According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 32 million people in the US have food allergies, which means allergy friendly food brands not only have a large audience base, but are also necessities. With the Halloween season approaching, here are some of the top allergy friendly food companies to watch out for.
Partake Foods has become one of the most popular allergy friendly food brands and it recently secured $11.5 million in a Series B funding round. This investment brings the company’s total funding to $21.3 million since it was founded in 2016. It also made founder and CEO Denise Woodard the first Black woman to raise over $1 million publicly for a consumer-packaged goods (CPG) startup.
Partake was first envisioned when Woodard’s daughter began developing food allergies and she couldn’t find snack food options that stood out to her. Not only that, but she felt that allergy friendly food brands weren’t effectively reaching consumers outside of the allergy friendly space. Having worked with emerging brands at Coca-Cola, Woodard decided to try it herself.
After leaving Coca-Cola, she founded Partake with a mission to create an allergy friendly food brand that prioritizes taste and ingredients. The brand offers a variety of allergen-free snacks, including cookies, baking mixes and breakfast mixes, which can be found online and in over 9,000 retail stores. With strong retail presence in Kroger, Sprouts, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods, Partake is hard to miss.
Founded in 2001 and acquired by food giant Mondelez International for $81 million in 2015, Enjoy Life has become North America’s largest allergy friendly food brand, offering sweet and savory snacks free from gluten and common food allergens. The purchase also enabled Enjoy Life to relocate production from suburban Chicago to a 200,000 square-foot facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Enjoy Life runs its own dedicated facility with some of the strictest protocols in the industry for keeping products free of nuts, dairy, gluten, soy and other top allergens. The company has benefited from the economies of scale that Mondelez has offered, with the corporation simply offering support while letting its successful purchase run business as usual.
As far as products go, Enjoy Life’s offerings are extensive. On the sweet side, the company offers baking chocolate, cookies, brownies, chocolate and chewy bars, seed and fruit mixes and more. On the savory side, Enjoy Life sells six flavors of lentil chips, including dairy-free cheddar and garlic and parmesan. The brand’s products can be found online and in retailers across North America.
While not as widespread as Partake or Enjoy Life, Free2b Foods is another allergy friendly food brand that offers sweet treats free from the nine major allergens. However, it didn’t start off as a fully allergy friendly brand. In 2016, Free2b made the transition into a fully dairy-free company, which meant a reformulation of its most popular product: chocolate cups.
Since then, the company’s facility has been free of 12 allergens, meaning that peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, soy, gluten, egg, fish, shellfish, corn, sesame, coconut and mustard are never allowed in production. It began using organic rice syrup powder in place of milk powder for its chocolate cups, along with other allergen-free ingredients.
Free2b offers a variety of confectionary products, including Sun Cups (made with sunflower butter), baking and melting wafers, Crunchsters (a savory, crunchy snack mix) and a limited-edition Halloween Bag O’ Treats.