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Dec 8, 2017

Stephen Williamson, the co-founder and CEO of organic plant-based food and beverage company Forager Project, embraces a non-traditional approach to innovation. “We are great believers in ‘Ready. Fire. Aim.’” he said in a recent interview included in this episode of Taste Radio. “We have tried to leverage anything where we’ve seen success.” Launched in 2013, the San Francisco-based company has built a brand platform that extends from juices to smoothies to snacks and yogurts, all based around the principle of making great-tasting, healthy and minimally processed foods and beverages. Speaking with BevNET assistant editor Martin Caballero, Williamson and co-founder J.C. Hanley discussed how the company works to align innovation with current trends while staying true to its core mission. Williamson, who is a former chairman and CEO of Odwalla, and Hanley also spoke about their origins in the food business and why “learning from food” is a key piece of Forager’s business philosophy. Also included in this episode: A conversation with Brandon Partridge, the Senior Vice President of Industry Development at American Frozen Food Institute and the founder of Ibex Yogurt, an innovative brand of organic drinkable yogurts that was discontinued in 2014. Partridge discussed learning lessons from his journey as a beverage entrepreneur and reflected on stumbling blocks and pitfalls. This week’s Elevator Talk features Maggie Patton and Alex Buckley are the co-founders of Bitsy's Brainfood, an organic food company that makes allergen-friendly and vegetable-based snacks and cereals. Show notes: 1:01: Insights from Brewbound Session, NOSH Live and BevNET Live -- The hosts discuss news, trends, new products and speakers from the three conferences. Included in their banter: Novo Brazil’s triumph in Brewbound Session’s Startup Brewery Challenge 9; Saffron Road founder and CEO Adnan Durrani’s stirring presentation at NOSH Live; the magic of oat-based granola brand Woats; the genius of Califia Farms’ Greg Steltenpohl and Arnold Ventura; why new sparkling juice brand Hubble could be an Orangina-killer. 13:14: Interview: Stephen Williamson and JC Hanley, Co-Founders, Forager Project -- Forager is a maker of organic, plant-based food and beverages, including cold-pressed juice, nut milks, dairy-free yogurt and vegetable-based chips. In this interview, recorded via Skype, Williamson and Hanley discussed the company’s mission and innovation philosophy, its transition from a focus on cold-pressed juice to multi-pronged portfolio of food and beverage and how “learning from food” allowed the company to leverage its expertise in cashew milk production to create a new line of dairy-free yogurts. 37:56: Interview: Brandon Partridge, Founder, Ibex -- Partridge is the founder of Ibex Yogurt, an innovative brand of organic drinkable yogurts founded in 2011 and was discontinued in 2014. In our conversation, recorded at NOSH Live Winter 2017, he discussed why the brand may have been a victim of “right place, wrong time” and the notion that young companies like Ibex often “live at the edge of success and extinction.” 1:02:49: Elevator Talk: Maggie Patton & Alex Buckley, Co-Founders, Bitsy's Brainfood -- Patton and Buckley are the co-founders of Bitsy's Brainfood. Moms and former educators, the pair discussed how and why they launched the organic food company, which makes allergen-friendly and vegetable-based snacks and cereals. Brands in this episode: Novo Brazil, Honey Mama's, Woats, Califia Farms, Odwalla, San Pellegrino, Hubble, Vive Organic, Bija Bhar, Mother Beverage, GT’s Kombucha, Health-Ade Kombucha, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Better Booch, Forager Project, Ibex, Bitsy Brainfood For sponsorship opportunities, feedback and suggestions, contact