Summer Fancy Food Show

How Bobo's stays rooted to its oat core while branching into different flavors and formats

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Snack bars Oat Nutrition

Playing off a classic nostalgic flavor, Bobo's recently launched its peanut butter and jelly-filled bars, that was featured during the Summer Fancy Food Show which took place June 25-27 at the Javits Center in New York City, where Bobo's CEO, TJ McIntyre discussed the brand's strategy on remaining focused on oats while exploring different formats and flavors.

For 20 years, snack bar maker Bobo’s built its brand based on simple, familiar and clean ingredients. TJ McIntyre, CEO of Bobo’s believes that the brand’s “perfectly imperfect oat bars” are driven by the familiarity of oats and taste.

Taste remains a primary driver for snack bar consumers – and the category is seeing more diversity in ingredients, convenience and flavor than ever before. McIntyre explains how the brand stays focused on its core ingredient: oats and building its product line around it.

It's pretty simple. It's our core oats batter with peanut butter blends into it. And then we're using these delicious really clean jams. Real simple ingredient tech, great flavor, great fragrance, bright purple, bright, bright purple, and bright red [packaging]​.”

He explains that the brand’s oat recipe is the foundation to developing flavors and formats and despite the eschewing of dietary trends, the brand remains focused on bringing oats “to life​.” 

We did not thickly embrace protein as a trend…we didn't do paleo after that, we didn't do keto after that. Whatever coming next [that’s] going to be the hot new dietary trend, we're not going to do that either. We're going to continue to stay in our lane, making these perfectly imperfect oat bars. What we're focused on is delicious. And what makes intuitive sense… oats are some of the oldest super foods…in this world. We just kind of bring that to life​,” McIntyre opined.

The snack bar market is expected to reach $41.7 billion in 2032, driven by a wide range of taste preferences—from the nostalgic and familiar to novel, gourmet flavors. Chocolate, mint, oatmeal and cookies and cream flavors have been particularly popular, Scott Dicker, market insights director, SPINS, explained during FoodNavigator-USA’s free webinar, Raising the Snack Bar: Exploring Growth Drivers, Innovations and Consumer Cravings​.

Developing a strong focus through ingredients like Bobo’s oat core, KIND’s almonds or Aloha’s plant-based proteins, creates an opportunity build a loyal customer base.

It’s finding that sweet spot between what must stay true for your brand and where the consumers are leading you in terms of new usage occasions, new trends and how the market is evolving,​” Julia Shapiro, VP, brand and content, Aloha elaborated.

The free webinar is now available on-demand​ to view with registration.

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