In the United States, it seems bigger is better. With big cars, big houses and even bigger personalities, Americans only seem to be trying to downsize their waistline. Growing worries over obesity and other health concerns have prompted citizens to reexamine what and how they eat. Many are turning to snacking as a way to indulge without going overboard.
“Snacking is now a staple of the American diet, and as consumers snack more often, they are looking for healthier ways to indulge with high-quality ingredients,” said Diana Kelter, food service analyst, Mintel.
Tapping into this ever-growing trend, The Gluten Free Bar (GFB), Grand Rapids, Mich., introduced GFB Bites.
“Consumers have always loved the taste and better-for-you appeal of our bars, but we heard feedback that our customers didn’t always want to eat a full-size bar,” said Elliot Rader, co-founder and partner, GFB. “We decided to take all the great things about our bars and put them into more of a snackable format, and that is how GFB Bites were born.”
Combining the nutrition of a protein bar with the decadence of a truffle, the snack is available in six varieties inspired by tart cherry, dark chocolate, toasted coconut and nut flavors. The Non-GMO Project verified treat is also free from gluten and soy and contains 110 calories and 4 grams of protein for every two bites.
The company first introduced the product on itsweb site as a way to gather feedback while it worked out manufacturing kinks. After receiving plenty of positive feedback, GFB supported the product launch through in-store discounts, demos and social media. The item is now sold at club, grocery and natural foods stores ¬nationwide with a suggested retail price of $4.99 per 4-oz bag.
GFB Bites are created in the company’s certified gluten-free facility, which allows the manufacturer to keep a close eye on quality and craftsmanship. Production has changed considerably since the product was first launched, and the company has striven to automate parts of its operation. Specifically, certain product attributes required GFB to work with suppliers to develop custom-designed equipment.
GFB’s mission is to create fun and flavorful gluten-free snacks for everyone, and the development of GFB Bites has been an exciting transition into the cluster category.
“GFB Bites are already proving to be a strong contender in the emerging ‘packaged snack’ category,” said Marshall Rader, co-¬founder, GFB. “We believe that with some additional work and ¬awareness-building that our bites product will be a leader in the category and will be what people reach for when they are looking for better-for-you, high-protein, bite-sized snacks.”