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Boston startup IQ Bar spearheads brain health snacks with Kickstarter campaign

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Half of IQ Bar sales will be coming from e-commerce.  Pic: IQ Bar
Half of IQ Bar sales will be coming from e-commerce. Pic: IQ Bar

Related tags: Food

Boston-based nutrition bar startup, IQ Bar, has more than doubled its $10,000 sales goal via its Kickstarter campaign ending in mid-Jan 2018.

The company, which currently offers almond cacao, blueberry walnut, and matcha hazelnut flavored bars, has collected nearly $24k​ so far.

Brain health-focused snacks

IQ Bars are optimized around five brain-boosting nutrients, containing eight to nine grams of net carbs, and are free from GMO’s, grains, gluten, dairy, soy and added sugar. All of them are compliant with low-carb, paleo, ketogenic, kosher and vegan diets, said the company.

Founder Headshot City Background
IQ Bar founder Will Nitze

“[IQ Bar] could actually be a good fit for anyone looking to tap into the growing interest around brain health… it could be General Mills, Unilever or GNC.”

Founder and CEO, Will Nitze, said when he studied neuroscience at Harvard University, he became fascinated with human brain from a physiological standpoint. Nitze later found that most people start having difficulty focusing at work around 2:30pm, “whether it be brain fog or headaches,”​ he said.

“But I couldn’t find any grab-and-go food items that were geared towards brain function – that was an ‘aha’ moment,”​ Nitze said. “I chose the bar form for a few reasons: good shelf life, low weight, very shippable and conducive to e-commerce… the bar category is large and has been growing double digit year-over-year for a long time.”

“On top of that, the production process is relatively simple, so you can optimize the nutrition profile you want… That is why RXBar is so successful because they just took that simple approach,”​ he added. “I also named it IQ Bar, because many entrepreneurs lose an opportunity to name their products to quickly denote what the point of their products are.”

‘Acquisition is the desired path’

The nutrition bar category has seen some of its privately owned brands grow into multimillion-dollar companies over the years, including KIND Snacks and Clif Bar, said Nitze.

However, those are only a “small club of people who ascended to that height,”​ he said. “If you look at the vast majority of other folks, it seems that they know they can’t compete on a large scale… so acquisition is the desired path for most of those companies. We certainly wouldn’t rule that out, even though acquisition is a far-off prospect, and it is not our concern at this point.”

Asked what companies are well-positioned to make IQ Bar as part of their portfolio, Nitze said his products are a good fit for a pure food company or a nutrition supplement company who wants to get into “real food space.”

“[IQ Bar] could actually be a good fit for anyone looking to tap into the growing interest around brain health… it could be General Mills, Unilever or GNC,”​ he added.

E-commerce business

IQ Bar will officially launch its website to offer direct shipping service after the campaign ends, said Nitze.

“Soon after Kickstarter, we are going to shift to direct channels, such as coffee shops, yoga studios, schools, offices and anywhere that lets us ship directly to them without a distributor,” ​he said.

Nitze added that online is “a no-brainer”​ for distributing IQ Bar’s products, “because we get paid up front, we control the messaging and customer journey, and it is high margin.”

IQ Bar is expected to generate half a million-dollar sales in 2018 with half of it coming from e-commerce. 

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