The fact that the future is female is undeniable, and, thanks to some innovative and passionate ladies in the health food world, this girl-powered future will not be lacking in snacking. Once you read these female founders' stories and learn how they use their businesses to better their communities, there's no doubt you'll be filling your cart with their products on your next Whole Foods run.
Although her original dream job was to "run Disney World," Elizabeth Stein's goals shifted to starting her own food business after she became a certified holistic nutrition counselor. She launched Purely Elizabeth in 2009 and hit one million sales by 2013. Stein remains the CEO of this certified B-corporation, and just launched a new granola bar line.
After Amelia Kirchoff was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, she avoided drug treatment by converting to a macrobiotic diet, which meant no animal products or any artificial or processed ingredients. She began experimenting with homemade desserts in her kitchen, her daughter Jola sold them to a local grocery store, and MacroBars were born. Amelia remains active in GoMacro while Jola serves as the company's CEO.
While pregnant with her first son in 2002, Nicole Bernard Dawes followed in the footsteps of her father, the founder of Cape Cod Potato Chip Company, and realized her dream of creating her own healthier packaged snack brand. In addition to offering organic and non-GMO tortilla chips, Late July also donates 10% of sales to organizations that benefit children and the environment.
4. Biena Foods
As a lifelong vegetarian, Poorvi Patodia was frustrated by her inability to find healthy, protein-packed snacks at her grocery store. Channeling her inner momtrepenuer, she developed her own solution with roasted chickpeas, eventually becoming the founder and CEO of Biena. There are now six flavors available, ranging from simple Sea Salt to Habanero and Rocking' Ranch.
5. Simple Mills
In high school, Kaitlin Smith began experiencing joint pain that persisted for years until she was convinced to adjust her diet. She cut back on sugar and other processed ingredients, and noticed that her pain was reducing.
A firm believer that healthy eating shouldn't be a challenge, she founded Simple Mills in 2013 and began selling baking mixes to make it easy for consumers to prepare their own healthy treats. By using almond flour, coconut sugar, and other nutritious ingredients, Smith is determined to use her business to raise the standards of the food industry.
Nicole Anderson developed Elemental Superfood Seedbars to help her autistic daughter cope with wheat, dairy, and sugar allergies. Once she started promoting this healthier diet, Anderson noted drastic improvements in her daughter's overall health and wellbeing. Having witnessed the life-changing effects of clean eating, she was inspired to start her own company and share her organic energy bar's wide array of health benefits with the world.
Veronica Garza's struggle with multiple autoimmune conditions as a teenager led her to eliminate inflammatory foods from her diet, but she wasn't ready to part with her Mexican-American family's taco nights. She began crafting her own grain-free tortilla recipe, and it became an instant hit among the family of seven, inspiring Garza to start Siete Family Foods. Today, the company sells tortillas and tortilla chips, and advocates for healthier lifestyles among the Latino community.
After adopting two severely nutrient-deficient and incredibly picky boys from Ukraine, Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi created her own creamy blend of seven different nuts and seeds to provide a vitamin and mineral-dense snack for her sons. Her husband eventually got tired of cleaning the food processor, so Dietz-LiVolsi took her nut butter production to the next level and launched Nuttzo. Proceeds from every jar benefit orphans through Project Left Behind.
9. P.S. Snacks
Formerly Slender Seven, this healthy cookie dough brand was born in Nikki Azzarra's Wake Forest dorm room. A gluten-free foodie and Business and Enterprise Management major, Azzarra's determination to create a healthier dessert inspired this delicious chickpea-based treat. Expanding on her classic recipe, she has also added peanut butter chickpea and black bean fudge brownie flavors to her product line.
LÄRABAR started in Lara Merriken's kitchen in 2000 as she prepared snacks before a hike in the Rocky Mountains. She stuck to the simplest of ingredients, combining fruits and nuts to create a convenient and naturally-sweetened energy bar. They were a hit locally, and the first 500 bars to be sold in stores were rolled, cut, and packaged by hand.
Today, millions of LÄRABARs are produced every year, and the company has partnered with Feeding America to improve food access and alleviate hunger nationwide.
11. Wild Friends
Erika Welsh and Keeley Tillotson are the friendly faces behind this popular all-natural nut butter brand. Upon running out of peanut butter one rainy day at their University of Oregon apartment, they decided to make their own. Little did they know, they were whipping up the first of millions of jars that would soon be sold and adored nationwide.
12. Oat My Goodness
Struggling to find a healthy granola brand on the market, this mother-daughter duo gave us the gift of their homemade granola. As if a punny name wasn't enough, Shohreh and Yasaman Vojdani are committed to high quality, so each batch is handcrafted with nutritious ingredients.
Michele Meloy Burchfield and Carla Frank combined 100% bee-friendly honey, water, and natural flavors to give active ladies a simple, energizing source of hydration: Blume Honey Water. These honey experts are passionate about their product and are actively working to protect the bees behind their beverage.
14. Fourth & Heart
Raquel Tavares Gunsagar and Lilly Wunsch founded a dairy-free, grass-fed butter company to bring the ancient healing power and delicious flavor of ghee back to our diets. They actively work with Yoga Gives Back, a mission to provide microloans and scholarships to women and children in India that would otherwise have to marry early for financial stability.
15. Mamma Chia
After falling in love with the energy-boosting effects of adding chia seeds to just about everything she ate, Janie Hoffman founded Mamma Chia, the first organic, chia-based food and drink company, in the summer of 2009. She remains committed to promoting health and vitality with her products, and, as a certified B-corp and Green America business, she does so in environmentally-conscious ways.