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Jul 31, 2020

In this episode, we sat down with Simon Sacal, the founder and CEO of innovative food platform Solely. Known for its unique fruit jerky strips, which are sold at Whole Foods locations nationwide, Solely launched in 2018 with the mission to rethink how food is developed, grown, sourced, processed and sold. The brand has invested heavily in agriculture and food technologies to create nutrient dense and differentiated products, including a recently debuted line of spaghetti squash, that appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers. 

In an interview included in this episode, Sacal spoke about his background as a food entrepreneur beginning as a teenager and how his career culminated in the development of Solely. He also explained why the company’s strategy and focus is “exactly the opposite of the easy way,” and why Solely doesn't launch a product unless it identifies “a huge advantage” over a competitor.

Show notes: 

0:22: It’s High Time We Discuss This Subject... And Blueberry Drizzled Popcorn. -- The show opens with a chat about how Jon Landis is managing life without live Phish concerts, Ray’s love for a new line of sweet and savory popcorn and why BevNET’s Brand Spotlight is an attractive and affordable option for developing companies. The hosts also discussed Beth Kaiserman’s article about how the industry can work together to address inconsistencies in how CBD-infused food and beverage products are measured and labeled.

18:59: Interview: Simon Sacal, Founder/CEO, Solely -- Taste Radio editor Ray Latif spoke with Sacal about why Solely’s home market of San Diego has become a hub for innovative food concepts, his foray into food entrepreneurship with the launch of a fat-free potato chip brand and what he learned from the experience and the mission and focus of his family’s company, Fruitex. He also discussed why the term “food technology” is often misunderstood and what it means to Solely, what inspired the idea for a fruit jerky snack and how he negotiated a nationwide deal with Whole Foods. Later, he explained his vision for creating a broad portfolio of indulgent, clean label and affordable products and how the company identifies and works with investors that align with its long-term strategy.

Brands in this episode: The Safe + Fair Company, Vive Organic, DEFY, Solely