An Alternative to Coffee? An Interview with Ritual Energy Founder Alex Nielsen

This is episode 26 of the Better Food Stories interview series, which includes conversations with the trendsetters of today’s food industry.


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Alex Nielsen was a a busy sophomore at the University of California, San Diego, managing an engineering degree, an active social life and running triathlons when he began looking for something (healthy) that would help get him through his demanding schedule. 

Caffeine and clean eating quickly became his answer to staying on top of life’s many dimensions. However, biking around campus with coffee quickly became a chore, energy drinks were loaded with chemicals, and energy snacks were filled with sugary syrups and other highly refined ingredients.


That’s when Alex had his lightbulb moment. And, after early three years of experimenting with caffeine sources and natural foods, the first Ritual Energy snack was born in 2016. 

Today, Ritual Energy’s products are available around the country on their website, Amazon Prime and across, plus 80 retailers nationwide.

In our conversation, Alex chat about: 

  • All things coffee and caffeine 

  • How he became passionate about clean eating  

  • And, why he ultimately decided to start a food business 

Click the link above to listen to my entire interview with Alex. And, sign up to the mailing below if you want to get new episodes of the Better Food Stories interview series delivered straight to your inbox.

Adria Greenhauff