Taste Radio Ep. 77: Bleeding Edge Innovation With Impossible Foods Founder Pat Brown; Lessons from The Trenches with Koa’s Adam Louras

In this week’s episode of BevNET’s Taste Radio, we’re joined by Pat Brown, the founder and CEO of Impossible Foods, a food tech company focused on the development of meat, dairy and fish products derived from plant-based material. Best known as the maker of the Impossible Burger, a juicy, meatless patty that’s served in trendy restaurants nationwide, the company has reportedly raised over $300 million to date, including investment from GV and Bill Gates. Project NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg and BevNET sr. brand specialist Jon Landis recently spoke with Brown about the origins and business strategy behind Impossible Burger and his vision for the future of plant-based meat and the brand.

Also included in this episode: An interview with Adam Louras, who is the founder of Koa, an innovative, but recently discontinued brand of colorless, calorie- and sugar-free juices. Louras, who is currently the chief operating officer of functional drink company Dirty Lemon Beverages, discussed learning lessons from his journey as a beverage entrepreneur and reflected on stumbling blocks and pitfalls — including which ones may have been avoidable. And in the latest edition of Elevator Talk, we spoke with Royce Pinkwater, the founder and CEO of Bontá Hydration, a brand of all-natural, low-calorie beverages made with Mediterranean sourced ingredients.

Show notes:

0:58: The Mailbag — The hosts review questions and comments from Taste Radio listeners. From a venture capitalist in Los Angeles: How can trendy, new brands stay relevant? From a beverage entrepreneur in Chicagoland: Why do you guys like ginger so damn much?

11:16: Interview: Pat Brown, Founder/CEO, Impossible Burger — Brown discussed his belief that there is a “fundamental fallacy” that meat has to come from animals and pointed to research that meat-loving consumers would prefer alternative sources. That said, he notes: “Carnivores aren’t going to cut us any breaks. If we can’t deliver what they want, then it’s back to the drawing board for us.” He also made a bold claim: “If you make a 1 percent improvement in performance of the food system, you’ll save more lives and make more lives better than if you found a cure for cancer.”

36:43: Interview: Adam Louras, Founder, Koa — In our conversation with Louras, he discussed being stretched thin as both a beverage manufacturer and brand owner, the pitfalls of bootstrapping, and opined on the opportunities now available to brands to launch and incubate online versus traditional routes to market.

57:25: Elevator Talk: Bontá Hydration is a brand of all-natural, low-calorie beverages made with Mediterranean sourced ingredients. We caught up with founder and CEO Royce Pinkwater at BevNET Live Summer 2017 and she explained the origins of the brand and its positioning on the market.

Brands in this episode: Impossible Burger, Koa, Dirty Lemon, Bontá Hydration

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