Bigger = better?

The biggest retailer in the world just announced it’s going to work to make food healthier, and make healthier food choices more affordable. Why is this important? Because the biggest retailer in the world, just may be the only retailer, or even organization, in the world that can make it happen.

Awhile back we touched on the topic of the American food system, and how it’d be really hard to change. Well, if Wal*Mart follows through, this is the thing that’s going to change everything.

Stay tuned…

Trying new things…

The New Year often sparks a time for reflection. Even if you don’t formally claim resolutions, you may find yourself talking about things you want to do more or less of, or things you want to change. I’ve often wondered why this happens. What is it about this time of year that drives us to think about things so differently?

Obviously, there’s the simple fact of the new calendar year. Over the holidays, I heard my relatives explaining to their kids that December 31 is like celebrating the Earth’s birthday. I really like that analogy, and perhaps we consider it a time to work on ourselves in some way, whereas a birthday is simply a time to celebrate.

In thinking about my resolutions, I think my biggest one is trying new things, whether it’s a new activity, new recipes or new places to explore. I think companies often take advantage of this time of year to try new things, too. Here at WhiteWave, we are offering some exciting new products launching from various brands:

  • Horizon is now offering Fat Free Milk Plus Omega-3 DHA – the first and only on the market! DHA Omega-3 is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown in a number of scientific studies to be important for proper brain and eye function for infants and children, healthy heart function for both children and adults and brain function for adults.

  • Horizon single serve organic milk boxes will now have less sugar (at 22 or 23 g per serving) less fat and fewer calories. The change is possible by switching from 2% organic reduced fat milk to 1% organic lowfat milk.

  • Silk Pure Coconut is another example of the innovation Silk is proud to bring to the dairy alternative category. Available in Original and Vanilla, Pure Coconut provides 50% more calcium than typical dairy milk, and 25% of your recommended daily value of vitamin D, which is just as much as milk.

  • Silk Pure Almond is now available in Unsweetened, with just 40 calories per serving! Not only can you try something new, but this is a great option for cutting calories if that’s also in your New Year’s plan.

  • Fruit2Day is now available in a large size portion, offering more value to consumers. Both Mango Peach and Strawberry Orange are available in this new, 28-oz. size. Try this new way to eat fruit today.

Cheers to embracing the New Year by trying new things!

New darling on the dairy shelf…

Check it out – Our Silk brand’s Pure Almond milk was featured in the Wall Street Journal, no big deal…

More giving

Building off Luana’s post from earlier in the week, I thought it would be cool to recognize some other amazing givers outside our offices that are truly inspiring.

I’m a firm believer in embracing the inspiration to give whenever it moves you, But I think it’s also important to recognize the many who are dedicated to giving year round. One example – Homegirl Café in Los Angeles where founder Patricia Zarate hires and trains women who might otherwise be pulled into gangs. Not only do the new hires get cooking and barista experience, the restaurant’s new vertical garden offers a lesson in sustainability and local agriculture.

Of course it’s not the only one of its kind – Check out FareStart Restaurant in Seattle, Plates Café and Catering in Sacramento and Crossroads Café in San Francisco.

And in our neck of the woods, Same Café in Denver doesn’t offer a set menu or prices – patrons offer what they think their meal was worth, or even more to help out those who are less fortunate in the community. If someone cannot offer a dollar amount, the restaurant encourages donating an hour of service.

Definitely looking to make a field trip to see that kind of heart in person, and give a little bit back myself.

Whole lotta givin’

These past few months at WhiteWave are inspirational and a good reminder of what the holidays are all about. And no, I haven’t drunk the Silk Nog; I am truly inspired by the generosity of my WhiteWave colleagues and what we’ve been able to do, collectively, to make the holidays a little brighter for those in our communities who are less fortunate.

WhiteWave has been very fortunate to have a good year in spite of a challenging economy. So I was pleased to learn that we decided to scale back our holiday party a bit for the second year by giving some of the money we’d normally spend on it to Community Food Share (CFS) – one of our primary non-profit partners who help fight hunger in our area.

The cool thing is we were still able to have a great party to celebrate 2010 and all of our accomplishments, but this small sacrifice will help make a big difference in the lives of those who need our help. In fact, our donation will allow CFS to provide an additional 100,000 meals to Boulder County residents this holiday season. Not to mention, we’ve donated more than $150,000 and 1.5 million pounds of product to CFS so far this year and have volunteered hundreds of hours. Working for a food company, it feels pretty great to know that we play a role in ensuring food security in our own community.

In addition, over the last few weeks, our headquarters lobby has been literally busting at the seams with items collected for local shelters and non-profits. Some of our activities have included:

  • Holding a coat and blanket drive to benefit Coats for Colorado and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless
  • Adopting families and children for the Emergency Family Assistance Association, Toys for Tots and Share-A-Gift holiday giving programs
  • Sponsoring 120 children from the Mercy Housing “Adopt a Child” program, to extend our holiday giving reach into Denver
  • Holding a company-wide raffle (with chance to win front-row parking and snow removal in December) to benefit Attention Homes. One of our execs won and opened the space to a daily silent auction to raise additional funds. (Unfortunately, this year has not been the best to win snow removal, as that would in fact require snow; but in theory, I love this idea!)

In the end, it’s all about the holiday spirit, which I’m pleased to report is alive and well at WhiteWave. Not that such outpouring of generosity is contained to the holidays around here… There is a lot of giving and volunteering that happens here throughout the year. But I can’t help but feel an extreme sense of pride for what we were able to do to help those in our communities have a safer, warmer, happier and healthier holiday.

What has inspired YOU this holiday season? I’d love to hear your stories.