Sheltering but still hustling!
There is nothing like a crisis to have one deeply examine everything about the way we live and what we value. My wife dropped me at the ER in March. She was unsure if and when she would see me again. At that time the hospital did not have sufficient COVID tests, so they ran me through an arsenal of other tests and sent me home with a message: “Assume you have COVID.”
It was a scary period but thankfully we are all well and remain sheltering in place. We have joined the 40% of consumers who expect their shopping habits to change drastically according to the EY survey conducted in April. That same survey revealed that over a quarter said they will pay more to patronize brands they can “trust,” while a similar percentage said they’ll open their wallets wider for “ethical” brands.
Our reliance on the supply chain serving grocery stores across the country has offered a view on society’s vulnerability. Supply disruption, panic buying, volatile pricing, and discarded crops are indicators of how fragile our food security actually is. While optimism remains that a vaccine will be successfully developed, there is no denying the fallout of this crisis. What if another pandemic and climate change impacts simultaneously overlap? There is no vaccine for climate change after the planet warms beyond 2 degrees Celsius — the ‘point of no return.’ A severe weather event coupled with a virus outbreak would paralyze the national food supply chain. We are being forced to address our deep-seated and often unquestioned dependency on long food-supply chains that are by no means resilient.
Stephan Dolezalek of the Wheatsheaf Group, a $500 million venture food and agriculture fund has spent a long time looking at trends in his sector and has come to believe that we’re heading for a food system that “emulates the characteristics of a microgrid: Redundant, distributed, resilient, smaller scale and locally powered, yet connected to the larger world in ways that benefit it when safe but can be disconnected when not so.” This is underscored by farmers’ markets that have grown by 6 percent since 2014 and is close to 9,000, almost twice the number of the country’s Walmarts.
We feel that Mindful is part of this movement and believe the value of an ethical brand that appeals to consumers’ need to understand the chain of origin for all the ingredients is stronger than ever as a result of COVID. Unfortunately, our journey to bring our protein infused water, TATU, to market this year hit a bump when our co-packer ran into production challenges related to canning and pasteurization. Then COVID hit and everything went dark for several months. We feel confident that we are on the cusp of solving the co-packing issue and are pressing for a fall run.
We shall keep you updated and wish to thank all those who continue to support us on this journey!
Sean Penrith – CEO | Co-Founder
Mindful Proteins Advisory Circle
We have been blessed with an amazingly engaged group of advisors that have helped us navigate our route thus far. Thank you all so much, seriously!
Morgan Rider – Oliver Russell Branding