Buy-side Due Diligence on Farmison, an e-Commerce Butcher


Our Client, private equity business Inverleith, asked Food Strategy Associates to diligence a potential acquisition of an online meat retailer, Farmison. Critical to the Client’s investment case was the detailed evaluation of the target’s customer lifetime value (LTV) and its sustainability given the uplift seen during COVID. The client had already commissioned a report on the business, but that did not address the impact of COVID.

What we did

FSA conducted comprehensive due diligence on the unit economics of the business, combining analysis of detailed cohort / customer data, extensive desk research, and multiple expert interviews to deliver:

  • A detailed study of the online meat market in the UK including major competitors, growth drivers and the effect of Covid-19
  • An in-depth view of change in cooking and shopping habits among the target customer demographic
  • An assessment of the unit economics of the business pre, during and post COVID, with a focus on the effect lockdowns had on the business, monthly cohorts and churn

Over a 2 week period, FSA identified and interviewed former employees at competitors to understand how competitors responded to Covid lockdown periods by increasing investments in CAC.

FSA analyzed the customer database to show that lifetime value (LTV) was maintained after COVID, excluding COVID lockdown cohorts and the COVID lockdown sales period.

FSA identified a number of ways the company could improve its differentiation from online retailers such as Waitrose and Ocado and focused on traceability as a key enabler of this.

Results delivered

Inverleith used the in-depth analysis provided to acquire a majority stake in Farmison.