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Crafting the Future of Food with Kristi Riordan: Innovations in Plant-Based Proteins

In the latest episode of the Plant Based on Fire podcast, we dive into a fascinating conversation with Kristi Riordan, Harvest B's visionary co-founder and CEO. As an Australian-based leader in the B2B food technology sector, Kristi is redefining the landscape of sustainable protein manufacturing, transforming grains and legumes into novel protein ingredients that are setting the stage for the next generation of plant-based foods.

Kristi's journey from a seasoned executive in venture-backed tech companies in the U.S. to pioneering sustainable food technology in Australia is as inspiring as it is impactful. With a robust background that includes roles at Blackstone Private Equity and KPMG, and armed with a Distinguished Visa under Australia's Global Talent program, Kristi brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to the plant-based industry.

During the episode, Kristi shares her motivation for moving into the plant-based protein sector, which is driven by our planet's sustainability challenges. "It's about creating a greater good," she notes, emphasizing the need for a shift towards more sustainable food sources highlighted by Project Drawdown, which ranks a plant-rich diet as a top solution for combating climate change.

Harvest B is not just another protein manufacturer; they are at the forefront of developing textures and flavors that meet consumer expectations for both taste and sustainability. Kristi discusses the innovative approaches Harvest B employs to create highly nutritious, affordable, and easy-to-cook proteins that mimic the texture and versatility of meat. This innovation allows them to meet the growing global demand for plant-based options without the environmental footprint of traditional meat production.

The conversation also covers the challenges of navigating a highly regulated industry and the importance of building a business that respects these frameworks while pushing the boundaries of food technology. Kristi's approach to integrating different protein sources to improve texture and nutritional outcomes showcases her commitment to innovation in the plant-based sector.

This episode is a must listen for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, sustainability, and food. Kristi Riordan's insights provide a compelling view of the future of food, where technology and tradition blend to create sustainable, nutritious, and culturally diverse food options. Tune in to learn how Harvest B is building the building blocks for a healthier planet, one protein at a time.

Listen to the full episode here and explore how plant-based innovations are shaping a sustainable future for all.


>Episode’s Transcript

Please understand that a transcription service provided the transcript below. It undoubtedly contains errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions.

Bryan (00:00.765)

Hello everybody and welcome to another episode of Plant Based On Fire where we talk about plant based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in our industry. I am your host Bryan. And the best way that you can honestly support this podcast is to click that subscribe button down below. We're closing in on almost 50 episodes of this show and we really need more subscribers. So help us out.

Subscribe and continue to like and share these videos with all of your other plant-based friends out there and joining us today is Christy I'm gonna say it wrong rear we are done She has the co-founder and CEO at harvest B. It's an Australian B2B food technology company Developing and manufacturing novel proteins. Welcome to the show Christy. How'd I do on that last name?

because it's all of your other plant-based products out there. Joining us today is Christy, I'm going to say Riordan, she's the co-founder and CEO at HarvestB, an Australian B2B food technology company, developing and manufacturing novel proteins. Welcome to the show.

Kristi Riordan (00:30.83)

Riordan, so you're very, very close. It's a good old Irish name, but thanks, it's good to be here, Bryan.

Bryan (00:54.525)

Very close. Very nice. Yeah, I appreciate you jumping in and hanging out with us. Now, you don't have the Australian accent, so tell us a little bit about your journey and what motivated you to co-found sort of Harvest Bee and how you got to be in Australia.

Kristi Riordan (01:04.086)


Kristi Riordan (01:12.898)

Yeah, well, it's always really nice to connect with somebody who has an American accent. I am a Native American and spent the vast majority of my life there. I just moved here five years ago, so I'm new to being Australian. But I've actually been working in venture-backed businesses for about 20 years and have always been the business builder working alongside technical people. I love developing new categories, especially when there is an opportunity to create, I think, a greater good for society.

Bryan (01:16.99)


Kristi Riordan (01:41.69)

I actually moved to Australia nearly five years ago after I'd sold my last company. And I was the beneficiary of getting a global talent visa. This is a program that Australia launched to actually recruit people into the country who had experience with building businesses globally, wanted to have that talent here locally to identify different opportunities where there was a competitive strategic advantage for Australia and bring the talented who could help.

build the early days of those businesses, but then also take them globally as well. And it was a bit of an opportunity for me to have a fresh start and thinking about, well, what's the next company that I want to build? And I was really, this would have been 2019. I was really motivated by working on sustainability. And I thought I wanted to find an area where I could put my skills to use in that field. But I also wanted to think about

where did Australia have a unique advantage that we could maybe exploit in doing that? And there's just this incredibly rich heritage of agriculture here. There's one of the greatest sources of plant protein anywhere in the world, and really high quality protein as well, the biosecurity here in Australia is second to none from a global perspective. So I started thinking a lot about plant protein.

Bryan (02:45.876)


Kristi Riordan (03:00.714)

because of that, because you no doubt have looked at, and your listeners have looked at Drawdown, Project Drawdown, and you know that the number one thing is reducing food waste. But number two is having a plant-rich diet. So we know it's an incredibly important way of improving the sustainability of our planet. So I started looking around and thinking, well, what was the opportunity? At this point in time, this was 2019. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods had been around for quite some time, and we're making a lot of noise publicly.

Bryan (03:12.147)


Bryan (03:30.154)


Kristi Riordan (03:30.338)

they were gaining a lot of traction with consumers. But I started noticing there were a lot of other brands as well, but there was this real lack of a supply chain of the ingredients to be used to be able to create the right kinds of products that people want to eat. And I spent so much time in new category building that one of the things I thought about a lot is in software, which I have spent a lot of my time in software as well, there's this phrase of a winner takeoff.

You look at companies like Uber, Airbnb, Google, you could, we could name them all day long, where you expect as an investor to have a winner take all. So you want to be first to market and be as big as possible. But I really felt like food wasn't like that. Food was a very different market. And because we've got so many different cultural patterns with food and food is emotional as much as it is rational.

Bryan (03:58.472)


Bryan (04:25.586)


Kristi Riordan (04:25.654)

that we really need a lot of players in this space coming up with so many different types of applications and cuisines and inspiring people and giving people confidence on how to cook and engage at restaurants with plant rich diets. So it occurred to me that there was probably an opportunity to really go into the supply chain and think about a B2B solution where we were creating a technology, an ingredient, a protein ingredient,

that would allow people to have highly affordable, highly nutritious, and highly performing plant protein diets. And so that's really what we focused on. And the first biggest problem was really around texture. And I think that's something that we hear over and over and over again, is that texture is really difficult to achieve. So that was one of the first problems that we focused on was really thinking about how we could create a better texture solution. So we have less ingredients in the finished application.

And it's also easier to handle through the supply chain.

Bryan (05:26.441)

That's awesome. And it's, and it's so interesting too, because I know, you know, I'm on what year 14 of, of this journey and my plant based life. And it's that question around. When I do, you know, accidentally like, no, there's no, there's no bacon in this black bean soup or whatever. And they, they don't realize that there is you hit that texture and you're like, Oh, that definitely is meat on that front. But

So yeah, I absolutely love it. Cause and I feel like, you know, that planning piece of it is so key to helping figure out where is this going to go with, with the future of food. And when I was looking at your website, like preparing for this, uh, interview today, it was, it was that question around. Like you to me, like I grew up with Legos and I feel like you're really this building block, you know what I mean? Like, so

Kristi Riordan (06:16.694)


Bryan (06:20.069)

For those that don't know Harvest Bee and your mission and stuff, can you just elaborate on what are you developing and manufacturing in the novel protein space?

Kristi Riordan (06:28.382)

Yeah, it's a great point. And I love the fact that you brought up Legos and made that connection. We talk about it a lot. So I'll explain our proteins first, and then I'll say, well, why on earth are we talking about Legos in reference to our protein portfolio? So we manufacture a wide variety of different proteins. We probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 different proteins that are available for our customers.

Bryan (06:39.785)


Kristi Riordan (06:54.294)

And those proteins come with, some are single protein, some are two proteins blended together, and we'll do that because it allows us to achieve a particular textural outcome. But sometimes it also allows us to achieve a nutritional outcome as well, which is very, very important. And of course we always think about affordability and the cost component as well. But so the first thing is we think about the proteins that are coming together. The second thing is we think about the size and the shape.

Of course, the texture, all of those things affect the texture. The proteins that are going into it will affect the texture that's possible to achieve. The shape and the size of it will affect the texture that we're trying to achieve. So our portfolio actually has a wide variety of things that would be similar to a shredded chicken or similar to, in Australia, we say a beef mince, and in the US, we'd say a ground beef. This is my five years into translating. You think it's all English, but it's actually different.

And then we've also got whole pieces. And this is actually where a lot of our innovation has been in creating whole pieces of meat, like it'd be a cubed beef in the United States, it'd be a diced beef here in Australia. And then we also have different species types. So we have chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. But that portfolio allows us to provide these Legos, as you suggested a moment ago, Brian.

into whether it be institutional chefs or to home cooks. And it allows them to put it into a healthy everyday meal, allow them to build it up in the way in which they want. Our proteins are also designed to be really neutral in flavor. So they don't have to be masked, which is another way why we see a lot of additional ingredients on many of the products that are in market today, because they're actually masking undesirable plant protein flavors when you're having it in that meal. So we create a neutral flavor.

And then our proteins are actually, they come shelf stable. So they're a little bit like pasta. If you think about a pasta, we brine it when we're ready to use it. And that gives us an interesting opportunity because if you want to infuse it with the flavor system, so let's say you take our shredded chicken style protein. If you want to infuse it with a chicken flavor, that's great, but you actually don't have to. And so many of our fans are actually professional athletes.

Kristi Riordan (09:13.126)

And they love the ability to just introduce these little Lego building blocks of protein into their meals and put it with whatever sauce or creation they might want to have. I was making enchiladas the other night with my kids. So I threw the chicken shred just dry into the enchilada and then it absorbs through that sauce. And then it's like shredded chicken when it comes out and you're eating it, but it's extremely clean. Our proteins only have the plant derivatives. There's no other additive in the majority of our...

of our plant proteins. Sometimes we have a coloring if we're moving something into a beef or a lamb style. But that's essentially what the protein portfolio is. And it's really designed to be affordable, highly nutritious and easy to cook with for everyday healthy meals, which kind of takes us in, I think a bit of a step change of what we wanted to do of moving from the first generation of products, which were really, you know, the schnitzels, the chicken nuggets, the beef burgers, the sausages,

Bryan (10:10.697)


Kristi Riordan (10:12.138)

all of which are tasty and wonderful indulgences. But I think there is a desire to have this high protein addition into more healthy everyday meals that we wanna cook at home and in the restaurants as well.

Bryan (10:26.853)

Absolutely. I agree with you completely. And it's funny, you made me go back. I actually worked for Vodafone way back when in England and I could not find in the grocery store garbage bags. I just couldn't find them anywhere because in England they call them bin liners. So I don't know what they call them in Australia, but the bin liners are out there. So yeah, so you do have to figure out your new language there for sure, but it's almost, it's very similar to like going into the plant based life. I mean, you have to,

Kristi Riordan (10:45.539)


Kristi Riordan (10:50.594)

That's right.

Bryan (10:55.897)

learn about nutritional yeast. You have to learn about all these alternative ways to get some of the flavors and textures that maybe you crave from your meat eating days on that front. It's interesting, I commend everybody that's exploring the protein manufacturing and stuff like that. How do you feel that Harvest B approaches this and makes it unique or differentiates itself in the plant-based world a little bit?

Kristi Riordan (11:24.706)

So the first thing is that we are agnostic to what protein we use. And we actually have a provisional patent on combining legumes, so all of the beans, the peas, the pulses, all of those things with cereals. So that's things like your wheats. And we find that combining those two families of proteins together offers us a couple of really important advantages.

One is the functional advantage. So we will look at the protein in terms of how we can achieve that finished texture that we want to have based on the way that protein is going to be used. So if we're trying to create a cubed piece of beef, for example, that's very different than a shredded, more delicate chicken-style product. Or even if we want to create a chicken breast or a chicken thigh, those are different kinds of textures.

Bryan (12:08.083)


Kristi Riordan (12:18.806)

So what we've done in our process is really focus in on how can we bring those protein types in, blending them together so that we can achieve that textural outcome for the specific application we wanna have. But we also think very deeply about nutrition. Different proteins have different nutritional benefits and can actually oftentimes compliment each other as much as I think they can actually compliment animal protein as well.

But in blending them together, it allows us to formulate and achieve some really, I think, interesting opportunities in the finished product, where you've got people who love to eat meat. That's just sort of a reality of our society. And I think if we can create a product where we can give people a more affordable and a more nutritious version of that, but in a very similar format to the way they like to eat with it, that's such a great opportunity. And then sustainability is our benefit of it.

Bryan (12:57.541)


Bryan (13:14.293)

Absolutely. I mean, yeah, I hope that we can end some of the meat subsidies that are around the globe. But but driving down that cost and it's healthier for you and it's going to save the planet. So like all roads lead to that. For sure. You've got a ton of experience in these highly regulated industries. How do you navigate some of the challenges of being in the food technology sector?

Kristi Riordan (13:40.906)

I think when you're in a regulated space, you have to balance the approach that you're taking in the tech world and in the startup world. There's oftentimes a bit of a cavalier attitude towards regulation. So if you look at, we could name any number of companies, but Uber is probably a prime example that comes to mind of where they just flaunted.

regulations, it was a part of their business strategy and their go to market strategy and opening up new markets. When you're in a highly regulated field, and especially when you're in a field like food, you just have to operate differently. You have to have a different kind of attitude than some of the cowboy type styles that many people would oftentimes use in venture backed businesses. It doesn't mean you can't be aggressive with your...

Bryan (14:07.946)


Kristi Riordan (14:31.454)

ambition, with your growth, with your pathways to market. But I think you just have to take care in how there are certain things that are just non-negotiables, right? Like your food safety standards and things of that nature. But I think there's also, in a regulated space, when you're building, so that's just the safety side of the house, but I think then there's the novel category that's being developed, that's pushing into territory in a regulated environment. And that always causes

challenges. So the issue is the regulations don't really address necessarily what it is that you're trying to do. Whether it's the labeling laws that we've seen, you know, certainly a lot of this in the United States, we've seen it in Australia, it's happening around the world. You've got sell egg in Italy where it's being banned. So you just have to actually have a government oriented.

approach as well. And you actually have to invest in that. It's hard as an early stage startup to think about that, where you're trying to get your product developed, you're trying to get your product to market, you're trying to get customers. If you've got manufacturing, you're actually trying to get the line to run appropriately. But you actually have to develop those relationships as well. And so we've been really fortunate here in Australia, and that it is a smaller market. One of the advantages

is that we can actually develop relationships into government. But it's having active conversations around it. And it's also, I think, something in this space in particular that is probably at a moment of a step change is we've had a very divisive relationship with the meat industry. And they do, as you mentioned a couple of minutes ago, they've got huge lobbying power with the government. So that's a really tricky path to walk down.

Bryan (16:17.353)


Kristi Riordan (16:22.538)

is how do we consider our relationship with that industry? And because the politicians who are setting the regulations are having very active conversations with them. So it's something that you have to, you have to hold all of that inside your head and think about how you will have those relationships. And here in Australia, one thing that we think about a lot is that we're developing an advanced manufacturing industry.

And that's actually really, really important right now. Sovereign manufacturing is something that the United States has done a lot of work on, trying to bring back with the IRA, and it's something that Australia has done. And so there's a great deal of interest in finding ways to do additional value-added capabilities that are domestic and sovereign. So you just have to find the way to build the relationships and be thoughtful about it and more mature, maybe a little bit less cowboy on that side of the house.

Bryan (17:00.446)


Bryan (17:19.737)

Yeah, I commend your efforts there. I mean, it's definitely finding that balancing act for sure. But I do see even Tyson and some of the bigger brands, you know, figuring out ways to introduce the plant-based options into it. So I'm excited to see us hopefully all come together and find that balance for sure. I know I was just... Mm-hmm.

Kristi Riordan (17:41.262)

Actually, just a quick point on that before you move on. I actually think what's really interesting about the big animal companies is they have made a number of attempts to get into the space. Many attempts, actually. They probably started maybe even 10 years ago, but certainly five years ago. But I think there's a classic big company challenge of being innovative. And there's also a branding challenge as well. Because when you... I've seen Tyson did some...

Bryan (17:53.577)


Bryan (18:02.867)


Kristi Riordan (18:10.53)

things recently in the United States. And they were trying to do both on their animal protein products, as well as on plant-based products. And they've been accused of greenwashing. And so they've got to be really, really careful that what they're doing is very authentic. And they've also got to be thoughtful on how they actually try to drive innovation. And this is where I think there's an opportunity for partnership to develop in the next wave of growth in plant protein,

Bryan (18:12.851)


Bryan (18:22.328)


Kristi Riordan (18:40.43)

partnering with startups who have the authenticity in the brand, who have the innovation muscle that is developed and capable, and maybe there's going to be some different ways that things will be brought to market and give us that kind of scale that we can actually probably achieve through those companies.

Bryan (18:58.129)

Absolutely. Yeah. I, I do a lot of mentoring. I saw I'm as a fractional chief technology officer, I do quite a bit of mentoring in the technology space. And I was just speaking with an internet of things, um, Ag tech company yesterday, mentoring them on some, some ways to go after that market and initiative. And, and it all comes back to like, you know, how do we dance with the big players? How do we, you know,

Kristi Riordan (19:12.91)


Bryan (19:25.049)

not offend one, but still build the partnership with the other and, and go down that path. And then it that quickly dovetailed into another conversation around investment, you know, we're, we're growing, we have some income, should we take on some investment to go faster? And then we'll be tied to the powers that be that want their dividends and stuff. So there's this balancing act between the two of them for sure. And I think, you know, you're, you're tackling a monstrous problem because it takes a tremendous amount of capital.

to create a food group, an alternative protein on that front. But I know you've got a big investment firm, W23, involved and stuff like that. So how has support from investors and partnerships shaped some of your trajectory at HarvestBee?

Kristi Riordan (20:10.518)

So we've got a number of different investors that have different roles that they have played for us. So you mentioned W23. This is the venture arm of the largest grocer here in Australia, which is called Walworth. This would be the equivalent of Kroger probably in the United States. They've been really fantastic. They were actually, I think, probably our first check-in. And that was really important because it provided a lot of credibility and a signal to the market of saying, this is someone who understands food.

Bryan (20:25.287)


Bryan (20:36.542)


Kristi Riordan (20:39.554)

This is someone who recognizes there's some supply chain challenges because they, of course, they're buying from all of the brands globally. They've got a lot of products that they were bringing into Australia. And so the fact that they recognize the problem that we were setting out to solve, I think was a very, very strong signal into the market. We also have an investor called Mandalay Ventures. This is a dedicated agri-food investment fund.

That one has been different for, or interesting for different reasons, because they're focused on the entire agriculture supply chain, they've also recognized some of the structural problems that we are tackling, and they've been really helpful in making connections for us across the supply chain. We have another investor called Aura Impact, Aura Ventures, and they have a lot of relationships into Asia.

So they've been incredibly helpful in opening their Rolodex and helping us make connections in Asia as well. So I think, choosing your investors, you certainly wanna have an alignment on your vision, on your timing, as you said, because that can definitely get misaligned with investors. And this category requires work still to figure out how is it going to scale.

I think we've seen through a lot of different data points that we had an incredible amount of growth over the last 15 years, but what does the next 10 years look like? What does the next five years look like? So we're going through a little bit of an iteration and a step change on what the product is to move from early adopters into the mainstream. And so that takes some time to work those things through. But each of those investors, I think, has really brought us some important value into growing the business.

Bryan (22:28.105)

That is awesome. Yeah. Some great insights there on, on when, and some of the ones that are in the space, I guess, um, what is the, what is the, the try, I guess, Mike, the question that's popping in my head is really the localness of it, right? Like I feel like we have to figure out how do we bring the food creation.

closer to the big cities in some way, shape or form, you know, us, you know, raising cattle in the Amazon and shipping them all the way up to North America is not sustainable long-term in many, many ways on that front. So I was going to ask you that question. I'm like, where do you see the future of plant-based protein, you know, as it's heading? But I also, I'm curious, like, um, you're obviously servicing Australia and probably Southeast Asia with your proteins. Do you plan to,

Kristi Riordan (23:06.801)


Bryan (23:21.081)

have global domination on the radar in 10 years? Or will you be creating manufacturing once you've reached an inflection point here in America?

Kristi Riordan (23:23.756)

in regard to 10 years or three.

Kristi Riordan (23:29.854)

Yeah, it's a good question. One of the things that I was shocked by when I was in the early stages back in 2019 of doing market research and trying to understand the problem, really trying to articulate the problem more, I was shocked to find that plant proteins are sometimes shipped around the world four times, where you might grow the plant somewhere. Australia, for example, we'd ship it over to somewhere in Europe.

It would be refined and value added into something that can actually be used to make a meat. It would come back to Australia. A brand here might make it into a finished food and then they would sell that finished food over to grocers in the UK. And I thought this is a category that's founded on sustainability. This is completely crazy. I just couldn't believe it was happening. So yes, I have thought about that a lot. And our long-term vision, something that it'll take time to get there.

But we have oftentimes thought that our current pilot facility, so this isn't a large scale facility, it's a pilot facility that we've started with, this can eventually become a dedicated R&D facility. So it has the ability to, it's small enough that we can do R&D really, really effectively on it. It's been one of our secret advantages in how we've been able to build our product portfolio as quickly as we could, but it also is large enough to run commercial production. Eventually,

our thinking is that this may be a full-time R&D facility because we see a world in which we're using local proteins. The protein sources that are available in a particular market, the manufacturing capabilities that are available in that local market, and those are then more suitable to that local.

market as well. So you're thinking about the flavors that are coming from those proteins in that local market. You're thinking about the texture creation that you want to make for that local market. I mean, one of the mistakes that, you know, I think the big original two made in pushing into Asia was taking this is a very American thing. So I feel like I can say this as an American that we take what works really well in America, which is an enormous market.

Kristi Riordan (25:41.138)

and we push it out globally as largely the same kind of product. We've now seen local brands across Asia that have emerged with completely different form factors, different flavors, different packaging and marketing that connect with that local consumer. So I think that's something from a product development perspective, from an infrastructure perspective that we should lean into and in 10 years time.

I hope that it's not just soy wheat pea that we're talking about as the primary sources, but I hope that it's a variety. We might have some really important base proteins, but I think there will be a much wider variety of proteins that are utilized that are sourced as much as possible from that local region created to a texture and a form factor that's suitable for the kinds of food that are eaten. Ideally, you take a look at India, for example.

Ideally, we're also formulating for the nutritional deficiencies that exist in that market as well. You look at India, it's a big vegan vegetarian economy, and yet there's some pretty significant nutritional deficiencies. And I think we can achieve that. So I think that's the vision of where we go. But it will take time. It takes R&D time to get there. It takes go-to-market strategies to get there. And it takes infrastructure to get there as well.

Bryan (27:06.193)

Yeah. I mean, very, very well said. I, I support that initiative and it is great to hear you've got this amazing secret base of operations for the research side of it. Um, you've, you've been on your entrepreneurial journey numerous times now. So for the people that are just wanting to get into the plant based sector, you know, uh, do you have some key lessons or what have you learned that really stuck in your mind as the

most important thing as an entrepreneur in general, but more specifically in this plant-based space that we're heading into.

Kristi Riordan (27:40.974)

I think know your drivers. It's something that I've always talked to people on my team about throughout my career, certainly the last 10 years of my career, is there's nothing more powerful than understanding your own why. And sometimes your why is about making money. Sometimes your why is about saving the planet. But you need to be honest with yourself about the reasons what's going to get you out of bed every day. Because building a business is hard. Being an entrepreneur is really hard.

Bryan (27:55.306)


Kristi Riordan (28:10.602)

Um, and this is a space that's still being developed, established. It's transforming itself. It can be very divisive. There's, there's people, I mean, I'm constantly in, in conversations or watching, um, LinkedIn threads where people get very angry about this space. You know, people feel really strong about animal meat. People feel really strong about plant protein. So.

Bryan (28:29.728)


Kristi Riordan (28:37.078)

You've got to have the right motivations to get into it. So just find your why, understand your why. And then if this is a space that's really for you, that's great because we need a lot more people in a lot of different kinds of roles that are contributing. And then I think the question is, think about transferable skills. Now I've got a woman who's actually gonna be joining our company in a business development role, but she comes out of the real estate industry.

She was actually in the Philippines for many, many years and worked in marketing and business development in a wide variety of different roles. She has an absolute passion for food and for health. And she is so excited to be able to combine business development from her professional background alongside her personal passions around food and health and plant protein. So.

you know, finding those ways in which to take transferable skills where you might not have done anything in this industry or maybe not even been in the food industry, but there's a lot of skills that can transfer in and really benefit this category. So know your why and think about your transferable skills.

Bryan (29:44.917)

Absolutely. Yeah. Everybody goes back to Simon Sinek on the definitely know your why, because it is most businesses fail within those first five years. So you've got to make sure as you're going through that valley of despair at year two and three, that you've got a plan to see through the other side. So yeah, I, I really, really love that. This has been an amazing conversation on that. I feel like we could keep, keep unpacking this for a while more. So I'd love to have you.

Kristi Riordan (29:50.974)


Kristi Riordan (29:59.019)


That's right.

Bryan (30:13.753)

back on the show whenever you're launching a new product or something. But how can all of our listeners help support you? And, you know, I don't think you're shipping to the United States quite yet, but we hope you get there. You are. Oh, you are. So so how to so tell us, how do we get in touch? How can the community support you?

Kristi Riordan (30:25.555)

We are. We are actually. We we. Yeah. This might actually be our official announcement, which I wasn't planning on. But we as of I think the last two business days, we are now live with products on both Walmart and Kroger.

Bryan (30:37.257)


Kristi Riordan (30:47.038)

So for anyone who's interested in, yes, it's very exciting. We're very excited. So although we mostly sell all of our proteins into institutional food service and other food manufacturers, we have a range of consumer proteins that are made for at-home use. In particular, people who love to do meal prepping. So high fitness enthusiasts, high health, although I'm sure there's many people in your audience who would be interested in this. So we've taken our proteins, we've put them into, oh boy.

It's one kilo packs. I think that's about 2.2 pounds is what it makes. So it's shelf stable. It comes in a kit that has our measured protein in there alongside a flavor sachet, a flavor pack. And when you're ready to cook it, you can just put water in with the flavor sachet and then you cook it up just like a regular protein. So we've got a wide variety. We've got that chicken-style shred I was talking about. We've got a cubed beef, a cubed dice.

Bryan (31:20.628)


Kristi Riordan (31:45.598)

a cubed chicken and a chicken strip. So five things to choose from.

Bryan (31:50.809)

I love it. Well, I will definitely be checking that out. So how do they get in touch with you? What are the best ways? What's your website? And you said Walmart and Kroger, right? Online.

Kristi Riordan (32:01.018)

Yes, Walmart and Kroger. So our business, business to business website is But the brand that we have launched under the consumer, which is on Kroger and on Walmart, is Be Strong. So if you're looking for Be Strong products, it's to have a stronger life.

Bryan (32:21.737)

That's awesome. Well, congrats on the product launches here. I look forward to tasting them and checking them out here soon. And, and I'll maybe try and put a little, uh, tick tock video out there, tasting that and stuff, but it's been great. Christie, uh, talking with you. We really appreciate your, your time on the show today.

Kristi Riordan (32:33.598)

That'd be amazing.

Kristi Riordan (32:39.106)

Thanks, Brian. Great to be here.

Bryan (32:41.405)

That is all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire. Again, Kristy, it's been a pleasure joining us. Thank you for joining us and pleasure talking, sharing your insights and experiences with our community. Until next time, everybody, keep that fire burning.



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