Delivering the week’s top organic food news
5.13.2020
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EXCLUSIVE: Actress, Producer and Best-Selling Author Gabrielle Union Joins Bitsy’s as Co-Founder, Sets out to Change How All Kids Snack

(Bitsy's Co-Founders, from l. to r., Maggie Patton, Gabrielle Union, Alex Buckley)


For co-founders Maggie Patton and Alex Buckley, who have a combined 20 years of experience in childhood education and wellness, starting their organic kids’ snack company was about one thing.

“We launched Bitsy’s with a simple mission — to make nutritious kids’ food for all families,” said Alex Buckley.

These two women now have a unique opportunity to fulfill that mission, having announced that actress, producer, best-selling author and activist Gabrielle Union has joined the company as a co-founder.

Even though Bitsy’s has delivered award-winning, vegetable-packed organic cookies and crackers, some industry observers believe the company has not received attention in the marketplace commensurate with its very strong product offering.

No longer will this be the case.

Gabrielle Union’s platform — the biggest of any founder in organic food, with 16M followers on Instagram and millions more on Twitter and Facebook — will enable the company to reach consumers at an entirely new level.

Additionally, she’ll be able to leverage this platform for a brand that she has long admired.

“I discovered Bitsy’s a while back — the kids loved it and so did us adults — and it has been a staple in our pantry ever since. On a mind level, Bitsy’s is a brand that stands for something, and on a body level, it’s a product you can feel good about feeding your family,” she said.

When the three women did eventually meet, it did not take long before they decided to become partners.

“Gabrielle is the real deal,” put forth Maggie Patton. “She leads with truth and love and has a ton of ideas about what she can bring to Bitsy’s. When it comes to kids and changing the world for the better, the partnership is more than we ever could have imagined. There is no one else in the world that we would have wanted to join us.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Gabrielle. “Maggie, Alex and I share a vision to make a difference in the lives of kids and a mission to do what we can to create access to the product for those who may not otherwise have it. I couldn’t be happier about joining this company or more optimistic about what we’re going to achieve together.”

Even though Gabrielle will continue her acting career, joining as a co-founder will be anything but a figurehead position.

“Believe me, I am ready to roll up my sleeves,” she stated. “I’ll be doing sales calls, visiting production sites, working on product development and helping with brand positioning,” among many other things.

“Our goal is to make healthy, allergen-friendly, school-safe snacks accessible and affordable for all families, regardless of geography or socioeconomic status. It’s incredibly important to me that we reach marginalized and underserved communities and that they, too, have the option to provide their families with healthy alternatives,” Gabrielle continued.

The company’s newest product embodies this shared vision.

Launched in the newly redesigned “Trend Zones” at 1,600 CVS stores nationwide, Bitsy’s has introduced a bag of organic cookies — all of which contain organic vegetables and have inspirational messages on them — for $2.09.

This offering is also an important step in getting retailers to change how they merchandise children’s food.

“I have been witness to the inequities in access to healthy foods and the barriers that come with it,” said Gabrielle Union, referring to such things such as prohibitive prices and the way unhealthy foods are marketed more to underserved communities.

“There needs to be a cultural change around what kids eat, and we all need to come together, including retailers, to prioritize this,” added Alex Buckley.

Despite the fact that the three women only made their partnership official this morning, they have not waited to support kids and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles Unified School District announced today that Bitsy’s has donated 41,250 organic, single-serve snack packs that will be provided to students and families at its 63 Grab & Go Food Centers. Furthermore, the company has been making significant donations to Win NYC, the largest network of women and children’s shelters in NYC, as well as donations in Atlanta and other locations in need. In the last few weeks alone, the company will have donated over 50,000 organic snacks and has plans to do even more.

With Gabrielle Union now on board, Bitsy’s is in a vastly different place to execute on its original mission.

And overnight, the company has become a very serious player in the organic industry.

(Above are the new organic cookies sold at CVS)

With gratitude,

Max Goldberg, Founder

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This Week's Quick Hits

Quick Hits

* The National Organic Coalition and Organic Farmers Association wrote a joint letter asking Congress to protect organic food and agriculture during the coronavirus pandemic.


* Similarly, the Organic Trade Association sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue outlining impacts to the organic sector due to COVID-19, requesting organic certification and inspection continuity, and asking for emergency assistance to farmers.


* Thrive Market’s New Mission Report examines the online retailer’s sustainability plans for this year and beyond, including its goals to become a Certified B Corporation and obtain TRUE Zero Waste certification.


* Why healthy sleep is the key to holistic hospitality and how organic bedding plays a critical role.


* The New York City-based CPG accelerator BeyondSKU is now accepting applications for companies and mentors for its Track 2 cohort.


* Hu Products has launched The Great Hu Bake Off contest.


* UNFI recalls organic fresh basil because of parasite concerns.


* A vegan restaurant in Amsterdam plans to reopen with a new concept where diners are seated in greenhouse pods and servers bring out food on long planks.


* This area in Detroit is now North America’s first 100% organic self-sustainable neighborhood.


* Sally Grimes has taken over as Clif Bar’s CEO, and Danone North America has named Shane Grant as its new leader.


* In 2019, 95% of all Dutch households bought at least one organic product.


* The future of restaurants and food with Blue Hill restaurant owner/chef Dan Barber.


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