Jul 19, 2019
This week’s episode features interviews with the founders of three innovative brands and focuses on how each landed placement in their dream retailers. Jesse Wolfe, the founder of dressing brand O’Dang Hummus, Lisa Curtis, the founder of Kuli Kuli, a brand of moringa-based foods and beverages and Tyler Noyes, the co-founder of meat snack brand Kalahari Biltong, discussed their respective paths into popular chains, including Publix, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Wegmans, and revealed key steps along the way.
1:21: The European Kombucha Tour & Pickles On a Beach -- The episode opens with John Craven fiddling with adaptogenic drops, discussing his recent visit to Europe and recounting the variety of kombucha brands he saw during his travels. The hosts also bantered about a kombucha product created for SodaStream, munched on superfood bars with compostable packaging, pondered as to whether Ray’s beach attire is dissimilar from his everyday outfit, and spoke about a few ready-to-pour cocktail brands.
16:48: Interview: Jesse Wolfe, Founder/CEO, O’Dang Hummus -- In an interview recorded at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show, Wolfe spoke about the years-long process of getting O’Dang Hummus, a brand of hummus-based dressings, into Publix, a Florida-based chain of conventional grocery stores. Wolfe went into detail about how the brand, now distributed at 1,200 Publix locations, was conceived, why he believed that Publix was the right fit, his first interaction with the retailer, how an appearance “Shark Tank” kept it out of the chain and how the company ultimately won acceptance on shelf.
33:45: Interview: Lisa Curtis, Founder/CEO, Kuli Kuli -- Curtis, who appeared Taste Radio Ep. 98, sat down with editor Ray Latif at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show, for an interview about how Kuli Kuli landed at Walmart. As part of their conversation, Curtis explained why Walmart had been in her sights nearly since the brand’s inception, how years of persistent email communication with a buyer eventually led to a key meeting, and why sales data was a critical part of getting on shelf. She also spoke about how an unplanned car ride with a fellow entrepreneur played an important role in winning placement at Sam’s Club and why the wholesale/club retailer was interested in bringing the brand into its stores.
46:18: Interview: Tyler Noyes, Co-Founder, Kalahari Biltong -- Noyes met with Latif at BevNET HQ in Watertown, Mass. and spoke about the origins of Kalahari Biltong, a brand of thinly-sliced meat snacks, and why he identified Wegmans, a regional grocery chain known for its product selection and shopping experience, as its ideal retailer. He also explained how the company’s strong relationship with its national distribution partner, paved the way to placement at Wegmans, how e-commerce data helped seal the deal, and how Kalahari is supporting the brand at the retailer’s nearly 100 locations.
Brands in this episode: Lokai, Health-Ade, SodaStream, Soda Press Co., MiO, GT’s Kombucha, LivBar, Clif Bar, Rick’s Picks, On The Rocks, LIQS, Fireball, Knob Creek, Cruzan Rum, Straightaway Cocktails, OWYN, Soylent, Fly By Jing