Is it possible that the hottest health drink on the market isn’t a green juice or kombucha, but a delicious fizzy soda? Coca-Cola and Pepsi are two of the biggest and most enduring brands of all time, but there’s now a healthier alternative that’s fizzing up in the soda industry. David Lester is the Co-founder of the healthy beverage company OLIPOP, which makes tasty carbonated drinks and delicious sodas enriched with fiber and prebiotics to help with gut health. On this episode, David explains the science behind the product and recounts the trying journey he and his co-founder Ben Goodwin went through in order to make OLIPOP the fastest-growing refrigerated beverage in the country.
Tune in to learn:
- The stages of OLIPOP’s growth (04:02)
- The science behind the gut microbiome (11:27)
- David’s thoughts on what makes a strong co-founder relationship (16:56)
- What David makes of the growing “functional soda” category (22:52)
- Ben Goodwin (Co-founder, OLIPOP)
- Obi Probiotic Organic Soda
- Justin Sonnenburg
- Monogram Capital Partners / Jared Stein
- Floré by Sun Genomics
- Squint Consulting
- Joseph Petrosino, Ph.D.
About the Guest:
“David Lester is the Co-founder of OLIPOP, working alongside business partner Ben Goodwin to develop the first clinically-backed consumer beverage combining the flavors of classic soda with ingredients scientifically proven to support digestive health. David brings to OLIPOP nearly two decades of experience in the beverage industry–having started his career at Diageo, the world’s largest global spirits manufacturer.
Following a decade with Diageo and assignments in Sydney, Australia, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, David left the drinks giant and headed to Northern California to pursue an entrepreneurial career. In 2013, David collaborated with Ben (his current business partner and OLIPOP co-founder) to launch Obi Probiotic Soda, a line of water kefir-based sodas. Following the sale of this business, David and Ben took the learnings they’d gained and embarked on their second venture together: OLIPOP.
A strategic thinker with a passion for disruptive innovation, David is on a mission to provide an
affordable, delicious alternative to soda that delivers cutting-edge health benefits to mainstream
consumers. Exercising the “break one rule, and break it hard” approach, he’s helped OLIPOP forge new territory as retailers and consumers identify prebiotics and fiber as the next big thing in digestive health.
Born and raised in England, David graduated from the University of Nottingham and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two children.”
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