Taste Radio Episode 166

Popchips/RightRice: Keith Belling


As the founder of Popchips, Keith Belling helped usher in a new era for healthy snacking. Twelve years after the brand’s launch, he’s attempting to do the same for rice with RightRice, Belling’s second food brand that debuted in February.

In interview included in this episode, Belling explained that RightRice is in many ways the culmination of an entrepreneurial career that’s spanned law, real estate, online publishing and consumer products. At every stage, Belling said, his passion to solve personal, unmet needs drove the launch of new business ventures.

“There’s entrepreneurs that… finish one business and flick a switch and they’re onto the new one,” he said. “I’ve definitely never been that way. For me something has to start with a real passion, something that’s important to me and fills a need. That ends up mapping an opportunity in the market, and then it starts to get interesting.”

As part of our conversation, discussed the origins of Popchips and RightRice and how lessons learned from building the former are being applied to the latter. He also spoke about the importance of branding and why he’s overinvested in package design, how celebrity investors like Ashton Kutcher supported the development of Popchips and the challenges of leveraging success. This episode is presented by ZoomEssence, the cool-tech powder flavor people.

In this Episode

2:30: Interview: Keith Belling, Founder, Popchips/RightRice –– In an interview recorded via weblink, Belling spoke about why new business ventures have to start with passion, how he was (almost) ahead of the curve with healthy jerky, and the genesis of his new company, RightRice. He also discussed his background in law and real estate, how the concept of Popchips was formed and why the brand has sought to emulate vitaminwater, and why direct interaction with consumers yielded key lessons in the development of the brand. Belling also explained how Ashton Kutcher became Popchips’ “president of pop culture,” spoke about the evolution of influencer marketing and its impact on business planning for RightRice, and revealed how the two brands got their names.

Also Mentioned

popchips, RightRice, Fritos, Krave Jerky, vitaminwater