Power O’s breakfast cereals are made from navy beans, lentils, garbanzo beans and brown rice and come in four varieties – original, honey, strawberry and chocolate. The high protein, high fiber cold ready-to-eat cereals were developed in around six months and launched across retailers in the US and Canada earlier this month.
Founder and CEO Alex Hasulak said the cereals should tap into the explosive bean trend.
“We’ve seen an increase in plant-based, specifically bean-based, snack items like chips. Consumers have embraced these ingredients in this category, so why not expand this concept to other areas of the grocery store,” he said.
“It’s certainly a novel concept, but consumers are seeking out healthy, ready-to-eat breakfast options… We realized the lack of bean and lentil-based products in the breakfast category and decided to capitalize on just that.”
Data from Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD) showed that while the number of new products containing pulses remained small, there had been 116% growth in new product development between 2009 and 2013.
Hasulak said the shift towards legume-based foods was driven by a desire for better nutrition.
“Protein and fiber are on the top of consumer’s minds these days – Power O’s are a good source of both nutrients.”
Power O's nutrition content
Each 35g serving of Power O’s cereal contains 4g – 6g of protein and 3g of fiber from the beans and brown rice
According to research from the NPD Group, more than half of Americans want more protein in their diets. One study published last year in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine suggested that ready-to-eat cereals were a suitable category to close a 'chronic' fiber gap in the US.
Hasulak said there were plenty of consumers seeking alternatives to wheat and corn, and a bean-blend was a nutritious alternative to these grains. The cereal also made for a great snack, he added.
Buyers are ‘shocked’ by the beans
Launched at the beginning of this month, Hasulak said feedback so far on the bean-based cereal line had been good, particularly from registered dieticians.
The line had also created a stir among retailers in the US and Canada, he said. “Buyers are completely surprised and excited to learn that our cereal is made of beans. Let me take that back, they are actually shocked to learn the Power O’s are made of beans.”
The breakfast cereal line met the needs of retailers looking to differentiate and expand, he said.
Asked if Love Grown Foods planned to expand the Power O’s line, Hasulak said the company had a few things in mind for the cereal line but could also develop an entirely new product in late 2014.