MILWAUKIE, ORE. — Launched last year, Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour has already become a popular seller for the Milwaukie-based company. The product combines almond flour, arrowroot starch, coconut flour and tapioca flour. For a nearly 40-year-old company with a rich heritage in grains, catering to a trendy grain-free lifestyle may have been perceived as an unusual move; however, the product aligns with the company’s values, said Matthew Cox, vice-president of marketing for Bob’s Red Mill.
“After the very positive receptions of our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and Gluten Free All Purpose Flour, we realized people were looking for more unique, gluten-free flour blends,” Mr. Cox said. “Creative cooking and healthy eating are core values for Bob’s Red Mill, so this new flour fits perfectly with those values.”
Bob’s Red Mill has expanded on the success of that product with new Paleo Style Muesli, made with coconut, berries, nuts and seeds. This and other new items were on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show, held Jan. 22-24 in San Francisco. The company also featured Fruit & Seed Muesli, Gluten Free Tropical Muesli and Organic Masa Harina, a traditional Mexican flour used to make tortillas.
“We listen closely to our customers, which plays a direct role in determining new product decisions,” Mr. Cox said. “This customer feedback — from dietary challenges to favorite products — helps us identify either gaps in the market, or unique product ideas that will be widely embraced. We are less concerned about being on-trend and more focused on growing Bob’s Red Mill as the go-to, trusted resource for all cooks and bakers.”
Another new product, Gluten Free Egg Replacer, features a blend of potato starch, tapioca flour, baking soda and psyllium husk fiber.
“It’s an excellent solution for vegan or sensitive-diet bakers,” Mr. Cox said.
Founded by Bob Moore and his wife, Charlee, in 1978, Bob’s Red Mill offers a broad assortment of flours and meals, mixes, cereals and granola, and grains, beans and seeds. The company’s facilities in Milwaukie include the 325,000-square-foot headquarters, laboratory and manufacturing plant and a 127,000-square-foot distribution center. The company also has a dedicated gluten-free facility that is equipped with its own mixers, mills and high-speed packaging line.
Recently, the company expanded into a new category with the launch of protein powders.
“We introduced a line of Nutritional Booster Protein Powders about a year ago after seeing demand from consumers looking for convenient and nutritious meal solutions,” Mr. Cox said. “The Nutritional Boosters are merchandized in the Personal Care & Supplements section, so we are already expanding outside of the flour and cereal lines that many people associate Bob’s Red Mill with.”
Looking ahead, the company will continue to innovate and introduce products driven by consumer feedback, Mr. Cox said.
“We are excited to share that our packaging is gradually transitioning to new re-sealable stand-up pouches,” he said. “We’ve listened to our customers so we know this change will be celebrated by many.”