Interview with Paul Kollesoff from The Urgent Company

The Urgent Company’s main objective is to create a better future for future generations by discovering the best of science and technology and making consumer products that are identical to the traditional ones, but far more sustainable. Paul Kollesoff Co-Founder & General Manager of  The Urgent Company will speak at the event Future FoodTech in 2022, which will take place in San Francisco on March 24-25. This event has become the annual meeting place for the global food-tech ecosystem. Food brands, active investors, start-ups and technology leaders come together to exchange insights, be inspired, and identify future partners.

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Paul Kollesoff The Urgent CompanyCan you give us an overview of what The Urgent Company is about and what makes it unique?

The essence of what we do revolves around our future – at least making a better one for the generations that follow us. We started TUC at the beginning of the biggest threat to our existence that we have seen in our generation, and on top of the planet’s increasing temperatures, we feel there must be a better way to make the products we love. I know, you have heard all this before, so how are we different? Fundamentally, we are discovering the best of science and technology and making consumer products that are identical to the traditional, but far more sustainable.  Products that are delicious but not damaging, functional but not frightening! We do it by acting with Urgency and taking the risks that traditional CPG just cannot, bringing a solution mindset to our innovation and retail partnerships.

We launched in early 2020 with an urgent mission to bring innovative and sustainable consumer goods to market quickly, and we’re closing out 2021 with 4 brands under our umbrella. Our first three brands use a revolutionary dairy technology, one that captured our imagination due to its simplicity. Through an age-old fermentation technology, our team of scientists at Perfect Day creates dairy proteins – dairy without a cow! Consumers shouldn’t have to sacrifice their values for delicious products, but we believe the opposite to be true as well. We’re obsessed with creating products that don’t compromise on consumer experience and that are also friendlier for the earth, whether the consumer knows it or not. 

How does The Urgent Company tackle consumer acceptance of precision fermentation technology? 

As you know, taste wins! Have you tried our products? Our first goal is to make delicious products that consumers truly enjoy and can meet their needs through delicious taste or through a key benefit of a particular brand’s product, like being free from lactose or cholesterol, or being vegan friendly. Winning consumers through taste is essential to our team – why bother with a first-to-market innovation if it doesn’t taste good? We find that by focusing on taste and product enjoyment, the “how” we make our products is secondary for most consumers. Consumers want sustainable products that make their life easy, and we deliver that.

What were the biggest challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

We started The Urgent Company in March of 2020 as a fully remote team, so our launch during a global pandemic with colleagues who couldn’t meet in person for many months was the biggest hurdle initially. We spent many hours on video together and have gotten to know each other’s kids and pets and spouses in the background – in many ways, we’re a stronger team for being able to share that experience as we were building the foundation of our company. Also, we were lucky to have developed some great, trusting retailer partnerships during this time, and we thank those forward-thinking companies for their partnership.

Where do you see The Urgent Company in 5 years?

Our job is to open the market for sustainable technology: I will know we have won if we have created competition for ourselves. Ultimately, we are challenging big CPG to move faster, not just make promises but to actually do something. I have no doubt that we will be more than a small thorn in the side of big CPG in 5 years with a mission driven rockstar team to help us execute. We’re excited for the years ahead where sustainable, innovative products made through technology are so commonplace that they’re widely accessible to all – that’s where the real, measurable climate impact will happen. We see our brands playing a huge role in that by continuing to create delicious foods that are kinder to the planet than their traditional counterparts. We’ll be launching new brands as well as acquiring established brands and helping them transition to more climate-friendly processes and ingredients. And though we’re starting with food, we plan to quickly move to other categories to be part of affecting change in other industries as well. Stay tuned for more to come from our team! 

 

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