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Michelle Obama becomes a co-founder and a strategic partner of Plezi Nutrition which prioritizes healthier food and beverage for children.
Michelle Obama, the first lady who promoted the Let’s Move Campaign, becomes a co-founder and strategic partner of Plezi Nutrition. This company focuses on healthier food and beverage products for children. It prioritizes health and reduces the sugar content, lower sweetness, and adds nutrients, to condition kids’ palates to crave less sweetness. Obama unveiled a “Kitchen Cabinet” advisory group, which would assist the company with product development, marketing strategies, and educational initiatives. The group will be composed of professionals in nutrition, public health, and parenting.
At The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival on Wednesday Obama said, “I’ve learned that on this issue if you want to change the game, you can’t just work from the outside. You’ve got to get inside—you’ve got to find ways to change the food and beverage industry itself. I’m proud to announce the national launch of a company designed not just to provide better products, but to jumpstart a race to the top that will transform the entire food industry.”
Plexi Nutrition launches its first drink, 100% fruit juices. It contains 75% less sugar than typical fruit juices. This drink contains fiber and nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and zinc and no added sugar. It comes in three flavours: Sour Apple, Blueberry Blast, and Orange Smash. They are sold to retailers including Target and online at Walmart. A four-pack of 8-ounce drinks will cost just under $4.00.
Pelzi tries to replace sugary drinks like soda and juices and helps to promote healthier habits. It targets school children between 6 to 12 years who refuse to have milk and water. The primary ingredients of the Plezi drink include water, fruit juices, and stevia leaf extract.
It has no added sugars and it contains 35 calories per bottle. This idea of healthier food consumption attracted CPG like Eat the Change by Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman. Eat the Change is a start-up that focuses on nutrients rich snacks from carrots, mushrooms, and other plant ingredients.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 20% of U.S. children and teens aged 2 to 19 are obese which can contribute to several health issues which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. The American Heart Associated noted children and young adults between 2 to 19 years consume 16 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which accounts for more than 53 pounds each year. Plezi Nutrition found that beverages, led by soft drinks and fruit drinks, are responsible for nearly half of the added sugars. All these instances create a prime need for the company to take steps toward nutritious food and beverage.
A study by the Access to Nutrition Initiative in 2022 found that about 70% of all food and beverages are less “healthy,” and no big CPG gets a majority of its sales from “healthier” products. This includes products from the 11 largest companies in the U.S. food and beverage space such as Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and Kraft Heinz. Since P Nutrition is a Public Benefit Corporation, 10% of its earnings will go towards programs that support children’s health. PBCs are for-profit businesses that aim to provide a public good in an ethical and sustainable way. According to Obama, Plezi Nutrition will conduct business with honesty, openness, and accessibility. Obama says. “Ensuring great taste, because kids have to want it. Driving change through innovation and always, always putting children’s well-being first.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February reported that nearly half of young kids aren’t having a vegetable daily and 1 in 3 aren’t getting aren’t fruits daily in their diets. Michelle Obama adds that “water and milk, along with fruits and vegetables” are still the best options for kids, especially the ones aged between one and five.
“Innovation must happen from within the food system if we’re going to ultimately make the kind of change that will create healthier environments for kids,” says Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. She also adds, “We certainly applaud Mrs. Obama and everyone who’s trying to innovate in the food system for creating these healthier options for our kids and families.”