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Mar 27, 2018

In the decades since its introduction in 1935, Jägermeister has earned a reputation as an iconic staple of boozy nights out and hard partying. So why is the German liqueur brand now embracing a softer side of its heritage and history? In an interview included in this episode of Taste Radio, Jeff Popkin, the CEO of Mast-Jägermeister U.S., explained why the brand, while still wildly popular as a shot, is attempting to win over new consumers, broaden its appeal and, ultimately, generate new sales by reframing itself as a high-quality liqueur that can be enjoyed in a variety of occasions. Popkin, who’s been at the forefront of several emerging non-alcoholic beverage trends as an executive with Red Bull and Vita Coco, is leading a careful effort to maintain Jägermeister’s valuable core identity during the repositioning. “If there’s a party, Jägermeister is there in the U.S. today -- no question about that,” he said. “There’s no white knuckles to get the story out there and change it. It’s all going to happen within the natural footprint of Jägermeister.” Also included in this episode: An interview with Jeanette Ogden, a food blogger and social media maven known for her popular Instagram account, Shutthekaleup. We sat down with Ogden at Natural Products Expo West 2018 and discussed her journey as an influencer, how she cultivates her online personality and her approach to building an authentic relationship with natural food and beverage brands. This episode also includes an interview with the co-founders of The Coconut Cult, an acclaimed vegan coconut-based yogurt. Noah Simon-Waddell and James Harkin spoke about their approach to building a lifestyle brand and how they’ve established a thriving community of supporters and followers via social media. This episode is presented by Symrise Califormulations. Show notes: 1:35: Potent Potables -- The hosts chat about interesting libations and and tasty treats sent to the office over the past couple weeks, including Spindrift, Smart Sweets, Mike's Mighty Good Craft Ramen, CideRoad, Hello Water, Hal's New York Seltzer and Alter Eco. 10:53: Interview: Jeff Popkin, CEO, Mast-Jägermeister U.S. -- A veteran beverage executive who led sales for Red Bull and was the CEO of Vita Coco - U.S., Jeff Popkin is currently at the helm of another iconic brand: Jägermeister. In an interview recorded at its headquarters in White Plains, N.Y., Popkin discussed the company’s efforts to spur new sales by reframing Jägermeister as a brand to “celebrate the best moments of your life,” while maintaining its core identity and the importance of innovation for CPG brands, noting that “when you look at the attention span of a consumer… you’ve got to be quick and you’ve got to be dynamic.” 38:32: Interview: Jeannette Ogden, Founder, Shutthekaleup -- A leading influencer in the worlds of fitness, wellness and natural foods, Jeannette Ogden has over 260,000 followers of her Instagram account, Shutthekaleup. The platform is where she, her husband AJ and son Elliot -- aka "Bub" -- share their daily eats, drinks, workouts and adventures. Along the way, she shares recommendations of brands and products and explains how they fit into a healthy lifestyle. We sat down with Ogden at Natural Products Expo West 2018 and talked about her journey as influencer, how she cultivates her online personality and her approach to working with natural food and beverage brands. 1:02:39: Interview: Noah Simon-Waddell & James Harkin, Co-Founders, The Coconut Cult -- A darling of the influencer world, The Coconut Cult markets a vegan coconut yogurt that’s stocked at high-end health food stores along the coasts. Despite its premium price -- $25 for a 16 oz. jar -- the brand has amassed a cult-like following among its consumers. Co-founders Noah Simon-Waddell and James Harkin explained how their efforts to create experiential moments for consumers fits with their intent “to create a religion, essentially,” out of the brand.