Stay tuned and discover all the new low FODMAP products with FODY Food founder Steven J. Singer
In this episode I interview Steven J. Singer, an accomplished entrepreneur from Montreal, Canada.
Steven is the co-founder of the very famous Glutino Foods, America’s premier gluten-free food company which he started from scratch in the late 1990’s and grew to a very successful business, soon becoming the leader in gluten-free products across North America. More recently, Steven founded another business, and this is what makes it very interesting for those who are on the low FODMAP diet just like me, because FODY Food Company is America’s first low FODMAP food company. During this interview I have the pleasure of talking to Steven about why he decided to get into this new venture and how his products can help IBS sufferers to avoid those dreadful symptoms.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How did Steven get into the food industry and the FODMAP space?
- Which products are available at FODY Food Co.?
- Where can FODY products be found?
- Why FODY Food has certified their products?
- What is the ‘safe’ quantity of low FODMAP food that IBS sufferers can consume before triggering symptoms?
- Why did FODY Food decide to have their pasta sauces made in Italy?
- What are the opportunities and challenges facing a new product launch in a niche market?
- What are some tips for those planning to launch low FODMAP products?
- Why should IBS sufferer reach out to a low FODMAP authority and dietitian?
- Where did the brand name FODY come from and what is the message behind the bird logo?
- What does the future hold for the international expansion of FODY?
- What does it take to be successful in the food business?
- How can you be one of the first to receive new products to your doorstep?
LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD THE LOW FODMAP DIET & IBS PODCAST EPISODE 32 HERE
Can’t listen to this episode right now? Read the transcript below!
LARAH: Hi, Steven.
STEVEN: Hi, Larah. It’s great to be here. Thank you for the invitation to join the podcast.
LARAH: Thank you so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to be here. So, first of all, would you like to introduce yourself a little bit more and tell us all how you got into the food industry to start and, more recently, into the creation of low FODMAP products?
STEVEN: Absolutely. So as you mentioned, my name is Steven and I’ve been in the food industry — I can’t believe I’m saying this — but I’ve been in the food industry for about eighteen years now. I started when I was twenty-six years old. My friend, and eventually my business partner, David Miller and myself, we got into Glutino. We started this amazing gluten-free brand. Back in 1999, very few people knew what we were talking about when I said gluten-free or celiac disease. At that time they estimated about one in ten thousand people in North America needed to go on the gluten-free diet, so we had a major challenge and a major goal to kind of build a medical food company that specialised, at that time, in gluten-free products. And we thought that maybe one day we would get into other medical specialty foods.
So, from that time on, in 1999 and through the years that came, we would develop many, many different gluten-free products and trying to be a one stop shop back then. And so we worked with manufacturers worldwide in Italy and in the U.K. and in Canada, in the United States to develop a best-in-class line-up of gluten-free products that would try to give those following a gluten-free diet — whether they were celiac, or autistic, or had dermatitis or other skin ailments — we tried to give them a regular, normal life, you could say, so that they could have their crackers, and their breads they were used to having, and down the list you go. And so that company we developed, as you mentioned, became one of the leaders here in North America. Eventually the selling of the company in 2012 — and it was an amazing ride. It was a lot of fun, and I think what made that company so much fun was not just the people that we worked with and the team that we had, but it was being an entrepreneur and also being there to help people from a medical side and giving something back.
It’s always fun to grow a business, Larah, but what’s more fun is also when you’re able to help people at the same time. So, kind of, that’s what Glutino is all about. It was about being an amazing brand that people could count on that they could trust and that they knew were tested gluten-free. And so that’s what we were all about then, and that’s a good segue into what we’re working on now.
So that’s a little bit of the background. I’m married in Montreal, Canada. That’s where I live; that’s where I was born and raised. I have three beautiful kids — healthy and amazing kids. And now we enter a new chapter, and a very, very exciting chapter, to basically trail blaze in the low FODMAP food space.
LARAH: Yes, thank you so much Steven. And that’s quite incredible your journey from the 90’s because, as you said, nobody had hardly ever heard about celiac or gluten-free products. I remember growing up in Italy in the late 70’s and 80’s, and apart from the odd person that had some nut allergy, I had never heard about anyone that needed to avoid gluten. And maybe there were people, and maybe medical science hadn’t yet discovered that it was a really serious allergy to gluten. As I said from growing up in Italy, I hadn’t seen any gluten-free pasta or gluten-free bread appearing until very recently.
STEVEN: Yes, that was the amazing thing, Larah. We worked very hard to really have a cross- category approach. So, no matter what eating opportunity or eating occasion, as they say, we wanted to make sure someone had something delicious and healthy, and obviously tested gluten-free. And we worked very hard to make sure that we would be in retail stores across the United States and across Canada, eventually exporting internationally. And that was it. We were very early in the game. We worked very close with the Celiac Associations and the gastroenterologists and the dietitians so that people that were being diagnosed or were told that they should follow the diet, that they could find Glutino and make it easily accessible to, I guess, manageable, to live a gluten-free lifestyle. And when you fast forward to today, I guess I could jump ahead to your second part of the first question, how you got into the to the low FODMAP space. And the interesting and eerily similar situation is, as I was doing my homework and trying to find what other type of special diets or special medical conditions require food, or can require food as a source of treatment, if you want to call it. And IBS is just such a large — call it a problem or a challenge for so many people. And the numbers about Irritable Bowel Syndrome are just astonishing. When I started reading that there was approximately 45 million Americans with IBS, we looked at the heat map across the world, and there were just percentages that were exceeding 15 – 17% of people that were IBS sufferers. And so it was a very compelling situation to say, “I know how to create products and brand it, and come up with a way to offer a low FODMAP lifestyle to those that need it and try to help the irritable bowel sufferers all over the world. And so, that’s kind of how FODY Food Company was born. And in a lot of ways, it’s just a similar approach to how I went out and tried to build Glutino. I was really trying to create a product for every eating occasion. I just feel very passionate that even if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and even if you have to follow the low FODMAP diet to help those symptoms and help get through your day-to-day, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy food, and you should be able to enjoy grocery shopping and being a chef at home. You just have to have the right tools, and FODY is here to make people’s lives easier.
LARAH: Yes, absolutely. And we all wish we had the time to always cook from scratch, but that’s not always possible. Suffering from IBS and following the special diet, takes away the convenience food which, in one way, could be a good thing because it obliges us to go back to the basic food and just really cook at home and cook from scratch. But we don’t always have the time to be able to do that, so just being able to grab pasta sauce that is ready, and it’s convenient, and it’s affordable, and we can prepare dinner with that. It’s amazing that we are able to do that now compared to a few years ago. And also, for some people that are at times confused and thinking that they need to follow gluten-free when they are following the low FODMAP diet. But, obviously, this is not the case because it’s not gluten that’s the problem, it’s the FODMAPs. And, actually, some of the gluten-free products are not suitable. Even though they might avoid the wheat, the barley, the rye, they might still have other ingredients which are safe for celiac, but are not safe for us. So, that’s absolutely fantastic that you came up with specific products for IBS sufferers — specifically low FODMAP products. And would you like to tell us a bit more what these products are and the products that you currently offer? And, also, are your products low FODMAP certified?
STEVEN: Yeah, Larah, great question. For us, the most important thing when you’re building a brand and when you’re building a food company was to be very closely in touch with your consumers and to understand exactly what they want. When you are on a low FODMAP diet you have the inconvenient lifestyle of always having to plan and always having to, like you said, you don’t always have the time. So we really asked people through social media, and through the help of some amazing dietitians and nutritionists out there, we said, “Let’s find out from those consumers, what would you like to have from a low FODMAP company if we were too exist, and we were to develop some products? Where would we start?” And the overwhelming answers came in as, “We would love to have some pasta sauce that we can have every day that doesn’t have garlic and doesn’t have onion. And we would like sauces, and marinades, and salsas, and a bar, or something like a snack food that we can throw in our bag.” And so FODY was born by really asking people, “What would you like first?” And so we started with two delicious pasta sauces that are made in Italy which, in my opinion, and I’m sure in your opinion, Larah, that’s where pasta sauce should be made. It should come from Italy. We worked hard with an Italian company to develop the sauce. And as I’m sure you would understand, when you tell amazing Italian food companies that, “Listen, we want you to develop a sauce with us, but you can’t use garlic and onion in the sauce.” They looked at me like I was a little bit crazy.
LARAH: I can totally understand that. That is so funny. That is the base of every Italian food — onion and garlic. So taking away onion and garlic from Italians, it is just like taking away the essence of what Italian food is meant to be.
STEVEN: Exactly, exactly. So that was a challenge, but we were very, very excited with what they came up with. We tweaked it a little bit here and there, and we came up with an amazing Tomato Basil and a delicious Marinara sauce. And I think what makes our sauce so good is not just that it tastes good, but I call it, it’s a very flexible type of product that’s extremely easy to — whether you want to add other vegetables low FODMAP in there, or whether you want to add some meat, or you want to add other protein, it’s a fresh tasting sauce and you can manipulate it any which way you like.
From there, we also developed a salsa. It’s one of the top selling condiments in North America. People have their nachos and their tortilla chips and they want something to dip those in, and so we have a couple of salsas that we developed that, again, are low FODMAP. And I’ll talk to you in a minute about the certification. We developed a barbecue sauce. This is a very rich, sweet but also traditional barbecue sauce that you can use either when you cook or as a dip. On the snack side we worked on two bars that are delicious. There’s a little nuts; there’s some sea salt, a little dark chocolate in one of them, and in the other one, it’s like an almond and coconut kind of caramelised — no caramel per se — but it almost has this caramelised taste to it.
STEVEN: It’s really, really delicious and extremely good to travel with. It’s great in someone’s school bag, in your purse, or in your briefcase. or in an airplane. It’s extremely handy to have. So that’s where we started, and, early on we acquired another brand — a small brand that was here in America called Nicer Foods. And what was interesting with Nicer Foods was they had an amazing client base already, and so a lot of people were already buying some of their products which was a bar, and some infused oils, and some other product.
We have a lot of other products that we developed since that time. We’ve got some other products that we recently launched like a soup base. We have a chicken soup base and a vegetable soup base which are super back-to-the-kitchen and back to being able to just make a cup of soup or add a broth to anything that you’re cooking. It’s a super flexible type of item to have, and everybody has in their kitchen, so we’re very excited about those.
And then we recently launched — which is one of our favourites here — is our trail mix packs. And what makes our trail mix packets different and special is that when you buy it, you get a multi-pack. And inside the multi-pack, there’s six mini-packs. And each mini-pack, that’s what’s been certified. So you don’t have to sit there and start counting and saying, “Oh, how much am I allowed to have? Can I have one tablespoon or two tablespoons?” And we all know how challenging it is to eat when you have to start measuring your seeds, and nuts, and dried fruit. It just takes away a lot of the enjoyment of eating. So we feel like what we’re trying to do is that we’ll do the hard part, and we’ll do all the homework and make sure that everything’s been tried and tested and make sure that you can have something that you can rely on. And then, everybody out there, you guys get to do the easy part. And the best part is to eat it and enjoy the product.
LARAH: Yeah, great. Thank you, Steven. And that brings me to the following question which is about those mini-packs. It’s an exact portion that people can have safely and they don’t have to worry about, as you said, “Am I having too many nuts?” or “Am I having too much of that?” because it’s a safe portion. So, talking again about that, would you be able to tell that, although it’s certified, not to go crazy and have all of the six packs in a row for instance?
STEVEN: Yes. So, Larah, it’s a very important to talk about the certification. One of the things that I feel very passionate about, and very strongly about, is that there’s a reason why only certain companies can do what we do. If you’re going to make products for people that have, whether it be food allergies, or whether it be digestive challenges, they’re digestive diseases. It’s important to be able to stand by your products and to say, “Hey! We’re not going to be the ones to decide if this is safe for someone to eat.” I’ll be the entrepreneur, and the branding guy, and the marketing guy, and the salesman. And I’ll go out there and schmooze with everybody to try to convince people why they should carry this in stores or what have you, but I’m not the doctor or the dietitian, and I’m certainly not the amazing Monash University who do all the research and the homework and the clinical trials to develop the diet and to come up with something so amazing to help so many people. Dr. Peter Gibson and his team at Monash, Jane Muir, they’ve done incredible work. And so what we do is we send all the products, before we sell anything, all of the products go to Monash. They get certified; they get tested. And what you were mentioning before is that it’s very important they measure them by quantity so that we know. I’ll mention, of course, the Monash app that’s amazing for people to guide their eating and to know what they can or can’t have and what are those portion sizes. But what we do is we send the products to Monash, Monash will test the products, and then we’ll know, “Hey, those are Monash Certified and you can now go ahead and eat that” Then they’ll go to market where people can have access to the products. But it’s a very important step in our company that before anything gets sold, we can stand behind it. But we stand behind it with our partners, and our partners is the laboratory that will do the actual testing to ensure what we say is not just something that’s made up. It actually comes from a test.
LARAH: Yes, and that’s important to say because we may think that we can combine a lot of low FODMAP ingredients and that will become a low FODMAP product, but not necessarily. The fact that you have your product certified by Monash University for that quantity gives you the guarantee that that portion it is completely low FODMAP, and therefore, safe for you.
STEVEN: Yeah. And on that topic, Larah, you’re making a very good point. And again, I’m not a doctor or a dietitian, I’m not Monash doing the research. But what I will say is that we figured out, that for example a bar — one of our dark chocolate sea salt bars — yes, there are nuts in them, but you can eat that bar safely. Now can you eat two bars, three bars, six bars? Well, there’s still a lot of homework being done all over the world — in the United States as well, and in Canada, and, of course, in the United Kingdom and Australia — to find out all that all those answers. What has to happen? Does it have to go through your system before you can have another bar? Can I have a bar and then five minutes later can I have a trail mix packet? And I think the answer — and, of course, I’m not the authority here so I wouldn’t even be the guy you should listen to, but what I will say is, first and foremost, everybody’s body is different. What might work for one, might not work for someone else. I think that’s important for people to understand that while Monash will give people a guide. And one of the things that we’re working on with Monash right now is to make sure that people know what that upper limit is. So if they want to make a full chicken with barbecue sauce and they’re the type of person that wants to eat two pieces of chicken or three pieces of chicken. They have a big appetite, and they want to know, “Can I have all that barbecue sauce? Or is that going to cause me some symptoms?” And the answer is, they’ll tell you what the upper limit is with the barbecue sauce, but then, they’re not going to tell you that it’s a guarantee for each person — what’s going to happen in your body — because, of course, we’re all different.
I think it’s important that we use Monash and all the research that’s coming out from anywhere — whether it be in Monash, or in the United States, or Canada, or at King’s College in the UK — that we use all this amazing information. But it’s a guide. And I think that people have to understand that it is a guide and you have to know your body. That’s why it’s an elimination diet so that people can eliminate everything and then figure out what the culprits are. What works for one might not work for someone else.
LARAH: Yes, that’s completely right Steven because, as you said, we all have different tolerance levels so if I could have two or three bars it doesn’t mean that someone else can have them. And that’s exactly right. It’s what we found out during the elimination phase, that we should be able to find what the culprit is, what the food that makes us sick is and in and what level we can tolerate the rest of the FODMAP food. So, again, you have to listen to your body and be guided, especially, by an expert, by a dietitian, by a health professional when you’re doing the elimination and reintroduction phase so that you will learn to understand what your tolerance level is.
In terms of your products, it sounds like you’re in the right direction, you’re offering products that people really need that are versatile and that can be used as a base for all sorts of dishes, all sorts of recipes. It’s great. And the company is expanding and there is a real need for that. We’ve started to see low FODMAP products appearing in more and more countries. We have some as well in Australia, I know there are some in the UK, and you have now started this company, which is the first company in North America for low FODMAP food. So congratulations for doing that, and I’m sure that this has been very well received by IBS sufferers in North America.
Would you also be able to tell us where the products can be found? Are they online at the moment or can they be found in retail stores as well — or eventually?
STEVEN: Yes. One thing just to touch back on. In the next few weeks and months we will be launching about six to ten more products. We’ll have about twenty low FODMAPS certified products from Monash, from garlic infused olive oils to some amazing spice blends that people will be able to use at home, to a breakfast cereal. And we have one amazing secret product that I would say the low FODMAP world will be very, very excited about. That will be coming out in a few weeks, so we can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet.
LARAH: Okay. That sounds exciting. A bit of mystery.
STEVEN: Yeah. Probably the single most exciting product for me will be launching soon, so we have a lot. And we have many more behind that. In terms of where the products are located — so I am based in Montreal, Canada. We’re focused on the U.S. and in Canada. We are sold online @fodyfoods.com. We are sold on Amazon.com. We are very excited that about two weeks ago we launched at an amazing grocery chain in the northeast of the United States called Wegmans. All of our line is now set out on the shelves at Wegmans stores. Not In all Wegmans stores, but soon we’ll be in more and more. We’ll have a list. You can email us and we can tell you if your local Wegmans carries it. And the other thing to mention is, I would say within the next, let’s call it a month because, quite frankly, my travel schedule is just a little bit too crazy. But we will be announcing some launch plans in some other countries. We’re very excited about coming overseas and getting things going in the UK and other parts of Europe. We’re trying to find the right partnership in Australia. The amazing thing is everybody wants our products. We know that they’re fantastic; we know that they’ll cross kind of all countries and globally can be exciting for all. We also know that we need to find the right partners so we are trying to find distribution partners and people to help us take this in every country. That’s on my list to do, Larah, and most importantly, just to keep making these products accessible to all.
LARAH: That’s absolutely amazing that in such a short time you’ve been able to do so much already and look for a distributor around the world and I wish you all the success for that.
Going back to your pasta sauces now as we talked about earlier, I’m an Italian and I was wondering if you can tell us a little bit more about why did you decide to create these sauces in Italy, but currently you’re not actually distributing them in Italy. They’re really, really desperate for products that are low FODMAP in Italy.
STEVEN: Well, it’s a good question. To be honest, we did some homework here in America on some pasta sauces to try to come up with the right sauce. And then, from my experience at Glutino — when I built the gluten-free company Glutino — I did a lot of work in Italy. And I always found that the quality and the taste of the products — just the attention to detail — was really amazing. And so I said, how can I launch pasta sauce without going to Italy and trying to see if I can source with the Italian tomatoes, and with the Italian know-how in terms of sauces? So, we did that. And the question we get is, will the products be available in Italy? And the answer is one hundred percent yes. We need to get the products in Italy; we need to get the products in the UK; we need to get the products in Spain. We have a lot of interest from the Scandinavian countries. We have a lot of homework to do and, like I said, if anyone out there is listening and you think you can help us do anything, I’m a pretty approachable guy. I just want to have fun and I want to get these products out there. But Italy, absolutely. We know how big the gluten-free market is in Italy and it’s just a matter of time to do the same thing here in low FODMAP.
LARAH: That’s very good news for all those that have been asking me about when it could be available in Italy — those low FODMAP products. So that’s absolutely great that you’re thinking about it and it’s just a matter of time, really. I really appreciate the work that you do and also all the other companies that are working in this space to make products that are suitable for IBS sufferers and that are safe and that are low FODMAP. And I have to say that every time I go to the supermarket and I look at some of the products I used to purchase in the past that I would like still to have, I get a little bit frustrated and I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have a low FODMAP version of this product? Of course, we know that the food industry is quite a difficult one to break into. You’ve done it before with Glutino, so you’re an expert at that, and, obviously, you know all the ins and out of the industry now. But would you be able to give any advice to those who are thinking of launching a product in the food industry, especially in a small niche product like low FODMAP or gluten-free or anything that is very niche?
STEVEN: Yeah. I mean, listen, I love the food industry. I think people always eat, so as an entrepreneur, I always like to find an industry where you have a chance and to go into an industry that’s on its way up or has opportunities of growth. I see too often people that go into business, and they might be the greatest entrepreneur in the world, but they’re not giving themselves a shot because they might have entered into a market or a segment of business that is just not hot or it is actually going down. So, I think you have to understand what you’re getting into.
I love the food industry because, like I mentioned, people are always eating whether times are good, times are bad, whether you are doing well in life or whether you have some hard knocks. I mean, you still have to eat. That’s the first thing, is really trying to identify what’s the segment you want to be in. Getting into a niche always makes it a little bit harder because it’s just that — it’s a niche. Finding enough people to buy your products is always challenging.
I think the number one thing for me is always to have a really good plan and to try to follow that plan and don’t take shortcuts I mean, that plan has to be detailed, and whether it be from a financial merit to know how much money it’s going to take, or from the type of flavours or branding, or all the different elements of a business. And in food, there’s even that much more because you’re talking about research and development. You’re talking about recipes, and allergens, and Food and Drug Administration, and packaging, and shelf life. There’s just so much that goes into it. But while it sounds scary, I guess my biggest advice to every entrepreneur out there is just do it and jump in. We’ve all been there and said, “Oh, I had that idea, but I didn’t do it,” so I think you just have to go for it and make sure you have the financial plan, the business plan, the marketing plan, and then just close your eyes and hope for the best.
LARAH: That’s right. And surround yourself with experts and with people that know how to get from point A to point B, really, because there is so much. I had a conversation one day with a food technologist just to ask about a product that I was thinking about developing and to see how complicated it was. And after our first meeting — which was only about of two or three hours — I kind of thought, do I really want to get myself into this right now? I’ve got so much else to deal with. But your words of encouragement are really positive and it’s something that I may consider in the near future. And, hopefully, other people may also think about it and see your example. As you said, just have a good plan and have the right people around to support you.
STEVEN: Yeah. Larah, you mentioned having people around you, and I think that’s a very, very good point. I mean there are so many people out there that might have done it before. I’ve been in the industry for many years and I love when entrepreneurs call me or email me and say, “Hey, I have a few questions. Do you mind having a coffee or chat or what have you?” because there’s no shame in asking for help. I love having people that I can ask a question to. We’re only experts in certain areas and I’m no expert in a lot of areas, but I surround myself with people that are. I’m not a graphic artist, but I’ll work with great graphic artists. I’m not great in social media, but I’ll have a great team in social media. You’ve got to work with people that are passionate about what they do. You can get help. You can get experts and mentorships and advisers, and, yes, surround yourself with good people. That’s really what it’s all about.
LARAH: Yes. Thank you for all the advice, Steven. Is there’s something that we haven’t covered yet, that you would like to share?
STEVEN: I think it’s a super exciting space to be in. I’m very curious and very excited at the same time of what the future holds for the low FODMAP food industry. I think that Irritable Bowel Syndrome continues to be a big challenge to be tackled out there by so many people and I think it’s exciting to think that we can help people out there. I hope people, if you do have some stomach issues or some digestive issues, or you know someone that has some challenges in their digestion, that’s it there — companies like FODY Food Company and others that are out there to help people. And there’s other great companies that are starting up in low FODMAP, and we hope to develop relationships with each and every one of them because the best thing for us is to see other companies get into it. It just shows us that everybody recognizes the problem, so I’m happy to see it. I’m happy and excited. Again, I think it’s important to have fun. And it’s fun to help bring more and more products and see the response that we’re getting to it. I think you touched on that earlier, the response, and I’m sure you’ve seen it, Larah, on social media whether it be on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram pages. It is just astonishing, and exciting, and just so overwhelming to see people from all over the world how excited they are for what FODY Food Company is doing. And it amazes me that, literally, a year ago last week I said, “I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to go and take my playbook from Glutino and go apply it to low FODMAP food for IBS.” And so we’ve done an amazing amount in one year, and I think the next year and the years ahead will be even more exciting. So, I think it’s exciting. I think that’s the most important message.
LARAH: Yes, absolutely. It’s an exciting time because now there is so much more knowledge. For people to be able to be introduced to this diet and also be told that there are products you can actually buy to help them transition from what they were used to and now to a completely new diet.
STEVEN: Yeah and there’s another thing I would just want to add, and I think you mentioned it earlier, but it’s just so important for everybody out there to hear, is that working with your dietitians and getting help on the diet is so important. Here in America we’ve got one of the premier low FODMAP dietitians in Kate Scarlata who’s based in Boston. She’s done amazing work for the low FODMAP community globally. She is a true authority in the area, so people like Kate, the dietitians out there that are being trained by Kate that are learning from Kate, that’s what it’s all about. Go work with your dietitians. And there’s so many great dietitians out there that are studying low FODMAP — Stephanie Claremont in Canada and Patsy Catsos in the United States. These are real authorities in low FODMAP and they’ve helped us. And they just want to help more people, so people should really reach out to them, or to their local dietitian, and make sure they follow accordingly.
LARAH: Yes, thank you, Steven. I am a big fan of the three dietitians that you mentioned. Kate, and I had both Patsy Catsos and Stephanie Claremont on my podcast before and they are great authorities in the low FODMAP diet space. I would definitely recommend to everyone to follow their advice. Yes.
LARAH: Okay. We are coming to the end of the interview, but the last question I would like to ask you is how can people get hold of your products — so your website and any other links that you would like to share with us?
STEVEN: Yes. So FODY Food Company is, of course, available on our website at www.fodyfoods.com. And I want to add one more thing that I’ll explain in a second. FODY’s available on Amazon . FODY is available, as I mentioned earlier, in many Wegmans stores in the Northeast United States. You can follow us on Instagram @FODYfoods. Definitely follow us on Twitter, on Facebook. We want to have all you guys follow us, but more importantly, we want you guys to benefit out there from all the deals and the specials and be the first to get those new products. We have some amazing new products coming out, as I mentioned, and if you follow us there’s a pretty good chance you might just find something in your mail parked outside your door. When we launched our bars we sent over a thousand bars to people out there in the United States, and literally, they opened up their mail and they found a bar in the box. The only way they found that it is because they had joined our mailing lists, so join us and partner with FODY and we’re going to keep bringing you great products. And then, of course, internationally, stay tuned. If you follow us on our social media pages we will be announcing any new launches or new locations that you can find the products.
And the last thing — and I know you asked me those last things. Now I’m going to say the last thing. The last
thing I did want to mention — and I know you didn’t ask the question, but I’ll answer it anyways — why is it called FODY and why is there a bird in our logo? If you Google “what is a FODY,” FODY is actually a bird from Madagascar. The interesting story, and why we actually went with the name FODY and with the bird, is because we had done a survey right when we were about to launch. We asked dietitians and we asked consumers, what was the number one thing they felt with IBS? And I would say that seventy percent of those people said they feel heavy; they feel bloated; they just don’t feel light; they don’t feel free. And so everything just seemed like the stars aligned. FODY is short for FODMAP, and FODY is a bird, and birds are free. And therefore we feel that this bird is really a symbol of what people will feel, and the freedom the they’ll get by following the low FODMAP diet and not just eating FODY products, but following the diet and understanding what fruits and vegetables they can eat — what other brands are out there that have low FODMAP products. And I think that’s exciting for us because I think people can appreciate it and they can identify with that. So that’s the last thing like I wanted to mention.
LARAH: Wow, I like that Steven. That is really a nice way to end this podcast. It’s very inspirational and I like the fact that you’re kind of thinking about the bird to represent how people will feel after they follow the diet. I can totally connect to that because I would have been one of those seventy percent of people feeling heavy, feeling off. And since following the diet that’s why I’m such a big advocate and I want to spread the word. I am really feeling like a bird, too. Yes, so that is great, yeah. I like that story.
LARAH: Okay, thank you so much, Steven. I appreciate you being here and spending an hour with me on this podcast and for all the work you do. And for the listeners, all the links to Steven’s company, FODY Food, will be on my show notes as well as a link to Amazon. And, who knows? Amazon seems to be opening in Australia. There are currently rumours that Amazon would be opening in Australia soon, and who knows? You may be able to find a distributor via Amazon already.
STEVEN: Yeah, we’re looking forward to it. We’re looking forward to launching in many more countries and we’re going to make that happen. So, stay tuned. Don’t be shy. Email us any time: info@FODYFoods.com. If you’re in the United States or Canada, you can literally call 1-844-FODMAPS. It’s pretty easy to remember that number and don’t be shy reach out to us directly. We’re happy to hear from you. And, Larah, thank you again for having me on the podcast. You’ve been doing amazing work on social media. People have been able to learn a tremendous amount, so it’s people like you that are helping to make this low FODMAP living manageable. So, thank you, too.
LARAH: Yes. Thank you, Steven, thank you again so much.
STEVEN: Take care.
There you go! Another episode of the Low FODMAP Diet and IBS Podcast with FODY Food founder Steven J. Singer. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I also hope you’re excited about all the new low FODMAP products that are available on the market thanks to Steven’s company. And as Steven said, stay tuned and soon his products will also be found outside the United States and Canada. Feel free to contact me by my website with any questions you would like me to ask, you would like me to address with the next expert I’m going to interview. And if you have the chance, I would love to receive your review on iTunes about the podcast. Until next time, I wish you all the very best with your health… a big hug, and from the beautiful Gold Coast in Australia, a warm goodbye to you all.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode: