Translating lived experience into innovation to increase access for food allergy consumers
Eighty nine million Americans avoid buying at least one of the top-9 allergen food products. Of these 89 million, 25 million have a severe or moderate allergy, 7 million have a mild allergy, 32 million have food intolerances. Twenty-five million are indirect avoiders who avoid allergenic foods to keep their loved ones with allergies safe.
In 2010, Michelle Addison’s (Fuqua ‘23) eldest daughter was born with severe allergies to dairy and soy. After having a difficult time finding support and resources on the internet, she founded the blog “Dairy and Soy-Free Mama” to share recipes, tips, and information with other dairy and soy-free families. At the same time that the blog was growing in popularity, Michelle, her husband, and their two youngest children developed additional allergies – to nuts, sulfites, and eggs, respectively. To manage their allergies, she visited 4-5 brick and mortar grocery stores weekly and purchased additional groceries from direct-to-consumer sites. Hours were spent contacting manufacturers to gain information about the cross-contamination risks of their products, and utilizing Facebook groups to crowdsource allergen information and discover new and safe foods for herself and her family.
Recognizing that there should be a safer, easier, and more enjoyable way for food allergy consumers to buy groceries, Michelle – a corporate attorney turned healthcare entrepreneur – came to Fuqua to help her launch Allergood, the first e-commerce grocery platform designed for food allergy consumers. Allergood, a subscription-based grocery platform, will allow members to filter by allergen(s) and get one-click access to cross-contamination information, with groceries delivered right to their doorsteps.
Allergood is the winner of the 2022 Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) Launch Pad prize which awards $10,000 and mentorship to current Fuqua MBA students with an impact enterprise idea. With Launch Pad support over the next year, Michelle plans to launch Allergood, increasing access to allergy-friendly foods for its members. Michelle is passionate about increasing access to allergy-friendly foods for underserved families, too, and will explore ways to bring safe foods to food insecure food allergy families in NC and beyond – an important piece of Allergood’s mission.
Michelle Addison, Daytime MBA ’23
“Winning Launch Pad is monumental for Allergood. We are ecstatic to use the financial capital to complete development of our platform and successfully launch to our waitlisted customers. The mentoring from CASE will provide us the support and network we need as we grow our mission-driven company.”
Visit our website to learn more about past Launch Pad winners and explore our Scaling Pathways series to learn more about the journeys other impact enterprises have taken to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.