Episode #1246 Jon Sebastiani: Sonoma Brands is Supercharging Food Entrepreneurs

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Jon and Jenna discuss how entrepreneurs are reimagining the food industry. 


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Jon Sebastiani

Founder and CEO of Sonoma Brands View Full Profile

Learning Points

  • A glimpse into Sonoma Brand’s two branch model and the companies they’re working with: DangZÜPA NOMA and SmashMallow
  • Food entrepreneurs’ intimate connections with consumer desires; “When you’re breaking conventional wisdom you must have an emotional connection with your consumers to drive trial.”
  • The psychology behind building Smash Mallow and how the team is pioneering Marshmallow 2.0 
  • Introducing ZUPA Noma: A cold, on-the-go soup brand,  and “stretching the word soup into a use case.”
  • Why being nimble is young entrepreneurs' competitive advantage over big business and how to leverage it 
  • Managing growth and supply chains as a food entrepreneur; “You can grow yourself out of business.”
  • The pros and cons of bootstrapping versus raising institutional capital for food entrepreneurs.  Rule of thumb: You want to have enough cash to survive two years of rapid growth.
  • Acquisitions in the food world, Jon’s experience partnering with Hershey, and keeping KRAVE in Sonoma