Taste Radio Episode 132

Zevia/SPINS: Paddy Spence


It’s hard to overestimate the impact that Patty Spence, the founder of market research firm SPINS and CEO of stevia-sweetened beverage brand Zevia, has had on the natural food industry.

With SPINS, Spence transformed the way that natural product sales data is tracked and aggregated and in doing so created a powerful resource for a fast-growing industry. After departing SPINS, Spence became the CEO of Zevia, a company that he acquired in 2010, and has since played a key role in stevia’s development as a leading natural and zero-calorie alternative to sugar. The sweetener is central to the formulation of Zevia, which is expected to pull in over $200 million in sales this year.

In a conversation included in this episode, Spence remarked on the success of both SPINS and Zevia and pointed to a passion for continuous improvement as key to his business philosophy.

“We never think we’re at the end point,” he said. “It’s about being one percent better each day, each week than we were before.”

Hear more from our conversation with Spence, in which he extolled the importance of marrying personal insights and passion with quantitative data, his perspective on work-life balance and whether a multi-billion dollar exit is imminent for Zevia.

In this Episode

2:35: Interview: Paddy Spence, CEO, Zevia & Founder, SPINS — In this interview, recorded via weblink, Spence spoke to BevNET Managing Editor Ray Latif from Zevia headquarters in Encino, Calif. Spence discussed the origins of his career and what motivated him to launch SPINS, how a decision to cut sugar out of his diet led him to  Zevia, why he believes that in the future “sugar is going to be used — as it should be — as a condiment, as a drug,” why all Zevia employees are offered stock in the company, and why Spence believes that it’s critical to be home for dinner every night.

Also Mentioned

Kashi, Oregon Chai, Zevia