I Heart Keenwah Uses Mekko Graphics to Make Quinoa Part of Your Daily Diet

I Heart Keenwah

I Heart Keenwah is a specialty food business based in Chicago. The co-founders came up with the idea as MBA students at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. They took full-time jobs after graduation, but they continued to work on the quinoa venture. They created products in their home kitchens, tested products at farmers’ markets and pitched retailers. In 2012, their quinoa clusters were featured in Oprah’s magazine. After 3 years of juggling their jobs and a start-up, Sarah Chalos and Ravi Jolly, co-founders of I Heart Keenwah, decided to dedicate themselves full-time to their growing food business.

Sarah, Ravi and their team are on a mission to create great snacks that make it easy for people to incorporate quinoa into their daily lives. Their sweet and savory snacks use organic Bolivian quinoa, the superfood that is a complete source of protein, and are made in the USA. They come in a range of fun, foodie flavors and are certified gluten-free and non-GMO. Find a store near you that carries I Heart Keenwah snacks.

Industry: Food and Beverage

“I rely on Mekko Graphics because it saves me time and my charts look much better than they would if I had to create them using other software. I’m a big fan of adding data rows to our charts so the audience can easily grasp the key message.”

–Sarah Chalos Co-Founder and President.

Q&A with Sarah Chalos, Co-Founder and President

  • Primary Reason for Using Mekko Graphics

    a. Efficiency

    b. Specific chart type

  • Favorite Chart Type

    a. Marimekko

    b. Cascade

  • Have You Created a Million Dollar Slide?

    a. Yes

    b. Not yet but I’m hopeful

  • Best Chart Enhancement

    a. Data/CAGR columns or rows

    b. Average, growth, comparison or regression lines

  • Beyond the Bar Chart

    a. Love the bar chart

    b. Prefer to use other chart types

Business Needs:

  • I Heart Keenwah needs to present data-driven analysis about its business to key internal and external stakeholders, including its Board of Directors, team members, current and potential customers.


  • Sales presentations showcase many charts, including bar charts that compare all of the products in the category.
  • The team members review a series of bar charts highlighting key financial and social media metrics as part of a monthly internal discussion.
  • Cascade charts are used to walk board members through the individual components that drive budget changes versus the previous year.
  • A bar mekko chart is used to assess the viability of a key promotional activity when determining marketing priorities.

Success / Highlights:

  • Sales materials, featuring Mekko Graphics charts, are used to present products to prospective retailers using key metrics including SKU velocity, ACV and growth. Sales presentations include slides with multiple charts (up to 6 per slide) to give retailers a complete view of the products and category.
  • The monthly dashboard allows the team to review financial performance as well as the effectiveness of various marketing initiatives.
  • Board members review key charts at quarterly meetings. The stacked cascade by product line allows board members to see how revenue is projected to change across the product portfolio.