Small Business Spotlight
Small Business Summer Spotlights: Building a Trusted Brand With Once Upon A Farm
This summer, Instacart is celebrating small businesses with our Small Business Summer Spotlights series. We know small businesses are the heart of their communities, and we’re proud to help them thrive and grow. Every Friday, we’ll introduce you to one of our many small business partners, so check back each week for the latest installment.
Once Upon A Farm provides organic, crave-worthy snacks and meals for children of all ages. We recently sat down with the company’s CMO, Katie Marston, at Natural Products Expo West to learn more about Once Upon a Farm’s purpose-driven story, the growth marketing strategies fueling their business, and how Instacart has helped support that growth.
Based in Berkeley, California, Once Upon A Farm is a disruptor in the baby food and kids snacking space. The company works closely with trusted organic farms to source only the best ingredients. They are USDA Certified Organic and NON-GMO Project verified. At the helm is Co-Founder and CEO John Foraker, alongside Co-Founders Jennifer Garner, and Cassandra Curtis.
“Once Upon A Farm is on a mission to create systemic change in childhood nutrition,” said Katie Marston. “Some of our best known products include organic, cold-pressed pouches and new, freshly frozen plant rich meals.”
Once Upon A Farm also teams up with certified health and nutrition experts to provide support and education to customers who are navigating all the stages of parenthood. From microbiome specialists to pediatricians and occupational therapists, the company has built a network of partners empowering the brand to continue being an ally for parents.
Growing Without Compromise
Once Upon a Farm has made it their mission to make doing better—and eating better—easy by offering delicious and nutritious snacks and meals for kids of all ages. Not losing sight of the value healthy snacking brings to families, while providing more access to more people has been crucial for Once Upon A Farm’s journey. Every product is organic, non-GMO, and dairy-free with no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives.
“We wanted to ensure there was always strength and meaning between our brand and customer,” said Marston. “As a purpose-driven brand, we want to understand our audience through research and find opportunities to connect with them on the shelf and online.”
Once Upon a Farm has developed a robust direct-to-consumer and ecommerce platform, and is now in over 11,000 retail stores in North America.
The Once Upon a Farm team has worked closely with Instacart to better understand consumer preferences and ensure the company made investments in the right areas of the marketing funnel. That means the team can track repeat customers and purchase size to make it easier for consumers to find exactly what they’re looking for.
“Our team is dedicated to ensure that the brand messaging is consistent and the content strategy is customized for different channels,” Marston continued. “Complementing Instacart’s beta programs, we also made the decision to grow TikTok content and evolve our influencer marketing program.”
“We spend time and effort on establishing a best-in-class presence with online retailers,” said Marston. “Early on in our business, Once Upon A Farm made the upfront investments in optimized content and copy, plus video content when possible. As our budget grew, we established strong partners that could align with our growing business. Our partnership with Instacart is a prime example.”
In 2022, Once Upon A Farm was one of the fastest-growing emerging brands on the Instacart Marketplace. And to continue meeting the growing demand of parents seeking fresh food and clean snack options, Once Upon a Farm successfully launched their new Immunity Blends which are now available nationwide in major retail stores.
Marston shared, “As inflationary pressures continue, and consumer spending habits become constrained, we have sharpened our focus on value and accessibility. Our customers are busy and pride themselves on being present parents who want convenience without compromise. As their ally, Once Upon a Farm delivers on this promise across our portfolio.”
Today, Once Upon A Farm is available direct-to-consumer as well as through Instacart’s retail partners. Learn more about Once Upon A Farm here, and follow them on Instagram. To learn more about Instacart Ads and our work with emerging brands, visit https://www.instacart.com/company/ads/smb.
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