Archive for the ‘News’ Category:

Meet Team Rhythm – Featuring the Accounting & Finance Crew

While you may think Rhythm Superfoods is run by robots, we promise that’s not true. We’re moms and dads (that includes fur parents too!), brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, food enthusiasts, adventure-loving, music-loving, superfood gurus.

So basically we’re not much different from you!

We’re passionate about what we do, the people we do it with, and want to share a little behind the scenes about us so you can feel like family too.

Our Accounting & Finance Team is all about numbers! Whether they’re processing orders, forecasting or ensuring our customers are always happy, they’re an amazing part of the Rhythm Superfoods team that keeps us running on a daily basis!

 

Meet the Team!

Allison White – Chief Financial Officer

Allison White - Rhythm Superfoods CFO

  • What’s your favorite Rhythm Superfoods snackMy favorite Rhythm snacks are nostalgia-driven.  Ranch dressing was not a thing in my life until I came to The University of Texas.  And then I put ranch on everything!  I love Rhythm’s Kool Ranch Kale Chips and Ranch Carrot Sticks.
  • How do you get more plants into your diet? My favorite ways are to replace pasta with veggie noodles and to puree veggies into sauces.
  • What do you like to do in your free time? Any favorite hobbies?  I would spend my life on the golf course with my husband and kids, if I could.
  • Favorite restaurant spot that has vegetarian and/or vegan options?  Matt’s El Rancho!  It’s an Austin, TX institution!
  • What’s your favorite plant-based food/recipe?  Ratatouille – I love the movie, too!
  • Best place you’ve been on an adventure OR dream adventure destination? I would love to visit The Galapagos Islands.  I love nature and unusual animals; it would truly be an adventure of a lifetime.

 

Dan Hayes – Controller

Dan Hayes - Rhythm Superfoods Controller

  • What’s your favorite Rhythm Superfoods snack? Mango Habanero Kale chips
  • How do you get more plants into your diet? Load up the homemade pizza with spinach!
  • What do you like to do in your free time? Any favorite hobbies? Running, traveling
  • Favorite restaurant spot that has vegetarian and/or vegan options? Any pizza place.
  • What’s your favorite plant-based food/recipe? Current favorite is Shalane Flanagan’s “Can’t Beet Me Smoothie”
  • Best place you’ve been on an adventure OR dream adventure destination? Great Barrier Reef in Australia

 

Elizabeth Stone – Staff Accountant

Elizabeth Stone - Rhythm Superfoods Staff Accountant

  • What’s your favorite Rhythm Superfoods snackRanch Carrot Sticks. The flavor is great and I love the fact that they are high in dietary fiber and potassium!
  • How do you get more plants into your diet? The quickest way that I get more plants into my daily diet is by drinking cold pressed juices.  Especially when I’m taking a road trip and it gets difficult to find healthy food options, juices are portable and convenient and packed with goodness.
  • What do you like to do in your free time? Any favorite hobbies?  Baking and landscape photography.  Baking is something I’ve always loved to do for people and I find the process to be a stress release.  Photography provides me great opportunities for adventure and being outdoors, seeing new places and meeting new people.
  • Favorite restaurant spot that has vegetarian and/or vegan options? Casa de Luz in Austin, TX. I love what they create for dishes—and especially enjoy the sauces that they make from plants and nuts.
  • What’s your favorite plant-based food/recipe?  Honestly a really amazing salad with a variety of veggies and fruits and nuts and texture, topped with a simple but delicious dressing. Basically, if all the colors of the rainbow are in the salad, it’s going to be good.
  • Best place you’ve been on an adventure OR dream adventure destination? To travel to Norway and see the land and the people.

 

Vanisha Patel – Customer Service Representative

Vanisha Patel - Rhythm Superfoods Customer Service Rep

  • What’s your favorite Rhythm Superfoods snack? Ranch Carrot Sticks
  • How do you get more plants into your diet? I like to juice! I’ll throw in some beets, spinach, carrots, kale along with some fruits for sweetness!
  • What do you like to do in your free time? Any favorite hobbies? I love to workout and go boating, spending time with my friends and family, traveling and catching up on the latest movies, and taking my pups on an evening stroll.
  • Favorite restaurant spot that has vegetarian and/or vegan options? Tarka Indian Kitchen (Austin, TX), and True Food Kitchen (Austin, TX).
  • What’s your favorite plant-based food/recipe? Veggie Burgers. Also, I’ll mix up rice, quinoa, mushrooms and onions with some spices!
  • Best place you’ve been on an adventure OR dream adventure destination? I would love to go to Bora Bora!

 

 

Rhythm Superfoods Team Mini Retreat

On July 24th the Rhythm Superfoods team stepped away from our desks to enjoy some of our favorite parts of Austin and beyond. Our mini retreat was filled with great food, team bonding and learning more about some of our favorite superfoods!

 

We started the morning off at the Rhythm office enjoying breakfast tacos from Torchy’s Tacos before driving to our first stop, Boggy Creek Farm. Located in East Austin, Boggy Creek Farm is one of the country’s first urban farms and home to one of the oldest existing homes in Austin. Fun fact, Austin use to be the spinach capital of the U.S.! Our friends at Boggy Creek Farm generously gave us some okra and cucumbers to enjoy in the office. We also learned that many Austin restaurants source their produce from Boggy Creek Farm. It’s great to be reminded that the community of Austin shares our passion for fruits and vegetables and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

 

 

After our morning stop at the farm, we headed to CB’s Lounge at Stubb’s to dive deeper into what it means to be a part of the Rhythm Superfoods team. The team tasted some exciting new snacks while thinking about how we can better ourselves individually (challenging each other to improve our gardening skills with a gardening challenge) and as a team. Of course, our next activity also involved food because our team loves to eat. We watched (and later tasted) a fun and informative cooking demo from The Naked Bite, an organization focused on teaching and catering “plant forward” meals. Chef Amber taught us how to make raw cacao nut truffles and spicy tropical cauliflower ceviche with coconut milk and peanuts – both delicious vegan items!

 

Next we hopped on a duck boat for a tour of the city by land and water as we learned about the history of downtown Austin on our way to the water. The heat didn’t stop us from seeing some of Austin’s greatest sights including the Historic Sixth Street, the State Capitol Building, the Governor’s mansion and the beautiful Lake Austin.

 

Back on land, we headed out of Austin to Dripping Springs Hill Country Casitas. We continued our theme of learning about growing produce with a trip to Hawk’s Shadow Winery. Our curious team had lots of questions on the process of making wine. We enjoyed great views of the Texas Hill Country with our wine tasting and appetizers from Gourmet Gals. I especially enjoyed the beet & hummus bruschetta featuring our Naked Beet Chips! The team enjoyed a delicious dinner and catching up with old (and new) team members.

 

 

The next morning over breakfast we brainstormed innovative superfood snack products and flavors and ways to make our current products even better. We are so grateful that our team shares a passion for eating right with snacks that are both flavorful and nutrient dense. We are already looking forward to learning more about growing produce and enjoying great food and company at our next retreat!

 

Written by: Katie M., Marketing Coordinator @ Rhythm Superfoods

My Health Journey Part 2 – by CEO Scott Jensen

…a  follow up to “My Health Journey“.

 

It’s been over 90 days since Rhythm Superfoods CEO Scott Jensen went back on Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet so we followed up with him to find out how things were going.

 

Q: How do you feel? Did you lose weight?

A: I feel really good! I think most people who go through a fitness or health commitment needs reinforcements early on to keep them going before it becomes habitual. Someone who works out all the time has made it a habit: wake up, workout, etc. versus someone just starting workouts who has former habits they need to break.

The habit breaking is hard, but you feel it quickly when the weight starts coming off – which right now I’m hovering around 9 lbs. less than where I started. You physically feel that and it’s a reinforcement to keep going. My belts are looser, you start looking through the closet for those old pair of jeans you might fit in again.

And the other side is when you’re carrying weight, you feel it too: getting out of bed, walking, running, or at the end of the day the compression on your knees. Believe it or not, when you are heavier you feel those things. You hear these clichés about being “in tune” with your body and when you are heavier than you want to be, you don’t talk about it as much, but you do feel those things.

Then suddenly you start shedding the weight and you notice there are less aches and pains. I feel more agile when I’m kicking the soccer ball with my kids. And I feel that with just 9 lbs. off…I want to lose another 20lbs.

The first couple of weeks, I was way more tired particularly from the change in the diet. I found myself unprepared for protein solutions, so the carbohydrates are giving you these quick ups and downs and adding the workout part of it meant I wasn’t prepared for how tired I was going to be. But you do see a swing where you figure things out and the workout energizes you and you start feeling more energy later in the day. So…it takes a commitment and a belief system that you’re going to see it on the other side of the tunnel. And that’s happening.

 

Q: Did you experience any challenges besides tiredness like you mentioned in the first question? Any hiccups along the way? And with your schedule and travel – how did you deal with that?

A: I’m really busy and keep a very full schedule. Trade shows, customer meetings, broker meetings…all that stuff is part of my life and those are habits too. Your calendar is what it is, and you’re involved in all these things, and you realize 85% of places that you’d normally grab a bite don’t have the things that you’re going to need. I don’t want to say that it’s not there. But because it was a habit, I’d look at the menu and not even realize that a ton of places have a vegan menu – even if it’s a separate menu, particularly in Austin and other larger cities. I found it difficult to be prepared with plant-based protein sources during travels. Whether it’s almonds or a No Cow Bar, you need the protein to level out your energy. Vega Protein Powder with rice milk has been a quick fix when I’m at home, but it’s hard to travel with. Also, I just didn’t prepare for that and wasn’t sure which powders I’d like so I tried several things over the first few weeks that I didn’t like.

Meals in the house were something I was accountable for, so the challenge was “what do I like that’s available?” Compared to when I first did this diet 7+ years ago, there weren’t many vegan options for quick meals versus how many options are available now. Rip’s focus is on cooking meals yourself, but because I’m on the run a lot I needed solutions that were quicker. I needed to adjust and find the things that were going to give me lasting energy throughout the day, so I found my favorites and stuck with those.

 

Q: What are your favorites? Any specific brands?

A: No Cow Bars, VEGA Protein Powders, Amy’s Kitchen, Gardein, and an Instapot for cooking up some beans and lentils. Trader Joe’s frozen veggie meatballs are also great! I’ve probably only tried 10% of what’s out there, honestly.

 

Q: Have you gone back in to get bloodwork done? New results?

A: Besides the average 9 lbs. lower in weight, the bloodwork markers I discussed with my physician are all in a very good direction.  LDL down 14%, Glucose down 10%, A1C in the “good” range.  Triglycerides didn’t improve, but that could be an anomaly, so we’ll check in 3 more months.

 

Q: Did you stick to your exercise goal of 2-3 days per week?

A: Yes! It wasn’t until ~2-3 weeks in because that also needed its own kick-start. My wife started going to Orange Theory Fitness so I started going with her for early morning workouts. I had been a member of an awesome gym, but this just comes down to efficiency. The workout has got to be really close to home. I love the technology of Orange Theory Fitness – heart rate monitor, you see your numbers on the screen, you have splat points, etc. It’s fitting and motivating me. They have some great music too during the 55min workouts. No socializing, just hard work and that’s what’s working for me. Occasionally with a busier travel schedule, I have to shift focus away from workouts at times. When I’m not traveling as much I have more time to get in my workouts.

 

Q: Was there anything you missed eating?

A: I fancy myself as a chef more than a foodie. I’m pretty good in the kitchen and the grill and I love doing it. The atmosphere of pulling different soup stocks together and creating different meat/protein-based meals, and the deglazing and creating sauces in a pan…I miss that. I miss the flavors. I think with some of the vegetable base stocks that I’ve got, I’m getting that “umami-ness”. There’s an umami mushroom powder that delivers on the savory flavor that you generally get with those other protein-based meals. But I’ve found some solutions, and there are ones that come really close and are satisfying. I also want to try the Beyond Meat Burger and Sausage to see how those compare.

 

Q: Did anyone help to keep you accountable?

A: Myself with food and my wife Cyndie for the workouts.

 

Q: How will you continue to stay on track?

A: I’m now committed for another 6 months on this.  I’ve had a couple of episodes at restaurants that weren’t on the Engine 2 Diet, but I’ve been able to get back on track immediately thereafter.

 

Q: Any advice for those looking to take that step to better their own health?

A: I still think there are dozens of resources available to motivate people to change their habits. There’s simply not one single way to go about it, so you have to let people find what works best for them and what motivates them. If it’s the infomercial guy, or a doctor letting you know it’s time for a drastic change, or even your friends at work committing to a Whole 30 program together – just find what works for you! There are many habit-changing triggers out there. Be open to the message. There is, however, no miracle pill to fix your health overnight. A moderation of calories (healthy calories) combined with a consistent moderation of exercise activity (in that order) has the greatest effect on most people’s health.

 

See you in a few months!

-SJ

My Health Journey – by CEO Scott Jensen

 

I’m Eating A Lot of Carrots Now. Here’s Why!

As our awesome team of marketing and sales leaders get ready to hit the Natural Products Expo West show, all we can think about are carrots, carrots, carrots. We launch our NEW delicious, crunchy Carrot Sticks to the retail world this week at Expo West, so we’re all real pumped to show them off.

 

Get ready, world. You’re about to fall in love with a new plant-based superfood snack. Our Naked Carrot Sticks have 0 g of fat, 11 g of dietary fiber, 3 g of protein, 20% of your daily value of potassium, 15% of your DV of vitamin A…and they’re delicious!

 

 

My excitement for the new Carrot Sticks had another effect on me several weeks ago. They’re really good, and I was munching on a bag of our first production batch when it dawned on me that I wasn’t eating enough fruits and veggies. When we first started Rhythm, I had just gone through a product development exercise with Rip Esselstyn from the Engine 2 Diet, one of the foremost leaders in the plant-based diet movement. I had committed to a strict low-fat vegan diet for 60 days and had a full-blown blood analysis done the day before starting, and again at 30-days and 60-days after to see what effect this change in diet would have on my health. My eating habits prior to this leaned much further in the BBQ direction.

 

At the 60-day mark, my weight was down just over 10 lbs. and my cholesterol markers came down significantly. Before I started the diet, my cholesterol (LDL and Triglycerides) levels were in the range of having my doctor look at me and say that she would normally have that talk at this point about Statin drugs from here on out. I really didn’t want to take a pill every day, so I told her what I was doing with the Engine 2 Diet, and she agreed to wait and see how I did. With so many things that are unhealthy for us, the biggest hurdle we humans face is the ability to change our habits…especially eating habits. Our unhealthy habits are the source of much of what we have going wrong with our health: smoking, drinking, poor nutrition decisions; all difficult things to change if they’ve become a habit. Habits are habitual, of course. With this hard fact facing all doctors, it seems most have determined that the pharmacological solution (prescribing a pill or patch) is the most effective way to deliver a physiological change to someone rather than relying on personal effort to break these bad habits.

 

I chose to break the habit and was successful with the strict vegan diet for the full 60 days. After that, I didn’t revert back to my previous ways, but I did start to eat meat, eggs, cheese and other non-vegan foods in more moderation than I did previously. Thinking I had been successful and congratulating myself for it, I went on with my life. Fast forward 8 years later into 2018 and I became much more aware that I had gained back the weight I had lost and had to confront the fact that I was not eating as healthy as I had committed to years ago. The old habits came back, and now I had to own it.

 

So, in February I went in for a physical, which I hadn’t done in a few years. I told my doctor how I was feeling and had the full-blown blood work done again as part of the physical. Two weeks later I returned to review the lab results. I was back up to high levels with the LDL and Triglyceride numbers and added an elevated glucose level to the mix. I knew this would be the result of me slipping into those bad habits and it was.

 

I don’t ever want to take a daily regimen of pills. I’ve re-committed to healthier choices in diet and exercise, and I’m going to break the bad habits and do my best to stay on the “healthier-choice train.”  I like to go all in when I start. It’s the way I get myself committed. So as of March 1st, I’m back on Rip’s Engine 2 Diet. So far so good!

 

With my travel bags filled with healthy snacking alternatives from Rhythm and other great companies, I’m ready for one of the biggest food shows we do every year: Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA. It starts today and we’re debuting our awesome Carrot Sticks! If you see me out and about, don’t let me slip, show me some encouragement, and I’ll report back with my results in May after I do the 60-day blood work and weight check.

 

My commitment is as follows:

  • 60-day Engine 2 kickoff
  • Exercise 2-3 days per week
  • After 60-day Engine 2 period, eat a lot more plants and less animal products
  • Weigh myself weekly so I must face the weight truth
  • Blood work every 90 days to face the physiological truth

 

If you are in the food business, come by our booth at Expo West (#5424, Hall E) to try our new Carrot Sticks and feel free to share your own health journey with me. I get encouraged by talking openly about this with people. If you aren’t in the food business, stay tuned for me to report back on my journey with honesty.

 

Eat More Plants!

-SJ

 

Team Rhythm Running to the Anthropos Beat

 

It’s almost here! In just over 1 week Team Rhythm will be running to raise funds for one of our favorite local non-profits, Anthropos Arts, at the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18, 2018. Five Rhythm Superfoods employees (Allison, Ashley, Bri, Dan, and Emilea) will be running anywhere from a 5k to a full marathon. We’ll credit Dan with those marathon miles. 😉

 

Over $8,000 has been raised to-date but there is still time to contribute to this amazing non-profit that provides high-quality music education for low-income and at-risk students. DONATEYou can support the runners by donating to their fundraising pages. Simply follow this link here and click on “the team” to contribute towards a specific team member’s page. Every little bit counts!

 

“We’re so happy to have the synergy of health and wellness, and music all come together to show support for these kids’ education. It means more than you know and makes every bit of difference in their lives.” 

– Dylan Jones, Anthropos Arts Executive Director

ABOUT ANTHROPOS ARTS

Through Anthropos Arts, students not only get instruction from the best musicians, they also receive mentorship and the opportunity to perform onstage in Austin’s best venues and events. The non-profit serves over 150 students at 16 middle and high schools and offer music workshops and master classes for many more students each year.

 

The benefits of their programs are profound, affecting many aspects of students’ lives: overall academic success, self-discipline, self-esteem, and a pathway to college. Over the past five years, 100% of our senior students have graduated from high school, and more than 80% enrolled in college on scholarships. For the last four years, 100% of the seniors enrolled in college.

To learn more, please visit www.anthroposarts.org.

 

 

National Superfoods Day 2018

Contributing Writer & National Superfoods Day Partner: Mary Ellen Phipps of Milk & Honey Nutrition, @milknhoneynutrition.

 

 

Hi there! I’m Mary Ellen Phipps, the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) behind Milk & Honey Nutrition. I’m a wife, mom (to two little girls, ages 4 and 2), foodie (but I seriously hate that word, ha), recipe developer, and lover of all foods…except cilantro, just can’t do it…but anyways…

 

I’m so excited that our first annual National Superfoods Day is finally here! This term “superfood” has been thrown around for years, and I don’t think any of us really ever knows what people mean when they use it…

Is it some random ingredient you have to buy in powdered form for $30/bag at Whole Foods?

Or maybe it’s just anything with kale in it?

But what about berries? Everyone says berries are superfoods, right?!

 

You see where I’m going. Up until now, there has been no consensus on what superfoods are and no agreed upon definition. When Rhythm Superfoods reached out and asked if I could help them create a science-based inclusive definition for “superfood” I jumped at the opportunity.

 

I’ve been interested in nutrition since I was very young. Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 5 years old was a game changer. I’ve had to think about every little thing I eat from the very beginning.  While most kids ate whatever they wanted, when they wanted; I was the 7-year-old at the birthday party scraping the icing off my cake because I knew what it would do to my blood sugars (and because my mom made me, ha). See, unlike most kids, I knew that food directly affected how I felt and acted. Combine that with a grandmother who could bake like no other (and passed that skill onto me), and I developed a love for creating delicious, fun, and nourishing recipes.

 

Now, as a busy wife and mom I know the struggles that come with preparing and eating nutritious foods and meals, and just how hard feeding myself, my husband, and two tiny humans can be. Yes, even the dietitian struggles sometimes. And, I love showing people the nourishing potential of everyday foods like kale, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, beans…I could keep going.

 

Superfoods aren’t just random, ancient (and expensive!) foods you read about in an article and have no clue what they are. They’re the fruits and vegetables you buy every day. They’re the nuts that provide loads of protein, antioxidants, and fats. They’re the medjool dates and coconuts loaded with potassium and antioxidants…

 

So get excited because adding superfoods into your diet is probably way easier than you thought it was. Check out www.nationalsuperfoodsday.com to learn more about National Superfoods Day, view our definition of what a superfood is, grab a few recipes, and participate in the celebration!

 

 

 

Here are a few of my favorite “superfood” recipes…

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie

Tomato Kale Beet Pizza

Superfood Poke Bowls

Red Pepper, Sausage, Kale Quesadillas

Raspberry Chia Jam

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip High Protein Cookies

Blueberry Superfood SmoothieTomato Kale Beet Pizza

 

Disruption and the New Food World Order

By Rhythm Superfoods CEO Scott Jensen

There are a lot of clichés thrown around our industry about “disruption” and the “new food world order” (NFWO). It’s a hot topic, has been for a couple of years and will be for a another couple of years. The week before the Fancy Food Show in New York City this Summer, Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced their new relationship as an Amazon acquisition. This caught almost everyone by surprise. There will be many people that can offer better analyses of the financial and strategic reasons for or against the merger, but what dawned on me was that it was the biggest single concrete example of the new food world order. There are many different NFWOs, but this one event certainly represents the biggest financial move representing the future of how people will shop and take possession of their food and beverage consumables.

As this announcement happened right before the Fancy Food Show timing, I thought I would keep a lookout at the show for those products that appeared to me to be representative of “disruptors”, or products in the spotlight of change in the NFWO (my opinion only of course).

 

  • Refrigerated Merchandising as “New Space” Innovation: The bar category is a giant, but it inexplicably keeps on chugging along in growth. Just when someone says the category is over-saturated with items, you read that segments are delivering 2-4 X the average grocery channel growth rate in revenue. New entrants in the category succeed by segmenting consumers in traditional ways, by eating occasion, lifestyle, diet, gender, and any hundreds of other ways to slice the category and population. So where’s the room on the shelf for the next entrant? I snacked on a Wella Bar at our own booth at the Fancy Food show and it was delicious. But, unlike its counterparts in the regular bar section, these bars are showing up in refrigerated sections of the store. Not unlike another favorite of mine, the Perfect Bar, they both have created delicious products that need some refrigeration to stay as delicious as the day they are made, so they’ve had to blaze a new trail and convert buyers and category managers at retailers to give them space in a new set of a refrigerated section. Suddenly, not so crowded of a merchandising launch with few competitors. Grab and go refrigerated sections are hot right now and are no longer just for drinks and sandwiches.


 

  • Overhauling the Ingredient Deck as “Simplify” Innovation: Simple Mills started disrupting the baking aisle several years ago with gluten free, grain free, soy free baking mixes for breads, pancakes, muffins, etc… you know, the typical baking aisle features. By using clever ingredient substitutes for wheat flour, like coconut flour and almond flour, and coconut sugar for cane sugar, this company has shaken up the baking aisle with delicious recipes that resonate with a lot of consumers. They’ve launched a line of ready to eat cookies and crackers with similar, SIMPLE ingredient decks of alternative ingredients. I tasted a scrumptious chocolate chip cookie that was as delicious or better than most I’ve ever tried. I have to tip my hat to the recipe itself – it’s delicious and textured perfectly, with nothing on the deck that doesn’t make sense. Disruption in a tired category seems like it’s easy, but you have to nail the recipe and that’s not so easy. In my opinion, taste and texture is the most certain predictor for success and this company has figured that out. Ingredient deck as a disruptor is not new but what Simple Mills is doing is resonating with consumers more than most I’ve seen in this category.


 

  • Shelf Stability as a “Make it at Home” Innovation: I’m a big fan of a lot of brands of Hummus; all of them are refrigerated but seem to dry up in my refrigerator faster than I can finish them. Since I like hummus so much, I’m always on the lookout for new flavors or brands. Hope Foods used the HPP technology to create incredible flavor in a refrigerated hummus product, while Lantana (formerly Eat Well Embrace Life) has done a super job expanding innovation in that category with non-Chickpea and non-Tahini based dips like Beet hummus or Carrot hummus…great extension of a dip category. Hummus has been on a tear for the past decade, but never had I seen such a new twist on this product than at the Fancy Food show when I saw the Hummustir concept. Hummustir is shelf-stable until you make it (the cup you buy includes packets of chickpea puree, tahini, spice mixes and a little wooden spoon to stir it up), so you are able to quickly bring all the pre-portioned ingredients together in a quick minute and stir it all up in the cup you buy it with. It’s delicious and incredibly convenient. Shelf stability as innovation! Who would have thought?


 

  • Refrigerated Merchandising as “New Space” Innovation Part II: Cold-Souping is a new thing for me. I didn’t think I’d be a big fan when I first heard about it, but then I tried Tio Gazpacho’s Corn, Poblano & Lime soup in a drinkable cold-pressed plastic bottle (longer shelf life/better flavor) and said to myself… WOW! That’s delicious and totally satisfying for a lunch or a snack. I’ve also seen and tasted Zupa Noma, and saw that the Bonafide and Fawen brands of cold soup were also at the Fancy Food show with new soups to show. Not unlike the refrigerated sets for energy or snack bars, these soup mongers need to disrupt the refrigerated sets to keep their product fresh. Think of how long the canned soup aisle has been around and the type of innovation that has or hasn’t appeared there over the decades. Campbell’s has done well to keep their shelf-stable lines on the shelf with innovation in flavor, soup type, label marketing and can-type, but all of it has been shelf-stable, including the Pacific Foods aseptic cartons of soup that Campbell’s just announced they are acquiring. But these new cold-pressed soups are different. They need refrigeration, taste great, and will be in a completely different part of the store, likely expanding the soup market in total. And possibly extending the seasonal consumption of soups: cold soup in the Summer to refresh while you wait for the winter to arrive to get back into the hot soups.


 

  • “Deliciousness” as Innovation: Finally, “taste” as a disruptor. At the end of our aisle at the Fancy Food show was a company called Anastasia Confections. They were sampling bowls of their three new Coconut Cashew Crunch at all times of the day, so I tried a sample. This stuff is delicious. I couldn’t help but pick up a small square every time I walked by their booth. I started adjusting my walks (for meetings, restroom, lunch etc.) in their direction so I could snag one more crunchy square each time I walked by. I am jealous. I know how hard it is to get taste, texture, salty/sweet balance and inclusion proportions right. It’s really hard and they nailed it. It made me think of how important flavor and mouth feel are. I found out on the last day that the Anastasia Coconut Cashew Crunch with Chocolate Drizzle had won the Product of the Year award from the Specialty Food Association. Only one product wins that prestigious award each show, and they got it. Taste as a disruptor!


 

That’s just a few of the innovators I tried at the show. So many booths with incredible food, it’s sometimes hard to whittle them down to just a few to share. See you at the next show! – Scott Jensen

Winter Fancy Foods Show Round-Up with Rhythm Superfoods CEO Scott Jensen

The Rhythm Superfoods team headed out to San Francisco earlier this year for the Specialty Food Association’s 2017 Winter Fancy Food show. Rhythm Superfoods CEO Scott Jensen rounded up his favorite trends and products from this year’s show. Check it out!

I think I hit a 25 year Fancy Food Show anniversary this year attending the most recent one in San Francisco January 22, 23, 24.   The first one I attended was the East Coast version, that year in Washington DC in the Summertime my then Stubb’s Bar-B-Q co-founder Eddy Patterson and I were there to scope out the show to see if it was something we wanted to exhibit at 6 months later in San Francisco.  It was and we did.  This year’s San Francisco show was very different in many ways than the first one I exhibited at but also very similar and comfortable as well.  I’ve made a lot of friends in the Food Industry and I like seeing everyone and catching up on what they’re doing creatively in their current businesses.  This is a very dynamic business, with low barriers to entry so it’s somewhat easy to enter and many do, so every year brings a mass of new entrants into the industry.  This year’s show stats: over 33,000 industry professionals from around the country and world.  It felt like double that, as the aisles were busy the whole time.

Big impression on me this year is the pace of category stratification when a segment in the industry gets hot.  If you were to have developed a hot product 25 years ago, it might have taken someone else 2-3 years to figure it out and then another 2 years to make something that tasted good enough to compete with you.  The data available was not nearly as robust and accurate, nor as quickly available to reveal trends so fast.  If a product gets hot in the current environment, there are 2-4 competitors already showing their line of competitive items at the next trade show 3 or 6 months later, and they’ve already got financial backing to gain credibility.  That’s good for consumers and great for the industry… with so many choices to look for to tantalize your food and beverage consumption experience.  But, that makes it that much harder to rise to greatness and make your dream come true in this industry.  An interesting result of that speed to market and creativity is that it makes us all better as food creators.  We’ve all gotten better and faster at adapting to trends and defining a brand architecture that appeals to a tribe of consumers.

Another impression that follows this thinking laterally is the incredible packaging and booth designs that I witnessed at the show.  I think our packaging and booth represents our brand mission well.  It takes a lot of thought, talent, time and money to get to that point.  When I think about how the technology of design (design hardware and software) has improved it’s no wonder that so many of the booths and product packaging is so good at this and other shows now compared to two decades ago.  If you are planning to start a food company or already have and plan to attend one of the big food shows this year, you better bring your “A” game.  Everyone else will; I can assure you of that.  It’s so good, I would opine that the worst of this year’s Fancy Food Show booth design and packaging design would have been some of the best in the first one I exhibited at.  Our original booth was hand painted canvas and plastic shelves from Home Depot… and man did we thing we were great.  We were!

Finally, some thoughts about products and segments that I thought were clever and had wheels.  Some of you have seen the quick growth of these segments for a year or two, so they may not be revolutionary to you now, however, some of the current offerings of these products are simply much better than what was available just a year ago.

Here’s my list of 5 favorites from walking the entire length of every single aisle before the show opened on Tuesday morning.  If you had a drape over your booth at this show overnight to protect your product, I didn’t get a chance to see what you had so please forgive.

Broth and Bone Broth (1 a & b):  It’s growing and people love it, frozen, Tetra packed or glass Jar.  It’s got a lot of fans and it’s merchandised in multiple locations in stores and is purportedly great for various health forward thinkers.  I tasted a S.F. bay area brand called Nona Lim’s that had the most incredible umami Thai Curry & Lime Bone Broth and Carrot Ginger Soup so flavorful that I could have finished a full pot of both.  Available online and in the bay area at natural food stores.

(2) Color Kitchen Foods: It’s about time someone developed an alternative to the baking decorative aisle’s current offering and Color Kitchen Foods has done just that.  They’re using easy to understand and plant based colors to make sprinkles and cake decorating color additives with sugar, corn starch…and things like spirulina and vegetable juices to make the colors you absolutely need on your cupcakes.  I’m sure there’s a good reason for not launching these USDA Organic, but that maybe that’s next… it would have been flawless in my opinion.

Snack Foods (#3, #4 & #5):  We’re in the snack business so I know how hot and competitive it is.  There are highly creative entrepreneurs making products that simply couldn’t be made ten years ago. Ingredients like pea protein flour, almond flour, chia, amaranth, tsampa and all the legume, bean and pulse ingredients that were simply unknown ten years ago and now are showing up in dozens of new snacks and other products; delivering protein and fiber and vitamins and phytonutrients at levels that were unheard of a decade ago.

(3) Speaking of great snacks, Siete Family Foods just launched a great Grain Free Tortilla Chip… with the lead ingredient being Cassava flour; these crunchy little delights were really tasty and are a great follow-on to their first product launch, the awesome Siete Almond Flour Fresh Tortillas.  Really yummy grain free alternatives to the previous norm of flour or corn fresh tortillas and fried corn tortilla chips.

(4) Arctic Zero Peanut Butter Swirls Frozen Dessert.  Confession: I love peanut butter and my oldest son has severe tree nut and peanut allergies… anything with peanut is an indulgent treat for me when I travel.  We’re all beginning to get our taste buds used to frozen desserts and other “typical” dairy products when they’re not made with dairy or lactose, some are great, some not so great.  But this frozen dessert hits all my triggers, with a delicious peanut butter ribbon swirl and some chocolate bits and pieces in a lactose free base.  Beyond avoiding the lactose, these treats cover the following bases: low-glycemic, lactose-free, gluten-free treats with whey protein, organic cane sugar, chicory root and monk fruit as sweetener.

(5) Beside the fact that I know/love the founders and they’re located in Austin, I found Epic’s new Wagyu Beef Steak Strip delicious and just the right texture for such a snack.  Some folks are struggling to love the texture of a meat bar… it’s something new to their palette.  I’ve gotten over it myself and, although I eat a lot of plant based snacks personally, the new Wagyu meat snack from Epic is truly that: Epic.

So, lots of innovation and variety out there at the Fancy Food show.  “Better for you” snacks, beverages and indulgences show the most velocity of innovation in my opinion.  Many of the new products hitting the shelves in the “Better for you” archetype are actually breaking the rules of what we used to think of as “good for you”.  The FDA and USDA used to have the final and only word on what we could or shouldn’t eat daily, but that’s changed significantly since my childhood.  One week eggs are good for you then they’re bad for you and then they’re good for you again.  Who can keep track?  So, consumers are now seeking their own set of inputs through social media sources and thought leaders that help them make their own decision as to what is good for them.  The lack of a defining authority on what we should all eat daily has left the vacuum for entrepreneurs to fill with creativity and product innovation that is transforming our food culture in this country.  Stay tuned, there’s a lot more to come…and fast.

How We Found Our Rhythm This Summer

Whether your summer was filled with adventurous vacations or more relaxing staycations, hopefully it was filled with fun, sun and healthy snacking! We had a blast introducing our snacks from coast to coast and making new friends, whether it was through music, yoga, marathons/triathlons, or healthy living events. We met so many people from different walks of life with a curiosity for kale, and we got a kick out of their candid reactions! And with our new Beet Chips popping up in stores across the country,  now there are even more nutritious and delicious snacks to munch on! (You’re welcome ; )

Here are some of the highlights of Summer 2016.

Yoga

We handed out tons of yummy snacks to hungry yogis, at drop in classes like Summer at the Springs Wanderlust Yoga and larger festivals such as Wanderlust Stratton and Wanderlust Squaw Valley and heard “These things are super addictive” and “My balanced diet includes kale chips”

wanderlust1wanderlust2

Running

From early morning races like Cooking Light and Health Magazine’s Fit Foodie Races in Fairfax & Austin to late evening expos and finish festivals like Transamerica Triathlon Chicago and Esprit de She Chicago, we found runners were ready to try some new snacks! Our new hand fans helped new Rhythm fans (pun intended) cool down after running, and doubled as a coupon for a free bag of any of our snacks! Now that’s what we call a win-win!

transamericatriathalonespiritdeshe

 

 

Healthy Living

Besides being nutrient dense and delicious, our products are certified gluten free, non GMO, vegan, and organic. For folks on special diets or simply into healthy snacks, we find across the board that people are pleasantly surprised when they try our snacks for the first time! We had some great conversations at Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expos in Dallas & Worcester and Body Local’s Midsummer Soiree in NYC.

gfafmidsummerbodylocal

Music

With a name like Rhythm Superfoods and being based in Austin – the Live Music Capital of the World – we find music events to be an obvious outlet to introduce our snacks to happy concert goers! Here are some of the top music events that we rocked out at: Lockn’ Arrington VA, Lollapalooza Chicago, WFM Whole Planet Summer Music Series, Baltimore Artscape Music and Arts Festival, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn concert series and Westword Music Showcase in Denver

Our friendly street activation team pounded the pavement and passed out thousands of bags of our Kale Chips, Broccoli Bites and a few highly coveted bags of our new Beet Chips in cities such as Denver, New York (Union Square), Chicago (Millennium Art Festival) and San Francisco (Union Street Festival)

Some of our favorite feedback was “I can’t believe this is healthy for me” and “I didn’t know that kale could be so tasty!”

 

So while summer has come and gone, you can be sure that we’ve got more than just kale crumbs up our sleeves this fall… Yes – more events and new products! We hope to see you around, and be sure to look for our Kale Chips, Broccoli Bites, Roasted Kale, and Beet Chips at a store near you, our online store, or Amazon.com!

 

Need a little more of a nudge to give us a try? Get $1.50 off here!

 

Save

Save

Calling All Rhythm Superfoodies!

SuperFoodiesBanner

Do you have what it takes to become a Rhythm Superfoodie?

At Rhythm Superfoods, we believe a positive mind, eating right, and staying active are the keys to health and happiness. Superfoods are our passion, and all-good snacking is our mission. We aren’t the only ones with a passion for superfood snacking. Over the years, our fans like you have become enthusiastic about sharing our products and spreading the knowledge of “better for you” snacking to their friends and family.

Rhythm Superfoodies actively promote Rhythm Superfoods to their social networks by introducing friends and family to new products, sharing key ingredient and nutritional information and inspiring others through personal testimony. You might be an ideal Rhythm Supefoodie if:

– You believe that superfood snacking is part of a healthy lifestyle and not just eating a tasty snack.

– You can’t make it through the day without sharing photos of the food you ate or the workout you just completed.

– You have a passion for eating right, staying active, and giving back to your community.
– If you love live music, that’s a plus too! We’re huge music fans at Rhythm.

 Requirements: 

Minimum of 1 social media post  per week across channels you are active on (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) using Rhythm hashtags including #rhythmsuperfoods #kalechips #gotrhythm, #rhythmsuperfoodie and more.

What’s in it for you!

Rhythm Superfoodies receive Rhythm swag, first access to new products, free snacks and coupons (quarterly) in exchange for promotion of our products and brand mission through social action.

To be considered for the Rhythm Superfoodies program, please complete the following brief application and email it to Janice Greenwald (jgreenwald@rhythmsuperfoods.com).

Rhythm Superfoodies Application

Finally, we also have room in our Brand Ambassador Field Marketing program.  If you’re interested in demoing our product in grocery stores and events, we’d love to chat with you! Please email Sarah Alexander (salexander@rhythmsuperfoods.com) with your resume and where and why you want to demo for us.