When Qantas invites you to pitch your organic snacks for their littlest business class flyers, well it’s clear you’ve got a delicious hit on your hands.
James and Monica Meldrum, husband and wife founders of organic food company Whole Kids, have always had confidence in their brand, even using their home deposit to set up the business in 2005. In her Game Changers interview with Channel Ten’s Sarah Harris, Monica reflects on how launching Australia’s largest range of certified organic, free from artificial additives and allergen-friendly (also extremely yummy) kids’ snacks doesn’t just reflect the Spirit of Australia, it was inspired by personal experience.
She travelled to Indonesia in 2000 to deliver an aid program to children living in poverty. “That whole experience changed my world, it really rocked my assumptions of what it meant to have a career and what the meaning of success was and I vowed one day I really wanted to make a difference to children’s health”. The powerhouse entrepreneur has kept that vow and it all started with developing clean snack alternatives for the kids in her own family.
Monica Meldrum and Sarah Harris
Monica’s philosophy became the cornerstone for everything that has come since, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by Australia’s heavy-hitters: listed on 2016 Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women Of Influence; awarded the 2015 St George Banking Group Ausmumpreneur of the Year, and also awarded Emerging Entrepreneur 2013 by NAB Women’s Agenda Leadership awards for her innovation, leadership and a strong commitment to creating change for the future.
Whole Kids was the first food business in Australia to become certified as a ‘B Corporation’, using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems, “Our purpose is all about creating happy, healthy lives for children. So for me it goes a lot deeper than just a food business” Meldrum insists, “it’s really about how much we can effect change.”
With that purpose in mind, Monica’s now taking on Aussie politicians with the Whole Kids-lead campaign ‘UnjunkIt’ calling for a change to government regulation for junk-food advertising aimed at children to be banned on TV before 9pm. “One in four kids has an allergy, and I think it’s the way food is processed” she explains “there’re just so many claims about products being healthy, nutritious and good for a little one’s diet, when in fact a lot of products are over-processed and contain all sorts of additives. And there’s a lot of misleading marketing too, to mislead parents and to hook kids. I just thought it was really sneaky and wrong.”
Well on their way to achieving their BHAG (Big Hairy Achievement Goal) of providing 50 million healthier choices to parents and kids by 2020 – they’ve already hit the 35 million mark. That’s got ‘Game Changer’ stamped all over it.