Simple Mills - Company of the Year
Company: Simple Mills, Chicago, IL
Entry Submitted By: Jill Schmidt PR
Company Description: Simple Mills specializes in next-generation natural baking mixes, crackers and frosting products that are free of GMOs, gluten, soy, grain, dairy, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers. In the vanguard of today’s clean food movement, Simple Mills has quickly gained market share by focusing on simple, non-allergenic ingredients that set a benchmark for taste in their categories.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year – Consumer Products – More Than 10 Employees
Nomination Title: Simple Mills
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Simple Mills, a provider of natural baking mixes, crackers, cookies and frostings, is shaping the next generation of natural foods with the ONLY products in their category that are free of gluten, grains, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers. The company has dramatically increased its product line, distribution and market share in the last year, addressing increasing consumer demands for “cleaner” and more nutritious foods. Achievements in the last 12 months have included:
INCREASED MARKET SHARE – According to the latest industry data, Simple Mills now ranks as the #1 largest natural baking mix brand by both total units and total dollars sold as well as the #2 largest natural cracker brand by total units sold. Significantly, other brands are either growing slowly or declining. In crackers, for example, the company saw a 1,751% jump in dollar sales in the 52 weeks ended June 18, 2017, while the next top brand in the top 10 grew only 17%. Eight out of the top 10 brands in the category showed declining market share, while Simple Mills gained 70% more market share.
NEW CRACKER, FROSTING AND COOKIE INTRODUCTIONS – In the past year, Simple Mills has added 12SKUs including two organic frostings, two almond flour crackers, four sprouted seed crackers and four cookie varieties – all with the same simple, “clean,” whole-food ingredients as earlier product lines. Simple Mills ORGANIC FROSTINGS are made with half the sugar RC1of most other brands. Simple Mills SPROUTED SEED CRACKERS are made from a base blend of sprouted sunflower, flax and chia seeds that increases nutrient absorption by removing the outer layer of the seeds that limits vitamin and mineral availability to the body. Simple Mills READY-TO-EAT CRUNCHY COOKIES contain just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar.
7,500-STORE DISTRIBUTION MILESTONE – Store count soared from nearly 4,000 conventional and natural grocery stores a year ago to 7,500 today, marking an 87% year-over-year increase and making Simple Mills among the most widely distributed startups in its category. Distribution ranges from Whole Foods to Target, Albertson/Safeway, Costco, Jewel, Meijer, Sprouts, Wegman and many others. The company’s crackers alone are sold in 4,000+ stores with a 33% surge in store count in the last six months – a major achievement for a 16-month-old product line. All products are also sold online.
AWARDS - Simple Mills products have earned awards from multiple sources in the past 12 months, including Good Housekeeping, Prevention, Self, Clean Eating, Delicious Living, Paleo Magazine, Yoga Journal and more. The brand also received a “Fab Five” rating on Instacart as one of the top trending food products for 2017.
Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):
Katlin Smith is the founder and CEO of Simple Mills, a Chicago-based company at the forefront of the clean food movement. Named to the Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. 30 Under 30, and Progressive Grocer Top Woman in Grocery lists in 2017, Smith began her career as a Deloitte Consulting management consultant, launched Simple Mills in 2012, and secured her first retail store placements in 2013. Since then she has built Simple Mills into a leading brand in the category with baking mixes, crackers, cookies and frostings that are free of gluten, grains, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers. Smith is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Choose one (even if both apply): The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.