Jennifer Garner’s Once Upon A Farm Reaches A New Milestone In The Fresh Baby Food Industry

Film and television star Jennifer Garner is no stranger to receiving special recognition for her dedicated work, but these days, the Golden Globe and SAG Award Winner is celebrating some new recognition happening off-screen that is hitting much closer to home.

Once upon a Farm, the leader in the fresh baby and kid snacking category in which Garner is the Co-Founder and the Chief Brand Officer, is the first brand to receive the 1,000 Day Promise Certification from the Clean Label Project for their new Advanced Nutrition Blends. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) classifies the first 1,000 days of a child’s life as critically important to long term health and wellness. So what has put Garner’s Once Upon a Farm team in a position to receive such a rare certification?

“Our new 1,000 Day Promise, it came about because Once Upon a Farm pioneered fresh baby food,” Garner shares exclusively with me at Forbes. “We want absolutely the best for our kids. We really believe every mom makes an inherent promise the minute she has a new baby to do right by them. We want to make that promise as easy to keep as possible for all moms. In order to deliver on that, you’ve got to have full transparency with the company and that’s something that Once upon a Farm has stood for from the beginning.”

Garner goes on to share that in order to receive this level of certification, the products must have no added sugars, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, the inclusion of at least 1/4 serving of vegetables, among other qualifications. She continues by saying that creating fresh products this way sets up the brain, gut, and immune system in children for a healthy life ahead.

John Foraker, Co-Founder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm, joins Garner in pushing for stricter regulations and higher standards on baby food today. Regarding his own conversations with the Clean Label Project, Foraker says, “We’ve been talking about how we can continue to elevate the bar for the whole industry. We were really inspired by Europe. Let’s just move the certification to a higher level that’s inspired by what Europe does and consumers trust that.”

Garner’s initial knowledge and desire to get involved with Once Upon a Farm did not start so much with a business mindset, but initially as a mindful mother. “I know that when my first child was born and I was confronted by the baby food aisle, I just said Oh hell no,” Garner reveals with a laugh. “It’s just gross. I’m just so spoiled with fresh, organic produce and salads and greens and all kinds of goodies and I couldn’t even believe that there’s a cooler for fresh pet food but it’s not even a possibility to have any can or jar that you open of baby food that doesn’t look just like goo or mush.”

Continuing to openly share her early motherhood experiences, Garner recalls, “I was a working mom. I remember I was making this movie The Kingdom and I was nursing and pumping and coming home from fighting in a movie all day to try to carry enough food for the next day and it just didn’t make sense to me. When I found out that this tiny little company Once upon a Farm existed, I got so excited because it just was like Yes, this would’ve solved a problem for me and I so badly want to help other moms solve this problem.

Since co-founding Once Upon a Farm alongside Foraker, Cassandra Curtis, and Ari Raz in 2017, Garner says that their brand’s reach and accessibility is an area of ​​their growth that they are most proud of today. Foraker shares that Once Upon a Farm products have expanded into around 11,000 stores across the US and Canada, with plans in motion to reach even more families. Once Upon A Farm has even partnered with Save the Children to provide a million fresh and nutritious meals to kids across rural America by 2024.

Not only does Garner continue to have an active hand in Once Upon A Farm’s business development and product awareness, she also finds herself naturally bringing her work home with her, literally in a most playful sense.

“Last night, my teenager texted me and said in order to get through this chemistry homework, I’m going to need a pouch,” Garner continued. “And I took her Overnight Oats, which I know are her favorites. And she said ‘Mom, I consider Overnight Oats a meal. I need a pouch that’s a palette cleanser, so I need Wild Rumpus Avocado’ and I was like Oh my gosh, 16 [years old]!

I concluded my conversation with Garner and Foraker by asking them how working beside one another has paved this happy and successful path Once upon a Farm finds itself on today.

Foraker starts by saying, “For us, it has been an incredible experience because Jen allows us to really get our story out and also inspires us in our mission in her role where she’s working every day in this business. It has been an incredible partnership and we’re super excited about the future together to build something that is really continuing to impact and raise the bar on kids everywhere.”

Garner follows up with, “I’ve never been involved with a company at this level where I’m in to win it on a day-to-day basis and inserting myself in places I don’t even belong, just because I get to (laughs) and because John is kind enough to let me in. I’m so just by the mission, driven by the partnership with John, and by this incredible team that we have put together and super excited about the future.”

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