Feb 29, 2012 • By

Food Should Taste Good joins the General Mills family

Less than an hour ago, General Mills announced that it has purchased Food Should Taste Good, a rapidly-growing natural snack food company. The brand will become a part of Small Planet Foods, General Mills’ natural and organic products business. You can learn more about the official announcement by reading the following press release issued by General Mills today.

We thought the readers of “A Taste of General Mills” might like to get the perspective of the company’s founder, Pete Lescoe, on this momentous milestone for the company he created and led through a period of exciting growth and innovation.

I interviewed Pete to capture his thoughts on this announcement and to learn a little bit more about the brand and its products.

Q: Pete, this must be a pretty big day for you and your employees. What makes you excited about the future of Food Should Taste Good?

A: Our team has done an outstanding job of building the Food Should Taste Good brand since I sold the first box of chips in 2006. With talented employees, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck, we’ve grown into a premium brand in healthy snacking. Looking ahead, I’m excited about the potential for Food Should Taste Good to leverage the people and resources of General Mills for growth. Our team has always been focused on what’s next in terms of possibilities and innovative new products for Food Should Taste Good. I’m confident that this potential will be fully realized through the support and leadership of General Mills. I appreciate the respect and care that they have shown for the brand during our discussions leading up to this day. I truly believe that General Mills is the perfect place for Food Should Taste Good in its next stage of growth.

Q: Why did you start Food Should Taste Good?

A: I started Food Should Taste Good because I, like many other people, enjoy munching on a tortilla chip. But I wanted to eat tortilla chips with ingredients I ate at other meals. Ingredients like flax seed — I like putting this in my yogurt at breakfast or in a protein shake. Or jalapenos — I love them in salsa or chili. I simply couldn’t find good tasting snacks with those ingredients. So, I created my own tortilla chips and those two flavors were the first I made: Multigrain and Jalapeno.

Q: Food Should Taste Good has some pretty unique flavors of tortilla chips, such as chocolate, olive, jalapeno, and hemp. Where have you drawn your inspiration for these distinctive flavors and why do you think it’s important to offer such a variety?

A: Ha! Chocolate was inspired by my love of ice cream. I started out trying to make a waffle cone chip and when I was searching for the various ingredients to try to make that flavor, I found myself standing in the baking aisle of the grocery store staring at all of the possible ingredients. If you stare at baking products long enough, you’ll realize how popular chocolate is. So I thought, “Why not? I should try a chocolate tortilla chip. I’ve never seen THAT before!” Since I love chocolate, it was easy to convince myself that it was a good idea. And the feedback on our Chocolate Tortilla Chips has been great.

I think it’s important to offer a variety of distinct flavors because historically there have been fewer options and flavors for people who wanted to eat food with all natural ingredients. If you use quality ingredients and consistently strive to push the envelope on flavor, I’ve found that people will respond.

Q: What has it been like to see a brand that you launched in 2006 grow so fast and gain so many fans?

A: It’s not just me that’s done all this work. We have a team of 50 people working hard to ensure we’re delivering a consistent, high-quality product with great flavor. And that effort is going on every day and night. You never stop working when you’re part of a small company. I tend to keep it pretty simple when I think about our success: people like Food Should Taste Good because our flavors, nutrition facts, and ingredients are all simple, authentic, and delicious. What you see is what you get. We’re committed to keeping this simple approach, which I think will continue to attract more fans to the brand.

Q: What is your favorite Food Should Taste Good product and why?

A: Hmm…this is an unfair question! I like them all for different reasons. Multigrain is a perfect partner to hummus. Jalapeno, I love with goat cheese. Cantina is great as an everyday salsa dipper. My new favorite is the Kettle Cooked Sweet Potato Chip with BBQ seasoning.

Q: In your opinion, why is Food Should Taste Good a good fit with Small Planet Foods and General Mills?

A: Besides the fact I grew up eating Cheerios? Well, the success of Small Planet Foods and General Mills is reason number one. They are the perfect partners to grow Food Should Taste Good long into the future. While our six years of double-digit growth alternately seems like a long and short time period, I’m focused on the next five, ten, and twenty years of growth for Food Should Taste Good. I think Small Planet Foods and General Mills have the structure, foresight, and knowledge to grow this brand for many years.

I was also drawn to the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. General Mills has a history of integrity and of taking care of the communities where it operates. These values are important to me and to the people who enjoy Food Should Taste Good snacks.

Editor’s note: Pete Lescoe will continue with the business as creative director and will work with General Mills going forward to grow the brand.