The Acai Roots Fruit Bar, which launched Jan. 12 in Fresh & Easy stores, is “extremely different from other frozen dessert options because not only is it delicious, but it’s also extremely healthy,” said Marco Rega, co-founder of the San Diego, Calif-based company.
He explained that each of the certified organic and vegan bars has only 90 calories and no saturated fat. They are, however, packed with healthy fats, including omega-3, -6 and -9, which “have been shown to improve the look and texture of hair, skin and nails.”
Each bar also contains more than 2,000 oxygen radical absorbance capacity units of antioxidants, which “help neutralize free radicals and slow free radical damage that can contribute to degeneration and disease,” and “have also been shown to boost the immune system,” Rega said. He added: “Lastly, the phytosterols in the acai berries may help to lower cholesterol, fight cancer and prevent the slowdown of collagen production.”
The launch of the fruit bar expands Acai Roots’ footprint in the frozen dessert category, which it entered in June 2014 with the launch of its organic acai sorbet. Previously, the firm’s frozen offerings were limited to frozen fruit purees designed for smoothies and acai bowls.
Carving space in a competitive category
The frozen dessert category is extremely competitive and, as a mature market, is not growing very fast, according to Packaged Facts, which estimates the category will grow 1% annually through 2016 and then 2% annually through 2018 when it will reach $27.5 billion. (Read more about the market HERE.)
Nonetheless, Rega said Acai Roots entered the category because it saw a lot of potential to meet consumer interest in health and wellness in a segment that was not fully tapped for the trend. Packaged Facts marketing experts agree that renewed focus on health and wellness in the category, combined with nostalgia for frozen novelty desserts, will help the frozen dessert category grow.
Rega noted that Acai Roots Fruit Bars also fill this demand “because it’s a fun way to eat acai. It’s not your typical bowl or smoothie, but it is an on-the-go bar that’s packed with antioxidants and other amazing health benefits.”
He added that as consumers try to live healthier lifestyles and “are becoming more aware of what they eat … my goal was to develop a frozen dessert that would provide great health benefits with a delicious taste and never sacrificing quality.”
With this in mind, the firm already is plotting its next move in the frozen dessert category: a fruit bar covered with dark chocolate that will give consumers permission to indulge healthily.