Hamutal Yitzhak: “It’s all about people”

Working to provide nutritional solutions that are rooted in clean science, our Else Nutrition team, is looking to create the first plant-based infant formula. Already in the early stages of FDA testing, and mimicking the nutritional compositional values of breast milk, this innovation will be an industry first. Not stopping there, Else Nutrition is looking […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Working to provide nutritional solutions that are rooted in clean science, our Else Nutrition team, is looking to create the first plant-based infant formula. Already in the early stages of FDA testing, and mimicking the nutritional compositional values of breast milk, this innovation will be an industry first. Not stopping there, Else Nutrition is looking to reimagine plant-based nutrition, creating solutions for infants, toddlers, children and adults using the same revolutionary values — creating clean, wholesome, minimally processed and nutritionally balanced products.

As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hamutal Yitzhak. She is a successful serial entrepreneur and inventor with a series of global patents and innovations under her name. Along with this, she also has a strong portfolio of working with novel innovative foods that are nutritious, nourishing and preventive.

Hamutal has dedicated the majority of her professional life to infant & child nutrition, and to the alternative health food industries.

Hamutal is currently the Chairwoman, CEO & Co- Founder of ELSE Nutrition Holdings Inc, a publicly listed company on (TSXV: BABY), (OTCQB: BABYF) & (FSE: OYL) which developed “Else” — the first 100% plant-based, dairy-free and soy-free baby nutrition. Else provides consumers with the first-ever alternative to traditional infant nutrition.

Else is revolutionizing the global infant nutrition sector, by using the cleanest processes possible, and including 92% whole plant ingredients. Being organic, non-GMO, corn syrup-free and gluten-free, Else meets the highest standard of complete nutrition for children’s growth and development. Else is grounded in nature and driven by science.

For over 20 years, Hamutal has been a leader in the baby food industry. Hamutal’s work has significantly contributed to the change in the face of the Israeli nutrition space. Nearly 12 years ago she Co-founded “HEART” vegan baby snacks — today, Israel’s leading brand in the category.

Prior to that, Hamutal held various senior management positions within global healthcare companies, specializing in infant and child nutrition, including the Head of Infant Nutrition at Abbott Laboratories, Israel. She also spearheaded the campaign against BPA which increased public awareness of the use of BPA in baby bottles in the early 2000’s, offering consumers the first safe alternative.

Hamutal holds a Bachelor of Science with honors in Psychology and General Science from Tel Aviv University (TAU), and an MBA from Tel Aviv University (TAU). She currently lives in Tel Aviv, is married and has 4 children.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Over 20 years ago, I headed the infant nutrition category for Abbott Labs, a world leader in nutritional, pharmaceutical, and medical brands. Closely ingrained in the infant nutrition space, I noticed an alarming number of customers whose children had allergies, intolerances, and other sensitivities to cow’s milk. When my next three children also suffered from sensitivities to cow’s milk, I knew that something needed to change.

Striving to learn more about the natural health space, I began to emerge myself in research, working to understand the connection between our food choices and physical and mental health. With a passion for this evolving category, I left my big Pharma job and set out to create a better-for-you vegan snack brand. A first of its kind in Israel, this brand quickly rose to become a category leader.

While in this position, my business partner’s granddaughter began to suffer from allergies connected to consuming cow’s milk. Leveraging our background and knowledge in the better-for-you space, as well as my prior experience in working with infant nutrition, we knew that we needed to create a solution. Working to find a solution for her granddaughter first, we turned to raw wholesome plants and saw the benefits of this dietary change fist-hand.

Knowing that we needed to bring our findings to the market and help others who suffered from these dietary restrictions, we went to work, enlisting the help of science and technological development teams. Seven years later, Else Nutrition was born.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Pioneering the final frontier of the plant-based movement and disrupting a category that has seen very little innovation in more than 120 years, our team at Else Nutrition is creating the only real, paradigm-shifting alternative to dairy-based baby nutrition. Working to introduce a groundbreaking new protein source to the baby nutrition category, Else has created the first dairy-free and soy-free, clean label, plant-based complete nutrition for babies beyond year one.

Disrupting the industry with our groundbreaking formulation, Else serves as the first real alternative for toddlers who suffer from dietary restrictions. Developed without antibiotics, hormones and GMOs, and backed by leading scientists, pediatricians and nutritionists, Else Complete Toddler Nutrition is composed of a unique combination of whole-plant organic ingredients — almonds, buckwheat and tapioca. Mimicking the nutritional gold standard composition values of breast milk, based on WHO international standards, Else Nutrition meets the strictest regulatory requirements and the highest nutritional standards, providing a full essential amino acid profile for a clean source of protein. Else has also received multiple key certifications including USDA Organic, The Clean Label Project, Beyond Soy and Certified Plant-Based.

Globally patented and made using clean and sustainable production processes, Else’s breakthrough development creates this complete nutrition formula using whole plants, without alternating their chemistry or employing high-processed extracts or harsh chemicals. Due to the brand’s minimal processing, Else is produced in an infant grade United States manufacturing site and is endorsed by a board of leading United States and international pediatricians and nutritionists. Thus, through this innovative development, Else is able to maximize the nutritional value and minimize the environmental impact.

Spearheading this space, Else Nutrition’s innovation pipeline includes a breakthrough, plant-based, clean label infant formula for babies 0–12 months. With an anticipated launch timeline of approximately 2 years, this exciting innovation is currently en route for FDA approval.

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

Over the course of my career, I have had several mentors who have challenged and inspired me. My most recent mentor has been Rabbi Yuval Asherov, a famous natural health Israeli and global guru, who combines spiritual influence alongside physical insights. With a focus on medical science, Rabbi Yuval Asherov has impacted my worldview, showing me the connection between natural healing power and curing diseases, for which conventional science has no answer. Challenging the traditional relationship between medicine and patients, Rabbi Yuval Asherov has highlighted the profound impacts between food and wellbeing, especially as it relates to illness. This mentorship has been extremely influential as I work on new innovations at Else, creating complete nutrition products by harnessing the benefits of whole plants.

One story that Rabbi Yuval Asherov shared that really resonated with me, was in looking at our bodies as a ship. Similar to a ship, we are made up of internal compartments that are separated and spread throughout. In the event of a hole in the side of the ship, the outer sections will be damaged first. When this happens, the ship is protecting its internal compartments. In order to restore function for the ship, it must be fully repaired, rather than just patched and the alarm turned off. This analogy works with our bodies, as rather than using medicine, we need to treat the full body using a holistic approach that includes looking at changing lifestyle habits such as smoking, wholesome and all-natural foods diet, and exercise. In order to function at our optimum level and heal, we need to first change our lifestyle habits, choosing natural wellness as a means of healing and restoring our bodies.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

The best advice I have received over the course of my career is as follows:

  1. It’s all about people. It starts there and ends there. It’s imperative to have a positive, trusting connection with the people with who you surround yourself within the business. This notion spans to all levels of the business community, from employees to vendors and partners, everyone is vital and important to the overall success of the business. From this belief, I have always trusted my gut and instincts, using this as a guide while I navigate running a business.
  2. If you want to make a great change in business, it is important to harness a desire to do good for others and not just focus on your own agenda. When looking at the ‘why’ of your business from this approach, it is easy to come to an understanding of the ‘how’. To that end, at Else we are striving to be a triple bottom line business, creating a positive impact on society, future generations and the planet.
  3. I’ve learned to ‘frame and reframe.’ This means challenging conventions, but more than that, it also means being open to different perspectives. When we were in our early days of Else, we received many ‘hard no’s’ or ‘this idea is crazy,’ but we always stuck to our vision. We remained open to learn from these rejections, using it as fuel for the way forward. Additionally, good ideas can come from anywhere — it doesn’t have to be from top execs — but rather from different individuals, especially the ones from whom you may not expect.

How are you going to shake things up next?

Working to provide nutritional solutions that are rooted in clean science, our Else Nutrition team, is looking to create the first plant-based infant formula. Already in the early stages of FDA testing, and mimicking the nutritional compositional values of breast milk, this innovation will be an industry first. Not stopping there, Else Nutrition is looking to reimagine plant-based nutrition, creating solutions for infants, toddlers, children and adults using the same revolutionary values — creating clean, wholesome, minimally processed and nutritionally balanced products.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

While I enjoy consuming content, specifically in the space of natural medicine and natural health, the Jewish Kabbalah has always had a deep impact on me. This spiritualism has helped to shape my belief and thoughts, especially as it relates to materialism. For me there is no materialism, without spiritualism behind it. Broken down in the Jewish Kabbalah, we are shown a connection between the materialism of the western world and the spirituality of the eastern world, and how we can unite and connect these two contrasting ideals. Operating in the world of material, money, status and more, the Jewish Kabbalah reminds us of the importance of meditation and prayer, and the balance between these two important entities that create harmony in the world. This connection between the body and the mind, and creating unity between them is essential when maintaining health and curing diseases.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I connect with the late physicist, Albert Einstein who once famously said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival on life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” Working off of this idea, and my involvement in the plant-based space, which is arguably a movement that is currently transpiring, Else Nutrition is providing a sustainable, wholesome and vegetarian nutrition solution for future generations. Working to help others, especially those who suffer from dietary restrictions, we aim to solve a need in the marketplace, as well as to improve animal welfare and our planet’s long-term sustainability.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite life lesson quote is “How do I define success? Success has no rules.” Interpreting this lesson into my own life, I believe that a successful person is someone who has never given up on their dreams and never stops trying to achieve them. While it can be difficult to follow your dreams against all odds, it’s important to continue striving toward these goals. To add, once you successfully achieve one dream, continue to aim for new and higher goals. Never give up!

In fact, my personal pathway is a good example of following this life lesson. Seven years ago, I was driven by a conviction to start Else Nutrition. Knowing that our work would help many people around the world, we pushed through being undervalued, discouraged or ignored, never giving up on the dream. Looking back, it’s crazy to think that if we would have given up just a minute before reaching that point, it may never have happened.

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can follow Hamutal on LinkedIn at Hamutal Yitzhak.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Female Disruptors: Jola Sonkin is on a mission to spread the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle

by Erika Couto

“Champion positivity, inclusivity, and a strong purpose and mission” with Len Giancola & Jill Ellsworth

by Len Giancola

“Why you should eat foods in season” with Prachi Baxi of SmartyPans

by Dr. William Seeds

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.