What do music festivals, booze, and sustainability have in common? Aimy Steadman of BeatBox Beverages and Naturally Austin

Dec 29, 2021

Sustainability doesn’t have to come at the expense of fun and with Austin, Texas being a mecca for the natural food industry, there’s no shortage of either. Aimy shares her passion for sustainability in business and fostering a community for entrepreneurs and brands with similar ethos.

Show Notes:

Learn more about BeatBox – https://beatboxbeverages.com/

Watch their Shark Tank episode – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR21IPq4e70

Learn about Naturally Austin and the Naturally Network (nationwide) – https://www.naturallyaustin.org/

Pretty ok transcript:

[00:00:00] Mason: Today. We have Amy Steadman, founder, and chief get shit done, officer of beat box and current president, and one of the founding members of naturally Austin. Also first-generation immigrant got your citizenship 11 years ago today. So he

[00:00:17] Aimy: said I got approved 11 years ago today.

[00:00:20] Mason: Wow. And where did you that.

[00:00:22] Aimy: Um, I am a British citizen, but I was born in Kuwait and lived in Syria right before I moved here. My mom’s from Syria, my dad’s from the UK.

[00:00:32] Mason: And are they both? Your parents are in the us as

[00:00:34] Aimy: well? Yes, we are all citizens now. All fully American. So when did y’all come over in 90?

My parents wanted to be entrepreneurs. My dad worked for Motorola and my mom worked for another big sort of company and they both quit their jobs and move to Texas to be entrepreneurs. And they had these really cool. Vending machine businesses when I was a kid, which I loved at the stuffed animals and the crane and the stickers that’s the candy.

So that was a very fun business for me as a child to be around. But for sure, they also had like carpet cleaning companies and sold stuff on eBay, all kinds of stuff. Neither of my parents went to college, so they were just kind of making it work. So it was always their big dream for me to be an entrepreneur as well.

And. Definitely suited my personality growing up. I was always like, how much does this cost? How much does this cost? Like trying to figure it out. So watching them, you know, they always say like, if you can see it, then you can easily do it. So definitely got influenced from watching my parents be immigrant entrepreneurs here in the U S.

[00:01:34] Mason: talk to us about beatbox and how you

[00:01:37] Aimy: absolutely. So, uh, when I first graduated undergrad, I was in online marketing. So this is back in 2008. I don’t know if you remember that year, but it was a hard year to get a job unless you do coding or web stuff or something that was going to help you. And so I was always a big nerd.

I used to build my own computers to play video games. I’ve been making websites since I was like 10 years old. And so, I kind of optimized around that in order to survive because as an early graduating 2000. And so I really specialized in online marketing and websites, things like that. I actually ended up starting my own online marketing company and website company and went to go get my MBA at the university of Texas McCombs program and joined entrepreneur society.

It was there that I met my co-founder with, for beatbox beverages, Justin Funchal. He said, Hey, we want to make a millennial version of box to wine and neon boxes. And I was like, what are you talking about? You know, I can make websites. And so at the time it was like, sure, I’ll make you and your buddies, a website for your, you know, boombox is what it was called at the time boombox project.

And he was in the MBA program with you and he, yeah, he had the idea with his friends to start this company that was. It’s probably every guy

[00:02:48] Mason: does. It’s like, let’s start an alcohol company. It’ll

[00:02:51] Aimy: be great. You already drink so much. I mean, so this is 2011 now. So 2010 was four Lokos big year, right? That was kind of the year they got banned and everything.

So everyone had been partying with malt beverages, like four Loco and flavors. And. That we had also seen boxed wine at every party, every tailgate floating the river in San Marcus. And so we’re like, wow, somebody really needs to make a four Loco mixed with a Franzia.

[00:03:19] Mason: That actually tastes good box or anything back then, or was it just

[00:03:22] Aimy: Franzia?

I think they did have some, you know, other boxed wines and things like that, but the brands were very sleepy. They were. Marketed to retired people and things like that. And, our generation was buying, I was 23 at the time. And like, we were the ones buying it. I feel like the most, I feel like I drank a lot of

[00:03:39] Jess: friends, a lot more

[00:03:41] Aimy: Loco my day.

Yes, exactly. So, we just were like, Hey, what if we created a brand that millennials would really get behind? And this was also the big debut of Music festival culture and like Coachella being such a huge thing. And all these big music festivals and my partners had gone to electric Daisy carnival.

And they were like, oh my gosh, this is the wave of the future. Let’s build a brand around, how music connects us all globally. And so that’s why we wanted to call it beat box. I think they thought I was cool because I had a electronic music radio show. At UT I was like a student radio DJ. Yes.

My radio show is called disco jorts. So it was really fun. And we bonded over electronic music and all kinds of music really, but, that started beatbox beverages and we did it. The MBA program had a lot is for like business plan competitions. You could, you know, business plan class, and you know how to sort of like a formal way for you to start working on your company.

And so we used every group, project, everything we could do to start the company and eventually launched it during south by Southwest 2013, just a couple of months before we graduated. And yeah, we were making it ourselves and, I still had a day job, you know, all this

[00:04:54] Mason: trash can punch

[00:04:55] Aimy: then pretty much.

Yeah, pretty much. We had a very bare bones facility on, Rundberg and 180 3 east side Northeast Austin, and, just a small facility that we could afford. We always say it looks like a scene out of breaking bad. And instead of making blues, you know, we’re making the blue stuff a beat box.

So it was only one flavor at the time of the, the blue Raz. So, we just had all of our friends come down and help us, and it was very manual in the beginning, you know? Basically at a giant blender, big mixing tank and the bag and box machine, vacuum fill machine. And so I would go to work at UT.

So after we graduated, I got a job working for their entrepreneurship department at UT. They had a really cool role for student entrepreneurs that if you did want to start your business, but you weren’t like independently wealthy. They would give you a role where you could have health insurance for a year and things like that.

So I helped them. Yeah. I helped run like the business plan competition and run the entrepreneurship programs while working on my own company. So that was really cool. So I would work at UT until like 5:00 PM and then go to the warehouse and we would, put the playlist on and just work there until like one or two in the morning.

Go home. And then on the weekends, we would be like three to six to nine hours doing the samplings just trying to get the word out, get feedback on the products. And so that was the first year just working a day job and trying to get it out there. And then, about a year later doing south by Southwest 2014, we pitched for shark tank.

We did a alumni casting call kind of thing, and pitch for shark tank and then eventually filmed. Yeah, yeah, three, but they also had like casting calls just for south by Southwest. My business partners are from California. I think they also sent an application to the studio in California as well, and we kinda tried to like, Hey, come from all.

Yeah. Make sure you see us. And it just worked out. I mean, shark tank, of course, it’s very difficult to actually make it on this show. There’s lots of rounds of cuts from being part of the casting calls all the way to filming all the way to, if you film, they tell you, you might not be on TV, but.

Super lucky, anybody wait, you know, I was 25 at the time and we thought they were going to be so mean to us, you know? And it’s called shark tank. Right. You’d expect it to be like, go super well right away. So we went out there. I was so nervous, but we ended up getting one of the biggest deals on the show of all time.

We get a million dollars from our Keven yeah, it was just off to the races from there.

[00:07:22] Mason: In retrospect, was there anything that you think was key to success to getting on shark tank and then getting into.

[00:07:28] Aimy: Yeah. We had a couple of things going for us. One, I don’t think they had had too many alcohol beverage products on this show because you know, beer and wine and things like that.

They’re trying to stay away from, harder alcohol and things like that. But us being a wine, we kind of fit into what they could put on TV for us. So that was really good. Cause we were in a unique category and then also, our product is neon. We were young people. We brought the energy, like in a huge way.

You just got to remember a shark tank is a TV show. You have to give them great. And so we just brought, 150% energy every time we met with the producers or anything so that they knew that, we’d be a great TV, um, moment. So, yeah, that’s the only thing I can remember. It was such a blur at the time, you know, so grateful for the experience.

[00:08:12] Mason: And then so how long from filming to show air and then did back then, I know some deals now they allow you to. It’s like, you can back out up until it shows the show airs or something. So what

[00:08:26] Aimy: is the deal mechanics? So, you know, when you go onto the show, they don’t know anything about you, the sharks don’t, they just know your first name.

They don’t have any information. And so of course they need some time to do their own diligence with their own lawyers and their own people. And so you shake on the deal as a handshake agreement and then everybody goes home and there’s a lot of diligence that goes into it. So for us, I think.

Till just before we aired in October from dune. So it was sort of mid end of June till end of September. So. Figuring it out, all out with mark Cuban’s team and eventually we’re able to close it in a way that made sense for us. It was a little tricky cause we’re an alcohol. So there’s all these like weird three tier laws that we have to deal with.

So we had some nuances there with his other investments that we had to sort out, but All in all pretty short experience, you know, we’ve done a lot of fundraising since and sometimes stuff doesn’t even close that quickly. Yeah.

[00:09:21] Mason: And one of the reasons why we want to be your best friend is not only do you have an alcohol company, but you’re passionate about sustainability.

When did your passion for sustainability really get instilled? And what’s been.

[00:09:33] Aimy: You know, and I can’t really remember a time where I wasn’t concerned about climate change just because I’m from the middle east. So if you’re in the middle east, you definitely know the power of the 10 year drought and things like that, and completely wrecking your society.

And so, intimately familiar with that. And then I always really cared about it. And I think becoming a CPG professional really forced me to think about it critically because anybody that’s making food or beverage products, anything in packaging, you think about all the stuff you’re making and all the carbon you’re using, driving it around the country and things like that.

And so, you know, bringing it forward into my career and my business life has been super important for me just to, be my true self because I think. I love parties. I love music. I love people, but at the same time we can’t ignore like what’s going on with the world. And so how can we balance those motivations to create something that we truly feel good about?

[00:10:29] Jess: did you guys think about them out the gates with the product in terms of the packaging and how you’d get it to and from, or as the company’s grown, you’ve taken a step back and looked at the model and then adjusted from there? Yeah,

[00:10:42] Aimy: our very first beat boxes had like little happy dancing trees on them and stuff because obviously like box wine is a more carbon efficient packaging alternative to.

Glass bottled wine. And so that was something that we started with. And then as we moved to single servings, which, 99% of our sales now are not based on the big bag and box product that we had on shark tank, but on our 500 milliliter, Tetra pack products have much more a single serving.

So when we looked at single servings, we did look at cans. We did look at bottles and everything else, but ultimately decided to go with the same ethos with Tetra Pak and. Go with the more carbon efficient option, especially since over the past 10 years that has become even more of an emergency.

So in terms of, prioritizing on packaging as a I’m the operations person in my company. So I’m an operations founder. Definitely love to geek out about this stuff. And carbon efficiency is what we optimize for above waste, just because of the time-sensitive urgency of the problem.

[00:11:38] Mason: Amy and I helped get an organization going in town called naturally. You want to talk about why you got involved in that, for

[00:11:46] Aimy: sure. So Austin’s got a great startup community, you know, big reason about why we all chose to stay here after we graduated or whatever brought us to Austin in the first place.

But, back in the day it definitely was all about tech startups. So going to events here in town and you’d hear about users and things like that. And I’m like, well, I’m making a retail only alcohol beverage product, you know, Conversations where my people and of course, Austin has always been so friendly and collaborative with, I remember Mason, you’re coming to my classes at UT is talking about Greenland back in the day.

And I wondered about that.

[00:12:22] Mason: I was like, what’s the time

[00:12:23] Aimy: right now? Of course. Yeah, no, I saw you for sure. And, uh, Clayton Christopher from deep Eddy was having a great success while I was in the MBA program. And he came and talked to us, Tito beverage, same thing. So we had, we knew we had. Leaders in the community that wanted to give back.

And so, a group of us, you know, obviously you included Philippe Jen, and even Dan decided, Hey, we want to create something just for product companies here in Austin. And so I started calling like all these different accelerators and different things from around the country. Eventually we landed with the naturally Boulder model, the naturally network, because it’s a nonprofit mission based organization.

So, we’re not a fund. We’re not an accelerator. We are a large group. That’s welcome to everybody to join with a mission of building responsibility in the consumer goods sector. So a food beverage. So anything you buy. As well, as of course, more and more things, moving online, things are running people buying online.

We’re trying to create a community of people working in this industry in Austin that do care about these issues and work together to be leaders, a leading firm here in Austin, and then work with our chapter cities. It’s really cool to be part of that network because we’ve got Boulder. We got Chicago, we’ve got several chapters in California now and New York.

And so it’s really cool to think of programs here in Austin that. We started and then could possibly scale through the other chapters and vice versa.

[00:13:49] Mason: So yeah, a nationwide reach. Chapter’s not everywhere yet, but access to the naturally network across today. Yeah. And

[00:13:57] Jess: even from attending all of the natural product expo east or west, like there’s always been such a large amount of companies coming from Austin and there was all the happy hours.

And so I’m sure when naturally Austin was started, they’re like, oh great. There’s like something official that we can actually. Just, you know, random people trying to put together a happy hour or something like that.

[00:14:15] Aimy: And that was part of the vision too, is keeping a nonprofit community, keeping a community organization it’s not owned by any specific company.

Everybody is welcome. And that was the vision from it, from the start, just to create a, like I said, a

[00:14:27] Mason: community. So yeah. I remember getting fielding a lot of questions and they’re like, but what do you like, what are you trying to do? It’s like, we’re trying to help you. Like, yeah, but so what do you, but, but then, then what do you do?

We help them more. We just, for me, the model was a capital factory and I would tell everyone that we wanted to be the capital factory for CPG, because they are really. There’s a center of gravity in Austin for technology startups. And so, uh,

[00:14:55] Aimy: I think they also have a for-profit model, right?

[00:14:58] Mason: They do. So they have actual, you know, investment funds and accelerator programs. And I guess we’ve, I felt like SCU was blazing that trail. Yeah. And so that we should really just focus on the community aspect of it. And it’s a, it’s been a blast our first pitch event was like over 600 people.

Came and yeah,

[00:15:19] Aimy: 30 or 42 years ago today, our pitch event. And obviously during the pandemic, it’s been a challenge to serve the community in the same way, because before, you just have a happy hour, 400 people show up and naturally everyone would be helping each other in person. And so it wasn’t too hard to facilitate that.

But I think that the team has done a really great job of bringing the virtual events and bringing smaller. Groups together to where we can still have the connection going, no matter what stage of pandemic we are in.

[00:15:49] Mason: Yeah. So if you’re out there and you want to start a food product, we’ll have in the show notes information on the naturally network and probably should move to Austin.

If you want to start

[00:15:58] Aimy: a food product, that’s where it would be. There’s

[00:16:01] Jess: also virtual events where like sales managers and marketing managers too. So. In the industry already, it’s a great community to be involved in beyond just being an entrepreneur, wanting to start

[00:16:11] Aimy: your own company. Yeah. I think of it as a professional association that happens to have the mission-based

[00:16:19] Mason: and even within that, you’ve been pioneering some sustainability and.

[00:16:24] Aimy: Yeah. one of the things that we’ve been trying to do at beatbox is do the B Corp certification and my experience doing that, so far it’s been, I think even more than a year of working with consultants and trying to figure it all out and. Just as an idea of how we could have impact in the industry, leaning on certifications and other programs like the core of, I know they’re not perfect, but they’re really great opportunities for brands to learn about how to do business in this way and how to be a responsible brand.

They have frameworks for that, that have already been built,

[00:16:58] Mason: explained a

[00:16:58] Aimy: little more. So B Corp is just. Like an organic certification, but it’s for a whole business model. And so B Corp is a nonprofit. They analyze a lot of things. You have pride, a lot of data about your business model from sustainability to, how much does your CEO get paid versus your lowest paid worker?

All kinds of things and they give you a score and it’s a pretty high standard in order to get the certification. And so the idea is if more companies get this certification and we’re able to create more of a standard for responsible business through it, that it could be a good way to transform our economy.

Without having to pass policy or other kinds of things that you don’t entrepreneurs and professionals could just choose to do more responsible practices, signal that to the consumer and together we can create that as a standard. And so through the naturally network and our chapter here in Austin, we’ve started something called the sustainability forum.

We’ve done events with, consultants and things like that to help connect anybody that’s interested in advocating for sustainability in their company. Just resources and mentors and more people that can talk to about that because it is such a overwhelming to do list sometimes to actually go forward and push some of these initiatives through.

And so we want to create a really strong community of experts and just, somebody you can call if you’re having issues figuring it all out. So

[00:18:22] Mason: my company Greenlane at two companies ago, we got B Corp certified, right? When they were developing the certificate. Yeah. Because we were, I mean, we were doing local food and organic and everything about our company.

It was like perfect score for their certification, except for governance, a corporate governance. We didn’t really, we didn’t have a big board or anything. And they’re like, well, we don’t. I mean, You score zero on corporate governance because we were just bootstrapping the company. Yeah. And they’re like, but everything else is perfect.

So we’re definitely giving you the certification, but you do need to start paying attention to corporate governance. I’m like, okay. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:19:01] Aimy: And, and through that process, I bet you learned as an entrepreneur, how to do that, but I just think it’s great as part of the education

[00:19:08] Mason: too. And now. They’re going state by state and companies can opt to form as a B Corp.

And then that allows the company to actually have environmental goals as part of their charter. Like right now companies in the U S have to put profit above the environment. To be a public company, for sure. Private, charters can be amended some, but you can’t have a public company with public benefit as part of the charter.

Until a few years ago, when B Corp started doing it and you could do it in Delaware. I think Texas as well. I think there’s a handful of states that you can actually form a company with public benefit as part of the bottom line. And so that’s a really cool advancement. Yeah.

[00:19:51] Aimy: We’re still technically an LLC, but we amended our bylaws to say, Hey, you know, this company considers the environment and the people, as well as the profit, when we make business decisions and things.

[00:20:02] Mason: I think converting from an LLC to B Corp would be as much harder than starting as one, right?

[00:20:08] Aimy: Exactly. Are

[00:20:09] Jess: there any brands in Austin that are already doing a kick-ass job in terms of their sustainability efforts that have worked with you guys through these forums?

[00:20:17] Aimy: Well we have thrive market and Gaia herbs two professionals.

Help run. Those companies are part of our board and actually Austin and help teach some of the sustainability forum classes and things like that, which is really great. Those are two companies that have gone above and beyond in terms of trying to make their name in the industry for sustainability and sourcing, things like that.

So definitely want to point out those. We have quite a few here in Austin for. I don’t want to miss anybody.

[00:20:45] Mason: Beatbox has created a couple of extra brands now,

[00:20:50] Aimy: no longer. So, so yeah. Back in 2018, 2019, Beat box was doing a big change where we were switching our distribution network from wine and spirits, wholesalers to the beer network. And so, you know, it’s a wine based product. And so this is pretty unique to be distributed by the beer network, but just in terms of the brand and which stores we wanted to be in, what part of the story we wanted to be in.

It made sense for us. At the same time though, we noticed that the beer wholesalers really wanted more. Wine and spirits type products, because those were more profitable for them. They were incremental to what they were selling already. And so they came to us and said, Hey, what else would we be able to sell in the truck?

Do you guys have any canned wine? Do you have any seltzers, anything else? And so we developed out cork lists, which is environmentally. Conscious, canned wine brand and then Brizzy seltzer cocktails, which was a craft cocktail, inspired seltzer those were both set to launch, early 2020, which we all knew what happened.

All the innovation brands that wanted to launch 2020 and at the same time, bee box beverages. I just ended up having such a huge blow up moment in 2020 that we decided as a small company to completely focus on beatbox beverages. We were also in a lawsuit with Visy for Molson Coors around our brand Brizzy, recent settled that, and part of the settlement is we no longer make Brizzy.

So, um, that was an easy one. There was a reason to stop doing that one.

[00:22:19] Jess: Well I’m sure there was a ton of work that went into both of those, so yeah,

[00:22:23] Aimy: yeah, And no one could have guessed what happened in 2020 with the pandemic. So I’m just super grateful that we are still rocking and rolling with beatbox and it’s doing better than ever.

So thank God for that.

[00:22:34] Jess: And you guys were recently an official sponsor for EDC, the electronic Daisy festival. How was that for you? Like personally and for the brand.

[00:22:41] Aimy: Oh, it’s incredible. After going, nearly two years without any music festival events and that being the true ethos of the brand and for me, I’m behind the computer a lot of the time, you know, working on logistics, manufacturing, sustainability stuff that we’re doing.

So. At the music festivals and dancing with people on drinking Vbox with people is like my time to connect with everyone. And so our first festival back was rolling loud in July, which is a hip hop festival. I went to that in Miami, just because I really wanted just to connect with everybody. Cause it had been sold.

Had a great time there. And then EDC like I mentioned, was my business partner’s inspiration basically for the whole brand. And so going back this past weekend and doing that and being the title sponsor is like a super incredible experience. The brand product fit for EDC and beatbox is like completely awesome.

And we were definitely sold out at all the bars. One of the number one things we’ve heard since the event was, we tried to buy you guys and you were sold out at the bars and so we were, we, we had really good performance at the

[00:23:42] Mason: end. It’s still a problem, but

[00:23:45] Aimy: it’s a good problem. Yeah. Thank God.

Grateful for those problems. So. And of course, we got to dance with everyone, which is my favorite part.

[00:23:53] Jess: Yeah. I think ACL was the first music event or festival that we went to since COVID. And that was a blast. Sounds like you’ve been to a few

[00:23:59] Aimy: since then. Definitely went to ACL as well. Maybe we’ll sponsor that one, one day.

That would be an amazing and milestone as well. definitely. How big is he? It is to use about 150,000 people per day for three days. Wow. So it’s definitely, I think one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the U S or north America, in terms of music festivals, it’s a few minutes to go. Yeah. You guys will come next year.

There’s so many great ones. The good news is beatbox is probably sponsoring all of them next year. Come along for the ride. Be brand ambassadors for you guys.

Love that.

[00:24:33] Mason: Love that I went with the business group. And we, someone was like, Hey, there’s this big electronic music festival in town. Do y’all want to go and we’re all like, yeah, sure. I’ll try something too. And so I went and it was, me and about 10 business guys that were older than me. And then it seemed like 80,018 year olds on drugs.

[00:24:54] Aimy: Yeah. There’s definitely a lot of folks dancing around crazy for sure. And, but it was a lot of fun.

[00:25:02] Jess: And so you guys have also had tons of awesome marketing collaborations with some big names. Do you want to talk to us a little bit about

[00:25:09] Aimy: those, for sure. So when you worked with person called dog face, who?

I think probably everyone will remember during the pandemic he was drinking cranberry juice and rolling down the street on his longboard. I think he was probably the first sort of breakout, tick talk viral meme that everybody watched and he was singing. Yup. Yup. Dreams. And so we reached out to him and his team and developed a flavor called the cranberry dreams flavor.

And from calling them until having an on retail shelves. And about a thousand Kroger’s was about four months or five months. So that was really crazy for my operations team, but pulled it together. And the flavor is delicious.

[00:25:53] Jess: Where can people find.

[00:25:55] Aimy: Yeah, beat box. We’re currently only in about 6% of all the stores. We could be in the U S but drew, you know, aggressively investing to get to a hundred percent as soon as we can. But we’re in almost every state we’re launching the Northeast and next spring. We’ve got a couple other states we’re not in, but we’re in almost every other state.

And here in Texas, you can find us at HEB specs, quick trip, lots of different convenience store chains, things like that. Check us out. Store locator. We actually have more than 3000 people per day visiting our store locator in the last few days, which is insane, but we hope to get it out to you ASAP everyone.

It’s a fight to get in retail shelves, but we were battling that every

[00:26:39] Jess: day. One of our questions. What is one of your biggest challenges right now? Would you say that’s it or is there anything else?

[00:26:45] Aimy: say since shark tank where we had our big sort of brand awareness moment back in 2014, I mean, we’ve had that long to build consumer brands.

Folks and, we’ve been doing things fun online since then and doing all these kinds of things that we have a lot of pent up demand. And I think right now in our industry ready to drink, cocktails is finally like the number one category. You know, we started this company like even before the craft beer.

Boom. So you can think about all the trends that we’ve seen come in and go. And right now is really our moment where the number one. Brand in that category. And it’s the number one category in terms of, revenue per store. And so we’re really trying to just prove everyone, Hey, it’s our time. We deserve to be on store shelves, get us distribution.

And so we’re working with all of our wholesalers. More than 200 wholesalers and lots of retailers as well that, we’re trying to show them what’s happening online, show them what’s happening and why we need to be in their stores in a bigger way. So that is our job over the next two years.

[00:27:46] Mason: And within the alcohol industry, how much would you say sustainability as a topic?

[00:27:50] Aimy: I think this year more than ever, you see people like Anheuser-Busch really taking a bigger stand on building sustainable breweries and things like that. People are looking at alternative packaging in a big way.

I think just because there’s not any cans or bottles around. And so they’re like, Hey, what else is out there? I think, especially with the Biden administration and potentially creating more of a structure from a government perspective for business to operate from a sustainability perspective, in terms of like carbon pricing or other things that we may be doing, I think the bigger players know it’s coming.

And so they’re planning now. And then the innovation players are using. As a way to, just to build J differentiate and build connection with consumers and be ahead of what’s coming. you know, in general, I wouldn’t say it’s like the number one thing talked about, we’re an alcohol beverage industry.

This is an industry that people don’t often associate with, happy cheery values. And so. I think it’s even more important for the brands to step up and say, Hey, even though this might not what we talk about at the time of consumer purchase, we need to be doing this stuff back of house.

So, so our customers can relax and not worry about it. Like when you’re enjoying beatbox, I want you to be jamming to music and having a great time with your friends. I don’t want you worried about, the world blowing up, you know, I think all of us as business leaders need to kind of take that burden off of our customer.

[00:29:08] Mason: Yeah, we talked to a sustainable wine company and we’re kind of blown away by what really is in wine and wine companies. Don’t have to even tell you what’s in the wine. so glad there’s some back of the house action. And we think consumers should be asking more questions about that and about what is in their alcohol and what is the supply chain for, that tequila or the vodka.


[00:29:34] Aimy: developing that standards all the way back, because, if your suppliers aren’t being used to ask those questions, they don’t even have the documentation to tell you sometimes if we all are asking and if we’re all doing that, and it just becomes easier to get that information to consider.

[00:29:49] Jess: consumers are so concerned about, you know, what food products they’re putting in their body, but I mean, any sort of liquid or alcohol, same thing, right. Going into your body. So for consumers to start asking those questions about everything they’re consuming.

[00:30:00] Aimy: Yeah,

[00:30:01] Mason: absolutely. One of my favorite memes is I will snort a random powder off of girls’ boobs at a music festival, but don’t, you dare put cow milk in my coffee.

[00:30:11] Jess: There’s all things that we do and

[00:30:13] Aimy: don’t do. People have all different perspectives. And so I think the main thing is just fighting objections. I think a lot of the innovation that launches in food and beverage is like, Hey, we’re going to launch this whole brand based on the nutritionals are based on the fact that it’s eco-friendly with beatbox, we’ve kind of taken a different approach where it’s like, Hey, it’s actually just a really fun brand.

But we were going to cancel all these objections. You may have by having a version of it, that’s lower. ABV completely all natural, no artificial ingredients. Having it be eco-friendly having it be led by diverse people. If you’re going to do that kind of research on your company, you would be delighted with what you find out about the books.

But, at the point of purchase, it’s all about the fun and, and Hey, we’re giving you a great value and that kind of thing.

[00:30:58] Mason: And that’s one of the reasons we love it. And mostly green. We think everyone should be taking steps, but it doesn’t need to be screamed all the time.

[00:31:07] Aimy: I think we should just make it normal. And I think part of it making it normal is treating it like it’s normal and not screaming at all the time. You’d be like, yeah, of course we’re plastic neutral. Like, why wouldn’t you be plastic? Point it’s really not that expensive. And it’s a huge meaning to people, you know, things like that.

I would love for that to be the normal conversation with folks

[00:31:28] Mason: and the outliers are the ones not

[00:31:29] Aimy: doing it. Exactly. Exactly. How can we make that? The case?

[00:31:33] Mason: Well, this has been wonderful. Thanks so much for joining us on and mostly green light.

[00:31:39] Aimy: Absolutely. Thank you all so much for having me. And I’m really excited about this whole podcast and excited to listen and learn more from your future guests.