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Eat, Play, Love with Ella’s Kitchen

“Don’t play with your food” may be a phrase you heard as a child, or perhaps have said to your own children. As it turns out, children really should be playing with their food. Because when they do – especially with vegetables – they’re more likely to eat them later in the day and in the years to follow. 

Today, 30% of UK children are classified as overweight or obese by the time they turn 5. Ella’s Kitchen, the UK’s number one baby food brand, believes intervention is coming too late. The company’s purpose–to improve children’s lives through developing healthy relationships with food–started with founder Paul Lindley in 2006 and lives on today with CEO Mark Cuddigan. Determined to raise the next generation, Ella’s Kitchen has marched on the House of Parliament with children, engaged retailers, launched new products, made healthy products more affordable, and launched informative campaigns. In addition to caring for the health of their little consumers, Ella’s Kitchen is implementing sustainable practices into operations and bringing its supply chain partners along for the journey. 

We invited Mark Cuddigan, CEO of Ella’s Kitchen, to share how he advanced the company’s purpose and sustainability initiatives since taking over from Lindley. 

Listen for Mark’s insights on:

  • How a new CEO can sustain and advance a company’s purpose while leaving their own mark after the departure of a founder. 
  • How to maintain a values-based culture after a company has been acquired. 
  • How to help supply chain partners adopt sustainable and purpose-driven practices. 
  • Why it’s sometimes okay to take a financial loss if an investment advances purpose over the long term. 

Links & Notes

  • 00:00 – Welcome to Purpose 360
  • 00:13 – Mark Cuddigan from Ella’s Kitchen
  • 05:15 – Mark’s Background & Ella’s Kitchen
  • 08:02 – Influenced by Kids
  • 09:59 – What Is Weaning?
  • 10:50 – Communicating Health
  • 15:05 – Hearing From Parents
  • 17:33 – Retaining Their Purpose After Acquisition
  • 20:18 – Sustainability
  • 21:30 – B-Corp Certification
  • 25:49 – Maximizing Shareholder Return
  • 27:08 – Advocacy
  • 31:29 – Supply Chain Partners
  • 36:17 – Balancing Sides of Your Purpose
  • 39:15 – Eat Play Love
  • 43:10 – It’s Not About Profits
  • 45:33 – Autonomy
  • 52:03 – Insights
  • 53:28 – Last Thoughts
  • 54:58 – Wrap Up

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Business is an unlikely hero: a force for good working to solve society's most pressing challenges, while boosting bottom line. This is social purpose at work. And it's a dynamic journey.

Purpose 360 is a masterclass in unlocking the potential of social purpose to ignite business and social impact. We illuminate the growing impacts of purpose, from engaging employees and fostering deeper consumer loyalty to inspiring product innovation and increasing market share.