for products tailored to their specific dietary needs and goals, boosting the market for niche health foods.
  • Lifestyle trends: The popularity of fitness, wellness, and mindfulness practices has further ignited the demand for health-conscious food choices. Consumers are seeking convenient and flavorful options that fit their active lifestyles.
  • Environmental concerns: Growing concerns about climate change and sustainability are influencing food choices. Consumers are increasingly turning to organic, locally sourced, and ethically produced foods perceived as healthier for both themselves and the planet.

And welcome to the dinner table ZeroCarb Lyfe. One of our fastest growing Render Capital portfolio companies in Indiana is an incredibly tasty ZeroCarb Lyfe Pizza crust and newly launched shelf stable chip. The incredible thing about ZeroCarb Lyfe is (as you could tell by the name;) there are zero carbohydrates. This isn’t one of those fake food lab style 3D printed fake foods. This is real food - a real pizza crust not only with zero Carbs but it is packed with protein. Impossible you say but because of their unique process ZeroCarb is actually made of only four simple ingredients : Chicken, eggs, salt and pepper (see more on their nutrient page here

There were many key reasons why we made the investment in ZeroCarb Lyfe. Many of those lie in the underlying and growing market trends around healthy eating such as:

  • Organic food sales are booming: According to the USDA, the organic food market in the US reached $58 billion in 2023, showcasing a steady growth trajectory.
  • Plant-based alternatives are gaining traction: Vegan and vegetarian options are expanding beyond niche markets, driven by ethical considerations, health benefits, and growing taste variety.
  • Functional foods are on the rise: Foods enriched with additional health benefits, like probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and prebiotics, are gaining popularity as consumers seek functional approaches to wellness.
  • Convenience is key: Busy lifestyles are driving the demand for ready-to-eat, healthy options like meal kits, pre-portioned snacks, and frozen meals with nutritional value.
  • Technology is playing a role: Online platforms and apps are enabling consumers to conveniently research healthier food options, connecting consumers with local farmers, and an ability to track their dietary choices.



    On top of the market movement the founding team has deep expertise in food manufacturing and growing brands, so much so they already have patents awarded and ongoing for their products which secures their ability to be a strong candidate for not only hyper (unchallenged) growth but also ripe for acquisition. 

    Other key pieces of not only “why now” but why we continue to be big fans of Render Capital portfolio company ZeroCarb are their growth patterns. They just penned a massive deal with Fresh Thyme across the US and specifically if you are in Indiana they are in every single Fresh Thyme store throughout the Hoosier state! 

    Many times some of the best founding teams and companies we ultimately invest in do something that we call “putting dots on a line.” While a pretty simple analogy it is easily consumable and a great tactic for startups who are sending investor updates to investor who ultimately might write a larger check into a later stage round (like we did with ZeroCarb) OR if an investment group or Venture Capital firm like our team at Render Capital says something like “we would like to see more traction” or “while we won’t be investing in this round please add us to your investor updates” (which anyone is welcome to do by sending investor updates to: InvestorUpdates@Render.Capital - that grows straight into the inbox of our entire investing team). 

    This “dots on a line” mentality is incredibly important because the number 1 job that venture capitalists have (aside from making their investors a major return on their capital) is to minimize the risk of those investments so they can reach their full potential. A key piece of that is knowing and working with founding team who are able to 1) project where they are going with the resources they have 2) get to those projections with the resources they have consistently and 3) ask for additional resources to get to their next projections with those resources and then and there is where step 4 comes into play - founders getting those resources because investors have seen repeatedly through monthly or quarterly updates that the team is able to set a goal, achieve that aggressively attainable goal and manage resources well to get to that goal. The ZeroCarb team consistently does this and have done this which is why we’ve invested in them twice already! 

    Back to the plot of ZeroCarb - Other key differentiating factors of why we invested in ZeroCarb Lyfe is their ability to control their supply chain. This is critical especially post COVID when supply chains broke and were unreliable. ZeroCarb is not just a healthy food research firm that farms their products out to a myriad of unknown manufacturers to produce where they would not be able to readily control quality, output and price. In fact from the very beginning ZeroCarb chose to own their own manufacturing facility which has been key not only to being able to meet the rapidly growing demands from their Direct to Consumer sales (did I mention you could have ZeroCarb Pizza crusts shipped straight to you front door directly from the ZeroCarb team?

    Check that out here but also from their expansion in business to business sales through grocers and markets like Fresh Thyme Market BUT they also are able to rapidly prototype and immediately scale production of new products like they have with their newly launched shelf stable chips. Did I mention those chips are made from Chicken Breast meat as well? They not only taste great and are healthy for you - unlike stale oil fried potato chips - they actually fill you up in just one bag because one bag has 14 grams of protein!

    With offices in New Albany, Evansville and Fishers (manufacturing), Indiana - they are truly a Hoosier company through and through. With that - I’ll reference an article written by the Indiana Business Journal back in 2023 when we increased on commitment to ZeroCarb life because of their rapid growth: ZeroCarb Lyfe is a testament to Hoosier ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. With its unique and delicious products, the company is not only satisfying the cravings of carb-conscious consumers but also carving a path for a healthier future of food choices. From restaurants to frozen pizzas and savory snack chips, ZeroCarb Lyfe is showing the world that chicken crusts (and now chips) are just the beginning, and the next bite of innovation is just around the corner.

    Check them out today and use coupon code FAMILY15 to get 15% off and welcome to the ZeroCarb Lyfe family!! 

 

Managing Director

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