PRESS RELEASE: ZEGO Free From Nutrition Bars
ZEGO, the safe food labelling pioneer, expands its batch-level food safety and smart packaging system, adding to its line of superfood snacks Free From allergens and other commonly avoided ingredients. Calls on consumers to demand other companies improve testing and transparency.
March 5, 2017. “Free From” food shoppers, people who purchase based on what is NOT in a food product (like allergens, gluten, GMOs or sugar) are driving the fastest growing food category, predicted to grow 18% year-over-year through 2020.
And, though many companies meet a few Free From attributes, ZEGO stands out as the only one meeting most all the common needs of this consumer group with pioneering batch level safety and dedication to nutrition and social responsibility.
Product Launch: ZEGO is expanding its line of Free From superfood nutrition bars from three to twelve flavors to meet the dietary needs and taste preferences of more consumers. In addition to its original “Seeds + Fruit” recipes made from sunflower butter in flavors like Fudgy Chocolate and Coconut Ribbon, it is adding a line of “Just Fruit” bars without seeds, and “Fruit + Chia” bars made from 100% Oregon, Washington and California fruit. The new flavors – pear, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, and raspberry — have only 2-3 fruit ingredients and no added sugars. ZEGO’s new flavors will be available starting in April 2017.
Setting the high watermark in Free From. Next to their superior taste and nutrition, two specific elements make ZEGO the defining Free From company:
- Clean Nutrition
- minimally-processed ingredients free of all the 14 most common allergens except coconut
- free of ingredients that can cause gastro-intestinal discomfort, like raw oats, inulin and puffed protein bits common in other bars
- little-to-no added sweetener
- Pioneering Safety
- every batch tested for cross contact with the four most common allergens (peanut, almond, soy, milk) and gluten
- customers have access to each bar’s batch test results through the QR code on every package.
Colleen Kavanagh, ZEGO’s founder and CEO, is Celiac and her children have various food allergies and intolerances, so she knows the value of this type of testing in keeping food sensitive consumers safe. She advocates that if the food industry takes advantage of technology to minimize cross contact risk in their own products, they will in turn help clean up the entire food chain.
“If a company doesn’t know a batch of its product has had cross contact with allergens or gluten,” ZEGO’s CEO Kavanagh said, “it can’t take steps to eliminate the contamination from its supply chain. Cross contact can happen anywhere from field to factory, so you can’t assume a Free From factory always produces cross contamination-free products. You have to test.”
“In an age where we can wear computers on our wrist, shouldn’t we be using testing and smart packaging technology to give consumers data of life-or-death importance?”
New Pesticide Project. On broader food safety concerns, ZEGO is announcing a new pesticide project aimed at minimizing glyphosate residue in the food chain and educating consumers about its prevalence, which is used in RoundUp.
“Glyphosate sneaks into all our food, including organic, because it is in the rainwater,” said Kavanagh, “so we test our core ingredients for glyphosate residue and seek suppliers that will minimize our customers exposure in both our organic and conventional products.”
Calling on Consumer to Advocate for Change. Kavanagh is leveraging her company to fuel a consumer-lead movement aimed at cleaning the food supply from farm to factory to table. To this end, every ZEGO box has a “Call to Action” on it asking consumers to email other companies they buy from to ask for the same kind of transparency and food safety ZEGO provides.
“After 20 years in nutrition advocacy,” Kavanagh said, “I’m convinced only consumer demand can bring about large-scale food system reform. I aim to give consumers the information they need to bring about that change.”
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