On this episode of Ditch The Box we welcome the CEO of Peaceful Fruits, Evan Delahanty. Peaceful Fruits is a growing social good snack startup dedicated to making premium dried fruit snacks that are good for you and good for the world.
Evan has a rich background in working for social change. Prior to launching Peaceful Fruits, he worked as a project manager and community economic development specialist for the U.S. Peace Corps in the Amazon interior of Suriname, South America. Peaceful Fruits was inspired by Evan’s unwillingness to give up on this community/economic development side of life that he had grown so accustomed to.
Peaceful Fruits works with people in South America to harvest wild acai. It’s a way for the local people to monetize the Amazon Rainforest in a totally sustainable, renewable way. Evan has created a product and company that ultimately provides customers with something we crave so deeply today…. peace of mind. The fruit ismade from real fruit, it’s sourced in a way that is GOOD for our world, and the production is part of a full wage job program for people with disabilities in Northeast Ohio.
Promoting sustainability is not only Evan’s life work, but his passion. Most of his business endeavors center around his central idea: “All the best intentions in the world don’t matter if you’re not sustainable.” Evan does make a point to say that sustainability, however, might also mean paying bills. Peaceful Fruits embraces this idea and is a 100% full profit company. Evan’s ideology revolves around the vision that sustainability can be created by presenting the opportunity for communities in developing countries to earn a living through FAIR wages and sustainable, rewarding work. This social enterprise idea provides these people with something more than just monetary help. It provides them with emotional satisfaction of feeling like they are a contributing member of society and do honest, good work to earn a living and provide for their families.
Peaceful Fruits is currently coming out of pilot and working to scale towards regional and national distribution.
On this episode of Ditch The Box we welcome the CEO of TerraCycle, Tom Szaky. Tom is the definition of a leader. Born in Budapest, Hungary, he didn’t have a true feel for the power of entrepreneurship until he attended college in the United States. It was in the mecca of capitalism that Tom realized that “entrepreneurship is the most amazingly powerful force. Business is more powerful than war, than politics, in how big and globally transformational it can be… and THAT, is exciting.”
Tom’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to create the incredibly successful business, TerraCycle. TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste. Although the environmentally driven business is flourishing today, Tom admits that this wasn’t always the case. In the first 5 years of TerraCycle, Tom and his team were close to bankruptcy about a half-dozen times. “The more different the business is, the less of a playbook you have to go by. You have to make it up as you go.” As TerraCycle was trying to make their own “playbook” they were forced to stay innovative in an act of desperation, in an effort to survive. Not only did desperation act as a catalyst for Tom and TerraCycle, innovation that stemmed from a place of desperation helped set the foundation that would allow TerraCycle to thrive in the later years. Looking back on those difficult years and how far TerraCycle has come, Tom offers these words of advice: “Don’t seek desperation, but if desperation comes, there’s magic there.”
Eliminating the idea of waste is the mission of TerraCycle. Tom stresses the importance of finding purpose, finding the center of the company, and never losing sight of that. “Focus on your purpose and have no compromise. But be exceptionally flexible.” If you can master this balancing act and fuel your entrepreneurial vision with innovation, you may just be able to create something as powerful and motivational as Tom Szaky and TerraCycle.
On this episode of Ditch The Box we welcome BACK Cynthia Davis of Sha La Cynt’s!
Cynthia is the owner of Sha La Cynt’s, LLC, a personal chef & catering company that believes in “Great Tasting Food That Makes Cynt’s!” They provide the highest quality ingredients to their clients including: Non GMO ingredients, local natural/organic produce, humanely raised meats and sustainable seafood.
Tune in to this episode to discover how Sha La Cynt’s caters to the health of its customers and has fun while doing it!
Jeff , the “Millennial Marketing Guy”, has over 25 years of marketing experience under his belt. Currently President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in millennial trends, Jeff also finds time to be a contributing writer at Forbes.com. Jeff has experience that ranges from Build-A-Bear to Whole Foods, and beyond.
During the podcast, Jeff offers outstanding insight into the “Millennial Mindset” and the financial impact of millennial influence across all generations. He also discloses why companies may be unwilling or slow to make changes that could benefit them greatly in the long run.
The Millennials Mindset is not just some fad, here today gone tomorrow. It’s a real force to be reckoned with. So how do we get these millennials to take action? According to Jeff, 55% of financial impact/performance is related to pricing strategy and on shelf position kinds of factors. The remaining 45% is marketing related factors, six in particular:
1. Social circles
2. Emotional connection to brand
Jeff says that most successful brands dominate one of these six areas and meet the threshold level in the others.
Consumers use content to help make buying decisions. The goal is to have different content to meet the buyer at each stages of the buyers journey. You want content that meets a consumer before purchase, during purchase, and after purchase. However, Jeff stresses that content needs to focus more on consumer interests. “BRANDS THAT UNDERSTAND THE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF FISHING AWAY FROM THE BOAT ARE GOING TO BE THE BIG WINNERS. Brands that are focused on putting their brand name all over content just how they put their brand name on their packaging and on their ad are probably going to miss.”
Joining us for the third time on Ditch The Box is Debbie Wildrick of MetaBrand. There’s a reason we keep having Debbie on the show…. she continually offers outstanding insight on an ever-changing industry. On this episode Debbie focuses on the new consumer: MILLENNIALS.
In Debbie’s findings, there has been a shift in the thinking and buying habit of the younger baby boomers. This shift has been one of preventative eating, retaining youth, and investing in health. Millennials have taken to this healthy mindset and it has seriously influenced consumer buying habits and demand. Another trend Debbie sees in the Millennial era is buying products based on EXPERIENCE. Now more than ever we are seeing packaging that attempts to create some sort of interactive experience with the consumer. After all, 80% of decisions get made right at the shelf. What’s the differentiation factor? Packaging. People look at the packaging of a product first, because it is the visual and verbal representation that delivers the message of the brand.
So what’s the takeaway? Debbie gives this advice: Natural and organic products need to step up and become more sophisticated and conventional products need to figure out how to merchandise to to the new consumer.
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