Developing healthier food alternatives and innovative kitchen products is nothing new for Doug Foreman, who has more than 40 years of experience in the food business and consumer packaged goods industry. He is best known for founding Beanitos, the first-ever bean-based snack chip, in 2010, as well as Guiltless Gourmet, the first-ever baked tortilla chip, in 1989, which created a half-billion-dollar snack category.
Foreman’s Brevda, Inc., has spent the past two years developing the biem butter sprayer. The handheld device transforms a stick of real butter to a spray-in seconds, making cooking, home entertaining, and baking infinitely easier. Foreman launched the product on Kickstarter, ultimately raising $200,000 more than the original goal. From there, Doug and his invention appeared on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank in fall 2016, resulting in a $500,000 offer from one of the “Sharks”.
Foreman’s passion for the food industry and the products he brings to market is evidenced by his personal oversight of all aspects of the biem’s production, not to mention his ongoing creation of exciting new products and inventions.
He has been a media favourite, appearing on the cover of Food and Beverage Marketing (Nov.1993), Forbes (July 1992 & 1994), and Inc. (cover story, June 1994), and on national television on Fox Business News (July 2010). In 1992, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young and Inc. magazine.
Foreman’s interests have always reflected his desire to take the unpredictable path. He was once a professional helicopter pilot delivering traffic reports in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Born in Louisiana, Foreman has since remained in his adopted home state of Texas.
1) What is Biem Spray?
The biem butter sprayer,(pronounced “beam”) is the first and only sprayer that uses real butter and goes from butter stick to butter spray in just a few seconds using only heat and air.
2) How did you come up with the idea for Biem Spray ?
I love to make eggs for breakfast in the morning. I also like to use real butter instead of store-bought nonstick cooking spray in the pan. I would throw a pat of butter and go and make coffee only to come back and find that the butter was burning in the pan! I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a way to spray butter and decided to invent it myself!
3) I remember seeing your company on some crowdfunding websites, how did they help your business or did they not?
Yes, we were on Kickstarter and the product did great. We were only trying to raise a little bit of money just to see what the acceptance was with the product. Instead, we raised six or seven times what we were asking. So it’s a great way to judge consumer reaction and get feedback but, I don’t think most people who use crowdfunding see it as a way to get all of the money that they’re ever going to need for their business. It’s just one more step to start or market your business.
4) How did being on Shark Tank help your business?
Shark Tank gave our business a huge boost. As you can imagine being in front of millions of people on a network show for 10 minutes. Gave us a ton of exposure. There’s really nothing else like it! Our sales went through the roof in the days following the airing.
5) What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would say that you have to have the drive within you to be your own boss and to really go where no other business has gone before. No matter what you do, there’s going to be obstacles. What I’ve learned over the years is to pay attention to those obstacles and if they keep coming over and over and over then it may not be the right thing to do. Somebody’s trying to tell you something. On the other hand, if things go relatively smoothly and you’re able to figure your problems out and keep moving forward then more than likely you’re going to be successful. Use your intuition and pay attention to it, it’s usually right!
We would like to thank Doug for speaking with us.