Industry must do more than just slap warning labels on food, Zego founders say

After a successful Indiegogo campaign, San Francisco-based Zego Snacks is entering the market nationally with a protein bar that is free of nuts, soy, dairy and gluten in hopes of making allergy-friendly products more accessible to those on the go.

After a successful Indiegogo campaign, San Francisco-based Zego Snacks is entering the market nationally with a protein bar that is free of nuts, soy, dairy and gluten in hopes of making allergy-friendly products more accessible to those on the go.

The founders of Zego, Colleen Kavanagh and Jonathan Shambroom, say that the food industry doesn’t do enough to help allergy sufferers. Kavanagh is a mother of three children who have varying food allergies, while she herself has celiac disease and runs a nonprofit dedicated to improving access to healthy foods for low-income children. Shambroom is a cyclist and former tech industry executive who wants the protein bars to help cater to the healthy lifestyle athletes from his former industry. Together, the two have become vocal advocates for allergy-friendly foods and labeling.

They say that the industry norm of just slapping on “warning labels” and calling it done is not sufficient. With the growing number of food allergy sufferers and the potentially fatal results an allergy can have, the Zego founders say more must be done.

After a successful Indiegogo campaign to raise $50,000 in start-up costs, Zego opened its doors and began selling products in August of 2013 and is now selling nationally on Amazon.com. The initial funding source, about 537 people, are now regular customers and have become a word-of-mouth sales force as well, bringing more orders in from friends and family.

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