Zebra Mix was created by Seattle-based parents Lisa Burgess and Brian Alm, hands-on parents with two energetic young kids. Like most kids, their girls loved to bake; like most grown-ups, they quickly discovered that scratch baking required too much pre-planning, too much supervision, and without sophisticated reading skills, their kids could not “own” the project. What’s more, traditional baking kits didn’t offer the learning and creativity they were after.
That’s when the creative duo with a background in brand building, retail and design began cooking up Zebra Mix. “What makes our products unique is that they were truly developed for kids, with instructions at their level. One of the best things about Zebra Mix is what it brings out in kids – self-confidence, independence and the pride of accomplishment.
As parents, we know sequential learning, and finding, using and organizing information is the foundation of reading, math and science and critical thinking, and kids learn through play. But what really drives us is to see kids take ownership, build confidence and even make mistakes.” says Lisa.
Filling the gap!
Brian, an entrepreneur and problem solver with CPG brand building experience, knew Zebra Mix fills a gap in the marketplace. The kids’ food category has delivered healthy and tasty food but lacks the opportunity for kids to be a part of the “making” process. Traditional kids baking kits offered little more than stirring, so there was no way for kids to “own” the project.
“We saw an opportunity for a ready-to-use kit, with kid-friendly instructions and the ingredients to make it easy for parents to pull-off. We want to teach kids to love food and understand food prep without the watchful and sometimes over-bearing adult supervision.”
As most parents know, kids want to be in the kitchen with us, but you know the drill, you rush home from work and you’re stressed trying to get dinner on the table. Enter Zebra Mix, an easy-to-use kit that engages kids in the kitchen with a 30-minute activity resulting in a delicious dessert – a win-win.
What makes us different?
Unsatisfied with the chemical-laden mixes in the market, we created a new way to bake with kids that uses all-natural and organic ingredients and is a breeze for parents to manage!
Using smart, colorful graphics and playful language, kids follow illustrated, step-by-step instructions for making delicious treats and have tons of fun along the way with age-specific activities. Word games, puzzles, mazes, art projects, time challenges and fun facts turn baking into a playground of activities designed for a broad range of ages. Our Brownie Bites even teach Spanish.
Each Safari Baking Map is double-sided with unique activities tailored for different age groups - side one is for ages 4-9, and side two targets ages 9 and up, letting kids of all ages be an active part of the process from start to finish. Having two levels of instructions allows kids to be aspirational and move up the reading continuum the next time they do Zebra Mix. The map is packed with fun activities designed to get kids flexing their mental and creative muscles, so along with baking, kids may just discover a new way to look at time, learn how to measure, read a scientific formula, or solve a brain-teasing mystery. Explains Lisa: “We believe kids are naturally curious and learn by doing, and experiencing wins and even mishaps, dropping an egg or two on the floor is not the end of the world, it is all part experiencing the fun of Zebra Mix.
The Zebra Mix brand launched quickly, landing placement in over 1500 stores including grocery, toy and learning, specialty and online with retailers including Whole Foods, ToysRUs, Nordstrom, Sur La Table, Borders Books and more. We even earned a spot on the Today Show.
So what's next?
This creative duo is now applying their Zebra Mix concept to family meal kits with plans to bring their fun, inspired cooking experience to the dinner table. So move over mom and dad; there’s going to be some new enthusiastic cooks in the kitchen during the dinner hour. While some parents are apprehensive about involving kids in cooking, we believe there is actually a lot kids can do (with adult supervision, of course). And don’t forget the added benefit of family togetherness, teambuilding and the opportunity to build life skills.