But Sabrina Peterson says a major goal of her new company, which began rolling out children’s organic snacks in Walmart in February 2016, is to make organic products for 2- to 12-year-olds more fun, flavorful and accessible so that parents don’t have to choose between organic and less nutritionally optimal options that better engage children with packaging and taste profiles.
“I am a new mom of a 20 month old son and when he was born, for the first time i was walking down the aisles of the grocery store and saw there were a lot of great organic options for baby and some for toddler, but a dearth of them the older toddlers and beyond. Instead, suddenly it was all Fruit Roll-Ups and Gushers,” she told FoodNavigator-USA.
The other component she noticed was that of the organic options available, many were priced out of reach for most parents.
“When you become a new parent, you have all these extra costs for diapers and formula and all these other necessities,” and so it doesn’t leave a lot of money left over for expensive snacks, she added.
“So, the genesis of Pure Growth Organic was really to make organic for all” by creating products that appeal to “kids’ picky palates” and yet are organic, better-for-you and in mainstream conventional stores at a competitive price point, Peterson said.
Lead with taste to woo children
Pure Growth Organic fills this tall order in part by leading with taste to appeal to children first, Peterson said.
She explained, “Households are usually governed by the youngest, toughest, pickiest consumer in the house” and Pure Growth Organic realized if it could win them, then the rest of the house would follow because parents usually buy what their children will eat.
To do this, the company created a diverse portfolio of familiar, iconic products that children love -- such as chocolate cookies, pretzels and popcorn -- but which also were organic and wholesome by reigning in the fat, sugar, sodium and calories, Peterson said.
She added that while parents may initially purchase these products for their children, they also end up eating them because they also are the iconic products they love from childhood and because they meet today’s uncompromising fast-paced modern lifestyle.
The result is a unique “co-snacking” experience in which parents and children are happy to eat the same foods together.
For example, Peterson said she and her son both split a pack of Pure Growth Organic's breakfast biscuits and each dunk them in their morning coffee and milk respectively.
Allergen-friendly increases organic access
The company also makes organic accessible by making their products allergen-friendly, Peterson said.
“Our primary goal was organic, but parent feedback underscored a need for products like ours that also are made in nut-free facilities, Kosher and a majority of which also are dairy free,” Peterson said.
Pure Growth Organic also teamed with Walmart to make their snacks -- and by extension organic -- more accessible to mainstream shoppers, Peterson said.
Not only are Walmart stores nationwide and in urban and rural areas, but they are known for offering price-sensitive products, which magnified Pure Growth Organic competitive pricing model.
Recognizing that most organic food is more expensive because of supply constraints that drive up manufacturing costs, Pure Growth Organic offsets this by buying in bulk and also running a lean company that can function efficiently and effectively on tighter margins, Peterson said.
Disney partnership boosts brand’s profile
Finally, Pure Growth Organic is seeking to make organic accessible and acceptable to young children by creating playful packaging featuring Disney characters, Peterson said.
“Organic is often quiet serious” with pictures of ingredients, barns and grassy fields that don’t appeal to children, Peterson said. However, the addition of Mickey Mouse and the characters of Frozen on Pure Growth Organic's packages makes children feel like they are eating with the friends.
After doing the heavy lifting of making organic appealing and accessible to more consumers, Pure Growth Organic plans to offer more products in more places in the future, Peterson said.