Celiac.com 04/15/2015 - The steep costs of getting food onto the shelves at major grocery chains has claimed another notable start-up, the Charlotte-based gluten-free foods company, Bumbalooza.
The quick, promising rise and rapid demise of Bumbalooza still troubles sisters-in-law Holly Paeper and Monique Prato. In just two short years, their Charlotte-based gluten-free foods company, Bumbalooza, rose to prominence in the specialty foods community, winning fans, customers and awards.
But just months later, Bumbalooza was facing dire straights due to high shelving costs for their products. Soon, the duo had to give up their distribution warehouse, and their office, and quickly stopped selling gluten-free baking mixes altogether.
They say they spent thousands and paid grocery chains more than $20,000 each in "slotting fees" to get Bumbalooza products on store shelves, only to face delayed and partial payments. They declined to name the large grocers involved.
Faced with high costs and impaired revenue, Prato and Paeper decided that closing was their best option.
Sadly, Bumbalooza is not the first, nor likely the last, food company to tumble as a result of high shelving costs.