MILWAUKEE— Good Source Foods is on a mission to enhance the snack category’s shift toward healthy eating. The newcomer brand announced its official launch with a line of chocolate clusters, each designed to deliver functional benefits during different parts of the day.
John Byrnes and Scott Repinski, co-founders of Good Source Foods, first teamed up two years ago with the idea of creating a ready-to-eat snack that mimics whole food.
“They wanted to offer products that would entice consumers to eat more products that are formulated to satisfy your appetite without overeating,” said Steve Winkler, vice-president of sales at Good Source Foods. “That’s really the key there, because there are so many products that focus on sugar. While they taste great, they also entice you to eat more sugar and leave you feeling terrible.”
Growth in snacks continues to outpace overall food and beverages. Last year, Americans consumed more than 836 million ready-to-eat snacks, according to data from The NPD Group. This growth is happening across dayparts, with consumers increasingly using snacks as meals or meal replacements. As a result, interest in quick bites that pack a functional punch is on the rise.
With these trends in mind, Good Source Foods is seeking to shake up the better-for-you category. The initial offerings in the brand’s lineup include three varieties of dark chocolate clusters formulated for the morning, afternoon and evening.
“We wanted to provide a functional benefit, and we decided to do that at the right time of day,” Mr. Winkler said. “All of our chocolate snacks contain 70% dark cocoa. We infuse that with olive oil as a base, and that really cuts out the bitterness of the dark chocolate. Then we add pea protein for balanced sugar and sustained energy throughout the day.”
Each product features ingredients tailored to provide specific functional benefits. Morning Jump, for example, is formulated to provide energy and focus. It contains ginger root, which helps with brain function and memory, and green tea, which provides energy without the jitters or crashes associated with caffeinated beverages, the company said. It also contains almonds for blood pressure and cholesterol control, as well as pomegranate seeds and blueberries for improved memory.
Afternoon Boost contains walnuts, which are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to improve cognitive performance. It also contains dried apples for blood sugar control and digestive health, as well as cayenne pepper, which boosts the metabolism and reduces appetite.
The third variety, Evening Calm, is formulated for relaxation and sleep. It contains dried cherries, a natural source of melatonin. Other ingredients include lavender, which is known for its calming effects, as well as turmeric, honey, oats and walnuts.
The ingredients were designed to maintain a low glycemic index. This helps reduce appetite and blood sugar spikes throughout the day, said Mr. Repinski.
“We’re targeting a mid-range glycemic index to help avoid the highs, lows and crashes that so many of us experience when we eat conventional snacks,” Mr. Repinski said. “The combination of low-sugar, high-protein, and soluble fiber creates slow-metabolizing carbohydrates that give our bodies more energy over an extended period.”
Good Source Foods’ core consumers consists of what Mr. Winkler calls “mindful eaters’ — consumers who care about what they eat and know about the benefits of functional foods. Mindful eaters also are concerned with reading labels, which means ingredient transparency and sourcing were top priorities when creating the snacks.
“Seeking out those industry recognized partners that are known for high quality ingredients was definitely the most time consuming, but really important step,” Mr. Winkler said. “We’re creating snacks that are made without the use of those industrial emulsifiers, like soy lecithin, which is one you see commonly in chocolate. So that was another one of the challenges we faced, making a product that is going through all those different steps of ingredient sourcing, but also making sure it tastes good after everything is done.”
All Good Source Food products are manufactured in-house at the company’s S.Q.F.-certified manufacturing facilities in St. Francis, Wis. The snacks are non-G.M.O. project verified and gluten-free. The company currently is working toward securing the official vegan claim certification.
The dark chocolate clusters come in resealable 4-oz packages as well as 1.5-oz packages. The clusters are available online through the company’s web site, and are set for distribution with Unfi Supervalu and Niemann Foods, Inc. Distribution also is pending with several other national retailers.