Baking & Snack - May 2018 - 154
NEW PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT
Kitchen TO Aisle
Bobo's brings the grocery store's fresh perimeter to its center.
Toast'r is Bobo's
first product that
When Whole Foods Market reached out to Bobo's,
Boulder, CO, the supermarket chain had just finished
its cereal bar category review, which showed a lack of
meaningful innovations. Whole Foods asked if the nutrition snack bar manufacturer would bring something
unique to the cereal bar space. With the awareness that
consumers are keeping to the fresh perimeter of stores,
Bobo's decided to move this freshness to the center
aisles. What emerged was a little more wholesome, a
little more like homemade, and a little toastier.
Bobo's Toast'r, a rectangular filled pastry with an oat
crust, launched nationally this month at Whole Foods
stores. Toast'r is packaged as a single 2.5-oz pastry with
a suggested retail price of $2.49. It is gluten-free, dairyfree, vegan and certified Kosher.
The toaster pastry comes in four varieties: two nutbased and two fruit-based. Chocolate Almond Butter
is made with an almond butter and chocolate chip filling while Chocolate Peanut Butter has peanut butter inside with cocoa powder added to the pastry batter. Strawberry Jam includes a strawberry filling, and
Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed incorporates blueberry
jam with lemon and poppy seeds mixed into the batter.
Aspiring entrepreneur Beryl Stafford founded Bobo's,
a "baked from the heart" brand, in 2003. The original
oat bars were first made in Ms. Stafford's kitchen and
are made much the same way today. The company has
a 15,000-sq-ft facility that houses pans upon pans and
is more employee- than equipment-oriented to run like
154 Baking & Snack May 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com
a family kitchen. "Our Boulder bakery prides itself on
baking with a very handmade, homemade touch," said
TJ McIntyre, CEO, Bobo's. "We believe that our consumers value this homemade texture, aroma and taste."
Although the production of Toast'r is similar to that
of the company's oat bars, oat bites and stuffed bars, it
also required some changes, including dual extrusion
equipment with multiple formers and ingredients for
new flavors. The biggest change was the introduction of
ancient grains buckwheat groats and millet.
However, these additions haven't hindered Bobo's intentions to maintain a simple ingredient list, and it plans
to simplify it down the line. "We're moving so fast on
this innovation that we're going to continue making adjustments on the fly," Mr. McIntyre said.
The company made a strong showing at Natural
Product Expo West and expects the consumer response
to be just as encouraging. In fact, Mr. McIntyre predicts
Toast'r will be picked up by as much as 20% of conventional grocery stores by June or July because retailers are
recognizing the need for fresher products in the center
of their stores.
"There are many parents who shop in the natural food
section of a grocery store and stay away from toaster
pastries altogether because of the degree at which they're
processed and viewed as unhealthy," Mr. McIntyre said.
"We want to bring those shoppers back to the breakfast
bar category. And Bobo's Toast'r serves as a solution."
- Karlee Renkoski