Contributing Author: Amy Barnouw, Co-Founder & CEO, Planet Fuel Beverage Co.
The inspiration to launch Planet Fuel Beverage Company struck a few years ago. I was at a store with my three kids fighting over the beverage options in the cold cooler and it struck me — I was the “no” mom. Why were so many of the drinks geared towards my kids loaded with excessive sugar, dyes, preservatives and artificial ingredients? At home, it was easy to prepare organic, healthy foods but as my kids were getting older, I knew they deserved options that were convenient and appealing to them… products to which I could say “yes”.
Shortly thereafter, my husband, Tom, and I launched the business with the goal of creating a line of juices that are good for the body and good for the planet. We immediately set out to design products that were organic, non-GMO, and free of artificial ingredients. We positioned the brand to teens and tweens as we believed this was a largely underserved segment in the market when it comes to sustainable, healthy products.
From day one, we embedded Planet Fuel with a social mission—one that inspires young people to do good and get involved in environmental causes. As a social-mission business, integrity and transparency are critical values we take very seriously. Moreover, they are values today’s food and beverage consumer are seeking in increasing numbers.
Driven by a general distrust of processed foods and refined ingredients, we’ve always believed transparency is the best path to gain trust with consumers. According to Innova Market Insights, three-fourths of consumers in the United States claim to read nutritional and ingredient labels of the food products they purchase. In addition, nearly as many “strongly agree” it is important for food labels to contain recognizable ingredients, which are perceived to be healthier than ingredients they do not recognize, or cannot pronounce.
That’s why partnering with GoCleanLabel™ was an easy decision for us to make. We are proud to have earned our certification not only because of the value it brings to our brand, but because we firmly believe in supporting the clean label movement.
As a young business, I can still be found running sampling events for retailer customers. I love doing them because it affords me the opportunity to speak directly to our consumers as they sample Planet Fuel and evaluate our package labeling. It is gratifying to hear how much consumers appreciate our dedication to crafting a product they can both enjoy and trust.
Our current product line contains no more than four ingredients per SKU—common ingredients that are easily recognizable. Keeping things simple often proves to be a tremendous challenge, but for us, it is well worth the effort. Our consumers value the simplicity, the taste, and feel confident they are purchasing a better juice option for their kids.
We look forward to our ongoing relationship with GoCleanLabel™ so that we can help increase awareness of this important mission. We believe the GoCleanLabel™ logo will become an increasingly important endorsement for food and beverage brands in the coming months and years—one that makes it easy for consumers to know what is in their products, and what is not.
Interested in giving Amy’s beverage a try? Click here to purchase on Amazon.
Prior to co-founding Planet Fuel Beverage Company, Amy spent over a decade in the environmental non-profit sector working on campaigns to protect public lands and wildlife habitat. Based in New England and then the Pacific Northwest, Amy worked on many of the nation’s most pressing conservation issues. In her roles as the Regional Director for LightHawk and the Assistant Regional Director for The Wilderness Society, Amy wore many hats as an organizer, lobbyist and media spokesperson in efforts to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and to help obtain federally designated wilderness legislation.
Amy has served on numerous boards including the Wild Washington Campaign and the national White Cloud Council. It has been a long-time dream to combine her passion for healthy eating with protecting the environment through the launch of a social mission based company, Planet Fuel.