GREAT BARRINGTON, MASS. — Entrepreneur Lisa Newmann describes her latest innovation as “coffee that never spills.” Java Me Up Coffee Bars feature rolled oats, chocolate and shade-grown, organic coffee. Flavors include caramel macchiato and cafe mocha, with more varieties in development.
The products are available on-line and in offices, airports, gyms, hospitals and schools. Each bar contains 8 grams of whole grains, with 160 calories, 5 to 6 grams of protein and 4 to 5 grams of fiber per serving.
Previously, Ms. Newmann was president of Cookiehead Snacks, offering cookies, brownies and muffins made with whole and sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate and fruit. The most popular cookie in the lineup, featuring chocolate, coffee and almonds, inspired the launch of Coffee Snacks, Inc. and the Java Me Up brand.
“We have developed snacks that are coffee-fueled, which we’ll introduce over time,” Ms. Newmann told Food Business News. “Consumers really like a bar format, but Java Me Up is not a nutrition bar or diet bar. It’s a coffee bar. We have designed a new category — the coffee snack.”
Featuring an espresso blend from No. Six Depot roastery and cafe in West Stockbridge, Mass., each bar contains 35 mg of caffeine, the equivalent of half of a cup of coffee.
“We don’t add caffeine powder; the amount of caffeine comes only from the coffee we use,” Ms. Newmann said. “We can always increase the amount within reason, but we will never add a scary amount of caffeine or coffee. We don’t believe in that.”
Ms. Newmann developed the idea for coffee snacks several years ago, testing various formats and flavors in the marketplace before relaunching the products within the past few months.
“We brought something to market that had a particular taste, look and message, and then we watched people buy or not buy it at coffee stations,” Ms. Newmann said. “When we first brought this out and were testing, some people grabbed five at a time and put them at the register when they were getting a cup of coffee or a sandwich. So I asked those people what was appealing about it, and I recorded the information.
“And then, more importantly, for the people who picked it up and put it back, I wanted to know what was wrong. After we did this test for several months, we regrouped and conducted a situation analysis on this very specific targeted niche … We learned a lot.”
An on-the-go pick-me-up, Java Me Up coffee bars capitalize on the hot trends of craft coffee beverages, portable snacking and sustainable ingredient sourcing. The coffee beans are purchased from small farms, the proceeds of which support the growers and communities to provide schools, health clinics and clean water.“I have great respect for the ritual of drinking coffee, whether it’s stopping at a corner espresso bar or sitting with a cappuccino in the early morning or holding that hot coffee in between ski runs,” Ms. Newmann said. “We’re not trying to replace the ritual. We’re simply offering another coffee-fueling opportunity for coffee lovers.”