Taste Radio Episode 109

RxBar: Peter Rahal

+ PicoBrew, AvoLov


Here’s a hypothetical question: What if we were to tell you that one could start a food company and in less than five years sell it for $600 million? Would that be something you’d be interested in? (That was a rhetorical question.)

As unlikely as it sounds, that’s exactly what happened to Peter Rahal, the co-founder and CEO of RXBAR. Launched in 2013, RXBAR, which markets clean label protein bars, quickly became one of the fastest growing snack brands in the U.S. The company had net sales of approximately $120 million in 2017 and in October was acquired by the Kellogg Company for the aforementioned $600 million. We recently sat down with Rahal to discuss the incredible growth of RxBar, including the decision that sparked a major turning point for the brand, and how being “miserably uncomfortable for the past five years” has helped him grow as a leader.

Here’s another hypothetical question: what if you could buy a countertop appliance that would enable you to make RXBARs at home? How about one that could make your favorite style of beer? Well, you’re in luck! That’s if you want the magic beer machine, not the protein bar one; that doesn’t exist…. yet. Founded in 2010, PicoBrew is a fast-growing maker of automatic brewing appliances designed for small craft beer producers and homebrewers. Co-founder and CEO Bill Mitchell joined us for an interview about how the appliances are disrupting the beer industry’s traditional three-tier system, the company’s long-term vision is and how he expects it to evolve and expand into other beverage categories.

Now, how about a snack with that homebrewed beverage? Consider AvoLov, a new brand of chips made from avocados. Founder and CEO  Eric Healy spoke with us about the development and business strategy behind AvoLuv and what he’s looking for from investors — all included in the latest edition of Elevator Talk.

In this Episode

2:35: Trendspotting In South America — Project NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg recently returned from a trip to Chile and Argentina and shared her thoughts on food culture, interesting ingredients, and novel brands in the two countries. The hosts also chat about recent visits to BevNET HQ from the founders of Ruby Rockets and Nitro Beverage Co. and encourage other brand owners to make a trip to see us.
9:58: Interview: Peter Rahal, Co-Founder/CEO, RXBAR — Six months after the sale of RXBAR, Peter Rahal spoke with Project NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg  about the launch and rapid development of the company. Among topics of discussion: how Rahal, a self-described introvert, was forced into uncomfortable situations that eventually made him a better leader; how the brand’s revamp was a “leap of faith” and why Rahal believed that the company “couldn’t play the same game, from a design perspective, as everyone else,” and “needed to take a risk.”
39:13: Interview: Bill Mitchell, Co-Founder/CEO, PicoBrew — In its eight years on the market, PicoBrew has has attracted significant interest from consumers, professional brewers and investors, having raised $20 million from 50 funding partners, including Zx Ventures, the global incubation arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev. Mitchell sat down with Brewbound editor Chris Furnari and discussed the company’s origins and business strategy, including how it plans to disrupt the market for hyperlocal craft beer.
1:04:39: Elevator Talk: Eric Healy, Founder/CEO, AvoLov — We met Eric Healy at Natural Products Expo West 2018, where the founder and CEO spoke with us about his avocado-based snack brand AvoLov and the innovation behind its unique products.

Also Mentioned

The Not Company, RXBAR, Coronado Brewing Co., Rogue Ales, Avolov