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Innovation & Job News

First Flavor receives early-stage investment for Peel 'n Taste food marketing product

After seeing the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, millions dreamed of a day when everlasting gobstoppers would hit candy store shelves, oompa loompas could manage household errands and edible wallpaper would make the snozberries taste like snozberries. Only one true Wonka-esque innovator made it happen.

Entrepreneur Adnan Aziz dreamed of a marker that could draw edible taste strips onto paper, like the wallpaper in one of his favorite movies. With a little seed capital from Penn's Wharton Investment Management Fund and guidance from business partner and current CEO Jay Minkoff, Aziz founded First Flavor, a Bala Cynwyd-based food marketing company specializing in dissolving taste-test strips that allow consumers to taste new beverage and product flavors before they buy. It's a concept that has added a new dimension to the way companies market new brands.

"It's all about empowering the consumer," says Minkoff. "Before you bought your car, you took it for a test drive, before you buy a suit you try it on. It's funny that you walk down the aisle of the supermarket with all these new products and flavors and rarely given the opportunity to try them before buying."

Recently, First Flavor received early-stage financing from Ben Franklin Technology Partners in the amount of $100,000. When Aziz first introduced First Flavor, he thought of the greeting card industry. With a birthday card, he thought, why not offer a piece of cake. With new financing, increased brand presence and a partnership with American Greetings, First Flavor brings Tasties, a new line of flavorful greeting cards, to market this fall.

"Consumer products use us as a promotional marketing vehicle to launch new products and in 2009 and the first half of 2010, most national companies were not launching products," says Minkoff. "This should create more recurring revenue for us."

Source: Jay Minkoff, First Flavor
Writer: John Steele
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