Taste Radio Episode 628

Can You Cultivate A Phenomenon? Graza Has. Here’s How.

+ Andrew Benin, Graza


The New York Times recently hailed Graza’s “sizzle” variety as “the best all around olive oil that you can buy in a store.” It’s the latest high-profile praise for the brand, which launched in 2022 and is beloved for its chef-inspired, squeezable green bottles. While acclaim for Graza has become commonplace, its popularity among influencers has led some to mock it as “the Instagram olive oil.”

Occasional derision, however, is fine with co-founder and CEO Andrew Benin. Being aligned with one of the world’s most popular social media platforms is a good thing, he says, and should be celebrated.

Since its debut, Graza, which markets extra virgin olive oil sold in “sizzle” and “drizzle” varieties, has been a constant presence in the pantries and kitchens of Instagram, YouTube and TikTok influencers. Virality has helped the brand generate millions of dollars in direct-to-consumer sales and supported its presence at national retailers, including Whole Foods, Target and Walmart. According to a recent CNBC report, Graza expects to bring in over $48 million in gross sales by the end of 2024.

We sat down with Andrew for a conversation about how Graza has inspired authentic and fervent enthusiasm for its products on social media, how the company has maintained relationships with influencers “at scale” and how taking a bet on the upside has guided its demand planning strategy. He also explains why he describes Graza as an “early team-led company” versus a founder-led one and shares his nuanced perspective on profitability.

In this Episode

0:35: Interview: Andrew Benin, Co-Founder & CEO, Graza – Andrew and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif recall their first conversation as part of an episode of BevNET & NOSH’s Elevator Talk and discuss The New York Times’ coverage of Graza. Andrew talks about the impact of creating a “memorable action,” how his lightbulb moment occurred in the shower, why he describes working for other entrepreneurs as part appreciation and part envy, and why he views Graza as a “best supporting actor.” He also explains why social media needs to be “a part of your brand’s DNA at inception, how the company’s social media strategy and team have evolved, the importance of hiring people that are motivated and nimble, why the development of Graza’s refill cans addressed several consumer and operational challenges, and his belief that “ you shouldn’t get too much credit for being profitable and not knocked for being unprofitable.”

Also Mentioned

Graza, Dr. Bronner’s, Magic Spoon