chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 01:27 PM
It's hard to resist a brand that has the word "happy" in it. And so Happy Family, a leading organic brand of "superfoods," has earned the title of "Rockstar of the New Economy" from Fast Company magazine and B Lab, a nonprofit that promotes social and environmental responsibility by companies.
There was a lot more that earned the designation for Happy Family, which already was named Inc. magazine's fastest-growing packaged-food company of 2011. In five years, the New York-based company has skyrocketed to $35 million in sales from practically nothing, and CEO Shazi Visram is looking at doubling revenues for the second year in a row in 2012.
Happy Family boasts a big range of products aimed right at the worry spot for American moms: how to get their young children to want to eat healthy snacks. The company's product line ranges from pouches of fruit puree for babies to organic grain-snack "puffs" for toddlers to frozen mac-and-cheese balls and Salmon Stix for grade-schoolers. It's planning an additional 10 new products before the end of the year.
The company's vision is "to make nutritous, organic foods accessible to all babies and kids using only the best ingredients," Visram stated.
Visram also has demonstrated savvy leadership in addition to her original selection of a primary market just as American mothers were getting very serious about healthful snacking options for their kids. Happy Family started life as Happy Baby, with an emphasis almost solely on a frozen baby food category that it helped create by selling the idea to Whole Foods Markets and other natural-foods stores.
But a few years ago, thanks to competition and stores' lack of enthusiasm for the entire segment, Visram switched gears, broadened the purview of the brand, and switched to the name Happy Family. And while the company still sells Happy Baby frozen food, the variety and broader age target for the rest of the product line have enabled its prodigious growth.
Visram also has committed resources to a corporate social responsibility platform. Happy Family, to date, has provided nearly 183,000 days' worth of food to children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition in Malawi and Sierra Leone via donations to Project Peanut Butter, and has also partnered with Lauren Bush Lauren's FEED Foundation.