Based in Minnesota, Puris is the largest producer of pea protein in North America supplying the likes of Beyond Meat. Fast Company named them the most innovative food company in 2021 for their end-to-end solution to food production. To speak about the company’s philosophy, history, business model, and future, my guest today is CEO Tyler Lorenzen who runs the company alongside his sister Nicole Atchinson.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 3:23
So, I think we need to start today’s story with your father because a lot of this takes root with him. And he had this idea of feeding people first and protein independence. So, can you talk a little bit about the seeds that he first planted and just his story and then we’ll take it from there?
Tyler Lorenzen, PURIS 3:42
Absolutely. You know, my dad is my hero. Obviously, your dad is your dad and growing up in a family business, it was hard to know he was such a visionary back then. My sister always reminds me of that. Many people thought, including us, that he was a little crazy about how he forecasted the future and the role that we were supposed to play in shaping that. And, it seems kind of cliche today when we talk about the world moving from 7 to 10 billion people. We need to address how we feed those people because otherwise, people will go hungry and the way we’re doing it today isn’t sustainable. Now, there’s millions of companies that get funded through that pitch alone. Whether it’s good food, bad food, or whatever you believe, that’s the story. Everyone’s trying to save the world, so to say. And my dad’s vision was pretty simple. If you give farmers a choice and you give farmers the tools, growers are what we call them, they’ll grow it. And, if you can secure their markets and give them a place to sell those products, they’ll be able to grow more. And, if you create great tasting foods that people like to eat, then they’ll eat it. And, if you pull out all the friction of the system, you can create a food system of the types of foods that we want to eat forever. That was his whole premise. And sure enough, he built that company. Slowly, but surely.