December 27, 2022
258: MALK | A Healthy Organic Plant-Based Milk Option with Jason Bronstad

Today, we're bringing the last guest of this year Jason Bronstad, who will be sharing his mission to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. This episode covers the benefits of MALK product consumption, what drives peop...

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Today, we're bringing the last guest of this year Jason Bronstad, who will be sharing his mission to encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. This episode covers the benefits of MALK product consumption, what drives people to select MALK, and why you should consider checking the ingredients and labels of the food you consume. There's so much more to learn from this episode that you don't want to miss!

Key takeaways to listen for 

  • The motivation to start transitioning into a healthier lifestyle
  • MALK Organics: Ingredients, flavors, shelf life, and great ideas to consume this alternative milk
  • Why it’s important for people to read and understand food labels
  • The reason to choose organic over sprayed almonds and oats
  • Markets where MALK products are available
  • Types of people who consume MALK products

About Jason Bronstad

Jason is the CEO of MALK and a seasoned CPG professional. His passion for health started with his own personal journey to making better lifestyle choices for himself and his family. His mission is to educate people why MALK is the healthiest alternative milk option. Most recently, through their #turnitaround campaign, the brand is encouraging consumers to pay attention to nutrition labels and be more conscious and aware of what ingredients are in the products they use on a day-to-day basis.

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[00:00:00] Jason Bronstad:Why have they chosen to put these other ingredients? What they're trying to do is help people with a smoother transition from dairy milk, to a milk alternative. Those ingredients help to bind the water and the almonds and the oats. They help to bind it all together so you have a very consistent product.

[00:00:18] Maya Acosta:You have more power over your health and what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. I'm Maya Acosta and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me, together, we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life.

[00:00:39] Maya Acosta:An increased longevity in a big way. Let's get started. All right. Welcome back to another episode of the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. I'm your host, Maya Acosta. I'm really excited about today's episode. We are going to talk about MALK organics, and you're actually going to see me pour the organic non-dairy milk, and I'm gonna do a tasting, and I have the CEO of MALK Organics with me.

[00:01:06] Maya Acosta:His name is Jason Bronstad, and he's actually a seasoned CPG professional, uh, who began consulting for MALK Organics in 2020 and then transitioned to CEO in June of 2021. His passion for health started with his own personal journey in making better lifestyle choices for himself and his family. In recent years, he completely changed his routine by training in Jujitsu, significantly reducing his alcohol consumption in eating cleaner.

[00:01:38] Maya Acosta:Jason's goal is to bring MALK to the masses and increase their consumer base by educating people on why MALK is the healthiest alternative milk option out there. And MALK products have only three to four ingredients and don't include gums and fillers, oils, and carrageenins. yeah, we're gonna talk about that as well.

[00:01:59] Maya Acosta:So most recently, through their hashtag Turn It Around campaign, the brand is encouraging consumers to pay attention to nutrition labels and to be more conscious and aware of what ingredients are in the products that they use on a day-to-day basis. And of course, like I said, I have some products here. 

[00:02:17] Maya Acosta:So MALK products currently include organic, unsweetened almond. Original OAT vanilla Almond and vanilla oat, and they will soon be launching a chocolate OAT as well. And I'm excited about that one. And MALK be found at most major grocery stores nationwide, including Whole Foods. Welcome Jason. 

[00:02:38] Jason Bronstad:Maya, thank you so much for the time. I'm excited to have a conversation with you. 

[00:02:42] Maya Acosta:Yeah, thank you for making the time. We're right now we're having a conversation on election day. We were just talking about that. We're both in Texas, so I'm in Dallas and you're in Austin, and some of the schools decided to take a break to allow the voters to kind of have this, you know, show up to the schools and vote.

[00:02:59] Jason Bronstad:That's a wonderful thing. We should all be out there voting. 

[00:03:03] Maya Acosta:Yeah, we should. And you know, I also thought, and I said this earlier, that I thought for some reason that you were in Houston. We'll talk about why I, I thought that, um, but my, I don't keep up with the news. I'm sorry. And I'm not into sports. But in my family group chat, there was this, congratulations to Houston, and I'm like, what's going on?

[00:03:22] Maya Acosta:Well, the World Series, so congratulations, Houston. And as a result of that, yeah. As a result of that, some children are not going, didn't go to school on Monday or Tuesday. So my sister's a teacher as well. That's why I know some of this stuff. That makes a lot of sense. Yeah. So Jason, let's get started on your story.

[00:03:42] Maya Acosta:I know that there's a health journey component to this, and then I'd love to learn how you transitioned over to becoming the CEO of MALK. So tell us a little bit about yourself. 

[00:03:52] Jason Bronstad:So, uh, a native Texan, uh, born and raised in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Uh, went to University of Texas and then got into the CPG space after that.

[00:04:01] Jason Bronstad:And I, I did a journey through packaged meats, moved outta the state twice. Uh, went into the alcohol space. Uh, was in the alcohol space for nine years and then into frozen food space after that. And as we approached 2020 or late 2019. I realized that I needed to take better care of myself. At the time, my children were seven and three and I realized that they were mimicking my poor food choices, and whatever the those poor choices were, they're like, oh, well, dad's doing it.

[00:04:35] Jason Bronstad:It's gotta be okay. And it's one of those moments where you look at a picture of yourself and you go, am I really that big? And I was well over 300 pounds at that point. And it's the second or third time in my life. I've been well over 300 pounds. I was approaching 40 years old. I'm like, I've gotta do something about this.

[00:04:52] Jason Bronstad:I have got to; I want to live a long life and be healthy for my kids and you know, if fate has it, maybe my grandkids someday, but ultimately I need to be healthy for my kids and lead by example and start changing my lifestyle. 

[00:05:07] Maya Acosta:Congratulations on your weight loss and more than that, just really improving your health and also role modeling for your children. So you found your why, you found that why that as to why you wanna live longer and improve the quality of life and it's for your health and also for your children. So when you made these healthy lifestyle changes, before we talk about the milk, did you also kind of encourage the children to participate? Cuz I know you said they were kind of mimicking your behaviors.

[00:05:36] Jason Bronstad:So, so no. So I didn't force it upon 'em. What I did is I just started eating cleaner. I produced my alcohol consumption and after being in the food industry and the alcohol industry, something that, you know, a lot of people fall into, but just by my actions.

[00:05:52] Jason Bronstad:And then I actually, I did the challenge, the 75 Hard Challenge, which is 75 intensive day challenge, two workouts a day, a lot going around that. And my daughter, I remember her saying, dad, why are you doing this? I was about 50 days into the, the 75 Hard Challenge. And I said, well, Vivian, I just want to live as healthy as I can to be as healthy as you be as healthy as I can for you and for your brother and for Melissa, my wife.

[00:06:18] Jason Bronstad:And I've learned with my kids cuz I'm Norwegian by heritage and we're known to be stubborn. So with that stubbornness, uh, leading by example, rather than saying, Hey, go do this is a much better way to get some traction. So, you know, just simple things. instead of hamburgers on buns, just having it on lettuce, buying the fresh meat instead of the preformed hamburgers.

[00:06:41] Jason Bronstad:So simple life choices that we made and we're able to adopt into our family's eating regimen really helped us. Mm-hmm. as a family to start to transition.

[00:06:50] Maya Acosta:Right. Yes. I love that you know, that you could have these conversations with your children before I met my husband many years ago, and he's a physician, so we always know that people in the health field are not always.

[00:07:03] Maya Acosta:You know, necessarily healthy. He was, uh, dealing with a little bit of weight issues and his, one of his daughters, I think might have been very young, like around seven or nine years old, and one day when they were on vacation, she said to my husband, daddy, you're fluffy, Jason. That's all they took. My husband got into P90X and everything else and got in excellent shape, uh, because he always was very athletic, but there were, I guess he reached a point where he just kind of, uh, stopped doing some of the things that keep him in good shape, and that has never left his mind.

[00:07:37] Maya Acosta:The fact that she saw him in, in that way, and now, you know. We started to clean up our diet and we became vegan, plant-based, and we don't force anything either. For us, it's more about role modeling and providing healthy options when they come around. I love that you have a background in CPG, which means that you understand.

[00:07:57] Maya Acosta:Stan, having been in that field, you understand that many of our processed foods and our products that our packaged have tons of ingredients. Tell us how you became CEO of MALK and how and why MALK is a great alternative for us. 

[00:08:14] Jason Bronstad:I had the opportunity to, to meet with the, the founders well as the Board of Directors for Mall Organics, uh, back in October of 2020.

[00:08:21] Jason Bronstad:And one of the things that they expressed a, a desire for is to find a way to make sure Mall was available for more consumers across the US. We've had a phenomenal relationship with Whole Foods and our distribution gains beyond Whole Foods up until that point have been challenging. So they were looking for someone that had some experience to come in and work with the team and the brand to give it a bit of a refresh.

[00:08:48] Jason Bronstad:And we did a packaging refresh about a year ago. And then to expand our distribution. And as anyone that's ever been in the food space, knows a brand has to perform, it has to pull off the shelf to get more shelf space. And that's one of the things that we took some time to build out a very robust plan to give us that opportunity.

[00:09:07] Jason Bronstad:And in doing so, we had to make sure that we're supporting our primary account at the time, and that was Whole Foods, and they're still a very important account to us. But as that performance has increased and as more consumers have found out about it, the board came to me and said, would you please stay on?

[00:09:21] Jason Bronstad:And what I had found is I'd fallen in love with the brand and I had the realization, it might have been 30 or 45 days in that I was sitting down talking to my wife and I said, this is the first brand that I've worked with that I am absolutely proud to have in the refrigerator. And the kids can drink as much as they want.

[00:09:40] Jason Bronstad:And that was a turning point because, you know, a year, year and a half before my daughter and I had started training Jiujitsu, but there were still, you know, the food choices within there. And when I can sit there and say, I represent a brand that is actually good for you, and why is it good for you?

[00:09:57] Jason Bronstad:Because it's three simple ingredients on our original oat and our, our unsweetened almond. Having those simple ingredients that you can actually read and pronounce allows your body to process it. So it was really a serendipitous, uh, point for me to be able to join MALK. During my health journey and to be able to carry it forward, and really, I want to help support and ignite other people's personal wellness and lifestyle journey.

[00:10:22] Maya Acosta:Well, I've heard you on other podcasts and I can see why they brought you in. You're. An excellent promoter of the product, but also, like you said, you believe in it. So when you believe in something, it's, it comes natural to wanna tell people about it. I was wondering if we can start first with what we find in regular alternative milks.

[00:10:42] Maya Acosta:And this is actually very important for me. I'm gonna share this with lots of people because one of my sisters once told me, she said, oh my goodness, this ingredient is found in almond milk and we're not supposed to drink it. And she sent me a video that another woman had made with that kera; how do carrageenin, carrageenin ingredient?

[00:11:05] Maya Acosta:And so many of my listeners may not even know these kind of things, and why should they be concerned? So I do know because I tried. Clean the eater. I try to stay away from oils, but I was surprised that some of the alternative milks may have things like fillers and oils and gums. Could you tell us a little bit about what that is exactly? They just sound like words to me, but I have no idea what we're talking about. What sure is found in other alternative milks?

[00:11:30] Jason Bronstad:So let's talk about the why first before we get into that, why have brands tried to put, why have they chosen to put these other ingredients in? And what they're trying to do is help people with a smoother transition from dairy milk to a milk alternative.

[00:11:45] Jason Bronstad:So that creaminess the consistency. Those ingredients help to bind the water and the almonds and the oats. They help to bind it all together so you have a very consistent product. We very proudly on the top of our lid say, shake Wegner. Shake your milk. Well, and that's because separation is absolutely natural.

[00:12:06] Jason Bronstad:It is natural to have separation when it's just simple ingredients. If you put carrageenins or locus being gum or sunflower ingredient, if you start putting those ingredients in there, you get this homogeneous liquid, which people are like, oh, okay. This is kind of like milk. But then the question becomes, and, and I'm not a doctor, the question becomes, what is the impact to your gut biome when you have those ingredients probably aren't supposed to be consuming? Mm-hmm. . 

[00:12:35] Maya Acosta:Yeah. Oh, so yeah, I, I'm sorry. I thought you. I thought there was; there was more. You're right though there there are two things that came to mind. One of 'em you just talked about, which is these additives or preservatives or ingredients are added to help us with our taste buds to adjust to that change from the natural, I guess, fat that is found in milk in whole milk. But then the other thing is, these ingredients probably improve the shelf life of these products. Is that right? 

[00:13:04] Jason Bronstad:They, I, I can't speak to if they do or do not improve the shelf life. Their primary function is the binding of the ingredients together. Yeah. And not a scientist, not a doctor. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna sit on the sideline on that one.

[00:13:16] Jason Bronstad:And if they extend shelf life, I don't, I'm not gonna answer that one.

[00:13:19] Maya Acosta:No. Well, thank you. Thank you for letting me know. You know, I can always delete that part out because yeah, I've always wondered why certain things are added to certain products. I mean, even in personal care products, I'm very careful about what I put on my skin.

[00:13:33] Maya Acosta:I'm careful about what products I bring into the home. I don't like chemicals. Mm-hmm. harsh chemicals in my home. So yeah, I'm, of course, I'm gonna be concerned about what I put in my body as well. And I'll be honest, when I switched over, I hardly consume dairy. before I gave up dairy. So I wasn't a big fan.

[00:13:49] Maya Acosta:I wasn't a person that liked putting milk in my cereal, so I'm out of habit for, from some of those things. And then I went, like I said, vegan plant-based. And it's not like I'm sitting there drinking and drinking because I don't really find alternative milks to be pleasant to drink directly until I started watching videos and MALK.

[00:14:11] Maya Acosta:Now I'm following IG and I got all these ideas. It's like, okay, well maybe I can try it in my coffee. Maybe I'll do a smoothie. Later on, because I know you have a, a recipe on the website, but I'll be honest, even with my own smoothies, like my green smoothies, I would just use water in place of an alternative milk because again, I just don't know that I should be consuming as much. I do have concern about the ingredients found in these milks. 

[00:14:36] Jason Bronstad:Absolutely. And that's a beautiful thing about, uh, MALK is you can use it in many different ways. One of my wife's favorite is cold brew coffee. Then I'll froth up some vanilla almond milk and then I'll pour that froth up. And then, uh, as we've come into the holiday season, I've started adding cinnamon to that mixture, and that's one of her favorites. So I can win some bonus points if I have that ready for her when she comes downstairs in the mornings. 

[00:15:00] Maya Acosta:Oh, that's wonderful. Well, tell you what, I don't know if we wanna continue. I have some milks here that I wanna sample as we are having our conversation, but I first wanted to make sure that I'm shaking the bottle properly.

[00:15:13] Maya Acosta:And I wanted to start with your unsweetened almond MALK milk or MALK. And because, you know, unsweetened meal, a lot of times we use for other ingredients. So I wanna show the viewers the bottle and what that looks like and tell me if I'm enough. 

[00:15:28] Jason Bronstad:That's plenty right there. That's perfect. Okay. And the beautiful thing about that product, as you're pouring that up, I'll just share some information so that that product has water.

[00:15:38] Jason Bronstad:Organic almonds and pink Himalayan sea salt. Wow. It's all organic and we have a very close relationship with the almond growers and what we're proud about is the almond growers that we've partnered with, their water usage is 20 to 25% less than other almond growers. 

[00:15:53] Maya Acosta:Right. I know that's been a big concern of people. Okay, so here we go. This is delicious. It's very, it feels clean, not heavy, flavorful, and this is the unsweetened one. Did you say it? It doesn't have vanilla, right?

[00:16:08] Jason Bronstad:The next one that you have has vanilla in it. So that is just the almonds, water, and salt. And the next one.

[00:16:14] Maya Acosta:So tell me, um, you kind of gave me a little bit, a couple of ideas, but tell us again what would we use this one for?

[00:16:21] Jason Bronstad:So what we have seen through talking to consumers is consumers love it in their milk, in their coffee, they make smoothies with it iced coffee. In cereals, hot chocolates, uh, and in baking. That's one of the things in my household that we've transitioned to is in all of our baking, we're using almond milk.

[00:16:40] Maya Acosta:Okay, here's the vanilla flavored one, and it's a beautiful color as well. And I'm not just saying that Jason, like,  like I said.

[00:16:47] Jason Bronstad:I've seen some of your podcasts. You're gonna tell the truth. I love it. 

[00:16:52] Maya Acosta:I mean, I really, I can't promote something I don't believe in, but this one is vanilla. 

[00:16:57] Jason Bronstad:So the only incremental ingredient is organic vanilla extract.

[00:17:02] Maya Acosta:Oh my goodness. So my husband's the one that will take some milk and drink it. Like I don't, even though it's, like I said alternative, I don't typically do that. He's gonna love this one. Because he loves the vanilla flavor of it. The problem that I always have, Jason, the fear that I always have is the sugar amount in the flavored nut milks. I'm sorry, it's not necessarily always nut, but in the alternative milks, what do you think about this one? How's the sugar level on this one? 

[00:17:28] Jason Bronstad:Uh, I think both in our unsweetened almond and our vanilla almond, neither one are sweetened. We don't add any sweeteners to either one of those. I think they're under four grams of sugars.

[00:17:37] Jason Bronstad:I don't have a bottle in front of me right this second. So it's right there on the back on the nutritional pack panel. Yes. What is.

[00:17:43] Maya Acosta:And we're gonna talk about this reading lake Beautiful as well. This one, now I don't have cookies, but, if you ate cookies and had this on the side, it, it's like it would be a wonderful combination.

[00:17:54] Jason Bronstad:My daughter's favorite is snickerdoodles. Oh, okay. So some snickerdoodles with that perfect treat. 

[00:18:00] Maya Acosta:Uhhuh. So the vanilla flavored, I would have this, I don't know. I would say I would add this to my milk, but I mean to my coffee. But you're saying the unsweetened probably. 

[00:18:10] Jason Bronstad:Well, you can do both. It just really depends on what you're going for. If you want the vanilla hint in there, then absolutely.

[00:18:15] Maya Acosta:Right. Okay. And then finally, oat milk, which is fairly new to me in the sense that in the past when I've traveled, we travel with our coffee maker, but the milk is always the hard part for us when we're traveling. And I've tried some oat milk that I did not like. So like I said, that's why I'm a little bit hesitant sometimes. But this one is a little bit lighter. You can tell a little more clear. And it's just the original. 

[00:18:41] Jason Bronstad:So it's, it's three simple ingredients, organic oats, water, and pink Himalayan sea salt. 

[00:18:47] Maya Acosta:Mm. This one's good. What would we use that oatmeal? Uh, like for cereal maybe, or even oatmeal.

[00:18:54] Jason Bronstad:So, oatmeal, cereal, oatmeal. My daughter likes to use that in her milkshakes, so she likes the richness of that in her, her milkshakes, as we call 'em at the house. Yep. So adding some fresh fruit. And then the beautiful thing is she'll even throw in some spinach now into her milkshakes and really help to bring some of those vitamins into it. 

[00:19:14] Maya Acosta:Yes. Like I said, after this call, I'm gonna do a smoothie. Nice. That's wonderful. Well, a smoothie that I found on the website that I said, oh, this will be excellent. Let me try and see if I enjoy it more than water, because I've been using water for my smoothies. Well, this is wonderful. Oh, and tell us about the hashtag.

[00:19:33] Maya Acosta:Turn it around. It's. Turn it around. And I know it's about reading labels, so it is, how did you come up? Is that something you came up with? 

[00:19:40] Jason Bronstad:So our marketing team pulled that together and you know, as we talk about, you know, the differences in ma as a plant-based dairy alternative versus other brands, and really as br drawing awareness to consumers to say, just understand what you're putting into it.

[00:19:55] Jason Bronstad:And, and it's really, it's more than just what we're doing. I turn it around with my daughter, all the. And as we've transitioned brands that we buy, you know, it's like, here's the brand that we've always bought, now here's the new brand. Now let's look at the labels and see what the difference is. And the best thing because, um, let's see, my daughter turns 10 next month and she does not hold back.

[00:20:16] Jason Bronstad:And she's like, dad, what's high fructose corn syrup? It's like, well, okay, that's a good question. Let's go study and understand what that is. And it, it becomes a learning opportunity. as you look at the ingredients and the food you have and it my, it's not just your plant-based milks. It's anything in your refrigerator, anything in your pantry.

[00:20:35] Jason Bronstad:The more that we become aware of what is actually in the food, the healthy food we consume. Mm-hmm. To your point on oat milk, right? I just want to go back to oat milk for a second. A lot of the brands will put oils and fillers in it, and those, that oil and the ode and the water, they'll use it all homogenize together.

[00:20:54] Jason Bronstad:But I don't think I want my kids or my family eating rapeseed oil or drinking rapeseed oil, which is in other brands. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And one of my commitments is if it's not something that I would put in my family's cups or on their plates, I don't wanna sell it to people that trust our brand. I mean, our DNA is clean, simple ingredients.

[00:21:14] Jason Bronstad:Mm-hmm. So encouraging people to turn it around is really about a lifestyle change. Let's understand what we're doing and understand how we're treating our bodies, cuz we have one of them and that's it. Mm-hmm. So we better treat it good.

[00:21:29] Maya Acosta:Yeah, I think it's excellent. One of the things that we do in our community as we help people also, you know, incorporate healthier foods into their lifestyle is exactly that.

[00:21:38] Maya Acosta:Teaching people how to read labels in the grocery store, and I often find myself doing that. Like, uh, for example, if, um, I don't know, say spaghetti sauce, if I'm not making my own spaghetti sauce at home and I need, I just need a couple of jars to have at home. I'm looking at the sugar content, at the added oil, at the added salt and other ingredients.

[00:22:00] Maya Acosta:And so we talk about, you know, how to look for those things, but also just the odor of the ingredients as they're listed. The first item listed is the one that you have the most off. Correct. I would say probably the first three ingredients are important, aren't they? 

[00:22:16] Jason Bronstad:All of 'em, they, they are any inclusion of what we call additives. And we've, we've had some fun on TikTok with some additives to help educate people on some of the, the things that we've seen in other plant-based milks, but those additives even in small usage, do you want that in your system? So, yep, I agree a hundred percent that the top couple items are the most important, but still there's the holistic nature of what are we putting into our body? How are we treating it? 

[00:22:44] Maya Acosta:Also, what I like about your product is this option, is that many of us will never make our own oatmeal. or almond milk. I just can tell you right now, I'm not gonna be that individual because it just seems like a lot of work. So this is an easy way to have it in in our diet without having to worry about making it, because I do, I cook a lot and I cook basically from scratch. Jason, I wanted to know before I forget, what is the shelf life of these? And do you have different shelf lives? 

[00:23:14] Jason Bronstad:So when we produce, we've actually been studying the olfactory, which is, how does it smell, how does it taste? As well as all of the nutritionals and microbiome. You know, we, we tested it regularly for several years. Typically, when it gets to the retail shelf, there's at least six months, if not nine months of shelf life to it. Okay. So very clean processing. Yes. 

[00:23:37] Maya Acosta:This will, once I open it, how long do I, does it last?

[00:23:40] Jason Bronstad:Once you open it? About seven days is what we re we recommend the high side of 10 days. Okay. But the beautiful thing is you start to, to incorporate mal into your recipes, into your baking, into your, you know, cereal.

[00:23:51] Jason Bronstad:You'll find that a couple days is pretty aggressive to have it in there cuz you'll be drinking it fast. 

[00:23:56] Maya Acosta:You know, that's what I was thinking because I received six of these and it's my husband and I, and I was like, wow. And then I started to think my husband opened the refrigerator and he's like, wow.

[00:24:08] Maya Acosta:And then I said, we're gonna put it in our coffee. We're gonna make smoothies if you wanna have like cereal. Or I do oatmeal in the morning. So I think that's a great option. Um, but yeah, like I said, I've been using water. because I just don't trust a lot of those alternative products anymore. So 

[00:24:26] Jason Bronstad:Yeah. And Maya, on the oat milk, one thing that people have asked us about is the, the added sugars. Mm-hmm. , and there's no sugar in the nutritional fact panel in the processing of oats. It releases natural sugars and the FDA actually has, uh, regulations out there to classify those as added sugars. Ok. So I just, I wanted to share that with consumers, especially in your show. Mm-hmm. Just to be in full transparency. We're just following the FDA regulations on how they ask it to be labeled. And it goes back, yeah, 2019, 2020 when that regulation came out. 

[00:24:59] Maya Acosta:Okay. Thank you for sharing that. And also, you know, you have this print all around here that says it's organic, and I wanna talk a little bit about that. How, for example, almonds can be heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides.

[00:25:14] Maya Acosta:If you wanna tell us anything about that, because I know that we have these conversations on the show. Choosing organic products when possible. Not everybody can afford the the organics, so we always say, well go to the EWG'S website and then environmental working group and look at those products that are heavily sprayed and then those that you don't have to be as concerned about.

[00:25:37] Maya Acosta:So for me it's always gonna be when I have my tomatoes and my berries and certain products like that, I'm always gonna choose organic. So tell us more. I cuz I didn't know that almonds were sprayed. 

[00:25:48] Jason Bronstad:Yeah. So if you have an almond orchard, you have a choice. You can add fertilizers to it or you can choose to do it organically without adding any extra sprays, chemicals or anything of the nature.

[00:25:59] Jason Bronstad:Mm-hmm. And that's one of the choices that farmers have to make is are they looking for trying to get as much yield, as many almonds as they could possibly grow? Well, they're gonna have to utilize fertilizers and pesticides as well. And if. I was listening to a podcast the other day, and, and the word side or the, the end of the word side is to kill.

[00:26:19] Jason Bronstad:So pesticides, kill, pest. Well, what impact does that have on us? Yeah, so we've partnered with both almond growers as well as oak growers that don't use any roundup. They don't use pesticides. They grow organic oats and they go grow organic almonds. And that's where we believe it has to start. I mean, one of the things that we're proud of is our relationship down to the farm level to understand.

[00:26:47] Jason Bronstad:The way that they're treating the crops at the point of growing them is how we would grow 'em if we could at home. To your point earlier, you're not gonna make your own oat mal. I'm not gonna grow my own almonds, and I'm not gonna grow my own oats, right? I'm gonna leave that to the professionals, but I wanna partner with the professionals that care as much about the quality as we do.

[00:27:06] Maya Acosta:Yep. Okay. So tell us how our listeners can find this product. Where are you? Are you only in Texas or I don't know, where can we find it?

[00:27:14] Jason Bronstad:So, the beautiful thing on our website is, uh, we have a product locator you can punch in your zip code. So, m a l k, and you can punch in your zip code.

[00:27:27] Jason Bronstad:We are, uh, nationally distributed in Whole Foods. Whole Foods markets, uh, sprouts. Uh, we are in h e b in Texas. We're in Krogers in Texas, as well as King Supers in in, uh, Colorado. We're in mother's markets and Moms, Fresh Time is a great support for us. Most retailers in the the Los Angeles area, uh, we're very proud of the distribution and, and we continue to grow every day.

[00:27:52] Jason Bronstad:Last week we had some significant wins that will come to fruition in the first quarter of 2020. Mm-hmm. And, uh, we'll be updating our website with those as, uh, the product is available on shelf, but our mission to make mall available to more consumers is coming to fruition. 

[00:28:09] Maya Acosta:Well, I was gonna ask you about that since they brought you on board, I'm assuming that you have taken the product to the next level, because I'll be honest, I think I read, or you might have mentioned it too, that you, the product has been available for seven years.

[00:28:23] Maya Acosta:And I've never heard of milk. Now I'm always on the lookout when I'm in at grocery stores. I'm always just scanning to see when new products are available. And so have you, did you take the product, were you the responsible for getting it available all over, like Whole Foods and Sprouts or, you know, tell us about what you have done for the company itself?

[00:28:45] Jason Bronstad:Well, let me, first of all, give credit to the founder and the work the founder did to launch the brand and, and to really create a wonderful brand with a great DNA. My, the one thing I've done is I've hired the right people. I haven't done it myself. I've hired the right people. Mm-hmm. that have gone out and.

[00:29:01] Jason Bronstad:Told the story of MALK, talked about the clean ingredients, talked about why there needs to be an organic brand out there in the stores. Mm-hmm. And that's one of the things a lot of stores are missing today. So the team that we've built the last couple of years has really elevated the game, and that's the most important thing in any business.

[00:29:21] Jason Bronstad:It's a people business. Yes. And we brought some incredible people on the team and they are just doing some lights-out work, not only on the sales, But also on the marketing side with our Turn It Around campaign and going out and telling our story in a louder way, and then there's always the operations team.

[00:29:38] Jason Bronstad:Without them, we don't have product. Right. Right. So there's always, uh, the operations team has been working aggressively in this inflationary world to control our costs so we can control our costs to retail and thus to the consumers that fortunately picks up on a day in, day out basis.

[00:29:56] Maya Acosta:Yeah. Well, great job. Very excited to know about all of you and the team, what you're doing. MALK. Great product. I'm very excited to share it with my listeners. And also I wanted to know, so it's a plant-based milk. It's a plant-based brand, but not all your consumers are necessarily vegan, plant-based. 

[00:30:14] Jason Bronstad:No. And that's, uh, an interesting dynamic as we look across the plant-based space is 10 to 15% of consumers across the US either, uh, identify as vegan or vegetarian and then there's a significant portion of consumers that just want to start to transition. Maybe they're lactose intolerant, but those consumers that are in that the pipeline, are looking for better quality because they know mm-hmm. that they're making the healthier choices going plant-based, but, As we as a country begin to ask more questions and become more educated on plant-based milks, all of a sudden, to your point earlier, the Cargills, the oils, the fillers, the emulsifiers, the gums, all those other ingredients that consumers are finding in the product that they once thought was healthy, they're looking to level up to give me something as clean as possible, that if I did wanna make it at home, I could. But I'd much rather just have it available and ready to rock and roll.

[00:31:08] Maya Acosta:And I'm actually looking at your website right now and I see, and I never pronounce this name right, but Glycosate, glyph, glyphosate. Yep. Say that again? Glyphosate. Glyphosate free. Which is a main concern of a lot of people, um, when they're looking for GMO free or genetically.

[00:31:28] Maya Acosta:Trying to avoid products, and so they wanna choose organic. That's one of the biggest concerns that we just don't know what that does to our body. And so the goal is just to stay away from that. So your website has a little bit of who you are and a list of all your products. And like I said, you also have recipes on here. Very nice. What else would you like to tell us? 

[00:31:50] Jason Bronstad:We have a lot of exciting things, uh, coming around the corner. We just, as you alluded to earlier, launched our chocolate oat and, uh, coming up, starting in about 30 days, we've got a chocolate almond. So in limited retailers coming in December of 2022, we'll have a chocolate almond out there.

[00:32:05] Jason Bronstad:So we will have that on the product finder and we look forward to sharing that. It's an exciting addition to our lineup that my daughter approves of as do many other consumers. 

[00:32:17] Maya Acosta:I love that very well. Thank you so much for that. I feel like I could ask you more questions and then, so let me just sort of recap for our listeners, and by the way, you did say that MALK started in Houston, which is why I thought originally it was out of Houston and now it has blossomed to various areas throughout the country.

[00:32:36] Maya Acosta:So you can find this. And Sprouts, Central markets, lots of Krogers and HEB here in Texas. So, you know, I'm surrounded. I'm very lucky when we talk about food deserts, you know, I'm surrounded by within a mile and a half by about five or six grocery stores, and so I'm blessed that way and I'm very thankful for that.

[00:32:57] Maya Acosta:But in now we're getting more HEBs, as you probably know, coming to the north of Dallas area. So Frisco and Plano now. HEBs as well and so well, this is wonderful, so we know where the product, where we can find the product. If people have any other questions, is there a way to contact you or someone who can answer questions?

[00:33:17] Jason Bronstad:Sure, absolutely. You can email and we will make sure we filter those questions to the best people in the company that can answer them. Some of the times it's myself and sometimes it's our head of sales, head of marketing, head of operations, our quality team. So we are happy to engage with our consumers.

[00:33:36] Jason Bronstad:Uh, you can follow us on Instagram and TikTok and Facebook, uh, at Malk Organics. We're always trying to keep some good content out there, but really what's most, what we're proud of Maya, is the way consumers engage with our brand. There's consumers. All types that are out there sharing their recipes. A team sent me one yesterday that.

[00:33:58] Jason Bronstad:The daughters of Courtney and Kim Kardashian were putting some of their recipes out there on TikTok to make matcha and using MALK organics, so, oh my goodness. Pretty exciting that you know, you have A-list celebrities and you've got your everyday Joe's like myself that are out there enjoying MALK. 

[00:34:15] Maya Acosta:Yeah, well this is wonderful. This is how we learn about things is through social media. I mean, it's amazing and of course podcasts in many other ways, but really, Instagram has an incredible way of really like information just pops up sometimes I'm thinking about something and it pops up, like an ad pops up on my IG. It's like they are reading my mind.

[00:34:38] Maya Acosta:Well, this is wonderful. Thank you so much for the product. I'm excited to share it with my circle as well as my listeners. And you know, I know that you're a busy dad and I've heard you on other podcasts and just your dedication to your family and of course still doing all that you're doing as a business. And so I wanna thank you so much for spending time with us today.

[00:34:57] Jason Bronstad:Well, thank you for giving me the opportunity to have the conversation with you and to share with your community. And I would offer up if your community has any recipes that they create with MALK. Please send them in, let share it with us. We'd love to promote it and, you know, get it out there.

[00:35:11] Maya Acosta:Yeah. So actually, what's the best way to share that? If I do, I think that'd be a, a fun idea to get people to do that. Do we hashtag you or email you or how? 

[00:35:21] Jason Bronstad:Yeah, you can hashtag you can tag at MALK Organics or our social media team is phenomenal at catching those as they come through. You can also email us, uh, Community at Mall Organics and we'll make sure that we see it.

[00:35:33] Maya Acosta:All right. Well, thank you again, Jason for your time. Maya. Thank you. I appreciate it. You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast with your host, Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.