Natural products news & events from the Rocky Mountain region.
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March 2018


Naturally Boulder Promotes Arron Mansika as Its Inaugural Executive Director 

Naturally Boulder named Arron Mansika as the organization’s first Executive Director.  The group’s board of directors developed the new leadership role in response to the nonprofit’s tremendous growth and expanded scope.  With 1,200 members, 140 sponsoring companies, and more than 5,000 event attendees over the course of last year, Naturally Boulder was well positioned to add the Executive Director role.  Mansika, who will report to the board of directors, will oversee Naturally Boulder's growing staff, as well as its finances, communications, programming, and overall organizational strategy.  

“Arron has been an integral contributor to Naturally Boulder’s success throughout his longtime work with the organization’s board of directors, advisors, sponsors, members and supporters,” said Carlotta Mast, President of Naturally Boulder and Senior VP of Content and Insights for New Hope Network. “I’m honored to be at the helm of such a thriving organization,” Mansika said. “I’m surrounded by passionate entrepreneurs and seasoned professionals. Together, we will advance the leadership and innovation of this amazing natural products community while deepening our commitment to the conscious business practices that positively impact human health and the planet.”

Ripple Foods Lands $65M Investment

Brand’s funding totals $110 million to date
California-based Ripple Foods received a $65 million investment, the company’s largest fundraise to date. The Series C investment round was led by Euclidean Capital, with Goldman Sachs and Fall Line Capital joining existing investors Khosla Ventures, GV, and S2G Ventures also participating. Total funding for the brand, which was founded in 2014, is now $110 million.

The Food Corridor Raises $555k

Company brings a shared economy to commercial kitchens
Fort Collins-based The Food Corridor closed their seed round and officially raised $555,000. The Food Corridor will use their funds to add additional revenue generating features to TFC platform, grow the number of kitchens powered by their software over the next year, pay sales and marketing expenses, and hire key personnel. The Food Corridor is an online platform where food businesses can connect with and choose commercial production spaces and gain access to tools like scheduling and booking, payment processing, and health code documentation.

So Delicious Dairy Free Launches New Organic Almondmilk with Cashew in Its First Plant-Based Bottle

Brand debuts three new organic nutmilks
Broomfield-based So Delicious Dairy Free is expanding its nutmilks with the launch of three new So Delicious Organic Almondmilks with Cashew – in breakthrough, primarily plant-based packaging. The brand continues its legacy with this launch of organic almond milk with cashew, which has seven ingredients or fewer, such as vanilla extract and responsibly sourced coconut sugar. In an effort to continue to grow as a clean and sustainable brand, So Delicious has also developed the first primarily plant-based bottle in the refrigerated dairy case for the new line of organic almond milk with cashew.

Purely Elizabeth Debuts First-to-Market Adaptogenic Grain-Free Superfood Bars and Antioxidant Powdered Vibrant Oats

New products are nutrient rich and support healthy immune function
Boulder-based Purely Elizabeth launched a new line of Grain-Free Superfood Bars and Single-Serve Vibrant Oats. Purely Elizabeth's new Grain-Free Superfood Bars are the first-of-its-kind on the market and one of the first packaged products to contain adaptogenic extracts. The bars are powered by Reishi - a known adaptogenic superfood that helps the body balance stress and supports healthy immune function, detoxification, and overall health - as well as nutrient-rich, elevated ingredients including cashew butter, coconut oil, hemp seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and chia seeds.

1908 Brands Launches Three Lines of Three Bears Allergen-Free Oat Products

New products are 100% free of the top 8 allergens
Boulder-based 1908 Brands will launch three lines of Three Bears Oat Products at New Hope Network's Natural Product’s Expo West in March. The new product lines include Oatmeal Cups, Fruit+Oat Squeeze Packs, and Oat Bars. Three Bears products are 100% free of the top 8 allergens, including wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, fish and tree nuts. They are also enhanced with The Ganeden BC30® live probiotics.

Birch Benders Launches Blueberry Pancake & Waffle Mix

New product is available exclusively at Target
Boulder-based Birch Benders launched Blueberry Pancake & Waffle Mix. Made with real blueberries, the product is easy to make: add water, mix and cook. The 14oz pouches are available exclusively at Target Stores nationwide.

free2b Foods to Launch Top 12 Allergen-Free Chewy Granola Bars and Bites

New products feature innovative and wholesome ingredients
Boulder-based free2b Foods launched Chewy Granola Bars and Bites, taking the company beyond its chocolate roots and into everyday snacking. The new Chewy Granola Bars and Bites are available in three flavors: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin, and Apple Cinnamon.  In addition to being Top 12 Allergen-Free, they are Non-GMO Project Verified, Celiac Support Association Certified Gluten-Free, Certified Vegan, and Kosher Pareve.

1908 Brands Launches Pasta Jay’s Italian Pasta Sauce

Distribution expected to expand nationally through 2018
Boulder-based 1908 Brands will officially launch four flavors of Pasta Jay’s Italian Pasta Sauce this March at Expo West. Flavors include Classic Marinara, Creamy Tomato, Tomato Basil, and Tomato Marsala. The pasta sauces are products of a brand and recipe licensing partnership between Boulder-based 1908 Brands and the Pasta Jay’s restaurants. Pasta Jays will be launching regionally in The Rocky Mountain Region and then expanding nationally throughout 2018.

Polsinelli Solidifies Denver Firm’s Focus on Food and Beverage

Law firm hires Chuck Cotter, Finity Jernigan and Christie DiNapoli
Polsinelli strengthened its national Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies practice with the addition of three recognized attorneys: Chuck Cotter, Finity Jernigan and Christie DiNapoli. Based in the firm’s Denver office, and with an eventual Boulder presence, the team brings experience to the firm’s nationally-preeminent practice with their focus on food, beverage and consumer goods clients. Cotter, who joined as shareholder, has 14 years of legal experience focused on counseling these and other companies at all stages of growth, from start-ups to ready-to-exit, helping them successfully raise capital, complete acquisitions and divestitures, and comply with regulatory requirements.

General Mills Veteran Joins Sunrise Strategic

Steve Young named EVP and Managing Director of Commercial Operations
Boulder-based Sunrise Strategic Partners announced that Steve Young has joined the company as EVP and managing director of commercial operations. Young has an extensive history in the food business, having spent 20 years at General Mills. During his tenure there, Young was the leader behind both the Annie’s and EPIC acquisitions and business performance. In his new role with Sunrise, Young will work with the firm’s portfolio companies on marketing, sales, innovation, operations and overall business strategy. 

Boulder Clean Gains Distribution into 1,400 Kroger Stores Nationwide

Brand also Expands into Canada
Boulder-based Boulder Clean expands nationally with cleaners and dishwashing products into over 1,400 Kroger locations. Boulder Clean has also made its way into Canada with Laundry, Dish and Surface Cleaners now on-shelf at over 400 Loblaw stores in Canada. Boulder Clean marks it’s international shelf debut by claiming up to 30-50% of Natural Cleaning Set Shelf at Loblaw. 

bamboobies Continues to Expand Distribution

Company enters Northern California market
Boulder-based bamboobies, makers of eco-friendly breastfeeding support products, announced expanded product distribution in 62 Raley’s stores across Northern California. Raley’s stores have recently added eight bamboobies products. In addition, Target continues to expand the national availability of bamboobies products, adding the company’s Chic Nursing Shawl and Washable Nursing Pads to shelves in all Target stores across the country. 

Schultz’s Increases Distribution With Walmart

Hot sauces and BBQ sauces now sold at 1,800 Walmart’s
Boulder-based Schultz’s Gourmet Family Recipes has landed 3 Cooking Hot Sauces on shelves in over 1,800 Walmart stores across the country with additional regional distribution of the four BBQ sauce SKU's. Flavors selected nationally include Spicy Original, Sweet Heat and Green Chili Lime sauces and regionally  the Sweet Hickory, Tangy Mustard, Spicy Mesquite and Original BBQ sauces.

Thrive Tribe Gains Distribution with Costco

Vanilla Almond Bites Now Sold at Costco
Boulder-based Thrive Tribe gained distribution in three Costco regions including all Colorado Costco locations. The Vanilla Almond Thrive Tribe Bites will be sold in Costco-sized 18oz bags. The same item will be launching in select locations in Northeast Region of Costco, and in select locations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The a2 Milk Company Expands in the Northeast

Expansion capitalizes on strong momentum
Boulder-based, The a2 Milk Company announced a major expansion in the US market with products now available to consumers throughout the Northeast. When the expansion is fully implemented, a2 Milk will be available to consumers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine in more than 1,400 new locations. In addition to the Northeast expansion, a2 Milk products are already being sold throughout California, the Southeast and nationally through major natural foods chains.
Learn More

Blue Moose Of Boulder Announces USDA Organic Certification

Organic line will hit shelves in March
Blue Moose of Boulder, a leading manufacturer of better-for-you snacks, announced the company's hummus line has been certified USDA Organic by QAI.  Blue Moose’s USDA Organic products include: Original Hummus, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Roasted Garlic Hummus, Green Chile Hummus, Lime & Black Bean Hummus and Lemon Turmeric Hummus. The company will begin shipping it’s organic hummus in March.
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Gluten Free Media Group to Host Gluten Free College Foodservice Conference

Event offers education and resources to improve allergen-free dining on campuses
Providing gluten-free accommodations on college campuses is now a government mandate, and foodservice providers are looking for the best products, and how to safely serve them. The conference will include an exhibitor product showcase along with educational presentations. While university representatives will learn how best to handle gluten-free dining on campuses, exhibitors have the chance to get their products in front of foodservice managers, nutritionists and chefs in an intimate setting.

The conference will take place in Atlanta, GA on May 18, and in Worcester, MA on July 20. Exhibitor, Sponsor and Presenter applications are now being accepted.
Learn More

Edible Denver-Boulder-Fort Collins Launching March 1st

Event offers education and resources to improve allergen-free dining on campuses
The James Beard award-winning culinary print magazine is coming to the Front Range. Edible Denver-Boulder-Ft. Collins celebrates the local food and beverage culture with an emphasis on organic sustainable living. The publication tells the stories of local farms, artisans, brewers, distillers, roasters, producers, chefs and cuisine.
Learn More

Slow Food USA Invites Naturally Boulder Members to Exhibit in Taste Marketplace at Slow Food Nations

July 14-15 in Denver
Slow Food USA is extending an invitation to Naturally Boulder members to exhibit in the Taste Marketplace at Slow Food Nations 2018 in Denver.  July 14-15, with an expected 25,000 attendees from around the world, Slow Food is bringing back the food festival that was hailed as an overwhelming success with delicious diversity.   Exhibiting in the Taste Marketplace is an opportunity to build community through food, share your story, sample and sell your product, and celebrate food and agricultural traditions.   Discount is for registrations received before March 19.
Learn More


Networking Night:
Meet Some of the Top Food Lawyers!

March 19, 5:30-7:30 PM
@ Sterling Rice Group
(1801 13th St, Boulder)

Members: Enter your address and code, then login.  Data auto-fills!

Learn from the Experts

Chuck Cotter, Shareholder, Polsinelli
Jennifer Rosenthal, Partner, KO Law
Rob Goldstein, Counsel, Faegre Baker Daniels
Matt Abell, Partner, Holland & Hart

Learn more.
Speaker Series:
Big Announcement Coming Soon!

Save the Date!
March 22, 6-8 PM
@ Boulder JCC

Registration Coming Soon!

Morning Mingle:
Know your Food & Beverage P&L! 

March 28, 7:45-8:45 AM
@ Impact Hub Boulder

Registration coming soon!



Calling all Startups!

Ever dream of bottling your famous hot sauce or selling grandma's secret recipe in stores? Alfalfa's can help! Alfalfa's is opening up part of their facility in Boulder as an incubation space for all food and wellness related businesses - you can gain inspiration and knowledge from like-minded entrepreneurs tackling the same dream as you. They are offering co-working space, cold and dry storage, as well as the use of a commercial kitchen. for info!

Applications are open for the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator

Applications are open for the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator in partnership with Cargill and Ecolab! We are excited to bring the Techstars worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed to AgTech and Food Tech startups. In addition to the proven Techstars process and mentor network, companies that participate in this program will work closely with mentors from both Cargill and Ecolab including executives, business leaders and subject matter experts. We're hitting the road to meet with the world's best AgTech and FoodTech companies. Sign up to be the first to know which cities will be visiting and how else you can connect with us! 


Eat Colorado Food Show 

March 6, 12-4 PM
National Western Complex, Denver 
Local food organizations including EatDenver, Slow Food Denver, and Colorado State University are collaborating to host the Eat Colorado Food Show, furthering connections between Colorado's food and beverage producers and buyers. Explore over 100 producer booths representing fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, honey, condiments, baked goods, preserves, spirits, wine, and beer, and learn from food sourcing experts from The Kitchen Restaurant Group, Whole Foods Market, Good Food 100 Restaurants, and FoodMaven in the event's speaker series. Free attendee registration and more information at
Networking Naturally!

March 21, 4:30-6:30 PM
Leeds School of Business

(995 Regent Drive, Boulder)

The Leeds School of Business's Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) in collaboration with Naturally Boulder, invites you to Networking Naturally!  This is for anyone in the natural products industry interested in finding a student intern, hiring entry level positions, or needing assistance on project work.  Enjoy appetizers as you meet Leeds Business Students interested in the Natural Products Industry here in Boulder.  $25 ($15 if you are also attending Conscious Capitalism hosted by CESR on March 22nd)  Register.
Conscious Capitalism Conference

March 22
CU Boulder, SEEC, Room C120

(4001 Discovery Dr.)

The Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) presents the 8th annual Conscious Capitalism Conference: Authentic Leadership in Sustainable and Regenerative Enterprises.  Headlining the event is Walter Robb, former CEO of Whole Foods, who will engage in a fireside chat on Whole Foods’ Authentic Leadership Program with Mark Retzloff, Chairman of the Board of Alfalfa's Market and of the Natural Habitats Group.

Authentic Leadership
Susan Skjei, PhD, Director, Authentic Leadership Center, Naropa University, will facilitate in highly interactive roundtables among students, faculty, entrepreneurs, executives and community members.  Through the conference, participants will:
- Gain an understanding of authentic leadership.
- Discover and explore the practical challenges to authentic leadership.
- Reflect on their own leadership style and the styles of others.
- Identify how we can operate more authentically and effectively.











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