Ep. 219: This Is How Category-Leading Brands Stay On Top


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The centerpiece of a fast-growing snack and beverage platform, ALO Drink pioneered the premium aloe beverage market in the U.S. and is the country’s top-selling brand in the category. Launched in 2009, ALO Drink is owned by SPI West Port, a multi-faceted distributor, import, exporter and manufacturer of premium products that also markets ALO Snacks, Jen Collagen and Woodridge Snacks.

In an interview featured in this episode, SPI West Port founder and CEO Henry Chen spoke about how he’s steered the development of ALO Drink and aligned brands by staying true to the company’s core focus on natural and better-for-you products, while thoughtfully incorporating functional ingredients and global flavors into its products. He also discussed his decision to expand from beverages into snacks and his perspective on the most impactful business relationships, and also shared poignant advice for early-stage brand owners gleaned from his experience as an entrepreneur.

Show notes:

0:42: Interview: Henry Chen, Founder/CEO, SPI West Port -- Chen spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about how his background as an importer led him to create ALO Drink, maintaining aloe’s cache as a superfood ingredient and who he views as the ultimate industry gatekeeper. He also discussed how SPI West Port strategizes around retail placement, why hiring salespeople with established buyer relationships has been critical and why beverage entrepreneurs can’t overlook the capital requirements necessary to launch and scale.

Brands in this episode: ALO Drink, ALO Snacks, Jen Collagen Water, Woodridge Snacks

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