Expo West 2018

Truth Bar balances convenience, function and flavor

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Americans are snacking more than ever, but not just any bag of chips or candy bar will do. Rather, they want products that are both convenient and nutritious – two boxes that the makers of Truth Bar check with their line of functional nutrition bars.

The bars, created by former chocolatier and company co-founder Diana Stobo are packed with probiotics, prebiotics and omega-3s, have reduced sugar and are gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher.

At Natural Products Expo West in California earlier this month, Stobo explained to FoodNavigator-USA that the idea for the bars came in response to consumers who were “tired of taking pills,”​ and who wanted “to start eating the foods that are having some effect on their body.”

She says her products fill this need to have “something in there that is going to be active in each bite”​ by including a daily supply of omega-3s from chia seeds, prebiotics in the form of 12-13 grams of fiber per bar – including indigestible fiber – and a dose of probiotics that will feed of the prebiotics.

“A lot of people take probiotics and they just take them in their mouth and it scratches the surface of their intestines … and it is effective – maybe 30% effective, but when you add a prebiotic into the formula, you are creating a soil base like a ground for the probiotics to plant and thrive and grow and start to flourish,”​ Stobo said.

“What is interesting about probiotics is once you put whatever strain of probiotic into your system and they are thriving, they start to feed the other good bacteria and you create a whole garden of flora of good bacteria in your system,”​ she added.

In addition to supplying sufficient food for good bacteria, Truth Bars limit the food consumed by bad bacteria, Stobo said.

“Sugars actually add and feed the bad bacteria. So, by lowering the sugars and putting low-glycemic levels into there, you are creating a nice, good gut health – a good microbiome,”​ she said, adding that “sugars are the poison of so many different levels and there are so many different reasons why we shouldn’t eat so much sugar.”

Taste remains king

But just being healthy isn’t enough to win consumers in today’s highly competitive market – products need to taste good, too, which is where Stobo says she taps into her training as a French chef.

“Taste is everything. You have to have great taste, great texture, it has to be appealing and because I am sort of a perfectionist, the bars are indulgent. They are beautiful. We are not just extruding bars. Weare coating them in a rich … sugar-free chocolate that is decadent and delicious. So, every bite is beyond flavorful,”​ she said.

The product’s flavors also are diverse, with the latest flavor – peanut butter – joining a line up that includes coconut, mint and raspberry.

“Each one is better than the other,”​ Stobo said.

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