Food Service & Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Small Business & Startups

Food maker earns non-GMO seal

March 13, 2014
| By Pete Daly |
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A young Kalamazoo-based company dedicated to making minimally processed foods has received its first verification from the Non-GMO Project.

Simply Eight LLC now has the official Non-GMO Project Verification seal on its Real Chocolate Chip Cookies, with additional products currently under review.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Bellingham, Wash., which said it provides the only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO (genetically modified organism) food and products made in North America.

Simply Eight was founded by former Kellogg marketing professional Ernie Pang and got its first product on the shelves at Meijer and Kroger stores in Michigan a little over a year ago. Three of the four-person team that established Simply Eight about three years ago are former Kellogg employees. The fourth was a buyer for Spartan Stores.

“It has been an incredibly long process, but getting this first verification is something our company is extremely proud of,” said Pang, the visionary behind the company’s simplicity branding. “We share the concerns surrounding GMOs. Therefore, we want to ensure every product we make is not only simple in ingredients but also made without genetically modified ingredients. We are currently working diligently with the Non-GMO Project to verify our remaining three products.”

Each of Simply Eight’s products contains eight or fewer common ingredients. The company said its philosophy challenges the status quo of the processed foods industry.

“We believe Simply Eight’s simple and recognizable ingredients make it easier for shoppers to find more wholesome, less processed foods. We also believe carrying the Non-GMO Project Verified seal assures our shoppers of our voluntary commitment to GMO avoidance,” said Pang.

Simply Eight’s current product line consists of cookies and chewy granola bars, both in two flavor varieties: Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

The company said all its products are made with all-natural ingredients — without any artificial preservatives/flavors/colors, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, GMOs or trans fat.

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