“If you can educate a child on great healthy habits from the start, it just continues to build from there,” Vicki Wolf, who helms the LuckyKids program, told NutraIngredients-USA.
The initiative was launched in Q3 last year, building off of LuckyVitamin’s existing, in-house charitable efforts called ‘Wellness at Work,’ where the company’s different departments ran different community outreach programs addressing various issues.
“We’ve always had this program to do charitable work—and last year we thought about doing something we can really stand behind more specifically, because we’ve done a lot of different things in previous years,” said Sam Wolf, Vicki’s son, who is founder of LuckyVitamin.
Today, the company’s energy on many separate charitable projects spread across departments will be “100% focused on the LuckyKids initiative,” Sam added.
Choosing a cause that fits the brand
When strategizing about what cause the company should focus on, Sam said that the company wanted something that they can tell their customers about to get them more involved, hence it had to fit LuckyVitamin’s brand—a family-run business established to ‘spread the wellness,’ as their tagline goes.
The model is simple, 1% of proceeds from their private label product sales will go to the LuckyKids initiative, and from there, it can go to various other projects focused on children’s wellbeing. With every new private label collaboration or product launch comes new opportunities and funding sources for the initiative.
From the funds they generated in 2016, the company finished its first LuckyKids project, a new playground at Silver Springs Martin Luther School, which caters to students recovering from trauma. “It’s a great way to get kids to be active and promote fitness,” Sam said.
From a business perspective, charitable arms focused on local projects within the immediate vicinity such as LuckyKids have been noted to be appealing to today's consumers, who feel more connected to retailers that reflect their community, a survey from C Space found.
And according to branding expert Lisa Hyman, a managing partner at the goodDog Agency, transparency, paired with sharing the results of these efforts, such as through a company's website, is one way that companies can show customers that their charitable projects are genuine.
Employee outings and development
“It’s also a great way to get the company together one day and get out of the office—we try to get the whole company involved,” he added. The around 90 employees of LuckyVitamin are all part of the ‘task force’ to execute LuckyKids projects.
The initiative is still in its infancy, but Vicki and Sam hope it can start conversations and gauge the minds of employees of how the company can contribute to the community within the three pillars of the project—education, nutrition, and fitness—geared toward children.
“There’s a lot of people in the company who have kids who can stand behind supporting this,” Sam added. “It really aligns with our mission in spreading the wellness and sharing our work with people.”