Who doesn’t love to talk about food, especially when it’s good for the environment? I chatted with one of the founders of Airly (an intrapreneurship venture of Post) about creating a carbon neutral, sustainable, affordable, and yummy product! All, I think you’ll learn a lot from this episode.

By the way, we also talk about marketing and how to simply communicate a sustainable message.

Please drop a note and let me know what you think!!
Pick up your Airly through this LINK

Airly The Social Impact Podcast
Jennifer McKnight, Co-Founder of Airly Foods and Chief Marketing Officer, leads all marketing efforts for Airly.  Jen’s undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering, and she’s always loved tackling complex problems.  She went on to get her MBA at Kellogg School of Management and enter a career in brand management.  She has been privileged to work on a range of iconic brands across many categories.  Bringing Airly to life has been a labor of love, and Jen is excited to be tackling one her most interesting and important challenges to date…getting the word out about the role we all can play in tackling climate change together.

Raw Transcription of Episode:

Speaker1: [00:00:00.41] Thank you for joining the Social Impact Podcast. Today we’re speaking with one of the creators of Airlie, which is the brand new sustainable snack out of post.

Speaker2: [00:00:11.48] What could be disruptive in food and beverage? You know, one of the personal passion areas for us with climate change, because depending on which study you look at, the global food supply chain is responsible for somewhere between 25 to 33% of total [00:00:30.00] global greenhouse gases. So I think for us that was a real rallying cry. And we started with a question, what if, what if? Instead of trying to just be like less bad, we could actually use food to help reverse climate change. So that really became the mission that we started with.

Speaker1: [00:00:52.28] Welcome to the Social Impact podcast where people like you and I are making sustainable change throughout the world. Learn [00:01:00.00] why they do it and how you can be a change maker in your community and across the globe. Each week we hear from people on their social issue and what compels them to make an impact. Hi everyone. My name is Bree Jensen, and today’s guest is Jennifer McKnight. She’s the co-founder of Airlie Foods and chief marketing officer. She leads all marketing efforts for Airlie, which is a part of post. [00:01:30.00] Jen’s undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering and she’s always loved tackling complex problems. She went on to get her MBA at Kellogg School of Management and entered a career in brand management. She has been privileged to work on a range of iconic brands across many categories. Bringing Airlie to life has been a labor of love. Jen is excited to be tackling one of her most interesting and important challenges to date. [00:02:00.00] Getting the word out about the role we can all play in tackling climate change together. Well, Jen, thank you so much for joining the first season of the Social Impact podcast. I loved meeting you. We recently met at the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego and it was so fun. I guess we kind of had dinner together. It was kind of like a little cocktail hour, but I just found what you’re doing so interesting at post [00:02:30.00] and just kind of I was thinking, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an entrepreneur, you are in CSR. I mean, just all the things with your new role. So first of all, thank you for joining me this afternoon. I’m so happy to have this conversation with you.

Speaker2: [00:02:46.83] Thank you for inviting me.

Speaker1: [00:02:48.45] Yeah, absolutely. So let’s just go right into it. Can you share what you are doing at post and what’s kind of like revolutionizing our snacks? [00:03:00.00]

Speaker2: [00:03:00.42] Yeah, I think so. So we just launched a new line of snack crackers. So it was officially born on May 17. It’s early and early is the world’s first climate positive snack to remove greenhouse gases from the air. So every single box you buy removes greenhouse gases from the air.

Speaker1: [00:03:23.34] Wow, that’s incredible. Can we go like a layer lower?

Speaker2: [00:03:28.03] Yes, because.

Speaker1: [00:03:29.37] In theory, [00:03:30.00] I’m thinking and I told you this before, that I have been on the social impact side and I’ve had this like aha moment in the words of Oprah of like by the way, social impact has everything to do with our environment and how we are creating sustainability and all the things. And so I’ve been using really the last, I would say, six months to dive into this topic. Can you share with us what it means [00:04:00.00] to do the things that you just said you’re doing?

Speaker2: [00:04:03.86] Yeah, no, I’m happy to tell you kind of how we started and how the heck this thing works. So it all began probably about two and a half years ago when myself and our other co-founders came back to post. We’ve got some history, had worked for other post brands and our CEO had really asked us to come back and develop, in his words, disrupt the food and beverage [00:04:30.00] space. And so that’s a pretty cool challenge. And so as we kind of sat back and thought about, well, gosh, what could be disruptive in food and beverage? You know, one of the personal passion areas for us was climate change, because depending on which study you look at, the global food supply chain is responsible for somewhere between 25 to 33% of total global greenhouse gases. So I think for us that was a real rallying cry. [00:05:00.00] And we started with a question, what if, what if? Instead of trying to just be like less bad, we could actually use food to help reverse climate change. So that really became the mission that we started with, is using food to reverse climate change. And then how we actually started looking into this is there’s tremendous potential within agriculture to actually sequester greenhouse gases or CO two into the soil. [00:05:30.00] And so we ultimately brought together world leading scientists directly with farmers to really look at how do we maximize CO2 sequestration on the field, in the farm.

Speaker2: [00:05:45.42] And then also just overall the kind of practices you can do on farm to reduce emissions. And so we didn’t know if it was going to work. I mean, I’ll be honest, going in this, if we could actually get a farm to go carbon [00:06:00.00] negative. But I think when you bring together scientists whose entire life’s work is around carbon sequestration with farmers, his entire life work is around feeding Americans. That’s a really powerful collaboration. So that’s really how we started. And so for early, we are negative at the farm and we do a lifecycle assessment to validate all the things that go on in the farm, whether it’s the equipment, [00:06:30.00] the soil, the seeds, like all the different inputs. And we do a lifecycle assessment to validate that we’re truly negative. And then we’re working on trying to figure out how to not emit everywhere else. But so far we haven’t come up with it thinking that doesn’t emit at all. And so we’ll then invest in agricultural and forestry credits to bring us back to that farm level. So that’s the number you’ll see on the box. Wow.

Speaker1: [00:06:58.57] Yes, that’s amazing. [00:07:00.00] And we’ll circle back to the number you’ll see on the box, because I love that you have that marketing mind. And we had a great conversation about just explaining it on the box. But I want to circle back to when people at Post said.

Speaker2: [00:07:13.15] Hey, we.

Speaker1: [00:07:14.26] Want to make this incredible change and I want you to do it. I mean, I think like as a social entrepreneur or somebody that just wants to make a big change in the world, you see so many problems, challenges [00:07:30.00] every day. And how do you go from that? Like, I want to make a difference to actually making a difference. I feel like there’s a big gap there where people maybe get lost and they’re like, Never mind, I’m overwhelmed or not, never mind. But like, maybe I’ll just do this or that and they don’t do that big thing. So can.

Speaker2: [00:07:48.67] You kind of get a little honest.

Speaker1: [00:07:51.19] With us and what was your frame of mind and how did you positively move.

Speaker2: [00:07:56.02] Forward? No, I think it’s a really insightful question for me, because [00:08:00.00] one of the steps that I kind of jumped over is before we ever even thought about the product we wanted to make. Mark Izzo, who is my partner in crime on this, the co founder, and he has an r d food background. He’s got his PhD, the whole bit. So where he’s the product development, I’m a marketing side of things. When before we even talked about the product, one of the things we talked about is what’s the type of company we want to build? Like what? What’s the end game [00:08:30.00] here? And so we had actually very purposefully sat down and talked about what are the things that are important to us? And those have since become the company values that you can see on our website. And the reason I mention that is our very first value is the time is now. So I think to your point, there’s a couple of observations I would make. One is figure out what your passion area is. So for us it was climate change. And why I say figure it out is [00:09:00.00] when you use the word sustainability, it’s huge. You could get into water, you could go into biodiversity, you could go into how employees are treated are so many different issues that are out there.

Speaker2: [00:09:14.02] So my counselor advice would be figure out the one you’re most passionate about and make sure you’re focusing on that first because it’s really hard to solve everything all at one time. Yeah, the second idea within that first value was don’t let [00:09:30.00] perfection get in the way of progress. So this is I’ll be honest, this is really hard and I guarantee you we are not today as far as we want to be. You know, we’re pretty darn good on the farm, but we still have room to go. And we’re still trying to figure out how to do no emissions baking and how to move to electric vehicles for our transportation. If we had waited until we figured all of that [00:10:00.00] out, we would never have made it to market. So I think make sure that don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. But then equally important to that, too, is being candid with your consumers and your stakeholders on where you are. So that for us is of equal importance. I want folks to know what we’re good at, what we’re struggling with, and what we’re working on so that they’re on the journey with us.

Speaker1: [00:10:26.45] That’s incredible. That transparency speaks volumes, especially [00:10:30.00] from I know you’re kind of a company within a company, but from a big powerhouse like Post, that transparency is so huge that we don’t always see in corporate, corporate social responsibility. So I think that’s fantastic and I see the product behind you eerily. Those boxes look amazing. Can you go back to when you shared a little bit about how you explain it on the box and you made it so clear, user friendly, which we [00:11:00.00] all need?

Speaker2: [00:11:01.49] Well, I hope so, because I will have to tell you, I worked on a lot of amazing brands that people have in their kitchen cabinets at home. This is far and away the hardest marketing challenge that I’ve had, because, let’s be honest, most folks don’t know a whole lot about climate change. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know a whole lot about it until we started on this. And I to explain that we’re removing greenhouse gases from the air with the [00:11:30.00] oats on the field through carbon sequestration practices that are in this box of oh, by the way, really yummy and delicious snacks. Yeah, it’s really tough. So we tried to boil the story down and gosh, I hope it’s clear, but I will be honest, this is one of the things that keeps me up at night. So on the back of our pack, we actually kind of break it down into like a one, two, three story. So at the end you flip our box over at the top, we start with what makes us different. So by snacking [00:12:00.00] on these crackers, you’re helping remove greenhouse gases from the air. And then kind of in the middle, we talk about what that means, like what impact you just made by picking up this box of crackers. So we show the little picture of the box and then we tell you how many grams of CO two this box just removed. So the one that’s in my hand is actually cheddar. So it removed 21 grams of CO two from the air and because nobody has any idea what that means. Right. Yeah. [00:12:30.00] We tried to give a frame of reference for it.

Speaker2: [00:12:33.14] Yeah. Like a context. And so we say that’s like removing or that’s like cleaning 2900 balls worth of air. So like fundamentally one of the consumer insights underlying this or one of the biggest challenges that we have is climate change is big, it’s scary. And fundamentally, I as an individual, don’t think I can make a difference. Like, I just [00:13:00.00] it’s too big. What I do, does it matter is something we’ve uncovered as a true consumer insight that for us is a barrier. So that’s why we made sure that we put the impact directly on the box so that, you know, you just made this difference. And we’re going to tell you exactly what that is. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Tom Shoes. I think they do a brilliant job with their buy one, give one campaign. I know when I buy a pair [00:13:30.00] of Tom shoes, a child in South America gets a pair like that’s so transparent and clear. And we were trying to make the impact of buying air is equally clear. Yeah. And then and then the last part of our story on the back of box, we told you we remove greenhouse gases. We said how much you just removed. And then finally we tell them how that’s possible because it’s not always super intuitive that crackers are related to the [00:14:00.00] oats that are inside, that are farmed. So we farm differently so that our oats remove more CO2. We invest in carbon credits to offset the rest of the process. And then thirdly, we continue to innovate. So that’s one of our other core principles, is every single year we’re getting better. That is the promise.

Speaker1: [00:14:22.07] I love that so much. You know, I was thinking about social entrepreneurs and how they’re also needs to be, you know, right next to your LinkedIn headlines, [00:14:30.00] social entrepreneur, comma, educator, because everything that has a cause behind it has to give their why, you know? And sometimes it’s so hard to simplify that. Why? Because we’re talking about. Such enormous global issues. So kudos to you and your team for just simplifying it. And I also really love that it’s on the shelf next to every single other yummy snack you. When we [00:15:00.00] have the conversation, you mentioned to me that this you wanted it to taste good and be affordable because people are buying and voting with their paychecks. Right. But if they can’t afford to vote the way.

Speaker2: [00:15:15.16] They want to vote.

Speaker1: [00:15:16.30] At some of the big stores, then they can’t really put it in to the products that they really believe in. So can you talk about that mission and how you’ve been able to kind of steer in that direction?

Speaker2: [00:15:29.80] Yeah, [00:15:30.00] in fact, that actually is our second value. It’s all everybody because there are and I applaud I applaud every business that’s out there trying to make the world a bit better. But, you know, I affectionately refer to some brands out there as better than that brands. I mean, they’re doing wonderful things and they’re sourcing amazing, amazing ingredients and they have wonderful back story. Unfortunately, they’re so expensive that they’re just out of reach for a [00:16:00.00] lot of people. And I will tell you, one of the things that just it’s like listening to nails on a chalkboard for me and I don’t know if you’ve heard this a lot, but in this space, what I hear a lot is this notion of aspiration to action gap that consumers say they’ll want to do one thing, but then they don’t actually do it. And the way people present, that is almost like blaming the consumer. I see you were lying. You know, it’s almost like that. And I actually point the fingers right back at us [00:16:30.00] and say, no, the consumers told us what they want. We just haven’t delivered it. And so as we were developing early for us, one of the most important principles was no trade offs. So when we do our market research, when we do taste testing, we compare ourselves versus the leading competitive products that are out there. And we would not have launched these if we weren’t at least scoring as well as the market leaders [00:17:00.00] on taste and purchase appeal. So it’s got to taste great. We’ve priced it to be in line with the market leaders out there. And then what we’re really working on right now is making sure it’s available where you shop. So those are kind of it’s got to be amazing taste. It’s got to be a good value and it’s got to be where you’re already shopping.

Speaker1: [00:17:20.32] Yes, I think that’s fantastic. And it is out there and we’ll link to all the places that you can get it. But I want to kind of ask you something [00:17:30.00] that I thought was so incredible in our conversation about how you mentioned that that your product was meant to be kind of like the leader in this space. And so many entrepreneurs or product developers hold their products so close and don’t want to give out all the secrets. But yet you are kind of out here. You were at this conference sharing all your ways because you do want to be a disruptor in this space. Can you talk a little bit about that mission? [00:18:00.00]

Speaker2: [00:18:00.58] Oh, yeah. So, I mean, we refer to ourselves as a lighthouse brand because I think today, to my knowledge, we’re the only ones out there with our carbon footprint on pack. But gosh darn it, I hope we’re not the only ones out there for that much longer because again, I go back to people fundamentally want to do the right thing. But if you walk through your average supermarket today, you know, I would challenge you if you want to go in and try to make [00:18:30.00] a climate positive choice, good luck. There’s really no information in there to help you. I think there’s some growing awareness around plant based is generally going to have a lower footprint than animal based products. But short of that, there’s not a lot of helpful information as somebody shops the shelves. So it’s our hope and intent that while we, to our knowledge, are the first ones out there doing it, that we’re not the only ones out there for very [00:19:00.00] much longer.

Speaker1: [00:19:01.51] That’s great. And what would you say to someone who works for a big company? I kind of refer it to like mothership if they work for a mothership company, but then the company is maybe willing or they want to be an entrepreneur and create opportunity for these like micro startups within a big company. What are maybe like the first three steps that you would recommend?

Speaker2: [00:19:23.65] Yeah, well, so I’ll answer that in a couple of ways. I will say will acknowledge this is [00:19:30.00] not easy to do and in some ways it’s a little bit more straightforward when you’re starting a new brand from scratch. Then when you’re talking about sourcing hundreds and millions of pounds of grain for products that have been around. For years and years. So, you know, and I will also say that I think sometimes the big corporate America gets gets maligned a bit. But I’ve had so many people reach out and ask that exact question like, I think everybody wants to do the right thing or trying to figure [00:20:00.00] out how to do it. So to that end, I will say money always flows to successful products. So that’s where in a lot of ways we’re a big experiment. If we can validate that consumers will choose a product that’s climate positive. If you make it comparable to taste and convenience and value and wholesome, nice ingredient list, like in a lot of ways, we’re kind of [00:20:30.00] a test for exactly that. I have a lot of confidence that consumer will vote with their dollar, and once you’ve got that proof of consumer demand, you’d be amazed at how quickly other companies can respond to that. But I would say for folks who maybe don’t have those proof points yet and are trying to maybe inspire folks in their organization, there’s a couple of things that I’ve kind of observed from our journey.

Speaker2: [00:20:56.69] One is start small because in a lot of ways, if [00:21:00.00] you get too big, it starts to become too big of a risk and people get a little nervous about that. So it’s as small as you can make it to get to that. Those proof points of, look, it’s possible I would encourage thinking about that. And the other thing and this sounds so incredibly obvious, but I’ll tell you why I’m saying it is make it real. So when we first started this again, we have no volume, so we’re reaching out to suppliers, ingredient suppliers. [00:21:30.00] We had a lot of people just flat out tell us no because we don’t have a lot of volume and we’re asking them to do a lot more work and we’re asking for a lot more information than kind of the average customer. So we had a lot of people say no, but once we actually had a physical box like, look, this is fairly it’s real. We have a website, we’re selling product of those. A lot of those same suppliers are now reaching back out to Chris Corbin, who’s our head of [00:22:00.00] supply, and they’re coming to us with ideas. And so I think if you’re inside a big organization, I would I would challenge you to find like what’s kind of the quickest, easiest low cost way to come up with a prototype that’s real, because once people have something to hold, it just becomes more tangible.

Speaker1: [00:22:22.79] Very good. That MVP, right? You need that that MVP.

Speaker2: [00:22:27.05] That level.

Speaker1: [00:22:28.40] Viable product to be like, [00:22:30.00] look, this is something and we’re.

Speaker2: [00:22:32.24] Going to keep.

Speaker1: [00:22:32.75] Moving forward. Very, very good tip also I’m thinking of you hinted on it before, but just the enormity of maybe not the size but the expertise of the team because it is something brand new and everyone’s and thinking you would really, really need a tight team that you enjoy working with that are innovators that maybe have expertise to an [00:23:00.00] extent but are willing to figure it out. How did you find your team and and how do you kind of like stay agile and willing to pivot as a group?

Speaker2: [00:23:12.38] Yeah, well, you know, and actually what you just said, Bryce Sparks, one other really important piece that I that I missed was if you’re trying to become that kind of entrepreneur or entrepreneur, yes. Look for partners. Because I will tell you again, as you’re trying to create [00:23:30.00] something that’s fairly low risk until you can validate it works, you know, how do you find those partnerships that create kind of a virtual company? So when we started, we’re such a small group but a passion area like climate change, you’d be amazed at how many people out there like really, really want to help but aren’t quite sure how to do that. So one of the absolute key things for us was finding the right partners. So, you know, on [00:24:00.00] the technical side, we are partnering with Colorado State University. These are the world leaders when it comes to soil science and carbon sequestration and soil, and they historically have been in the academic space. So I think it’s been a such a fun partnership because they there’s no way we could have done what we did without them. I mean, they have that technical expertise. But what was equally fun was actually watching their [00:24:30.00] level of excitement because they’ve been working on this their entire lives for the first time.

Speaker2: [00:24:35.81] They’re actually seeing their work brought to life in a product. So I have this great picture. Mark Easter, one of the folks that works at Colorado State, holding up the first box he gets of air link. You know, I love it. Yeah, I think there’s something really cool about really applying this deep knowledge. So I [00:25:00.00] would say, like, that was a piece of it. Finding the farmers. So our ability to partner with the Millers out there to help us find these forward thinking farmers that would want to go in with with a new brand to try something out that’s not always a given. And then the advantage of working within post is we have a lot of incredibly smart people across the organization as a startup. The idea that I [00:25:30.00] could have the kind of support that we have around food safety and quality assurance and legal and some of those other functions. So I think that would be another important piece of the, gosh, how do you scale this up within your own organization? Find the right partners.

Speaker1: [00:25:48.64] Yes. Yeah, that is so huge. And I was thinking, you know, to add on social entrepreneur slash entrepreneur, comma, educator, comma, problem [00:26:00.00] solver, because also you’ve hit on a few things that I was thinking in general, become a criticism in the social entrepreneurship industry. I hear people criticizing corporate America or criticizing farmers for doing it wrong, or when you can kind of like maybe critique positive critique every area, right, including yourself, and then [00:26:30.00] start looking for solutions. And I think that you are marrying both corporate and finding solutions within corporate America and farming and people just need those tools like the how to. And so from my perspective, it seems that you and your team are creating how tos in a lot of these spaces and answers. So can we talk about farming? We’re going to be wrapping up in a minute, but can we talk about farming a little bit and how entrepreneurs can [00:27:00.00] find farmers that are willing to kind of move in this direction?

Speaker2: [00:27:05.60] Yeah, and I’m probably not the best person on the team because they actually took Chris Corbin, who heads up all of our supply. He’s really he is the person that has led the charge here. But I will say we a couple of observations. We parallel past it. Originally when we started this, we were looking at partnering with a fairly [00:27:30.00] new well funded Agtech company out there. But I will say for folks out there who are looking to connect with forward leaning farmers, don’t underestimate some of the challenges of the agricultural supply chain because you have the farmer, you have the miller, and then there might be a few layers in between. So we had started the journey actually partnering or we thought we were going to partner with a well funded agtech company that was out there. And [00:28:00.00] we’re having challenges just getting where we needed to get. And so we, in parallel to that, started working directly with some of the Millers out there who helped us find farmers. But I would say if you don’t have those relationships, there are forward leaning farmer groups out there. So YouTube can be a great resource and there are definitely organizations out there that are bringing some of the regenerative or or organic farmers together. So [00:28:30.00] tap into those resources if you’re looking to make connections with growers.

Speaker1: [00:28:37.21] Such great information. Thank you. I’m sure people are writing down their notes that are involved in this industry. So I have a few rapid fire questions that I’ve asked each one of our guests. So maybe in a couple sentences or more if you’d like, if you don’t mind answering these the following questions. So the first one is What is your purpose? I know, how do you put this at a [00:29:00.00] couple of sentences, but what is your purpose or motivation for change?

Speaker2: [00:29:05.17] Well, I’ll just go back to our mission statement, which is using food to reverse climate change like that. That can keep me busy for the whole rest of my career. You know, I think if you go to one level deeper of why is that interesting to you? I just want to mentally believe we inherit this earth and we got to leave it better than than we got it. So.

Speaker1: [00:29:26.53] Yes, absolutely. I love that. And [00:29:30.00] the second one is, what are your wellbeing tips? And the reason why I’m asking this is because I think change makers can burn out. There’s, you know, we run so fast and especially when it’s cause driven, I think we can kind of justify. Continuously running. So do you have a couple tips?

Speaker2: [00:29:47.47] I am not the right place here. Should I send you the tips that I collect? I think that’s probably the way they should slow. I will say, though, one of the things where there’s a couple [00:30:00.00] of places where I have found energy and really surprising ways, like I said, I’ve worked on some really amazing brands throughout my career. But like two of the things that are really surprised me on this and I would say like have provided me a lot of energy is one just how excited people are to work on a brand that has a bigger purpose. And again, I’ve worked on wonderful brands that do wonderful things, but I’ve never worked on a cause driven brand before. And so when I was talking about finding the right partners, I, [00:30:30.00] I’m a marketing department of one, so I’m completely dependent on my agency partners. And I’ve been so inspired by the energy they bring back to me just because they genuinely enjoy the work and feel like they’re part of the company as they should, because they are my virtual team. So I think that’s one source of energy that I will say. It comes back to me in a way that I never expected. And then, you know, I made reference earlier to suppliers [00:31:00.00] who have come back to us since initially saying no now that we’re out of the market. And I think that’s the other place where I get a lot of inspiration is I just fundamentally, at my core believe the vast majority of us want to make a difference. And so to see people come back with, well, what about this, what about this, what about this? And to have ideas and want to help us out like that for me just feeds me like that, gives me energy. So it’s exciting [00:31:30.00] to see how something we create actually brings energy back to you.

Speaker1: [00:31:34.97] Yes. Yes, absolutely. It does give so much energy when you see that your products validated, but not just that, but making a difference in the world. And then the last question is, how can I, meaning those that are listening, make an impact, whether it’s big or small? What what’s maybe a couple of first steps?

Speaker2: [00:31:55.84] Well, first of all, I’m I’m going to be humble enough to say that, like, I don’t know [00:32:00.00] that I’ve got the right advice here. Like, I would say what’s important to you is kind of number one, because it just because I happen to be inspired by this doesn’t mean other folks will. So figure out what’s inspirational for you and then talking about how do we make a difference in our own space. Talked about our first couple of values as a company, but our third one is really around meeting people where they’re at without judgement. So I think that would probably be the other piece [00:32:30.00] of advice that I would put out there is I think sometimes, you know, it feels a little exclusive, it feels a little like, gosh, if you don’t subscribe to fill in the blank philosophy, then you’re just you’re doing things wrong. And I would encourage folks to meet people where they’re at. And that’s one of the core values of Airlie. I know there are folks out there who are 100% zero waste who are composting in their backyard. I also know not everybody’s going to do that. [00:33:00.00] So that’s where we celebrate any small step that you make in the right direction to where you are.

Speaker2: [00:33:09.31] Celebrate the small steps because those a lot of times are the ones that turn into big steps at the end of the day. And then the one other thing that I would put in there when you were talking about that, the agricultural piece of it is we actually do have one big advantage as being part of post. When we started our grand experiment [00:33:30.00] and we partnered with farmers and we went out and contracted grains, we pay our farmers a premium to support the carbon farming practices. And when we went out and made the contracts, we didn’t know if this was going to work. And so one really big advantage of being part of post is that we had the flexibility to go out and sign the contracts. And then if our grand experiment didn’t work and they were not carbon negative, we had an outlet for those [00:34:00.00] oats because they would just get siphoned off and go to honey, bunches of oats or any of the cereal brands. So that’s probably one other big benefit of being part of post.

Speaker1: [00:34:11.20] Yes. Well, that’s actually great information that people can take into their sphere and really work it for their contacts and all of that. So I think that’s really valuable. And then also, I would love to add in, where can people get this product?

Speaker2: [00:34:26.08] Oh, that is an excellent question. So we are available [00:34:30.00] online through Amazon and Boots.com because we wanted to make sure that we were immediately available to anybody that heard about the brand. But we’re working really hard to build out our retail footprint as well. So we’re in the Midwest and Schnucks, we’re in the Northeast and giant down in Texas in a central market which is part of H-E-B. And we’re working really hard to build out our retailer footprint. But if you don’t happen to be in a place where we’re available, [00:35:00.00] we are on Arla Foods or Amazon.

Speaker1: [00:35:03.29] Perfect and so many people are shopping at their fingertips right now. So that’s especially yummy, healthy snack foods.

Speaker2: [00:35:10.94] That are you know, the second piece of advice that I would give at the risk of knocking off Nike is just do it, you know, get out there and try something. And you know what? If at first it doesn’t work, try something else.

Speaker1: [00:35:25.79] They get to.

Speaker2: [00:35:26.54] Stay just that forward momentum. [00:35:30.00] Like I said, actually seeing a product out there, I’ve been amazed at how many folks have seen it and wanted to come out and help. And I think any of us can do that in our own space.

Speaker1: [00:35:41.00] Yeah, that’s great advice. I remember somebody I was working with on a website design. I tend to be wanting to put out the perfect product always. This is a few years ago and she kind of just bluntly told me, This is a living document.

Speaker2: [00:35:57.06] Like you can change it.

Speaker1: [00:35:58.79] And honestly, that [00:36:00.00] stuck with me for every project that I’ve done. So it’s like I just tell myself, even if it’s not virtual, like this is a living document. You can.

Speaker2: [00:36:10.64] Make changes like you.

Speaker1: [00:36:14.00] Don’t have to stay in this exact space. So thank you so much, Jenn. What great information for all of us that are in change making space spaces, whether it’s in corporate or we’re starting our own thing or we’re advocating for change. [00:36:30.00] I just want to really thank you for your time and I will be snacking for days on these yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy, delicious and good for the world products. Thank you so much.

Speaker2: [00:36:42.29] Excellent. Thank you.

Speaker1: [00:36:46.34] I’d like to say a huge thank you to Jennifer again. That was such a fantastic conversation where I learned so much and I’m really grateful for her and her team leading the way. If you have a project in the area of sustainability [00:37:00.00] or social impact and you’re looking for a consultant or a project manager or maybe a little guidance on public relations or marketing, I would love to hear your story and see how maybe we could work together. Go to the Social Impact Echo or find me on social media at BRI Underscore. Jensen Underscore. I hope you can join us next week on the Social Impact podcast, where Fran Hauser will be discussing all things women [00:37:30.00] entrepreneurship. Fran’s passionate about helping women build fulfilling careers and successful businesses. She’s an author of two books that you all have to get, and she’s invested in over 25 female founded companies. I hope you’ll join us. Please drop a review and let us know what you think of the podcast. And I will see you next week.

 

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