Kopali Organics:Organic and Fair Trade Snacks.
Kopali’s irresistibly appealing SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD dark chocolate and fruit treats are exceptionally delicious, pure and healthy premium “candy snacks”, with a stylish and contemporary presentation. Made from 100% organic ingredients, grown on living soil, free of harmful chemicals - directly supporting sustainable family farmers, their communities and ecosystems around the world. The back story, of positive social and environmental impact, creates emotional connection as shoppers “feel good about doing good”, while enjoying snacks that appeal and delight as snacks.
SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD launched in 2008 in every Whole Foods Market, with an exclusive arrangement with that chain for the year. In 2009, distribution grew, to chains including Wegmans and The Vitamin Shoppe, and many independent retailers including initial tests in airports such as JFK and spas/hotels such as Canyon Ranch and J.W. Marriott. In 2010 Kopali Organics will invest in growth, and will scale, with the benefit of a major drop in COGS currently underway due to manufacturing efficiencies made possible given current sales volumes. Kopali Organics will also launch a low-calorie, low-fat salty/crunchy snack with a low retail price, to reach the complimentary universe of mass retailers and shoppers, equally as attracted to the brand attributes.
We founded Kopali while living and farming on our off-the-grid educational farm and sustainability center in the rainforest of Costa Rica. We were moved to support the local sustainable farmers who were our neighbors, and to share the luscious and nutritious goodness of our favorite tropical superfoods with the rest of the world. Given the zeitgeist, we recognized an opportunity to create a brand that would introduce these products, and these values of positive impact, to the “crossover” market (rather than remain limited to the “hard-core natural” market). The impact of bringing this model to scale is incredibly powerful as a force for good. We also recognize that CPG companies (especially chocolate/confectionary) are seeking to tap into the increasing receptivity of shoppers to our brand values, of pure and healthy, and positive impact on people and planet, yet are unable to fully do so without the authenticity that Kopali Organic is founded upon and therefore exudes.
Kopali Organics SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD chocolate/candy snacks appeal and delight. Their exceptional premium quality results in a highly differentiated “eating experience”. The very same artisan, organic and fair trade practices that align with Kopali’s values of positive social and environmental impact, lead to this quality. Fruits have no sugar/oil/sulfites, nothing added, yet are exceptionally sweet due to small-batch harvesting and on-site drying in the communities where they originate. Kopali’s premium dark chocolate is made with unrefined sugar and real cacao, and is a carefully designed blend of rich dark flavors and sweetness for the broad appeal. The line includes both popular favorites like Mango and Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, and on-trend superfood introductions like Chocolate Covered Goji berries and Mulberries.
ZAK ZAIDMAN, Co-Founder/CEO
Zak grew up in Mexico City, and after college started Gravity Inc., a virtual reality, multimedia software company with clients including IBM, Disney, and Intel. Gravity Inc was sold in 2000 to Frog Design which later sold to Flextronics. Zak’s experience with cancer in his mid 20’s led him to examine and discover potential environmental causes of the disease, and become committed to a sustainable lifestyle for his own health and that of the rest of the world. Following his work with Gravity Inc, Zak became a community organizer and meditation teacher and led international interfaith and peace delegations to India and the Middle East. He raised funds for local and international non-profit organizations. He received basic Permaculture certification in Costa Rica and helped organize and lead the Sustainable Solutions Caravan driving vegetable oil powered buses from San Francisco through Mexico and Central America, promoting sustainable solutions and triple-bottom-line business practices totens of millions.
Zak co-founded Kopali Organics, and also Kopali Communities to develop ultra-ecological real estate planned communities.
Zak is also a passionate singer, songwriter, and triple-bottom-line business advocate. He is currently based in NYC, Kopali’s number one regional market, managing strategy and marketing.
STEPHEN BROOKS Co-Founder/Evangelist-in-Chief
Stephen Brooks grew up in North Miami, Florida and has been living in Punta Mona, Costa Rica since 1995. After an eye-opening vacation to Costa Rica after college, Stephen was inspired to have a positive impact on the planet and started Costa Rican Adventures, www.costaricanadventures.com, an educational eco-tour company striving to raise environmental awareness. Seeking to present possible solutions, in 1997 Stephen purchased land and founded the Punta Mona Center for Sustainability and Education, www.puntamona.org, with its organic off-the-grid permaculture farm, on the Southern Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. In 2003, Stephen founded the Sustainable Solutions Caravan, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable living driving buses running on recycled vegetable oil from San Francisco, California to Costa Rica.
Stephen co-founded Kopali Organics, and also Kopali Communities to develop ultra-ecological real estate planned communities.
Stephen is also a charismatic educator and entertainer. He is the host of Save my Planet on ABC TV’s new Live Well HD Network; host of Edible Adventures, a television show that aired on The Travel Channel; food field reporter on G Word, an hour long daily show aired on Planet Green, Discovery Networks’ 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network; and a correspondent on Treehugger.com.
Stephen splits his time between Costa Rica and San Francisco, and is traveling non-stop as an evangelist for Kopali, managing sales and sharing the mission of the company.
Why shoppers TRY:
- Eye-catching, stylish, appealing packaging, combining amodern, upscale-yet-accessible look and feel, with a sense of artisanproduction and connection to nature and land.
- Extremely pure & healthy.
Why shoppers BUY:
- Premium quality & delicious eating experience.
Why shoppers LOVE& RAVE:
- Shoppers connect deeply and emotionally with the brand,and Kopali’s authentic purpose and commitment to positive social andenvironmental impact.
Kopali Organics is on an exciting path of growth, and isextremely well positioned due to increasing retailer and shopper interest inSUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD, and with a highly unique and desirable Crunchy Snack lineabout to launch.
Major developments in place and milestones over the next 6months will move Kopali forward to capitalize upon the budding value built thusfar, through early but already notable brand positioning, distribution, sales,relationships, and interest of significant players in the industry.
The organic/natural/”green”/fair trade consumer snack spaceis growing. This is true in both the chocolate/candy category, where a numberof corporate/strategic investors are making and will continue to makeacquisitions over the next few years, and in the crunchy/salty snackcategory.
Kopali Organics sales and marketing will grow during 2010with investment. Already, mostconsider that we’ve gotten off to a good start, especially with limitedinvestment, with a story and brand values that are “on trend”, as well as tiedinto the aesthetic of the brand with our logo/painting/design, and alsoconnected with the specific product offering. Consumer fans don’t just like Kopali, they LOVE Kopali, aswell as what we stand for. And wehave gotten good feedback that our vision and execution is strong where mostindependent companies approaching the organic/natural/green/fairtrade/”positive impact” space are weak: positioning the product and brand toappeal broadly to the large demographic segments who are open to those valuesand swayed by them, rather than just the small niche-market driven primarily bythose values.
- Launched January 2008 with a “global” order for everystore of Whole Foods Market, unusual for the chain which does most buyingregionally.
- Distributed since January 2008 from every warehouse ofUNFI, the largest distributor of natural food and products.
- In 2008, sold on an “exclusive” basis only to Whole FoodsMarket.
- After Exclusive agreement with WFM ended, in 2009,launched in all stores of grocery leader Wegmans.
- During the first half of 2009, focused on enteringmini-chains and independent stores in the “natural channel” served by UNFI,capitalizing upon those warehouses/trucks the snacks were already in throughWFM sales; this served to build brand and reach core consumers of health andwellness as well as ecological and sustainable values.
- During the second half of 2009, obtained new distributorcontracts focused on the specialty (gourmet) and food service(café/juicebar/hotel/airport/etc) markets. Now beginning to sell into those markets.
- During the second half of 2009, began selling to select“lifestyle” customers, such as the 400+ stores of Vitamin Shoppe.
- Currently negotiating distribution with several large andinfluential customers.
- Strongly positioned due to positive retailer and customerreaction thus far.
SUPERGOOD SUPERFOODSales & Channel Strategy:
- Kopali’s SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD organic and fair trade snackscompete favorably in multiple channels including specialty, natural, premiumgrocery, food service and lifestyle.
- Expand distribution/customers in a highly strategicmanner. Focus on brandpositioning: premium butaccessible, “masstige”.
- Begin tests and orders with several select customers whoare “channel leaders”, but reserve selling to most in grocery / mass / drug /club / etc, until brand is further established in premium channels over next 12months.
- As we have now hit a critical level of volume/regularityof production, we are able to make a major manufacturing improvement to improveCOGS. This allows leeway tostrategically choose to raise marketing/trade spends and lower wholesale/retailprices, especially in grocery / mass / drug /club channels. This is a major step in“scalability”.
Kopali Organics SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD chocolate/candy snacks appeal as delicious and delightful treats. They are well-packaged, well-branded, premium, impulse-buys. They are exceptionally pure and healthy alternatives to other treats, both because of what they have in them (nutrients and antioxidents) and what they don’t (absolutely nothing artificial is added or used during the growing of the food). Kopali's story and brand values are “on trend”, as well as tied into the aesthetic of the brand with logo/painting/design, and are also connected with the specific product offering. Consumers who are fans don’t just like Kopali, they LOVE Kopali, as well as what the brand stands for. Kopali Organics speaks to the large, growing and underserved market of shoppers who are not dedicated buyers of organic/fairtrade/healthy/eco/green/etc., but who are open to those product attributes ...IF offered with the highest standards of premium quality and eating experience, and presented with a look and feel that appeals on the shelf and seems accessible. Kopali as a brand is “aspirational” not in a traditional luxury sense but in a “positive impact on the world” sense.
While there are many in and entering the organic food space: chocolate/candy/snacks in this category are especially sensitive to a direct emotional appeal, and fresh independent companies have an “edge” over large corporates. No competitors in the space speak with the deeply authentic voice and personality of Kopali Organics, and also compete with and appeal on the same level as traditional premiumchocolate/candy snacks.
While new competitors can and certainly will enter the space, Kopali’s strong early distribution/sales/ relationships/brand/success make it a “proven out” option for retailers. And the very elements that launched Kopali this far (strong entrepreneurial management who are compelling spokespeople, large-scale vision, and a deeply authentic message to share) are a strong competitive advantage. Kopali Organics as a brand is young but it stands out in the market and is already recognized as valuable and appealing, especially because of the “depth” behind it: clear commitment to the brand values, of pure and healthy, and positive impact on people and planet, starting from off-the-grid farm origins in Costa Rica and directly working with farmers around the world. ”Authenticity” is the “holy grail” for a brand in this space.
Kopali excels on vision, entrepreneurial drive, focus, and execution.
Kopali’s irresistibly appealing SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD dark chocolate and fruit treats are delighting, nourishing and inspiring millions as they become part of a healthier, more sustainable, and more compassionate world.