Episode 10 | How Mark Rampolla Created an $8 Billion Category by Picking the High Hanging Fruit

with ZICO founder Mark Rampolla

Subscribe to the Brand Builder Podcast on iTunes David Hassell interview

bb-graphic-bb10-zico-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.

Yep, he and his team essentially created an $8 billion beverage category – and believe it or not, the inspiration ties back to his days in the Peace Corps. We picked Mark’s brain on building a CPG brand to exit, what it’s like to go from entrepreneur to VC, and a whole lot more.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode.

  • Presence = performance. According to Mark, when you make an effort to live in the moment and enjoy the journey, a funny thing happens. You enjoy life more – and you’re better at whatever you’re doing.
  • Realize that “you’ve already won.” Mark tells us his lowest moment while building ZICO (he almost lost his house), and reveals how this piece of advice helped him dig himself out and get back on top.
  • It pays to go after the “High Hanging Fruit.” It’s not just the title of Mark’s book. Going for the High Hanging Fruit means seeing beyond your limitations and striving for something greater. When you do that, magical things can happen.

Jump to:

  • Mark’s background, including why he joined the Peace Corps. 4:50
  • Mark explains why he moved to El Salvador to run a division of International Paper. 9:09
  • Mark tells the ZICO origin story. 12:35
  • Mark describe his lowest moment in the early days of ZICO, and how he overcame it. 17:30
  • Marks breaks down how he evaluates businesses that he invests in. 23:50

Check out Mark’s book, High Hanging Fruit.

Links

Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com.

Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.