Food Tech Plant Science

Pairwise Introduces First CRISPR-developed Food Product, Conscious™ Greens

Pairwise Introduces First CRISPR-developed Food Product, Conscious™ Greens

Pairwise, an innovative food startup, has unveiled its debut product, Conscious™ Greens, under its brand, Conscious Foods. The product is the first-ever food item developed using CRISPR technology in the U.S. The Conscious Greens Purple Power Baby Greens Blend, co-branded with Performance Food Group’s (PFG) Peak Fresh Produce® brand, features a variety of Superfood leafy greens, offering unique fresh flavors and up to twice the nutrition of romaine lettuce.

CRISPR technology has been used to enhance the taste and nutrition of Conscious Greens, which are field-grown Superfood greens with the versatility of lettuce. Originating from nutrient-rich mustard greens, Conscious Greens belong to the same vegetable family as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale. With their vibrant purple and deep green leaves, these greens are a delight to consume, whether raw in a salad or cooked in an entrée. The blend is now available in select restaurants and outlets in the PFG operator network, including Springfield, Mass., Minneapolis-St. Paul, and St. Louis.

Haven Baker, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer of Pairwise expressed his pride at bringing the first CRISPR food product to the U.S. market. Baker explained that their goal was to tackle the issue of most lettuce lacking nutrition and other greens being too bitter or harsh to eat. With the help of CRISPR, they have enhanced new types of nutritious greens to make them more palatable for consumers, which was achieved in a quarter of the time compared to traditional breeding methods.

According to Baker, the launch of Conscious Greens marks a significant step towards Pairwise’s mission of building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. This has been made possible through a strategic partnership with PFG, a food service leader with a 137-year history, known for delivering superior and innovative products across the U.S. and Canada.

Bob Warnock, Vice President of Produce at PFG, reiterated their commitment to introducing innovation to their customers and expressed pleasure at partnering with Pairwise. Warnock praised the innovative Conscious Greens products as a valuable addition to PFG’s top-quality Peak Fresh Produce® products.

CRISPR, a gene-editing technique, is utilized to modify the DNA of a plant to accentuate desired characteristics or suppress undesired ones. This process expedites the results achievable by the centuries-old practice of crossbreeding. All Conscious Foods products are thoroughly reviewed by the USDA before entering the market and comply with all FDA and state food safety laws and regulations.

Vonnie Estes, Vice President of Innovation at the International Fresh Produce Association, applauded Conscious Foods’ efforts and hailed introducing the first CRISPR food as a significant stride toward addressing consumer demand for nutritious and diverse fruits and vegetables.

Later this year, Conscious Greens will be shipping to U.S. grocery stores as part of an expanded Conscious Foods portfolio of products developed with CRISPR technology.

In February 2021, Pairwise successfully raised $90 million in a series B funding round, taking its total fundraising to $115 million combined with the series A funding round. In addition to leafy greens, Pairwise is developing new types of berries, cherries, and other products under the Conscious™ Foods brand. In just five years, the company has grown to over 150 employees, with further expansion expected in 2023 as the company ventures into food service and retail channels.

Image provided by Pairwise

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