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Jan 15, 2021

This week we’re joined by Drew and Mac Anderson, brothers and co-founders of Cleveland Kitchen, a fast-growing brand of fresh, fermented foods. 

Founded in 2013, the company’s flagship line of sauerkraut has risen to become the top-selling premium product in the category in the U.S., according to the company, and is available at over 9,000 retail stores including those of Target, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger and Publix. Amid growing consumer demand for probiotic-rich foods, the Andersons, along with their co-founder and brother-in-law Luke Visnic, are aiming to build Cleveland Kitchen into “a household name with a healthy halo,” including moving into other products such as its recently launched marinades and dressings.  

Within our conversation, the Andersons spoke about the roles that their mother and the city of Cleveland had in the brand’s inspiration, their experience leaning into new use occasions for sauerkraut and why it was key to growth, how data led to more impactful merchandising and bigger sales and how the brothers balance family and business.

Show notes: 

0:36: None Of Us Are Doing Dry January, But We Do Love These Products. And Probiotics. -- The episode’s hosts chatted about notable names and nicknames,  riffed on a “bitchin’” brand and discussed the recent boom in new non-alcoholic spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails and a few products within the growing cohort. They also spoke about the revamped, yet still remarkable, GT’s Cocoyo and a few other food and beverage brands sampled over the past month.

18:34: Interview: Drew & Mac Anderson, Co-Founders, Cleveland Kitchen -- Taste Radio editor Ray Latif sat down with with the Andersons, who shared their enthusiasm for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and the team’s recent playoff run, spoke about what they learned from working at farmers’ markets at a young age and how they incorporated fermentation into their college experiences. They also explained how they communicated Cleveland Kitchen’s sauerkraut as a functional, culinary food that is cross-cultural, and versatile, making the leap from natural to conventional retailers and why owning and operating a production facility is a significant asset and advantage over competitors. Later, they discussed considerations for new product development and how they settle disagreements and stay focused on the company’s mission. 

Brands in this episode: Cleveland Kitchen, Bitchin’ Sauce, Athletic Brewing, HOP WTR, Seedlip, Wilderton, Ugly Drinks, Budweiser, Schlitz, Golden Road, Guinness, Everleaf, Three Spirit, bonbuz, Spirity Cocktails, Kin Euphorics, Cedar’s, Cann, Proposition Cocktail, Sweet Crude, Sweet Reason, Local Roots Kombucha, GT’s Living Foods, Coconut Cult, Jetson Probiotics, Betera