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🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Yasso's success story emphasizes the significance of identifying market trends and adapting to consumer demands through innovation and calculated risks in the competitive food industry.
  2. The decision to start a business can be influenced by personal experiences and external circumstances, and it requires a combination of passion, practicality, dedication, and commitment.
  3. By leveraging online resources and taking risks, Drew Harrington and his team turned their unique idea into a thriving business, overcoming initial obstacles to gain recognition and capture market demand.
  4. Overcoming challenges and managing finances are crucial skills for young entrepreneurs. Niche markets have great potential, and creating a unique product for a specific audience can lead to success.
  5. Success lies in recognizing market trends, trusting your partner, and being open to creative ideas.
  6. Drew and Amanda overcame obstacles, learned from their failures, and never gave up on their goal of creating a healthier ice cream product that was both delicious and satisfying.
  7. Amanda and Drew's success in starting their ice cream business was a result of their systematic approach, which included seeking expert guidance, conducting thorough research, and exploring different options.
  8. Creating a new food product requires patience, persistence, and adaptability, as well as working closely with experts and continuously making adjustments based on feedback and testing.
  9. Despite facing skepticism and discouragement, Amanda and Drew persevered in their search for a suitable manufacturer and eventually found one willing to work with them.
  10. Utilizing available resources and networks, and never giving up despite obstacles, can lead to success in business.
  11. Yasso strategically targeted areas where Greek yogurt was popular to establish themselves quickly and continuously improved their products to compete with established diet brands.
  12. Amanda and Drew took a calculated risk by being the first to market with frozen Greek yogurt, leveraging the success of Greek yogurt brands in big box retailers to capitalize on a growing trend.
  13. Success in entrepreneurship requires resilience, adaptability, and creative problem-solving in the face of adversity. Setbacks are opportunities for growth and learning.
  14. Yasso faced early profitability challenges as a startup but recognized the importance of financial aspects. By building a strong team and focusing on revenue growth, they were able to overcome weaknesses and secure shelf space in retailers.
  15. Staying focused and committed to enhancing your own product, while never losing sight of your unique value proposition, is crucial in overcoming challenges and competition in business.
  16. By focusing on product innovation, understanding customer preferences, and staying true to their core offering, the founders were able to regain their presence and achieve financial stability, proving the importance of staying focused and listening to consumers.
  17. Strategic thinking, protecting unique selling points, and recognizing the need for partnership are vital for building a successful and lasting brand.
  18. Success is a combination of luck and hard work. It's important to persevere through challenges and remain dedicated to achieving goals, while also recognizing the role that favorable circumstances can play in success.

📝 Podcast Summary

How Yasso Became a Top-Selling Brand with Greek Yogurt Popsicles

Yasso's success came from capitalizing on the popularity of Greek yogurt and adapting it to a new market: frozen treats. By creating low-calorie, Greek yogurt popsicles with indulgent flavors, Amanda and Drew were able to tap into the health-conscious consumer base while still satisfying their cravings. They took a risky approach by targeting big box stores from the start, but this forced them to become more efficient and streamlined in their operations. This strategy paid off, as today Yasso is one of the top-selling brands of novelty ice cream. This story highlights the importance of recognizing market trends, finding innovative ways to meet consumer demands, and taking calculated risks to achieve success in the competitive food industry.

The Influence of Personal and External Factors on Entrepreneurial Ventures

Taking risks and pursuing entrepreneurial ventures can arise from a combination of personal and external factors. Drew Harrington's decision to start his own business was influenced by a tragic event in his life, which fueled his desire to create something meaningful with his friends. This event served as a catalyst for recognizing the potential for healing and growth through entrepreneurship. Moreover, Drew's prior experience in the workforce provided him with the courage and knowledge to take the leap into starting his own business. This highlights the importance of combining passion and practicality when embarking on entrepreneurial endeavors. Additionally, Drew's ability to balance his full-time job and work on his business on the side demonstrates the dedication and commitment required to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

From Inflatable Beer Pong Tables to International Success: The Journey of Drew Harrington and his Innovative Team

Drew Harrington and his team were innovative pioneers in creating inflatable beer pong tables. With the help of an engineer in Texas, they designed an inflatable table with holes for the cups. To manufacture the tables, they used Google and Alibaba to find a manufacturer in Shanghai, China. Despite the financial risk, Drew and his mentor invested their savings into the venture. The first few orders were a challenge to sell, as stores were hesitant due to liability concerns. However, the tables gained popularity after being featured in Sports Illustrated, leading to a surge in orders. This momentum even caught the attention of a buyer from I Party, a chain of party supply stores.

A Lesson in Overcoming Challenges and Niche Market Success

Drew Harrington's beer pong business started as a fun and inspiring idea among friends. They found success by targeting fraternity parties and quickly grew their revenue. However, they faced a major setback when they received a large order with defective products. Despite their efforts to fix the issue, it became financially overwhelming and they ultimately had to shut down the business. This experience taught Drew the importance of overcoming challenges and managing finances at a young age. It also showed the potential of niche markets and the power of creating a unique product for a specific audience.

Creating a unique fusion of health and indulgence in the food industry.

Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington noticed the growing trend of healthier foods in the market and saw an opportunity to create a product that would be impactful in the food industry. Inspired by the success of brands like Chobani and Ben and Jerry's, they came up with the idea of combining the health benefits of Greek yogurt with the indulgence of ice cream. Their trust in each other and their shared character traits led them to start a business together, even though Drew was already working on another venture. They began experimenting with Greek yogurt in October 2009, eventually finding their niche in creating ice cream novelties rather than pints. This story highlights the importance of recognizing market trends, having trust in your business partner, and being open to creative ideas.

From a Gap in the Market to Healthier Ice Cream: Drew and Amanda's Journey to Success

Drew and Amanda recognized a gap in the market for healthier ice cream options and set out to create a product that tasted great but was better for you. Despite facing financial constraints and initial setbacks in their recipe development, they persevered. They experimented with Greek yogurt, but quickly realized that freezing it on its own resulted in a solid ice cube. They understood that the key components of traditional ice cream, such as fat and sugar, contributed to its smooth texture and creamy mouthfeel. Their journey included attending ice cream school at Penn State University to learn the trade and refine their product. Ultimately, their dedication and commitment paid off, as they continued to iterate and improve until they created a product that was well-received by their family, friends, and consumers.

Taking a Systematic Approach to Starting an Ice Cream Business

Amanda and Drew took a systematic approach to starting their ice cream business. Despite attending a course on ice cream manufacturing, they didn't rush into production right away. Instead, they sought out experts for guidance and conducted thorough research to ensure the success of their product. They recognized the importance of finding a food scientist to help them navigate the complexities of creating Greek yogurt ice cream. Additionally, they cleverly came up with the name "Yasso" for their brand, which was both unique and easily trademarked. Their resourcefulness led them to the University of Nebraska, where they found an affordable way to develop their products through the students' assistance. This demonstrates their willingness to explore different options and their commitment to creating a successful business.

Overcoming Challenges to Create a Unique Food Product

Creating a new food product comes with its fair share of challenges and hurdles. Amanda and Drew wanted to turn their popular yogurt flavors into ice cream bars, but they had to work closely with food scientists to develop the right recipe and consistency. This process involved extensive testing, feedback from friends and family, and continuously tweaking the formula. Furthermore, finding a suitable manufacturing partner proved to be difficult, as Greek yogurt was still relatively new in the market and had specific requirements for production. The journey taught Amanda and Drew the importance of patience, persistence, and adaptability when bringing a unique and innovative product to life.

The Challenges of Finding a Popsicle Manufacturer

Finding a suitable manufacturer for their popsicles was a challenging task for Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington. They discovered that there were only a handful of factories in America that produced their specific type of product, known as an extruded novelty. These factories were typically owned by big national food companies like Nestle and Unilever, who were not interested in making products for other brands, especially new and unknown ones like Amanda and Drew's. The couple faced skepticism and discouragement from potential manufacturers, with some even telling them to give up because most brands fail. However, after an exhaustive search, they eventually found a facility called Mr. Cookie Face in New Jersey that was willing to meet with them.

Perseverance and resourcefulness: the keys to Yasso's success.

Perseverance and resourcefulness played a crucial role in Yasso's success. Despite facing rejection from other potential investors and the initial setback of not being on the schedule for their presentation, Drew Harrington and Amanda Klane did not give up. They seized the opportunity to pitch their business plan to Tammy Shaw and convinced her to take a chance on Yasso. Furthermore, when it came to funding the trial run, they actively sought support from family and close friends, essentially turning them into investors. This highlights the importance of utilizing available resources and networks to overcome financial obstacles. Ultimately, their resilience and creativity enabled them to move forward and gain traction with retailers in their industry.

Yasso's Strategic Approach to Greek Yogurt Ice Cream

Yasso, the Greek yogurt ice cream company, focused on targeting areas where Greek yogurt was already popular and well-known, allowing them to skip the process of explaining what Greek yogurt is. This tactic helped them hit the ground running in the northeast and establish themselves in the marketplace. Their initial product launch had some imperfections, particularly with the flavors, but Yasso was committed to continuous improvement. They made tweaks to their products behind the scenes, always aiming to create something better. Yasso also recognized the importance of indulgence in their low-calorie ice cream, adding elements like chocolate chips and cookie dough to enhance the flavor profile. Through their approach, Yasso aimed to compete with established diet brands, positioning their product as a mainstream option.

Confidence in a Trend

Amanda and Drew believed in the widespread appeal of their product from the beginning. Despite the challenges and costs associated with entering big national retailers, they were determined to go big or go home. Their confidence stemmed from observing the success of Greek yogurt brands in the dairy set, which had a generational moment in big box retailers. By being the first to market with a frozen form of Greek yogurt, they aimed to capitalize on this trend. Their strategy included targeting big box stores like Costco, which not only provided a free marketing boost but also offered favorable terms and a sizable order. This early success helped finance their production runs and meet the growing demand.

Overcoming Challenges in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship can be filled with unexpected challenges and setbacks. Drew and Amanda experienced multiple obstacles in their journey, from delays in payments to a mishap with a check, a truck accident causing product loss, and even printing errors on packaging. These situations tested their resilience and ability to problem-solve on a day-to-day basis. However, their determination and resourcefulness allowed them to navigate through these difficult times. It teaches us that success in entrepreneurship requires not only vision and innovation, but also the ability to adapt, persevere, and find creative solutions when faced with adversity. It reminds us that setbacks are not the end of the road, but opportunities for growth and learning.

Overcoming Challenges and Building a Strong Team

Yasso faced significant challenges in their early years, particularly in terms of profitability. Despite selling well, they struggled to turn a profit due to inefficiencies and complexities associated with being a startup pioneering Greek frozen yogurt. However, they recognized the importance of gross margin and EBITDA, which helped them understand the financial aspects of their business. To overcome their weaknesses, they gradually built out their team, hiring professionals in finance, marketing, sales, and product development. While their revenue grew rapidly, reaching $5 million in their first year and $18 million by 2013, they still operated with low-profit margins, often not paying themselves in order to allocate funds towards other employees. Additionally, they had to invest in slotting dollars to secure shelf space in retailers, which added to their expenses.

Overcoming challenges and competition: the importance of perseverance and adaptability in business.

Overcoming challenges and competition in business requires determination and continuous improvement. The founders of this company faced various obstacles, such as trade being their only marketing strategy and the high cost associated with it. They had to find new manufacturing facilities and source rare ingredients like Greek yogurt. Scaling up their operations brought efficiency and improved profit margins. However, they also had to face the entry of competitors, including Ben and Jerry's. Despite the daunting presence of established brands with more resources, the founders chose to stay focused and committed to enhancing their own product. This experience highlights the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and never losing sight of the value proposition that sets a business apart.

The Power of Staying True to Your Product and Listening to Consumers

Even in a crowded industry dominated by bigger companies with deeper pockets and more influence, staying true to your product and listening to consumers can give you an edge. Despite being pushed out of some stores by competitors who paid more for freezer space, the founders of the company were able to regain their presence by focusing on the taste and quality of their product. This demonstrates the importance of being one step ahead in terms of product innovation and understanding customer preferences. Additionally, the founders' ability to secure significant funding and achieve financial stability through smart growth strategies highlights the importance of balancing growth with financial responsibility. Finally, their discipline in staying true to their core product, even amidst changing trends, shows the power of staying focused and staying in your lane.

Yasso's journey towards sustainability, innovation, and strategic growth.

Yasso, a brand known for its ice cream bars, recognized the importance of long-term sustainability. While they briefly ventured into pints of frozen Greek yogurt to compete with the popular brand Halo Top, they realized it wasn't a sustainable strategy due to the marketing frenzy and pricing race it created. Yasso understood the need for innovation but also the importance of protecting their unique selling point, which was their Greek yogurt. They were willing to dabble in new product offerings but ultimately retreated to focus on their core brand. Additionally, the founders of Yasso understood the value of planning for the future and eventually sought a partner for acquisition to help take the business to the next level, while still remaining involved as board members. This shows that strategic thinking and recognizing personal limitations are key elements in building a successful and lasting brand.

The Role of Luck and Hard Work in Success

Success is a combination of hard work and luck. The founders of Yasso recognize that their journey involved both favorable circumstances and obstacles to overcome. They acknowledge that there were many balls that bounced their way, but they also had to put in the effort to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Being in the right place at the right time certainly played a role in their success, but their dedication and unwavering commitment to their brand were equally important. This story demonstrates the importance of perseverance during tough times and the gratitude they felt towards everyone who worked just as hard as them. Ultimately, achieving success requires a balance of luck and hard work.