Switchback Foods with Ole Hovde feature #67 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #67: Switchback Foods presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Switchback Foods
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Ole Hovde, Founder of Switchback Foods. Switchback Foods is a company that produces veggie-dominant smoothies that are delicious, nutritious, and convenient, with eight ingredients or less and no added sugar or preservatives. Switchback Foods is creating real food products that are easy to prepare and consume, while maintaining over 98% of their natural nutrient profile. Each of our their three flavors contains 3.7-4.7 cups of veggies and fruit, and provides 4.5-6.5 grams of natural fiber, which is essential for digestion, metabolism, and immunity.
Green Smoothies That Don't Taste Like Sh!t. No, seriously.
5 Year-Old Daughter
Ole started us from the beginning which about five years ago his wife told him he needed to start eating vegetables or he would die an early death. This led to him consuming a green smoothie daily for five years. But at no point was it enjoyable for him, they were work, time consuming, and most of all didn't taste good.
He pivoted to researching green waters, but wasn't a fan of what went into them. Ole had an idea. He purchases a freeze dryer and decided he would create a smoothie in powder form on his own. And his first test subject?
His 5 year-old daughter.
From the website, Ole shares the first interaction they had as he set up his work station, "'“Daddy, why are you doing this?” It took me a second, but the words came to me: Because I want to empower people to fundamentally transform their health and nutrition while on the go. I then launched into a bit of a tirade about how many people want a quick fix but that isn’t really possible. Her eyes quickly glazed over and she responded with: “Cool. I am gonna go play now.'”
Ole believed he had a solution to multiple problems: ease, taste, availability. All in one.
March 2022 was his first freeze dried smoothie recipe. Ole shared that the product went through about 30-40 iterations, with their Jungle Mango being the original flavor. 6 months later the company had proof of concept. 4 months after that Ole and his team were all in and Switchback Foods was ready to make a statement.
Delivering under 10 seconds
Ole explained the deliverable of this product, "You can't take a smoothie with you through the airport or do you really want to spend $15 for a green smoothie? Switchback foods gives you not only the convenience, but quality, transparency, and taste." Ole explained to us. Added to either a bottle of water, shaker/mixer, or with some form of milk, you have your green smoothie in under 10 seconds. As Ole shared, "There is nothing like it on the market."
What sets them apart is the transparency, 8 ingredients or less in each flavor - and the ingredients are either vegetables or fruits. The goal for the company is the meaning behind the name as Ole elaborated, "We want to let people know that they can always switch back to food that is tried and true and proven to help our bodies. We are simplifying the process and given adults and children a quick and trustworthy healthy option that taste incredible."
in contrary Ole said most green powders are a concoction of anywhere between 30-90 ingredients! But not Switchback Foods, "Your 3 year-old can look at the ingredients and they know exactly what is in our product.", Ole told us. The taste and texture also are standout qualities of the product with Ole sharing, "I'm always amazed at how many people come back to us 2-3 weeks after using and telling us how great they feel after using Switchback Foods." The product contains a 2 year shelf life and is currently found on Amazon and their website.
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Just go for it
Ole said that the challenges have been on the manufacturing, which includes a difficult process and the distribution side. One component has been finding ways to cut through the bullshit as he shared the company wasted time, money, and resources believing in people to stay true to their word only to underdeliver. Ole said this is one of the toughest aspects to navigate is becoming a bit more cynical and vetting thoroughly to find the right partners for Switchback Foods.
On the distribution angle, the challenge is getting consumers to choose a smoothie over a supplement. But not just to choose Switchback Foods, but understand the WHY behind it. Supplements aren't always fully absorbed by the body, whereas the smoothie is while containing 3.7-4.7 cups of fruits and vegetables, and keeping you filled up.
We asked Ole to take us through the transition from his stable career to becoming an entrepreneur, "The moment I walked out (let go early), my wife said 'Good, focus on Switchback now". My Dad is the CFO of Switchback Foods and told me, 'You should've quit two months ago to jump in.' Knowing I had the support of my family was so crucial. Walking away from a stable income was tough, but it forced us to change our lifestyle, but for the good. I was out of the rat race and instead focusing on things that mattered.", Ole explained.
Chasing a mission
Switchback Foods less than six months in grades their curve as 100% good, 50% great. Ole confirmed that there are minor things that can always be improved on or adapted. One component is packaging in which he shared, "We are constantly working through design and little hiccups to get the product just right. This includes getting our retail packaging ready. once we have it all set, it will get us to the next level."
Switchback Foods and Ole are on a determined to call bullshit on supplements and big food brands. They have arrived and are ready to challenge the status quo. On a mission with their transparency to provide a brand new product to consumers who want to better their health and their lives.
Ole said the goals for the coming years include the following:
2023 - 500-700 transactions for month of December
2024 - Climb to 1500-2000 transactions by end of the year
He told us that he is in this for the long haul, he has no intention to exit because the mission is aligned to his goals of helping others. Providing a fundamental change for consumers with Switchback Foods is an opportunity and challenge that excites Ole. Providing new and better options for consumers and societies is the impact Switchback Foods is trying to create. And most important, Ole gets to create for his family, with his family, because of his family.
Living the dream
We asked Ole his favorite aspect of working at his company and he painted a picture for us, "I get to see my family. A couple days ago my wife called and said she was taking the kids (6, 4, 1) to lunch, if I wanted anything. They brought lunch to our office and the five of us sat on the ground and just enjoyed each other's company." He explained how incredible that flexibility is and that there are no boundaries set. He claims the opportunity in front of him and the company are limitless.
Ole credits his confidence and believe in his support system around him, his family. When he considered throwing the towel in or a struggling experience he thinks back to how excited his kids are. He shared with us, everywhere they go his 4 year-old will share with anyone who will listen, "This is Switchback Foods, my Daddy made this." The company is doing this for people who want to genuinely live a better life and Ole explained, "my kids are so proud, I can't think of anyone whose kids are so proud. I'm beyond lucky!"
Building something so unique for such genuine reasons is what is driving Ole to bring Switchback Foods to the forefront of consumer' reach. He believes that he and the company can have a lot of fun building products that enhance the lives of individuals trying to live healthier lives.
We asked Ole for his piece of advice to wrap up our conversation and he left us with two points. First, "The journey of entrepreneurship isn't that scary in reality. It can be intimidating, but believe in yourself and your mission. Also there is such a vast support system for fellow entrepreneurs. One thing that is so important is to reach out and tell someone how great they are doing or how proud of them you are. Those little amounts of validation are huge and can swing someone's day in a positive favor." Ole shared. His second piece of advice on simplicity, "I joke with people I've never enjoyed being so poor in my life. I'm not poor, but living so simple. I don't care what people think of me, because I'm on a mission with Switchback Foods. Believe in yourself, go after what you believe in, and have fun."
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Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Switchback Foods feature #68
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
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Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
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Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
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Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
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There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
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