This episode features an interview with Evan Holod, the CEO of Michel et Augustin US, the American arm of the French snack maker, who explained how the company reimagined its brand positioning and product packaging for American audiences.
Known for its indulgent snacks and quirky branding, Michel et Augustin entered the U.S. market in 2016. While the brand achieved some early traction, including national distribution at Starbucks, its development stalled. Enter Holod, who came on as CEO in 2018 following 10 years as a brand manager at Coca-Cola. In our interview, Holod spoke about the history of Michel et Augustin, which is owned by dairy conglomerate Danone, the problems with its initial U.S. strategy and the company’s approach to getting it back on track.
In this Episode
|1:28: Kokomo, Hot Cheese and Cocktails — The hosts chatted about John’s trip to Aruba and some of beverage brands he encountered, Carol’s visits to San Francisco, Denver, Boulder and Sonoma, the revamp of switchel brand Sunomi, and the deluge of new canned cocktails.|
|11:49: Interview: Evan Holod, CEO, Michel et Augustin US — In a call with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif, Holod spoke about the company’s Brooklyn-based headquarters, known as “The Banana Farm,” and the genesis of Michel et Augustin, which was founded by two disillusioned Frenchmen. He also spoke about the brand’s uncommon approach to branding and social media and the campaign that helped land its snacks at Starbucks. Later, Holod explained why the company’s marketing strategy needed to be tailored for an American audience, why visual communication was key for the redesign of its U.S. labels, and why he has avoided heavy investment in consumer research|
Sports Drank, Oatly, RightRice, Lily’s, Honest Stand, Laws Whiskey House, Idlewild Wines, Verve Coffee, Sunomi, CideRoad, Up Mountain Switchel, Post Meridiam Spirits, Venus Spirits, Straightaway Cocktails, Michel et Augustin, Coca-Cola