Superfruits to the rescue
by Lucy Sutton
Superfoods are all the rage, and nuts and berries appear on almost any list of such foods that winds up in consumers' hands. What better inclusion for a company focused on natural nutrition as it looks to expand its product offerings?
That's exactly what prompted Lizanne Falsetto, founder and CEO, thinkThin, Marina del Rey, CA, to introduce Fruit & Nut varieties to the company’s Crunch line. "We wanted to enter into the fruit and nut category to create food that was full of almonds, berries, real food," she said. "Bursting with vibrant superfruits and rich in antioxidants, these delicious, sweet, tart and nutty bars will wake up your taste buds."
Those superfruits abound in the Blueberry, Cherry and Cranberry Apple Crunch Fruit & Nut bars, as do peanuts, almonds and cashews. "I am a big believer in superfruits known for their antioxidant properties and vibrant flavor," Ms. Falsetto said. "Blueberries are particularly high in antioxidants. We added tart green apple to the cranberry bar for originality and flavor. I took the cherry concept from my grandma’s homemade granola bars, excluding the sugar and adding protein."
Reduced sugar is a key marketing point for the Fruit & Nut line, with each bar claiming "60% less sugar than other leading fruit and nut bars" on the front of the package. On its website, the company cites July 2011 SPINSscan data showing competitors’ fruit and nut bars contain an average of 16 g sugar per serving. Sweetened with the berries and brown rice syrup, the Blueberry and Cherry flavors contain 180 Cal, 11 g fat with 1.5 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 6 g sugar and 8 g protein. The Cranberry Apple variety contains 170 Cal, 8 g fat with 1 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 8 g sugar and 8 g protein. The bars are also gluten- and dairy-free, representing the company's first vegan offering.
thinkThin's marketing strategy targets women and men of all ages, as well as children and teens. "It reaches a very broad base of consumers who want a healthy snack alternative that is low in sugar yet naturally sweet and crunchy," Ms. Falsetto said. The company is taking aim at the natural channel first but plans to extend into mainstream grocery, conventional, mass and specialty markets. "We believe in putting the food in the people’s mouth, so a strong in-store demo program will be executed," she added.
The company produces the new products on existing equipment, but it incorporated a window on the packaging to allow potential consumers to see the bars before purchasing. The bars retail individually for $1.69 to $1.99 or in a 10-count box for $16.90.
"The brand is already showing huge success in current market locations. We believe this is the perfect healthy snack for people who want to manage their weight and health," Ms. Falsetto said. "The platform is based on the concept of weight wellness. We are an ingredient of a day lived well."