Hands down, the most innovative and inspiring new food product I saw at the show. I’ve heard about insect protein for a long time now—most countries around the world eat bugs in some form or another as a healthy, inexpensive protein source—but this is the first bug-based finished product I’ve seen in the U.S. I literally ran to the Chapul booth on the first morning that the Next Pavilion opened and handed them a NEXTY Award nomination right off the bat—well, after I’d tasted the bars and confirmed that they are great, made with paleo-friendly ingredients like organic date paste. I also love the founder’s water conservation message (crickets take way less water to raise than beef) and the Aztec-inspired graphics (“chapul” is the Aztec word for crickets).
This new, gluten-free and vegan bar is made with just a few choice ingredients (flavors are based on almonds, dates, cherries, and cacao) and highlights moringa, an ancient (and now up-and-coming) African superfood that's rich in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin C and A. I love Kuli Kuli's mission, too: The founders sustainably source the moringa from women's cooperatives in West Africa, combining social good with a quality consumer product.
This high-protein, clean ingredient bar made with whey or pea protein tastes great and hits the magic “negative numbers” criteria for the Metabolic Effect diet (carbs minus fiber minus protein: the lower the number, the better). I'm a new fan of this tasty protein-bar choice because it contains 5 or fewer clean, wholesome ingredients, proudly listed in big type on the package.
Paleo eating is hot, and this new company nails the grain-free, nutrient-dense, no-processed-sugar trifecta with these wonderfully delicious bars (they make a killer paleo granola, too), with no preservatives. Clever, catchy branding stands out too. I love the original Date Me bar for a morning snack, and the Wake Me bar contains espresso and raw cacao nibs: yum.
Can there possibly be something novel in the super-saturated energy/protein bar category? Expo West 2014 revealed some surprises.
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