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Nov 29, 2019

In this episode, we’re joined by the founders of two U.K.-based companies, each of whom have built successful brands by adopting a back-to-the-basics approach to product development and marketing.

Launched in 2014, The Primal Pantry is a paleo-inspired snack brand that markets plant-based protein and energy bars made with just a handful of ingredients, including tree nuts and fruit. Suzie Walker, a former nutritionist and executive with Nestlé, founded the company on the belief that the bar category was lacking a product made with high quality, whole food ingredients. In our interview, Walker spoke about how she overcame early production challenges, effective ways of communicating with and learning from consumers and why it’s okay to make a mistake, as long as you don’t make it twice. 

London-based Dalston’s is a brand of better-for-you sodas and sparkling waters crafted with real fruit, no artificial ingredients and low or no added sugar. The products are sold throughout the U.K. and have a growing presence in the U.S. with chainwide distribution at The Fresh Market and 1,000 Publix locations. As part of our conversation with Dalston’s co-founder Dan Broughton, he breaks down the company’s business strategy, why he views the brand as well-positioned to take advantage of the evolving landscape for non-alcoholic beverages and his belief that the product should do the talking.

Show notes:

1:29: Good Chips, Always Be On Brand -- BevNET CMO Mike Schneider and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif chatted about better-for-you chips, ways to impress judges in the upcoming New Beverage Showdown 18 competition, what attendees of BevNET Live and NOSH Live should have on their person during the shows and why you might want to polish up your Instagram account.

8:20: Interview: Suzie Walker, Founder, The Primal Pantry -- Walker sat down with BevNET CMO Mike Schneider at the 2019 Bread & Jam Festival in London and discussed her foray into entrepreneurship, including how she identified and partnered with a co-packer that could make products to her specifications, and why early success was tempered by a lack of preparation. She also explained how being “open and honest about making a mistake… gave us a reason to communicate with our customers,” how the brand is engaging consumers on Instagram and how the company balances its e-commerce and traditional retail strategies.

27:41: Interview: Dan Broughton, Co-Founder, Dalston's -- BevNET’s John Craven and Mike Schneider met with Broughton at the 2019 Bread & Jam Festival where he discussed the genesis of Dalston’s, its roots as a cola company and why it transitioned to craft soda. He also spoke about why the company created a sparkling water line, why he believes that there’s “no right time or wrong time” to enter the U.S. and how RXBAR and Spindrift have impacted Dalston’s marketing and branding strategies. Later, he  talked about the brand’s new non-alcoholic gin and tonic product and how it fits into the platform.

Brands in this episode: The Primal Pantry, Dalston’s, The Good Crisp, Beyond Meat, Nestle, Innocent Drinks, Spindrift, San Pellegrino, Starbucks, RXBAR