Don’t settle for bland meals that will weigh you down and have their nutrients zapped out of them
Peak Refuel makes ultra lightweight backcountry snacks and meals that will keep you fueled for adventure and have your tastebuds singing.
To find out more behind how Peak Refuel got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Peak Refuel founder, Seth Adams
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with Peak Refuel founder Seth Adams. Peak Refuel is a backcountry meal and snack brand delivering freeze dried meals that don’t lose their nutritional value through the dehydration process and taste AMAZING. With a decade of experience in the freeze dried food industry, Adams’ love for the outdoors pushed him to set out to seriously upgrade the meals on the current market. He sought to create a product that consumers could get behind, believe in, and rely on. After testing it with hundreds of outdoor athletes and enthusiasts he was able to bring his product to market just a short few months ago!
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- Check out Peak Refuel’s website
- Get your hands on Peak Refuel’s delicious meals and snacks
- Why Peak Refuel shines brighter than most backcountry meals on the market!
- Follow Peak Refuel on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
What is Peak Refuel all about?
“Peak Refuel is a brand that is based in the outdoor industry that’s a food product, it’s a fully freeze dried meal brand. There’s many other brands out there that have been out there for decades in the freeze dried and dehydrated food game but, Peak Refuel is brand that’s lightweight, fully freeze dried, so it captures all the original nutrients that’s found in fresh food, and it tastes tremendous…”
How does Peak Refuel stand out in the outdoor food space?
“Good question, so there’s something I may need to illustrate the difference between freeze dried food and dehydrated food. Freeze dried food is still a little bit of foreign concept to people… Dehydrated food is the process of exposing food to a high level of heat for an extended period of time. It’s a great way to preserve food but, the tough part about that is when you expose that food to such high levels of heat for such a long period of time you’re breaking down the cell structure of food and, when you break down the cell structure of that food you break down the nutritional value of that food. What freeze drying does is it protects the cell structure of that food…we fully freeze dry our meals so the nutritional value is very strong and potent and the flavor is top notch...”
How did you get into freeze drying food?
“I’ve been around the freeze drying industry for about ten years. Worked in all different facets whether it be from bulk food that people buy for emergency situations or whatever else. I spent a lot of time in the industry, been around the technology. The technology hasn't been very accessible to a lot of people, especially on the consumer level…”
What has it been like getting Peak Refuel off the ground?
“It’s been really difficult to be honest with you. IT’s not easy to launch a food company let alone a freeze dried food company. There’s a couple of areas that are difficult with doing so; one is first establishing what governs your quality, what are the principles and foundations of the meals you formulate that you need to stick by… the second part that was difficult is obviously creating a brand that people can trust. We want to earn people’s business…”
How did you get the Peak Refuel name out there?
“Once we had the meals formulated to a point where we could go through a series of palatability tests, we just started letting people try our food. Before we even had it in it’s retail packaging we’d rip up some food and have our families try it and, people who were big into the outdoors and would use these in applications that would last 2 or 3 or 4 days or even 10 days in the backcountry somewhere. They told us what they thought and got feedback and just listened to the real users of the product…then we started reaching out in a grassroots way to retailers...”
Did you hear any surprising feedback?
“One of the things that surprised me the most was how happy people were to finally have something different… there’s a lot of great companies and brands in the outdoor industry and I know they all try to put out a really great product. We didn’t know how receptive our product would be to those loyal users of other brands...I think the thing that surprised me the most is how receptive people were to the idea of a new option, a different option and also, the praise we were given on how good our meals tasted…”
What is your commitment to sustainability?
“We recognize to focus on sustainability and best practices and fair practices you can’t cut corners and you can’t sacrifice quality or price. You have to invest in that. Our meals are focused on having clean non-gmo ingredients, sourcing from the best suppliers, and we’re very connected and committed to our supply chain to make sure we’re buying from sources that have the same values we do...We’re not claiming to be the cheapest option, nor will we feel like we have to settle for that…We’re in the process now to become non-gmo certified which takes a few months...”
What’s a typical day at Peak Refuel look like?
“It’s funny because when you have a team of four, I don’t know that you’re ever really off work. We get into the office early and right out of the gate we just try to make sure that we’re on top of emails from customers and users...We really care about education and educating our consumers to make sure they are confident and comfortable with the product that we’re putting out… We work well into the early evening and my team last night was just going back and forth between one and three am, talking about different ideas, different products and strategies… truthfully when I say the days just kind of roll continuously, they do!...”
What’s been the hardest part about starting Peak Refuel?
“The hardest part was definitely the development phase. It was a process to find the right food scientists and developers that could help us make the best meals possible, fitting with all the standards we set for it… there were multiple times that I asked myself ‘what are we doing here? Can we do what we’re trying to do?’...We were trying to do something that no one has done before...”
If you were to start all over again with building Peak Refuel would you do anything differently?
“If I was to say one of the most important things that I would do differently, I would be a better listening. A better listener to those who care and those who know more than me, even if it’s not in the same field… Sometimes it’s easy to have this idea and jump into this idea and think you’re the only one who can make that idea better. That’s a trap that will slow you down in every aspect of business. You’ve got to listen to people…”
What’s your greatest fear and how do you manage it in regards to Peak Refuel?
“I think the biggest fear I have is complacency, mediocrity, getting too comfortable and confident, those are things that concern me on a daily basis… I want to give our customers something to talk about and I want to push the envelope of what’s good…”
What have been some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made this far?
“I think there’s always a learning curve when you’re starting a new brand or business or company of understanding the mechanics or processes or timelines, all those kinds of things factoring into how they came together… Mistakes I’ve made, not clearly identifying lead times. Truthfully we launched about a month later than we wanted to...I wasn’t in tune enough with lead times and logistical things that I thought would just come together but, they didn’t…”
What advice would you give someone that wanted to start a business?
“Everybody is fueled different in terms of what motivates them...I’d tell anybody, don’t get into anything that you don’t already have a natural and instinctive passion for. Life's too short not to love what you do… Everybody who works for Peak Refuel loves the outdoors, they love getting outside… ultimately what’s fueling us and motivating us is the passion for outdoors and the community of the outdoor industry…”
Where do you see Peak Refuel headed into the future?
“In startup mode you’re thinking hour to hour, let alone five to ten years. The one goal that we have for the first year is two fold. One, we want people to know our name and we want people to know our quality. That takes a lot of work, it’s easier said than done… Five years from now we certainly want to be a major contributor and player in the outdoor food market… Ten years from now, honestly if I can be aggressive in my approach, I want to dominate the market place. I want to have Peak Refuel as a household name…”
What’s the best part about running Peak Refuel?
“The best part about running Peak Refuel is the people I get to work with everyday. Their support and encouragement is humbling to me. It’s one thing for you to have a dream or a desire to chase, and it’s incredible when other people share that same vision and dream with you…”
What do you think of Peak Refuel? Leave a comment below to let us know!