It wouldn’t be hard to fall in love with Vital Farms for its appealingly illustrated and eye-catching egg cartons alone. But the reasons to adore this company go far beyond its decorative labels to the core of its mission—namely, bringing ethically produced eggs, butter and ghee to consumers’ tables. Tracebility is an important pillar of this mission, come to life on the end of each egg carton which lists the name of the farm where the eggs were produced. People can then get a closer look at each farm on the company’s website. Animal welfare is yet another: the hens are all pasture raised on a minimum of 108 square feet (per animal) on small family farms, and the products are all Certified Humane.
We talked to this Certified B Corporation soon after it went public this past July. Here’s what the company had to say about this move and how it is continuing to put mission first.
How does Vital Farms becoming a public company support its mission to promote a more ethical and transparent food system?
Vital Farms was founded on the principles of conscious capitalism, following a model that prioritizes the long-term benefits of our stakeholders (farmers and suppliers, customers and consumers, communities and the environment, crew members and stockholders) in our business decisions. We believe building an enduring brand and business is inextricably linked to delivering on our commitments to stakeholders. Becoming a public company gives us access to the capital markets, which we believe will provide financial flexibility and support our operations, while also giving us the freedom to continue building an ethical food business that represents the change we want to see in the food system.
Elaborate a little on what the company’s commitment to conscious capitalism means for the brand and those who buy its products.
Our commitment to conscious capitalism enables us to fulfill our mission of bringing ethical foods to the table. When consumers buy Vital Farms products, we believe they are supporting a more ethical food system including support for small family farmers, the humane treatment of animals and agricultural practices that are conscious of the environment. We believe our consumers connect with our brand because they love our products, relate to our values and trust our practices.
What has consumer (and retailer) response been to your traceability initiative, which allows people to see the actual farm where their eggs come from?
We have seen such a positive response to our Traceability initiative since the program launched in January. As our company grows, we remain committed to fostering a strong connection between consumers and our brand. Our farm videos have received more than 150,000 views through our Traceability program, which we believe demonstrates that consumers want to feel connected to the small family farms their eggs come from. We also believe transparency within the food system is more important to people now than ever before, because of COVID-19.
You have recently expanded your product line to include the pasture-raised ghee and Egg Bites, do you think innovation is still important to consumers in these uncertain times?
We launched pasture-raised ghee in 2019 so it’s been part of our product portfolio for more than a year. In August 2020, we launched Egg Bites, a new line of single-serve, refrigerated bites made with high-quality ingredients including Vital Farms pasture-raised liquid whole eggs, pasture-raised cheese, humanely raised meats and vegetables. People are staying at home more than usual right now and, for many, their days are busier than ever. We know a growing number of consumers crave a protein-packed breakfast made with fresh ingredients but do not always have the time. Egg Bites were created with an emphasis on convenience for mornings when there isn’t time to cook breakfast from scratch. We intend to continue innovating by continuing to focus on identifying consumer needs and developing products that address these needs.
Mission is more important than ever to consumers, how does your brand Spark Change?
We believe our brand sparks change by prioritizing all stakeholders in our business decisions and building a business that advocates for a more ethical, transparent food system.
Connect with and learn more about Vital Farms in the Spark Change Product Discovery Zone here.