Purely paleo

by Ryan Atkinson
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During the past three years, the Paleolithic diet has become one of the biggest health trends. The UK’s National Health Service said Paleo was Google’s most searched-for weight loss method in 2013.

But as popular as the so-called “caveman diet” has become, Debbie Fred found there were very few true Paleo energy bars. A true Paleo diet is designed to emulate the diet of wild plants and animals that humans ate during the Paleolithic era.

“Many bars claim to be Paleo, yet they still are using whey protein, pea protein or brown rice syrup,” Ms. Fred said. “These are not Paleo ingredients.”

So Ms. Fred set out to offer another option and, after some trial and error, the Cro Bar was introduced into her line of Paleo Eats foods.

The Cro Bar is a 100% Paleo gourmet snack bar made from organic, high-quality ingredients like coconut, almonds, coconut oil, Medjool dates, raw cacao powder, milled flaxseed and Himalayan pink sea salt. It has no GMOs, gluten, dairy, grains, legumes or processed sugar.

“Since the Cro Bar is manufactured in a gluten-free facility, those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance can rest assured knowing there will not be any cross contamination,” Ms. Fred said. “The Cro Bar is also great for anyone who wants to eat a clean diet, have more energy and feel good.”

Ms. Fred, a former MRI technologist and committed CrossFit enthusiast, has long been a nutrition devotee, but it became a top priority after her three children were born. After one son was diagnosed with gluten intolerance, Ms. Fred decided to eat only clean, easy-to-digest foods and began baking dairy-free, gluten-free treats. That led to the birth of Paleo Eats in 2012.

Her first energy bar, the Evo Bar, was difficult to manufacture. The raw bar had a chocolate topping and had to be refrigerated, creating the challenge of high shipping costs and difficult delivery during the summer months. Ms. Fred altered the ingredients and slightly baked the bar and renamed it the Cro Bar. It was formally introduced during the summer of 2014 when Paleo Eats marketed to the crowd at the Oregon Summer CrossFit Games.

After doing the baking herself for a year, Ms. Fred found a gluten-free kitchen that could reproduce the Cro Bar in small batches, which allowed her to focus on the sales and marketing side of the business.

The Cro Bar is available online at the Wild Mountain Paleo Market, on Amazon and soon at ­www.paleoeats.com. The 1.75-oz bars carry a suggested retail price of $3.50-$3.99 each. Ms. Fred is currently working on a new coffee flavor for the Cro Bar and plans to offer three to four new flavors in the near future. She is also looking to expand the retail distribution and grow online sales this year.

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