NCA Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Retail and Consumer Products
CEO and co-founder
As CEO and co-founder of Plum Organics, Neil Grimmer created one of the leading suppliers in the national organic baby food market. The idea began when he and his wife had their first baby girl and were struggling with so few healthy organic options for little ones.
Grimmer’s design for babies’ and children’s food in pouches changed the face of children’s food, a market with little innovation for more than 40 years, and ultimately led to the creation of Plum in 2007.
The company had poor performance during the first few years, but Grimmer believed in his vision so completely his energy persuaded his backers to continue. Also, at the time of the launch spouted baby food pouches were so novel that Plum had to buy the necessary production equipment and install it in the U.S. manufacturer’s facilities.
Today, the company has more than 100 employees. Plum products are offered in about 15,000 stores in the U.S. and United Kingdom with plans to expand to new markets in Europe, Australia and Asia.
Grimmer and his team listen to feedback from parents and consumers to create new recipes and products, recently launching a line of products for older children.
Grimmer’s passion and energy are contagious. Known as “Chief Daddy-O,” he knows his team by name, often popping into meetings to offer support and ideas.
He leads what he describes as a “three bottom-line business” — people, planet and profit.
As part of responsible business, the company created the Full Effect program, with the idea that through healthy nutrition children can achieve their full potential. The Super Smoothie was created for children who lack nutrition on a daily basis and is made of core recognizable ingredients. Plum donates about 500,000 Super Smoothies annually.
As a triathlon athlete, Grimmer also has used Plum baby pouches for rapid nutrition in his training and realizes this may provide another avenue for the company.
How to reach: Plum Organics, www.plumorganics.com