Health E-Insights

An Interview with Roy Glidden

By Sheldon Baker | May 4, 2012

Roy Gliddenis co-founder and vice president of Beanfields, LLC. A 23 year veteran of the natural products industry, Glidden began his career in 1989, teaming up with his brother Reed to start Choice Sales and Marketing in Chicago, where he served as midwest regional sales manager. He later moved to Florida and pioneered the southeast region for Choice, where he served as the southeast regional president of Choice Marketing for ten years. After the sale of Choices’ southeast division, Glidden joined Galaxy Nutritional Foods, Inc. where he served as director of natural sales for seven years, before leaving to rejoin his brother Reed and sister Liza to start Beanfields in January 2011.

Roy Glidden is co-founder and vice president of Beanfields, LLC. A 23 year veteran of the natural products industry, Glidden began his career in 1989, teaming up with his brother Reed to start Choice Sales and Marketing in Chicago, where he served as midwest regional sales manager. He later moved to Florida and pioneered the southeast region for Choice, where he served as the southeast regional president of Choice Marketing for ten years. After the sale of Choices’ southeast division, Glidden joined Galaxy Nutritional Foods, Inc. where he served as director of natural sales for seven years, before leaving to rejoin his brother Reed and sister Liza to start Beanfields in January 2011.Glidden’s knowledge and experience in the food industry, along with his life-long passion for good food have made him a valuable asset in the creation and development of Beanfields.
 
Health E-Insights:Can you describe the feeling you had when Beanfields nacho bean and rice tortilla chips were name best of show at Expo West in March? 
 
Mr. Glidden:Joy and relief. Joy because our nacho chips won best of show. Relief because we worked so hard for an entire year creating this new flavor, something that had never been done. A nacho chip that tastes as great as any nacho chip on the market, but without gluten, corn or dairy. And we thought that maybe we really nailed it. Our booth was a beehive of activity and everyone seemed to really love our new vegan nacho chips, but it was just two hours before the end of the three days exhibiting at Natural Products Expo West and we had not received notification of winning any recognition for them. Then the staff ofVegNews showed up, surrounded our booth and started clapping, cheering and presented us with the best of show award, we were overwhelmed with joy and yes, a little relived that someone had recognized the result of our efforts.
 
Health E-Insights:Beanfields has won so many awards. Why do you feel your products are so special?
 
Mr. Glidden:There have been very few truly unique products to hit the market since the inception of the snack category. The store shelves are still dominated by the original snacks such as potato chips, corn chips, and pretzels and slight variations of those. It’s very rare that something comes a long that is truly different, made from completely different ingredients other than corn, potato, or wheat, and even more rare that a product with so many positive health and environmental attributes would win awards for its taste. We feel the world is ready for better snacks, and we are trying to change snacking options for the better using the nutrition of beans.
 
Health E-Insights:Besides trade shows and winning awards, what's a good media tactic to generate product publicity?
 
Mr. Glidden:We give out samples of our chips at green festivals, vegetarian festivals, and conduct many in-store sampling events, including many demos performed by a Beanfields owner. Our goal is have everyone taste our chips, because once they discover how good our chips taste, and learn all the health and environmental benefits, they are really blown away.
 
Health E-Insights:How do you evaluate success? 
 
Mr. Glidden:Seeing a smile on a child’s face after they taste our chips for the first time. Sometimes a child that due to food allergies to gluten, corn, or dairy have not been able to enjoy a tasty chip. That is success to me.  
 
Health E-Insights:What's the best compliment you've ever received? And who said it? 
 
Mr. Glidden:Diana Barton of d.barton Media Relations, Inc. said about me and my brother Reed, “you guys are authentic, you can’t fake that.” I took that as high praise.
 
Health E-Insights:What's trending in the chip industry?
 
Mr. Glidden:Low sodium, allergen friendly and satiated. The fiber fills you up so you feel satisfied. Also Hispanic and healthy snacks. Fortunately for Beanfields our chips match every one of these growing trends.
 
Health E-Insights:Who would you like to sit next to on a plane and offer your chips to?  
 
Mr. Glidden:The President of the United States. So I could have him, or her, taste our chips, find out how delicious a bean chip can taste and then discuss what must be done to promote beans and healthy food choices. Why we should not be giving federal subsidies, mostly to giant agribusiness to grow GMO corn and soybeans to feed our cattle, hogs and chickens, while we give no incentives for farmers to grow healthy crops for human consumption, like beans, broccoli and other fruits and vegetables.
 
Sheldon Baker wants to interview you. Contact him at Baker@CentralValleyTalk.com and follow him on Twitter @NutraInk.

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