Behind the brand, ‘herstory’ and the go-getting women changing the food landscape

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

For a limited time, Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips will be given the Barbie treatment. Pic: Stacy's
For a limited time, Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips will be given the Barbie treatment. Pic: Stacy's

Related tags Stacy's Rise Project

In celebration of Women’s History Month and Barbie’s 65th Anniversary, Stacy’s has announced the 2024 Stacy’s Rise Project winners – which includes the largest grant amount in the program’s history – and is rolling out limited edition ‘Barbie-fied’ packaging.

Guided by the belief that when one woman rises, we all rise, the PepsiCo Frito-Lay brand has pledged a $100,000 donation to Step Up. The nonprofit provides mentorship and programs for girls to define their ideal goal and get there – wherever that future may be.

The donation will go towards sponsoring conferences in Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and New York, which will provide 1,000 hours of mentorship to girls of middle and high school age.  

“Step Up believes mentors play a crucial role in guiding girls to their success, so we are inspired and grateful to continue our partnership with two of our mentors, Barbie and Stacy, as part of our Women’s History Month collaboration with the Barbie Dream Gap Project and Stacy’s Pita Chips,” said Step Up CEO Delores Druilhet Morton.

“With this investment in the next generation, Step Up will be able to offer valuable mentorship to help girls define and achieve their unique visions of success through our career exploration conferences.”

Happy birthday Barbie


The woman-founded brand – which has a legacy of supporting women entrepreneurs – has partnered with another iconic woman-founded brand to celebrate a milestone.

United by a shared vision of uplifting women and changing ‘herstory’, the partnership kicks off with a limited offer of Barbie-inspired packaging for Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips. The specialty bags feature the signature Barbie-pink exterior and are available in both human and Barbie sizes. Mattel’s Barbie dolls are getting their own miniature sized bag, too.

Herstory is a multi-disciplinary storytelling platform that illuminates and celebrates female role models.

“Barbie and Stacy’s Pita Chips share a common goal of inspiring women to achieve their dreams so this partnership is a match made in ‘herstory,’” said Rhasheda Boyd, VP of marketing for Frito-Lay North America.

“Stacy’s is proud to continue its ongoing support of women founders through the Stacy’s Rise Project. With Barbie, we’re thrilled to extend that spotlight on the upcoming generations of aspiring women trailblazers.”

The full-size specialty bags are rolling out in retail across the US this fall, but fans can get their hands on one before then. To win a Stacy’s Carrer Barbie Kit – complete with big and mini bags, an exclusive Career Barbie doll and other swag – fans are invited to like and comment on Stacy’s Instagram page from March 12. 

The class of 2024

Stacy's class of 2024

Last and by no means least, Stacy’s – in partnership with Hello Alice – is continuing to change the course of ‘herstory’ with the latest cohort of Stacy’s Rise Project winners.

Since 2017, the Project has provided more than $1m in funding to 75 outstanding women founders, whittled down from the more than 35,000 applications received. This year, Stacy’s has awarded 15 North American women founders each a $25,000 grant, mentorship from Frito-Lay and PepsiCo leadership and an incomparable built-in community of powerful women. 

Diane Garber (Chicago, Illinois) founded WillPOWER Your Day, which produces whole-food, plant-based snacks – Unbelieva-Brittle Seed Crunch and Fruit-Sweetened Truffles – that address the nutritional priorities of vegans but also appeal to mainstream consumers.

Jamie Kim (New York, NY), founder of Jamie’s Farm that produces granolas baked with ghee for a luxurious flavor profile and crunchy texture.

Ms Fields (Baltimore, Maryland) founder of Sweet Fields, which offers artisan-crafted cinnamon rolls that bring indulgence to vegan-friendly lifestyles.

Ajoa Mintah (Waterloo, Ontario) is an engineer-turned-entrepreneur who blends her education and creativity to spread the joy of ice cream to everyone – no matter their dietary preferences or restrictions – through Four All Ice Cream.

Delia Hughes (Westchester, NY) and Lindsay Simon co-founded Tazzy with a vision to make better-for-you candy. A portion of sales from every item sold supports the fight to find a cure for Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Jen Caines’ (Boulder, Colorado) Moksha Chocolate is an artisan bean-to-bar chocolate company that handcrafts chocolate in small batches with direct-trade cacao.

Alak Nanda (Atlanta, Georgia) founded PODI Life to introduce South Indian food to American tables with seasonings (made of roasted lentils, nuts, herbs and spices) and one-pot meals (made with organic rice, lentils, climate-smart millets and spices). 

Kristen Fields (Austin, Texas) founded mmmpanadas, which produces better-for-you empanadas that are easy to heat and eat.

Kate Tremills’ (Chemainus, British Columbia) Flourish Kitchen delivers easy-to-digest meals that are designed to ease the stress of busy lives, while delivering the flavor and nutrition of a homemade meal.

Martha Diaz (Sacramento, California). Itacate Foods produces dehydrated Latin meals that are vegan or vegetarian, quick to rehydrate and add authentic Latin flavors to dinner time.

Orleatha Smith (Los Angeles, California) founded Sip Herbals, a pre-biotic tea that provides a gut health-supporting, caffeine-free, herbal coffee alternative made for label readers.

Laura Melgarejo Silva (Bend, Oregon) co-founded Altitude Beverages, which are zero-proof cocktails packed with functional ingredients.

Nadia Ladak (Toronto, Ontario) started Marlow on the back of her mission to revolutionize women’s health by pioneering the first-ever lubricated tampon. 

K Dee Howard (Cobourg, Ontario) founded Sootsoap Supply Co. to detoxify, deodorize and sanitize with the power of white charcoal, inspired by a lack of solutions for the health effects of firefighter exposure.

Evelyne Nyairo’ (Calgary, Alberta) Ellie Bianca – inspired by her daughter, Eliana – has the vision to give every woman the opportunity to embrace and own her strength and beauty.

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