Imagine. You’ve recently lost your job and your infant (going on toddler) has a medical emergency that uncovers and undiagnosed condition. You child has a life-threatening allergy to several of the top known allergens. You have been relying on donations from the food services to bridge the unemployment gap. Most of the products you have access to at the food bank are filled with allergens you cannot have in your home. And your grocery bill, has just tripled from the new products you are putting in your cart. What do you do?
If you are Emily Brown, Founder and CEO of the Food Equality Initiative, you start a movement. The story of Emily and her family is a reality for many families around the world. These BFY allergen-free consumers that have (modest) incomes/budgets, are the least fickle and most loyal consumers in the market. And yet – brands are not paying attention to them. A missed opportunity by the naturals community that collectively identifies their target consumer as white, suburban, and middle- to upper-income families.
This episode exposes an opportunity for brands to see and fill the unmet needs of families most in need of their brands expertise.
In this episode, we learn:
- What the Food Equality Initiative program is.
- The practical and financial impacts on a family with a member living with a food allergy.
- The percentage of families suffering from life-threatening food allergies across different races and ethnicities.
- Why families in need, especially those with allergies, are the most loyal consumers in the marketplace.
- Why families in need are afraid to ask for help.
- How to understand the spending mindset of families with the leanest budgets.
- How technology is changing the way they care for families in need.
- How the Food Equality Initiative is partnering with brands and federal nutrition programs to educate and increase awareness about support programs.
The Unseen, Unheard and Misunderstood Naturals Consumer featuring Emily Brown, Food Equality Initiative
About Emily Brown:
Emily Brown is an expert at turning adversity into opportunity. She is Founder and CEO of Food Equality Initiative, Inc.(FEI), a Kansas nonprofit founded in 2014 to address disparities in access to allergy friendly foods. Under her leadership, FEI established the nation’s first allergy friendly and gluten free food pantry. Since then, FEI has become a leader in the movement to increase access to healthy “free-from” foods and has distributed over $100,000 worth of foods to families in Kansas City.
Not wanting her efforts to simply be a “band aid” to an increasingly widespread health issue, Emily works to increase education, policy change and civic engagement to create real systemic change in the fight against access to safe and healthy food. Emily regularly shares her passion and experience as a national speaker under her platform Emily Brown Speaks. Promoting all forms of healthy food accesses including fresh fruits and vegetables, allergy friendly options and breastmilk; the first food.
Active in her community, Emily regularly participates in the Greater KC Food Policy Coalition, is Co-Chair of Children’s Mercy Hospital’s (CMH) Food Allergy Family Patient Advisory Council (FAFPAC),CMH Family Advisory Board(FAB), CMH Hunger-Free Hospital Taskforce, Secretary of the Eugene Ware Elementary PTA and member of the KU Medical School Admissions Task Force.
Emily resides in Kansas City, KS with her family where she enjoys gardening, cooking with love and a good book.
Food Equality Initiative – Founded in 2014 by Emily Brown, Food Equality Initiative (FEI) is the nation’s leading organization working to increase access to allergy friendly and gluten free foods to individuals who need them the most. FEI is a registered 501(c)(3) that collaborates with healthcare providers, local and national nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools and food manufacturers to help clients.
Free-From Foods Have Become a Movement – Food Processing