ExpertCPG Podcast Episode 10

Beyond Grocery: How to Thrive in CPG Markets, with Reid Edgar

ExpertCPG Commerce Podcast
ExpertCPG Commerce Podcast
Beyond Grocery: How to Thrive in CPG Markets, with Reid Edgar
Loading
/

SpotifyApple PodcastsIheart RadioCastboxPodChaserYoutubeRSS

 

ExpertCPG Commerce Podcast: Episode 10

Explore the journey of Reid Edgar, founder of TruNut and Spot, as he navigates the challenges and triumphs of the CPG world. Discover valuable insights on scaling your brand, the pitfalls of grocery retail, and the importance of focusing on profitable channels. Don’t miss this episode for strategic growth tips!

For a Free ExpertCPG Amazon Audit, to get valuable insights, strategy tips, actionable ways to boost your Amazon sales, and ways to increase your brand’s visibility and growth, visit https://go.expertcpg.com/amazon-audit to sign up and begin your journey to success. Partner with ExpertCPG Commerce to optimize and grow your Amazon presence.

 

Podcast Video

 

About our Guest

 

REID EDGAR

The Tru-Nut Company – President

Bio: Reid Edgar is a 37-year old serial entrepreneur from Atlanta and currently residing in Midcoast Maine with his fiancée and 9-year old dog.  Reid started Spot Detergent Sheets in 2023 to bring “pragmatic environmentalism” to the masses.  Reid has always been passionate about environmental causes and wants to help end the era of plastic packaging.  With Spot Detergent Sheets, his goal was to bring a high quality and extremely affordable laundry product to mainstream shoppers that just happened to be eco-friendly.  Reid believes that pragmatic environmentalism means focusing on what consumers want (high quality, low price) while finding a way to make it environmentally friendly at the same time.  His ultimate goal is to take this philosophy to other products and industries in order to greatly reduce the plastic waste in our society.

 

Contact Information:

http://www.tru-nut.com

http://www.spotdetergent.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/reid-edgar-26b38b21

 

 

Podcast Video Transcript

Ryan Flynn: [00:00:00] All right. I’m pleased to welcome, Reed Edgar, to

the program today. Reed, thanks for joining us. Really appreciate it. 

Reid Edgar: Thank you for having me. 

Ryan Flynn: Yeah. Yeah. No, Reed and I have connected years ago through, uh, EO entrepreneurs organization. both members there and, Reid is, got a couple different brands he’s focused on, but I know Reid the one that we first met and you still are operating to this day is true nut, powdered peanut butter.

And then you’ve got something new we can talk about as well. but, yeah, let’s just go into a little bit background of maybe your. Entrepreneurial journey, right? you know, take us through was True Nut your first venture, or did you get started something before that? and walk us through how you started

true.

Reid Edgar: yeah, I’ve had, this is my first venture into, as I say, the real world, I had a few very small, like internet businesses in college. And then,when I was 26, I started TrueNut, which was almost 11 years ago. I had no idea about anything in the food business and the CPG business. this was purely just, I thought it was a good [00:01:00] idea.

I wanted to do it. I thought there was, an opportunity to create a healthy product that tasted really good. That,people were familiar enough with even though powdered peanut butter 11 years ago was a new concept. but it just seemed to check all the right boxes for me. And, So I started it.

I learned everything as I went, which is my style. Anyway, every business thing that I’ve ever done, has been like that. I think it’s one of my better skills is just, learning quickly and understanding how things work and how to make it all fit together. So I’ve done that with true dot and with my new company as well.

And I’m sure I’ll yeah. Probably do it again at some point.

Ryan Flynn: the top. TrueNut powdered peanut butter right? Am I missing anything outside of that? Or do you have,I’m assuming that you might be getting sized variants, things like that, but your powder peanut butter, how would people use

it in in their daily lives.

Reid Edgar: Yeah, so powdered peanut butter is great. not only does it taste like peanut butter, but it’s a healthier version of peanut butter. it has 90 percent less fat. about 75 percent less [00:02:00] calories than traditional peanut butter. So if you like peanut butter, you’ll like the taste, but you’re watching your fat and caloric intake, this is a great way.

To keep something that tastes really good in your diet, it’s very easy to use, most people just take a scoop and put it in a smoothie, a protein shake, so you’re adding a really nice peanut butter flavor, but if you just want spreadable peanut butter, like if you want a sandwich or you want something to dip an apple slice into for a healthy snack, You just mix the powder with water, stir it up, and it turns into a spread.

Ryan Flynn: So it’s very cool. You can use it, and you can also cook with it, bake with it, so there’s really an unlimited number of ways to use it. to get, like I said, a healthy version of peanut butter. It’s not loaded with oil. Not that the oils are bad, or they’re, good oils, but at the same time, if you are watching your fat and caloric intake, this is a great way to have it, have your, Peanut butter and eat it too, there you go. It’s the best of both worlds. So you mentioned like you didn’t have a foray into the food world before this. Or, it’s like, how do you like, because you think about I’m [00:03:00] gonna take peanut butter and I’m gonna make it into a powder form. Like, how do you even go about like finding,you know, I, you gotta develop the product first.

obviously were you like doing your own, like kind of concoctions of powder peanut butter? Did, how did you find the right, like co-packer to partner with, to bring it to

life?

Reid Edgar: Sure, so, um, Well, because I don’t have a food background, I’m not a food scientist by any means, I found some good suppliers, or a good supplier, I should say, that really helped me, in terms of getting, the product, from the farm to, to my facility. we started out packaging it ourselves, where the very first day, it was me and my family, and, We had a rented commercial kitchen space in Atlanta, and we were in there literally hand filling the jars one by one, and we did that for, About six months, until things started to take off fairly quickly, and, then we moved to a co packer, in Atlanta as well, and it really,as with any business, [00:04:00] Really, it’s just a lot of research, a lot of phone calls, finding the right people.

That was how I found this co packer too. I,I just called enough people and for me, the big requirements were, they accept peanuts their facility because it’s an allergen issue. And two, do they have the right equipment to blend and package this product? So there’s two machines that they needed that, you know,I needed in order to package this product.

and so did they fit those qualifications? And I spoke to enough people until I found the right one.

Ryan Flynn: so yeah, the production down, obviously it was, moving it to a larger scale as you grew, but what was some of that first success in the sales channels like,11 years ago, you’re talking. still say early E-Commerce Days, but yeah, it, what were some of your initial, you know, successful sales channels, and how’d you get it out there?

Reid Edgar: the first one that hit, completely came out of the blue. they contacted me on the contact us form on my website. and they were like the fifth person that had filled out the form and it was a customer in Kuwait. And they ordered, I think, five pallets of our product, 

Ryan Flynn: [00:05:00] Wow. 

Reid Edgar: the time was a massive order.

Uh, I mean, it’s still a good side door, but back then, I was selling, a case or two at a time. local store, and all of a sudden these people are like, We want five pallets, and we’re paying in advance.which sometimes is a little bit of a red flag, but this actually worked out. they were legit, and Man, that was some long nights.

This was still, this was in the first days and we were still hand filling jars. So that was a lot of long nights of packing and filling and taping boxes and, fixing labels and assembling pallets and did it all by hand. And that was when I knew okay, I think we have something here.

and there, there were a couple others that came right after that, really validated what we were doing. And I think we were, the category was still very new at that time. And so I knew we also didn’t have a lot of competition. And so we were coming with this product that we knew people wanted that was just getting on the radar [00:06:00] of,you know, e commerce sites and people all over the world, And so we were in a good position to take advantage of that. The new interest in this product.

Ryan Flynn: Yeah, I always like to think business success, a lot of it’s I think like timing is it’s like at least 50% I feel like you just gotta hit sometimes the right time of like where the market’s at, what people are looking for. Obviously it’s a very healthy alternative. obviously over the last, call it 10, 15 years, just the whole society. Has become much more health conscious on things. it’s hard to catch the chart of time that right way. You can only look back retrospectively and say what he did or not.

 so the huge order of the five power order? Yeah. I can imagine like it’s going through your head at that time when you’re filling it by hand, like it’s exciting and scary at the same time, like you mentioned, how did it build from there? How did you get into do more?

Was it more e-comm next, or was it retail? What? What kind of came

next?

Reid Edgar: I spoke this on grocery stores, which, in hindsight was probably not the best idea, but there are positives and negatives to going down that road. as I said, I didn’t know anything [00:07:00] going into this business. So I also. Didn’t that you know means a lot of different things and I also didn’t know what to look out for Which was that?

groceries is not only is it not for the faint of heart, but it’s also not for the those of in wallets and I have no outside funding. This is all self funded And, getting into grocery is expensive and said this before, but I really think there is a formula to succeed in grocery and mass market retail, which is raised $5,000,000 from a VC or private equity firm, by your way onto the shelf of every grocery store.

grocery store or whatever your target store is, promote the hell out of it and, lose money left and right at every corner until a big CPG comes along and buys you because you’re, you have spent enough to boost your sales, even though you’re not making any money, basically just survive long [00:08:00] enough until you get bought.

And that seems to be the formula that a lot of these companies are following. and it seems to work. They get fought, all the time, obviously, but the ones that succeed seem to follow something along those lines. 

And that’s not the route I went down. I did not raise any money. I did buy my way on some shelves.

I did, a lot of grocery stores, especially when you’re a small, unknown brand. They want what they call a free fill. They want you to stock every shelf of every store, with one case of free product. for every SKU that you’re giving them. and if you’re looking at, like, the first grocery store we got into, or the first large chain, it’s called Jewel Osco in Chicago, and they have, 180 stores, and we had two SKUs that went in there, and that’s 360 free cases.

plus I went through a distributor, 80, which, if anyone listening, is thinking about working with Katie, I, unless you have 5 million in the bank, I would, advise you to think about that decision, because not only are you giving the free product away, [00:09:00] but you’re going to pay for a lot.

You’ve got to pay to participate in all of their programs and their promotions and cost of that free bill is going to be a lot more than you think, and it never ends. With the fees and promotions and chargebacks. So, when you go through that. and we were on the shelf for three years at Elasco.

 and we had success. We had a good sales, but ultimately we got kicked out. and we went through that cycle over and over again. A lot of different grocery stores, buy our way and give them the free product. And, um,

Ryan Flynn: because I didn’t have, you know, The resources to really promote our brands to succeed in grocery.

Reid Edgar: You really have to do both. Iit’s coupons, social media events, demos. if you have your brands, with celebrities and influencers promoting it. You need a full on approach on all of those fronts in order to build your brand, succeed in grocery. So you have all [00:10:00] those costs, plus you have to deal with all the costs from the distributors and the retailers themselves.

and that’s tough without a lot of money behind it. And so I played this game over and over again with these grocery stores, you know, buy in and then get kicked out. 2, 3, 4, 5 years later, and, when you get kicked out, it’s the worst. Not only does it suck because you get kicked out, but You have to pay to get kicked out, and the fees that get charged, because you go to a grocery store and you see an item on clearance, that item is getting kicked out of their store, and guess who’s paying for that giant markdown on those products?

That is the vendor, not the store. multiply that times however many stores, that’s a lot of money you’ve got to give back. So I played this game for a long time and,we were able to survive, know, all of these costs and, eventually I decided I’d said, this just is not sustainable.

We cannot keep doing this. And I don’t even know where this is leading. 

And so I had [00:11:00] to really kind of retool my business and look at it and say, okay, what is working? Where are we making money? and so I ditched grocery stores.

and we’re looking at our best channels are online.

Specialty retailers, department stores, we do a lot of exporting. We do a lot of like food service sales as well. We also make private label for other people. So I just said, okay, we’re going to focus on these areas. And, it’s gonna, hopefully sustain. I said it has. It’s the business I’d say is on a much healthier position than it was three, three years ago.

because, you know,had it in my head to like, you know, I’m a food product. We’re selling to grocery stores. that’s what you do. and I got in with these brokers and they, I’m not going to blame them, but they probably didn’t,properly give me, warning, like, here’s what you’re going to be facing.

No, it’s not necessarily their job. but I had to learn very quickly that you know, Brands come and go for brokers, but retailers. [00:12:00] Are ultimately their care customer and they’re not necessarily looking out for the brand. Some of them do. I mean, I have had some good brokers, but it’s been a long journey to get here, but I think the brand and the company is in a much better place because we’re focusing on what works and not what, we’re quote unquote, supposed to do.

Ryan Flynn: You kind of said it right there at the end, like, the focus on a lot of brands is Oh, we got to get into groceries. We got to get, you know. You Regional distribution, the national distribution. And as you said, there’s a lot of, Now that you pull back the curtain of the grocery industry, and there’s a lot of, you know, can be a lot of ugliness in there.

I don’t want to paint a brought with a power brush here, but there’s just a lot of layers to it, Distributors and such. And then, a lot of costs to get onto the shelf. And, yeah, it’s you’re heading against the wall and you’re wondering why do we keep doing this?

And I think a lot of businesses, have that pitiful moment where it’s okay. This isn’t working anymore. What is working? that’s great. You saw this, right? Because again, everybody goes up to that, big, sexy, you know, we’re going to get the good stores. We got to get how many doors you in things like that.

And then, we just talked about another [00:13:00] podcast recently where brands expect you to drive traffic to the stores, right? They expect you to also help get people in there as well. and I think some of the other channels you mentioned, Private label, food service.

 people know they’re there, the background, right? Brands know they’re there, but I don’t think as many people probably exploit them for what they could be doing. And how they could really grow the other parts of their business and have those different lines. 

 

Reid Edgar: I think,the expectation is always. oh, I’m gonna sell my business for millions of dollars to Nestle or to Coca Cola or whoever and That’s great if you can, but I think I got caught in this too, I was just focusing on how am I going to get to that point where I can flip this to somebody else, and, you know, private label doesn’t really help with that, and food service and all these, like other accounts that, VCs don’t want to see, I think a lot of people get caught in the, oh, we’re in Walmart, we’re in Target, we’re in Kroger, But you can have a very successful business focusing on other things and not getting caught up in the [00:14:00] name recognition of Walmart and Target and just focusing on this track that I was talking about before that companies pursue, they have sales, lose a bunch of money just to get acquired, they’re focusing on Walmart and Target and you have no idea how much money they are spending to themselves.

Lose money selling to these stores. and that’s a tough battle to begin when you’re a small company.

Ryan Flynn: Yeah. As you grew, and the Market grew, and, obviously competition grew. how did you start to, differentiate, or set yourself apart in any way? obviously, maybe the channel mix might be the right answer there, right? Just not focusing on the grocery channel. But Was there any other ways that you kind of differentiated the brand versus

competitors in the space as you grew over time?

It

Reid Edgar: Yeah, 

 I knew we had a great concept, you know, this, peanuts that have the oil extracted that are, in powder form tastes great. It’s healthy. You can use it a million different ways. Like, the base of that is very good, so I thought how can we appeal to different groups of people?

So we have our primary powdered [00:15:00] peanut butter, which is still our main product. Then we also have peanut flour, which is more specifically targeted for people who bake. We have our peanut protein powder, which is a higher level of protein for people that want more protein. And we have a keto product as well for people that are on the keto diet.

So basically my thought process was how can I take this concept and just get it in the view of more people? That are maybe they don’t want powdered peanut butter But maybe they bake. So even though you can use our powdered peanut butter for baking. but it’s more aligned with what they’re looking for.

But you know,it’s peanut flour. and,it’s a different formulation as well. So it’s better suited for cooking and baking. So, that was my track when I innovated and tried to grow our product assortment. just, we’ve got a good. How can we just get it in front of more people?

Ryan Flynn: And when you test those new innovative ideas, do you set yourself like a benchmark or a goal like, Hey, we have to sell [00:16:00] this many units, or, whatever the metric is, this amount of dollars or hit this margin. do you do that or is it each. Use case is different when you develop like a new product or new line like that.

is there any, yeah, hard targets you kind of follow? 

Reid Edgar: So, one of my best customers for nine years now is TJX, which is TJ Maxx Commercials and Home Goods, and they’re a great customer, probably my favorite company that I work with, and they’re very good about testing new products, like they, every time I talk to them, they’re like, what do you got, what’s new, and Whereas Grocery is often more hesitant like they want the tried and true.

I know this is gonna sell huh TJX is oh, we’ll test it for you. You know send us you know so many thousands of units and we’ll test it 

and We’ll let you know if it’s good or not, and we’ll get you’ll get feedback very quickly So that was a way that we tested a lot of new products. Obviously Amazon is good too because you can get it right up there and You knowyou’re not waiting for a category review cycle like you [00:17:00] are with grocery.

so Amazon and TJX are both very quick and very easy ways to test products and TJX has, 3.000 stores across the United States, they’re in Canada, they’re in Europe, so they can target a lot of people. and they’re also just so much easier to deal with. It’s not a commercial for TJX, but they really are great to work with.

so that’s how I test. That’s how I like to do it that way.

Ryan Flynn: I’ve heard a lot of good things like you said, but working with TJX and obviously they’ve got those. Three brands, right? They have, like you said, thousands of stores all over. I’ve never heard a bad thing about working with them all a sudden.

Heard always great things about them as,you know,working with them as a vendor and such. 

it’s good to hear that echoed here.

Reid Edgar: I think there’s a little bit of a stigma and,when you talk to grocery stores, I would, when I was selling grocery, I would never tell them that I was selling to TJ Maxx because they don’t, they’re like, oh, I don’t want to, this is a, discount store. We don’t want to be competing against them.

And TJ Maxx would sell it for a lower price than grocery stores. but I [00:18:00] realized, even though I’m selling it to TJ Maxx for a lower price, I’m making more money this way. Because I don’t have to deal with distributors, I’m selling direct. They take no deductions, no fees. and it really is a better, system. 

Kind of the way it should be, I think. And

Ryan Flynn: And then, you know, you mentioned you started the brand 11 years ago, right? So again, you came up through this whole, you’ve seen it all then happen with E com, Amazon, G2C, that whole thing definitely shifted over the last 11 years. Tell me about that. what’s the journey been there,you know, pains, triumphs along the way, that you can share there.

Reid Edgar: there, that is uh,

Ryan Flynn: a whole other episode, isn’t it?

Reid Edgar: yeah, maybe multiple episodes. so, yeah, I was selling on Amazon before I even started this business. I was a hustler, just, I would go to trade shows and buy stuff and put it on Amazon. And it was, you know, decent money for a young kid in his 20s.

 and so that was an [00:19:00] easy transition when I started TrueNut. Just put it on Amazon, and the sales have always been decent, but I’ve never really been able to crack the top levels. there’s a few brands that are really dominating the powdered peanut butter space.

Not only on Amazon, but in grocery stores as well. and I think those go a bit hand in hand. to be at the top, you kind of need the name recognition of being in every grocery store in the United States. don’t know what, how to reach the top of Amazon without, Having, unless it’s a, different situation, how to reach the top of Amazon, without having just a lot of name 

recognition. 

we’re, We’re doing good, but nothing that I’ve ever done has really moved the needle as far as, tweaks and all that for my Amazon listings, running ads, we sell the same amount. It seems no matter how much I spend on advertising, our sales are always pretty steady.

but, we’ve had a lot of success in the [00:20:00] European market. and, like in Germany, like we’re number one, we’re the top powdered peanut butter brand. Germany is a really good market. we sell more in Germany with one SKU than my entire catalog in Amazon U. S. and I think,I was early in the game and in Europe, especially on Amazon.

we were, I think we were probably the first, maybe the second brand on there. And I honestly think that has a lot to do with it. Like we 

were established for many years for some of these other brands that come along. We have a lot more competition now, even within the last few months.

And they’re doing all the same things I’m doing. They’re running ads. They’ve got listings. They’ve got pictures. They can’t get close to my rank. and I think Amazon just, they reward the ones that sell. And we’ve been selling very well. Um, I think those brands need to be in a lot of retailers, in order to they need to drive some external traffic, in order to bring me down, [00:21:00] and I don’t think that’s going to happen in Germany anytime soon,so we’re in a really good position.

Now obviously I could blow it, there’s many ways to blow it, As long as I don’t go out of stock for too long, we’ve got a good thing going in Germany and trying to grow in the other countries as well, but, we’ve had a lot of success in that market.

Ryan Flynn: Yeah. It’s like one of those things where you don’t wanna lose your lead, right? Like when you’re the top dog, like everybody’s gunning for you. You don’t want to rest on your laurels kind of coast, right? the business history is littered with companies that have done that,

And so it totally makes sense. And yeah, I’ve always heard Germany’s, obviously a great market. We’ve seen it with some of our clients as well. I’m curious, talk to us a little bit about exporting a food product. I’m going to assume it was still manufactured in Atlanta, but you were exporting to Europe.

Talk to us about that whole process about, you know, cause when you got anything, adjustable. Or topical. I think it there a whole nother level of, things when you come to and exporting and then importing to another country. talk just a broad strokes about that whole process and was it what you expected?

Were there like little caveats on the way that you never saw that would come [00:22:00] up?

Reid Edgar: absolutely.there are still caveats that come up every time that I did not see coming. exporting is tough. exporting food is especially tough. we still run into issues on every single shipment. It seems like something comes up that we did not anticipate or there’s some new requirement that customs is asking for.

or our freight broker wants to be extra sure that our shipment’s not going to get flagged, so they want all this extra stuff. Everyone is different.it really takes a lot of time. the thing that I’m probably the most proud of is I’ve built a really good network of companies. It took me a long time to assemble.

this, people that are helping me on every single step along the way, because there are a lot of steps, you know, freight broker and the forwarder, you’ve got to have somebody in, in our, in this case in Europe, clearing the stuff for you’ve got to have someone warehousing and transporting it to the Amazon warehouse or we have, a couple of customers in Europe as well outside of Amazon.

So, um, having people that can do that. And  you [00:23:00] kind of have to wade through a lot of layers of people that they know you’re a U. S. company, and they know you don’t have the connections, and so you get, you know, double the price for a lot of things, until you can scrape through those layers of middlemen, which took me a while, but I did.

And so now, I’ve been able to really lower our costs and do things a lot more efficiently. 

Ryan Flynn: find 

Reid Edgar: that was tough. And I, again, something that I figured out as I went and building this network.

It was really valuable. And, now, you know,we’re about to ship our, typically we just send pallets, but we’re about to ship our first container to Europe, next week, I believe.

And so that’s gonna open up a whole nother level of. You know, efficiencies and making things better and faster and just giving us more of an advantage in that market.

Ryan Flynn: it’s, I’m always the belief of it’s, if it’s hard to do, it’s like worth doing because it’s going to set, you know, entrepreneurship, a lot of it is learning your mistakes [00:24:00] and you’re going to hit walls and just, blowing right through those and just, door closes, you find the open window kind of thing.

And,that’s what a lot of companies are going to stop through that whole process of, or not, like you said, digging deep and getting past the middlemen and finding the more direct relationships are going to make it more sustainable.

So, I mean, that’s a differentiator right there for your brand and your company overall, right where you’ve established those relationships. Now that’s just, a normal everyday channel for you, so to speak. yeah, that’s great.talk to us a little bit about, the new brand. So you’ve,you still got true nut still operating that, but over the past, what year or two you’ve started, another brand.

Talk to us a little bit about that.

Reid Edgar: Yeah, so I started Spot, about

a year ago. Spot makes laundry detergent sheets, which is an eco friendly version of laundry detergent. it’s what it sounds like. It’s a little sheet that, contains all of the cleansers and, detergents that will clean your clothes. So, you take the sheet, put it in the washing machine with your clothes.

once it hits the water, it will dissolve and [00:25:00] disperse all of the soap. and so your clothes clean just like normal. The sheet, It’s not like a dryer sheet where you have to take it out at the end of the cycle. It dissolves. so it’s very lightweight, very compact. it’s, less than the size of a book on a shelf.

I like to say. And it doesn’t come in a plastic jug like liquid laundry detergent, so it’s much more eco friendly, in terms of the amount of plastic that’s being used and thrown away. and also when you think about the amount of gasoline that’s used to transport all these jugs of liquid detergent.

We’re essentially driving soapy water across the country from warehouse to store to home, whereas we’re just, you know, shipping these little sheets. And you really don’t need liquid detergent because You have water at your house that’s going in your watcher anyway, so all you really need is the soap.

And that’s what the 

sheet is. Works just as well without all the plastic.

Ryan Flynn: great cost savings there. From obviously consumer standpoint,brand standpoint and everything else. what’s it [00:26:00] been like, starting that obviously different, you can take great benefit of being an entrepreneur this long.

And I can attest this because I’ve been an entrepreneur at the same amount of time, is that you just learn a lot and you’re a little dangerous. In a good way. because you’ve learned so much. So tell us about. the journey of starting that and where you see the brand going forward.

Reid Edgar: I’m an environmentalist myself, I care a lot about the environment, and, I want, the goal with this 

company is to make,

it’s practice what I call pragmatic environmentalism, which is bringing eco friendly concepts to mainstream audiences in a way that is affordable and approachable for them.

So typically eco friendly products are, it’s super green and everything relating with environmental message. And I don’t want to do that. if people buy it because it is a eco friendly product, that’s great. I think in order to really move the needle and drastically reduce our plastic waste, we’re going to need everybody on board.

And that means we got to sell to [00:27:00] mainstream consumers that don’t really care about the environment. They care about work and is it affordable. So with our packaging, it’s a very, mainstream, it looks like a just plain Jane, just regular everyday cleaning product. And so I don’t want consumers to see a difference when they buy this product.

So, uh, where is the brand? where do I see it going? I want this to be, you know, a mainstay on just the regular shelf, of, retail stores. Now, I do take what I learned with true nut. In the hand like I’m not really approaching grocery stores, but I’m approaching for like value stores.

and we’ve had,

 some difficulties because this path is not 

it’s new. You know, they’re not used to seeing eco friendly products. They’re not used to seeing,I mean, this is a new product anyway. and it’s also priced very well. We are much cheaper than liquid detergent.

[00:28:00] And, I think sometimes that can be that things don’t make sense in the buyer’s head when they’re looking at this, or they just say, we’re just not ready for this yet. my customer’s not ready for this. And so we’re having a lot of difficulty convincing people, but I know it’s going to happen.

Like this concept is already taking hold. particularly online. this is a very popular item on Amazon. and it’s only a matter of time. But I want us to be ready for when those

stores are ready or they think they’re ready. That I’ll be there and ready to, target this market because most of my competitors are really focusing on the green shoppers that, that want to spend extra money because they think they’re doing something good for the environment.

Whereas not a lot of people are really focused on where I’m focusing. So I think that will also give us a good,entry into a lot of points of sale. and, again, where is the brand going? I wanted this concept to, more [00:29:00] products than just laundry detergent.

Ryan Flynn: I wanted to develop other eco friendly products that can be sold at a lower price than the traditional plastic laden, mainstay and present it to mainstream audiences in a way that they can afford and that they’re used to. Yeah, no, I love it. And I think I can already see,you know, you’ve laid all the groundwork, right? you know the production angle of it, you know the market of it, right? And if it’s if you’re from the timing earlier, and if you’re just there. And you’re ready to pounce once that opportunity does hit or the cross section of, if you said the pragmatic environmentalist, 

 almost like the supply and demand curve kind of meet,that’s when you’re already ready. you’re there. So that’s great. And I can start to see, I can see the channel benefits of things like even like people and, new camping, Or people, traditionally maybe use a laundromat.

Like this would be a great product for folks like that, because. Obviously they care a lot about lugging around, big things, the detergent, whether they’re the camper or two in front of the laundromat. And yeah, that’s a, it’s awesome.maybe [00:30:00] looking back and looking forward to what do you maybe see in the next, the horizon of maybe just CPG in general, obviously you’ve seen it from a few different angles now, anything that’s on the horizon that you’re excited about or nervous about, what

would you say?

Reid Edgar: boy, that’s another, long answer.yeah, I feel like,

we’re in a place where, it’s harder now for smaller brands to succeed in retail, except in what I think are very, niche channels, which

is

where we’re at. We’re doing well, 

um, and there’ll always be new brands coming up that are venture funded.

 you can always tell which ones have the money behind them because they’ve got all the placements. They’ve got the, packaging that looks way beyond what a three month old company should have.and they’re in every store overnight. but I think the opportunities for new brands are really going to start shifting online.

it already has shifted online, and that’s going to really be your bReid and butter, I think. with that said, I think there’s [00:31:00] also going to be a lot of change. I don’t know exactly how this is going to play out, but the UNFI and KEGI model of distributing products to grocery stores, I don’t think is sustainable.

 I think there’s going to, something is going to happen and there’s going to be a huge upheaval in how we get products to grocery stores because this model, like this is ancient model that they are operating on there and it just doesn’t make sense in today’s world where consumers have so many ways of buying products they don’t have to go to the grocery store and get Everything that they want anymore.

There’s a million channels now, and these companies, I think, are taking advantage of new companies that, you know, maybe they don’t know anybody or maybe they have all You know, they maybe they do have a lot of money from a venture capitalist and they’ve got money to burn and if that ever dries up and they’re screwed [00:32:00] and, so I think there’s going to be a big shift in the way that grocery stores operate.

And I think they got a life boat during the pandemic when people were shopping so much. And I think that,it extended their deadline for making some changes in the way that they operate. But something is going to change soon. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to be, but something is going to happen.and grocery stores are going to figure it out. And whoever does are going to be the ones that survive. but Amazon and Walmart and Target are going to be there. moving first. And if you don’t move right after it, then you’re going to be in trouble. 

Ryan Flynn: that

Reid Edgar: For retailersand for brands. Brands have to be ready to, You know,the environment seems to be shifting all the time. And I really think that, especially new and smaller brands really shouldn’t be thinking so much about these retailers. think about online, think about exporting and if it’s applicable to you, private label and food service, like those are things that you don’t rely on [00:33:00] these ancient, industries like grocery.

It’s such an ancient industry that. doesn’t make sense in today’s world with these new brands. if you’re Coca Cola, yeah, it makes sense, but,I don’t think that’s where new brands should be focused. It’s

Ryan Flynn: no, that’s awesome insight. And then so looking from forwards to maybe backwards. What’s something you maybe wish you knew when you started You’ve learned so much I can imagine over the last 11 years, but what’s the one thing you were like, man, I wish I would’ve known about that, or I wish I would’ve knew that when you first started.

Reid Edgar: funny, I posted something on LinkedIn about this today. about, how it’s very difficult for young brands to succeed at grocery stores. So grocery stores work on what’s called a category review schedule.

So once every year, they review every category. So for peanut butter, that month may be January. On January, they look at peanut butter. they decide what’s in, what’s out. And that change will happen in, six to eight months. And then next January, they will do it again. you only have, [00:34:00] if you’re going in, they decide in January.

You’re in the stores around the fall. And then they’re reassessing again in January. So you’ve only got a few months to make a big impact and say, I belong on this shelf. Meanwhile, you’ve given them a free case of product in every store. You’re spending, you’re doing the store’s promotions, you’re doing the distributors promotions, you’re running demos, you’re doing coupons.

All of this stuff for a four to five month trial period. Because that’s what you’re, it’s a grocery, it’s on a one, one year contract over and over again. and I spent, I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent on those programs. And it was just, not the right decision.

And so, If I could go back and do that again, would try to think to myself, what is the best way forward for me? Like, what is not only what’s going to be profitable. what’s good for my [00:35:00] brand. and grocery stores are good for your brand. That’s probably the best thing they have going for them.

you get brand awareness. You get to tell people I’m in Kroger on their Publix or whatever. but. Is it worth, you know, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars to be, to say that, and, I don’t, in my case, the answer was no. So I wish I had known that before then. You know,so I, I think that’s, yeah,I would give myself a lengthy lesson on, retail and how retail works.

I wish I had known that back then. And I really did have a lot of people helping me. so I always like to pay it forward and help other small brands and people that are coming into this space. but even still, there’s some things you just don’t know until you go through it and learn the hard way.

Ryan Flynn: thank you. Yep. You gotta experience, you gotta experience the pain of it and the stomach churning, sometimes the stomach churning aspect of it as well. So for sure. well, really, this has been a fantastic conversation and man, like you said, we probably could have delved into a [00:36:00] whole nother side topics on another episode.

Maybe we’ll have to have you back on and discuss some of those, cause you got some great insight, but, last but not least, where can people find.

your brand, where’s the best place for them to find them at?

Reid Edgar: Uh, Amazon’s always the best. just because it’s everywhere. you can find, Let’s see, Spot, you can find Spot and TruNut in TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods. One of my favorite retailers, as I said. that’s probably the top place to find us. And then, internationally, Amazon as well. That’s probably the best place to find us, 

TruNut, T R U N U T, and then Spot, detergent sheets. link us up.

Ryan Flynn: Awesome. Awesome. Reid, thanks again for all the insight and, great 

conversation today. Thank you. Yep.

Reid Edgar: Thank you.