Leading By Example: How Upcoming Food & Beverage Brands Are Shaping the Industry

On our podcast, Beyond the Shelf, we have had the opportunity to speak with numerous upcoming food & beverage brands that are interested in changing the industry for the better. We’ve spoken to Josh Death of Kazoo Snacks who is addressing our water waste issue one bag of corn tortilla chips at a time. We’ve spoken with Maria Palacio of Progeny Coffee who is addressing some of the equity and human rights issues engrained in the coffee industry. But there’s one thing that is certain, it’ll take more than a handful of brands to make large changes to the industry. And, even for large national CPG brands, there’s a lot to learn from these upcoming food & beverage brands.

Doing Better Starts With a Plan

From sustainability to food waste, and social & racial equity and equality – there are many areas of focus that the food & beverage industry is actively working on. However, that hasn’t always been the case. In the past 10 years, consumers have started to become more interested in purchasing from brands that have similar values to them. They not only want a great product but also want to feel comfortable in their decision in supporting food & beverage brands. Many large and upcoming food & beverage brands have shifted their attention to highlighting their philanthropic initiatives. However, shoppers are smart. They can see through typical marketing techniques and are really pushing brands to not only talk the talk but walk the walk.

Recently, on Beyond the Shelf, we spoke with the Founder of Kazoo Snacks, Josh Death, about their innovative corn tortilla chips that help to reduce water waste. In our discussion about why it was important for them to create a product that is more sustainable than traditional corn tortilla chips, Josh explained that their sustainability goal is intrinsically linked to their product. They understood that it would initially be costly to get their brand off the ground, but once they had their manufacturing process finalized and were ready to launch, they knew that consumers would be receptive to their sustainable products. Not only that, but they also planned on developing a manufacturing process that would be easily scalable so that they could utilize their corn germ to create more products down the line.

Opportunity to Do Good

The biggest takeaway from our conversation with Josh Death was the importance of incorporating your core values into your business plan from an early stage. Whether that be sustainability, racial equity, or a combination of a few core values – starting off on the right foot is a great way to attract customers who share similar values. However, it’s important to note, that some of these issues cannot be solved by just a few upcoming food & beverage brands that mean well. It takes cooperative effort across the entire industry, and legislative bodies, to make actionable changes that affect the greater good. It’s important for brands, established or not, to be introspective – to take the time to understand what modern shoppers want, and how making incremental changes can help shape a better future for the food & beverage industry.

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