Episode 245: Megan Klein

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Trying to cut back on alcohol? Megan Klein, like many of us, found herself drinking more during the pandemic, but didn’t like how she felt afterwards: unable to sleep well, dealing with a mild headache, fuzzy and lacking focus. Unable to find a non-alcoholic option that mirrored the feel-good experience of her nightly nightcap, she created it herself: Little Saints, a plant-based, sugar free line of mocktails that not only emulates the taste, smell and feel of Megan’s favorite alcoholic drinks, but boasts brain boosting benefits as well– thanks to two functional plant ingredients, CBD and reishi mushroom extract. 

It was essential to Megan that Little Saints mocktails come as close as possible to the real thing, without any of the negative side effects. As founder of Field and Farmer, a plant-based dip and dressing brand, she had experience with product development and sourcing clean ingredients. She worked with a female food scientist to formulate the drinks’ flavors, harnessing the power of botanical terpenes– the smell molecules that lift our mood when, for example, we walk into a forest and breathe in the pine. For those of us who now or have formerly drank wine, the terpenes are the smells in the wine that keep us going back for more; this positive olfactory reinforcement is emulated when we crack into a Little Saints mocktail.

In addition to the sensory experience of the terpenes, Megan consulted with a plant medicine shaman, knowledgeable in plants with curative and spiritual properties, to incorporate reishi mushroom extract and CBD. CBD and reishi mushroom are known as powerful adaptogens: molecules that help the body adapt to stress. While non-intoxicating, these adaptogens boost serotonin and dopamine to “take the edge off” – a reason many people reach for a cocktail– while simultaneously increasing alertness and focus. Megan took her newly formulated product on the road, launching at a Detroit music festival on Memorial Day 2021. She spent that whole summer traveling to various outdoor events throughout the Midwest, selling Little Saints out of a “used corn vending trailer from Wisconsin that got a glam up” and getting feedback from thousands of taste testers, before tweaking the formula and launching on a larger scale in November of that year. 

Current flavor offerings include Ginger Mule, Mimosa, Negroni Spritz, Paloma, and Spice Margarita!

“Throughout that summer [of 2021] I heard constantly, time and time again: ‘I drank too much during the pandemic and I’m trying to drink less.'” Megan Klein (16:18-16:24)

Alcohol helps us to feel good for a little while, and many drinkers feel that the more they drink the more enjoyable it is. However, the more you drink, the further below your baseline you tend to crash afterwards– both physically (hangover) and mentally (anxiety, depression).

“One thing about drinking alcohol that none of us like to admit, but it’s just true, is that alcohol is detrimental to our brain health… And so, we really wanted to put something in the drink – which is reishi mushroom – that is going to help your brain actually be better. It’s going to be good for your brain structure and cells, rather than bad for it.” Megan Klein (13:30-13:59)

With Little Saints, you can enjoy the natural serotonin and dopamine lift for sustained relaxation, an improved mood, more energy, and less stress for longer– without the corresponding crash later. There isn’t even a sugar crash, since Little Saints is sweetened by 100% natural monk fruit juice concentrate! Little Saints contains no sugar, and each flavor is only 5 calories.

55% of Gen X drinks, Megan says, but only 42% of millennials and 21% of Gen Z drink. 

Non-alcoholic “liquor” stores are popping up across the country, as well as popup mocktail bars; producers of non-alcoholic adult beverages are surely on the cusp of massive expansion and growth. “Sober curious” is a growing trend, especially among younger adults, and the reasons are many: general health, wanting to set a good example, not being able to tolerate alcohol as we grow older, wanting to be able to drive home after a party, or simply wanting to look and feel better on a daily basis. 

Little Saints is a great way to capture that celebratory feel of a cocktail, especially during the holidays, while prioritizing your mental and physical health! Try bringing Little Saints to your next holiday party, stock up in preparation for Dry January, or just keep some on hand to swap out your nightly glass of wine. 

Megan is offering The Produce Moms followers a special gift: use discount code TPM at LittleSaints.com during checkout and save 20% on your online order through the end of January.

Let us know what you think! 


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About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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