Quantum Energy Squares raises $2.5m funding to become leader in energy bar category
The early days of Quantum Energy Squares began as a personal quest for founder Dan Medvene and his partner Leah Marquez, to find the "ultimate plant-based energy bar" which balanced health, function, and flavor.
"When we first started out, we knew we had to create something completely different because there were so many sugary, carb-heavy snacks and bars on the market claiming to be healthy. But, most of them aren’t much different than candy bars in terms of ingredients and nutritive value. And a typical cup of coffee might bring a temporary boost of energy, but it lacks essential nutrients. We realized consumers needed healthy energy, and they need it to last," Medvene told FoodNavigator-USA.
Two years later and over 200 product iterations tested, Medvene launched Quantum Energy Squares in the second half of 2019. The bars are made from a blend of plant-based protein (pumpkin seed protein and pea protein), caffeine from organic green coffee (one bar has the equivalent amount of caffeine to one cup of coffee), and MCT oil from coconut, which the company claims helps slow the absorption of caffeine for sustained, long-lasting energy.
Each bar contains 10g of plant-based protein and 200-210 calories per packaged depending on the flavor (available in four SKUs: peanut butter dark chocolate, caffe mocha almond chip, dark chocolate pink Himalayan salt, and coconut almond chocolate chip).
Quantum Energy Squares has expanded distribution with national launches in Whole Foods and Sprouts. In 2021, the company is focused on growing business in the natural channel with its current retail partners, and starting distribution expansion into other channels such as sports and convenience, said Medvene.
Professional athlete and weekend warrior following
Backed by a roster of investors in the professional athletic circuit, including US Open Tennis Champion and Olympian Sloane Stephens, US men’s tennis doubles Grand Slam and Olympic gold medalist Mike Bryan, U.S. men's tennis player and Olympian Sam Querrey, Quantum is also heavily targeting recreational athletes, said Medvene.
Former President and CEO of Ballast Point and Cutwater Spirits, Jim Buechler, is also an investor in the brand.
"Now we’re the Official Energy Bar of IRONMAN triathlons and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events across North America, fueling recreational joggers up to weekend warriors and some pretty accomplished endurance athletes," said Medvene.
Breaking through the bar category
With a plethora of bars available to consumers at retail, Medvene believes Quantum will stand out for its ability to provide long-lasting energy backed by nourishing macro nutrients.
"We’re disrupting the energy bar segment (we like to say Quantum isn’t just energy, it’s Better Energy)! Our unique formulation delivers long-lasting energy, with no spikes or crashes. Plus, we enlisted a pastry chef to ensure all of our bars provide uncommonly satisfying flavor and texture," he said.
The brand will use the recent round of funding to step up its marketing efforts and push brand awareness, added Medvene.
"We’re using funding in three key areas: marketing, sampling and events. Quantum Energy Squares is ramping up our efforts to share our products online, increasing sampling and promotions in natural foods stores, and continuing to support active consumer events with our 100% plant-based energy bars," he said.
"In the next 1-2 years, we envision continued innovation, additional flavor choices, and introducing additional products we’ve been working on behind the scenes. We want to become a favorite brand partner for retailers, and the go-to energy brand for everyday health-conscious consumers."
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