The food web is the largest digital economy.
And that’s the way we like it.
It’s the one place where companies can sell their products directly to consumers without a middleman.
And now Perrine, a privately held food web company based in San Francisco, is on a mission to change the game.
As it does, it has emerged as a leader in the food web’s rapid expansion and a global leader in its growing footprint.
The food industry has struggled with a lack of sustainable supply chains and high levels of fraud, but Perrine has turned things around with its high-speed, high-quality production and shipping technology.
In fact, it is so fast and efficient that it is now able to ship nearly all of its products to customers from coast to coast.
“It’s one of the most significant trends in the world of commerce,” says Perrine cofounder and CEO Paul Ehrlich.
“There’s not a lot of innovation that has come out of the food business in the last few decades.”
As Perrine expands its global footprint, it’s investing in its technology.
It has partnered with some of the biggest names in the tech world, including Facebook, Google and Amazon.
And Perrine is also spending heavily to improve its operations.
In a new acquisition, the company has purchased the software infrastructure needed to build its own food web.
Perrine CEO Paul C. Ehrle has said that Perrine could become the most popular food web provider in the country within the next three to five years.
“We are not going to make any predictions about that,” says Ehrlen, who is also the chief executive of Perrine Foods, a subsidiary of Perine Inc. The company has grown from a small start-up in 2006 to a global food web empire with more than 20 million products.
But its growth has slowed over the past few years.
In March, it reported a net loss of $14 million, or $1 per share, on $2.5 billion in sales.
Perine’s revenue declined in every quarter since it began operations in 2006, from $7.7 million in 2008 to $5.9 million in 2013.
“Perrine is in a tough spot, and we know it is,” says John Fenn, an analyst with Morningstar Inc. “The question is, will Perrine continue to grow and thrive without the benefit of this investment?”
Ehrlein and CFO James D. Luebbers said they would continue to invest in the business, which has a market value of more than $100 billion.
And in December, they announced that Perine will buy online marketplace Zulily, which is now valued at $2 billion.
Perrain said it will continue to provide high-end delivery services.
And it has added a new division to its global business: Perrine Food Supply, which will offer high-tech, high speed shipping services.
“Our growth is at a tipping point,” Ehrlin says.
“In the next five years, we’re going to need more people to run food websites, and they’re not going in droves.”