Honey Stinger continues donation shipments to Ukraine
After initial trial shipments last month, the leadership at Honey Stinger in Steamboat Springs is continuing to send thousands of servings of sports nutrition products to people in need and military personnel in Ukraine.
“We’re going to send as much as we can for as long as people need our support,” Deirdre Pepin, executive administrator at Honey Stinger, said Friday, April 8. “What’s happening in Ukraine is a humanitarian crisis. Our brand is committed to doing our part and helping when and how we can.”
Pepin said the company intends to get its products – waffles, chews, hydration, bars — into the hands and mouths of military personnel, soldiers fighting on the front lines, refugees, children separated from their parents and anyone in the area who’s experiencing hardship and hunger.
The effort at Honey Stinger is an extension of the type of donations the company has provided for the past few years to the nonprofit Support Our Troops, which supports American military personnel and their families.
“Last year, we were able to send them 72,000 servings,” Pepin said of Support Our Troops. “Our product is not just for athletes playing sports on courts or riding bikes on trails. They’re for every person who pushes their body physically, and because Honey Stinger is a portable energy source, our products are easy to get out there.”
Honey Stinger Vice President of Marketing Wendy Mayo said the company has committed to give back through both dollar and product donations, including to the victims of the Marshall Fire in Boulder County.
“We were able to donate cash support immediately to the Community Foundation Boulder County Wildfire Fund plus continued product over the course of the next year through Conscious Alliance’s We Got This initiative,” Mayo said.
While the successful Steamboat company, established in 2002, is active with donations, the company’s sales continue to grow.
CFO Sarah Mallicote reports Honey Stinger sales grew 41% last year and are budgeted for 49% growth this year. The company focuses on sales in the U.S. and Canada, but “we have global growth on our horizon,” Mallicote said.
“Our exponential sales growth comes from distribution gains, as well as continuous product development supported by strong marketing plans. We got our start in specialty sports — that’s our core — but we’re looking broader and expanding into grocery, mass and online retailers. As for product development, hydration launched last year, and our new Nut+Seed Bar is out,” Mallicote said.
Honey Stinger CEO Richard Thompson explained the product shipments to Ukraine are being processed via Poland through the support of a crisis, logistics and security company called Covac Global, which is based in Florida and run by Thompson’s son, Ross Thompson.
As of Friday, April 8, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 3,893 civilian casualties in Ukraine including 1,626 killed and 2,267 injured.
The deaths included 418 men, 245 women, 26 girls and 43 boys, as well as 63 children and 831 adults whose sex is yet unknown.
Honey Stinger also donates products to wildland firefighters.
“Our products are for people who use their body and need nutrition to keep doing what they are doing, whether it’s serving our country or protecting our lands,” Pepin said.
Pepin highlighted some of the company’s stated social responsibility practices.
In 2020, Honey Stinger created an internal Social Change Squad and an external Athlete Advisory Committee, comprised of select athletes from across the country. The squad and the committee work together to improve relationships, behaviors and cultural norms through time.
As an employee perk, every Honey Stinger team member can be paid to volunteer 16 hours a year and make an annual $250 in-kind product donation to an athletic cause or charity of choice.
The company funds scholarships for local youth to stay active and makes annual donations to local nonprofits on Yampa Valley Gives Day. In 2021, Honey Stinger donated nearly half a million dollars in cash and product donations, company officials say.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
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