Taste Radio Episode 156

Dr. Bronner's: David Bronner


David Bronner, the Cosmic Engagement Officer of Dr. Bronner’s, wants to save the world. How, one might ask, does he plan on doing that? Simple. A lot of soap and a dash of psychedelics.

Since Bronner took the reins of his family’s business in 1998, Dr. Bronner’s has become the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America. The company, which also markets natural toothpaste, lip balm, shaving cream and coconut oil, generated $122 million in sales in 2018, over 30 times its revenue when Bronner took over.

Dr. Bronner’s, which was founded as a non-profit, religious organization dedicated to world peace, has used that growth to fuel its advocacy for social and environmental causes. The company has donated tens of millions of dollars into efforts supporting GMO transparency, the integration of cannabis and psychedelic drugs into American medicine, and regenerative organic agriculture.

As part of a wide-ranging interview included in this episode, Bronner spoke about his roots with the natural soap company and how his advocacy for hemp contributed to the evolution of the brand. He also explained why he supports the use of  psychedelics within the context of the company’s philanthropic strategy, discussed what makes Dr. Bronner’s concept of corporate responsibility different, and how it is preserving its legacy.

In this Episode

3:45: Interview: David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner’s — In an interview recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019, Bronner spoke about the company’s origins in Southern California and how his experience as a Harvard student helped shape his personal belief system. He also discussed how his advocacy for hemp cultivation included being caged in front of the White House and planting hemp seeds on the DEA’s lawn, his work with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and why he believes psychedelics are the “last gift of the counterculture that hasn’t been integrated” into the mainstream. Later, he spoke about the company’s work in regenerative organic agriculture and why it’s so important for companies to vet their supply chains. Finally, he discussed why the company has adopted a benefit corporation structure and how it is laying the foundation for the next generation of managers and executives.

Also Mentioned

Dr. Bronner’s, Patagonia, Guayaki, Nature’s Path, Honest Tea, Annie’s