Brave positions itself as a 'morning solution company' gearing up for first commercial production run

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: Brave Overnight Breakfast
Photo: Brave Overnight Breakfast

Related tags: Breakfast, startups, Kickstarter

Founders of Brooklyn-based startup Brave have created a line of quick-to-prepare overnight breakfast products (containing a base blend of oats, chia seeds, and hemp hearts), helping to alleviate the morning time rush when many consumers find themselves sacrificing nutrition and taste in a fevered rush out the door.

A convenient on-the-go breakfast that also offers satiating nutrition is something many major CPG companies have been trying to solve with new product launches such as legacy cereal brand Kellogg, which has launched two breakfast solutions including Joyböl​​​ and Happy Inside prebiotic cereal, as well as Just Crack an Egg by Ore-Ida launched in early 2018. 

Brave co-founder and CEO, Cooper Fitzgerald, explained that the company wants to be more than just another on-the-go breakfast product. 

"It started as a breakfast problem, but we really view ourselves as a morning solution company,"​ Fitzgerald told FoodNavigator-USA. 

"Through talking to people and living our own lives, it became really clear to us that the morning is a time that really defines how you live the rest of our day and life, and a lot of us live it in a frenzy attempting to do things that we need to do while trying to get out the door on time."

Brave was founded two years in the Bay Area (before relocating to Brooklyn, NY) and has been self funded by the startup's five founders thus far. With positive feedback from its growing consumer base in hand, the brand is turning to alternate sources of funding to expand its business, said CEO and co-founder Cooper Fitzgeald.

Last week, Brave launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter​ with an $18,000 fundraising goal, which the startup will use to finance its first production run with a co-packer and will start shipping product by mid- to late-September. 

Brave Team Shot
Left to right: Des, Ryan, Josh, Alex and Cooper. Dogs: Rio and Hubble

The mission of Brave is to give consumers a quick, nutritionally packed and quick to prepare breakfast that fills them up until lunchtime without compromising on taste and nutrition, allowing consumers more time and energy to do things that fulfill them, whether that be a morning run or 10 minutes of meditation. Each Brave overnight breakfast packet contains a blend of oats, chia seeds, and hemp hearts with 20g of protein, 420 to 450 calories, and no more than 10g of sugar per serving. 

"We want this to be a proper breakfast. A lot of our competitors are 200 to 300 calories, which for us, is simply not enough food to keep us full until lunch,"​ said Fitzgerald.

Prep steps

Brave overnight breakfast can be prepped in less than one minute the night before, according to Fitzgerald. Users pour the Brave packet into a jar (either their own or the company's branded jar which has a separate compartment to store toppings), add one cup of dairy milk or dairy alternative, stir the mixture, and store in the fridge to 'activate' over night.

The process is no different than preparing overnight oats, which was the first version of the product, according to Fitzgerald. 

"It started honestly as an overnight oats product,"​ he said. "The problem that we were running into to with overnight oats is that it just didn’t suffice as far as the protein content goes."

The founding team experimented with different combinations of ingredients combining oats with chia seeds and hemp hearts, both rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

"It was a pendulum from the overnight oats and then we went all the way to the chia parfait  then we got some pushback on texture (which was too gelatinous) so then we swung back and met somewhere in the middle. It’s sort of like a hybrid of the two."

The three flavors, apple cinnamon cardamon, coconut goji berry, and maca mocha chip, are subject to change as chefs fine tune the flavors while keeping the nutritional tenants the same.

"We want to keep each breakfast at 20g of protein, 10 or less grams of sugar, and no added sugar,"​ Fitzgerald added.

In its early days, Brave received a lot of feedback from consumers about providing a jar to make their overnight breakfast. The company's branded jar doubles as convenient vessel and as a marketing tool for the brand, added Fitzgerald. 

BRAVE_jar

"The biggest thing for us as a company is we had no public market outreach and we were getting no brand recognition,"​ Fitzgerald said. "Now that we have a jar that is branded, we’ll get more outward facing marketing which is huge for us."

The target consumer 

Brave overnight breakfast began as solution for the founders -- a team of mostly 25- to 30-year-old active, health conscious, and busy guys -- but has a much broader appeal, according to Fitzgerald. 

"We are absolutely focused on capturing the plant based market. We don’t want to be an exclusive vegan product but we know that being plant based is an attractive value proposition for a lot of different people,"​ he said. 

Aside from hitting and hopefully surpassing its fundraising goal, Fitzgerald said that the goal is to get Brave products in the hands of as many people as possible in order to get as much consumer feedback as possible while simultaneously expanding marketing efforts and raising brand awareness. Fitzgerald added that the startup has also applied to a number of of food accelerator programs. 

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