These Women Entrepreneurs Have Created a Multimillion-Dollar Business by Reinventing Sorbet

The co-founders of Sorbabes emphasize educating consumers about how their product is different than what they’re used to. July 22, 2019 3 min read The co-founders of Sorbabes don’t particularly care what people call their product, be it sorbet, ice cream or non-dairy frozen dessert. The important thing is that potential customers don’t let the sorbet label get in the way of trying it. “We created something that consumers don’t necessarily know how to approach,” said Nicole Cardone, co-founder of Sorbabes. “Getting people to understand what sorbet can be and how we’re making it different continues to be a challenge.” Image credit: Sorbabes Related: This Plant-Based Food Startup Just Launched an Ice Cream You’ll Probably Never Try, But That’s Not the Point Sorbet, of course, is a frozen treat made of fruit and sugar. It doesn’t contain dairy (unlike sherbet), which makes it, yes, plant-based. Typically, it’s not creamy, but […]

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Keto, Plant-Based or Gluten-Free? Supermarket Chain Introduces Shelf Label System to Make It Easier to Shop by Dietary Restrictions.

Raley’s of Northern California has greatly expanded its system of icons that it says will take the guesswork out of food shopping. July 15, 2019 4 min read Consumers are at the mercy of food labels and packaging claims, which many people find opaque. One study even found that about half of the Americans it surveyed felt like food labels are misleading. Raley’s — a Northern California supermarket chain with 129 stores, more than 11,000 employees and $3.2 billion in revenues — has introduced a new in-store and online labeling system that it believes will help clear things up for its shoppers, even if it comes at the expense of sales of unhealthier items. Related: 5 Predictions About the Future of Food From an Early Beyond Meat Investor Raley’s Shelf Guide system was first introduced in 2017 with eight icons, but has now been expanded to 23 that cover food […]

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This Banana Chip Company Saw Early Online Success, But Soon Realized Its Branding Wasn’t Ready for Retail

Bubba’s Fine Foods originally sported a bearded man on its packaging, but have since switched to a more appealing monkey in a fedora. July 15, 2019 4 min read Jeff Schmidgall learned how important branding is the hard way. Since its founding in 2014, the savory snack brand he co-founded, Bubba’s Fine Foods, has sported a bearded man as its mascot. The thinking was to have a more masculine-styled brand, like those found in the jerky section, to stand out in the natural snack set. It didn’t work. “Despite our branding, 85 percent of our consumers were still female,” Schmidgall said. “It maybe should’ve been obvious to us, but it was a lesson learned.” Related: Kraft Rebrands Ranch Dressing as ‘Salad Frosting’ to Trick Kids Into Eating Vegetables So Bubba’s has recently undergone a rebrand, replacing its bearded dude with a fedora wearing monkey — who can resist an ape […]

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This Plant-Based Food Startup Just Launched an Ice Cream You’ll Probably Never Try, But That’s Not the Point

Perfect Day isn’t trying to become the next big ice cream brand. July 11, 2019 4 min read A delicious new dairy-free ice cream brand has hit the market today, but once the company sells out of the limited stock it’s selling, it will no longer be available, according to its founders. The goal for Perfect Day isn’t to become the next Halo Top or Van Leeuwen — its ambitions are much grander than that. This product launch ($60 for three pints plus shipping) is meant to highlight the company’s actual product: a “dairy” protein created from microflora. Perfect Day wants to be the supplier of this protein to the food industry. Related: Major Investments in Plant-Based Foods Include a $310 Million Facility and TofurkyAccepting Its First-Ever Private Investment “[The ice cream] shows the food world how it can be used,” said Ryan Pandya, CEO and co-founder of Perfect Day. […]

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The Entrepreneur Behind This Multimillion-Dollar Ice Cream Company Started the Business in a Broken-Down Postal Truck

Natasha Case attributes Coolhaus’ success — its products can be found all across the U.S. — to the power of women. July 8, 2019 4 min read Selling ice cream out of a beat-up postal truck on the streets of Los Angeles about 10 years ago helped Natasha Case and her co-founder bring their brand Coolhaus across the country. To help Coolhaus become a household name and bring its products to the world, Case has embraced the power of leadership in her role as an ice cream shaman. “Tapping into the inspiration and the spirituality of other people is what it takes to do this,” she said. “Sometimes I sit there thinking, Why are they listening to me? Why do they believe in what I say and what I think? And of course I have 10 years to show for it. That’s something that I know I can bring to […]

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A Blind Date Led to Marriage — and the Acquisition of an Almond Butter Company That’s Now Worth Millions

Dawn and Steve Kelley bought Barney Butter soon after meeting, and the couple quickly saw fortunes rise. July 1, 2019 3 min read About ten years ago, Dawn Kelley went on a blind date. That’s when she met her future husband and business partner. Steve Kelley had already been in the process of looking to buy Barney Butter, an almond butter company started by a family friend. Related: This Entrepreneur Says the Nonprofit She Started Inspired Her to Push Her Nut Butter Business to 7 Figures “He called [our mutual] friend after our first meeting and said, ‘Oh my God, I just met the one, and when I say the one, I’m not sure if it’s the one I want to marry or the one that I want to run Barney Butter,” Dawn said. “It ended up being both.” Image credit: Barney Butter What appealed to the couple was the […]

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Pepsico Says It Will Reduce Its Plastic Use, Including Putting Aquafina in Cans

The company is one of the world’s worst plastic polluters. June 28, 2019 2 min read Pepsico announced yesterday several initiatives to reduce the amount of plastic it uses for its beverages. The food giant, with a market cap of around $184.35 billion, said that next year, its Lifewtr brand will be packaged in 100 percent recycled PET (a form of plastic that’s easier to recycle), Bubly sparkling water will no longer be sold in plastic bottles and Aquafina will be available in aluminum cans at food service outlets — the format will be tested in retail as well. Pepsi claims that these moves will eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Related: The Company That Created Robot Pizza Trucks Is Now Pushing to Solve the Global Issue of Plastic Pollution Environmental activist organization Greenpeace found in a 2018 […]

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29 New and Tasty Things I Ate at the 2019 Summer Fancy Food Show

From an amazing take on Chex Mix to a new competitor in the non-dairy ice cream space, here’s what I experienced. June 26, 2019 7 min read Besides boasting of a city block’s length of booths dedicated to cheese, the Summer Fancy Food Show, held annually in New York City’s Javits Center, provides a chance for entrepreneurs to show off their new, innovative and hopefully tasty products to retailers, distributors and others. The show takes up three levels of the convention center, with the main floor dedicated to cuisines from around the world, the bottom dedicated to growing packaged food brands and the top floor for recently created startups. I spent most of my time speaking with the entrepreneurs in that latter space, while doing quick walkthroughs of the other levels. There’s too much food for one person to take in a single visit, but here are 29 companies (and their […]

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How This Entrepreneur’s French Background Helped Him Launch a Risky Food Brand That’s a Top Seller Today

Kidfresh grew out of a desire to remove the junk from frozen foods. June 24, 2019 3 min read Matt Cohen thanks his French background for pursuing what others may have found to be a foolish business: frozen food for kids. This was in 2007, about a decade before the recent surge in interest and sales in the category, when Cohen’s two children were young. Built off the success of a now-closed specialty kids’ food store Cohen co-founded in New York City — “like a mini Whole Foods focused on kids,” he said — Kidfresh launched into retailers in 2009, and now claims to be the top selling better-for-you frozen kids food brand (Conagra’s Kid Cuisine still outsells it, according to IRI data), with its products in more than 10,000 stores. “Being French allowed me to sort of have a romantic view of frozen,” he said. “In France, you grow […]

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Refrigerated Protein Bar Company Perfect Snacks Acquired by a Multibillion-Dollar Food Giant

Financial terms for the deal were not disclosed, but its sibling founders will remain to lead the company. June 20, 2019 2 min read Fourteen years ago, two of the 13 Keith siblings, Bill and Leigh (then 22 and 19) adapted their father’s recipe for a refrigerated protein bar and created Perfect Snacks, a business that generated approximately $70 million in net revenue last year. Now, the company that popularized refrigerated protein bars has been acquired by food giant Mondelēz International, owners of the Oreo, Cadbury, Milka, belVita and Tate’s brands. Financial terms were not disclosed. The company said its net revenues in 2018 were approximately $26 billion. Image credit: Perfect Bar “We believe Mondelēz International’s purpose, to ‘empower people to snack right,’ aligns very well with why we started this brand and this business,” said Bill Keith, co-founder and CEO of Perfect Snacks, in a press release. Related: These […]

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This Entrepreneur Says the Nonprofit She Started Inspired Her to Push Her Nut Butter Business to 7 Figures

The adoption of her first son inspired Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi to create both Nuttzo and Project Left Behind. June 17, 2019 3 min read Seeds and nuts may be the keys to Nuttzo‘s success, but to founder Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi, the company’s “heart and soul” is the nonprofit it supports. Dietz-LiVolsi in 2008 founded both Nuttzo and Project Left Behind, which provides resources to orphaned and neglected children around the world, six years after she adopted her first son, Gregory, from Ukraine. The 3-year-old had been vitamin deficient and rejected any foods that needed to be chewed, Dietz-LiVolsi said. So she blended seven different nuts and seeds to make a protein-rich concoction he would actually eat. Related: These Loving Parents Went Into Debt to Build a Seaweed Snack Company That’s on Track to Do $10 Million in Sales This Year “The nonprofit helps the business by demonstrating to consumers that there is […]

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Kraft Rebrands Ranch Dressing as ‘Salad Frosting’ to Trick Kids Into Eating Vegetables

Oh boy. June 13, 2019 2 min read A major corporation is urging parents to lie to their children. In what is decidedly not an April Fool’s joke, the multibillion-dollar food conglomerate Kraft Heinz ($26 billion in sales in 2018) has launched a new product (but really, it’s just ranch dressing) called Salad Frosting. The headline of the press release introducing this product is “Kraft Wants You to #LieLikeAParent.” “Kraft is introducing Kraft Salad ‘Frosting,’ its Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing disguised in a frosting tube, giving parents a hand in upping their lie game,” the release states. Related: Online Grocery Recommendations Are Lacking. 3 Young Entrepreneurs Have Created an AI-Powered Solution. This is ranch dressing we’re talking about: the sweet, milky condiment that’s 110 calories per two tablespoons. It is by no means a health food. There are other tricks parents use to get kids to eat vegetables, but they’re not […]

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The Company That Created Robot Pizza Trucks Is Now Pushing to Solve the Global Issue of Plastic Pollution

Zume is expanding past pizza and will manufacture compostable replacements for single-use plastics. June 13, 2019 5 min read Pizza was just the first step to saving the world, according to Zume co-founder and CEO Alex Garden. The company, makers of a robot-powered truck that cooks pizzas en route to customers, today announced it is making a major pivot to manufacturing compostable food containers. The world, particularly the oceans, are choking on plastic. Ocean Conservancy estimates that every year “8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments.” In a stretch of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, there’s a mass of plastic and other trash that’s about three times the size of Texas. Some of this plastic will take hundreds of years to break down. Much of this pollution — 300 million tons […]

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How the Co-Founder of Mission-Driven Just Got More Than $200 Million From Investors (Podcast)

Josh Tetrick shares how his company has found success around its goal of reducing eggs from the food system. June 13, 2019 1 min read Josh Tetrick co-founded Just in 2011 with the goal of eliminating eggs from the food system. The company’s first products were plant-based mayonnaise and salad dressings, and it recently introduced an egg replacement made of beans. Just is also working on lab-made chicken meat, meaning no animals had to be killed in the process. The company has raised more than $200 million over the past eight years, and executives are reportedly considering an IPO. Related: Plant-Based Egg From Just to Soon Be Available Nationwide in Whole Foods In this interview, Tetrick discusses why mission is so important for startup success — and how he convinced investors to open their checkbooks for his company. Listen to more recent episodes of How Success Happens: Read_More Related posts: These 3 Investors Explain How […]

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Online Grocery Recommendations Are Lacking. 3 Young Entrepreneurs Have Created an AI-Powered Solution.

Most grocer sites ask if you’d like some toilet paper with your carrots. Halla employs AI to recommend products that make sense. June 11, 2019 4 min read Not many people buy their groceries online — only about 3 percent of all food purchases are made through the internet, according to a report by Deutsche Bank. But those rates will steadily increase over the coming years, according to analysts, and one area of online grocery shopping needs significant improvements: product recommendations. Many grocers don’t even offer product recommendations. But when they do, they tend to suck. For example, peruse the biggest two players in grocery ecommerce now and they’ll recommend the following to go with your egg purchase: chunk chicken breast and vienna sausage (Walmart) avocados and milk (Amazon). The latter is a bit better, but it stands to reason that most people would buy bread, cheese or flour with […]

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How Mochi Ice Cream Went From Obscure Treat to More Than $100 Million in Sales

My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is the biggest brand behind the category, and it got there through an acquisition and millennial targeting. June 3, 2019 4 min read In the early 1990s, Frances Hashimoto reportedly combined two sweet treats, the ball-shaped mochi (glutinous rice that dates back more than 1,000 years to China and adapted throughout Asia) and ice cream, creating a treat that was chewy on the outside and smooth on the inside. Under Hashimoto’s leadership, her family’s Los Angeles-based pastry shop, Mikawaya, which opened in 1910, expanded to a total of four shops with annual revenues of $13 million. Hashimoto would go on to sell her mochi ice cream into Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Albertsons and Ralphs stores under the Mikawaya name. Related: Before Halo Top Became One of America’s Fastest-Growing Ice Cream Brands, It Was on the Verge of Death Hashimoto, who was born in an Arizona internment camp […]

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Launch Products Pitched by Its Employees

The North Carolina-based The Variable recently debuted a peanut butter product in an arrangement that benefits everyone at the company. May 30, 2019 5 min read During his college days, Dustin Dodd said he added chocolate chips to peanut butter in an attempt to make the spread better. Recently, he started adding trail mix to peanut butter, a healthier concoction dubbed Peanut Better. The product is now being sold online (currently for North Carolina residents only). The way that Peanut Better found its way into jars is a win for entrepreneurial employees. Dodd works as an art director at The Variable, a North Carolina-based advertising agency. A few months ago, the firm’s leadership held what it calls “The Good Idea Fair,” in which every person at the company had to submit an idea on a triptych (so, for example, a video expert wouldn’t compete with a Photoshop expert). The competition’s […]

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Competition Is Getting Fierce in the White-Hot Oat Milk Space

First, there was Oatly. Now, established players and startups alike have their own oat milk products. May 17, 2019 2 min read Oat milk is a trend three decades in the making. Oatly, an independent Swedish company, came up with a patented process to turn oats into a beverage that could replace milk in the 1990s. But it wasn’t until the past few years, when the brand underwent a redesign and targeted coffee shops in New York, that consumers took note of the oat. Oatly spread to shops and retailers across the country, and became so popular last year that there were shortages that temporarily drove prices up. Related: Impossible Foods Raises Another $300 Million to Boost Production of its Bleeding Plant-Based Burger That’s unlikely to happen again, as competition has heated up in the oat milk space. Major industry players, including HP Hood (under the brand Planet Oat), Quaker […]

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Hershey’s Is Changing the Design of Its Iconic Chocolate Bars for the First Time Ever by Adding Emoji

Emoji will be featured on Hershey’s bars for a limited time this summer. May 15, 2019 2 min read Hershey’s will add emoji to its chocolate bars for a limited time this summer in what will be the first time the company has changed the look of the iconic treat. And let’s just get this out of the way: the poop emoji will be featured. The Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Emoji Bars will come in six packaging designs, will feature 25 of the icons and come in standard and snack sizes. Image credit: Hershey’s “Our classic Hershey’s bars were made to be shared with others,” Kriston Ohm, senior manager of Hershey’s brand, said in a press release. “By adding an emoji design to each pip of chocolate, we hope that parents and kids are inspired to share a chocolate emoji and make a connection with someone new.” Related: This Young Entrepreneur, Who […]

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This Young Entrepreneur, Who Has Raised $6 Million, Is on a Mission to Kick Sugar Out of Candy

Tara Bosch started SmartSweets when she was 21 so she could enjoy candy every day. May 13, 2019 3 min read For Tara Bosch, her business SmartSweets will be the future of candy — it’s just a matter of “reverse executing against the future.” “That conviction has helped us to move forward and overcome the challenges that come with the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship,” she said. Related: When Her Mother Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer, She Started a Popcorn Company to Raise Money for Research Bosch, who admits she’s a “candy addict and a sugar fiend,” founded the company in 2016 when she was 21 after a conversation with her grandmother. The 89 year old said she had regretted consuming so much sugar over the years, which caused Bosch to reflect on her eating habits. “That sparked my quest to explore finding a candy I can feel good about,” […]

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