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May 15, 2020

Joining us in this episode is Jessica Weiss Levison, founder and CEO of Peekaboo Organics, a maker of indulgent organic ice cream infused with “hidden” vegetables. Launched in 2018, Peekaboo drew immediate interest from several national retailers who saw value in the brand’s better-for-you positioning. The products, which include chocolate ice cream with hidden cauliflower and a strawberry variety made with carrots, are carried nationwide at Kroger, along with hundreds of Safeway, Whole Foods, and Target locations in select regions.

In our conversation, Levison spoke about how she transitioned from a career in law to the ice cream business, addressed the often-asked question about why consumers needs vegetables in their dessert, why building a community around the brand is critical to its retail and funding strategies, and why winning over kids is not as challenging as she expected it to be. Also, a can’t miss discussion about how to avoid slotting fees.

Show notes: 

0:33: Investing In Immunity, Dr. Bunson Honeycraven & A Groundwork For Today -- The hosts encouraged listeners to tune in (and submit questions) to “Office Hours,” BevNET’s interactive livestream program that is produced on Tuesdays at 3 PM, and spoke about topics from a recent episode including immunity-focused innovation. They also riffed on a couple sparkling water products, why John and Mike could be in a remake of “The Muppet Show,” discussed an interesting update with a super-premium coffee brand and reminded folks about the benefits of subscribing to BevNET and NOSH.

13:08: Jessica Weiss Levison, Founder/CEO, Peekaboo Organics -- Levison spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about how getting fired from her job propelled her into entrepreneurship, lessons from her first foray into the ice cream business and the massive benefit from certifying her business as woman-owned. She also discussed her unconventional way of meeting a Target buyer, the challenges formulating Peekaboo products, initial reception to the brand, why a specific demographic “gets” the concept better than others and why she undertook a packaging revamp. Later, she shared her process for fundraising and the big difference between investors that offered capital and those that didn’t.

Brands in this episode: Peekaboo Organics, Seasons Sparkling, LifeAid, Intent Brands, Ugly Drinks, Cure Hydration, Reese’s, Dr Pepper, Simply 7 Snacks, Groundwork Coffee, Halo Top