Expo West Update: Label Evolution, New CFO for Mamma Chia

For a brand that, by most accounts, continues to see booming growth in awareness, trial and sales of its chia products, Mamma Chia remains a brand in constant evolution as it looks to maintain its leadership position in the chia category. Along with a recent label refresh for its beverages, Mamma Chia is planning to debut a new line of whole chia seeds, as well as new varieties for snack and beverage lines at this week’s Natural Products Expo West show. And in the midst of a recently launched round of funding, the company hired a new Chief Financial Officer with deep roots in consumer goods.

Describing the new beverage labels as an “evolution, not revolution,” Mamma Chia CEO and founder Janie Hoffman explained that the company wanted to establish a more cohesive look that would align the products with the rest of its branding and products.

“We feel the new labels offer a very fresh, modern, beautiful and magnetic evolution of the brand,” Hoffman said. “And they allow the Mamma Chia logo to have more shelf presence and pop while maintaining the iconic elements of the brand.”

The new labels feature white font throughout the front of the package, with the exception of the description of the product as a “chia vitality beverage,” which is in yellow. Hoffman said that the new look maintains the current hierarchy as well as the iconic elements of the brand, including its “Aztec Chia Goddess” in the center of the bottle, as well as the addition of the Non-GMO Verified seal. While Mamma Chia will introduce several new products at Expo West, the labels will not hit store shelves until late spring or early summer, Hoffman said.

In addition to two new flavors for its Chia Squeeze Vitality Snacks — Mango Coconut and Wild Raspberry — Mamma Chia plans to add Strawberry Lemonade and Pineapple Coconut varieties to its beverage line. Hoffman described Strawberry Lemonade as the most demanded flavor for Mamma Chia drinks, and while the new varieties will not immediately hit the market, the company’s new line of bagged whole chia is set to make its official debut at Expo West. Already available for sale on its website, the 12 oz. bags come in organic black and organic white chia selections and retail for $11.99.

As Mamma Chia looks to scale production and distribution of its products, the company turned to a longtime CPG veteran to head up its finances.  Last month Bob Crumby joined Mamma Chia as the company as its new CFO, having most recently held the same position with cold-pressed juice company Evolution Fresh. Crumby holds an MBA from UCLA and is a CPA with has over 30 years of experience with branded CPG start‐ups and large multi‐national manufacturers, according to Hoffman.

Crumby will undoubtedly play a critical role in Mamma Chia’s current round of funding, and while Hoffman did not offer details on the total amount that the company is seeking, she described a network of longstanding relationships and angel investors that have enabled the company to “raise a tremendous amount of money in the blink of an eye.”

Amid a whirlwind of booth demos, interviews and meetings at Expo West, Hoffman will discuss Mamma Chia’s road to growth at Expo West as the featured speaker in the show’s Women In Naturals networking event on Saturday. Hoffman will also speak about her upcoming book, “Chia Vitality: 30 Days to Better Health, Greater Vibrancy, and a More Meaningful and Purposeful Life,” which is set to be released in April.