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Apr 21, 2023

What food and beverage brands stood out at Coachella 2023? Jacqui Brugliera reported back from the annual music festival, including how most festival-goers quenched their thirst in the desert. Speaking of hydration, the hosts discussed whether #watertok is a faux controversy, before riffing on new snack and protein bars, CBD cocktails and a (very) cherry juice shot.

This episode also features an interview with Raffi Vartanian and Patrick Johnson, the co-founders of Ziba Foods, a mission-driven brand of heirloom nuts, seeds and dried fruits that maintains an ethical supply chain from farm to bag, including fair and direct trade with Afghan farmers along with living wages for its women-centric workforce at the company’s processing facility in Kabul. 

Show notes:

0:43: So Silver, So ‘Lit. Don’t Procrastinate. Bars And Protein Aplenty. – Omusubi, low-carb Dutch beer, dumplings and recovery drinks – Jacqui had on a full plate at Coachella. The hosts urged early-stage beverage founders to apply to participate in New Beverage Showdown 25 before the May 12 deadline and begrudgingly discussed the latest TikTok-born controversy/trend. Later, they each highlighted a new snack bar, including one with a boba tea flavor, a collaboration between two powerhouse brands and a trio of Pakistani-inspired hot sauces.

26:44: Interview: Raffi Vartanian & Patrick Johnson, Co-Founders, Ziba Foods – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif spoke with Vartanian and Johnson at Expo West 2023 about their vision for Ziba and how they articulate the brand’s compelling story and product value to consumers and retailers. The duo also discussed, how they navigated the complexities of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and subsequent return of Taliban rule in the country, and how contingency planning factors into their long-term business strategy.

Brands in this episode: Dave’s Killer Bread, Little Saints, Unite Foods, MiLa, Electrolit, Hello Soju, Chamberlain Coffee, Heineken, Michelob, Lesser Evil, Fishwife, OWYN, Chomps, The Coconut Cult, Pressed, Milonga, Fringe Food Co., Peepal People, Ziba Foods