BELLEVUE, WASH. — From mythical times to movies today, superheroes fight to make the world a better place. The limitless energy of legendary characters like Superman — who’s faster than a speeding bullet — inspired the naming of Bulletproof 360, a manufacturer of food products and dietary supplements designed to maximize performance for body and mind.
Kimberly Schaub, senior food product development scientist at the Bellevue, Wash.-based company, formulates the company’s “superfoods” and supplements with the mission of helping mere mortals live their best.
“I describe Bulletproof as a high-performance technology, product and food company,” she said.
Building a brand
Ms. Schaub is the first research chef and culinary scientist to be hired by Bulletproof, a company that’s popular among active consumers and proponents of paleo and ketogenic diets.
“The Bulletproof Diet targets 50-60% of daily caloric intake from healthy fats — this is easy and tastes good — 20% from protein and the rest from vegetables,” Ms. Schaub said.
The company got its start in 2010 when founder Dave Asprey posted a recipe for “bulletproof” buttered coffee on-line, claiming to have lost 300 lbs, eliminated ailments and supercharged his performance by following an anti-inflammatory diet high in saturated fats.
“Putting butter in hot drinks is a several thousand-year-old practice Dave learned while traveling in Tibet,” Ms. Schaub said.
In a short time, the buttered coffee trend took on a life of its own, lauded by celebrities and publicized on TV, and Bulletproof 360 was born. The company’s signature products offer coffee made from low-toxin, certified-clean coffee beans and Brain Octane Oil, a high-fat supplement sourced from coconut and/or palm kernel oil, according to the company.
Iterations of buttered coffee have popped up, Ms. Schaub said, but Mr. Asprey’s recipe kickstarted a modern movement. Today, she oversees development for an extended line of Bulletproof-branded products including FATwater, Collagen Protein Bars and Bites, Upgraded Chocolate, and VanillaMax and Protein Powders.
“Since I’m the primary food and beverage developer, I work closely with our supply chain and sourcing managers as well as suppliers and co-manufacturers to scope and create finished products,” Ms. Schaub said. “This involves formula writing, specification and sensory evaluation of prototypes and iterations. I also support the product managers in project timelines, and have occasional travel to manufacturing sites to launch new products.”
New products she is currently working on are line extensions for the FATwater and collagen protein bar lines. New FATwater flavors launching this summer are blueberry, dragon fruit and mango.
“Sometimes you have to increase the amount of a spice or flavored oil used to increase the intensity of the flavor,” she said. “Our top-selling food bar right now is our new lemon cookie collagen bar, which tastes remarkably like a lemon shortbread cookie and also provides 12g protein from collagen protein and cashews and 14g ‘good’ fat from the MCTs [medium-chained tryglycerides] and cashews.”
Ms. Schaub said collagen protein tops the latest hot trend list.
“Collagen protein, new non-nutritive natural sweeteners and incorporating MCTs into more food and beverages are all opportunities for us at Bulletproof,” she said.