How Thrive Market’s Product Innovators Create Healthy, Affordable Groceries

Last Update: June 15, 2022

When you’re shopping for high-quality, organic food, you may think you have to choose between the values that matter to you and affordable pricing to help you stick to your budget. At Thrive Market, it’s our mission to make healthy,  sustainable groceries accessible to all — and there’s no better example of that than Thrive Market Goods

When you see the Thrive Market label on pantry staples, snacks, condiments, and other foods, it means that our team scoured the planet for the highest quality ingredients, working directly with top-tier producers and suppliers from all over the world. “Our main role is to build a cohesive and focused catalog of products that align with our core values and mission, and are geared towards what matters most to our members,” says Jason Bidart, Vice President of Merchandising for Food at Thrive Market. By focusing on ethical partnerships and environmental sustainability throughout the entire supply chain, the Thrive Market Goods team creates products that are healthier for our members, easier on their wallets, and better for the planet, too. 

The Thrive Market Goods Process 

So, what goes into creating high-quality, affordable pantry essentials? Here’s what the development process looks like for the Thrive Market Goods team.  

Step 1: Innovation 

Every time Thrive Market launches a new branded product — say, an infused maple syrup or regeneratively grown chocolate — you have a product innovator to thank. “Our product innovators are tasked with creating food products for our Thrive Market brand that are best-in-class, innovative, and align with our values and mission,” Bidart says of his team. 

“As a Product Innovator for the Thrive Market brand, I’m responsible for bringing to life the amazing products in our owned brand assortment,” explains Ali Shmid, Product Innovator for Food at Thrive Market. The team aims to create the highest quality groceries for the most affordable prices. That means that products must meet rigorous standards — meaning non-GMO food always, organic and regenerative whenever possible — all at accessible prices. By working closely with suppliers, Shmid and her colleagues develop products that “both meet our strict quality standards and excite our members with fun flavors and formats.”

Step 2: Sourcing

“Unlike most private label brands, we are not just looking to provide the cheapest option,” says Lauren Bondell, Brand Manager for Thrive Market Brands. “We’re looking to provide an option for our members that often can’t be found in the marketplace. Whether that’s direct relationships with farmers, regeneratively grown, or diet-specific products, our passion is creating the best products we can source with the least effect on our planet — and, of course, at an affordable price for our members.” 

By working with smaller farmers and producers, the Thrive Market Goods team is able to create a transparent supply chain every step of the way. The team searches the globe — quite literally — to obtain products straight from the source, especially those that can’t be accessed anywhere else. (For example, our loose leaf teas are sourced from female-run farms in the Himalayas, while our extra virgin olive oil is grown, harvested, and bottled on a single estate in Greece.) They also work to ensure ethical practices are in place; from setting up infrastructure to paying farmers fair wages, the team makes it a priority to ensure that relationships are mutually beneficial for both Thrive Market and the farmers we work with.

Step 3: Packaging 

Packaging is costly and manufacturing lines are often quite limited, which is why it’s so difficult for many smaller companies to switch to more sustainable packaging. In spite of these challenges, the Thrive Market Goods team works to create the most sustainable packaging possible for each new launch. 

Aside from the colorful designs dreamed up by our team of talented graphic designers, the packaging itself is created with sustainability at the forefront. This means that the packaging decision process always involves first working with our partners to understand packaging capabilities for each product. The team considers recycling options and prioritizes packaging that is biodegradable, compostable, or made from recycled materials. 

It’s no secret that plastic is one of the most harmful forms of packaging pollution. Aside from working to limit the amount of plastic used in our products, in 2021, we collaborated with Plastic Bank to measure and offset all plastic associated with packaging for products made by Thrive Market. Today, all of our owned-brand products have certified plastic-neutral packaging through the purchase of collection credits that prevent plastic waste from entering our oceans.

Top Picks From the Thrive Market Goods Team

Now that you know what they do, we asked a few members of the Thrive Market Goods team to share their must-have Thrive Market Goods items (they’re the ones who know them best, after all). 

Name: Ali Schmid
Title: Product Innovator, Food
Favorite Thrive Market Goods product: Thrive Market Organic Blueberry Maple Syrup (coming soon — in the meantime, check out our Organic Infused Maple Syrup, Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean)
Why she loves it: “This item hasn’t hit the virtual shelf yet but it’s already a huge crowd pleaser in my home. Not only is it delicious but it is incredibly versatile. I use it on pancakes, on oatmeal and in cocktails. The formulation is rather simple, but that’s what makes it so unique and allows the quality of ingredients to really shine.” 

Name: Lisa Schilling
Title: Product Innovator, Food
Favorite Thrive Market Goods product: Thrive Market Regeneratively Grown Organic Coconut Oil
Why she loves it: “Coconut oil is a staple in my household; I use it for everything from cooking to skincare. This product exemplifies why I love Thrive Market: we take everyday, bestselling products and elevate them to the highest sustainability standards available.” 

Name: Lauren Bondell 
Title: Brand Manager, Thrive Market Brands 
Favorite Thrive Market Goods product: Thrive Market Regeneratively Grown Coffee, Breakfast Blend
Why she loves it: “I love coffee and want to make sure my morning cup is not only delicious, but also ethically sourced. Our coffee program is regeneratively grown by a co-op of family farmers in Peru. I think the Breakfast Blend is a perfect medium roast coffee, without too much acidity. I am so addicted to it, I prefer to drink coffee at home now! I enjoy my cup with a splash of our Organic Oat Beverage, a teaspoon of Organic Date Syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Nothing starts my day better!” 

Name:  Jason Bidart
Title:  Vice President of Merchandising, Food
Favorite Thrive Market Goods product: Thrive Market Grain-Free Vegan Nacho Tortilla Chips
Why he loves it: “This is one of my favorites because it is our take on a classic snack from a very big chip brand — only better. We developed this snack with our members in mind, sticking to our rigorous ingredient standards but also making this into something our members who are gluten-free and vegan could enjoy.  It may be a better-for-you version, but it doesn’t compromise on flavor and I’m not afraid to admit that I may have eaten a whole bag in one sitting (on a few occasions).”

Discover Thrive Market Goods 

Want to save big on high quality, organic, and thoughtfully sourced groceries? Here are some other top selling kitchen essentials from Thrive Market Goods. 

Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Our version of this pantry must-have is made with 100% certified organic Koroneiki olives. Drizzle it on salads, fish, veggies, and more for some bright, peppery flavor.

Thrive Market Organic Coconut Milk
Use this rich, creamy coconut milk for curries, smoothies, or even your morning coffee. 

Thrive Market Grass-Fed Beef Sticks
This protein-packed snack is made from 100% grass-fed beef from Tasmania — and without all the artificial ingredients and preservatives.

Thrive Market Organic Whole Medjool Dates
These fresh, chewy dates are grown in California’s Coachella Valley. Use them in baking, as a granola topper, or just as a naturally sweet snack. 

Thrive Market Organic Raw Cashews
Ethically sourced from our farmer cooperatives in India, these cashews are great for making homemade nut milks, soaked for vegan cheeses, or just as a sweet, buttery snack. 

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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