This article is the fourth in a series of interviews with corporate venture groups and the startups that participate in them, including Coca-Cola’s VEB, General Mills’ 301 INC., and Uplift Foods, a participant in Mondelez’s SnackFutures.
Today’s interview is with Brian Rudolph, the founder and CEO of Banza, a company that participated in Chobani’s Incubator.
Barb Stuckey: Please start with a bit of an introduction about yourself, your role, your company. What makes you different, what do you sell, what are you about? Where are you today and where are you trying to go in the future?
Brian Rudolph: I’m Brian Rudolph, the co-founder and CEO of Banza. We started making pasta from chickpeas and more recently we've introduced mac and cheese as well as rice. Our goal is to make legumes more acceptable. It's an incredible food group that we don't eat enough of. In the U.S., we eat only a third of the recommended daily value of legumes, even though they're great for people from a human nutrition standpoint. Also, for the environment. If we can just get people to eat the recommended daily value, that would be great for our world. We believe by turning them into delicious comfort foods we can do it. We're really excited about all the different places Banza can go.
We're now in about 11,000 stores including Whole Foods, Target, and we're fighting the good fight. In many stores Banza is actually the number one pasta by velocity.