This week’s episode of Taste Radio features a captivating interview with Joth Ricci, a veteran beverage executive with one of the most diverse, interesting and impactful track records of anyone in the industry. Over a 17-year career, Ricci has held roles as president of Stumptown Coffee, president and CEO of Jones Soda and managing director with beverage investment and advisory firm First Beverage Group. BevNET assistant editor Marty Caballero recently traveled to Portland, Ore. to meet with Ricci, who is currently the president and CEO of Adelsheim Vineyard, a pioneering winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and a board member at a number of fast-growing companies in the Pacific Northwest, including Brew Dr. Kombucha and Dry Sparkling. As part of their conversation, Ricci discussed his path to Adelsheim and shared insights into parallels between previous roles and beverage categories, how premiumization has changed the coffee business and why he believes there’s more to come for innovation in cold brew. Ricci also offered his take on why Portland has emerged as an incubation hub for innovative food and beverage trends.
Also included in this week’s episode: Brewbound editor Chris Furnari and assistant editor Justin Kendall joined us to discuss recent M&A deals in craft beer, how they unfolded and their potential impact amid an industry in transition. And this week’s Elevator Talk features Deborah Aiza, the founder of Sweet’tauk, a brand of organic, cold-pressed lemonade.
1:08: Intro: We’re at Whole Foods. We’re at Whole Foods. Wait, Is There an Echo In Here? — Monday marked a new day for Whole Foods. The natural retail giant, whose acquisition by Amazon was approved by shareholders and federal regulators last Thurs., touted lower prices for many of its “best-selling staples” including organic bananas, salmon, organic eggs, almond butter, and grass fed beef. Amazon’s influence was promoted on product signage and sales displays for its Echo hands-free smart speaker (“Farm Fresh” read witty banners for the devices). The hosts discuss their take on the updates.
6:53: Interview: Joth Ricci, President, Adelsheim Vineyard — BevNET assistant editor Marty Caballero recently traveled to Portland, Ore. and met with Joth Ricci, a veteran beverage executive who is currently the president of Adelsheim Vineyard. Joth discussed his path to Adelsheim, parallels between the businesses of coffee and wine, why entrepreneurs need to “learn to say ‘no’” and Portland’s role as an incubation hub for innovative food and beverage trends.
41:39: Segment: A discussion with Brewbound editor Chris Furnari and assistant editor Justin Kendall join on recent M&A deals in craft beer, including Constellation Brands acquisition of Florida-based brewery Funky Buddha, San Francisco-based Magnolia Brewing’s acquisition by a group led by New Belgium Brewing Company, Sapporo Holdings’ purchase of Anchor Brewing, and Anheuser-Busch’s acquisition of Hiball, which markets energy drinks, sparkling waters, cold brew coffees and sister brand Alta Palla, a brand of non-caffeinated juices and seltzers.
1:00:59: Elevator Talk: Deborah Aiza, Founder, Sweet’Tauk Lemonade — Sweet’tauk is a brand of organic, cold-pressed lemonade based in Montauk, N.Y.
Brands in this episode: Adelsheim Vineyard, Stumptown Coffee, Jones Soda, Starbucks, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Dry Sparkling, Ninkasi Brewing, Funky Buddha, Magnolia Brewing, Anchor Brewing, Hiball, Alta Palla, Sweet’Tauk Lemonade.
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