Tackling Compostable Packaging in the Frozen Aisle featuring Kailey Donewald

“All ice cream pints in the US and worldwide are not recyclable.” – Kailey Donewald 

This week on the Gooder Podcast, I had the pleasure of talking with Kailey Donewald, the founder and CEO of Sacred Serve – a plant-powered functional gelato and pioneer in 100% compostable ice cream packaging. We discuss her personal health history’s impact on the creation of Sacred Serve and the exciting future for the brand and category. We also learn about Kailey’s influence in spreading awareness of diet and disease and how a trip to Indonesia became the awakening for a healthier life. Along the way, we hear the amazing journey of a passionate leader who promotes the mission of changing the landscape of functional foods. We tackle everything from nutrition to sustainability – to Kailey’s personal commitment to food education in public schools. 

In this episode we learn: 

  • About the history and inspiration of Sacred Serve. 
  • How and when Kailey identified the connection between diet and disease and the trip that literally changed her life. 
  • How she used her healing journey through nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to creating her brand. 
  • Trends in functional foods. (Especially frozen treats!)
  • Sacred Serve’s transition from non-compostable packaging to becoming the first ice-cream brand that uses 100% plastic-free and compostable ice cream cartons.
  • The technology behind compostable packaging in the frozen aisle.
  • Why Kailey believes brands are resistant and hesitant to use compostable packaging. 
  • Why Kailey makes a priority to participate in food and meal-prep education programs in one of Chicago’s public schools. 
Gooder Podcast

Tackling Compostable Packaging in the Frozen Aisle featuring Kailey Donewald

About Kailey Donewald: 

I’ve spent the last 10 years traveling the world over in search of Mother Nature’s most potent cures to modern-day ailments. Living in places like India and Indonesia, studying under leading practitioners in the fields of yoga, meditation, Eastern medicine, and alternative therapies has taught me a lot. I discovered firsthand the power connection between diet and disease, having healed myself of several chronic conditions through a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet alone. With this profound understand of the body and its innate ability to heal itself, I now want to share and serve the power of Mother Nature’s most sacred elements with you. 

Guests Social Media Links: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaileydonewald/ 

Instagram: @sacredserve  

Facebook: @sacredserve   

Email: kailey@sacredserve.com 

Website: https://www.sacredserve.com/  

Show Resources: 

Fast-moving consumer goods, also known as consumer packaged goods, are products that are sold quickly and at a relatively low cost. Examples include non-durable household goods such as packaged foods, beverages, toiletries, candies, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, dry goods, and other consumables. 

Whole Foods Market, Inc. is an American multinational supermarket chain headquartered in Austin, Texas, which sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. A USDA Certified Organic grocer in the United States, the chain is popularly known for its organic selections. 

The Clean Label Project award program is based on food and consumer product safety issues that consumers are increasingly caring about-heavy metals, pesticide residues, and plasticizers, other chemicals of concern, and truth in labeling. All programs require unannounced retail product sampling and testing.   

PCC Community Markets is a Seattle’s community-owned food market since 1953 with 15 certified organic stores. 

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is an artisan cheese maker and retail shop with locations in the Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington and New York City’s Flatiron District.  

Moon Juice: “Plant sourced alchemy to nourish and elevate body, beauty and consciousness.” 

Costco Wholesale Corporation is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only big-box retail stores. As of 2020, Costco was the fifth largest retailer in the world and the world’s largest retailer of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine as of 2016. 

Natural Products Expo, the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event, brings together an inspired community of industry members and exhibiting companies. 

Top Insights

Transcript:

Diana Fryc: Hi, welcome to The Gooder Podcast, I’m your host, Diana Fryc, as partner and CMO of Retail Voodoo, an award winning branding agency; I have met and worked with some of the most amazing women in the natural’s industry food, beverage, wellness and fitness. And as such, I decided to create The Gooder Podcast to interview these great people and subject matter experts and have them share their thoughts, insights and their passions and to help businesses all around the world become gooder. 

So today we get to talk about ice cream, packaging, and finding your calling. And I’m super excited to tackle these topics and more with my guests today Kailey Donewald, did I get that right? 

Kailey Donewald: Yes, you did. 

Diana Fryc: Excellent! She is the founder and CEO of Sacred Serve, a cold crafted plant based gelato that is focused on adding function into the freezer aisle. So welcome, Miss Kailey, how are you today? 

Kailey Donewald: I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me. 

Diana Fryc: Yes, of course. How Chicago? 

Kailey Donewald: It’s great. We’re waiting for spring to arrive here. We’ve had some snow and some back and forth 80 degree days. So we’re patiently waiting. 

Diana Fryc: Well, just before we got on this recording session, we were talking about how busy you are, just kind of getting your name out and doing some podcast. But I saw something. I think it was through the next year in the top 10 plant based ice creams. Who was that with through Expo? Did you not see that? That came through this week. 

Kailey Donewald: I don’t know if I did see that. 

Diana Fryc: Oh girl, you were like, I’m going to have to send you that link. It came through in my email and you’re like the one of the top 10 alternative ice creams to look out for. 

Kailey Donewald: Oh, my Gosh. Yeah. I don’t know if I saw that so definitely send that through. 

Diana Fryc: I will send that through your way. Well, and as we’ll learn a little bit now, it’s not just the product that she makes, but like the passion behind what she’s doing in the packaging, the form factor and her goals. We really have a person that is on the march to kind of have a positive impact in a number of ways. So let’s start at the very beginning. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your brand and maybe a little bit about why the brand exists? 

Diana Fryc: Yeah, sure. So really, I guess a little about myself. I’m definitely a wellness enthusiast and big traveler, which I think has informed a lot of the company that I’m working on right now. And so a little about the company itself is that really the mission behind it is to change the landscape of food being offered to consumers, both from a nutritional standpoint as well as a sustainability standpoint, and just through my own journey of healing through a plant based diet. I think I really realized just how much could really be upgraded in really the ice cream set traditionally, but just in all the categories overall and so we’re starting to see more of that these days, which is really exciting. 

Diana Fryc: And tell us a little bit about, if you would, the packaging component, because I know you probably talk about this until your brain fades. But for those people that don’t know something that you’ve tackled, that’s a kind of a big deal. Why don’t you just share about that? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. So from the sustainability front starting this company, it was something that I didn’t realize either. But essentially all ice cream pints in the US and worldwide right now are not recyclable, even though they look like they are because they look like they’re just paperboard. There’s actually a thin plastic lining on the inside that acts as a moisture barrier for anything that’s a liquid or in the freezer set, and so that in combination with the paperboard essentially renders it trash. And so what we’ve done is just launched the first 100% plastic free ice cream cartons that are not only recyclable, but also fully compostable and biodegradable right at home as well. 

Diana Fryc: Okay, so in Seattle, we have this really amazing composting program and I have been putting ice cream containers in the compost, even though we have worked with ice cream brands, I don’t know why I’ve been doing that. I think I just feel inclined. So, of course, some composter in Seattle is going to probably call me up tomorrow and berate me for doing that. So pretty big deal. Is this something that you feel is scalable for some of those larger brands? Is it just not cost effective? What’s kind of the restriction there? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, it’s absolutely scalable. I think that it is going to come with an additional cost component, but certainly the larger companies do have the ability to move on that. I think from a timeline perspective, some of the larger organizations would just take a little bit longer with all the internal logistics that they would have to hop through in order to roll that out. 

[00:05:00] 

But definitely it’s not that helpful with just one company kind of launching these into the market. So really, my goal with doing so was to prove that it is possible to do that and that hopefully the larger guys would start to pay attention and take action on that as well. So we do know that they are having those conversations whether or not they will pull the trigger and when is certainly to be seen. 

Diana Fryc: For sure. Well, let’s go back to the beginning and this phenomenal journey of discovery that brought you into creating Sacred Serve. When did it start for you and what was that journey that brought you here? And I love it because it kind of takes you outside of the US. So let’s start with that. 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. So I guess taking it really all the way back, growing up, I suffered really severe cases of both asthma and allergies, and it was something that I saw a ton of doctors and specialists. I wound up having surgeries and was on steroid inhalers and allergy shots every week. And essentially every doctor just told me this is how I was born and I would need to rely on medicine for the rest of my life. But then when I was 25 years old, I was on a sabbatical where I was living in India, and I went down to Indonesia on the back end of that trip and was kind of immersing myself in this wellness culture there and decided to do a two week raw food cleanse. 

So really just eating fresh fruits and vegetables for about two weeks; and within that amount of time, my body completely healed itself of both of those conditions, which felt very profound because we’re talking about asthma. An allergy is one thing, but asthma? I had this 60% lung capacity and really my whole life never understood what it even felt like to breathe fully into my lungs and get that much oxygen to my brain. So when that happened to me while I was in Indonesia kind of traveling, it was very profound to really just understand almost in a moment just how powerful our bodies are and the fact that my body had this ability to heal itself once I just switched what I was eating. 

So what I really learned from that is, of course, not only was I not born with these conditions like every doctor had told me, but I was really making myself and keeping myself so sick just based on the food choices I was making my whole life without even really realizing it. And people will say, well, what on earth were you eating? And it was just unfortunately, the standard American diet, which just contains processed foods and dairy and sugars and things like that, that really over time can build up inflammation in the body and can cause a lot of issues that I was suffering from. 

Diana Fryc: Now, if I remember correctly, wasn’t it sort of like a chance encounter in college, in the college commissary, even where this idea of what you were just eating could be the culprit to all of these challenges? Is that right? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. So not in college, but shortly after college, I was working and consulting on a project in New York and that was the first time that I had ever done a juice cleanse and it was kind of trendy at the time. And I don’t really even know why I did it. I think people were talking about kind of doing it as like a weight loss thing and I really didn’t know much about nutrition at the time. I just figured I’m eating out every single night in New York, I should do something. And so I remember that project was the most stressed out I had ever been, like, really crippling anxiety and it’s not irrational looking back why was I so worked up. But yeah, it was long hours and I really, really felt anxious and stressed out. And when I did that juice cleanse on day two or three, I remember very vividly walking into the office and sitting down and just having this overwhelming sense of calm that was very clearly some change that wasn’t coming just internally, wasn’t coming from my mind. 

So I sat down at work and just had this sense of calm and the feeling that, okay, this isn’t that big of a deal. I have 12 hours to get this work done and if I don’t get it done, it’s also not the end of the world and someone’s going to check my work before it goes to the client, so what are you so concerned about? But what that really taught me was, I actually don’t know the science behind what was going on there, but just simply by changing my diet in that time frame and getting more nutrients and maybe reducing some of the foods I had been eating before, my body was able to much better assimilate to some of the external stressors that I was dealing with. And that was kind of my first foray into understanding just how powerful nutrition might really be when it comes to our physical and mental health. 

Diana Fryc: Now I’m thinking about this connection between diet, disease and how your time in Indonesia kind of changed the way you thought about health and wellness. 

[00:10:00] 

At least from what you originally learned in the States and it’s been a few years, of course, since then, and the American diet has changed and is still changing. But do you have any like one or two big takeaways from that time, like, okay, I’m eating raw food. So, like, I don’t know what that could be, but what is your kind of your one. Hmm, this is what sticks with me every day? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. I think that it’s really the understanding that our gut is the main source of our functioning from a mental perspective and just overall immunity and health. That was something that I wasn’t really aware of. And so when we talk about gut health, it’s supporting itself with probiotics and things. But I think the reason that I was suffering from asthma and allergies was because my gut bacteria was off. And so if I’m trying to fight different food sensitivities internally, my body’s very preoccupied with fighting all of that, and so it makes it very difficult to then deal with anything external. 

And so, I did health coaching for a couple of years and people would come with all these different issues and the answer is always the same. It’s what’s going on with your gut. How do you clean that and balance that and then give your body a much better chance to fight off everything else? And so I would say that’s my biggest takeaway, is really understanding that the years of a poor diet and stress had really kind of thrown the gut off and that that is the number one place to focus if you really want to start healing. 

Diana Fryc: And now here you are on this CPG side and kind of looking at it from a completely different angle, like you’re always going to have your nutritionist hat on. That’s just the way it goes. But when you look at especially in the better-for-you CPG, what do you think we could be doing better? Are we making things more complicated, less complicated? Are we providing more options, better options? What does that look like? And how can we kind of extend our superpowers and democratize it a little bit more rather than focusing it on a narrow focus audience? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, I think I see it kind of twofold with a lot of these emerging brands coming in and doing the better-for-you products, it can be a little bit exclusive when it comes to pricing, and that’s really just related to the scale that these companies have and kind of their inability to really get that pricing down. So what I’m hopeful to see is that all these emerging brands are going to start taking market share from the larger companies, and what that’s then going to force the larger companies to do is start to make better-for-you products as well, recognizing that the consumer really does care about that. So I think new entrants are doing a lot. I think maybe it can be a little confusing because there is that’s just how nutrition is. 

I think that’s another element of it, is that there’s always going to be conflicting information out there. But really, the reason for that is because we all have this bio individuality. So what works for someone doesn’t work for someone else. So someone like me, I make a product that’s dairy free, plant based, all of these things because that’s what worked for me, but then some people might come in and it doesn’t work for them. So, I think that the messaging around all of that is important, that we’re not writing certain ingredients off or certain additives and we’re just kind of making sure to explain that Whole Foods is best plant based, is usually best, and Clean Label is a big push to remove some of those preservatives and artificial ingredients. But outside of that, as long as people are working with clean ingredients, I think it’s all definitely for the best. 

Diana Fryc: Now, this is going to sound silly, and those of you that have listened for a while, you know that I’ve got talking notes here all the time. I’m looking at this and I’ve got a note here about cold crafted and tackling food processing. And for the life of me, I don’t remember what that is in relation to. It probably you’re like, oh, yeah, I totally get what you’re trying to do. So let’s talk about that for a moment. 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, coming through a nutrition school, one of the biggest things I learned was that essentially all food that comes in a box is nutrient avoid and really the reason for that is food in order to be safe, goes through all of this processing, and they use high levels of heat to destroy harmful bacteria. But what that does is it also destroys a bulk of the micronutrients that are really important for our health. And so one of the things that we’re working to raise awareness around is that element of what we’re getting out of boxed food and that it’s going to have the macro, which is protein, calories, fat, but it’s not going to have some of the micronutrients that are essentially the building blocks to our health, such as potassium, magnesium, all of those minerals. And so when it comes to just ultimate health, we always like to say to really shop the perimeter of the grocery store, which is just the food that hasn’t been processed. 

[00:15:00] 

The food that’s not in boxes closest to its form… 

Diana Fryc: Original state… 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. 

Diana Fryc: So interesting. So years ago we had a client called PCC here in Seattle. They’re a retailer. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them or not. 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. 

Diana Fryc: And we had the pleasure of doing business with the former president. He left the organization as past, but his passion for the perimeter of the store was quite obvious, even on the rise of CPG and is still kind of the heart of that business. So there’s that original state and then this core processing reminds me a little bit of the raw movement. There are some similarities there where you’re processing food, but at very low and slow, not really cost effective, but the raw movement kind of sounds very similar for some shelf stable food. Is that kind of similar? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, it is similar. And really, like you’re saying that the reason behind that is to preserve those micronutrients in there and make sure that things are bio-available to the consumer. But certainly that is not to say that heat is the enemy here because there are a lot of ingredients that do need to be cooked in order to actually be beneficial for our health. But just overall, I guess, the landscape of just all the food that comes in boxes, unless it’s very specifically somehow a better-for-you brand even still, a lot of that is kind of lacking on the nutrition front. 

Diana Fryc: Kailey, in this world of healthier eating and education, and we’re going to diverge here a little bit. I understand that you have or you are working with kids in the Chicago area, kind of leveraging your nutrition background and working with kids, talking to them about food, making food, health and wellness around that, some sort of programs. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? I find that really intriguing. 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, this is something that I’ve been doing for a handful of years now. And so what it is, is we’re teaching healthy cooking classes to little fourth graders down on the south side in a little charter school, which it’s very rewarding. It’s a cool four week program that happens twice a year. And what we do is essentially teach them how to cook with ingredients that they’re growing in their own school gardens. So they’re getting the education around, growing outside and everything that’s there, as well as the harvesting of it, and then we’re taking it to the level of now, how do you cook with this and what can you make with this? And it’s really cool to see because you can tell that these kids aren’t eating salads at home. 

But when they come — going into it, I guess I thought, I really don’t know, these fourth graders are going to be into this and will this hold their attention span and will they like the food more than anything? But it’s incredibly rewarding because they’re very engaged and they’re very interested to learn and they love the healthy food. And so I really have a soft spot for that and I think fourth grade is such an interesting age and to really instill this healthy eating and understanding of where food comes from at that kind of pivotal age I think is so important. And we talk a lot about how this nutrition and the healthy foods that they’re eating really helps their brains and their mood and things like that that aren’t quickly kind of connected when people originally think of food, especially at that age. 

Diana Fryc: Do they call you the ice cream lady? 

Kailey Donewald: We definitely give away ice cream on the last day. 

Diana Fryc: That’s the reason why your class is so popular. I think they go in with the intent of free ice cream and then they walk out with a much bigger experience right? 

Kailey Donewald: Exactly! 

Diana Fryc: Anything surprising that you learn? Like, are there things that you learn about what these kids come into the program within their general understanding of nutrition or lack thereof? And then what are you seeing on the back end that you’re proud about? 

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, I think that there’s a huge lack of education with these kids coming in, and I really don’t know if it’s much different than the education I would have had as a fourth grader, just thinking about what I’m eating. Certainly I understood like an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but that probably was the extent of it. So, yeah, what’s really reinforcing is having kids come back and say that they — so we send them home with these recipes. 

So they’ll say, “Oh, I cooked this recipe at home with my mom,” or things like that where I know that they’re taking this and translating it somehow at home and they always get to take leftovers to share with their families, too. So I think for the kids that are really engaged, it’s really cool to hear that they’re starting to have those types of conversations at home.  

Diana Fryc: I think when you’re thinking of the south side of Chicago now.  

[00:20:03] 

I just still think of south side of Chicago is still kind of an area where there needs to be a lot of TLC. Is this a program that you see exporting out outside of the single school that you’re in? Is the demand there? I mean, it sounds like the need is there.  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s something that we would really like to do right now, that the program is funded through a grant. So I think that if that’s something that other schools can kind of look to and replicate, that this could really be a tremendous offering for a lot more schools, absolutely.  

Diana Fryc: And I think when we originally spoke and talked about this, I mentioned that Kurt Dammeier I hope I’m saying his last name correctly, who owns Beecher’s Cheese. His company has Beecher’s Cheese Funds, a program for fourth graders as well. But I think it’s only a few days, but it’s for the entire Seattle school district. It might even be outside of the school district. So perhaps there’s some additional funding as well. And maybe that’s an opportunity for me to connect. You’re in nondairy. He’s in cheese, but there’s a little love there. And my own children are in the Seattle Public School District and came home with their recipes. And what I can say is, I don’t know if you have a little human at home, but fourth grader come home with a recipe of something that made it school.  

There’s so much pride in the house while they’re making it, they’re demonstrating their knife skills and their wives. Why do you put this much onion and this much? And so I really am a fan. I think it’s a democratization, but I think for anybody, regardless of where your socioeconomic background is, can get some value there, because I think most of our education is still coming from CPG, which is why I’m saying to you, where what can we be doing better as a CPG if everybody is getting their education through advertising and through packaging and retail, perhaps this is a way to kind of help streamline or at least focus the conversation on the home front. That’s pretty great. Now, we talked about packaging here in the very beginning and we’ll talk about it. I just kind of want to talk about why or maybe ask why was it so important? Because it could have been really easy for you to go, “You know what, is not cost effective?” Everybody in Ben and Jerry’s, if they’re not doing it, why should I. Why do you care about this so much?  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. Coming into the business, it really was with the goal to change the landscape of food from a nutritional standpoint. I think what I realized very quickly was how big of a role sustainability has in that conversation. And just thinking about our whole news for the brand essentially is Mother Earth and all of her ingredients and taking the lessons that she has and everything as close to its natural form as we can is really hard conversation to have without talking about the health of the planet. And really, we can only be as healthy as where our food comes. So, it all just kind of molds together for me. And I felt like to really have this mission as the brand to be putting out the healthiest product that there is in this category, I just don’t know if we can do that without focusing on the sustainability element as well.  

And so that’s when I just started crunching the numbers with the amount of ice cream that’s consumed in the US alone every year. And knowing all of that is essentially in an ice cream pie to the trash was just very real. So starting this company about four years ago, the technology at least not that I could find it didn’t exist. This 100% plastic free moisture barrier. And so, it’s taken for years both to find the technology as well as build our own volumes and get supplier willing to work with us on this transition as well.  

Diana Fryc: When did the transition go from the non-compostable or recyclable to, is this in the last six to 12 months, is that right or longer?  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, very recent. So I guess in the last two months is when we first launched this packaging. We’ve been working on it for about six to eight months. But for us originally starting out, I couldn’t find the technology. So what I came to market with was still a plastic moisture barrier lining, but the carton itself was post consumer recycled paperboard and a slightly different lid to cut down on the material needed. But yeah, this technology was recently developed. The company that did it is based in the UK and the two things, one, it took them about eight years to even develop it in the first place.  

[00:25:00] 

And then the second biggest holdup is all the certifications required, and that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. So you’re asking why more people haven’t developed this? It’s really specialized and really costly to prove that it’s a 100% plastic free and can be recycled in all of this. So definitely been a long time coming and we’re really excited that it exists now and very hopeful more companies will take action on it.  

Diana Fryc: Now, are you taking the lead on this? Like I spoke with her name escapes me, with Sun and Swell recently, and she’s also her brand is all about that compostable plastic packaging. And I’m excited that the technology has evolved to that that place. Are you seeing people come to you now and saying, how did you do this? Like, are you helping people, maybe even outside of category start to transition to making these changes for their products?  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, absolutely, I think I get an email a day, probably of people asking who our supplier is, how we did this. And yeah, it’s definitely across categories. So we’re doing everything we can to connect them and introduce them to the suppliers. And really, it does have a lot of applications outside of just being used for ice cream pie. So it’s freezer safe, but it’s also heat safe, heat sealable, oven safe, shelf stable and can be used in a lot of different ways.  

Diana Fryc: This sounds like a crazy question because you’ve tackled so much in the last six to 12 months, but I’m wondering, with all the changes and people are now starting to go back to work and a set of new habits are going to be created once again. What are you looking forward to? And what is Sacred Serve? What’s next for Sacred Serve in this next time? Is it steady the course or do you have some objectives that are coming up that you’re wanting to tackle?  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, for us, continued product innovation. We’ll be launching a couple more flavors, but really our goal for 2021 is to just expand our distribution. So essentially we’re pretty located here in the Midwest and we’re getting requests every day. So our goal is certainly to get into more and more stores and keep getting the product out there. So now that we’ve kind of got the base iterations, it’s about really driving that.  

Diana Fryc: Great. We had to reschedule the call. I don’t know, was it a packaging issue from the reschedule or was it… 

Kailey Donewald: I think it was a freezer issue. 

Diana Fryc: Because if it’s not one thing, it’s another, right? I know. So I just love talking about all of this stuff, especially the environmental component. And of course, I wouldn’t be working in this category if I didn’t believe in that food can be, I hate saying food is medicine because it’s not, but it has that functionality, particularly for those. And I love seeing that medicine has expanded past this. Like, if you have an ailment that medication is the treatment and sometimes it’s a lifestyle change. And so I love seeing that further development. And I thank you for the work that you’re doing in that regard. And I love that it’s like not just the ice cream in the premium this, but it’s the walking down funnel down chain and getting in front of children who have more of an impact on families, I think, than a lot of brands might well actually know. They know.  

Kailey Donewald: They’re targeting them. They know.  

Diana Fryc: Yeah, they know. So thank you for sharing all of that. I have a handful of questions I always like to ask each guest. They’re often the same. One question that is always my most interesting is there are some sort of I call it a happy hour factoid. Is there some sort of like one bit of info that when people hear it, whether it’s about ice cream or packaging or what have you, that you could share with people that they can share at their next happy hour or coffee klatch?  

Kailey Donewald: We’ve already said this, but I think the biggest thing is ice cream pints are not recyclable. That is going to be the best thing that people can share with their friends. And same with the coffee cups, disposable coffee cups. Those are also not recyclable. They’re trash. And the reason it’s so important is that by throwing those in the recycling bin, you’re not just throwing one piece of product, that is trash. You’re rendering that entire recycling bin trash because they’re not going to pull out the one piece of garbage. They’re just going to throw the whole thing in the garbage. And so it just becomes this like really damaging behavior of what they call wish cycling, just essentially wishing that what you’re throwing in the recycling bin is recyclable and not spending the time to figure it out and then kind of rendering all of these bins trash beyond just what you threw in there. 

[00:30:10] 

So it’s oftentimes a lot more beneficial to actually just throw a product in the trash than it is to hope that you can recycle it and throw it in the recycling.  

Diana Fryc: Oh my gosh, girl, you’ve got an ad campaign right there, wish cycling. Just like done, sign the check. It’s off. Lovely. That’s awesome. Thank you. Tell me, I know especially where you are, it’s the last four years you’re growing your company and you probably have had a lot of mentors. But I wonder if there are any other women leaders or rising stars that are out there that you would love to acknowledge or just give some visibility at this time?  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah. God, there’s so many. I think in my career who I really look to from an innovation standpoint is Amanda, the founder of a company called Moon Juice. And what they’ve really done is spearheaded adaptogens for more of the masses and make it a lot more approachable with some of their blends and tonics. And I think that that is such a powerful movement to make that more accessible and really leverage kind of eastern wisdom and medicine and take some of these herbs and bring them back. And so, that’s a little bit what we’re riding the wave of in terms of consumers recognizing what medicinal mushrooms are. And some of the ingredients that we’re working with is really thanks to a lot of the exposure that she was able to get.  

Diana Fryc: Excellent. What brands or trends are you keeping your eye on right now and why?  

Kailey Donewald: Definitely the functional foods movement watching a lot of trending around keto. That’s a big thing that we’re seeing right now and just the continued movement of plant based. But, yeah, I think for me, I’m paying the most attention to the keto movement because it has gotten so much traction and we are getting actually a lot of pressure to make keto products. But from my standpoint, we won’t do it because it relies on some ingredients that aren’t necessarily good for the gut in order to kind of get that low sugar. So I’m watching it. I’m watching the trend that feels like another just low carb, something that may come and go. But it’s very interesting to me. So I’m kind of waiting to see what consumers are going to land on there.  

Diana Fryc: I think so. Well, we know the American diet or American consumer is accustomed to, I hate to say this word fads, and we are also very shiny new. So we might be keto for five, seven years, but something’s going to come right behind that. And keto has been different things through or called different things over time. So we’ll move to a grateful diet again I’m sure, they’ll come back and it won’t be called keto, it will be called something else. So it’s always interesting to me, as part of our work, when we’re forecasting consumer trends, we kind of go, okay, how many more years does this let you know, does this trend have legs and what should we be ready to transition to help this brand transition to? So I suspect that’s how you’re looking at it as well.  

Kailey Donewald: Yeah, exactly.  

Diana Fryc: How are you keeping yourself sane these days?  

Kailey Donewald: Not well, no, I think that to probably self care practices that I rely on a lot are reflexology. So this was something that I first discovered when I was in Indonesia. A quick little story, if you have time. I was getting reflexology on my feet and the guy. So two years prior to that, I had torn my rotator cuff on my right shoulder. And it had just been something that nagged me all the time. And I never had surgery. So that was that. But I was having reflexology done on my feet. And the way it works is that certain points on your feet correlate with different organs or points on your body. And so the idea is that by putting pressure on those points, you’re kind of healing those different areas on your body. And so this guy was doing a lot of pressure. But I loved it. And that’s always I want, like, deep tissue. And so he got to this one spot on my left foot and I’ve never spoken up during massage because I like it as hard as they can do. And if I speak up, then they lower the pressure and then it’s never the same. So I just don’t say anything. But this was the first time that I was like, this is so, so painful that I actually do have to say something. And so I was like, we’re not speaking the same language, but I was basically just like, can you do less pressure, that point really hurts.  

[00:35:00] 

And he just laughed. And he looked at me and he was like, “Well, you must have something wrong with your right shoulder.” And I just was like, again, we’re not speaking the same language. This man has never seen me before. I didn’t come in with my arm in a sling. It’s a two year old injury. So there’s really genuinely no other way he could have known that. And so the fact that he was able to read my body and understand that, like, I do need to be pressing harder on this point because it is in some way healing what’s in my shoulder just really made me believe. And so it was very cheap to do those massages abroad. But now that I’ve been back in the States, they do still have these $28 for an hour a reflexology sessions.  

And so I really do try and go twice a month because I have found from, I guess what’s the word? It’s not inflammation, but it’s draining lymphatic drainage. So the lymphatic drainage coupled with just the stress relief that comes from it, has been so beneficial for my body. So I definitely do that practice. And then recently I’ve been also doing some infrared sauna sessions which you can find around town as well, which are really good as well for inflammation and healing and detoxing. So those have been my two biggest things to stay sane these days and I’m getting self-care.  

Diana Fryc: Wow. So you are girl. You’re committed to it. Interesting enough this year we decided, believe it or not, Costco sells infrared saunas for the home and we’ve got a wee one in our house and my husband swears by it. He said it’s so worth it. He’s in there I almost every day. And so is pretty great. And it’s interesting to hear other people are into it too. So now listen, if anybody’s wanting to talk to you about your product, about packaging, about Indonesia, how do you want them to connect with you? LinkedIn or through your website?  

Kailey Donewald: All the above. LinkedIn is great. Or they can just send us an email directly to hello@SacredServe.com. Those are two great places. Or shoot us a DM on Instagram. I’m the one monitoring all of this, so I will respond.  

Diana Fryc: One of your 47 hats I think. Kailey, I really appreciate your time today and sharing about your journey and what you’re up. Your give back is grand, like you are fully committed to giving back in so many different ways and I know you won’t be able to do that forever. But for right now, I hope that’s not too stressful because I hear that a lot of people are benefiting from it. So thank you for that.  

Kailey Donewald: Absolutely. Thank you.  

Diana Fryc: All right. Well, we’ll catch you next time. Maybe we’ll catch you at Expo East?  

Kailey Donewald: I think so.  

Diana Fryc: All right. We’re going to have to have a cheers or something, at least a high five or high elbow. Whatever we’re doing in September, would be nice to see you in person. All right, have a great rest of your day, everyone. 

This episode is sponsored by Retail Voodoo, a creative marketing firm specializing in growing fixing and reinventing brands in the food, beverage, wellness and fitness industries. If your natural’s brand is in need of positioning, package design or marketing activation, we’re here to help. You can find more information at retail-voodoo.com. And so there you go. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Thank you so much for hanging out with us today. And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to this channel and share with your network. Until next time, be well and do gooder.  

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Diana Fryc

For Diana, a fierce determination to pursue what’s right is rooted in her DNA. The daughter of parents who endured unimaginable hardship before emigrating from Eastern Europe to the U.S., she is built for a higher purpose. Starting with an experience working with Jane Goodall to source sustainably made paper, she went on to a career helping Corporate America normalize the use of environmentally responsible products and materials before coming to Retail Voodoo.

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