Co-founded by Michelle Obama, PLEZi Nutrition is focused on lowering sugar content and adding in nutrients kids need, all with the aim to replace sugary drinks and snacks.
Michelle Obama can add food entrepreneur to her list of titles. The former First Lady, professional attorney and author has launched a new food and beverage company, PLEZi Nutrition, that provides healthier fare for kids.
Obama made the announcement at the Future of Everything Festival hosted by the Wall Street Journal this week. “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,” she declared in a speech.
Nutrition and fitness were hallmarks of the Chicago native’s work and service as the nation’s First Lady between 2008 and 2016. In addition to spearheading her signature “Let’s Move” campaign to stem childhood obesity, she authored a 2012 book that recapped her experience planting a kitchen garden at the White House and highlighted her interest in helping families increase access to healthy foods.
As co-founder and strategic partner of the new public benefit company, Obama will oversee the rollout of PLEZi Nutrition’s first product, a fruit juice geared for children ages 6-12 that is made with 75% less sugar than traditional fruit juices and with added fiber and nutrients like potassium, magnesium and zinc. Varieties include Tropical Punch, Orange Smash, Sour Apple and Blueberry Blast.
PLEZi Nutrition beverages are available at Target and Sprouts Farmers Market stores around the country and online at Walmart.com. The company plans to add other beverages and snacks to its portfolio over the coming years.
As the fledgling CPG rolls out its first product, it is also introducing an educational platform for parents and children focusing on the importance of drinking water and eating whole fruits and vegetables. There is a charitable component to the public benefit company as well, as the former First Lady announced a $1 million donation to FoodCorp’s Nourishing Futures program aimed at improving children’s access to nutrition education and free school meals. She also shared that PLEZi Nutrition will invest 10% of its profits into the broader movement to promote kids' health.