Calgary, Alberta – December 17, 2012 – Kids Gourmet™ a natural brand extension of Baby Gourmet®, aimed at school-aged kids, today announces its launch and introduces its first snack line, Squoosh™. Squoosh, the only organic snack with a full serving of fruit & veg in every pouch, is packaged around the idea that as children grow up, they play an increasingly influential role in choosing their snacks from the grocery aisle. Squoosh packaging is designed to be fun and eye-catching and also appealing to children at a wide age range.
Although Squoosh was available on a limited basis in time for Halloween, the product line-up is officially launching in more than 250 locations nationwide throughout the month of December including Walmart Canada stores. Kids Gourmet is building on relationships forged with moms through Baby Gourmet, Canada’s leading pouched, organic baby food brand. Fueled by brand trust, Squoosh is already enjoying early success before the launch, hitting week-over-week sales increases of 55-64 % since its introduction.
“Since launching Baby Gourmet baby food purees 21 months ago, moms have been asking us what we had in mind for older children who outgrew Baby Gourmet, because they wanted to stay with our brand,” said Jennifer Carlson, founder of Baby Gourmet and Kids Gourmet. “Moms find that as their children moved from snacking at home to snacking at school, keeping healthy options front and centre was becoming more challenging. Squoosh was created so school-age children have a brand of their own packaged in a fun way that appeals to the age group.”
Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 25 yearsaccording to the Childhood Obesity Foundation. While market size for toddler snacks in Canada is $40M; it is an industry underserved for organic snacks, especially premium, organic fruit and veggie snacks (Nielsen data, Sept 2012). In fact publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario seeking responsible food options for children are starting to set out nutrition standards, such as the Sept 2011 standards set for food and beverages served on the grounds.
“Squoosh reminds me of the kid’s version of juicing. Juicing, which has become a major trend, is a great way of increasing a person’s fruit and vegetable intake. Adequate nutrient consumption is essential for a child’s growth and development and many parents need some extra help getting those essential vitamins and minerals in,” said Dr. Shelly Reitkop, N.D. “Squoosh is packed with great ingredients and the flavors are fantastic. The re-sealable packaging makes it perfect for kids since they can sip on the Squoosh as slow or fast as they like.”
About Kids Gourmet™
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Kids Gourmet™ launched in December 2012 as a natural brand extension of Baby Gourmet – Canada’s leading pouched, organic baby food. Squoosh™ is the first product launched under the Kids Gourmet™ brand extension. It is the first ever organic fruit and veggie snack now widely available on the grocer shelf and has four products specifically designed to appeal to children's sense of fun: Orangobango, Squabbleberry, Beetberry, and Banango.
Formerly Vice President and General Manager for Mars/Wrigley, Watt brings 20 years of consumer packaged goods experience
Calgary, Alberta - December 6, 2012 - The Board of Directors of Baby Gourmet Foods Inc announces that effective today Michael D. Watt has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. Michael will also join the board of directors of Baby Gourmet.
A 20-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods industry, Michael was most recently the Vice- President and General Manager for Mars/Wrigley, Inc., U.S. Candy Confections Division, and had full P&L responsibility for the $850M US candy division of Skittles, Starburst and Life Savers brands. During the recent Mars acquisition of Wrigley, he was also appointed by Bill Wrigley Jr. to be the Global Mars/Wrigley Integration Leader for the id="mce_marker"B integration of the Global Candy brands: Skittles, Starburst, Tunes, Lockets, Rondo and Lucas, across over 50 countries.
Michael has extensive experience in strategy, operational planning and execution, brand management and developing high performing cultures. He has successfully led international divisions of food conglomerates in both North America and Asia Pacific, and has consistently achieved top- and bottom-line results in highly competitive categories, driven by insights and innovation that delivered meaningful consumer benefits.
“Baby Gourmet was founded by two moms who wanted great tasting, nutritious food for their children and two years later, they still taste every batch! As a parent, this is the type of company I support and wanted to be a part of,” says Michael Watt.” Baby Gourmet has so much future potential and I look forward to working with our great team and retail partners, to delight babies, kids and parents for years to come.”
Michael along with Jen Carlson and Jill Vos – founders and visionaries of Baby Gourmet -- will lead Baby Gourmet into the next phase of its expansion in Canada, United States and abroad. Jen and Jill will continue to be the product and market innovators as well as overseeing the integrity of the Baby Gourmet Inc. brand. The Board would also like to thank Sean Durfy for assuming the interim role as CEO and structuring short-term objectives for the corporation. He will now fulfill the role as Baby Gourmet’s Executive Chairman.
"Baby Gourmet is entering an important phase of its transition. We are growing from being a very successful Canadian innovator in the baby food market to an internationally recognized provider of tasty, healthy, organic gourmet foods for babies, infants and also pre-teen kids. Building from the success of the founders, we have been able to attract highly skilled senior management and board members,” says Baby Gourmet Executive Chairman Sean Durfy. “We thank our customers, staff, retailers and suppliers for their loyalty in helping us achieve this success,” Durfy says.
Baby Gourmet® is the first-to-market and leading pouched, organic baby food in Canada. It is found where 80% of all baby food is sold in Canada, including two major retail chains: Walmart and Loblaws. Baby Gourmet has also recently launched into the kids snacking category under the Kids Gourmet brand. The product is called Squoosh and is the first organic fruit and veggie snack available for kids, across 4 great varieties. market, Baby Gourmet has launched its brand extension and Kids Gourmet(tm)Baby Gourmet is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For more information please visit www.babygourmet.com
For more information please visit www.babygourmet.com
Statements in this news release, other than purely historical information, including statements relating to the Corporation's future plans and objectives or expected results, may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in manufacturer and producers of food products. As a result, actual results may vary materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.
EDMONTON, AB, Oct 01, 2012--Baby Gourmet Foods Inc. ("Baby Gourmet" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a id="mce_marker".75 million financing arrangement with an investor group comprised of Avrio Capital Inc. (through Avrio Ventures Limited Partnership II), Scott Inglis and Sean Durfy (the "Financing"), expected to close on or about October 2, 2012. As part of the Financing, Scott Inglis, Glen Wilson and Sean Durfy have been appointed to the Baby Gourmet Board of Directors, replacing Bruce Johnson, Ingrid Hamburger and Greg Santora who have chosen to step down at this time.
As a condition of the Financing, Sean Durfy will be appointed the Executive Chairman and interim CEO of the Company. Durfy is a proven and successful senior executive known for his strategic direction and leadership abilities. Formerly as the President and CEO of West Jet, and the President of Enmax Energy Corporation, Durfy has guided successful and growing companies through important phases of their development.
Baby Gourmet is entering an exciting phase in its evolution, having started three years ago under the guidance of founders and sisters Jennifer Broe and Jill Vos, the Company has become a leading provider of natural, organic, healthy and tasty baby food in the Canadian marketplace. Baby Gourmet’s products are available in Canada where approximately 80% of the baby food is sold, including Walmart, Loblaws (Superstore), Safeway, and Save-On Foods to name a few.
Over the course of the next year, Baby Gourmet intends to expand its product line in Canada, adding 15 new products including launching Kids Gourmet. With Kids Gourmet, school-age children will have a brand of their own when it comes to healthy, organic snacks. Squoosh™ is to be the first product launched under the Kids Gourmet™ brand extension. This organic fruit and veggie snack is expected to be widely available on the grocers' shelves and without competition. Baby Gourmet expects to be extending its product launch in the U.S. market with Winn Dixie and Harris Teeter.
Baby Gourmet has accepted the resignation of Bruce Johnson as Chairman and CEO of the Company. After three years of helping build the company’s successful presence in the Canadian baby food market, he has chosen to step down to pursue other interests. The Company thanks him for his leadership and guidance during this important start-up phase.
Baby Gourmet also wishes to thank its employees, investors, past and present directors, retailers, and most importantly, its customers for the support given in helping the Company achieve such great success so quickly. The Company will strive to maintain its unwavering commitment to providing great tasting, healthy organic foods for babies and children in their most important developing years.
For further information please contact:
Jen Broe, President, Baby Gourmet Foods Inc