“We can shape our kid’s palates, we can get them to love vegetables and we can get them to love adventurous flavors!” – Shibani Baluja, Founder of Lil’Gourmets
Shibani Baluja, the driving force behind Lil’Gourmets, embarked on a mission to revolutionize the baby food industry. The founder of this fresh, organic, and globally inspired baby food brand shared insights from her journey to success with us.
Struggling to find a suitable baby food option for her children, Shibani, decided to fill the gap in the market. Drawing on her experience at Kraft Foods, she identified a white space for healthy, organic, veggie-focused baby foods. With the support of her network, she navigated the complexities of product development and commercialization.
Engaging retailers posed challenges, but Shibani’s local approach, pounding the pavement in Chicago, face-to-face meetings and data-backed presentations secured partnerships. But, building a category from scratch presented hurdles; one of the biggest being educating consumers on where to find Lil’Gourmets in store, since the brand is kept in the refrigerated section unlike most of the category.
Shibani’s commitment to using data in her storytelling has been instrumental in showcasing the demand for vegetable-forward options. Further innovation work with NIQ’s BASES team led to a rebrand aligned with consumer expectations.
Shibani envisions Lil’Gourmets diversifying into puffs, bars, and innovative formulas, focusing on delivering veggies, nutrients, and flavor.
In the evolving landscape of baby food, Shibani Baluja and
Lil’Gourmets exemplifies the transformative power of passion, persistence, and a commitment to meeting the changing needs of parents and their little ones.
Watch Lil’Gourmet in the 2023 NIQ Founder’s Pitch Slam
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