Taste Radio Ep. 72: Biena Bets on Big Future for Whole Food Protein; High Brew Coffee Takes Us For a Ride

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In episode 72 of Taste Radio, we feature a conversation with Poorvi Patodia, who is the founder and CEO of Biena, a fast-growing maker of roasted chickpea snacks. Just five years since its launch, Biena is distributed at 15,000 locations across the U.S. and available at Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts and Stop & Shop.

Patodia outlined her vision for roasted chickpeas and how the combination of familiar snack flavors and a healthy, whole food option continues to win over investors, distributors, retailers and consumers. She also discussed why Biena attempts to operate more like a tech firm than a food company, as well as the decision to launch a co-branded line of snacks with Weight Watchers.

Also included in this episode: BevNET editor-in-chief Jeff Klineman and sr. brand specialist Jon Landis explored the world of retail activation through encounters with the High Brew Liner, a giant bus turned into sampling cafe that is on tour throughout the summer. In the latest edition of Elevator Talk, we talk with Rob Burns, the co-founder of Night Shift Brewing, a craft beer maker based in Everett, Mass.

Show Notes:

1:07: Would You Like to Sample My Yams? — In-store sampling has long been an effective path to trial consumption. But some demos are executed better than others. What are ways that you’ve been impressed by a sampling opportunity? Any experiences that you’ve found particularly impressive… or bad? The hosts discussed the importance of brand advocacy, enthusiasm and engagement and the burdens of retailer required sampling.

7:27: Interview: Poorvi Patodia, founder and CEO, Biena — Project NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg and BevNET managing editor Ray Latif met with Biena founder/CEO Patodia to discuss the company’s rapid rise and how Patodia’s shepherded its growth amid surging demand for healthy, plant-based snacks. She also explained why she runs Biena more like a tech firm than a food company.

43:19: Interview: Mari Johnson, EVP of Marketing, High Brew Coffee — Inside the High Brew Liner, we spoke with Johnson about the aims and techniques that would cause a company to sink money into this kind of experiential investment, and recorded some of the interactions that come when a team explores different ways to grow awareness and drive trial.

1:00:13: Elevator Talk: Robert Burns, Co-Founder, Night Shift Brewing — We meet up with Burns, who co-founded Night Shift Brewing, a fast-growing craft brewery based in Everett, Mass.

Brands in this episode: Drink Maple, Sound Sparkling Tea, Biena, High Brew Coffee, Night Shift Brewing.

For sponsorship opportunities, feedback and suggestions contact podcast@bevnet.com.