Taste Radio Episode 60

Natural Products' Guru Bob Burke

+ Trendspotter: Sweets and Snacks Expo 2017, Farmer Willie's


Over his three decades as an executive and consultant in the natural products industry, Bob Burke has been recognized as one of the foremost experts in the space. This episode of the BevNET Podcast features a wide-ranging conversation with Burke, whose career includes 11 years in sales and marketing at organic dairy giant Stonyfield Farm and nearly 20 years as an advisor to early-stage and entrepreneurial food and beverage companies. Along with a discussion about the evolution of the natural foods industry and its transformative impact on the grocery business, Burke shared his thoughts on the keys to success for startups and how he defines truly innovative ideas. The episode also includes a recap of the Sweets and Snacks Expo, which was held last week in Chicago, and a chat with Nico Enriquez, the co-founder of alcoholic ginger beer brand Farmer Willie’s, who joined us for the latest edition of “Elevator Talk.”

Show Notes:

0:00 – Into to the podcast with hosts Ray Latif, Jon Landis, John Craven and Mike Schneider. Landis gives the Boston weather report and Ray has his bevs lined up and ready to go.

3:00 – Interview: Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting. Ray interviews Bob Burke, a veteran in the natural products arena. Bob speaks of his background in marketing and sales and how his path steered into consulting, including his time at Stonyfield Farms. Bob shares his experience of observing the boom of natural products including certification which bob says is a “floor level requirement” in todays grocery market. Finally, Burke shares his thoughts on the keys to success for startups and how he defines truly innovative ideas.

43:32 – Trendspotter: Jon Landis, Carol Ortenberg  and Meagan McGinnes sit down to discuss the Sweets and Snacks Expo 2017. Megan commences with changes to the candy industry under “A Healthier America” initiative, including serving size and calorie labelling. The trio discussed gummi bear trends like the green juice gummi bear from Juice Press. Landis questions whether or not eating healthier candies defeats the purpose. Redesigns was a theme that was seen across the board at the expo, especially Nourish Snacks as Carol mentions. Spice was a popular flavor in the snacking category and furthermore “blurring the lines” between sweet and spicy.

1:04:25 – Elevator Talk: Niko Enriquez, Co-Founder, Farmer Willie’s Ginger Beer. Farmer Willie’s is excited about their new 9 packs of ginger beer and Niko is geeking out on OEC Brewing company and Raicilla.

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