Galen Kaufman of Fizzy Fruit talks about the business and how he discovered the idea of carbonated fruit.
What is your background?
I was trained as a veterinarian and did neuroscience research at UTMB in Galveston.
How did you come up with the idea?
By accident; I was on a sailing trip with some fruit stored in a cooler with dry ice and later found it had become carbonated.
What are you trying to do with it?
We started serving Fizzy Fruit in school lunch programs, which continues today. But we're moving forward in the retail market after a limited run in 2006. We delivered over 500,000 units in about a 12-16 week period. We learned some valuable lessons in the process, resulting in a new package producing a much higher quality product.
What did you learn from your early efforts?
That the product, because it is so innovative, needed to be at retailers that do heavy sampling. Additionally the packaging changes result in a much better consumer experience.
We originally hired executives that were experts in development and engineering processes. Going forward, the new team is being developed with fruit industry and consumer packaged goods veterans.
How are you going to distribute it now?
We are working with regional co-packers to get it to market quickly, and capitalize on an infrastructure that is already in place. We also have a fresh stable product that will have longer shelf life, and can be made anywhere with high quality and incorporating Fizzy Fruit's technologies.
Where is your new first roll out?
In Northern California -- that's the source of our fruit and it's the highest consumption per capita of fruit as well. We plan to grow nationwide through the use of our co-packing partners. We are also preparing to sell Fizzy Fruit via our on-line store at www.FizzyFruit.com.
What is your exit strategy?
Our current strategy is to build a solid turn key operation that is built for multiple options including an eventual IPO or acquisition.