Michelle Obama launches healthier food and beverage company for kids

Dive overview:

  • Michelle Obama is the co-founder of Plezi Nutrition, a company focused on healthier food and beverage products for children. With the goal of replacing high-sugar drinks and snacks, the company prioritizes lower sugar content and less sweetness while adding the nutrients kids need.

  • Plezi Nutrition’s first product is a drink called Plezi. It has 75% less sugar than your average staple fruit juice, no added sugar, plus fiber and nutrients like potassium, magnesium and zinc. This beverage comes in sour apple, blueberry blast, and orange smash flavors. The company plans to expand into more beverages and snacks.

  • In addition to the former First Lady’s support, Plezi Nutrition will benefit from the growing interest of many consumers in wanting to monitor what their children are eating and drinking at a time when obesity rates are high in the United States. It will be.

Dive Insight:

While in the White House, President Obama launched “Let’s Move!,” an initiative to encourage children to exercise and eat healthier. In joining Plezi, Mr. Obama is not only a co-founder, but also a strategic partner, and will share the company’s mission and model for how food and beverage brands can deliver healthier products. He said he would work behind the scenes to help.

“This issue has taught me that if we want to change the status quo, we can’t just work from the outside. President Obama said Wednesday at the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival. “We are proud to announce the nationwide expansion of our company, which aims not only to provide better products, but to revitalize the race to the top to transform the entire food industry.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20% of children and teens ages 2 to 19 in the United States are obese. This condition can lead to several diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

There is also concern that children eat and drink too much sugary foods and drinks that lack the nutrients they need.

American Heart Associated noted that children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 consume 16 teaspoons of sugar per day, equivalent to more than 53 pounds per year. Beverages, mostly soft drinks and fruit drinks, account for almost half of the added sugar, the group said. This creates a great opportunity for companies such as Plezi Nutrition.

In addition to drinking, we will actively promote drinking water and eating whole fruits and vegetables. President Obama announced the launch of the Kitchen Cabinet, an advisory group of nutrition, public health and parenting experts to guide and advise the company on its educational efforts, marketing methods and product development.

The company’s first product, the eponymous beverage Plezi, aims to replace sugary drinks like sodas and juices that don’t support children’s health and promote healthier habits. Intended for school-aged children aged 6 to 12 who have difficulty drinking milk or water. The challenge for the company is to do so with a product that tastes good and that children, especially those accustomed to sugary products, will actually want to consume.

The first ingredient in Prezi is water, which also includes fruit juice and stevia leaf extract, The Wall Street Journal noted. The drink has no added sugar and is approximately 35 calories per bottle.

Efforts to eat less sugar and eat healthier are gaining attention from both large and small consumer goods sectors. Eat the Change is a three-year-old startup that creates eco-friendly, nutritious snacks from carrots, mushrooms and other plant ingredients, founded by Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman. Other smaller start-ups are also flooding into the space.

Still, despite efforts to reduce salt, sugar, saturated fat, etc., and introduce sugar-free and more nutritious products, many large food and beverage companies are making their products healthier. It has been criticized for not making enough efforts to

A 2022 study by the Access to Nutrition Initiative found that nearly 70% of all food and beverages are not “healthy,” and no major FMCG company gets the majority of its sales from “healthy” products. found. The group analyzed the products and policies of 11 of the largest US food and beverage companies, including Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz.

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