Sunwink Is Altering the Sexiest Part of Your Grocery Store

CMO and co-founder Jordan Schenck turns passion into purpose for the next generation of plant-powered products

Adweek

Sunwink is aiming to make the plant-based section of your grocery store the most seductive space you want to shop in. While sharing a passion for health and wellness, Jordan Schenck and Eliza Ganesh teamed up to change the food and beverage space by creating Sunwink. Their mission was to create plant-powered products that are not only better for your health but easy to access. Sunwink saturates the wellness space with humor through their first campaign “When Wellness Feels Impossible, Stick to Plants.” The main goal has always been to help consumers to feel as though wellness should never be stressful and always inclusive.

Read below as Jordan and I discuss Sunwink’s latest campaign, the 3 most important traits she believes every team should have, and the brands she admires that are inspiring her own business strategies.

Adweek: How did you get to where you are today? Any noteworthy aha-moments along the way? Jordan Schenck: Since the beginning of my career, I have always done my best to not settle in the work I create. This usually makes the route longer and harder, but it always pays off in the positions I take at organizations and the output of my work. This was a major aha-moment for me going to work at Wieden and Kennedy and then eventually finding my way to Impossible Foods and Sunwink. I was only willing to exit previous jobs or take less glamorous roles to find things that aligned with my personal mission of changing the planet to be healthier and more sustainable.

Specifically, with Sunwink, I had met Eliza Ganesh who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and had discovered the power of herbs and superfoods for treating symptoms. We shared a joint passion for wellness and decided to turn this passion into purpose by creating a company that would make it easy for consumers to access the power of plants. I feel incredibly humbled to have co-founded a mission-driven company that is rooted in my passion for health and sustainability.

What’s the most innovative thing you are working on? We are looking to develop a platform of sustainable plant-powered products. We have been exploring what that looks like across the industry from new macronutrient manufacturers who think about unique isolates for climate health to packaging manufacturers who do not include plastics in their output. In the food and beverage industry, both are incredibly difficult to uphold.

Additionally, we’ve taken an unapologetic stance against the confusing world of wellness through humor. We recently launched our first campaign “When Wellness Feels Impossible, Stick to Plants,” where we tapped comedian Robyn Schall to participate in a video that pokes fun at the polarizing and saturated wellness industry. In partnership with The Harris Poll, we had conducted research that showed that over 3-in-5 Americans are overwhelmed by the $4.5T wellness industry and wanted to deliver a clear message that wellness can be defined in your own way but when in doubt, stick to plants.

When wellness feels impossible, #StickToPlants. ???????????????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/Ltr73t1LBG

— Sunwink (@DrinkSunwink) April 27, 2021

What new or up-and-coming innovation(s) are you most excited about and how do you think it will change the future of marketing? We’re always looking to turn the wellness industry on its head. Historically, wellness has been about exclusivity and cost, and we believe that we can not only make products that break down this barrier, but also ensure that our messaging is different. We also want to continue utilizing humor by positioning Sunwink alongside brands and creators that may not seem like an obvious choice at first glance. Through these unique partnerships, our goal is to show people that wellness comes in many different forms and is about much more than what you put into your body. Many different foods and activities can fit into wellness, and it should be fun, inclusive and never stressful.

What’s one piece of work from your career that you’re the proudest of? The entire Go To Market of Impossible Foods truly galvanized the Plant-Based movement for the first time in history. Partnering with celebrity chefs and burger chains was industry-defining. Before this work, people assumed plant-based to be the most unsexy space in the grocery store. It was crunchy and completely disconnected from culture. Now the industry makes culture.

Was there ever a time where you questioned your career path? How did you handle that? Initially, I thought I would go into finance and that clearly did not happen. If I don’t feel like my skill-set or passion is ignited, I am a big believer in switching cold turkey. My current position at Sunwink really combines my love of brand building and marketing with my passion for plants and making wellness as accessible and seamless as possible.

What is one skill that you think is currently underdeveloped in marketing? Making social good or climate initiatives cool. I really admire brands that are taking swings in various industries through playful/meaningful marketing. I think about the work that Sweetgreen has done with Naomi Osaka or what Liquid Death has done with their packaging. Building a better-for-you brand should no longer be a nice thought on a whiteboard in a boardroom, it should be central to everything you do and say.

How do you pick and develop the talent on your team? My team is everything. Everyone on my team must have 3 things—relentless curiosity, the spark to execute and kindness. If they have those three things, they can learn and do anything. I also always start the relationship by understanding their working style and mapping out their career.

What’s a way that you predict marketing will change as more people begin traveling/going out again? We will return to an integration of event experiences and digital a bit more. As a business, we will return to investing in more sampling.

What’s the first post to come to mind when you hear “best-in-class social?” (can’t be of your previous work) Cocokind is hands down best in class on social. We have always been inspired by their transparency in their process to create new products and share their personal stories using their products. For example, when they canceled the release of the sunscreen, they showed the community how the product couldn’t meet their standards and values. No one does this and it created such a positive effect.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? From my mentor and friend Jonathan Mildenhall—”Our role as marketers is to uplift the entire organization and the world. You must leave every interaction more inspired than when you found it.”

What one question would you ask the marketing community and why? (this is for social media posts) What is the first thing you do when the work doesn’t stack up to the KPIs? Who do you call? How do you internalize?

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