Taste Radio Ep. 73: Joth Ricci on Premiumization and Portland

This week’s episode of Taste Radio features an in-depth interview with Joth Ricci, a CPG veteran who cut his teeth in the beer business during the early 2000s as the general manager of Columbia Distributing.

During his 17-year career in the beverage space, Ricci has served as the CEO of Jones Soda, a managing partner of First Beverage Group and the president of Stumptown Coffee Roasters. He recently took over as the president and CEO of Adelsheim Vineyard, an Oregon-based winery. He’s also an advisory board member for Ninkasi Brewing Company.

In a wide-ranging interview with BevNET assistant editor Marty Caballero, Ricci discusses the premiumization of the coffee business, and shares thoughts on the development of the craft beer segment.

“We are watching an evolution of winners and losers in that category,” he told Caballero.

Ricci also offered his take on why Portland has emerged as an incubation hub for innovative food and beverage trends.

Also included in this week’s episode: Brewbound’s own Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall join BevNET managing editor Ray Latif in a discussion about mergers and acquisitions within the craft beer space, including Constellation Brands’ purchase of Funky Buddha and Sapporo Holdings’ acquisition of Anchor Brewing, among others.

Show notes:

1:08: Intro: We’re at Whole Foods. We’re at Whole Foods. Wait, Is There an Echo In Here? — Monday marked a new day for Whole Foods. The natural retail giant, whose acquisition by Amazon was approved by shareholders and federal regulators last Thurs., touted lower prices for many of its “best-selling staples” including organic bananas, salmon, organic eggs, almond butter, and grass fed beef. Amazon’s influence was promoted on product signage and sales displays for its Echo hands-free smart speaker (“Farm Fresh” read witty banners for the devices). The hosts discuss their take on the updates.

6:53: Interview: Joth Ricci, President, Adelsheim Vineyard — BevNET assistant editor Marty Caballero recently traveled to Portland, Ore. and met with Joth Ricci, a veteran beverage executive who is currently the president of Adelsheim Vineyard. Joth discussed his path to Adelsheim, parallels between the businesses of coffee and wine, why entrepreneurs need to “learn to say ‘no’” and Portland’s role as an incubation hub for innovative food and beverage trends.

41:39: Segment: A discussion with Brewbound editor Chris Furnari and assistant editor Justin Kendall join on recent M&A deals in craft beer, including Constellation Brands acquisition of Florida-based brewery Funky Buddha, San Francisco-based Magnolia Brewing’s acquisition by a group led by New Belgium Brewing Company, Sapporo Holdings’ purchase of Anchor Brewing, and Anheuser-Busch’s acquisition of Hiball, which markets energy drinks, sparkling waters, cold brew coffees and sister brand Alta Palla, a brand of non-caffeinated juices and seltzers.

1:00:59: Elevator Talk: Deborah Aiza, Founder, Sweet’Tauk Lemonade — Sweet’tauk is a brand of organic, cold-pressed lemonade based in Montauk, N.Y.

Brands in this episode: Adelsheim Vineyard, Stumptown Coffee, Jones Soda, Starbucks, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Dry Sparkling, Ninkasi Brewing, Funky Buddha, Magnolia Brewing, Anchor Brewing, Hiball, Alta Palla, Sweet’Tauk Lemonade.

For sponsorship opportunities, feedback and suggestions contact podcast@bevnet.com.

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