We live in a world full of innovation. Yet, certain categories have remained undisrupted since the early 1900’s. You might be wondering where this innovation could lie? Sometimes, it’s within a beating heart inside your stomach, waiting to be born. Co-Founder of Little Spoon, Lisa Barnett is disrupting the baby food industry by reinventing its ingredients because, well, your baby’s food shouldn't be older than your baby.
We are born into this world and are left alone to figure out life. But did you know, that the nutrition we get during our first few years is critical to our motor and cognitive development? Yes, a little bit of help in our yesteryears could have a great effect on our tomorrow’s. Gregarious, amicable and adorable co-founder and CMO, Lisa Barnett tells us how she likes to think out loud and make magic out of any situation. “I am a firm believer in the value a non-expert can bring to the table to shake things up” and that is exactly what she is doing in the baby food market with Little Spoon.
“Entrepreneurs are not more comfortable with risk. They are just better at evaluating the risk profile and going off to try something different because they have a big belief in themselves.”
After working on the idea for over two years, Little Spoon launched in the fall of 2017 with a distinct marketing position. “We worked with a team of pediatricians and nutritionists to develop a personalized blueprint to identify what nutrients a baby needs at each stage of their development. By collecting information about where your baby is in their developmental phase, we evolve our meal plan as they grow from the ages of 4 to 15 months.” How cool is that?
Little Spoon works with fresh, organic ingredients that are cold pressed to neutralize the harmful bacteria and preserve active nutrients for up to two weeks. Their flavors range from carrot, apple, ginger, chia, mango and coconut milk. “This is why if you look at the coloring of our food, it depicts the right hue shade based on its active ingredients.” For those who didn’t know, shelf stabilized food products tend to kill important nutrients during the process, essentially leaving us with not much value.
Despite their kick-ass recipes, the team didn’t stop there. Lisa & co also looked into disrupting the packaging in this space by creating a spoon that is attached to the lid and can snap off. “This was done very intentionally. We spent 6 months designing our packaging because we know that your baby is going through its motor development stage as they start to eat human food and we wanted to help strengthen that hand-eye coordination and encourage touch and feel interactions for your young ones.”
“It’s not about thinking outside the box. It’s about thinking from an entirely different box. This is where innovation happens.”
A 2011 graduate of University of Pennsylvania with a major in Marketing and Communications, Lisa grew up in a house where the one commonality everyone shared was the ability to hustle. Upon graduation, she worked at BCG in the brands and consumer space until moving on to work with Estee Lauder at a time when direct to consumer brands (Warby Parker) were starting to worry the retail industry and disrupt their distribution channels. “I started talking to all of these D2C start-ups to understand the best approach for an e-commerce strategy and ended up loving the entrepreneurial world and going back to Wharton for Business School.” Lisa later dabbled in the VC world until she got recruited by her college friend and co-founder, Ben to come onboard and work on Little Spoon with the other two founders, Angela and Michelle.
“It was challenging to enter a space that hasn’t been touched since the early 1900’s by Gerber.”
As a new brand disrupting the industry, the main challenge is to educate consumers. Primarily, Britney Spears who has been commenting on this sector since the early 1990’s by saying oh baby, baby how was I supposed to know? That something wasn’t right here? Well, now you shall know!
It took Little Spoon one year to set up their supply chain and procedures as everything needed to be thoroughly checked because “if you are just following the guidelines, you are not innovating enough.” However, Lisa’s main challenge has been the ability to prioritize time.
“There are so many choices you have to make every minute about your business. For me, the main one being, how do I spend my time? What should I be prioritizing? As an entrepreneur, we tend to see all of this opportunity, but being able to focus is key rather than trying to do everything at once.” Fun fact: Lisa was a cross country runner in college and believes that her training from running paid off by enabling her to keep her focus, maintain her hustle and always have a vision.
- Never work in isolation. If you have co-founders, you should be speaking daily about how to prioritize tasks.
- Set short-term, medium-term and long-term goals based on the biggest issues to combat.
- As an entrepreneur, you are going to receive a lot of no’s. Don’t listen to the outside world and rely on yourself and your team to help spearhead critical decisions.
Interested in meeting Lisa? She thrives on bringing people together and exposing individuals to new experiences they normally would not encounter. Email us and we can put you in touch. Oh, and don't forget to mention promo code: radiche for $20 off your order.
Photo courtesy of Little Spoon.