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May 22, 2020

Let’s say that you’ve created an iconic brand that essentially launched a category and is beloved by millions of loyal consumers. Why would you change anything? That’s the question we explored in our interview with GT Dave, the founder and CEO of GT’s Living Foods, the maker of GT’s Kombucha. 

The top-selling kombucha brand recently underwent a packaging refresh that tweaked a few elements of its label design and renamed two product sublines as a way to better delineate its offerings. In a conversation included in this episode, Dave spoke about the reasoning behind each change and how his perspective as a category creator impacted the moves. He also spoke about why he’s embraced a more public persona and why he’s adamant that kombucha should avoid comparisons to soda.

Show notes: 

0:37: Mike’s Quill of Judgment, Tracking Snacking & A Love Letter To Costco -- The episode’s hosts spoke about the upcoming BevNET New Beverage Showdown 19 and NOSH Pitch Slam 8 competitions and how interested brands can apply, how some snack brands are adapting to changing times and palates and the elements of a successful virtual sampling event. They also riffed on Melissa’s passion for a certain club retailer and a few delectable ice cream and latte products consumed over the past week.

15:05: GT Dave, Founder/CEO, GT’s Living Foods -- BevNET CMO Mike Schneider spoke with Dave about the timing of his brand’s packaging refresh and what he viewed as significant problems in how consumers perceived and understood each of GT’s product lines, along with other brands in the kombucha set. Dave also discussed why he sees parallels in the evolution of the kombucha and craft beer categories, how he originally conceived the naming and design of his products, including the meaning of GT’s Synergy line, and why the new look beverages are more deliberate in their description of what’s inside the bottle. Later, he explained why he sees himself as “an overprotective parent” when it comes to his brand, incorporating consumer feedback into the refresh and how he’s become more comfortable interacting with his customers and the trade, reacting to the provocative “Forbes” profile of him and the educational component of rolling out a new look. 

Brands in this episode: GT’s Kombucha, Health-Ade, MALK, Know Brainer, Beckon Ice Cream, Chosen Foods, Virginia Distilling Co., DiNoci Dairy-Free, Pop & Bottle, Yasso, Vita Coco, Snapple, SoBe, Mountain Dew, Red Bull, White Claw