Please welcome Ingenuity Brands, a brainfood brand for growing kids

Meet Ingenuity Brands, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: San Francisco

Founding team: Jonathan Wolfson and Mark Brooks

The problem: According to USDA survey data, children ages four to 18 aren’t getting the nutrients they need to support that crucial period of brain development. The study, further supported by research from the World Health Organization and others, found that this age group was only consuming about 20% of the accepted daily standard for Omega-3 DHA/EPA. Not only that, but they’re also largely missing Choline, which supports essential brain “superhighways” as they’re forming. All this evidence points to a data-backed conclusion that kids aren’t getting all the nutrients they need to best support brain development during an important period of growth.

Ingenuity’s solution: Ingenuity Brands, a new company dedicated to food-based brain nutrition, launched Brainiac Kids to offer families food products to address the nutrient gap in kids’ diets. Its first product line, Brainiac Kids supports brain development via an original blend of the Omega-3s DHA, ALA, and Choline in low sugar, high protein yogurts.

Origin story: Jonathan Wolfson and Mark Brooks spent their careers launching new companies — each bringing several large businesses, such as Algenist and Truvia, to market. Jonathan realized the need for a brand like Ingenuity when he and his wife were researching formula options for their newborn. They discovered new research around crucial brain nutrients for infants and saw a hole in the market for food designed to support brain health in older, but still developing, kids. Jonathan and Mark teamed up with pediatricians, neurologists, and nutritionists to develop Ingenuity, and launched with Brainiac Kids.

Why we’re betting on it: Building and scaling a CPG brand is incredibly complex and Jonathan has done this many times over. Jonathan’s deep knowledge of this space and experience bringing these brands to market makes him the best possible person to build a new brand with Ingenuity. Understanding the complexities inherent in supply chain construction, manufacturing, and product development is a given, but taking it a step further, a founder in this space must develop products that appeal to the pickiest customers imaginable: kids. We believe the Ingenuity team has all the expertise and tools necessary to build a major healthy brainfood brand for kids.

Our take: Much has been written about the benefit of proper nutrition for brain health in adults, which has encouraged many of us to add Omega-3’s, healthy fats, rich carbs and proteins to our diets. As grown ups, and especially new parents, work to optimize their diets, we believe they’ll also be a greater push for nutrient-packed food options for kids. Brands like Brainiacs can deliver a great tasting, nutrient-rich option as they research and buy healthy foods to feed their families.

Further reading: Startup launches ‘first food-based brain nutrition brand’ for kids” via Food Dive

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