Happy Family: Investing for the Future

What strategic and operational challenges lie ahead for innovative start-up Happy Family, a leading producer of organic baby foods?

Carri Chan, Fanyin Zheng  | Spring 2020
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Shazi Visram graduated from Columbia Business School in May 2004 and founded Happy Family organic baby food company two years later with a mission to “change the trajectory of children’s health through nutrition.” The company launched in 2006 with a line of frozen organic baby foods, switching to an innovative package design --pouched packaging-- in 2009. Gaining the attention of both investors and consumers—and praised for its commitment to quality control, Happy Family experienced impressive growth. In 2018 Visram, who had been called a “rock star CEO” by then-President Obama, stepped down and appointed Anne Larraway to lead the company. By 2019, Happy Family was the largest player in the organic baby strained/wet food market and the third largest player in the total US strained/wet baby food market—and pouches, which were virtually unheard of when Happy Family began selling them, made up an estimated 25% of the baby food market. This case asks students to consider what challenges might lie ahead for Happy Family —and how to continue its path to success.

Case ID: 200203
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note, Excel Spreadsheets , Happy Family Instructor Spreadsheet

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