Oct. 12, 2010
by Jennifer Barnett Fox
Flaxseeds might not be on the list of everyone’s favorite foods, but for Alison Levitt, MD, they represent a gold mine of flavor and health benefits. Taking an approach much like that touted by the folk saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” Dr. Levitt, a holistic medical practitioner, set out to create a flaxseed product that provided health benefits and a sense of well-being as well as enhanced energy. The flaxseed and herb crackers were designed to fulfill her clients’ desire for a gluten-free, low-carb, crunchy snack that did not contain wheat. Her clients’ rave reviews encouraged Dr. Levitt and company co-founder Donn Kelly, a seasoned food marketer, to provide Flackers crackers to a larger retail market.
Doctor in the Kitchen, Minneapolis, MN, sprouts and then dehydrates the flaxseeds to preserve their nutrients and omega-3 content and increase the bioavailability of the flaxseeds. Flackers contain 2,280 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 570 mg of plant lignans per serving as well as naturally occurring phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The crackers are available in Rosemary, Savory and Dill varieties — flavors inspired by Dr. Levitt’s home herb garden. The first introduction was Savory, followed by Dill and Rosemary. The company plans to introduce new flavor varieties in the future.
Each 3-cracker serving contains 110 Cal, 8 g of fat, 8 g of carbohydrates and 7 g of protein. In addition to being glu-ten-free, the crackers also do not contain yeast, rice or sugar. The products were initially sold through Dr. Levitt’s medi-cal practice beginning in 2005. Distribution has since expanded to local co-ops and grocery stores in the Twin Cities and to Whole Foods stores in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Flackers also are sold online at the company’s Web site, www.drinthekitchen.com. A 5-oz box retails for $5.69 to $5.99.
The company focuses its products on health-conscious eaters who strive to live a healthy lifestyle. “Because Flackers are a very hearty cracker, consumers are using them as a meal substitute or a snack alternative, particularly when a healthy spread such as guacamole or hummus is served with them,” Mr. Kelly said.
Marketing for the brand includes a blog written by Dr. Levitt as well as social networking and viral marketing. Doctor in the Kitchen also participates in store demonstrations and community events where the company’s target consumers —those eating for health, gluten-free and celiac consumers and ingredient label readers —are likely to be.
“Flackers are super-healthy products created by a medical doctor that are loaded with the nutrition you get from real, whole foods,” Mr. Kelly concluded.