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Episode 7: The Future of Soda and the Weird World of Microbes

Episode 7: The Future of Soda and the Weird World of Microbes

Ben Goodwin may be the most interesting person in the world of microbes. As a beverage entrepreneur, his resume may lead you to believe that he’s more equipped to speak on acquisitions and funding than fermentation and formulations, but in true Renaissance fashion, he’s equally able to talk shop on all fronts.

Ben spent years in research and development for his various beverages, even going so far as to set up his own fermentation labs to run experiments. As the founder of probiotic beverage Obi, he learned invaluable lessons about how microbes interact and why they’re so beneficial for our health.

With his latest company, Olipop, he’s turning his attention to prebiotics, or the food that our friendly gut bugs eat. Each can of Olipop has a whopping 9 grams of fiber (more than a ½ cup of lentils!) and gut healing botanicals, such as slippery elm and marshmallow root.

On this episode, Ben talks about what it took to set up his many fermentation labs, his focus on the gut-brain axis, and how the diversity of food we eat has changed our microbiomes.

This episode is a winding conversation that takes a minute to get going, but stick with it and you’ll be blown away.

To keep up with Ben and Olipop, follow @drinkolipop on Instagram or visit drinkolipop.com.



On this show, you’ll learn:

  • How Ben got involved in the microbiome and product development (1:23)
  • His reason for wanting to start a beverage company (3:51)
  • Ben’s introduction to the microbiome (6:19)
  • The building of Ben’s formulation and fermentation labs (10:21)
  • His idea for a mainstream beverage (13:20)
  • While working in the lab, Ben’s biggest discoveries around the microbiome (15:14)
  • The sampling process and its unexpected effects (21:06)
  • The brain/gut component and its dealing with stress (23:34)
  • Ben’s latest drink – a prebiotic (25:27)
  • How the diversity in the food we eat has changed over the years (27:59)
  • Western diets and microbiomes (32:50)
  • What OLIPOP is designed to do and its availability (38:36)

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