The idea of selling products to support a good cause is nothing new to Nicole Dawes, president and chief operating officer of Late July Organic Snacks. As a child, she watched as her father, the founder of the Cape Cod Chip Company, featured various charitable organizations on the back of chip bags. “It was very important to him to bring attention to other people’s good work, and he saw the packaging of his products as an excellent way to day that,” she notes.
Today, it is not her father but Dawes herself who is working to promote others’ good deeds. Collaborating with the Jane Goodall Institute, world-renowned for its efforts to protect endangered animals and habitats, Dawes and her colleagues at Late July have developed a new line of organic, whole grain, mini sandwich cookies featuring seven endangered species. Profits from the sale of these cookies will support JGI’s Roots and Shoots program, which enables young people around the world to identify projects and develop concrete plans to complete them. “It’s [Roots and Shoots] an incredible program,” Dawes notes, adding that it “teaches children about the power that they have as guardians of the Earth.”
To further aid the Roots and Shoots program, Dawes has chosen to use her packaging designs to “spread the word” about the positive impacts JGI and people involved in it are having on the world. The back of each box of cookies in the endangered species line will feature information about Jane Goodall, Roots and Shoots, as well as a story about one of the seven endangered animals after which the cookies were designed. In addition, the boxes will carry Jane Goodall’s “Good for All” seal, demonstrating that the cookies were produced under ethical conditions.
While Dawes is proud of all the products her company produces, she admits that the endangered species cookies hold a particularly special place in her heart. “Jane Goodall has been a hero of mine for as long as I can remember,” Dawes explains. “She [Jane Goodall] made it clear to me and millions of others that one person really can change the world.” To be able to share that message with those who purchase her cookies, Dawes says, is “truly remarkable.”
Dawes also takes pride in the familial connection she has to the cookies. Her six year-old son has been “begging for years” for her to develop a product centered around endangered animals, so when she received a call from a JGI representative, who expressed interest in undertaking a collaborative project with Late July, “it just felt right.” From her perspective, the mini cookie project represented not only an opportunity to develop a healthy, delicious snack to include in her son’s lunchbox, but also “an opportunity to just plain have fun.” In addition, the project enabled her to re-visit Late July’s packaging design and include images of her family and her dog. Moreover, it gave her the opportunity to give back to her father, whose own emphasis on corporate social responsibility made such a lasting impression on her as a child. “When I look at our endangered cookie boxes, I definitely think of him and the many efforts he made to instill in me the importance of both being a good citizen and honoring those, like Jane Goodall, whose hard work has changed the world for the better.”
Late July’s organic, whole grain, mini sandwich cookies were officially launched at Expo West. They are now available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide and are making their way into smaller, independent retail outlets. Most major retailers are expected to begin carrying the cookies over the next several months.