Executive Briefing

Finding founder-acquirer fit

Pineapple Collaborative, the food startup, has an unexpected new owner. What’s next?

Pineapple Collaborative founders Atara Bernstein and Ariel Pasternak
Atara Bernstein and Ariel Pasternak / Courtesy Pineapple Collaborative

The food startup Pineapple Collaborative first appeared on my radar a few years ago when I noticed its gourmet pantry staples — starting with organic olive oil and apple cider vinegar — in nicely designed packaging.

Even more interesting was its multi-faceted business model: In addition to selling its products via e-commerce and wholesale, Pineapple also had a media business, generating sponsorship revenue from big companies like Chase to underwrite digital content and offline events. It was a small but intriguing example of the content, commerce, and community concept in action.

Now it has a new owner: Pineapple Collaborative has been acquired by the meal delivery company Fresh n’ Lean.

Co-founders Ariel Pasternak and Atara Bernstein wouldn’t disclose the deal’s financial terms, but my sense is that this was less about the purchase price — likely modest — and more about the chance to reboot Pineapple Collaborative and keep it going in a new corporate structure.

It’s also the sort of deal I suspect we’ll see more frequently, as the economics of e-commerce continue to get more difficult, and as funding has all but dried up for consumer startups that aren’t on hyper-growth trajectories.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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