Interview: Why the Jonas Brothers just launched a popcorn brand
The Hustle

Interview: Why the Jonas Brothers just launched a popcorn brand

We sat down with the trio to talk through their latest business venture — putting the "pop" in popcorn.

Yesterday, the Jonas Brothers made their first foray into the consumer packaged goods (CPG) world with the launch of Rob’s Backstage Popcorn. The joint venture was brought to market with The Naked Market, an omni-channel food and beverage platform. 

The Hustle had a chance to catch up with the trio along with The Naked Market CEO, Harrison Fugman, to chat through the launch.

Rob’s Backstage Popcorn was a years-long process 

Nick Jonas: The story really started decades ago. But for me, it started back in 2011 when I visited our former bass player, Greg Garbowsky. His dad (Rob) made this delicious popcorn. He created this seasoning decades ago, and it’s just so good. I convinced him to start making it for our shows, and it immediately became the crew’s go-to snack on the road. 

We decided we had to bring it to market to share it with our fans and the rest of the world. From there, we teamed up with The Naked Market, which helped us create samples to get the flavor just right, talk through the brand vision, and launch this D2C store.

Partnering with The Naked Market allowed the brothers to launch in time for their ‘Remember This’ tour, where they rolled out the product to build hype prior to the launch

Harrison Fugman: At Naked Market, we help build brands from the ground up, and can scale a product really quickly. In this case, 2 months before the ‘Remember This’ tour, the brothers reached out to bring the product and recipe to life. 

We were just blown away by the story and how meaningful this was to them. They just knew they had to do it. When we think about external partnerships, the bar is super high — and with this project, we really couldn’t have been more excited to get to work.  

Joe Jonas: We started out making it exclusively available at our shows, and fan reception has been amazing. We’ve been teasing it quite a bit on social media through each of our individual channels, and leaving some mystery to it leading up to the launch.

There are many parallels between the entertainment business and launching a CPG product

The same thing goes with any project we’re working on whether it’s music or Villa One tequila. We’ve already been making tons of noise for Rob’s Backstage Popcorn, and are already on the path to being the most-followed popcorn brand on social media.  

Nick Jonas: We’re always trying to bring great experiences to people, and with anything we do, we want to make sure we’re telling the story behind it and “eventizing” the release to make as much noise as possible. 

The brothers have been intimately involved with product development, but aren’t going deep on financials yet

Kevin Jonas: Nick has been extremely instrumental in seeing this project come to fruition. He spearheaded this, and we’re all helping as much as we possibly can. Now we have a product that we’re so excited to be releasing.

Nick Jonas: We do everything as a group and we’re all here because Rob made a great product. As far as looking at numbers, it’s never good this early in the process to obsess over numbers. We don’t want to get wrapped up in that. We’re already really proud of what we’ve done and everything from this point forward is a win to us. 

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What are your favorite popcorn flavors?

Nick Jonas: We’re actively working on new flavors to go along with the original flavor, which has been really fun for us. We’re considering limited drops and permanent flavors. One of our early experiments is a flavor inspired by one of my favorite drinks — the margarita — which has salt, lime and other ingredients. It’s delicious. But to be clear, this would be my second favorite flavor besides Rob’s Original. 

Besides Rob’s popcorn, what are some go-to snacks on the road?

Kevin Jonas: We love lots of different things, but we’ve been living on Mind Right bars.

Nick Jonas: Dark chocolate is a must. 

Joe Jonas: Yes, any dark chocolate — especially if you throw some sea salt on there.

Any favorite recent reads?

Nick Jonas: It’s not a new book by any means, but I just finished Sapiens and really loved it.

Joe Jonas: I’m reading Dune. I’m only a few chapters in and have no idea what’s going on, but I’m loving it. I also can’t recommend Jon Ronson books enough.

Kevin Jonas: On Joe’s recommendation, I started on Dune as well. Really, we’re all just getting ready in anticipation of the movie.

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