When I started Health-Ade, just having graduated from Tufts, my inner-idealistic-nutritionist was in the driving seat. I was excited and empowered that I could (I WOULD) make REAL kombucha, the way nature intended, and bring it to the commercial shelf--a place saturated with pasteurized and processed foods. This presentation is about my journey en route there: the ups, the downs, and everything in between. After a quick review on kombucha and all that it can promise, I’ll dive into the major implications that making real food can have on a business. We will discuss the many challenges I’ve encountered in trying to keep the natural process alive, including those in manufacturing, analytics/science, politics, sales, and marketing. There were many assumptions I had upon graduation that turned out to be false, and I’d like to speak candidly about what to expect in the private sector when making and selling a food product. I’ll highlight the major wins we’ve had along the way, and those I’ll have to garner down the road as I scale and grow. Finally, we will conclude with the SO WHAT part. I have a message for YOU, future nutritionists: you absolutely CAN make a difference; andfrom my eyes---and for my business—it’s important that you do.
Daina Trout is the CEO of Health-Ade Kombucha, which she co-founded in 2012 alongside her husband, Justin Trout, and best friend, Vanessa Dew. Daina received her BS from Georgetown University and Masters’ degrees in Nutrition and Public Health from Tufts University, where she cultivated her philosophy that health has everything to do with one’s happiness, not just science. Health-Ade Kombucha came from the shared desire to do something entrepreneurial while bringing REAL food back to the commercial shelf. The company got its start brewed in a tiny apartment closet and sold at the local LA Farmers’ Market, and has quickly grown to be the fastest growing brand in the industry soldnationwide, proud to make real kombucha and support the real food movement. When not giving her heart and soul to Health-Ade, Daina can be found spending time with her family, while sipping on some Pomegranate Kombucha.