AJ Agrawal purchases penguin cbd

By Amber Smith
Aug 1, 2023 5:00 AMJan 7, 2024 9:59 PM
Penguin-Verma Farms


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The CBD gummy market is exploding, and is expected to reach nearly $14 billion by 2028. Within the overall hemp category, gummy products have expanded by roughly 30 percent in less than seven years (with the CBD market as a whole growing by over 20 percent in that same time frame).

In other words, the green boom is showing no signs of slowing down. In this race, two of the shining stars in the industry have joined forces: leading CBD gummy manufacturer Verma Farms acquired Gen Z−founded Penguin CBD (another leader in the industry) to create one of the hemp market’s most competitive CBD gummy portfolios.

With some of the tastiest, most affordable CBD gummy products on the market, Verma Farms and Penguin already had a leading edge before the merger. After combining forces, they intend to be even more competitive in the coming year as market share is set to take off. With North America holding the largest market share, these two U.S.-based companies are even better positioned.

Verma Farms and Penguin were both founded in 2019, by AJ Agrawal and Deep Patel, respectively. Just after both businesses were launched, the two CEOs and founders faced unprecedented challenges due to the 2020 global pandemic and economic crisis. Yet, despite all the adversity a small business could possibly face in their first year, they not only survived; they scaled. Penguin’s flourishing business caught the attention of Verma Farms, which acquired the brand on May 13, 2021, for an undisclosed all-cash sum.

While Penguin will continue to exist as its own brand and follow its original mission statement, it will be able to expand its reach and product offerings under the Verma Farms umbrella. This will now be easier, thanks to the expanded team and manpower. Core team members will also be merging during this acquisition, with Patel staying on as an advisor.

“I couldn’t be happier to have the company I built in the hands of such a trusted brand,” said Patel. “We share a common vision for not just our CBD brands, but for the impact we want to make on people and the planet. We’re both committed to ensuring that our businesses are environmentally friendly, sustainable and creating the healthiest possible product for consumers.”

Growth is expected in multiple sectors of the CBD gummy category, including high-concentration and low-concentration options − both of which Verma Farms offers. Agrawal and Patel have both confirmed that the product assortment will continue to grow, offering one of the most expansive menus of CBD consumer goods currently available online. Penguin’s best-selling sour worm CBD gummies and Verma Farms’ top-rated Maui melon gummies will remain part of the core assortment on offer.

Patel, a 22-year-old Gen Z CEO, started as a marketing consultant, and has imbued the fibers of his CBD business with his media savvy, which has allowed him − and Penguin − to stand out in a sea of thousands of new brands. Combine this with a U.S.-grown, U.S.-made premium product at an affordable price point and in a unique selection of flavors, and it’s no wonder Verma Farms was ready to close the deal.

Verma Farms, on the other hand, was inspired by Agrawal’s time in the islands of Hawaii − a combination of purity, nature, warmth and a healthy, relaxed lifestyle spoke to the CEO and founder; the state is now home to the Verma Farms brand. Agrawal too has a background in marketing − one of many commonalities that allowed Patel and Agrawal to make a smooth transition with their businesses.

“With Penguin as a part of the Verma Farms brand, our capacity to bring exceptionally clean healthy living products to the masses has increased substantially,” said Agrawal. “Deep has built an incredible business − one built on truly understanding a younger consumer − that fits perfectly into the Verma Farms ethos and infrastructure. We’re more confident than ever heading into quarter three of 2021, now with our combined efforts and systems in place.”

This consolidation of two strong companies will allow Verma Farms and Penguin to further cut through the clutter; differentiate from a place of intuitive marketing, branding and product innovation; and maintain an edge with top-quality products created through exceptional agricultural and manufacturing practices.

“The past two years have been an incredible journey for myself and my business,” said Patel. “The hemp industry as a whole has seen monumental changes in such a short time − and every business owner in this space has had to stay on their toes. But together with Verma Farms, we’re now stronger than ever. I’m so excited to see how we can continue to innovate and disrupt a crowded industry, see more profit and growth, and help our consumers lead healthier, happier lives.”

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