People don’t buy products or logos, they buy stories and experiences. This message is certainly at the heart of children’s nutrition brand Sprout Organic, winner of the World Food Innovation Awards 2022. FoodBev spoke to Sel Berdie, founder and CEO of Sprout Organic, about the company’s success.
Could you introduce Sprout Organic and the reason(s) for its inception?
Sprout Organic is an Australian children’s nutrition company that makes organic, plant-based infant formula and healthy plant-based snacks for kids. Our mission is to provide children and their families with access to nourishing plant-based food products across the globe, starting right here in Australia.
The idea for Sprout Organic came from my desire to feed my kids clean, plant-based snacks and formulas. When I came out of supermarkets, health food stores and pharmacies empty-handed, I realised we’d identified a huge gap in the market and wondered how we could change this for the better.
With my background in food science and product development combined with Jen’s background in design, we decided to take on the challenge to create something ourselves. A vision that’s been five years in the making, here we are today in 2022 after launching our brand in 2021, disrupting a 150+-year-old market.
How is Sprout breathing new life into the organic baby food category?
The category desperately needed to provide options to parents and kids that were both allergy friendly but also environmentally ethical. Sprout ticks these boxes by providing a 100% plant-based formula that avoids all the common allergens whilst maintaining its premium standards of being Organic and Australian-owned and made.
What challenges are associated with launching a plant-based baby formula? How have these been overcome by Spout?
Major change is often met with resistance and as you can imagine there was major resistance to a plant-based infant formula, as the category had never seen something of this nature before. Once we overcame the nutritional regulatory requirements for infant formula the challenges that we’ve experienced occurred behind closed doors with incumbent brands trying to prevent us from entering the space.
We’ve overcome this by simply sticking true to our core values and mission to provide consumers with an organic and allergy-friendly choice to feed their little ones. We’ve had overwhelming support and look forward to continuing to feed millions of families across the globe.
Which ingredients make up the plant-based baby formula? Why have you chosen these specifically?
The main ingredients that are found in our infant formula are re-derived from organic rice. Rice is one of the most well-tolerated ingredients across the globe and provides a myriad of health benefits when processed through our specific fermentation methods.
What are the main benefits of using this product?
The main benefit of using Sprout Organic is the product is suitable for all children. Whether your child suffers from allergies or doesn’t our product still ticks all the boxes for being nutritionally sound whilst providing a clean and organic option for parents.
What inspired you to enter the ‘best children’s product’ category at the World Food Innovation Awards 2022?
The World Food Innovation Awards looked like an amazing opportunity to give our brand a platform to speak about all the hard work we had put into developing a world-first product.
The World Food Innovation Awards are a celebration of innovation and excellence across every category of the global food industry. As the longest and most established awards scheme in the industry, these awards are a fantastic way for you to enhance the promotion of your food brand and ensure it gains global recognition.
Which part of the awards media pack was most appealing, and how did you implement it?
Due to the majority of Sprout’s marketing efforts lying in the digital space, we found the digital assets the most valuable to spreading our message.
We offer a comprehensive media pack to our participants, finalists and winners to showcase their success.
Do you have any advice for companies hoping to enter FoodBev’s upcoming Plant-Based Taste Awards?
Don’t overcomplicate it and don’t solve for speed, solve for meaning. The judges have worked hard to simplify the criteria for the awards and filling out the application and understanding the rest of the process and deadlines was very easy for us.
How do you measure your success in the industry?
By our ability to influence change in the kids’ nutrition space globally. That change can be as simple as more children eating plant-based foods or systemic change to influencing the current system of how we think about food as a whole.
Here at Foodbev, we’re proud to work with innovative clients who are willing to push the boundaries of what the plant-based industry can accomplish. This year’s Plant-Based Taste Awards 2022 has a number of categories celebrating taste, including: best egg alternative, best breakfast product and best chocolate.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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