As a special preview of the LA Baby Show, coming up on the weekend of November 5-6, we have interviewed or profiled many of the Show’s vendors and participants. You can read all about them on this Show blog, but of course the real fun is experiencing the Baby Show in person.
Tickets to the Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual, and can be purchased here.
Keeping food cool on the go is always a struggle for parents, especially with more than one child or if mom is pregnant. Bags get cluttered with ice packs, which can leak chemicals in places that little hand can touch. That’s why PackIt is a revolution in mobile refrigeration. They will keep your food cool and remove one more piece of stress from your life.
We spoke with Jeany Yoon, Brand Design Director at PackIt, to learn more.
For someone unfamiliar with PackIt, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
PackIt creates smart solutions that deliver unexpected cool and make life on the go more delightful. Our foldable, freezable bags have built-in cooling that keeps food and drinks cool all day—no ice packs needed. The secret is freezable gel built right into the walls of the bag. Simply fold the bag up and place the entire bag in the freezer overnight. In the morning, the walls of the bag will be completely frozen and ready to chill just like a fridge for hours. Because there are no extra parts, you’ll never be hassling with or hunting down missing pieces.
The PackIt line offers something for everyone, from baby bottles and lunch to groceries, picnics, beer, wine and more. Our coolers are everyday essentials for caregivers with small children and want to give them the freshest, healthiest food wherever they go.
What is the background of PackIt? When did it start, and how has it evolved since then?
PackIt was founded in 2009 by Melissa Kieling, a single mother of three. After packing her kids’ lunches for more than a decade, Melissa noticed that no single product could keep healthy meals cool and safe until lunchtime. Melissa subsequently invented and patented the first foldable, freezable bag to keep food and drinks cool all day—no ice packs needed.
Over the past seven years, Melissa has grown PackIt from a $150,000 company to a multimillion-dollar consumer products business. PackIt’s coolers for lunch, wine, shopping, picnic, and baby bottles are sold in more than 40 countries worldwide and at US retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond, Whole Foods, Target and The Container Store. PackIt was recently selected as the top cooler in a test of 36 lunch bags by Good Housekeeping’s prestigious labs.
In 2014, PackIt was named No. 28 on the Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. The company was also named the No. 1 fastest-growing woman-led business on the list. In 2015 and 2016, Melissa was a finalist for the Greater Los Angeles Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. She lives in Westlake Village, California, with her children, who continue to inspire new PackIt product ideas daily.
What are the most popular and/or newest services from PackIt?
Our flagship product, the Freezable Lunch Bag, is an essential that grows with you throughout every step of parenthood, starting in pregnancy. Most OBs recommend eating six small meals throughout the day, so PackIt lets you keep healthy food at your desk or in the car when you’re on the run. Many moms-to-be also find chilled foods more palatable, and PackIt lets you enjoy cool treats in any environment.
Once your child is born, you can use a PackIt lunch bag to safely take bottles or baby food pouches anywhere. By your child’s toddler and preschool years, our lunch bags are a must-have to keep healthy snacks within arm’s reach and prevent meltdowns on the go. It’s also the perfect way to have specific foods on hand for kids on special diets or those with food allergies. And it’s so stylish that mom and dad can even use it to take a fresh, delicious lunch to work!
We also make an all-in-one Freezable Baby Bottle Bag that lets you take safe, healthy meals for babies or young children anywhere and without having to stop and refrigerate them. It’s ideal for daycare, pumping at work, travel or errands. When you’re done, it folds up neatly and fits in our diaper or work bag for the trip home. The bag’s zip closure locks in cold, dry air and a buckle handle easily clips onto diaper bags, totes or strollers.
PackIt’s Freezable Uptown Lunch Bag is another great travel bag for families with multiple children or breastfeeding mothers. The messenger-style design leaves your hands free so you can attend to your child or maneuver a stroller. You can pack expressed milk and bottles alongside your toddler’s yogurt, fruit and sippy cup full of juice and keep everything cool for hours. Because it doesn’t require additional gel packs, there’s more room to pack essentials.
It has a flap closure for easy access and a zip opening that locks in cold, dry air. Its small zip pocket and exterior slip pocket are ideal for personal items, wipes, burp cloths or even small toys.
What sets PackIt apart from other similar companies?
PackIt is truly the gold standard in cooling. We’re the first company to create coolers for families that actually chill their essentials on the go without requiring toxic gel packs or leaky ice baggies to keep milk, formula or any other liquid chilled. Because we’re a parent-owned company, we go above and beyond to ensure all PackIt products are food safe, nontoxic, PVC-, BPA-, phthalate-and lead-free. We hand pick factories with the highest levels of quality control and conform to all U.S., Canadian and European safety standards.
We also make durability a top priority. Budget coolers wear out in just months, and water-based freezable products often start to leak after only a few uses. PackIt’s reusable designs stay strong year after year.
Finally, we have a larger range of stylish offerings than other cooler companies. E.g., our Freezable Picnic Tote is a great investment in pregnancy when many of your favorite foods are off limits, and navigating picnics and barbecues packed with deli meats and medium rare burgers is quite the challenge. With this larger bag, you can bring your own spread to parties and rest assured that food is safe and that it hasn’t been left out too long to spoil.
What can parents expect to see from PackIt at the LA Baby Show?
Parents will be shown demos on how to use PackIt bags and can enjoy cold treats while they learn more about our products. They can also participate in giveaways for a chance to win PackIt Freezable Coolers.
Visit packit.com to learn more!