In partnership with Performance Food Group, Pairwise’s Conscious Foods brandwill be the first food made with CRISPR technology in the U.S. market
DURHAM, N.C. – The product is the first food introduced in the U.S. that was developed with CRISPR technology. Conscious Greens Purple Power Baby Greens Blend, which will be co-branded with Performance Food Group’s Peak Fresh Produce brand, is a mix of colorful Superfood leafy greens with a unique, fresh flavor and up to double the nutrition of romaine.*
Using CRISPR technologies to improve taste and nutrition in produce, Conscious Greens are field-grown Superfood greens that eat like lettuce, offering a versatile new option for chefs and salad lovers alike. Conscious Greens derive from nutritiously rich mustard greens and are part of the same family of vegetables as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale. Featuring luxe purple and deep green leaves, Conscious Greens taste great, both in a salad or cooked in an entrée. The blend is now available in select restaurants and outlets in the PFG operator network, including locations in Springfield, Mass., Minneapolis-St. Paul, and St. Louis.
“We’re proud to be bringing the first CRISPR food product to the U.S. We set out to solve an important problem – that most lettuce isn’t very nutritious, and other types of greens are too bitter or too hard to eat. Using CRISPR, we’ve been able to improve new types of nutritious greens to make them more desirable for consumers, and we did it in a quarter of the time of traditional breeding methods,” said Haven Baker, Pairwise Co-founder and Chief Business Officer. “Launching Conscious Greens through this exciting partnership with PFG, is a major milestone in achieving our mission to build a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables,” he continued.
The company has partnered with Performance Food Group Company (PFG), a 137-year-old food service leader known for delivering superior and innovative products to its customers across the US and Canada. PFG will offer the Purple Power Baby Greens Blend co-branded under its premium brand, Peak Fresh Produce, which includes the most consistent, top-quality fruits and vegetables offered by PFG.
“We are committed to bringing innovation to our customers and pleased to partner with Pairwise to help take Conscious Greens products to market,” said Bob Warnock, Vice President of Produce at PFG. “These products are innovative and make a great addition to our existing top-quality line of Peak Fresh Produce products.”
CRISPR is a gene editing technique used to make changes to the DNA of a plant, bush, or tree, to bring out desired characteristics or to dial down undesired characteristics. This process does what the centuries-old practice of crossbreeding could do, but in a much shorter amount of time. All Conscious Foods products are reviewed by the USDA before entering the market and meet or exceed all FDA and state food safety laws and regulations.
“It is exciting to see the first CRISPR food coming to market to address consumers’ demand for nutritious and fun fruits and vegetables,” said Vonnie Estes, Vice President of Innovation at the International Fresh Produce Association. “If we are to reach the goal of doubling the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, offering consumers a wide diversity of fresh products is a must. It also demonstrates how innovative technology can deliver results for our changing climate. We applaud Conscious Foods’ efforts to bring new and clearly differentiated product to the market.”
Conscious Greens will be shipping to U.S. grocery stores later this year, as part of a broader Conscious Foods portfolio of produce developed with CRISPR technology.
In February 2021, Pairwise raised $90 million in a successful series B funding round, bringing total fundraising to $115 million when combined with the series A funding round. In additional to leafy greens, Pairwise is currently developing new types of berries, cherries, and other produce under its brand, Conscious Foods. In five years, the company has grown to over 150 employees, with additional anticipated growth in 2023 as the company enters the Food service and Retail channels.
About Pairwise and Conscious Foods
Driven by the belief that healthy food should be consistently fresh, delicious, and convenient, Conscious Foods is a flagship brand under Pairwise, a mission-driven company that is building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Pairwise brings together leaders in agriculture, technology, and consumer foods to harness the transformative potential of new genomics technologies to create innovative new products. Pairwise is working to develop new varieties of crops, and to partner with organizations that seek to drive innovation across the plant-based economy. Pairwise was founded by Chief Executive Officer Tom Adams and Chief Business Officer Haven Baker, with scientific co-founders J. Keith Joung, Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School; David Liu, Director of the Merkin Institute of Transformative Technologies in Healthcare and Vice-Chair of the Faculty at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; and Feng Zhang, McGovern Investigator and a professorat MIT. For more information, visit https://www.pairwise.com. For more information on Conscious Foods, visit ConsciousFoods.net.
* Nutrition defined as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium, Vitamin B6, Copper, Vitamin K, Protein, Magnesium, and Manganese