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Feb 14, 2020

This week’s episode focuses on how two food companies are evolving to meet the needs of modern consumers.

In our first interview, we spoke with Alden Blease and Emma Frelinghuysen, the co-founder and CEO, respectively, of REDD Bar. Founded in 2014, REDD is a brand of plant-based protein bars infused with vegan prebiotics, probiotics and adaptogens. Although REDD cultivated a loyal following and distribution at several major retail chains, last year the company introduced a significant rebrand and reformulation of the bars, which was announced alongside $2.2 million in new funding. Blease and Frelinghuysen spoke about the reasons for and execution of REDD’s pivot, how evolving consumer trends impacted the changes and lessons from the rollout.

Later in the episode, we sat down with Arnold Coombs, the director of sales and marketing for top-selling organic maple syrup brand Coombs Family Farms. A seventh generation maple farmer, Coombs founded the brand, which is steeped in tradition and history. As part of our conversation, Coombs discussed how the company has built consumer loyalty through education about the product’s health benefits and use as an ingredient, along with developing an innovative package.

Show notes: 

0:40: ‘Lavender Is The New Grape.’ -- The episode’s hosts sipped on nourishing soup, cold-brewed tea and New Orleans-style coffee, bantered about a new beverage made with olive leaves, discussed the launch of BevNET’s new eBook about building brand awareness and spoke about why some entrepreneurs hire CEOs to run their businesses.

18:00: Alden Blease, Founder; Emma Frelinghuysen, CEO, R.E.D.D. Bar --  BevNET CMO Mike Schneider spoke with Blease and Frelinghuysen at the 2020 Winter Fancy Food Show, where Blease discussed the inspiration for and early development of R.E.D.D. Bar, which was originally called Rawgasm, why he brought on a CEO to run day-to-day operations and why the rebrand had been in development in 2018. Frelinghuysen discussed her background in CPG, why she was drawn to the role of R.E.D.D. Bar CEO and why she initially focused on formalizing the brand’s core values. Later, Blease explained why he believes the brand is now a “better, stronger version of itself,” why plant-based is “the number one message” the company is now conveying and how honest communication with consumers was key to the rebrand.

37:00: Arnold Coombs, Director of Sales/Marketing, Coombs Family Farms -- Coombs sat down with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif and discussed his family’s history in the maple syrup business, why he compares syrup production to wine making and the challenges in marketing a commodity product. He also explained why he envisions the maple syrup set resembling that of cooking oil, why the company’s private label products are the same quality as its branded ones and how the streamable maple syrup bottle was designed.  

Brands in this episode: REDD Bar, Coombs Family Farms, Osso Good, Tiesta Tea, Special Leaf, Peloton Cascara, Nitro Beverage Co., Grady’s Cold Brew, Enlightened, Lesser Evil, Flour Bakery, Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's