DURHAM, NC. — Pairwise, a food technology and gene editing startup, unveiled plans to enter the produce space with Conscious Foods, a consumer brand offering fruits and vegetables.
Set to land on grocery store shelves next year in the form of packaged salads, the first product from Conscious Foods will be a line of leafy salad greens called Conscious Greens. The company offered a taste of the nutrient-dense greens at Future Food-Tech, an innovation summit taking place March 24-25 in San Francisco. Conscious Greens were developed with the variety-seeking salad consumer in mind and come in both green and purple colors, according to Pairwise.
The company also is combining its gene editing capabilities with crop science and data techniques to develop seedless blackberries, black raspberries and pitless cherries to be sold under the Conscious Foods label.
“When my co-founders and I started the company in 2017, we wanted to create a different kind of foodtech company, one that really focused on the end benefits of its product to consumers and customers,” said Haven Baker, chief business officer at Pairwise. “Now, in 2022, we believe that the best way to realize this vision is by launching a purpose-driven consumer brand.”
Conscious Foods will focus on making fresh produce more convenient and accessible, added Megan Thomas, head of marketing at Pairwise. Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she said just 1 in 10 consumers currently eat the daily recommended amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. To help change that figure, Conscious Foods is forming a nutrition advisory panel that will work with the brand to develop new produce items that can be easily integrated into familiar meals and snacks.
“We are excited to bring purpose into the produce aisle,” Ms. Thomas said. “We know that consumers, especially younger adults, are increasingly interested in mission-focused brands.”Pairwise has raised $115 million in funding since launching five years ago, including $90 million in a Series B round last February. The company uses CRISPR technology to develop foods with improved taste, enhanced convenience, increased shelf life, improved yield, simplified harvesting and lengthened season availability.