Jessica Sturzenegger ’10 illustration
Nutrients for Newbies
Nutrients for Newbies
Organic baby food is a winning formula for Jessica Sturzenegger ’10
Jessica Sturzenegger ’10 remembers the dramatic change in her diet when she started college. After a childhood of wholesome homemade meals, the international relations and economics double major was sustained at Bucknell by an inordinate number of bagels.

After college, when she decided to harness her inner foodie to develop healthier food products, she originally had busy students in mind.

“Then someone showed me how much sugar is in baby food,” Sturzenegger says. “Research tells us our gut biome and palettes develop before we’re 3, so if we want to change the way future generations eat, we have to start with baby food.”

It took three years for Sturzenegger’s team to develop the nutrient-preserving process behind Amara, a food technology company that debuted its organic baby foods in 2017 at Whole Foods. The pouched food needs only a little water, breast milk or formula to rehydrate with nutrients intact. With selections such as apple sauce with maqui berry, the line is shelf stable to 18 months and competitively priced.

Based in San Francisco, Sturzenegger aims to eventually develop Amara products for older eaters. “I want to make healthy food accessible,” she says. “Our end goal is to change the way people eat, because if you eat better, you think and feel better.”

Throughout Amara’s dizzying launch, Sturzenegger tested the bounds of her Bucknell education — and it held up to the challenge.

“It wasn’t the formula I learned in Econ 101 as much as having the confidence to lead, the ability to analyze,” Sturzenegger says. “Ideas are a dime a dozen — you also have to move that idea to action and then have the grit to keep going.” — Susan Lindt