On this episode of The Foodpreneur, we’re talking nutrient-packed Superfood snacks with Scott Jensen, founder of Rhythm Superfoods. Hear the story of how Scott turned his knowledge of the food supply chain from building one of the most well known Barbeque sauce brands in America into launching the hottest kale chip and superfood snack companies on the market!
Episode 14: Rhythm Superfoods w/ Scott Jensen
Time Stamped Show Notes
- [1:31] — Scott’s Lithuanian and Irish mother influenced his take on cooking and food in a positive manner. “There was a lot of 7 days a week eating at home,” said Scott.
- [3:46] — Scott’s first entrepreneurial experience was when he brought Pop Rocks back from vacation to his hometown where they weren’t yet available to sell to his friends at school.
- [5:54] — Scott began his career at a large advertising firm in Dallas working with food clients, soon after receiving his MBA. Later he would work for another large agency in the consumer products space. A few years later Scott and his partner started Stubb’s BBQ sauce which he sold to McCormick spice brand as of recent.
- [10:21] — Scott explains the emergence of the many kale chip companies and how he and his company were oblivious to the many different, nation-wide competitors on the scene.
- [12:01] — Scott describes the process on financing Rhythm Superfoods. “It’s good for the founders and leaders to write personal checks so that they have some skin in the game, so we wrote the first checks for several hundred thousand dollars to prove the concept.” Which meant scaling everything, getting into a commercial kitchen, buying the proper equipment, etc.
- [15:27] — “You’re really more of a produce company than anything else,” Scott said about being a company that uses fresh ingredients rather than shelf-stable ones.
- [17:18] — “Mother nature is ultimately the bellwether of whether or not you have good product or bad product,” said Scott.
- [19:30] — About 50% of food that we eat here in the United States is from south of the border, mostly from Mexico.
- [22:02] — Scott describes the intricacies and challenges of bringing his kale supply over the border from Mexico to the USA.
- [23:14] — Scott reveals his thoughts as to the future of food sustainability in our world and what he thinks of the many new food labels in the marketplace today.
- [26:05] — The organic symbol is the biggest label driving growth in Rhythm Superfoods healthy snack category.
- [30:32] — Many people don’t enjoy beets or kale, Scott tells us how his company handles and pivots on the issue.
- [32:32] — Rhythm Superfoods is working on developing a dried fruit line that will be revealed at the food Expo West.
- [35:21] — “The food industry is moving way faster than it was 20 years ago,” said Scott.
- [36:34] — Scott finds the most energy in performing the day-to-day operations as CEO.
- [40:33] — Scott’s last meal would be a pepperoni pizza from John’s Pizzeria in The Village, NYC.
- [41:34] — Scott has a lot of respect for John Forker who runs the Annie’s Organics out of Berkeley, California before it was acquired by General Mills.
- [44:32] — If Scott was a professor at “Rhythm Superfoods University,” Scott’s first lesson would be to teach the importance of a company’s culture, mission, and the importance of hiring the proper team.