SnackNation, the leading healthy snack delivery service for offices and homes across the U.S., today announced that it has been named one of the 50 startups to watch in 2018 by Built in LA. The editorial award highlights the 50 young companies (less than five years old) best positioned to make a splash in the coming year.
Episode 16 | How “Inside the Box” Innovation Helped Project 7 Disrupt the Gum Industry, Pt. 2 with Project 7 Founder Tyler Merrick
When we last left Project 7 founder Tyler Merrick, a few missteps and some bad luck had put Project 7 in a bad spot. As in, “this might kill the business” bad spot. Rather than give up, Tyler asked himself, "If we were to take one more shot at it, what would that look like?" The rest is CPG history. Tyler killed all product categories except one, and doubled down on an old strategy from his days in pet food. And it paid off. Tyler and Project 7 disrupted a declining category and pulled of the impossible, becoming the top selling gum at major retailers like Target. Most importantly, Tyler and his team have been able to make a huge impact in the 7 areas of need that inspired Project 7 in the first place.
Lavish perks have become the norm for in-demand workers in all types of industries - but what are the best company perks, and more importantly, which perks will make the biggest impact on your business? The answers might surprise you…
Episode 15 | Why Product, Not Purpose, is the Key to Effective Cause Marketing, Pt. 1 with Project 7 Founder Tyler Merrick
Tyler Merrick's world changed when he heard the following two words for the first time: "Social entrepreneur." Up to that point, Tyler had created a veritable pet food empire, providing dog and cat owners with gourmet, out-of-the-box food and treat combinations. But while the business was undoubtedly successful, it was anything but fulfilling for Tyler. Then came a fateful conversation with a fellow socially-minded business owner, who opened his eyes to the concept of social entrepreneurship. Tyler took the conversation to heart. He sold the pet food business not long after and launched Project 7, a gourmet specialty candy brand dedicated to creating one of a kind customer experiences while giving back to 7 areas of need.
Episode 14 | How to Kill the Competition with Your Brand’s Story, with SnackNation SVP of Customer Strategy Chelsie Rae Lee
Human beings are hardwired for stories. Storytelling opens up neural pathways in the brain that excite us, make us feel, and help us retain information. In fact, people are 22 times more likely to remember information that’s presented as a story rather than merely factually. It’s why crafting a compelling brand story can be so powerful. When done right, your brand’s story engages your most important customers emotionally, developing invaluable brand loyalty and trust in the process. In this episode, we learn more about these ideas from one of the best - SnackNation SVP of Customer Strategy Chelsie Lee. Chelsie breaks down the ins and outs of crafting your own compelling brand story, as well as the opportunities most brands miss when it comes to communicating this story to their most important customers and prospects.
Why is Nestle reportedly selling off their candy business? Why does “big” seem synonymous with “bad,” while artisanal is king these days? And why does every big food corporation seem to have a Silicon Valley-style venture capital arm? The short answer: Because this is CPG, where the C stands for consumer, and consumer trends dictate everything. Staying ahead of consumer trends might be the difference between your brand truly taking off, and your brand being left behind by the next big thing in CPG. But distinguishing between a true trend and a passing fad isn’t always easy.
Content marketing can be a game changer for brands. It accomplishes so many things in one fell swoop - builds awareness, fosters goodwill and trust, and forges an emotional bond that makes your brand irresistible to consumers. But the things that make content marketing so valuable are also the things that make it so difficult. Content marketing is an authentic, sustained conversation with consumers. It’s not a campaign - and it’s definitely not a transaction. It’s a relationship, and it takes years. This week, we have content marketing master John Hardesty to show us the way.
Secrets To Throwing A Stress- (And Guilt-) Free Holiday Party [...]
Episode 11 | How to Become a Master Connector & Attract Top Talent, with ForceBrands founder Josh Wand
“Ideas are ideas, and without great people they never come to life.” Translation: if you want your brand to take off, you better surround yourself with the right people. And we can’t think of anyone more qualified to tell us how to attract those people than Josh Wand, a 20 year veteran of CPG and the founder and CEO of ForceBrands.
You’ve worked hard all year to make every dollar of your departmental budget count - and you actually have money left over. The smart thing to do is invest your extra budget in things that are actually valuable - and that you can justify when Finance takes a look at your 11th hour spending.
Episode 10 | How Mark Rampolla Created an $8 Billion Category by Picking the High Hanging Fruit, with ZICO founder Mark Rampolla
When you look at Mark Rampolla’s resume, he almost seems like he might secretly be The Most Interesting Man in the World. Here’s a partial list of the jobs Mark has held: Landscaper. Dishwasher. Peace Corp Volunteer. President of International Paper (a multinational corporation). CEO of Beanfields (aka, Chief Bean Fiend). Partner at Powerplant Ventures (a venture capital fund that invests in sustainable, plant-based businesses). Author of the book High Hanging Fruit. But he’s probably best known as the guy who started ZICO coconut water.
Episode 9 | How a Tragic Event Inspired This Mother-Daughter Duo to Build a Thriving Family Business, with Skinny Dipped Co-Founders Val and Breezy Griffith
Food, family, and love. For the folks at Skinny Dipped, these three things are hard to separate. For one thing, it's because co-founders Val and Breezy Griffith are family - mother and daughter to be exact. Another reason - this epic food brand was launched as a way to bring the Griffith family closer together after they experienced an intense personal tragedy.
Episode 8 | How 301 Inc. Makes Itself an Indispensable Partner for Growth, with VP and General Manager John Haugen
If there’s one constant in CPG, it’s change. Startup CPG brands have to constantly adapt to changing taste preferences, changing retail trends, and changing norms around supply chain and ingredients. So it's fitting that 301 Inc. - an “emerging brand elevator” that helps startup CPG brands optimize for growth - underwent it's own strategic pivot a few years after launching in 2012. In this episode we talk to John Haugen, the VP and General Manager of 301 Inc. 301 is a VC arm within General Mills, providing direct investment, strategic counsel, and the resources and expertise that only a company like General Mills can provide.
Episode 7 | Why JiMMYBAR! Wants to Be the Ben and Jerry’s of Clean Bars, with JiMMYBAR! founder and CEO Jim Simon
Serial entrepreneur Jim Simon knows a thing or two about launching successful brands. He's a veteran of Web 1.0 and has started or run six companies, mostly in tech. But ironically, he didn't recognize one of his biggest opportunities the first time out. That opportunity? His namesake clean bar brand, JiMMYBAR! Today, the Chicago-based bar brand has an ever-expanding footprint, and are putting their products in the hands of health- and taste-conscious consumers across the U.S. (and beyond). The company strives to be the "Ben and Jerry's of bars" - a purpose-driven, personality-infused brand that's fun and stands for something. How are they doing it? We got the inside scoop from Jim himself.
Vincent Kitirattragarn wasn't trying to start a company. He was just trying to find a traditional ingredient to make one of Mama Dang's delicious Thai recipes. But, as so often happens, fate intervened, and a brand new snack category - and company - was born. Dang!
It was a once in a lifetime break. Just four months into launching their business, a chance encounter and a random act of kindness helped land Pipsnacks a coveted spot in Oprah’s “Favorite Things” episode. On this week’s Brand Builder, we are fortunate to have all three of Pipsnacks’ founders - siblings Jeff and Jen Martin and Jeff’s wife Teresa - to tell the incredible Pipsnacks story, including how they landed on Oprah’s radar, and how they went about assembling a brand and a culture that could weather all the ups and downs of CPG entrepreneurship.
Here’s how Max landed a job at his dream company, & how he transitioned from Office Manager to his current role in less than a year.
They’re the bar brand everyone is talking about. RXBAR make whole food, minimally processed protein bars that taste great and are made with only a handful of ingredients. Their bars are also famous for emphasizing what’s NOT in them - No Dairy. No Soy. No Gluten. No B.S. And they are killing it. Less than five years after launching the brand from their kitchen, founders Peter Rahal and Jared Smith recently announced a $600 million acquisition by Kellogg. How’d they do it? We’ve got co-founder and CEO Peter Rahal to clue us in.
Company retreats don't have to suck. Here's the step-by-step process our 2 event pros use to throw company retreats that are unforgettable.
If you want to understand Deep River Snacks, look no further than their infamous tagline - “Because we give a chip.” The company makes small-batch, non GMO kettle chips, popcorn, and tortilla chips, but their mission is so much bigger than that. It's about using their amazingly successful, irresistible product as a platform for good. Founder Jim Goldberg says it best: “That’s what give a chip means - we do what we do because it’s the right thing to do. Period.”