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Apr 17, 2020

In this episode, we sat down with Ashley Thompson, co-founder and CEO of MUSH, an innovative brand of ready-to-eat oats. Soaked overnight in dairy-free milk and packaged in single-serve containers with a built-in spoon, MUSH launched at Whole Foods in 2015 and has since expanded distribution to natural, conventional and club retailers nationwide. Just five years since its debut, MUSH pulls in over $20 million in sales annually, according to the company.

As part of our conversation, Thompson spoke about her background prior to launching MUSH and what motivated her and co-founder Kat Thomas to innovate within the oatmeal category. She also discussed why she set out to create a “best for you” product, why she likes having a “polarizing” brand name, how she prepared for her first meeting at Whole Foods and why the company has pivoted from being “product first” to “team first.”

Show notes: 

1:04: Subscribe, #Schwarzeneggerstyle & PR Strategy -- The episode opens with a discussion about BevNET’s new model, which provides subscribers with access to exceptional content and benefits -- learn more and sign up here -- and a recap of our recent edition of Elevator Talk Livestream, which featured actor, investor and advisor Patrick Schwarzenegger as a guest host. The show’s hosts also explored ways that entrepreneurs and brand executives can enhance their relationships with public relations firms.

14:57: Ashley Thompson, Co-Founder/CEO, MUSH -- Thompson spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about her transition from the financial service industry to CPG, why she set out to “reinvent the way people think about oatmeal,” and how the company addresses challenges in marketing and merchandising an innovative concept. She also discussed how MUSH is evolving its pricing and packaging to meet the needs of more consumers, why she struggled initially with handing over the reins to certain aspects of the business and why she’s “a firm believer that what got us here won’t get us there.”

Brands in this episode: MUSH, Kitu Life, MALK, Blaze Pizza, Battle Bars, Cloud Water, Fronun, PathWater, Bantam Bagels, Ramona, Califia Farms