Lizanne Falsetto: No Holds Barred
The CEO and founder of the popular thinkThin® protein brand continues to revolutionize the health industry, lend support to female entrepreneurs and expand her amazing wellness empire in the New Year.
When health-conscious consumers enjoy a thinkThin® protein bar, they’re actually getting a taste of some important aspects culled from model-turned-highly successful entrepreneur Lizanne Falsetto’s life. “My life went into that bar; I truly feel that way!” says Falsetto, the CEO and founder of the thinkThin® protein brand. Back in her globetrotting days as an in-demand model for Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren and other high-end designers, Falsetto was concerned about finding food that she felt good about eating while living on the go. Her ingenuity kicked in; the brainy beauty who’s been a kitchen wiz since childhood began to concoct healthy snacks for herself and her model friends based on her grandmother’s delicious cooking, and the uberpopular and convenient thinkThin® bar was born.
“I developed this product because I couldn’t find anything to eat for myself while I traveled,” Falsetto says. “I didn’t like sugar, and I loved protein; if I was going to do sugar, I’d have it in wine. I limited where I brought sugar into my diet. And there was nothing out there. There were PowerBars, Clif Bars, and there was a LUNA Bar, but it was loaded with sugar. There really wasn’t anything that you were able to eat that was really healthy.”
Falsetto, an avid foodie, grew up in the kitchen with her Italian family — and she even packed her trusty pots and pans while she traveled as a model. “I would hang with my grandma in the kitchen, and everything she did was homemade — homemade pasta, homemade bread. When my mom was a child, she used to beg my grandmother to buy her Wonder Bread because she hated the homemade bread!” Falsetto says, laughing. “My whole life was about gardening and watching my grandfather mulch; he was one of the best mulchers in Seattle! We were raised this way. We lived at the dinner table for hours talking, eating and telling stories; then we’d go outside to play kickball. It was a really great time.”
High in protein, all natural, rich in fiber, and sugar- and gluten-free, the recipe for the original thinkThin® bars has remained basically unchanged since making its debut over 15 years ago. “It’s very authentic; that’s the best way to say it,” says Falsetto, whose growing line of various thinkThin® products, including High Protein Bars and Crunch Mixed Nut Bars, are found in thousands of stores today, and whose wellness empire amasses millions of dollars each year. And throughout her rise to the top of the health-bar industry, Falsetto has remained humble, focused and genuinely appreciative for the love she’s had showered on her tasty bars.
“Every time I see somebody eating one of my bars, you wouldn’t believe what goes on inside of me,” Falsetto says. “My whole life goes by on this slow motion tape in my head! I was in Trader Joe’s the other day, and the woman behind me had six boxes of my bars. She was holding them like they were her baby. I don’t say anything to people, but I just love seeing them enjoy my products! It’s a great feeling.”
Fans of the thinkThin® wellness brand will soon have more reason to be excited, as new items will launch in 2015. “We’re expanding and making new products that really complement the line as we continue to cater to the female who is really entrenched into the protein world,” Falsetto says. “I don’t think people realize how truly important protein is, and fiber is important as well. We’re moving into a completely different category that fits in breakfast. There’s going to be a line extension that goes not just from the nutrition bar aisle in stores, but we’re going to start going into other aisles of growth to really build the brand.”
Falsetto’s business acumen and accomplishments in the competitive arena of nutrition bars are impressive, and the savvy innovator is often called upon to share her insights and experience. She has been featured in publications such as Forbes, The New York Times, Businessweek and People and on national television outlets like Fox, ABC and NBC.
She offers plenty of lifestyle advice through her personal stories on nutrition and wellness on her website (lizannefalsetto.com) and on her Twitter account (@lizannefalsetto). And Falsetto hosts Yahoo’s new radio show called Business Rockstars. “I’ve always wanted to start mentoring females, because, when I started my business, I didn’t have any help — from women, especially,” says Falsetto, who is kindly committed to helping others with their business ambitions. “I think there’s this idea that women don’t want to help women. My goal is to build a conversation with CEO women and with women who want to start their own businesses and do something with their life, sometimes after their husbands sell their businesses or their kids go off to school. I want to encourage them and connect them with the right people, and to be a good resource for them, and this radio show is about celebrating rock star CEOs and talking about how we as women can really come about to help each other more.”
Another way Falsetto is evolving modern wellness is by writing a book. “I’m working on curating and writing some really great information on how to be a really great entrepreneur, how to support women in their business endeavors, all sorts of stuff,” Falsetto says. “The book is going to be about my life, but it’s also going to be about how we get more wellness into our lives as busy, working women and mothers, and how we can stay strong while building muscle, and how we can deliver great food to the table, and keep our families full with protein and keep them functioning at a high level. Both of my children, a teen and a pre-teen, are into sports, and they need their share of protein too. While they enjoy thinkThin® bars, it’s really important to me to share a family meal each night like I was accustomed to in my childhood. I have great honor and respect for the celebration of the family meal. Our bodies are temples, and we need to feed them right — and, as parents, we need to make an effort for our children.”
Falsetto is intrigued by New Orleans and hopes to visit the city during Mardi Gras. “I was just talking about New Orleans food the other day and how there are some amazing restaurants in New Orleans,” Falsetto says. “I’d love to really be able to do the restaurant scene there and also go to some of the quaint hotels that serve breakfast — that whole thing sounds really fabulous! I love the party scene too. Obviously, it would be great to go out and celebrate Mardi Gras — but I think I’d really like to explore the food scene. I watch Food Network, and I love the many interviews coming out of New Orleans. It’s amazing.” No doubt, Falsetto will pack some thinkThin® bars in her purse to bring with her to balance out all of that New Orleans-style feasting.