The organic food industry is experiencing a boom. Organic food sales in the U.S. amounted to approximately 45.21 billion dollars in 2017; with more people going organic every day, that number is only expected to rise. However, just because organic foods are currently popular doesn’t mean they’re a recent invention. Gary Hirshberg created his business, Stonyfield Organic, back in 1983 with a focus on dairy products; from yogurt, smoothies, and milk, Hirshberg has dedicated his life to the idea that “healthy food means healthier people, healthier business, and a healthier planet.”
Now, his son Ethan has decided to follow in his footsteps.
“I grew up in the natural products industry. I’d go to trade shows with my dad when I was a kid,” Ethan Hirshberg explained. “So I always had an interest in it and that eventually developed into a passion.”
Those experiences inspired him when he set out to launch a business in organic two years ago. He created the aptly named Ethan’s line of organic products; offering the benefits of apple cider vinegar without the bitter taste, Ethan’s is an organic, functional drink business that sells shots designed to provide antioxidant support,
immune system support, digestion support, as well as promote weight loss by helping you feel full. The younger Hirshberg recently landed a nationwide partnership with Whole Foods, which is expected to double his revenue to four million dollars this year.
Gary has stood by his son’s side throughout the entire process, offering support and “keeping [his] mouth shut” when needed. Overall, he believes Ethan’ endeavors and successes have brought them closer together.
“This experience has deepened our relationship and mutual respect. We talk and share all the time, and we’ve seen that we speak the same language and our observations enhance each of our understandings and empathy. I think he now better understands all that I went through in building Stonyfield, and I have been impressed how much quicker a learner he is than I was at his age,” the elder Hirshberg said. “And we’ve had a lot of fun.”
The father-son duo have definitely left their mark on the organic industry. Who knows; maybe Ethan will continue the legacy with a child of his own to bring into the fold years down the line.