Innovator of the Week
President of Fun to Eat Fruit Company
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
Encouraging children to eat healthy in a junk food world isn’t easy. Through research, I discovered that adding a fun factor to nutritious food would attract children—and adults—to eat these healthy items. That’s how I came up with Fun to Eat Fruit™. My company imprints a logo, message, hashtag or design on fresh, hard-surfaced fruit like apples, pears, lemons, limes and more. The image is completely edible and won’t rub or wash off—like what’s on M & Ms®.
We tested the fruit in 10 New Hampshire school cafeterias to confirm our theory. When we served Fun to Eat Fruit™ apples to the schoolchildren, we increased apple consumption by more than 50%. That’s when I knew we had something—children are a brutally honest bunch! We realized that our product was a terrific tool to promote wellness—not just to prevent childhood obesity. We offer a fresh, new way to market a company or cause. Corporations, event planners, brides, hotels, fitness organizations, and non-profits are among our best customers.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
I’m a self-starter. When I discover a need in the marketplace, I create a solution. For R & D, I scoured the Internet, explored the regional marketplace and met with industry experts. I also networked with potential suppliers, end-users and academics, as well as experts from S.C.O.R.E., NH SBDC, Alpha Loft, NH Made and the NH Division of Agriculture Development. And, I’m lucky to be married to my business partner, Beth, who specializes in marketing, pr and social media. Together, we’re cultivating this venture while raising our family.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
There was no category for our product so we created a brand new category. Our concept is—to coin a new phrase—edible messaging technology.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Early on, I was inspired by the book Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The book discusses creating your own market space and rendering competition irrelevant.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
Our geography is amazing: we can be swimming in the Atlantic in minutes, or dining in Boston or skiing the White Mountains in about an hour. We love the creative vibe of having a business located in the Seacoast region.
What does the future look like for your company?
We foresee continued growth. We’ll expand our marketing and sales team, solidify new avenues of distribution and institute comprehensive CRM. We’re also developing new technology to imprint on different food items.
We will continue to be true to our mission: promoting wellness and healthy eating, both nationally and in our community. As a company, we give back to our community by supporting several non-profits, including End 68 Hours of Hunger and Connor’s Climb Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Advocacy.
Connect with Fun To Eat Fruit on Twitter and Facebook