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Nov 26, 2019

Like most people, Joel Warady, the General Manager and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of allergen-friendly brand Enjoy Life Foods, doesn’t like bland snacks. 

He admits, however, that Enjoy Life didn’t always win on flavor and acknowledges the considerable challenge of creating delicious products without using dairy, gluten, nuts or other common food allergens. Nevertheless, he says that, for Enjoy Life to grow, the brand has to deliver just that to capture modern consumers expecting great-tasting food regardless of function or benefit.

“If you taste [a product] and you have to convince yourself, ‘well, that’s not bad,’ that product’s not going to succeed,” he said in an interview included in this episode.

A focus on flavor is one of the key reasons that Enjoy Life, which markets a range of sweet and savory snacks, has become the leading brand in the fast-growing business of “free from” foods. Warady has been with the company since its launch in 2001 and has played an integral role in the brand’s development. A former board chairman, he’s overseen the company’s marketing department since 2011, and in his current role he’s responsible for the development and execution of the brand’s sales and marketing strategies. 

As part of our conversation, Warady spoke about the genesis and evolution of Enjoy Life, which was acquired by snack giant Mondelez International in 2015, explained why the company embraces a “think digital, act analog” business strategy and why standards matter at every stage of growth.

Show notes: 

2:39: Interview: Joel Warady, General Manager, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Enjoy Life Foods -- Warady met with NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg at the 2019 Mobile Innovation Summit in Denver and discussed the origins and mission of Enjoy Life, the brand’s early success at natural retailers and how it won over buyers and customers at conventional grocery stores. He also spoke about the company has fared post-acquisition, how his role has evolved in recent years and why he believes that “talking to consumers all the time” has been critical to Enjoy Life’s success. Later, he discussed the company’s focus on developing great tasting products and how it communicates long ingredient lists to consumers, why it’s okay to fail as long as you fail fast, and why he urges entrepreneurs to “stay true to what you believe.”

Brands in this episode: Enjoy Life Foods