The Checkout dives in with Greg Fleishman, a leading entrepreneur and brand builder in BFY CPG
Greg Fleishman Errol Schweizer
Episode #41 Notes 1:00 - Tell us about your background in the natural products industry? 2:30 - What’s been the most challenging - and rewarding - part of working the natural products industry? 4:30 - What are some of the products you’ve brought to market? 6:00 - How have consumer preferences evolved in the last couple of decades? 7:45 - What attracts customers to certifications and high-attribute standards, like Organic and Regenerative Organic? 9:45 - How does someone go about breaking into Consumer Packaged Goods? 11:30 - What got you into confections and baked goods products? 13:30 - What are your ingredient sources standards, and how do they set you apart? 17:00 - What role can ethical CPG companies in evolving and repairing the food system? 18:15 - What does the food industry need to do to address racial inequities, climate change, and food apartheid? 23:00 - What do you look for when you’re investing in a food company? 26:00 - What are some red flags that companies are not a good fit? 29:00 - Case study on discrimination, anti-semitics, and hiring. 33:30 - Suggested readings?
About The Checkout & Errol Schweizer Born in The Bronx, NYC, Errol Schweizer is a 25+ year veteran of the food system, with experience in retail, food service, cooperatives, farmers markets, urban agriculture, community organizing and food policy. He has a degree in Biology and has worked nearly every retail and service sector job, from grill cook and dishwasher, to stock clerk and purchasing manager. As the former V.P. of Grocery for Whole Foods, he spent over a decade bringing more than 6,000 products to market while developing new categories and supply chains.
Errol has had a huge impact on Non-GMO and Organic product availability, fair labor standards, Halal and Kosher certification, plant-based foods, and grass-fed and humanely-raised meat, eggs and dairy.
Errol co-founded Drop the Rock, the campaign to overturn mandatory minimum sentencing in New York State, and was instrumental in legalizing hemp and cannabis in many states in the U.S.
Errol was awarded Supermarket News Retail Game-changer of the Year in 2015 and was recognized by the Hemp Industry Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. He is also a longtime organizer, researcher and published author on environmental justice issues. Errol is currently a Board Member, Advisor and Co-Founder for over a dozen companies in the natural products and cannabis sectors and is active in regional food policy, food access and social justice organizing. Errol is a member of the National Writers Union and Freelance Solidarity Project and is committed to diversity and equity in the food system. Errol supports the rights of all workers to organize and join a union.
About Greg Fleishman
I start, nurture, & fund Better-for-You CPG Brands that help make the world healthier as Co-Founder/CEO @foodstirs with Sarah Michelle Gellar | Founder @purelyrighteous, a top venture studio | Co-Founder @uptogoodenergy | Co-Founder @eatunion | Board Director for Lily's Sweets (exited to Hershey’s June 2021), Once Upon a Farm with Jennifer Garner, 4th & Heart Ghee, Nuun Hydration (exited to Nestle June 2021), & Demeter Biodynamic Farming USA | Venture Partner, Springdale Ventures | Operating Partner, Cambridge SPG VC | Operating Partner, Whipstitch Capital Investment Bank + Angel/LP Investor | Ex-Kashi, Kellogg, Coca-Cola | Forbes Top Consumer Catalyst | Visit Fata & Fleishman CPG Mentorship, a free support platform for early-stage entrepreneurs & investors.