Uptown parent uses personal touch in national product line
By Jessica Dearborn | SDUN Reporter
with Anthony King | SDUN Editor
Normal Heights resident Colette Cosky is both a full-time mother and an entrepreneur. As marketing director of San Diego-based Infantino – a big, national player in the children’s toys and products market, selling specialized kid-centered merchandise to stores like Target and Babies-R-Us – Cosky used a personal experience to develop a new, creative way to manage the dietary needs of all children: the Fresh Squeezed baby food system.
“Fresh Squeezed encourages people to make their own food – knowing what’s in the food, how it’s made – and not constricted to what is on the shelf. Families can make food according to what their family needs are,” Cosky said.
The product line includes materials for making baby food at home – a puree, steamer, food press – as well as what to do next, once all that food is made. The innovation comes in the form of “squeeze pouches,” as they are called. The pouches are individual-sized storage units that can be taken with families when on the go. Of course they can be used right at home, too.
While ease was certainly a driving factor in creating Fresh Squeezed, it was not the main focus. For Cosky, the idea came to her when trying to navigate the various – and sometimes questionable – food available to her for her growing children.
Cosky has two children, ages 2 and 5, and one has specific dietary restrictions. She said she decided that what she was buying off the shelves at grocery stores was not meeting their nutritional needs, and she wanted to take advantage of fresh foods that her children could enjoy in their purest form.
“Looking at what’s in a baby jar of food versus looking at your real food, the colors are different,” she said. “I wanted real tasting vegetables and fruit, making [children] open to eating better food as they grow up.”
At first Cosky bought pre-made food, but said she was not happy with the product so she decided it would be a better idea to create her own, freeze it and access it when she needed. She wanted to make the process more convenient for all parents, so increasingly more people could also share in that convenience.
“This idea has been in the making since the end of 2010,” she said. “My first inspiration was being at the tail end of my daughter eating food and snacks, and I noticed the really expensive pre-filled pouches, but didn’t like the idea of ingredients that weren’t fresh.”
Being that she works in a profession where she has her hands busy in baby products all day long and her job is to be looking out for the unmet needs in the market place, she is constantly asking what can make parenting easier. Infantino is her outlet.
“I get to work with incredible designers,” Cosky said. “They are product designers and engineers and they have to consider what’s best for the parent and the family’s environment. … Having such a creative team to work with, they are able to take my idea and bring it to fruition – without missing a beat – and all the while, keeping the consumer in mind.”
Fresh Squeezed is marketed as a fully functional product with a slick design, that carries and transports homemade baby food, “making it simple to feed any child, even those with food allergies or dietary limitations,” a press release said. And once children have matured in their eating habits, Cosky said the pouches have an afterlife.
“People have come up with their own creative ways to keep the product relevant after their children are no longer needing this type of feeding, by using it as storage for sauces,” Cosky said. Infantino said food items store in the freezer for up to two months.
But for now, Cosky said the benefits to her family are numerous.
“[It is] so simple to pull out the pouches from the freezer, pack them in my diaper bag, and feed my children,” she said.
For more information on Infantino LLC, a Step 2 Family company, as well as the Fresh Squeezed line, visit infantino.com or call 800-840-4916.