San Francisco-based startup ReGrained, is appealing to environmentally and health conscious consumers through nutritious upcycled ingredients sourced from beer brewing byproducts and first-to-market fully biodegradable packaging. The company’s line of energy bars is made from their patent-pending Supergrain+ formula which is composed of rescued, processed and stabilized brewer’s malt.
All ReGrained energy bars are organic, non-GMO and contain four grams of fibre, four grams of protein and eight grams of sugar. The company currently sells three flavors of their energy bars: honey cinnamon, chocolate coffee and blueberry sunflower. The energy bars also feature functional ingredients such as manuka honey, ginseng and coffee fruit that provide extra health benefits along with the natural prebiotics in their Supergrain+ blend. All grains used in their Supergrain+ formulation are sourced from beer brewing byproducts.
The MicroVentures-backed startup was founded in 2012 by Dan Kurzrock (CEO) and Jordan Schwartz (COO) after the two graduated from UCLA. As a UCLA freshman, Kurzrock used to brew his own beer in his frat-house kitchen where he first realized the significant amount of brewer’s malt leftover from the beer brewing process – up to 15 to 20 pounds of grain waste per batch. In Kurzrock’s junior year he partnered with his long-time friend Schwartz and the two started to bake bread from the leftover malt and sell the bread products to students on campus. The use of brewer’s malt as an ingredient resulted in high-fibre and high-protein bread products. After graduating, the two started to produce granola bars with the brewer’s spent grain (BSG) under their brand ReGrained.
Currently, the company is selling their energy bars in approximately 100 natural and organic grocery stores across America, corporate food service providers, colleges, hospitals and online. They are also hosting a crowdfunding page on MicroVentures’ website so that they can expand their product portfolio and reach other retailers.
ReGrained is well positioned in the growing environmentally conscious and health focused consumer market as a sustainable food company. Their upcycled, nutritious ingredients and biodegradable packaging are likely to stand out as unique qualities. A recent Luminer study found that 56 percent of consumers are more likely to select a food product that is wrapped in sustainable packaging over a similar one that is not. With so many nutrition bars to choose from, ReGrained has an advantage in this segment with their compostable wrappers, which no other nutrition bar brands have yet. With dollar sales of snack bars having reached over $7 billion last year, ReGrained has a lot of opportunity in this sector.
The company is currently investing in expanding their product portfolio to include snacks like pretzels, breads, chips, cookies and more. They are also looking into co-branded ingredient/product development so that they can sell the Supergrain+ formulation to other food manufacturers.