Brave Commerce: Balancing Flavor and Health in Canned Drinks

Olipop CEO Ben Goodwin takes nutrition seriously

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In this episode of Brave Commerce, Ben Goodwin, co-founder, CEO and formulator of Olipop, joins hosts Rachel Tipograph and Sarah Hofstetter to offer insights into the challenges and strategies involved in creating products that bring both enjoyment and health benefits to consumers.

As the conversation begins, Ben shares his early experiences consuming a standard American diet and dealing with health issues, which led him to focus on nutrition from a young age. This early interest guided him into the beverage industry, specifically focusing on functional beverages and probiotics.

He shares how his work in kombucha and other fermented beverages sparked his fascination with the microbiome, the brain-gut axis, and their impact on cognitive function and emotional stability.

Goodwin then delves into Olipop’s origins, explaining how the product is designed to mimic traditional soda while providing health benefits through fiber, prebiotics and nutritional diversity. Olipop is positioned as the first functional soda on the market, aiming to offer consumers the familiar soda experience while improving their health.

The conversation touches on the challenges and strategies involved in creating a new market category, including the brand’s focus on distribution, pricing and accessibility. Goodwin explains Olipop’s partnerships with insurance providers to make the product more accessible to those in high-need groups, including participating in government-run nutrition programs and its eligibility for HSA and FSA spending.

Goodwin also discusses Olipop’s social media presence, particularly its successful use of TikTok as a marketing platform. He shares how the brand leveraged influencers and creative content to connect with younger audiences, as well as the balance between low and high funnel marketing strategies. Goodwin also sheds light on his approach to brand building including a focus on longevity, reflected in investments in channels like out-of-home advertising and connected TV.

Key takeaways:

● Understand and address consumer needs with empathy and without judgment.
● Balance affordability and accessibility in product distribution.
● Invest in strategies that prioritize brand longevity through genuine storytelling and brand loyalty.