Atlas Bar Founder James Oliver has always had an interest in nutrition and the effects that certain foods can have on performance. He also liked endurance-type events and pushing the body to its limits. Oliver ended up taking those interests to start Atlas Bar, which sells nutritional bars made with grass-fed whey. Oliver told PYMNTS in an interview that his aim was to create “a bar that was made with all-real ingredients” that had benefits that would help one’s body perform at a higher level. As a result, he says the brand’s most recent formulations have adaptogen ingredients. (Adaptogens are described as non-toxic plants that help the body resist all sorts of stressors — biological, physical or chemical.)
The bars, which the company says don’t have soy or gluten, contain an adaptogen superfood performance blend of ashwagandha extract and maca root powder. Ashwagandha and maca root, according to the company, are “embraced by elite athletes and weekend warriors alike to help fight fatigue, boost endurance and adapt to stress.” The sweetness of the bars comes from monk fruit, which Oliver said is a natural sweetener. It has been used in eastern Asia for a long time and doesn’t have calories. It, however, has super concentrated sweetness, so a consumer only needs a tiny bit to taste it.
The company has three flavors on its website that customers can purchase. Those varieties include peanut butter chocolate chip, chocolate cacao, and vanilla almond chai. And the company is launching three more flavors through Kickstarter. Those are mint chocolate chip, peanut butter raspberry and almond chocolate chip. The company was particular about choosing the variations of bars that it would offer its customers. Oliver says it wanted flavors that people are going to enjoy over and over again. And those flavors might be somewhat familiar to other foods that consumers have eaten in their lives. Oliver says the company’s peanut butter raspberry flavor, for instance, tastes similar to a peanut butter jelly sandwich. And the almond chocolate chip, he says, tastes like healthy cookie dough.
When it comes to carving out a niche, Oliver says the company uses the highest quality ingredients that it can, and it focuses on real food. “You don’t need a Ph.D. or any knowledge of chemistry to pronounce the ingredients” listed on the label, Oliver said. He also noted that his company’s bars are high in protein and there’s a maximum of 3 grams of sugar in each bar. Many people use the bars for a post-workout snack or a meal replacement. They might not have time for breakfast in the morning. But they want something they know is going to keep them filled up and fuel them with good nutrition throughout the morning. At first, he had suspected most people would use the bars around exercise and working out.
When it comes to the company’s target market, it covers a broad range of consumers in terms of age. Children eat them because they love them, he says, and their parents buy the product for them. And he says there are people in their 70s and 80s who eat Atlas Bars as well. “There’s really a wide spread in the appeal and the demographic,” he said. The company allows consumers to buy its bars for a one-time purchase or subscription that comes with a discount through its website. (Shoppers can choose to have the bars delivered every 30, 45 or 60 days.) The company accepts credit cards, PayPal, and Amazon Pay for payment.
The company is also running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of three new flavors. It doesn’t have those flavors yet. But, with the funds the company is hoping to raise from Kickstarter, it will be able to fund the production run. Through the campaign, customers can receive a reward of 9-count variety packs or 30-count build-you-own value packs (the quantities vary based on the dollar amount of a user’s pledge). At the end of the campaign, the company says it will send a survey to backers where they can choose from the expanded list of flavors, as well as quantities and shipping frequency — so they can power through their days with a variety of superfood-packed nutrition bars.