Who knew dried kiwi could be so a-peel-ing?
Matt Weiss is the founder and CEO of RIND Snacks, a company that makes dried fruit snacks using upcycled whole fruits, including the peel. Since RIND’s launch in 2017, they’ve grown significantly with an estimated 3,500 distribution points. RIND also recently raised over $6 million in series A funding. Matt spoke with Scott and Nora about his inspiration for launching Rind, how he scaled the business so quickly and how they’re tackling food waste in the US.
Nora Ali: The health and wellness sector has exploded over the past few years, with the healthy snack market forecast to reach 98 billion dollars by 2025, according to market research from Euromonitor. When Matt Weiss, co-founder and CEO of RIND Snacks, saw a gap in the market, he moved quickly. In 2017, he launched RIND, dried fruit snacks made from upcycled whole fruits, including the peel, in order to reach customers looking for healthier and more sustainable alternatives to other dried fruit and nut snacks. Just four years later, RIND Snacks now has an estimated 3,500 distribution points and recently raised over six million dollars in series A funding. We spoke with Matt about his inspiration for launching RIND, how he scaled the business so quickly, and how he's tackling food waste in the US.
Nora Ali: From Morning Brew, this is Business Casual, the podcast that gives you a front row seat to candid conversations with some of the biggest names in business, asking them the questions you wish you could ask. I'm your host, Nora Ali.
Scott Rogowsky: And I'm your other host, LEGO Batman. No, it's Scott-
Nora Ali: You okay, Scott?
Scott Rogowsky: Rogowsky. Scott here, but my voice is a little off today. Regardless, Nora and I are still here for your ears, bringing you stories of how business shapes our lives today and into the future. Now let's get down to business. I mean business.
Scott Rogowsky: Have you tried RIND Snacks?
Nora Ali: I can't take you seriously with this voice.
Scott Rogowsky: Yeah, I'm sorry. I apologize for my voice. I seem to have lost it last night and I'm not sure if I'm going to find it in time for this conversation with Matt Weiss, but we're going to push onwards. I'll try to-
Nora Ali: Oh, my God.
Scott Rogowsky: Stay in this register, so I don't squeak when I go high. I don't want to squeak.
Nora Ali: Sounds good. Yeah, I did try RIND. It's delicious. I'm not really generally a dried fruit person because I find it too sweet, but it's good. It's a good texture, a lot of different fruits that I wouldn't expect could be dried, which we talked about with Matt. Like dried watermelon. Who would've thought you could dry a watermelon and you would actually have product at the end?
Scott Rogowsky: I happen to be a huge, huge dried fruit-
Nora Ali: Huge.
Scott Rogowsky: Fan, Nora. Huge.
Nora Ali: Okay. Wow. Okay.
Scott Rogowsky: And I actually mentioned that in an article. I think The New York Times did some profile back three or so years ago. I shouted out Trader Joe's dried fruit. Well, a week later, a box of RIND Snacks shows up at the HQ office with a handwritten note from the CEO, Matt Weiss, saying, "Saw the article. I think you should give my dried fruit a try," and he gave me all these samples. And I just was so touched by the gesture, the outreach, the personal touch to it all. Of course, I gave him a little post Instagram, shouted him out and really fell in love with his brand. And I was always staying in touch with the guy because I was curious about his backstory. He came from finance, he was an older guy who just sort of had a mid-career change, became an entrepreneur and started his own business in the CPG space. It was just very strange to me why someone would quit a very high-paying job to try something risky like this, but he went ahead and did it. And then following his company over the years, seeing him grow, it's very inspiring, so I thought why not reach out to him and get the story from the horse's mouth?
Nora Ali: Yeah. I love that he had that hustle early on. Maybe he had a Google Alert for dried fruit set. I don't know. But he found that article, saw that you liked dried fruit, and here we are a few years later. It's payoff. It really is payoff. But, I mean, this market is one that's growing so quickly. And I, myself, as you know, I have a lot of food allergies and a lot of the to-go snacks have nuts in them, like granola bars, protein bars and all of that. So the fact that I can carry around dried fruit now that's not too sweet is amazing. I used to carry around beef jerky packets at one point in my life because it was the only to-go snack I could eat, and that just is so salty and doesn't smell good. So, this is a better alternative.
Scott Rogowsky: You can wrap the beef jerky and the fruit leather can combine nicely, probably.
Nora Ali: Ew. Anyway, it was an amazing conversation with Matt. A lot to learn for young entrepreneurs out there especially, or new entrepreneurs, young and old. Here's our conversation with Matt Weiss.
Nora Ali: Let me tell you, Matt. I brought up my box. Thank you, by the way, for sending some samples so we could be well-prepped for this conversation. I brought up my box around midnight last night from my mail room and I was standing at my kitchen counter tearing open every bag, trying all the different fruits, and it's really good. This is hashtag not an ad, but I normally don't actually really like dried fruit that much, but it's less sweet, it feels healthier because of the peel. So to level set, what are some of your offerings? And also, just describe the taste and texture of the dried fruit that you guys sell.
Matt Weiss: Sure. Love to hear that feedback. It's what we get a lot in that consumer taste preferences, I think, are really shifting more toward tangy and bittersweet and away from cloyingly sweet. And a lot of this category for at least the last 50 years has been hijacked by confectioners and candymakers and disguised as a gummy, or we all grew up on Fruit Roll-Ups and maybe the real fruit was the third or fourth ingredient. And this category should really be the cleanest label snack category of them all. It should be Mother Nature's candy, one ingredient, and retain as much of the nutrient-dense peel as possible. So where we fit into this fast-growing plant-based snack world is we're shaking up a sleepy dried fruit category with a focus on what we call the power of the peel, and we do it with whole fruit and really unique blends, like I'm sure you got to try, with persimmon and kiwi and watermelon.
Nora Ali: Mm. So good.
Scott Rogowsky: Persimmon is what got me.
Nora Ali: That's his-
Scott Rogowsky: Matt, you got me early in your journey and you sent me that gift box back in 2017, I think, or maybe early 2018. And I was also hooked on the idea of keeping it real, eating the peel, which is such an important part of the mission of RIND. Tell us why the peel is actually better for you and better for the environment.
Matt Weiss: There's a reason why we zest citrus on top of baked goods to give that added zing, but there's actually a functional reason as to why the rind is the most nutritious layer of the fruit, and it's because it is the armor, if you will. The outer edge of the fruit is what protects the seed and the core of the fruit during growing season. So whether it's environmental stress, whether it's critters, while it's growing in an orchard, all the phytonutrients are pushed to the edge of the fruit to protect the seed, which is why you get a greater concentration of vitamin C, of polyphenols, of fiber. The problem had been up to now, munching on an orange like you would an apple, fresh, is a tall order, but when you gently dehydrate these snacks and you create much more of an approachable form factor, like a fruit chip or a chewy fruit leather, you really open up an entire new category of snacking. And that's sort of the insight that we had.
Matt Weiss: And what I love about growing rind is that unlike a lot of the newfangled food trends out there, whether it's keto, paleo ... You ask 10 people, you'll get 10 different definitions of each food trend. With us, it requires little education. For me, the rind and the concept of the business and brand came about from lessons I learned from my great-grandmother, who was the OG. I mean, she really kept it real and she used to preach roots, rinds, seeds, and stems, let nothing go to waste. And I think a lot of people identify with someone in their life who always said the most nutrients, the best part is the peel, is the skin. So, that's the reason why there's so much power in the peel.
Scott Rogowsky: And this is true for pizza. This is true for pizza as well, right, Matt? You must eat the crust.
Matt Weiss: Yes.
Scott Rogowsky: Always finish your crust, kids.
Nora Ali: Eat the crust. That's the nutrition. But I heard that too, growing up, Matt, is the peel is where all the nutrients are. So why did existing companies that were creating dried fruit even discard the peel in the first place? And what happens to those peels? Sounds like a lot of waste.
Matt Weiss: It is. It's a big problem. It's an unnecessary problem. And the reason why is not surprising, it was because of aesthetics and uniformity.
Nora Ali: Hmm.
Matt Weiss: And I think there was a lot of packaging appeal over the last 50 years where big food brands, that shall not be named, were focused on pumping a simple, natural product full of sulfur dioxide, preservatives, color to enhance consistency of the product, to enhance shelf life. And that was probably where the trends were in food and in packaged snacks 20, 30 years ago. What I love now is that a whole generation of snackers for whom purpose-driven, mission-driven snacks and authentic snacks are important, the more beautiful looking a snack is, the higher likelihood it's been highly processed. And so what is awesome is that ugly is the new beautiful and that the consumer is very accepting, at least it's our thesis, of natural products that have some imperfections, that are going to be different from crop to crop and season to season, and we don't try to hide that. Like Scott said, we keep it real and encourage consumers to eat the peel.
Scott Rogowsky: There is a trend recently, and you've joined on this trend, I believe, but the shift from the uniformity and keeping things aesthetically pleasing to the idea of upcycling and rescuing this fruit that's normally thrown away. I mean, talk about the waste that's involved in this process. And I know there's ugly fruits and there's some of these-
Nora Ali: Misfits Market.
Scott Rogowsky: Misfits Market. Exactly.
Matt Weiss: Imperfect Foods. Yeah.
Nora Ali: Yeah.
Scott Rogowsky: Imperfect Foods. Yeah. So explain this whole category of the industry and where that's going.
Matt Weiss: It's a really exciting secular tailwind behind our business and others. And you're starting to hear a lot more about upcycling, and the concept is the end of one supply chain is the beginning of a new supply chain. And you see it with innovators and disruptors that might be harnessing a byproduct of manufacturing that would otherwise be a waste stream, like spent grain from craft brewing, and where a craft brewer would have paid a firm to cart away all of that nutrient-dense barley and grain and instead, are finding innovative snack brands to take that and convert that into nutritious granola bars.
Matt Weiss: With RIND, the same concept applies, but it has an even more elementary solution, which is don't strip away the peel in the first place. And so we think there's a huge opportunity. It starts with the small step of encouraging consumers to enjoy whole fruit, whole veg snacking. But in aggregate, as that message gets amplified, we think we can actually make progress on a big problem. And that is really where the brand resides. It's the intersection of functional nutrition with the rind and the fiber and the vitamins, and sustainable snacking, which is using not just the whole fruit, but rescued fruit, like you alluded to, Scott, where so much of fruit that doesn't meet grocery standards, that may be overripe, may have some blemishes, that's typically discarded. And at RIND, we embrace that and turn it into delicious snacks.
Nora Ali: And this rescued fruit that might not look so cute, might not look so uniform is offset by really beautiful branding. The bags that the fruit comes in and then also the box that I received, it looks like a giant orange peel is covering it, which is really cool. So how many iterations did you go through to get that branding right? And what was that process to make sure you are making the notion of peels sexy for consumers?
Matt Weiss: I'll go into how the branding for RIND came to be. One other thing I think is important is that it feels like a really good time to be using a megaphone for this message about the rind, and that's because there's a lot of crosscurrents that are also helping consumers more easily embrace a product like ours, one of which is multiple use cases. What was just a snack is now an accompaniment on a charcuterie board or on a cheese tray or gracing a craft cocktail. And I think more and more people of our generation that are enjoying a delicious drink at the bar are seeing as much attention paid to the garnish as the liquid itself, and so my sense was others would agree with that.
Matt Weiss: Back to the design element, it was very important to us where the product was so simple, whole fruit, roots, rinds, seeds and stem, no added anything, the packaging had to really pop such that we weren't just a commodity in a high private label category, we really needed to drive home the differentiation. I'm a big believer in strong four letter brand names. It's no accident we have a brand that rhymes with KIND, which is one of the largest, most successful natural food brands, with an entrepreneur in Daniel Lubetzky, who I'm a huge fan of. It had to be really simple and stand out, and that wasn't a tall task in a category that is high private label and has always been a bit sleepy.
Scott Rogowsky: The world awaits a RIND, KIND collaboration, Matt. We are looking forward to that. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we'll discuss how Matt launched RIND as a side hustle at first and turned it into what is a multi-million dollar company today.
Scott Rogowsky: So, Matt, RIND officially launched in 2018, not too long ago. Tell us about the gestation process and what you were doing at the time, because this was a side hustle at the time, correct?
Matt Weiss: Definitely the proverbial side hustle. I was working at a mutual fund, where I'd been for almost two decades. Very stable career, had my head down focused on finance. Loved the firm I was working at and the people I was working for, but something was missing. And part of my job was covering public food and beverage companies and looking for exciting, disruptive growth. And what would happen was I would meet with founders like Ethan Brown from Beyond Meat, who was taking on animal protein with an amazing, exciting new venture. And you'd meet Seth Goldman, who was the chairman of that company, who helped build Honest Tea, and you'd meet Daniel Lubetzky. And so I was really excited by the stories I was hearing of how these individuals, starting from zero, built a brand and really rallied a team and a culture around solving problems in the food system. Super exciting. Arguably intoxicating. I went to a couple food shows and that's where I just felt like I was among my people, so to speak, where the passion, the entrepreneurs I was meeting, their ability to take real market share points from giant incumbent food companies felt very different than just about any other category I'd approached, and fell in love with it. I couldn't shake it. And so I was always tinkering with food concepts on the side. So, that was kind of the beginning. And then it took over my life. When I was running from my desk in Midtown Manhattan for the mutual fund to man my booth and then break down the booth and interacting with whole foods buyers, it was really exciting, but unsustainable as a side gig.
Nora Ali: For a product like dried fruit and any consumer product, really, you have to get a few things right. You have to innovate, i.e., no-one is doing this or they're not doing it as well as we are, it has to be good quality, i.e., it has to taste good, and then the branding, as we talked about, has to be memorable and effective. Which aspect do you think is most important to stay ahead of competition in a world where a big food and beverage company conglomerate can say, "We're going to include the peel in our dried fruit now, too"? So how do you stay ahead of that kind of competition?
Matt Weiss: Great question. You're right in identifying there are a few barriers to entry in this category. Even Coke's formula can be reverse-engineered and we're doing something arguably more straightforward. What I think brands have to thrive on is innovation and not being afraid to lead the consumer into newer areas they may not know they want yet. And I think it's incumbent on smaller, challenger brands to experiment boldly, where big food companies probably have a ton of protocols and bureaucracy to get through before they can green light a new project. So innovation that is both boundary-pushing in some respects, but has a home for mainstream as well. I'll give you one quick example. If we came out and we're just doing dried mango, which the world is kind of awash in dried mango, which is a wonderful, delicious product, but is a bit of a commodity, we didn't have anything new to add to that story, even if we were to retain a little bit of the rind. What we had to do differently was really shake things up by coming to market with fruits that had never been explored before as a dried snack, like kiwi with a little bit of the fuzz, like persimmon, which is well known in California and in Asia, but no-one on the east coast could recognize it, right, versus a tomato. And then we also had to have some of those conversational skews where people were just talking about this company and the brand to their friends, and maybe they were polarizing because you either loved it or you hated it, but that's okay. I think so many brands are afraid of the polarization piece, when that is actually how you spark the brand. I think you have to recognize those fringe skews serve a very important purpose in brand building, but you have skews in the middle that are your workhorses, like our apple chips, our straw-peary blend, our coconut crisps, that are going to really build the business. But the outer skews that we have a ton of innovation resources behind are what builds the brand.
Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. Let's get to that brand building element and really the product sourcing as well. I mean, tell us about that moment when you decided you were going to these food expos, you said, "You know what, I'm going to give this a shot." What was that first fruit you launched with? Where were you sourcing this fruit? You're sitting there in New York City.
Matt Weiss: The majority of our fruit all started in Central Valley, California, kind of the fruit-
Scott Rogowsky: Wow.
Matt Weiss: Salad bowl of the country. We have since, as we've grown, followed the sun and the seasons to source from best in class growers across the globe, but still a large portion of our sourcing and raw material come from California. What happened was I really wanted to get messy and make sure there was real product market fit and I knew what I was getting into, and so I bought a dehydrator for my small co-op apartment in Manhattan, I bought a mandoline, which is a fancy slicer. And what I did was I wanted to use unique fruits. I've had dried apple before or dried apricots, but I hadn't had dried watermelon. So I was really all in on melon-based snacks, which, as you may know, are 98% water content. And so it takes a lot of melons to make some watermelon dried snacks.
Nora Ali: But it works. I was shocked to be holding that watermelon that's dried and it's still in the shape of a watermelon, which I-
Matt Weiss: It's awesome.
Nora Ali: Appreciate a watermelon slice.
Matt Weiss: My little watermelon pizza.
Nora Ali: Yeah. Yes.
Matt Weiss: So what happened, though, was because the dehydrator was running 24 hours a day, I was in an old building, a loft building, and I blew the power to this 12 unit building. And that was the first moment where I realized I had to get a commercial kitchen and up my game and I couldn't treat this as a side hobby forever. Thankfully, I wasn't evicted, although I'm sure that was on the table by the board, but it was exciting to sort of really tinker and get feedback from family and friends in the beginning. And it really started with melons. And it's great because that coco-melon blend, which was launched in the summer of '20, finally brought it all home and it's become our second bestseller in short order. So, it's been exciting to see that.
Nora Ali: You had the distinct advantage of learning from your previous job and applying those learnings about the space, about the industry to starting this company. But that's a question that I get a lot from people who are just graduating from college, figuring out if they want to jump into entrepreneurship right away and chase their dreams, or take a more traditional career path and build a nest egg and build experience, and then chase their dreams later on in life. You've sort of did the latter, where you spent some time before you launched into this. What advice do you have for entrepreneur hopefuls?
Matt Weiss: Yeah. I see the attraction and the appeal. I see no shortage of those glamorous stories that seem like overnight successes, of college kids who forgo traditional routes of post-college career-building experience and start their company, and more power to them. I actually think there was a ton of benefit and advantage to have worked at a more traditional firm for, in my case, a really long time, almost 20 years. It makes it harder to take the leap, I understand that, but actually launching a company with what felt like more of a support network, both in terms of a little bit of a nest egg that I had built up such that I could bootstrap the company and therefore not face a huge amount of dilution as a first time entrepreneur, that I had what felt like a little more of a knowledge base about how the world worked and how to read people. So, that was a real advantage.
Matt Weiss: That being said, I think people should be entrepreneurial at any age. I hope I am still tinkering with ideas and dehydrating some weird fruits when I'm 90 years old, hopefully in more of a commercial space where there's no risk of getting kicked out of the building. But I think you got to be constantly doing things that excite you and challenge you and help you grow.
Scott Rogowsky: We're going to take another quick break. When we come back, we'll discuss how Matt truly built and scaled RIND in just three years.
Scott Rogowsky: Matt, we're discussing this pivotal moment in your life. You're working at a mutual fund in Midtown, literally hustling across the Javits Center for these food shows, hustling back. There comes a point for all side hustlers and weekend entrepreneurs when you reach the Rubicon and you must decide if you wish to cross it. What was that moment when you made that commitment, you talked to your family, you said, "I'm quitting my job. I'm going full-time on RIND"? And who was helping you out there? Was it just you?
Matt Weiss: My wife is my partner in everything, and she is super grounded and practical and was pouring cold water on this the whole time. But honestly, what was the crystallizing moment ... Because, again, we had built a life around one career trajectory. She's also a career professional, so we had a second income. But we have three kids and we're raising them in New York City, and to risk it all for dried fruit was about as big a risk as it gets. And it was when she said, "I see the spark in you when you talk about RIND. And as stressful as this is, it's a different kind of stress. It's a stress of your own creation and you embrace it." And I think when I got buy-in from her, who is naturally one to pump the brakes, it felt like I'd be a fool not to take advantage and give it a good go. The other big pivotal moment was the first interest we had from an institutional investor. I felt like I had gotten the brand to a really exciting part and attracted some food venture capital interest. And there was no denying that the moment you take outside investor capital, that you owe it to them and all your shareholders to make RIND your full-time. And I was not going to have a hobby of this business, it had to be 110% of my effort. And so that was it. And then in late 2019, early 2020, when we raised a seed round, my brother-in-law joined me as a partner in the business, which was also a pivotal moment, so that I wasn't a solo entrepreneur and that we both were just ... No safety net, it was all in and we had to make it work.
Nora Ali: And going all in clearly helped you scale pretty quickly. It sounds like RIND's revenues grew fivefold in 2020. You guys had planned to expand your retail presence to over 3000 locations this year, in 2021. Are you on track to hitting that number? And what are your expansion plans for getting those retail locations and more distribution overall?
Matt Weiss: Yeah, we're on track to exceed those numbers by a pretty wide margin. There's two fears, right? There's fear of failure with every entrepreneurial journey, but there's also the fear of success. What if this goes right or way better than you anticipated? And you have a lot of sourcing, given all the supply chain issues that are affecting every industry right now. Like, whoa, we got to get more fruit quick and more drying capacity and we got to build this team faster than we thought and pull forward all this demand. What we are embarking on is really assessing a post-COVID world, and it's changing rapidly. It was changing pre-COVID as it relates to snacks and convenient ways to purchase those snacks, but it was 10 years' worth of demand compressed into 18 months that have really opened the floodgate of all these new channels for discovery of brands like ours. One example would be grocery subscription boxes. What we mentioned briefly at the top, whether it's Hungryroot, Thrive Market, Misfits Market, Imperfect Foods, Daily Harvest. The back of a UPS truck was 100% Amazon boxes a few years ago. And now in every major city, there's HelloFresh and Freshly. It's really exciting. And it's never been easier to reach the consumer in a less crowded, competitive set than traditional grocery with a curated brand where a lot of the marketing muscle is borne by your partners. That idea of building an omnichannel presence with sort of a snack brand that's right for the times is something really exciting to us. So while 3000 doors is an important benchmark, I think it understates the reach that we believe RIND has because we're on a number of online platforms where an entire generation of consumers are going to begin embracing more and more over the next 10 years.
Scott Rogowsky: You started off selling solely from your DTC site and from Amazon. You've now expanded to Whole Foods, Erewhon, CVS, Wegmans. Where do the online channels and the brick and mortar channels intersect, or where do you put more effort into? Because from what I understand, I mean, it's a lot easier to sell DTC through online channels, right? There's a whole trend of moving away from brick and-
Matt Weiss: Yes.
Scott Rogowsky: Mortar to selling direct, but you still want to be seen in these stores.
Matt Weiss: Exactly. I think the old rule of marketing, of seven impressions, applies to any consumer product, where you really do have to saturate your brand presence everywhere he or she shops. And whether they see an ad on Facebook, they see you as part of their selection on Thrive Market, a friend mentions it to them, they see it on Instagram, and then they see it in Whole Foods, you kind of have to be everywhere, seven times, to convert them. And so that is our strategy, but it's not predicated on being in 40,000 grocery stores to win, it's based on picking the key tier one accounts that really move the needle, where we can focus, as a small brand, our limited budget and resources and really go deep and be as critical and great of a partner, even though we're small.
Scott Rogowsky: Sounds like several things have contributed to the success of RIND in such a short period. You've sort of took a lot of time figuring out the product market fit, you use crafty marketing techniques and methodic strategy and distribution and launch, and you've got a unique product in many ways. You were bootstrapping a lot of this time, and this past June raised a 6.1 million dollar series A funding round. What makes RIND so appealing to investors? Appeeling. But also, what made this the time to take on that money?
Matt Weiss: I think it's the endless fruit puns that is just such an attractive value proposition. I think it was a very exciting, busy year. At the end of the day, because I came from the investing world. And I think there is the brand potential, and then there's the business, and the third leg of the stool would be the team. Those are really hard to find all three. I believe we have those pieces in place. I say that with humility. And I think a lot of it is shaped by myself and my brother-in-law not coming from the CPG world, but having an outsider perspective, having a really, almost conservative financial framework with which we're launching this business and understanding sometimes the hardest thing is to say no and not to chase doors, even though it's an adrenaline rush and the purchase order could really be an incremental X to your valuation. If it's not an account you can succeed in, then you shouldn't be going after it.
Matt Weiss: And finally, I think our brand is bigger than dried fruit. And I think ultimately that is what has convinced some amazing investment partners to bet on us, which is we've started as RIND fruit snacks, but the business itself is RIND, and the future is anything that has a skin on snack play is a platform opportunity for us to expand into. We have to earn the right and be able to leverage the brand equity we've built in fruit first. But I'll give you one example, which is chips. Chips is a category that's 10 times the size of dried fruit, and dried fruit isn't a tiny category. And what's missing from chips, in our view, is any functional attribute. No one is looking for vitamin C from their potato chip, but what if we could provide essentially an immunity chip using a thin cut crispy slice of bright, tangy fruit, perhaps with a seasonal or flavor profile that can mimic the craveability factor of a salty snack, but with all the benefits of the fruit? And not to give too much away, that's exactly what we're going to do.
Nora Ali: Ooh, very exciting. Getting into the chip market.
Matt Weiss: Exactly.
Nora Ali: That's so exciting.
Scott Rogowsky: I'm licking my chops already.
Nora Ali: But, Matt, clearly there's investor interest and VC interest because you have this big vision that you just described to us in making that mental pivot to we're not just about this one product that we started with, we're actually this whole big vision, we have this mission that goes well beyond dried fruit. When did you make that mental shift? And what is your advice for those who are looking to do the same?
Matt Weiss: Right. I think this is something I learned studying businesses in the food and beverage space as an analyst, which is you have to have a brand and a vision beyond a single core product, otherwise you're sort of reliant on getting everything right. And you need to have a platform approach and provide a credible storytelling opportunity to expand into other adjacent product categories with the customer's permission. And if you don't, you are a OneNote product that may be super successful, but would likely not attract investor capital because where is the bigger opportunity? Like, we are a skin on snacking platform and if it has a skin, we can participate because of the nutritional benefits and the food waste angle, then you have a more wide open TAM to attack.
Scott Rogowsky: Matt Weiss, CEO of RIND Snacks, changing the rindset when it comes to the idea of what it means to snack these days. Thank you for sharing your story and your product as well. It's quite good.
Nora Ali: It's so delicious.
Matt Weiss: It's been my pleasure. Scott, you're right, it was early on when I first met you and finagled my way into HQ headquarters, dropped off a care package. And I had read an article that said you love dried fruit and I was like, "All right, Scott will be my best friend, let me get some snacks his way." And so it's cool-
Nora Ali: That's a lesson right there.
Matt Weiss: To see this come full circle. Thanks for the opportunity.
Scott Rogowsky: But that's-
Nora Ali: It's paid off.
Scott Rogowsky: That's savvy. That's savvy marketing too. I mean, that's taking initiative. Honestly, I mean, that's a good lesson as well for entrepreneurs out there looking to crack into some kind of space.
Nora Ali: Is send Scott snacks. That's the lesson.
Scott Rogowsky: Send me snacks. That's the way to do it.
Nora Ali: Awesome. Thank you, Matt.
Matt Weiss: Thank you, Nora. Thanks, Scott.
Scott Rogowsky: Hey BC listeners, we've been getting some great feedback from you about the show, like this note from Aaron, who wrote, "Scott and Nora, I really love the revamp of the show. I started my own mental health practice recently, and really benefit from the fun and encouraging way you and your guests inform and inspire me to be the best business owner I can. Keep it up." Thanks, Aaron. And shout out to Kimberly, who sent us this note. "I recently discovered your podcast and you are my new commuting companions." Commutes are back, Nora.
Nora Ali: Thank you, Kimberly.
Scott Rogowsky: Keep sending us those emails because we want to hear from you. We're doing an upcoming episode on the music industry, and we want to hear your thoughts on it. Where do you stand on the record label versus independent artist debate? Did the sale of Taylor Swift's masters have you seeing red? Should I quit Business Casual and start hosting a smooth jazz channel on public radio? We want to hear it all. Send an email to email@example.com, or DM us on Twitter, @bizcasualpod, that's B-I-Z casualpod, with your thoughts.
Nora Ali: You can also leave a voice memo on our website, businesscasual.fm, or give us the call and leave us a message. Our number is 862-295-1135. As Business Casual grows, we are excited to get to know our listeners, old and new. Drop us a line, and don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from so we can include you in a future episode.
Scott Rogowsky: Business Casual is produced skin on by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins. Additional production, sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Alan Haburchak is the director of audio at Morning Brew. More like Alan Habursnack. Sarah Singer's our VP of multimedia, and Jessica Cohen is our chief content officer. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. If you like what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you go for ear candy. And we'd love it if you would give us a great rating and a review.
Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali.
Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky.
Nora Ali: Keep it business.
Scott Rogowsky: And keep it casual, baby.