100 episodes

The top podcasts for food and beverage professionals, BevNET’s Taste Radio and Taste Radio Insider feature interviews with the leaders and rising stars of our fast-evolving industry. The shows also include discussion on emerging trends, innovation and news of the week from our regular cadre of hosts from the BevNET and NOSH teams.

Tell us what you think at ask@tasteradio.com. You can also email us if you are interested in Taste Radio sponsorship opportunities. If you like Taste Radio, share it with a colleague, will ya?

See you every Tuesday and Friday!

Taste Radio BevNET Inc.

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 4.9, 114 Ratings

The top podcasts for food and beverage professionals, BevNET’s Taste Radio and Taste Radio Insider feature interviews with the leaders and rising stars of our fast-evolving industry. The shows also include discussion on emerging trends, innovation and news of the week from our regular cadre of hosts from the BevNET and NOSH teams.

Tell us what you think at ask@tasteradio.com. You can also email us if you are interested in Taste Radio sponsorship opportunities. If you like Taste Radio, share it with a colleague, will ya?

See you every Tuesday and Friday!

    Ep. 223: How Do You Build An Iconic Brand When ‘Money Is Not A Goal’?

    Ep. 223: How Do You Build An Iconic Brand When ‘Money Is Not A Goal’?

    You might recognize Tony’s Chocolonely by its quirky labels and comic font logo. Behind the Dutch brand’s playful vibe, however, is a profound mission to end the use of child labor within the cocoa industry.
    Founded in 2005, Tony’s has emerged as a popular international chocolate brand sold throughout Europe and the United States. Led by its purpose-driven strategy, the company is grounded in fair-trade business practices, deep relationships with its sourcing partners and measurable goals for social impact. In an interview included in this episode, Ynzo van Zanten, Tony’s Chief Evangelist, spoke about how the company has navigated the development of a premium brand while staying focused on its overarching social mission, how to build a purpose-driven team and how to attract investors when “money is not a goal.”
    Show notes: 
    0:40: Interview: Ynzo van Zanten, Chief Evangelist, Tony’s Chocolonely -- Taste Radio editor Ray Latif spoke with van Zanten about the genesis of Tony’s, how his work experience led him to the company and why he believes that being financially successful and socially responsible should not be viewed as “two opposite ends of the spectrum.” He also discussed how Tony’s promotes its mission on packaging versus through digital content, how consumers rank the brand’s attributes and how the company evaluates margin and profitability when pricing its products. Later, he explained how the company measures social impact via a proprietary system, how Tony’s won over private equity firms Verlinvest and Jam Jar, the strategy for expanding retail placement and distribution internationally and how other CPG companies can support the brand’s mission.
    Brands in this episode: Tony’s Chocolonely, Patagonia

    • 30 min
    Insider Ep. 94: Why The Right Way Is ‘Exactly The Opposite Of The Easy Way’

    Insider Ep. 94: Why The Right Way Is ‘Exactly The Opposite Of The Easy Way’

    In this episode, we sat down with Simon Sacal, the founder and CEO of innovative food platform Solely. Known for its unique fruit jerky strips, which are sold at Whole Foods locations nationwide, Solely launched in 2018 with the mission to rethink how food is developed, grown, sourced, processed and sold. The brand has invested heavily in agriculture and food technologies to create nutrient dense and differentiated products, including a recently debuted line of spaghetti squash, that appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers. 
    In an interview included in this episode, Sacal spoke about his background as a food entrepreneur beginning as a teenager and how his career culminated in the development of Solely. He also explained why the company’s strategy and focus is “exactly the opposite of the easy way,” and why Solely doesn't launch a product unless it identifies “a huge advantage” over a competitor.
    Show notes: 
    0:22: It’s High Time We Discuss This Subject... And Blueberry Drizzled Popcorn. -- The show opens with a chat about how Jon Landis is managing life without live Phish concerts, Ray’s love for a new line of sweet and savory popcorn and why BevNET’s Brand Spotlight is an attractive and affordable option for developing companies. The hosts also discussed Beth Kaiserman’s article about how the industry can work together to address inconsistencies in how CBD-infused food and beverage products are measured and labeled.
    18:59: Interview: Simon Sacal, Founder/CEO, Solely -- Taste Radio editor Ray Latif spoke with Sacal about why Solely’s home market of San Diego has become a hub for innovative food concepts, his foray into food entrepreneurship with the launch of a fat-free potato chip brand and what he learned from the experience and the mission and focus of his family’s company, Fruitex. He also discussed why the term “food technology” is often misunderstood and what it means to Solely, what inspired the idea for a fruit jerky snack and how he negotiated a nationwide deal with Whole Foods. Later, he explained his vision for creating a broad portfolio of indulgent, clean label and affordable products and how the company identifies and works with investors that align with its long-term strategy.
    Brands in this episode: The Safe + Fair Company, Vive Organic, DEFY, Solely

    • 48 min
    Ep. 222: How Three Female Entrepreneurs Are Changing An Industry ‘Bit’ By Bit

    Ep. 222: How Three Female Entrepreneurs Are Changing An Industry ‘Bit’ By Bit

    They say necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes, inventions are created by mothers who identified an unmet necessity. That was the case with Bitsy’s, a brand of organic, vegetable-infused kids' snacks, including cookies and crackers.
    Launched in 2012 by social entrepreneurs Maggie Patton and Alex Buckley, the company’s mission is to make healthy and nutritious snacks accessible and affordable to all families. In May, Bitsy’s announced that actress Gabrielle Union, who has long been an admirer and customer of the brand, had joined the company as a co-founder and taken an active role in sales, marketing and product development. 
    In the following interview, Union, Patton and Buckley spoke about the history and evolution of the brand, which recently picked up placement at 1,600 CVS stores nationwide. As part of their conversation, they discussed Gabrielle’s interest in joining the company and alignment with Maggie and Alex, how they communicate the brand’s healthy halo to kids and parents, why asking for help has to be a priority for entrepreneurs and how the food industry can work together to mainstream healthy food for kids.
    Show notes: 
    0:40: Interview: Gabrielle Union, Maggie Patton and Alex Buckley, Co-Founders, Bitsy’s — NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg spoke with Union, Patton and Buckley about how their respective backgrounds led to the creation and development of Bitsy’s, why they are wary of demonizing vegetables in how they promote the products and how they speak to consumers via the brand’s packaging. They also discussed how Patton and Buckley’s past work in the non-profit sector led them to Union, why they emphasize making the brand accessible and affordable in mainstream retailers and why leading with transparency and humility is critical to winning support for their vision. Later, they explained Bitsy’s channel strategy, getting retail buyers on their side and how Union is leveraging her massive social media following to build awareness for the brand.
    Brands in this episode: Bitsy’s

    • 36 min
    Insider Ep. 93: The Tools You Already Have To Succeed In Tough Times

    Insider Ep. 93: The Tools You Already Have To Succeed In Tough Times

    This week, we’re joined by Greg Fleishman, the co-founder and CEO of clean label baking mix and snack company Foodstirs. A veteran marketing executive with over two decades of experience working with startup brands, including Kashi, Suja and Sambazon, Fleishman is no stranger to the constant challenges that are common to entrepreneurial companies. And he believes that it’s the daily ebbs and flows of running a business that provide entrepreneurs with the capabilities to navigate the uncertainties of the Covid-19 crisis.
    As part of our conversation, Fleishman discussed how he’s applied lessons learned from his career into Foodstirs, which, like many companies, had to rethink its business strategy and adapt to a new consumer environment within a matter of weeks. He also explained how to manage and enhance relationships with retail buyers, why it’s critical to leverage every resource at your disposal and why consumer communication is the one thing that keeps him up at night.
    Show notes: 
    0:38: Time To Step Into The “Spotlight.” Plus, Puffs, Protein and Pop. -- The episode opens with a discussion about a new feature on BevNET and NOSH called Brand Spotlight, a platform which showcases new, updated and emerging brands. The hosts also spoke about notable products encountered over the past week, including avocado-based puffs, a spirit-sounding plant-based protein bar, a new brand of probiotic sodas and a “special” aperitif.
    12:09: Interview: Greg Fleishman, Co-Founder/CEO, Foodstirs -- Fleishman, who previously appeared in Taste Radio episodes 69 and 110, spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about why brands that serve a social purpose and mission are often more successful than others and shared a brief history of Foodstirs as a baking kit brand and the company’s decision to expand into ready-to-eat products. He also discussed how the Covid-19 crisis kickstarted a resurgence in home baking and why he believes it will continue for years to come, why he encourages entrepreneurs to “be a camel, not a unicorn” and the importance of collaborating with retail buyers when formulating an innovation strategy. Later, he explained why ambassadors are key to Foodstirs’ marketing initiatives and how he considers tone when crafting copy for social media and advertising campaigns.
    Brands in this episode: Mezcla, AvoCrazy, Culture Pop, Health-Ade, Olipop, Poppi, Aura Bora, Foodstirs, Annie’s

    • 57 min
    Ep. 221: This Is How Innovative Concepts Become Top Brands

    Ep. 221: This Is How Innovative Concepts Become Top Brands

    This special episode of Taste Radio features highlights from interviews with six entrepreneurs who joined us on Taste Radio during the first half of 2020. Our guests include Siete Family Foods co-founder and CEO Miguel Garza; Nick & Elyse Oleksak, the co-founders of Bantam Bagels; Miyoko’s founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner; Ben Van Leeuwen, the co-founder and CEO of Van Leeuwen’s Ice Cream; Orgain founder and CEO Andrew Abraham; and Gail Becker, the founder and CEO of Caulipower.
    Show notes:
    1:36: Interview: Miguel Garza, Co-Founder/CEO, Siete Family Foods -- We kicked off the show with Miguel Garza who we featured in Ep. 214. Miguel is the co-founder and CEO of fast-growing Mexican-American brand Siete Family Foods, which markets tortillas, taco seasonings, queso dips and enchilada sauces, all of which are plant-based and grain-free. In the following clip, Garza spoke about the importance of family in how the company operates, the hallmarks of its product development and innovation strategies, and why Siete avoids chasing trends.
    7:51: Nick & Elyse Oleksek, Co-Founders, Bantam Bagels -- Next up are Nick & Elyse Oleksek, the co-founders of bagel and breakfast bite company Bantam Bagels. Launched as a retail concept in 2013, Bantam Bagels has since evolved into a sprawling platform brand that includes mini stuffed pancakes and egg bites that are sold at Safeway, Target and Costco and also in pastry cases at Starbucks. In this clip, from Ep. 208, the Olekseks explained why investing in PR has been crucial to the brand’s success and how they define the phrase “fake it till you make it.” 
    14:45: Miyoko Schinner, Founder/CEO, Miyoko’s -- Let’s continue with Miyoko Schinner, the founder and CEO of pioneering plant-based cheese and butter company Miyoko’s Creamery. In a clip from Ep. 198, she spoke about how poor leadership led to past failures and early struggles, and why she describes her business as “a mission with a company.”
    18:56: Interview: Ben Van Leeuwen, Co-Founder/CEO, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream -- Next, we featured Ben Van Leeuwen, the co-founder and CEO of Van Leeuwen Ice Cream. Launched in 2008, the premium ice cream brand and retailer has evolved into a broad platform with 22 ice cream shops in New York and California and a wholesale pint business with more than 1,500 accounts across the U.S.  In a clip pulled from an interview included Ep. 203, Van Leeuwen discussed launching a business in the midst of a recession and why “running lean was just the default” when building the company.
    24:11: Interview: Andrew Abraham, Founder/CEO, Orgain -- We continued with Andrew Abraham, the founder and CEO of protein-centric brand Orgain. Introduced as a first-to-market brand of organic protein beverages, Orgain has since grown into a thriving platform for protein drinks, powders and bars. In this clip, pulled from Ep. 197, Abraham discussed learning the ropes of the food and beverage industry, why entrepreneurs that are not well-capitalized from the outset might be in for a bumpy ride, how he convinced his family that, despite significant losses, the brand was on a positive trajectory and why he believes that “the best defense is a super aggressive offense.” 
    29:57: Interview: Gail Becker, Founder/CEO, Caulipower -- Last, but certainly not least, we have Gail Becker, the founder and CEO of Caulipower the vegetable-forward brand, best known for its gluten-free, cauliflower crust pizzas. Last year, after just three years on the market, the company generated an estimated $100 million. As part of an interview featured in Ep. 196, Becker discussed the value of taking risks, breaking traditional “rules” for packaging and retailing of a food brand and what she learned about the food business from working at her father’s store as a five-year-old.
    Brands in this episode: Siete Family Foods, Bant

    • 41 min
    Insider Ep. 92: Why This Retailer Might Love Your Brand… And Why It Might Not

    Insider Ep. 92: Why This Retailer Might Love Your Brand… And Why It Might Not

    In this week’s episode, we sat down with Emily Kanter, co-owner and CEO of Boston-area natural products retailer Cambridge Naturals. A family-owned business that operates two stores focused on nutritional supplements, body care products and organic foods and beverages, Cambridge Naturals has cultivated a loyal customer base within the Boston area and has been recognized for its unique and constantly rotating product selection. 
    As part of our conversation, Kanter spoke about the history and evolution of the retailer and the factors that determine its selection. She also discussed how she develops relationships with brand owners and evaluates emerging trends and why Cambridge Naturals was one of the first area stores to carry CBD-infused products.
    Show notes: 
    0:38: Naturally, We Talked About Erewhon, Elevator Talk, Carlton and Odwalla -- The hosts chatted about their experiences shopping at Cambridge Naturals, encouraged entrepreneurs to continue sending news to BevNET and NOSH throughout the summer and also to apply for our Elevator Talk Livestream series. Later, they chatted about a star-making turn for actor Alfonso Ribeiro, Mike’s strange database of 80’s trivia and reflected on the recent decision by the Coca-Cola Co. to discontinue Odwalla.
    11:48: Interview: Emily Kanter, Co-Owner/CEO, Cambridge Naturals -- Taste Radio editor Ray Latif spoke with Kanter about the recent reopening of Cambridge Naturals’ locations for in-store shopping, her decision to take the reins of her family’s business six years ago, why the retailer stopped selling groceries in the 1990’s and why it resumed a few years later. She also explained what she looks for in a brand’s backstory and what would make her less inclined to stock a new product, why Cambridge Naturals is consistently rotating its selection and why the company tries to be on “the cutting edge, but not bleeding edge” of emerging trends. Later, she expressed optimism that the FDA would provide concrete guidance about CBD-infused foods and beverages and how entrepreneurs interested in partnering with  the retailer can connect with her team.
    Brands in this episode: Odwalla, Pepsi, Califia Farms, Naked Juice, Patagonia, The Coconut Cult, GT’s Kombucha, Waku

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
114 Ratings

114 Ratings

Jason Werner - A12 Wines ,

A must for anyone in the consumer F&B space

Or even just anyone who enjoys food and drink and good stories. As a Winemaker and Cidermaker myself, Taste Radio and its Insider series is a must hear. Often the entrepreneurial journeys depicted in each pod saves me countless errors or missteps of my own. Regardless, it's just good new-fashioned entertainment. Word of warning though: you will get jealous of all the snacks and samples the hosts are all always trying on-air!

Entiendas ,

I have an idea...

If you have an idea for a business, any entrepreneur really, this podcast is for you! The guest interviews are fantastic and there are so many ideas to take away from each episode. Who knows, this podcast may even be the foundation, and help me get the knowledge/advice/courage, to finally move forward with my own idea...a hop water company, with a twist.

Keep ‘em coming, Cheers!

Madamoiselle Mango ,

Food or bev entrepreneur? MUST listen

Love how I built this but need something more specific to your category? Enter TASTE radio. Highly recommend listening when you can be able to take notes, because you’ll have so many ideas of how to apply successful tactics of others to your unique idea. Also highly recommend subscribing to BevNet, absolutely worth it for industry news and category trends!

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