Episode 2 | How Barnana Became the Biggest Brazilian Export Since Coconut Water

with Founder and CEO Caue Suplicy

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Hippie parents. A solar dehydrator. A burgeoning triathlon career.

These usually aren’t the elements that make for CPG success – unless of course, your name is Caue Suplicy.

Caue is the founder and CEO of Barnana, the Santa Monica-based company that has made one of the world’s most popular foods even more irresistible. These bags of banana bites have driven eight-figure annual revenues and a dedicated global following. Barnana proved that you can improve on perfection, all while promoting values like sustainability and healthier living.

Caue first began eating bite-sized dehydrated bananas as a child in Brazil, and rediscovered them while training for triathlons in the States. With the success of fellow Brazilian exports acai and coconut water, Caue figured all he had to do was bring the product to the U.S. and he’d have it made.

Boy was he wrong. From an ugly product to an American public that needed educating to shipping delays, Caue learned that the real work was just beginning.

Caue sat with the Brand Builder crew to break down how he built a successful CPG brand around one of the world’s most familiar foods.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why a great idea is only the beginning. Caue’s vision was important, but it was his grit and perseverance in the face of challenges that really made the difference.
  • Why you shouldn’t always trust the experts. Caue’s advisors told him he had to have see-through packaging, but Caue knew that his product was too ugly for the American market. His was the right call.
  • Why it’s so crucial to be a part of the CPG community. Don’t be afraid to be open and giving with other brands in your space. Pay your knowledge forward and be a part of a community. Remember, they can’t copy your brand, your energy, or your people.

Jump to

  • The Barnana origin story. 3:40
  • Caue tells us how he overcame an “ugly” product, and how good branding played a role. 7:30
  • Caue describes how he learned about the waste in our food system, and tells us what Barnana is doing to help alleviate the problem. 10:13
  • How Caue knew he was on to something with Barnana. 14:40
  • The biggest thing that investors provide (besides cash, of course). 16:04
  • Why Caue and the team launched “Gorilla Milk” at Expo West, and the fallout that ensued. 18:50

The infamous Gorilla Milk package that started a minor controversy at Expo West:

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Links

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Brand Builder is presented by SnackNation.