EP. 22 - Ben Goodwin, Olipop - Reinventing For the Soft Drink for New Generation

✅ Hey guys! Enjoy this EPIC interview w/ My good friend, Ben Goodwin! Ben takes us all the way back to his early days as an entrepreneur and shares with us his backstory which ultimately shaped his career and his future!🙌 Ben shares TONS of gems in this one! What is your favorite lesson from this interview?! Let us know in the comment section below!

Transcript

[00:00:00] Rish Sharma: Hey, everyone. Welcome to take care of today's guest. Is ben goodwin The ceo and founder of ali pop

[00:00:08] Ben Goodwin: Welcome to the show. Ben pleasure to have you here. Yeah. Thanks so much rich. Great, to be on. So I'd love for you to give a background of yourself and then the journey that led to the starting of Ali pop. Yeah, my pleasure. It's it's definitely been a long one to say the least honestly, probably the, the nexus for this whole path that I've been on because I'm a serial entrepreneur more or less at this point. I've been a product developer for 15 years. This is my third beverage company I've worked on. And, really I've had a. Pretty kind of market focus on digestive health and microbiome health for a good portion of my career.

[00:00:55] Ben Goodwin: So it's been a, it's been an elongated process and the nexus for it really [00:01:00] began actually, when I was a teenager I. I grew up under somewhat challenging circumstances and a big part of that was I ate it, not a great diet and that kind of contributed to some anxiety. And I, was, I too much weight on me as a kid, as teenager.

[00:01:21] Ben Goodwin: And I had this weird 71 day at 14 where I was just like this is not contributing to good life. This is not going to lead to a good life. And so like literally overnight I kinda changed my approach. I I actually ended up losing about 50 pounds in less than a year and change a bunch of things in my life and really started to focus on.

[00:01:41] Ben Goodwin: And it's the years went on. I noticed it didn't, just help me with my physical health and, my energy levels, but it also really seemed to have impact on for kind of lack of a better term. Like my consciousness, like my mental clarity, my emotional stability. My speed of thought, my scale of thought.

[00:01:59] Ben Goodwin: And I [00:02:00] became really fascinated with the idea of nutrition as a tool for self-actualization and personal development and this kind of relationship between these these kinds of psycho, emotional, cognitive aspects of our being and what we're taking into our system. So that was a real interest to me.

[00:02:21] Ben Goodwin: It's my other interests was, music and electronic music actually. And I I was like, have this weird thing. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was like throwing these, raves at 19 20, 20, early twenties kind of thing. I was also like, maybe I want to get into. To food or and I've always had real entrepreneurial streak and all it all kinda came together.

[00:02:43] Ben Goodwin: In fact in high school I had before coconuts or even like young coconuts were even a thing, a buddy of mine, and I created this farmer's market booth where we're directions, Excel, Thai coconuts, and crack them open for people. And that. [00:03:00] Before that was like 17 years ago or something at this point.

[00:03:04] Ben Goodwin: So it was like, you can get them out before they can go get a lot of praise. So I've been doing that kind of stuff for a while then it all came together. I actually, through this through this show and through that show, I met this guy who ended up becoming my med. He's actually a civil rights activist he's passed away now was Edward Lawson.

[00:03:21] Ben Goodwin: The, if you'd want a spring court case by himself in the 1980s, he's with no legal representation. He's the reason why it's illegal for the police to ask for ID with a probable cause. So I started, yeah, I started working under him, actually at the speeder and Monterrey and I got, and I got inspired because he actually didn't have.

[00:03:42] Ben Goodwin: Legal background. He just went to the Berkeley law library and started researching everything needed for his legal case. And what's in a little bit it's, a, certainly like a there's a certain amount of hubris do that. But in my early twenties, I felt like I felt pretty inspired by it.

[00:03:59] Ben Goodwin: So [00:04:00] I, actually dropped out of college and just decided to decided to just get right into entrepreneurial-ism and product development. I joined up with a friend who had a kombucha company that I helped do ops and production and product development and help get off that, that get off the ground for a couple of years.

[00:04:17] Ben Goodwin: Then I transitioned into kind of a sorted product development for a number of years. Like high end esoteric stuff, which was adequately financially rewarding, but didn't make me feel like I was accomplishing enough in society, needed a mission. Then I started also, but the kombucha company did when I was, with commercial Botanica I did.

[00:04:41] Ben Goodwin: What the microbiome was. And what can I learn more about probiotics? And I learned about the brain gut access, which is this really fascinating you actually produce the majority of your key transmitters for your brain in are the precursors for them in your micro, inner digestive microbiome.

[00:04:58] Ben Goodwin: And they get shipped up to your [00:05:00] brain. And I was like, oh, this is the thing. So it all just kinda came together over time. I was motivated towards entrepreneurial-ism. I was motivated towards positive social change. I was motivated around personal development. And the microbiome and, taking a scientific approach to it.

[00:05:18] Ben Goodwin: And then in my mid twenties, I started working on this product called wasn't called anything at the time, but ended up being called OB, which is this fermented Waterkeeper soda replacement thing. I did about four years of research and development on that with the microbiome biologists and an organic chemist that took a long time.

[00:05:36] Ben Goodwin: That's actually where near the end of that R and D process where I met David Lester. Who's my. Business partner, who's my business partner. Then if you work at all the pop as well and then, so we, we got that off the ground, got that on the market. We actually ended up selling that after two or three years.

[00:05:53] Ben Goodwin: And then, and that was in late 2016. That's the, that's it basically. And then [00:06:00] after that, like we just it was both exhausted because beverage startups are no joke going through R D and inception product launch exit, that's that's quite a mouthful. But I went off to Japan and I looked at some research and we took a little breather and we did decide that there were.

[00:06:23] Ben Goodwin: Meaningful shifts in microbiome science and that there was some really interesting stuff to get into that warranted another product that was focused on and, in fact would have a really meaningful utility in, society. And so that kind of is effectively, it was the basis for where all the pub.

[00:06:43] Ben Goodwin: Thank you for breaking that down and congrats on all the success. So just curious, what, how did just go a little bit more detail? How did you go about without the traditional background and whatnot? Learning about everything, [00:07:00] about the microbiome to create the formulations. I know you worked with a chemist and whatnot, but was it purely dependent on that relationship?

[00:07:08] Ben Goodwin: That what types of research did you do on your own to verify the type of product that you were looking? Yeah, totally. I am I am an insane person. That's it's helpful to be slightly insane or if you're going to be an entrepreneur. I'm, very it's like when I get motivated around stuff I, really thrive off of dense, conceptual information.

[00:07:33] Ben Goodwin: I really thrive off of systems thinking and that stuff. And I also, I had this weird memory where it's like, if something interests me or fascinates me, I just re Bolt like kind of memory system that is just part of how my brain works. So it tends to be, it's if I get really interested in something, I will [00:08:00] chase down a lot of information about it.

[00:08:03] Ben Goodwin: And then I'll retain a lot of that information. And then if I, especially, if I then started working on something related to it and I am working with. Microbiologists or I am actually reviewing clinical trials or I'm talking to researchers or because for example, like right now with Ali pop we're working with Steven Lindemann, who's the head of the complex carbohydrates department at Purdue.

[00:08:29] Ben Goodwin: And we're actually doing research with Purdue around all these pop we're working with just interesting. Now who's the head of the microbiology department at Baylor college of medicine, his right hand. A man who's in charge of the Baylor lab, microbiology labs, Robert Britain, they're on our scientific advisory board.

[00:08:44] Ben Goodwin: We're also doing research with them. So it's just as, I there's just, there's a lot of different, it's a multifaceted approach to learning which is a combination of, dealing with I've gotten to the point in my career where [00:09:00] I can. I can get to and, I'm lucky enough to be able to build relationships with, quite frankly, just some of the best people in the world, in this space that obviously accelerates your learning.

[00:09:15] Ben Goodwin: And it also allows you to really stress. Ideas and say because oftentimes I will amalgamate a bunch of pieces of information. So I'll read a handful of books. I'll look at a handful of studies. I'll have a handful of conversations. I'll synthesize that information and I'll also then start to come up with some, my own like theories and interpretations based on that information that I'm reviewing.

[00:09:37] Ben Goodwin: And one of the great things about having some of these great kind of luminaries available to me is that I can go Hey, here's what just stop. I'm thinking about to the extent that I have maple to get the, time on with them. But here's like some stuff I'm thinking about is this reasonable based on what you've seen?

[00:09:55] Ben Goodwin: And, that kinda helps me to go. That helps me to explore a lot of different things. [00:10:00] I know I'm being a little long-winded here, but one thing that I think is also really interesting about. Th our engagement with these different researchers. We're really lucky to have these people involved.

[00:10:10] Ben Goodwin: And also Dr. Yens Walter, who were doing human clinic dietary study with is there's oftentimes a really big gap between research that gets done at a lab or at a university. And that the awareness of that work hitting even the medical community, much less the consumer population, it can be a 10 year. Five to 10 year gap, four hits medical community and the five to 10 year gap for those actual like widespread awareness. And so when you are really enthusiastic about science, when you do actually know some of what you're talking about, as often as you can and you can really evidence to your partners that you are trying to accelerate.

[00:10:54] Ben Goodwin: Some of this cutting edge, but really robust science into a faster, more [00:11:00] meaningful, authentic kind of consumer health experience. And that is pretty motivating to them because it's it's like, it helps to shorten up that lead time on their work, actually making them. Thank you for breaking that down.

[00:11:13] Ben Goodwin: And so I'm just curious you've obviously been a part of some very successful beverage companies and whatnot, and it's a very saturated category as you alluded to. So what, would you say makes. It was a good insight for somebody that may think that they have also some, beverage that they're looking to start.

[00:11:35] Ben Goodwin: What are the key insights or things to know that you're onto something in regards to starting a beverage company? I say how much time do you have? That is I would say there's probably hundreds. If not thousands of amalgamated lessons, I can try. Condense it into the most. Look that the first thing that's being worthy, it's worthy of being aware of is [00:12:00] that consumer packaged goods in general and then beverage even more.

[00:12:04] Ben Goodwin: So I like to call it business on expert mode. It's and and I, and again, I was talking about hubris earlier serious. There is an aspect of that. If It's a T it's a tough thing. I think, because a lot of, there's, I find there's two kinds of brackets of companies that get started in the food and beverage space.

[00:12:30] Ben Goodwin: And, this is a generalism, but I, this is the trends that I've seen. So you've got the inexperienced operator, but who's like really authentic in what they're trying to do and deeply passionate. And really believes in, and the mission of food or beverage and is trying to bring something meaningful for people.

[00:12:54] Ben Goodwin: And the, challenge that I see a lot of these kind of operators run into is [00:13:00] they just have no idea. The wood, the wood chipper, the human woodchipper that they are about to go through because it's the beverage industry is consumer packaged goods is, brutal.

[00:13:14] Ben Goodwin: It's it's a brutal, like the distribute the, capital requirements, the distribution hurdles, the intrinsic you have all the intrinsic catch 20 twos of starting a business. It's that. You need a team to raise the money, but you need the money too, to hire the team. Like you run into constant catch 20 twos.

[00:13:36] Ben Goodwin: It's a business of scale. So if that's a, it's a lower margin, higher volume product, which means there's a lot of, like I said, like capital requirements to send means, unless you're independently quite wealthy, then you're going to be needing to raise capital. That's a whole other beast raising cash, working with investor confidence choosing the right investors, setting of governance systems correctly.

[00:13:59] Ben Goodwin: So [00:14:00] basically it's just thinking, like there's a lot of like really good ideas out there and there's a lot of like really genuine desires in that type of operator, but just. The acumen or the lack of kind of visibility into the heart realities of this business model is something is oftentimes it's often missing.

[00:14:20] Ben Goodwin: And also sometimes associated with that as they don't know how to make their margins work, or there's not a very practical set of solutions to scale. And those things need to be overcome. Or the other type is more of the seasoned, like MBA or CPG professional slash executive who more often than not they certainly have more wherewithal in terms of being aware of what the business reality is going to be.

[00:14:46] Ben Goodwin: They might have more access to capital. They might have more cognition around. Scalability, stuff like that, but oftentimes like basically the more or less like the heart of that business [00:15:00] is, usually not there. Like they did a market analysis, they found some white space. So they found they found a trend that they want to capitalize on.

[00:15:10] Ben Goodwin: And now they've built this like pretty hollow product to go after that space. So honestly, if you can find the right synergy between those two dynamics, then that is, and that's actually like a that's actually something that I think has really come together between David Lester, myself, who is my business partner, his his background.

[00:15:35] Ben Goodwin: He comes from, he spent a decade at Diageo as a brand manager and an innovation. At Diageo, which is obviously a big multi-national spirits company. And so he was able to bring some of that thinking and some of that structure and some of that Polish into the equation, which was a really solid counterweight to me.

[00:15:57] Ben Goodwin: And now we've been working [00:16:00] together for eight, eight or plus years. So we, a lot of our skillsets of now. Onto each other. And I think it's balanced more of us out more, but that's I would say I, your idea is great. There's a lot of ideas, but it's just, you have to be mindful that a food and beverages is astronomically high failure rate and.

[00:16:23] Ben Goodwin: So it doesn't mean you shouldn't get involved. It just means that you need to be ready to put in more blood, sweat and tears than you ever thought you had. And you just need to have a good three dimensional awareness of all the different aspects that are a part of the reality of this business model and, find ways to account for them.

[00:16:44] Ben Goodwin: Thank you for breaking that down and giving the cautionary warning for anybody's doing it. But just since you brought that up and the difficulties of the ups and downs, just curious to see with Ali pop or any of the previous businesses that you helped to found what were some [00:17:00] of the biggest challenges that you faced on the way that and then how'd you work through overcoming those there's one particular example.

[00:17:07] Ben Goodwin: Yeah. There are a lot of I think that to be honest, most there there are like they're challenges roughly bucket maybe into three different things, there's challenges of inviting. There's challenges of skill. And then there's challenges of I guess you'd call it like emotion, right?

[00:17:31] Ben Goodwin: So challenges of environment include the, where the country is with the economy where consumer trends are, what the marketplace looks like, what the what's going on with different factors. Yeah, exactly. Then there's issues of skill. So it's okay, do you know how to make a P and L do you know how to do you know how to sell to a retailer?

[00:17:57] Ben Goodwin: Do you know how to actually work with [00:18:00] the co-packer? So those are challenges. And I think both of those things, if you get the right people around the table, Are ultimately like reasonably solved. There, again, it's still business on expert mode. So look, it's just you're looking at a pretty daunting mountain, but those things are more, more achievable.

[00:18:21] Ben Goodwin: I think that it's like the biggest piece of, most entrepreneurs lives. It actually lives in the emotional realm. And I think that if They can really wrap their heads around that. Like the sooner they can wrap their heads around that, the better it's, like a, there's that emotional intelligence, 2.0 book.

[00:18:40] Ben Goodwin: It's there's like good clinical research that shows that like, when you start getting into these executive levels and you start project predicting job performance, job success the higher and higher you get up the totem pole. It's 80 to 90% of job successes predicted. Through E through [00:19:00] EKU or emotional intelligence.

[00:19:01] Ben Goodwin: And that's really, I think that's, it's like it's things like the stress and the pressure and believing in your vision and being able to assemble resources about it. Having integrity irrespective of the fact that oftentimes when you're starting things from scratch, there's a good amount of at least felt pressure and borderline even desperation.

[00:19:25] Ben Goodwin: And it's part of the equation. And it's really about having a good system for introspection, keeping yourself sane and healthy being able to do things which make you. That generate fear in your body or generate negative emotional response in your body and, increase what's called psychology, your kind of window of tolerance.

[00:19:46] Ben Goodwin: It's like you have to be able to keep a high level of executive functioning, more or less under situations of extreme. So you have to become [00:20:00] better at not reacting to stressful situations from a place of stress and you also feel better. Yeah. If at finding ways to work quickly through through that stress, because it you'll get really worn down and then you're not using as much of your near cortex to make decisions.

[00:20:20] Ben Goodwin: And then it's just it can spiral out. And especially if you are leading a vision. You need to create a safe and healthy place for, people to work and you need to create an envision that spires and inspires and does it feel like bullshit? And so there's a lot of like emotional development that comes with, all these pieces.

[00:20:40] Ben Goodwin: And I would say that that is the one that I think that people probably neglect the most and we'd get a lot more traction out of if they invested their. I think that is pressuring information. It's a entrepreneurship that they say is the greatest self-improvement program, just from an [00:21:00] emotional standpoint.

[00:21:01] Ben Goodwin: And so I agree with that. Yeah. A hundred percent. So just curious if you go to Ali pop.com or sorry, drink co. Dot com you notice that the, brand really trades on istalif with, the flavors with, the with the identity, the brand identity. So what was the, decision like, how was the decision made to move and direction of kind of trading on nostalgia rather than some brands maybe in the category that tried to create a brand new type of brand?

[00:21:34] Ben Goodwin: What was the thinking behind that? Yeah, absolutely. I It goes. It has pretty deep roots philosophically for myself and for David and something, I, it's a concept that I've been thinking about for many years, which is really around meeting, meeting consumers where they are.

[00:21:58] Ben Goodwin: And when you start to look at things like [00:22:00] located, let's say, I want to, obviously I made a product that and we have a company that really focuses on microbiome and digestive health. So what does that and isn't this a carbonated sparkling space. So it's like what's out there.

[00:22:14] Ben Goodwin: So you've got like kombucha, which is another product that is typically thought to be good for digestive health. Now there isn't a bunch of clinical, there is no clinical evidence that supports that. So respectively that's the, and I drink a boot you're right. But, the reality is the reality. It's like there isn't a lot of clinical evidence supports it.

[00:22:32] Ben Goodwin: Anyway, the point is irrespective put putting that aside it's this vinegary drink that costs four to $6, depending on where you are. Heavy glass bottle, new off times, new age packet packaging. And so you are expecting a lot of consumer behavioral shifts in order for someone to want to reach for and regularly consume that [00:23:00] product.

[00:23:01] Ben Goodwin: And the result is that the kombucha is like a billion dollar category, but it's kinda, it's stagnating and, even declining a bit now. Like it doesn't mean it'll happen forever, but it does like early indicators indicate showing that maybe kombucha doesn't.

[00:23:17] Ben Goodwin: A ton more space to grow. It has reached a ceiling. Okay. So then you got sparkling water, which is doing a little bit better. It's like a bill, a $4 billion category, but the ready to drink section, the ready to drink aspect of, soda alone is 40 to $60 billion in the U S with 90% household penetration.

[00:23:35] Ben Goodwin: And that's not even getting onto on-premise and fountain. And some of the other formats of that that product comes in. The scale is just astronomically different. And I think that the one of the things I think has happened on the marketing side, that, again, just like a philosophical point for us, but it's food and beverage is at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

[00:23:58] Ben Goodwin: So it's [00:24:00] foundational for everybody. So it's also the ultimate vehicle to bring people together. And it's a bit of a bummer that most of the products that seem to bring quote, bring people together right now are. Fundamentally have some, pretty material issues on a health basis, right? Like a, whether that's alcohol or whether that's soda.

[00:24:20] Ben Goodwin: I think the jury is pretty in that look, liquid cake is not that good for you. It's. But at the same time, like they found the fun foundational science Binali pop is this recognition that like your average hunter gatherer diet, which is what human bodies and human microbiomes are designed to consume that average hunter-gatherer diet is getting a hundred, 200 grams of fiber a day.

[00:24:47] Ben Goodwin: Over a hundred grams of prebiotics a day, they're getting over 14, 1500 different nutritional inputs every year, versus the average American who according to the USDA is getting 10 to 15 grams of fiber, three to five grams prebiotics, [00:25:00] and most Americans get like 80, 78% of the food from 20 different food groups, like wheat, corn, soy, dairy meat, et cetera.

[00:25:07] Ben Goodwin: So we have these diets that are totally out of alignment with what's actually good for our. It's good for a microbiome and it's a mass scale issue. So if you're going to try to create a mass scale solution, you correspondingly need that a mass scale vehicle that minimizes the minimizes, the divisive nature of some food and beverage marketing that's out there and also maximizes more or less like meeting consumers where they are.

[00:25:35] Ben Goodwin: If I know, I don't really think that. Change things on a large scale by like shaming consumers, around the things that they really like, that they really enjoyed, that they hadn't a soldier around it. So that really represents the philosophical base for us. And it literally is a philosophical this did not start.

[00:25:55] Ben Goodwin: I didn't start thinking about Hey, let's disrupt, with stuff [00:26:00] by reading a bunch of like charts. I actually was just like, how do I do the most good with this product? Got high quality people on board who felt that was a worthwhile thing to do. And then now because of the way we're approaching it because of the sea change in the marketplace and a number of other factors.

[00:26:18] Ben Goodwin: Is really, working out, but it really did come from this philosophical base like this. If we could pull this off, this would be a worthwhile thing to do. Thank you for breaking that down. I th I saw, you can see that what you just discussed, described led to the chosen flavors that you started with, but what's next for all you pop?

[00:26:39] Ben Goodwin: What do you expect in terms of is it going to be expansion into new flavors or any other categories? Yeah I always have to be mindful because I'm not totally sure. Like we w what what what I can announce them, what we're cause we've got a bunch of really great stuff cooking. Yeah, we just went live with [00:27:00] a Harris Teeter look, we just got her brought to Harris Teeter on we're actually going to be rolling out a seven 11 tasks, which is awesome.

[00:27:07] Ben Goodwin: We have another really major retailer can announced quite yet, but we're very, excited about some of our big conventional parts. We expect to have pretty material expansions with whole foods. We are hoping that there's going to be some pretty material developments on that front as well. So I'm seeing very great developments on the retail or indoor expansion side which picked up Raley's and, Lucky's in, in, on the west coast.

[00:27:39] Ben Goodwin: Really great kind of, and what I love about it as well as like our product. Extremely well, like once in a decade kind of sales numbers in, in the natural channel. But we also perform really strongly in the conventional channel. And that is exactly what we're looking for. So some really great [00:28:00] updates and more coming soon on, on the kind of retailer side.

[00:28:02] Ben Goodwin: And then, yeah, there's new flavors. So we are doing an orange cream, which is basically it's what it sounds like. It's like orange vanilla. That is actually, so we have the kind of orange squeeze, which is our version of orange soda, but we've just, we're getting so many requests for, an orange vanilla slash orange cream.

[00:28:24] Ben Goodwin: And I felt ah, and I was torn because I love that flavor myself and I. I really did want to do an orange soda because I thought it was really primed for disruption, but I felt torn. And so then when all the customer feedback came in we've literally gotten hundreds, like hundreds and hundreds of requests for an orange cream.

[00:28:46] Ben Goodwin: So I was like, all right, how do we slot this in? And then we were chatting to whole foods actually about doing some sort of summer exclusive with them. And we're going to be doing this orange. National seasonal, exclusive with whole foods, [00:29:00] some very excited about, and then, yeah, we've got some other, we've got some cool stuff.

[00:29:04] Ben Goodwin: We're, looking at some multipack capabilities, and then we have another full full, time flavor coming out in summer that I can't announce quite yet, but it's going to, yeah. People are going to be very excited about it. It's. Second most requested flavor. And then, yeah, and then I have my eyes, my sight on I'm hoping to do probably maybe we're not a hundred percent secure, but maybe two more full-time flavor lunches next year, as well, which are also being driven pretty heavily from consumer excitement.

[00:29:39] Ben Goodwin: So it's, really I have just other innovation that I'm working on is all right. So there's actually a lot of, there's a lot of pots bubbling. This possibly on the research side, as we're finishing up our, research with Purdue and Baylor, we're going to, like I said, we're gonna be participating in human trials.

[00:29:57] Ben Goodwin: There's a range of different, really cool innovation projects [00:30:00] going that can be pretty game changing. And there's new flavor developments and there's format developments. And there's retailer expansions all over the place. So it's there's a lot going on. And I think it's going to be pretty good for, the consumers to follow us and.

[00:30:15] Ben Goodwin: Yeah, that's really exciting. If you could just explain a little bit what the trials that you're working on are with, Baylor and some other ones that you mentioned.

[00:30:29] Ben Goodwin: Basically we're doing, what's called in vitro research with, Purdue and Baylor college of medicine. Now, Purdue is more like a standard in vitro microbiome kind of test process where they basically take like fecal inoculum cultures and they run our proprietary blend against those, cultures and they see what it does and, like how the underlying microorganisms reacting.

[00:30:57] Ben Goodwin: Which is basically then you extrapolate that [00:31:00] data by saying, okay this is what all this stuff is doing in an in vitro environment. I E out of out of a living organism. Now, how would we interpret that? That would likely play out based on this data in a human body, Baylor is also named in vitro study, but it's but it's actually, they have a very, arguably like in my mind, and this is why I was really excited to work with them in the first place.

[00:31:23] Ben Goodwin: I think they have one of the most sophisticated in vitro like artificial gut artificial microbiome systems, like in the world right now. So they can really replicate a human gut and really a really innovative way they can replicate like intestinal walls and they can study like a lot of stuff we wanted to do both of those.

[00:31:49] Ben Goodwin: Wanted to do work with both of these organizations, with their different systems, just to see does the data come out similar? Does it come out differently? Just [00:32:00] what is each set of tests telling us so that's, gonna be excited to go through, and these are basically.

[00:32:08] Ben Goodwin: This, anytime you do your first round of work, like you're, looking for results as much as you're looking at, does this system of testing work in this environment? One of the things that's great about having relationships with these, with this researchers. And then of course there are obvious like association with these universities is that we have a pretty robust and extremely professional.

[00:32:33] Ben Goodwin: Set up to be working with the highest possible standards around the work, but we've managed to set up these kind of systems, which are reasonably cost-effective and flexible. So it allows us to do tests and then do more tests and then do more tests and try different things, which I think is really great.

[00:32:50] Ben Goodwin: And then with Dr. Yans, Walter who is an amazing researcher he's he's, the top 1%. Most [00:33:00] cited microbiome research is in the world. So he's like the cream of the cream in that space. We were really lucky that he's taken such an interest in our product and what we're up to.

[00:33:10] Ben Goodwin: And I can't announce all the details of his study yet, but he is he's is doing a large scale human dietary intervention trials. Looking at the inclusion of higher fiber and some other kind of aspects and seeing how it affects people. Yeah, we're really excited.

[00:33:28] Ben Goodwin: We're the only branded beverage that's participating in the trial. And we're, really excited to see that one play out over overtime. Yeah. All exciting stuff. And you also mentioned that you're just looking at to develop some long-term flavors. Just curious, what's the process, the product development cycle in regards to deciding what the next flavor is or going about creating a flavor for the.

[00:33:56] Ben Goodwin: Yeah. I am the [00:34:00] sole formulator, which is insane. It's definitely say because I also have a combinate to run with David it's like it's, a lot of work, but I I just honestly, like I have developed my own approach to flavor development and. And product formulation that it was probably pretty different from what a lot of other people who are in the space or who are food scientists.

[00:34:31] Ben Goodwin: Kind of utilize. And so I, yeah, I really trust my process and yeah, I basically just crank it out. It takes a lot, it takes a lot of time to get, everything just right. But I have such a relationship with what the flip with. What the flavor profiles to be. And I have my own kind of synesthesia approach to getting, all the flavors where I want them.

[00:34:55] Ben Goodwin: And and it definitely seems like it's resonating the [00:35:00] the, taste of the product, especially compared to the sugar levels and the fiber levels and stuff really seemed to resonate. Be one of the biggest resonators with consumers and seem to be driving a lot of. Repeat purchase. And then it terms of like how we decide the flavor itself.

[00:35:14] Ben Goodwin: It used to, honestly it used to just be David and myself really starting with me, just being like, what do I think is going to work? What do I think is going to resonate with consumers again, just based on my experience and what do I think I can do a really good job making it has gotten, it has developed a little more since then, because we now have this like multi thousand.

[00:35:39] Ben Goodwin: Request database that we've pulled from surveying customers or customers sending in requests on our social or emailing requests, people are fortunately like really happy to tell you about what flavors that want you to make, because they're excited about it. So we are in the school space now where we can look at research around what flavors work with [00:36:00] customers.

[00:36:00] Ben Goodwin: And we have our own internal research around what, our customer group is really looking for. That is really helpful. Cause now I can, it gives me some working parameters so I can sell it, go off and make the thing that I just think is going to be like a co cause no one would have predicted like strawberry vanilla is one of our main.

[00:36:20] Ben Goodwin: Flavors and many of our retailers, it's the number one selling skew. That's Nope, nobody would have predicted this. It's because I happen to have this vision around making it tastes like a strawberry cream saver. Candy is like an eye that I had when I was a kid and I've always really loved.

[00:36:37] Ben Goodwin: And so I think there are still probably some more. Tricks up my sleeve in that regard, in the future on these like really nostalgic flavor profiles that are going to be the least cult favorites. Those will be really fun to work on and roll out. But then in terms of things that we, know are going to really make our customer base excited.

[00:36:58] Ben Goodwin: There's a lot of [00:37:00] great data coming in that we can pull from. And so blending that approach. And then I just bang out the formula basically. That's currently how we do. Yeah, interesting stuff. Let's move. I just want to have the conversation now mentioned previously about the emotional wherewithal and investing into that for an entrepreneur.

[00:37:21] Ben Goodwin: And so on this, on our podcasts, we like to talk about the business itself. The journey that led up to it, but also the kind of the holistic personal side of the stuff behind on a on an emotional and personal level that kind of helped for people to propel themselves. So just curious to see if there's any habits or rituals in your life where you do make sure to do with your company, et cetera, to help propel you guys to perform at expert mode as you see.

[00:37:51] Ben Goodwin: Yeah, totally. For myself personally, so things that I do very regularly, so I [00:38:00] do, I intermittent fast most days. I usually, I personally, usually don't start eating until. Somewhere between three and five in the afternoon. I do caffeinate in the morning, so it could be a little bit jittery, but there's, a good research around the effects that has on your hormones and your brain and your neuroplasticity.

[00:38:20] Ben Goodwin: And I do feel like I. Gotten the benefit. I You have to learn how to do it because you'd get pretty hangry when you're like learning how to do it, but once you're in swing with it, the other thing that I find that I absolutely have to do is I have to exercise and I have to exercise hard. So I can't just like phone it in with a little tiny jog I jump roped full tilt for 30 minutes straight yesterday and that's or I go lift weights or do whatever.

[00:38:49] Ben Goodwin: So. exercise intermittent, fasting. I don't get enough sleep. I do know that I'd be better if I did get more sleep. I do try to eat very [00:39:00] healthily. I do try to kinda minimize alcohol as much as I can sometimes do a better job of that than others. But that is definitely a goal.

[00:39:09] Ben Goodwin: And I think if I did get more sleep, that would be really helpful to me. And then The other part of it as well. It's meditation's really useful. I do that off and on. I'd need there's another one. Nothing I could do more, but the bill it's you really need to be able to check in with yourself and almost defragment yourself.

[00:39:32] Ben Goodwin: Building in those different break times to work with your nervous system to work with kind of what's floating around in your brain and in your body and in your emotional systems is really, important. One thing I used to do before the pandemic was I'm a big fan of what I call thermal cycling.

[00:39:47] Ben Goodwin: So I really liked to go to the site. And get as hot as, humanly possible and go to a cold plunge and go back and forth between those two. I found those I find that massively helpful for resetting my nervous system and, giving me like [00:40:00] time to detach a little bit from the day-to-day and like pull all my perspective back a bit.

[00:40:07] Ben Goodwin: So those are all like personal habits that I really recommend quite a bit. Yeah. Some of them I'm really good about, and then some of them I, need to do a better job on, I was just gonna say there's some of those that I got to try myself. So yeah, no, I mean that combo, like if you actually can stick the majority of those things on a regular basis, like it, it makes a massive difference.

[00:40:30] Ben Goodwin: Yeah. As far as team goes there is obviously we encourage people to take care of themselves in emotional mental and physical ways. And there's, we do, we invest a lot in our culture. We invest a lot in. Psychological safety, personal development, alignment, dimension, psychological awareness, interpersonal awareness communication skills.

[00:40:56] Ben Goodwin: These things are all like really, critical for [00:41:00] creating like a tight team that works well together. The kind of understanding. Why they're working so hard and it's meaningful to them. One of the best things a leader can do is empower their people. They, need to expect a lot out of their people.

[00:41:18] Ben Goodwin: And they also need to model kind of behavior that is in accordance with expecting a lot out of yourself and expecting a lot of other people. And then, but then they also need to be there to really support and foster trust. And, I strongly believe in the kind of encouraging. The development that goes beyond the surface, because it's like just the simple reality of humans.

[00:41:40] Ben Goodwin: I have a decent amount of psychology in my background, and there's also this really cool psychological test called the Hogan tests that I've been certified in now. So there's we want to a lot of times people just want to pretend oh yeah you just bring the person in and then they don't perform.

[00:41:56] Ben Goodwin: And you're just like you just get rid of them or you just keep [00:42:00] hearkening on them. But like the, simple reality is that. Most reoccurring chronic issues that people have started many, years before they came into your business. A lot of most people's issues stem from their childhood.

[00:42:13] Ben Goodwin: So what, whereas while you don't want to become like a therapy organ we don't have time to be giving each other therapy all day long or there's gotta be healthy boundaries. You. I want to create a space where it's like, if somebody can feel safe enough and motivated enough and you can generate the, kind of psychological principles and awareness where somebody is willing in your environment on their own time to go in and start working on some deeper things.

[00:42:43] Ben Goodwin: It does create a pretty meaningful change for them and their quality of life which then. Increases the affinity they have for the culture and the business, but also, and increase productivity and increases their, like I said, their quality of life and their quality of [00:43:00] experience. And it's like a lot of the ways our businesses are set up and the ways a lot, the way our laws are set up is they actually go get in the way of people being able to have some of those conversations and work towards some of that stuff.

[00:43:15] Ben Goodwin: Which I think, which I understand why a lot of those laws exist, but they are oftentimes I think built for the lowest common denominator. And they're not particularly conducive to that type of development work. It's but I think with while trying to be as pragmatic about it as possible an orientation of that kind is something that we, definitely strive for.

[00:43:43] Ben Goodwin: Thank you for sharing that. And so I just go ahead and go into the final questions. What's the most generous thing somebody has ever done for You I certainly obviously when there's [00:44:00] somebody who is a obviously when, there are people who are leaders in the space who have given their time or been willing to be contributory in a, especially in a difficult situation, but just in general and, that kind of feedback can be really impactful and positive way. That's really, generous. Oftentimes, and again, this goes back to just like entrepreneurial lifestyle in general, unfortunately and, certainly in CPG, it's even more so this way, a lot of times the kind of.

[00:44:40] Ben Goodwin: It's an hour, it's like a handout front and a nice behind the back. It's like people, help you because they want something from you. People want to give you money, but they also want to maximize and get into the business. And then they have like control and all this kind of stuff.

[00:44:55] Ben Goodwin: And it's not, there's a lot of ego and there's a lot of like power moves and stuff like that. So when [00:45:00] somebody legitimately is just. Oh, yeah, no, I see what you guys are going through and I'd love to pitch in, or I'm really excited about your idea or or they even like, quite frankly, is like sad as this is like the even just want to conduct straight up, no bullshit business with you.

[00:45:18] Ben Goodwin: To be honest, that by itself can be somewhat refreshing and generous for people not to have an ulterior motive. And for people to be S self-aware contributory in the nature. I say the other thing that's been really generous is like my team, like the people who am I and my business partner, David I pulled more emotional resonance out of that than, almost anything, because these are people who I'm just a dude, right?

[00:45:48] Ben Goodwin: Who had a. I had a vision and worked hard on it, but I have a lot of weaknesses. I have a lot of areas for growth. I have a lot of things I'm not good at. And so it's like [00:46:00] definitely going to take a village to build something material and to have these people who are competent and care about what they're doing and have a lot to offer.

[00:46:11] Ben Goodwin: Want to participate in that and, get behind the vision and, are there when I'm having a shit day or are there when the business is going through up and down, it's that is incredibly meaningful to me. Honestly I would say that is a kind of a part of the generosity spectrum that I find like the most meaningful.

[00:46:33] Ben Goodwin: And then what's what's your favorite new product that you've tried recently? Oh, geez. I, this isn't like that, this isn't that I know it's not that innovative or mind blowing, to be honest with you, I actually am a big fan of, a lot of what CFA is doing. I oftentimes I have time to think of there's some aspects of what they're up to that I think are reminiscent of us [00:47:00] just in terms of a lot of their a lot of their products that it's it's, like.

[00:47:07] Ben Goodwin: There's not a lot of compromise in that. And they got to a really good product that tastes really good. And it's actually healthy. You look at their chips and it's it's all the oil. Yeah. And it's cassava flour and they just came out with these new chips. These, like scooper chips and they put like pumpkin powder in and I'm like, yes, that is exactly what I want.

[00:47:27] Ben Goodwin: It's like still got the avocado oil. So look at the cassava, you didn't cheap out and go like white rice, flour, corn. Like they don't, it's it's not cheap out. It's also not a cheap product, but it's I just like it. It's genuinely, I'm not compromising. It's like a snacky delicious thing that I'm actually like very, truly minimally compromising on.

[00:47:46] Ben Goodwin: And the ingredient profile is like pretty intelligent. So I understand it's like not a groundbreaking, like new thing that I've discovered from the depths, but I am, I've just been pretty consistently impressed by them and those dippers. [00:48:00] Cause the, dippers is the attractive thing, right? You're like, oh cool.

[00:48:03] Ben Goodwin: I can scoop up my guacamole or whatever, but then it's this is holy shit. I get home. And I'm like, dude, it's got a pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse. It's awesome. That kind of they make great products. So, the final question before I let you go is. If you were to have a dinner party in a post COVID world dead or alive, you can invite three people.

[00:48:28] Ben Goodwin: Who would you invite? Oh my God. Yeah. I did actually have thinking about this a little bit. Three people I'm inviting. Okay. So this is a little bit weird. I would definitely invite, and this is gonna sound super sketchy. Okay. Here's the thing. Am I just talking to them because I've thought about this before, but it's been like, they've gotta be honest with you.

[00:48:56] Ben Goodwin: So is this one of those things where it's I. [00:49:00] Because it changes a lot. If I can actually get real information out of them, that's one thing. But if I'm just, if it's if it's just me and they are who they are organically. Cause for example, I would really if, I had to have an a truly tell all conversation I would have, I would sit down with Bladimir Putin, which is like an insane thing, but it's if you actually want to learn.

[00:49:25] Ben Goodwin: The real dark underbelly of the world. That's the guy you would go talk to. Yeah. But I would only have that conversation under the premise that the duper that should really tell me reality, otherwise you'd get nothing. So I think that's. It's got a mistake. Let's go on the premise that you're going to get the real information.

[00:49:41] Ben Goodwin: Okay. So I would probably pour like a Putin there. This is a little obvious, but I would be really interesting just to sit down and talk some shit with Tony Robbins for a little while. Which I guess is like pretty obvious. Number [00:50:00] three, this is where I come up with my deep answer.

[00:50:09] Ben Goodwin: I guess they can be dead as well.

[00:50:16] Ben Goodwin: Yeah. I'd probably sit down with a, again, it's like somewhat obvious, but like a Socrates or Plato or like one of these, one of these really one of these logisticians, like Philip philosophers, whose like thought process has underpinned a lot of. Of our modern understanding. It would be obviously good to probe them on, stuff.

[00:50:36] Ben Goodwin: And it'd also be really fascinating to ask them like how much of our interpretation, benjamin Franklin would be another guide. Let them sit down with, or maybe something like Brian Brian Cox, like some, like pretty, pretty hefty astrophysicists to think what else would be a good sit.

[00:50:54] Ben Goodwin: Good. Sit down. So science, philosophy, personal development, or. [00:51:00] Like the dark. Yeah. With the real, what the real mechanics of truly sociopathic power systems look like. I think those would be my kind of, at least my sectors. Yeah. That was great. Great group to have a great conversation. So just thank you so much for taking the time for this interview and taking the time to help the audience with some information.

[00:51:24] Ben Goodwin: But if anybody wants to reach out to you or learn more about Ali pop I mean our website, first of all, thanks for having me, Richard. I really appreciate it. And then yeah, drink all. We popped.com is a pretty logical spot. You can also find us on Instagram at Tringale pop. We've got a great email, a new email newsletter.

[00:51:44] Ben Goodwin: We've actually got a really great text platform. I think those would be great places to start to get more information. And then if you're interested the product, reach out to us to pick it up or anything. Sounds great. Awesome, man. Thank you so m


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