Jump to content

Type keyword(s) to search

S01.E05: Pasta-Bilities For Investment

Recommended Posts

Despite the name of the show, I didn't mind that it was a food product and not a restaurant. In fact, rename the show Food Startup and give me more variety.


(Drop the intro competition while you're at it. We want to see you give a trial run to BOTH concepts, and you clearly want to do it.)


All I could think of with the ravioli concept was last week's Masterchef episode where one of the contestants was lambasted for making some sort of spicy, short-rib kimchi pasta. It wasn't all that different from the stuffed potstickers we had last week.


And yes, I kept turning up the volume trying to hear if they were saying "rav-olution" or just missing out on an obvious play on words.


The chickpea pasta looked like it had the texture of egg noodles, and if you overcook those the texture is revolting. Gluten free pasta already exists, but I think this concept could become popular.

Link to comment

I really disliked the brothers.  As Joe pointed out, their main focus was on the profit margins and sales projections, as opposed to the actual food.


And while I respect the opinions of the "foodies" that were invited to sample it, I think in the end it will be a marginal product and won't be around very long.


I understand the gluten-free community has become more vocal in requesting appropriate food items, but they still are a tiny fraction of the pasta market.   If you Google "gluten free pasta", you get loads of choices and many available in your local grocery store. 


Funny, that this is right there at the top in the sponsored ads:


They have 2 shapes, and you have to buy a minimum of 6 boxes at $4.00 each.  With shipping, you end up with $30 worth of pasta, and you don't even know how it tastes.


I think they'll fall to the wayside and be crushed by the big guys. 

Link to comment

This seemed like a product for "Shark Tank." I didn't like the brothers much either. They couldn't even cook! I thought originally they said that the people sampling would get a custom dish. Instead they had pasta sitting in sauce (which over cooked it, it would seem) dished out to them.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

I floved it when Joe couldn't take it any longer and told them to stop regurgitating MBA manure!


Love the product though. Dislike corn-based gluten free pasta (way too much corn in everything and imbalances our omega 3-6 ratio) and brown rice gluten-free pasta is good but chickpea has a far superior nutritional profile.

Edited by anonymiss
Link to comment

I didn't like the brothers and was not at all interested in the product. I tried to watch but as soon as the pasta brothers were selected, I was out. With the finance background of one of them, I just don't see that they needed the help, either. I agree with Sarah that this would be a way more interesting show if they gave both concepts a try-out and then choose.  That ravioli business sounded good!

Link to comment

Hey! This is Brian Rudolph (one of the brothers on the show). Thank you to everyone who has had nice things to say about our product and concept. As we continue to build out the company, the positive messages and support from viewers of the show have been particularly awesome.

I would love to address the negative commentary here, but I don't think it's my place (legally I'm in a bit of a bind).

Instead I'll just leave a few notes on the product. Since filming, we've improved Banza dramatically. Scott and I have spent months at a time at our manufacturing plant. Every day we fight for little improvements. The product no longer has issues sitting in tomato sauce. The taste is still great. And the nutrition still makes it a standout.

We have huge ambitions for the product. Our mission is to take what Chobani did to yogurt and do the same in pasta. Banza has a lot of similarities to Greek Yogurt after all.

I can't do much about the way the editors decided to depict myself or my brother, but I hope you'll all still give Banza a chance. That's the only reason we went on the show in the first place. To tell people about a product we live and breathe.


By the way, Sarah, your commentary is on point. Enjoyed the read.


  • Love 1
Link to comment

Interesting to have an actual individual from the show address the posters here.  I stand behind my previous comments.  And while I understand the editing monkeys are always hard at work telling the story the producers want to see, every participant gives them the raw material to work with.  I can tell the difference between real passion for the food and real passion for the bottom line.


He didn't address the minimum order policy on their website.  I can see that if you eat a lot of pasta or have a huge family, and money is not a concern, this could be an option.  Not being gluten-free by necessity or choice, I still see this a niche product with a small chance of success.


Maybe if they sell the formula to one of the large pasta companies, the product would stand a better chance.  It would probably also bring the price down significantly. 

Edited by leighdear
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Hey Leigh! No worries. I won't hold your opinion against you.

The minimum order is for logistics reasons. We'd love to eventually start selling by the single box, but at this very moment it's the only option.

Our goal isn't to be a gluten free option. We want to replace pasta outright. Because when it comes down to it, if you could eat something delicious that works in all of the same dishes as regular pasta, only it's better for you, why wouldn't you?

Given the nutritional benefits, we think people will be willing to pay a premium. Similar to how people are willing to pay a premium for Greek yogurt over yogurt. And since it's pasta, it's still a ton of food for the price!

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to check out our website...Maybe one day we'll win ya over ;)


Link to comment

Yep. That's our general strategy.

We're on shelves at Eataly today (thank you Joe), and will be on shelves at Meijer (large Midwest grocer) starting this September.

That being said, restaurants have expressed interest in carrying the product. Restaurant-goers (and consumers in general) care more and more about nutrition...

  • Love 1
Link to comment

Hey @BrianRudolph - are you allowed to answer some questions about the format of the show?


While your episode was probably filled with the least amount of "reality show drama" so far, it seems that editing and possibly producer coaching is designed to spur up conflict. Were there any instances in your episode where you were presented in a different light than you expected to be? (I don't see how you came across as jerks, as others pointed out, but Joe and Tim did make a point that you acted like you guys were using your financial background to pitch your product to investors... which, uh, is kind of the whole purpose.)


What's the deal with the $7500 budget? I know you guys didn't get near your limit, but it looks like the contestants don't see how much things like food purchases and interior design cost until after they are already purchased, which makes no sense. Sure, they need to give you a budget, but it all seems so... contrived.


Do they require you to have a partner? Some of the partners of previous contestants don't contribute at all. It's as if they were there out of necessity.


What do you think of the competition format at the beginning of the show? It feels out of place as a viewer, and I typically want to see them give a trial run to both businesses. Did you interact with the other pitchers (or try their food, it looked good)?


Was the Wix product placement as awkward and staged for you as it was for us? :-) I'm sure you can't answer that, but it was very annoying to watch.


Anyway, I like my gluten, but I'll definitely give this a try if I get a chance.

Link to comment
  • Create New...