Sonoma Brands' new line features Ayesha Curry as spokesperson

Jon Sebastiani this week launched his first product “incubated” under the umbrella of his new Sonoma Brands company, a line of single-serve and family-size chilled soups called Zupa Noma.

The product line starts out at about 1,000 retailers up and down the West Coast on July 1. “As Sonoma is our hometown, we also hope to be in as many local stores here as possible,” said Sebastiani, who founded the Krave Jerky company, which sold last year to Hershey.

The organic soups comes in six flavors: tomato gazpacho, yellow pepper habanero, beet orange basil, tomatillo jalapeno, carrot coconut lime and cucumber avocado fennel. Sebastiani explained that because the soup is meant to serve as both a snack and a complete meal replacement, he wanted to make sure the serving size was enough to be truly satisfying, so his team decided on a 12 ounce bottle, which retails for $6.99. The six flavors average 100 calories per bottle – with 70 at the low end and 150 at the high end. A larger family size bottle of 32 ounces is also available.

Because the soups are prepared using cold pasteurization, they have a shelf-life of up to 120 days unopened or for five days after opening.

Sebastiani has announced that Ayesha Curry and Meredith Kessler will serve as brand spokespeople. Curry is a food blogger, cookbook author, mother and wife of Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Curry is no stranger to Sonoma, she made a well-attended cooking appearance at the Sunset celebration at Cornerstone in May.

Sebastiani is excited to work with Curry on recipes and new flavor releases, describing her as “a total on-the-go powerhouse who represents the health-conscious millennial.”

Just as they did with Krave, Sebastiani’s team will launch an aggressive marketing campaign. “With our partnership with professional triathlete Meredith Kessler, we’ll be participating in numerous Ironman events,” said Sebastiani. “Like Ayesha, Meredith is a natural fit, as she is an elite athlete who thinks about every bite she takes.”

Sebastiani debuted Zupa Noma samples at the Sonoma International Film Festival and at Bottlerock in Napa Valley over Memorial Day. He has high hopes for it as a healthful soup alternative, saying it got nearly 90 percent less sodium than a typical can of soup and 80 percent less sugar than a typical juice.

Outside of the incubator, Sonoma Brands announced its first of several planned brand investments, the Dang coconut and onion chip line, earlier this year. The company is located on West Napa Street.

But why soup? Sebastiani believes that souping is the next juicing. “With Zupa Noma, we’re paying homage to the agricultural bounty and heritage of Sonoma by creating a convenient way for you to get your veggies without the bowl.” He added, “But that’s the boring answer. The fun answer is: we get to design a product to invigorate and disrupt an $8 billion category that is beyond ripe for disruption.”

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