INFLUENCERS, TRIBES AND BRAND BUILDING WITH WILD VENTURES
John Durant, founder of Wild Ventures, discussed influencers, tribes and brand building, noting that the word “influencer” has become overused.
“Generic distribution is not influence — just because something has followers doesn’t mean they influence followers,” he said.
According to Durant, a true influencer motivates their tribe to take action and combines established or mainstream authority with forward thinking and awareness of science-based research. Taking the position that A-list celebrities are “massively overrated” as influencers, he said brands should start by expecting zero from those types of relationships, which can come with or without a financial transaction, he added.
When it comes to dietary trends, the power of community shouldn’t be undervalued, Durant said, noting Weight Watchers as an early example of exploring a new diet backed by a community of supporters.
“You can build a multibillion dollar brand by getting people in a room together,” he said.
INDUSTRY ALL-STARS HAVE SPOKEN AT NOSH LIVE
Co-Founder & CEO, Siete Family Foods
COO & Co-Founder, Perfect Bar
Leigh Keith is Perfect Bar, LLC’s Co-founder and COO, who at 19 years old launched the brand that revolutionized the highly-competitive functional foods category by producing The Original Refrigerated Protein Bar. Alongside older brother and CEO Bill, and their 11 siblings, Leigh has played an integral role in the continued success of Perfect Bar with functions spanning all facets of the company, including marketing, accounting, operations and human resources; having grown the company, today, to nearly 100 employees. Over the course of 13 years, Leigh has been consistent in her leadership style, grounded in the family culture and work-life balance on which the brand was founded. As COO, she remains steadfast in building healthy communities from the inside out, which is evident by the Perfect Bar’s clean ingredient labels, industry accolades, employee volunteer and benefits package, and regular donations to hundreds of charities each year. Learn more at www.perfectbar.com.
Founder, Green Park Brands & HIPPEAS
Divisional Merchandise Manager, Chilled Packaged Goods, Walmart
Sarah has spent the last 10 years in the food business at Walmart. During this time she has held roles in private brands, sustainability as well as various buying roles in merchandising. She’s currently leading the refrigerated buying teams to cultivate a new shopping experience. She is passionate about growing American entrepreneurs and creating new models for growth.
Chief Executive, Real Good Foods; Managing Partner, Slingshot Consumer Partners
As Chief Executive of Real Good Foods, Bryan has the privilege of working with an exceptional team of food professionals that are helping change how comfort food can be Real Food You Feel Good About Eating. Prior to RGF, Bryan has led 3 other food companies from early stage to strategic acquisition. Bryan has also served as an executive at AdvancePierre Foods prior to it being acquired by Tyson. He is also the Managing Partner of Slingshot Consumer Partners that invests and helps in early stage food companies. Bryan has a JD/MBA in finance from Loyola Law School and Loyola Marymount University. He earned a BA in International Economics from UCLA and lives in La Canada, CA with his wife Teresa and 2 children.
Merchandising Client Lead for Natural Foods, 84.51° (Owned by Kroger)
Alex Trott, Senior Client Lead, is responsible for natural foods merchandising. Previously, Ms. Trott worked as Client Lead at 84.51°. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University. 84.51° helps companies create sustainable growth by putting the customer at the center of everything. Using a sophisticated suite of tools and technology, 84.51° works with some of the world's leading CPG manufacturers and partners. With more than 700 talented and fearless associates, 84.51° is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co.
Co-founder, Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP
Angie Bastian, entrepreneur, co-founder and namesake of Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, took a kernel of an idea and popped it into one of the fastest growing brands of natural popcorn. She and husband Dan founded their snack company in their Mankato, MN garage in 2001 as a means of creating a college fund for their children. Their gluten free, non-GMO, whole grain popcorn is proudly sold in natural food, grocery, club and mass retail outlets nationwide with a product presence in Canada, South Korea, Peru, Japan, Taiwan, the Caribbean and Mexico. The company is constantly innovating and is one of the fastest growing and most successful popcorn brands in the market today. Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is loved by fans as an empowered, spirited brand that represents authentic, real food that delivers on the attributes of clean, transparent labeling and great taste experience. The company has twice won Star Tribune’s Top workplace honors. Angie herself is a recipient of the 2015 ACG BOLD Award for corporate growth and Connect Business Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year. Girl Scouts honored her as a Pioneering Trailblazer and she is a 2015 Inductee to the Minnesota Women’s Business Owner’s Hall of Fame. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine and appeared on the Martha Stewart Show. Her products have been recognized and awarded by numerous national publications and media. To learn more about Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, visit boomchickapop.com or visit the Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Founder, The Goods Mart, Krupa Consulting
Over the last decade Rachel Krupa, founder of boutique PR firm Krupa Consulting, has launched incredible brands and discovered amazing products that share a common ethos – mindful practices, well-created natural foods and products, and a mission to do better. She has launched Thrive Market, Tastemade, Barnana, Brownie Brittle, goop Wellness, Sweetfin Poke, and Maman, also playing an integral role in the growth of Joe & the Juice’s in the U.S., Good Culture cottage cheese, Pukka Tea, MatchaBar, McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream as well as West Coast expansion of Milk Bar and Shake Shack. Her reach has also extended into culinary awareness for revolutionary festivals like Coachella, Arroyo Seco, Eat Drink Vegan, and Panorama. Inspired to inspire others by the restaurants, snack brands, and wellness thought leaders that she’s worked with – all passionate about ingredient quality, ethical sourcing, and consciously created business – in 2018, Rachel opened The Goods Mart, a socially conscious convenience store. The Goods Mart has curated mission driven upgrades to standard store staples that are not only delicious but also better-for-you and the environment. The Goods is a new kind of destination where neighbors get to know each other while grabbing a sustainable coffee for $1.25, a dye-free candy bar, a tasty local artisanal sandwich, chips, or the essentials – eggs, toilet paper, and milk – all the while giving back to local charities. There are two TGM locations: Silver Lake, CA and New York, NY.
NEXT CONFERENCE: NOSH LIVE WINTER 2019 IN SANTA MONICA
The next NOSH Live event takes place at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on December 4th and 5th. More than 300 natural food industry founder and executives come together to move their businesses forward and discover what's next for the industry. Plan ahead and secure your seat at the two-day conference for the natural food industry. Early registration savings of $200 per ticket ends October 25th.