Formulating fermented pepper flakes starts with pepper love, ends with award - podcast

Marcus McCauley, founder and CEO at Foremother Foods LLC, explores Live Culture Picaflor Pepper Flakes product ideation, formulation and future.

Sandy Almendarez, VP of Content

April 23, 2019

Fermentation, a traditional food production method, is gaining traction among consumers looking for ancient wisdom in current food offerings, according to data presented by NEXT Data and Insights at SupplySide East 2019.  Foremother Foods LLC’s new Live Culture Picaflor Pepper Flakes is a great example of a brand seeing success using lactofermentation, which uses salt and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to acidify and preserve produce.

The Live Culture Picaflor Pepper Flakes won the NEXTY Award for the Best New Condiment at Natural Products Expo West 2019, and this podcast with Marcus McCauley, founder and CEO at Foremother Foods LLC, explores the product’s ideation, formulation and future.

With Sandy Almendarez, editor in chief, INSIDER, McCauley, who is also the farm manager at McCauley Family Farms, discusses:

  • The story behind the Picaflor brand’s hot sauces, pepper flakes and love of peppers.

  • How the McCauley Family Farm plays into the Picaflor brand, and how the brand works with other local farms to source ingredients.

  • The formulation and development challenges the brand encountered (exploding hot sauce bottles, anyone?).

This podcast was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2019 in Anaheim, California.

Got feedback? Email Sandy at [email protected], or tweet to @NatProdINSIDER using the hashtag #INSIDERPodcast.

About the Author(s)

Sandy Almendarez

VP of Content, Informa


• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.

• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.

• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.

Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.

In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!


Speaker credentials

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University


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