Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 29

OPERATIONS
Jimmy! Functional Snacks
Jimmy! Functional Snacks is fighting hard to show it has
what it takes to win in the ring of the natural foods category.
by Charlotte Atchley
J
Jim Simon loves a good fight. Whether it's
wrestling, boxing or mixed martial arts, he's a
fan of them all. So it's no surprise that when he
describes his company, Chicago-based Jimmy!
Functional Snacks, the word that comes up
most often is scrappy. In the bar category, the
company's flagship product, the Jimmy!Bar, is
the one to watch, and other snack categories
are not far behind. The company has grown by
leaps and bounds, even through the bar slump
of 2020, by continuously reinventing its product
to meet consumers' needs and refusing to
be hemmed in by traditional expectations and
limitations.
" We've taken an atypical approach, " said
Mr. Simon, the company's founder and chief
executive officer. " We're scrappy and hungry.
We didn't go out and raise money from venture
capitalists. We didn't go into major natural
retailers and pay slotting fees. But we've
been profitable seven out of nine years, and we
launched new products during COVID. We're
selling internationally now. We're scrappy; we
think outside the box. "
With manufacturing lessons learned and
automation on the horizon, the company sits
ready to unleash its pent-up growth for its own
brand, private label and future opportunities to
entire new categories of snacks.
Knowing when to pivot
Jimmy! Functional Snacks started in 2014 as
Jimmy!Bar, a collaboration between Mr. Simon
and his sister, Annette Del Prete, president of
the company's manufacturing arm, Nettie's
Kitchen. While they didn't set out to create a
bar company, Mr. Simon did want to solve the
problem of taste in natural foods.
" I realized that, in natural foods, 99% is just
good marketing while 1% might be truth, " he
said. " A lot of brands will stick the word organic
in front of something, and the consumers will
think it's healthy, and it's not, so we wanted to
do something more honest. We wanted to create
a product that tasted good. We threw out a
lot of ideas but landed on bars. "
Ms. Del Prete's training as a chef and restaurateur
drove the product development engine
along with her husband, Felipo Del Prete, and
Mr. Simon developed the brand and began
shopping it around. The original Jimmy!Bar
was very different from today's product. It was
a clean label, nutritious-but-delicious bar with
date paste as the base and sweetened with other
fruits.
" We burned out several Cuisinart mixers using
that date paste, " said Ms. Del Prete, thinking
back to the early days of developing the first
prototypes.
On the branding side, Mr. Simon wanted
to move away from the macho messaging
most other bars use to market to consumers.
To stand out, the Jimmy!Bar brand aims to be
more fun with its Tiffany Blue color and exclamation
points. While the brand's audience does
skew more female, don't be fooled. Jimmy!Bar
has found an enthusiastic partnership within
the mixed martial arts community with 17 professional
fighters representing the brand.
In addition to partnering with athletes and
influencers, Mr. Simon said demos have been
critical to success. When marketing a healthy
bar as delicious, tasting is believing.
" Get the bars in people's mouths; they have
to taste it, " he said.
Mr. Simon used his connections in the technology
industry - before Jimmy!Bar he was
in tech sales - to get the bar into corporate
cafeterias of tech companies. Then in 2018,
Jimmy!Bar received feedback during demonwww.bakingbusiness.com
/ December 2022 Baking & Snack 29
(From left) Kevin
DeLozier, SQF
practitioner and
supply chain manager;
Annette Del Prete,
president of Nettie's
Kitchen; Kyle Lasser,
production manager;
and Octavio Contreras,
warehouse manager,
have scaled the
learning curve of
manufacturing to keep
up with demand for
Jimmy!Bar.
Photos by Jay Rubinic
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - December 2022

Baking & Snack - December 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 5
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 6
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 7
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 8
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 9
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 10
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 11
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 12
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 13
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 14
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 15
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 16
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 17
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 18
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 19
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 20
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 21
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 22
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 23
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Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 25
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 26
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 27
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 28
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 29
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 30
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 31
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Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 33
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Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 99
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 100
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-february-2023
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-december-2022
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-november-2022
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-october-2022
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-september-2022
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-december-2021
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-november-2021
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-october-2021
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-september-2021
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http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_09_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_08_01
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http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_04_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_03_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2019_02_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_12_01
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http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_09_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_08_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_07_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_06_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_05_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_04_01
http://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/2018_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2018_02_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_11_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_10_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_08_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_07_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2017_05_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2016_12_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2015_11_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2014_12_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/bs/2013_12_01
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