San Diego, CA — The fast-growing organic baby food category just got a jolt to the system. A-list celebrity Jennifer Garner and former Annie’s president John Foraker have joined the 2-year-old organic baby food startup Once Upon a Farm as co-founders with plans to become the next big nutrition brand for kids, the company announced.
Foraker, who becomes Once Upon a Farm CEO, left Annie’s in August after an 18-year run. He was the one who negotiated the company’s sale to General Mills for $820 million and had been a company board member. Garner and Foraker will become co-founders along with co-founders Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz.
Garner, who has been an ambassador with Save the Children for the last five years, will become the company’s Chief Brand Officer. She told Organic Insider that as a mom with three kids and three lunches to pack daily she understands the difficulty involved with serving fresh food to young children.
“Even though I have advocated for this issue in the government at both a state and national level, I understand that business drives change and wanted to find a company that could get nutritious food out to kids,” Garner said in an interview. She will be involved in all aspects of the business – innovating on new products, design, sales calls and marketing.
“Once John and I met, everything he said rang true with me. He is so passionate and knowledgeable about all of the same things. It was clear early on that we were meant to be partners,” she added.
Foraker told Organic Insider he remains an entrepreneur and “this one felt perfect.”
“I was one of the earliest investors in Once Upon a Farm, and during that initial meeting with Jen, we just started talking about the product, the vision for the company and what got me interested in the brand … I left there knowing that this was truly unique, special and not expected.
“There is a lot of white space out there for healthier kids’ food than what is now found in the center of the store,” he added. “There are a lot of products in the pipeline, and we’re currently working on many different ideas.”
“Once Upon a Farm aspires to be a leading organic family food company that will fight for and support efforts to drive positive social change and food justice for the benefit of parents, kids and families,” the company stated in the updated story on its website. “It’s with this mission that Once Upon a Farm strives to nurture our children, each other, and the earth to pass along a healthier and happier world to the next generation.”