Just as parenthood pushes you to think about your child's wellbeing from every possible angle, Happy Family Brands has followed suit by doing the same thing for your entire family. Founded in 2003 by mom of two Shazi Visram, the organic baby food brand has expanded from premium frozen foods into nutritious and responsibly sourced meals and snacks for kids of all ages, plus prenatal and breastfeeding support for moms.
After an "aha" moment of witnessing her close friend — a working mom of twins — struggle to find healthy food for her babies on the grocery store shelves, Visram saw an opportunity to change how we feed our kids.
"I thought you could give a baby a fresh start by providing whole foods that taste great and offer nutritional value," she says. "The concept was to create nutritious, organic super foods that parents could feel good about giving their children."
Not long after, Happy Family launched with five products on Mother’s Day in 2006, and has since expanded to offer more than 100 organic products. We caught up with Visram to learn more about their trustworthy transparent pouches, how they're supporting moms on feeding journeys of every kind, and why this mom-run business is one that can be trusted by parents everywhere.
ROMPER: You started Happy Family before you had a child of your own. How has becoming a mom changed the way you view your own brands and products?
SHAZI VISRAM: It has become much more personal in a way that now it directly impacts me. You can try to identify with an issue logically, but until it is something with an impact on your daily life, you truly don’t understand. Now as a mother of two, I know the importance of proper nutrition on a daily basis for my 7-year-old with special needs and 16-month-old baby, and I can see how the best diet can affect their growth and development — and even behavior — as they continue to grow.
ROMPER: Happy Family is incredibly transparent about where you source your food. Why is this important to you as a business owner and as a mom?
VISRAM: Parents are looking for openness and honesty from the companies they buy products from, especially for their baby. I know as a mother, I would never give my children something if I didn’t know exactly what was in it and what it looked like. We developed Clearly Crafted, and in fact all of our lineups of food, with this in mind. We want to share every aspect of the product story, from the farms where we grow our ingredients to the recipes that we use. Parents can feel confident feeding their children by knowing and seeing exactly what’s inside the pouch.
ROMPER: The Clearly Crafted line features a full ingredient list and clear pouches, which really keeps your brand honest. What were the initial reactions from parents when this line launched?
VISRAM: When our Clearly Crafted lineup first launched, my team's responsibility was to create a commitment to showcasing a “farm to pouch” story for moms to learn about where we source our ingredients. We felt it was necessary to make a statement about our commitment to transparency throughout the product’s entire journey — from how our organic fruits and vegetables are grown, to crafting recipes for each flavor profile in the lineup. Now, with Clearly Crafted, parents feel empowered to make better purchasing decisions at the grocery store.
ROMPER: Happy Family also offers support for breastfeeding moms. Why is it important for your brand to look beyond baby's needs and support the whole family?
VISRAM: The Happy Family mission is to change the trajectory of children’s health by partnering with mom at the beginning of her journey — from prenatal to breastfeeding and beyond. We are continuing to explore new ways to be the ultimate partner to parents by providing the vital information they crave to help make the best nutritional decisions for their families. This is evidenced through the recent launch of our Infant Feed Hub, where parents can easily find answers to their most pressing breastfeeding and formula-feeding questions in real time through our Happy Mama Milk Mentor program.
ROMPER: Your entire Happy Mamas program is really interesting. How does being a mom, and employing moms as brand ambassadors, help fuel your business?
VISRAM: As a company of moms, and a mother to two beautiful children myself, being a mom has been essential to the company’s culture and core from the very start. We employ 75 moms around the country as health and wellness ambassadors called Happy Mamas, who are resources for new families for living healthy, happy lives. They teach parents how to cook baby food and host mommy and me yoga classes, and these moms care about children’s nutrition and healthy living. This fuels Happy Family to be more than just a provider of products; it’s an all-encompassing resource center for support and advice, as raising little ones can be an overwhelming experience.
ROMPER: How has Happy Family evolved to fit the needs of millennial moms since its launch in 2006?
VISRAM: We started in the freezer aisle, and while the product was fresh and incredibly delicious and premium, moms just didn’t know there was something for baby in the freezer — and it wasn’t more convenient than the jar. My dream was to change the way babies were fed in the country, and I learned it wasn’t going to happen in the freezer. Happy Family has now expanded to meet the needs of on-the-go, health-conscious parents with our line of baby food pouches, infant feeding products, resources, and some exciting launches in 2018 that will surely delight!
ROMPER: In a perfect world, what would the baby food market look like by the time your son's generation becomes parents?
VISRAM: In the beginning when I started the number of organic baby food was four percent of the entire market, and my dream was just to see that rise and rise. Today, I would say, organic is just about a third of the food consumed. My goal is to see every baby have access to clean, organic food.
This post is sponsored by Happy Family Brands.