The Greek yogurt aisle was already pretty crowded by the time Epic Naturals co-founder Jesse Rudolph started pitching his wares to the market around 18 months ago. But chia - the superfood of the moment - proved to be his secret weapon.
Rudolph knew it would be tough to break into the category but was convinced he was onto something special with his 150-calorie pots with fruit and hydrated chia seeds at the bottom and Greek yogurt on top.
He was right. The 'chia' factor coupled with the appealing packaging, nutritional profile (17g protein, 3g fiber) and brand name - 'The Epic Seed' - also impressed retail buyers and distributors, who gave the brand a shot in July 2013, and have since worked with him to expand distribution to 700 stores including Whole Foods, Sprouts and Safeway on the east and west coast.