FGB Index Featured Companies: Pact Coffee, Papier and Hims


In this piece, we take a closer look at some of the fast-growth brands that have made headlines in the past month. Analysing their latest announcements, we will use data and insights from the FGB Index to examine how these companies are performing within their category, and where they stand out from their competition. 

Pact Coffee

Speciality coffee business Pact have partnered with Creature to take their brand to TV for the first time. Pact is the UK’s biggest coffee subscription business, with USD$2.6m raised. The brand has also recently launched a new website, with new branding, and the TV campaign seems like the next step to promote the new look, and strengthen their position as the leading coffee subscription business in the UK. 

What the FGB Index shows: Pact’s search ranking on Amazon – calculated from the search query volume of a brand name on Amazon, with 1 representing the most searched-for term – improved 31.6% from March-April 2020. We can also see that Pact has been bidding on generic keywords such as “best place to buy coffee beans online”, and also works with a higher number of ad tech vendors (15) than other companies in its category such as Deliciously Ella (six) and Mindful Chef (nine). These trends suggest Pact is looking to drive customer acquisition.

Category comparisons: Within the food and drink subscription category, the use of Amazon varies widely. Deliciously Ella, a business of a similar size to Pact in terms of traffic (283,500 visitors in April 2020, compared to Pact’s 328,620), has a significantly larger Amazon search ranking (5788th in April 2020) than Pact. Meanwhile, Mindful Chef, one of the largest meal kit subscription businesses in the UK, with USD$12m funding, only has an Amazon search rank of 264784. It is clear that the nature of the product here guides how much the company relies on Amazon (i.e. people will buy coffee, though not entire meals). Meanwhile, Pact sees a higher percentage of direct traffic than both Mindful Chef (36.5%) and Deliciously Ella (32.4%), both of which rely more on Search.


Papier has teamed up with And Rising for its debut TV campaign. Papier, which produces personalised greeting cards, notecards and letter writing paper, is tapping into the mood of the nation, while people are physically apart and taking a break from connecting via screen and endless Zoom calls to write to each other more.


What the FGB Index shows: Papier has raised USD$15.1m to date, with its largest markets the UK and US. The business saw 99,900 visitors to its site in April 2020, a figure more than double of their UK competitor Toucan Box, which saw 48,600 visitors in the same period. Search was the company’s leading means of traffic in April 2020, accounting for 46.8% of visitors, while direct traffic accounted for 41.5%. 

Category comparisons: American business Cratfsy is the category leader within stationary, having raised USD$108m before being acquired by NBCUniversal. Compared to Papier, Craftsy sees a lower proportion of traffic coming direct to the site (27.8% compared to 41.5%), with the American company also leaning on social for traffic (14.3% of total visitors). While Papier doesn’t have the backing of a giant like NBCUniversal, it has a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic, and its debut TV campaign is a sign of growth to come. One of Papier’s UK competitors, subscription business ToucanBox, on the other hand, relies less on search and direct traffic for visitors (34.1% and 34.6% respectively) than Papier, though it over-indexes on email (11.7%) and referrals (10.7%).

Hims & Hers

Hims & Hers, a startup focused on providing access to elective treatments for things like hair loss, skin care and erectile dysfunction and online telemedicine services, is expanding its services to include a Spanish language option. Hims, and sister site Hers, are one of the largest challenger brands looking to facilitate easier access to healthcare. The business is looking to better serve the 41 million US residents who speak Spanish at home. 

Q&A with CEO of Hims

What the FGB Index shows: As stated, Hims is one of the largest challenger brands in the telemedicine space – it has raised a whopping USD$197m. While the bulk of the company’s traffic comes from search (59.7%), it only works with seven ad tech vendors – a low number compared to Pact (15 vendors) and Papier (30 vendors). Based in the US, Hims caters to a largely western customer base, with its top three markets the US, UK and Canada. 

Category comparisons: The main difference between Hims and most other challenger brands in the telemedicine space is funding. Hims’ USD$197m is typical of huge funding rounds raised by American businesses. By contrast, Nua and Calally, both brands that are innovating tampon technologies in India and the UK respectively, have both only raised a little over USD$5m each. Despite this, Nua are working with 19 ad tech vendors on their site, compared to Hims’ seven – a sign they are focussing on advertising and spreading brand awareness to achieve Hims’ level of brand recognition. So while Hims will likely remain the category leader due to the scalability of the US market, there are growth opportunities for those tapping into similar niches in other regions across the globe. 

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Pact Coffee
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