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Startup Snapshots

Lara Jackle MBA '94: Can't get no satisfaction? Try LightFull

Lara Jackle
Lara Jackle
A couple of years ago, Lara Jackle joined Brand New Brands, a fledgling business incubator whose charter was to launch healthful foods and beverages "The opportunity to build a company from the ground up was too good to pass up," says Jackle, former VP of marketing with Balance Bar, which during her tenure grew in sales from $10 million to $110 million and was sold to Kraft Foods for $268 million.

Jackle's startup, LightFull Foods (San Francisco), reflects the passions of cofounders Jackle and Lynn Graham: nutrition and a healthy life balance. Today's professional women, they felt, are so busy juggling work and family that healthy eating often suffers.

LightFull's holistic approach to nutrition centers around its flagship product, the "satiety smoothie." Its Web site (www.lightfullfoods.com) features a nutrition newsletter, a profile of a LightFull Lady, community news, and information about the high-protein and -fiber smoothie, which is designed to make the drinker feel full (satiated) for as long as three hours – with only 90 calories.

The product launched in January 2006 to a test market of 70 Bay Area and East Coast retail locations. "Our first retailer was Wegman's – my Cornell store!" says Jackle. Today, LightFull retailers number 1,300 locations, including amazon.com, Hannaford, Safeway, Shaw's, and some Whole Foods.

Jackle says she's learned a lot from mentors Will Rosenzweig, former CEO and founder of The Republic of Tea and Brand New Brands, and Jim Wolfe, former CEO of Balance Bar. Fostering mentorship among women is, in fact, one of LightFull's long-term charters. To that end, LightFull sponsored Camp $tart-Up at the Johnson School last year. "That's why Camp $tart-Up was so meaningful to us," says Jackle.

– Irene Kim