REBECCA BAINER — General Assignment Reporter
What started as a passion for global health issues has now grown into a successful company known as Two Degrees, which has seen tremendous growth over the past 11 months. Creator Will Hauser said he has plans to continue expansion.
According to the Two Degrees website, the company makes food bars that are gluten-free, vegan and low in sodium. And for every bar purchased, a nutrition pack is sent to a hungry child as part of the mission to feed 200 million children that suffer from malnourishment.
Hauser said the company was launched in January of this year and as of now, the bars are in every Whole Foods Market in the country as well as retailers ranging from coffee shops, yoga studios, gyms, museums and hospitals.
“There’s people selling Two Degrees who have never before sold a food product,” said Hauser. “This is all since January. That’s not a traditional path for a new start-up food company.”
Two Degrees has also made its mark on college campuses, with coverage on 60 campuses through Barnes and Noble, said Hauser, and bars in 161 college bookstores.
“College campuses are a really, really big opportunity for us,” said Hauser. “College students are on the go and they want healthy snacks and they care about the cause.”
Hauser said he and his partner wanted to help fight childhood malnutrition so they started this company because current treatments were only reaching a fraction of affected children.
“There are over 200 million malnourished kids in the world,” said Hauser. “We think it’s unacceptable. There are solutions and treatments that exist that cure malnutrition with up to 95 percent success rates.”
The company works with partners to distribute nutrition packs in Malawi, Kenya, Somalia, and Haiti because these four countries are the four most in need. The nutrition packs are university-recognized as the treatment for malnutrition by the world health organization, said Hauser.
“It’s basically fortified peanut butter; it’s a pretty simple formulation,” said Hauser. “We want to give away tens of millions of nutrition packs. We want to make a real impact on this issue.”
Teal Brown, director of partnership, has been working with the company for six months and said she feels the company is successful because people have trust in it.
“When you talk to people and you say this is what we’re doing, we can both be candid about exactly what we’re doing, because we have this transparent, very real model,” said Brown. “We can say this is why it works, that data. That background gives people confidence so more and more people join on board.”
Brown said the company works with four different non-profit partners to access the children that need the help.
“I think everyone here is feeling really encouraged right now because we’ve been able to begin working with some large groups, like Whole Foods, large non-profits, and that kind of stability gives us the strength,” said Brown. “There’s nowhere but up to go and people are paying attention, people are turning around and they’re listening.”
Hauser said there are plans to move up and expand in the near future and in addition to the three flavors of chocolate peanut, cherry almond, and apple pecan, a chocolate banana flavor will be out soon.
“Bars are our first product,” said Hauser. “In the near future you can expect to see us launch other foods.”
The company has developed a campus director program where students at 60 schools across the country are sales and marketing representatives. Any students interested can find information at TwoDegreesfood.com.
“I think it’s hopefully a very simple message that will resonate,” said Hauser, “that for every bar that we sell we give a nutrition pack to a malnourished child. It’s hopefully a simple and powerful message.”