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Your parents’ generation thought coffee was only for the morning, but they’re wrong.

Ready-to-drink (RTD) hard coffee AKA an alcohol base mixed with cold brew, coffee extract, sugar, and other trendy ingredients is having a serious moment.

The popularity of RTD hard coffee is due to a variety of factors, notably the thriving coffee culture and growth of the RTD cocktail market.

It seems like every day there is a new RTD cocktail brand popping up, but this growth didn’t happen overnight.


Community is the buzzword of the moment. It seems like every startup is hiring for a Head of Community (PS checkout our job board because maybe the startup of your dreams is hiring for a Head of Community!)

But what does community actually mean?

According to our founder Brian Folmer, “community is what happens when the brand leaves the room.”

With this definition in mind, we reached out to two people who built communities that fit this description:

Greg Ashton, the founder of GROW, a community for ecomm and DTC brands and Mattie Ellis, the Head of Brand Partnerships at…


How do I get consumers to buy my product?

That’s the number one question every founder asks themselves.

In a space as crowded and competitive as food & bev, discovering ways to get your product into consumers hands that not only guarantee a transaction but also transform these people into loyal, repeat customers is easier said than done.

FirstLook decided to tap into its network and consult with the experts, who help established and challenger brands get in front of consumers online and in stores, on the tricks of the trade.

Spoiler: there are no tricks.

You need a good…


Innovative company NotPla is completely rethinking packaging

It’s now table stakes for food & beverage brands to have beautiful packaging that captures consumers attention on the shelf and on social media.

With many food & bev brands checking the “aesthetically pleasing” box, consumers — especially younger ones like Gen-Z, zillenials, and maybe even millennials — want these brands to step it up a notch and also consider the environmental impact of their packaging.

To those rolling their eyes and thinking: “These young consumers demand everything. …


During the darkest moments of COVID-19, if you weren’t indulging in at least a glass of wine per night and dessert, what were you doing? Please, don’t answer that. It was rhetorical. But now that we can see light at the end of the tunnel and the days of hiding your “COVID-15” in Zoom meetings may be dwindling, it’s time to revisit your pantry, toss out your junk sugary shit, and swap in healthy sweets that don’t taste like you’re chewing on bland, wet cardboard sprinkled with Splenda.

Now that we just eliminated half of the “DTC” “good-for-you” healthy sweets…

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FirstLook is a subscription box full of emerging, high-growth consumer brands for early-stage investors.

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