3 THINGS WE LEARNED WORKING WITH A FOOD SCIENTIST
(blog will be updated shortly with photos and are delayed due to technical issues)
In Part 2, I told the story of the origin of the recipe for Kelly Jean Snacks and our flavor, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. In 2019, we had hired a food scientist to help us with the final formulation.
Insert from Part 2:
We even hired food scientists to see if they could miraculously make this snack we envisioned. Unfortunately, the scientist route mostly cost us time and money. I will never forget getting samples of product from them to try and not being able to bite into them, there was no flavor, and even our son Liam ran and spit his sample in the garbage! Nothing is a failure though and we learned a few things along the way.
While the final result wasn't what we thought we had hired them for, we did learn a ton about the food industry and about ingredients! Here are the top 3 things we learned:
1. 20+ Superfoods in a "snack bar" is just for marketing.
James and I did a tremendous amount of research and development while formulating Kelly Jean Snacks. We wanted the highest quality ingredients, provide the most amount of nutrition possible, and have the best taste/texture snack bites! Many bars, bites, and snacks we had found promoted that they had 10,15, 20+ Superfoods provided in their product- which on a label sounds fantastic! We are all about getting the most nutrition the simplest ways possible.
We presented our goal to the food scientists who gave us their honest feedback. Marketing that you have ##+ Superfoods is only a marketing strategy in these products and here are the reasons why. When you look at the ingredient list of these products, you will notice ingredient lists are organized by the most amount of an ingredient to the least. These superfoods are usually found maybe in the middle and/or at the bottom of the list. It's like putting 3 grains of sand in a bowl and saying you have a beach. SURE- they are in there! Mentally- you are thinking you are getting your servings of fruits and vegetables when there isn't truly enough amount of the superfoods to make an impact on your health. Now- I am not talking about ALL products that promote a simple way to get in your fruits, vegetables, and superfoods. There are many powders on the market that are a great solution for your fruit/vegetable needs. Just consider, if a product promotes a bunch of fruits/vegetables- what color is the actual product you are about to buy? Depending on the natural color of the fruit/vegetable, the colors of fruits/vegetables are nutrients such as carotenoids or polyphenol compounds with antioxidant properties. So, when you see products that are brown.... consider that there is not enough of the nutrition blend in the product to make a difference, or that the blend has been over processed and contains no more nutrients.
Final conclusion on 20+ Superfoods:
Kelly Jean Snacks only contains ingredients with true nutrition intentions and we love offering insight into the nutritional benefits of the ingredients we use. We won't add ingredients just for marketing, and that doesn't benefit you in the end. This product is not your 100% nutrition needs, and either is a single leaf of kale. Eat a well-rounded diet through out your day.
2. Cacao Butter was the missing link!
Finding the final piece to our formula was adding cacao butter! While we were not a fan of the samples made from the food scientist (hence our son's Liam's story of spitting it out in the garbage), we did learn so much about this ingredient and were so excited to add it to Kelly Jean Snacks! Read more about how it was the final touch to our product as well as the health benefits cacao butter provides!
Insert from Cacao Butter Blog:
Cacao butter is our knight in shining armor! It gives Kelly Jean Snacks the perfect smooth texture, added cocoa flavor, and gives our squares more form. But the best reason for adding cacao butter is the phenomenal health benefits you receive from it!
3. Trust Yourself
At the beginning, I had a misconception that since I had no experience in the food world, that there must be some miraculous process to turn something you make at home to a product you find in a store. My insecurities got the best of me thinking that someone else could do it better. What I learned along the way is that there is a difference between taking advice and having an open mind, versus giving all of your trust and putting the responsibility on someone else. I thought having an "expert" do it for me would give me the result I needed. Like stated before, there was so much that we learned from working with food scientists and we don't regret one second of working with them. Having an open mind and taking in all the information I could get from them did help me get the final snack formula that I am proud to say I made. In the end, I got what I wanted and needed for our Kelly Jean Snacks formula- by trusting myself and what I have learned.
My hopes by telling you the stories of starting Kelly Jean Snacks, is that not only is it fun and entertaining to see what the beginning looked like, but I hope it inspires you to
Start before you're ready
Go for those big goals, even if it is scary
Find Like-Minded people who can go with you through the journey. Or maybe they've been through it and can help guide you.