New ‘Purpose-Driven’ Produce Brand Debuts

Parent company Pairwise unveils 1st Conscious Greens offerings from its startup, Conscious Foods
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
a woman smiling for the camera
Pairwise
Food tech company Pairwise is launching Conscious Foods, a brand that includes an inaugural line of packaged greens.

Combining growing technologies with the fundamental dietary need for fruits and vegetables, food tech company Pairwise has introduced a new purpose-driven brand called Conscious Foods. The first product in the brand portfolio, Conscious Greens, was introduced during this week’s Future Food-Tech show in San Francisco.

The nutrient-dense greens are grown using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and gene editing technologies and will be available for sale in packaged form at grocery stores beginning in 2023. Eventually, other items will be added to the line, including seedless blackberries, black raspberries and pitless cherries.

“When my co-founders and I started the company in 2017, we wanted to create a different kind of food+tech company, one that really focused on the end benefits of its products to consumers and customers,” explained Haven Baker, chief business officer at Pairwise. “Now, in 2022, we believe that the best way to realize this vision is by launching a purpose-driven consumer brand, Conscious Foods.”

Added Megan Thomas, head of marketing and communications: “We know that consumers, especially younger adults, are increasingly interested in mission-focused brands, and we are excited to bring purpose into the produce aisle with Conscious Foods.”

While the company prepares products for retail sale, it is bolstering its commitment to food equity in other ways. Conscious Foods announced that it is launching a Nutritionist Advisory Council to help develop fresh product items that are convenient for meals and snacks. In addition, the fledgling brand donated $10,000 to the Food Bank for Monterey County, where its greens are grown.

Based in Durham, N.C., Pairwise was founded by Baker and current CEO Tom Adams, with scientific co-founders J. Keith Joung, professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School; David Liu, director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare and vice chair of the faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; and Feng Zhang, McGovern Investigator and professor at MIT. The company has raised $115 million over two rounds of funding as it refines its gene editing technology in row crops and other plant-based applications.

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