Michelle Obama Launches PLEZi to Promote Healthier Eating for Kids

PLEZi, a new food and beverage company, will offer products that are aimed at providing healthier choices for children and their parents.

2023 WSJ's Future Of Everything Festival
Photo: Joy Malone / Getty Images

Former first lady Michelle Obama recently announced the launch of PLEZi Nutrition, a new company aimed at promoting healthier habits for children and creating higher standards for U.S. foods and beverages marketed toward kids.

According to a report from the Biden-Harris administration, the U.S. is in the midst of a major health crisis. Children consume too much of the bad stuff (added sugar) and not enough of the good stuff (nutrients) they need to support their growing bodies. In fact, the average American child ingests about 53 pounds of added sugar a year.

Bottles of Plezi drink by Michelle Obama


To help address that, PLEZi’s first product is a no-sugar-added children’s beverage meant to be a healthier alternative to drinks like soda, which have high amounts of added sugar. The beverage, also named PLEZi, has 75 percent less sugar than the average 100 percent fruit juices, no added sugar, plus fiber, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and other electrolytes.

The new PLEZi beverage will be available in four flavors—blueberry blast, orange smash, sour apple, and tropical punch—and each four-pack will retail for about $4 at Target, Sprouts, and online at Walmart. The goal is to have the beverage available wherever sodas are sold so healthy options are always available to kids.

PLEZi is expected to roll out additional snack and beverage products by the end of this year.

Health, fitness, and the overall well-being of America’s children are paramount to Obama. While serving as First Lady of the United States, she started the Let’s Move! initiative, which worked to ensure every student in K-12 across the country received at least 60 minutes of exercise daily.

2023 WSJ's Future Of Everything Festival
Joy Malone / Getty Images

“I’ve learned that on this issue if you want to change the game, you can’t just work from the outside. You’ve got to get inside—you’ve got to find ways to change the food and beverage industry itself,” said the former First Lady—and 2011 Better Homes & Gardens cover star—in her remarks at The Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival, where PLEZi was first announced. ”I’m proud to announce the national launch of a company designed not just to provide better products but to jumpstart a race to the top that will transform the entire food industry.”

Aside from the food and drink products, there will also be an educational component of PLEZi, with a large portion of the company’s marketing budget going toward content for parents. For instance, the company plans to actively promote drinking water, eating whole fruits and vegetables, and reducing consumption of foods and beverages with little to no nutritional value.

To double down on their commitment to kids’ health, PLEZi plans to donate $1 million to the FoodCorps’ Nourishing Futures initiative, which is working towards ensuring all 50 million students in our nation have access to nutrition education and free school meals by 2030. Additionally, 10 percent of PLEZi’s profits will be put toward broader health and wellness education for families.

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