When we first started selling the HERO Bar last year we knew we were on to something. Young Athletes loved the product and parents kept telling us "I'm always looking for a good bar for my athlete!"
We were thrilled.
But, there was one problem that kept rearing its ugly head: allergies. For reasons largely unknown, kids today are at a much higher risk to develop food allergies than previous generations. Without putting too much thought into it, when we developed the original Chocolate Nut Brownie HERO Bar we included both almonds and cashews- two common and often dangerous allergens.
So, as soon as we could muster the effort, we began work on a second flavor of the HERO Bar. It would need to taste just as great as the original, maintain the key nutrition we've identified as optimal for young athletes, and use only the best, all-natural ingredients.
We knew it'd be hard but were confident we could get it accomplished in 3-6 months.
We made quick progress putting together a general framework for a Cookies 'N Cream flavor. We needed a compliment to the original Chocolate Nut Brownie flavor and Cookies 'N Cream was the flavor most recommended by customers. However, we soon hit a roadblock. It turns out nuts provide several critical functions to the bar- they provide substantial protein, they improve the consistency with natural fats and a satisfying crunch, and they taste great. It's no coincidence that most bars in the grocery aisle contain nuts.
Without the nuts, the amount of whey protein had to be much higher to hit the 10g per bar protein level we were targeting. But more whey protein threw off the taste and dried out the bars. We were stuck...
Then, a breakthrough.
While walking the aisles of Whole Foods in search of quality ingredients to test, Tapioca flour caught our eye. It had the nutrition we were looking for, was gluten free, and helped with the bar's consistency. Plus, we were already using tapioca fiber in the original flavor. We were back in business.
Where would the cookie in "Cookies 'N Cream" come from though? At first, we tried to source a cookie from local manufacturers. No one could make one that used ingredients we were comfortable with and tasted decent. Back to the drawing board we went.
We decided our only option was to make the cookie ourselves. But baking, as many of you know, is no joke. It's a science experiment that can go very, very wrong. Ingredients react in a variety of ways when heated so it's a tedious testing process.
After 32 different recipes, we finally landed on a satisfying cookie with recipe #33.
Now it was a matter of combining the cookie with the base and making micro adjustments to optimize the consistency and taste of the bar. Finally, on recipe #73 we had a product we were excited to take to market.
After a couple of months testing at local events, making some minor tweaks, then scaling up the recipe in our commercial kitchen, Cookies 'N Cream was officially launched.
All told it took nine months, 70+ recipes, and 100+ hours in the kitchen.
Here are the details on the product:
Flavor: Cookies 'N Cream
Key Nutrition Facts: 150 Calories, 20g Carbs, 7g Fiber, 8g Sugar, 10g Protein. These are nearly identical to the original Chocolate Nut Brownie flavor, with simply fewer calories due to less fat (no nuts).
Ingredients: Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Honey, Tapioca Fiber, Tapioca Flour, Organic Coconut, Organic Cacao, Dark Chocolate Chips (Unsweetened Chocolate, Cane Sugar), Organic Cacao Butter, Vanilla Extract, Sea Salt
Allergens: Milk, Coconut
We are thrilled for you to give it a try! Currently, we're running a sale on Cookies 'N Cream boxes for 10% off with code "cookies". Grab a box and be a cookie monster!
As always, we're honored to fuel your young athlete.
-Reid & Team HERO