We recognize that we are in a very unique and life-fulfilling business.
While some people look at our business and describe it as a company that makes great tasting, safe snacks that sell in over 13,000 stores throughout North America, we recognize that we do more than that. We allow people who live their daily lives with food allergies and intolerances, people who are unable to consume gluten without negative effects, and people who choose to consume healthier products as a result of an improved lifestyle choice, a variety of products that allow you to live a normal, healthy life.
That is why when we do make a positive change to our products, we recognize that there are going to be some unhappy people. You might ask why, if we know this, do we move forward with change. Great question, so we thought we would provide a Q & A that addresses some of the reasons why we have improved our products in the manner in which we did.
Q: Why have you decided to make a change to the Chewy Bar recipe?
A: Enjoy Life was one of the first companies in North America to provide a safe alternative to a Granola Bar. For years we were the only choice available in the safe bar category, and our sales skyrocketed. Over the years, new brands introduced products into the category following our lead, and our bars, while very good from a taste standpoint, had room for improvement. New flours became available, new baking techniques have been developed, and we felt there was a real opportunity to make a better tasting product that remains Certified Gluten Free and Free From the Top 8 Allergens.
Q: Why change from Sorghum flour, which most GF companies use, to the use of Buckwheat and other ancient grains and flours.
A: We have been using Sorghum flour for years, and we have been one of the largest users of this flour in North America. However, over the last few years, we have noticed that some batches of Sorghum flour have had internal spikes of soy content, which caused us to have to discard the flour. More and more, the Sorghum flour was testing higher than acceptable levels of soy. For most gluten-free companies, this is not an issue. Some of them load their products with soy. Due to the fact that soy is one of the Top 8 allergens, this became unacceptable for us and he had to move away from the Sorghum. While we never produced product with soy in it, we were having to reject too many production lots of flour to create our safe products.
Q: How many of the changes were done so to result in a cost savings to Enjoy Life?
A: Great question. We can honestly tell you, NONE. The flours are not less expensive, the ingredients that we are using have gone up in price over the past two years, and even though when we changed the recipe and upgraded the packaging it was an opportune time to raise the prices, we did not raise the price by one penny. Therefore, this change is costing us more per bar, but we feel with the better taste, we will sell more bars and make it up in volume. The last thing we want to do is cause you additional hardship by raising prices just because we can.
Q: The bars seem smaller, are they?
A: The bars have always been 1 oz. bars, in theory. There was a time when we had a manufacturing problem and the bars were actually coming out larger, but in essence we were providing additional product at no charge. When we fixed our production issues, and were able to bring the bars to the correct size, the 1 oz. bars did seem smaller (they were), but they were actually the correct size. Today, with the new recipe, while the bars remain 1 oz., they actually seem slightly larger due to the fact that they are no longer as dense as they were.
Q: Why did the texture change on the Very Berry, SunButter Crunch, and Caramel Apple Bar?
A: We have changed the way we form our bars prior to baking, and this has resulted in a change for the better. In the past, we used a machine to form the bars, and this particular piece of equipment “pulverized” the ingredients to the point that the goodness of the ingredients were being lost in what we call “mouth feel”. We invested significantly in a new piece of equipment that now allows us to form the bars more consistently, without pulverization, which allows us to create a better tasting bar, with crisps providing for a crunchier, granola-bar like experience, while maintaining the wholesome goodness of the safe ingredients that we have included.
Q: Why did Very Berry become Mixed Berry?
A: Because we want to be as honest as possible. The bar was not very full of berries, but it did have them. When we reintroduced the product in its new packaging, we wanted to be more honest. It has mixed berries, but we thought the word “very” was a stretch.
Q: Why are the re-formulated bars no longer Vegan?
A: 3 of the 4 bars now have our safe rice crisps to give the bars a bit more crunchiness. But the rice crisps have honey as an ingredient. The honey is what is causing the products to no longer be classified as vegan.
Q: Are the “old” bars still available?
A: Sorry to say, no. This new recipe is one that we think appeals to the most people, and we think over time, those people who loved our “old” bars will fall further in love with our “new” bars.
That said, there are some stores that still might have the “old” recipe on shelf. If you love this recipe, we recommend that you buy up the supply that you find. The new bars are already at our distributors and are appearing on shelves as we write this.
Q: With all of these changes, are the products still all verified by the non-GMO project?
A: Absolutely! We remain the #1 gluten-free company when it comes to having ready-made packaged products verified as non-GMO. We are committed to providing safe, great tasting, non-GMO products to all of our consumers.
Q: Will you be changing your other products as well?
A: Funny you should ask. We have a great new recipe for our soft cookies as well, and we will be introducing this at the end of July. Once again, we have looked at how we can bake a great tasting cookie without the Sorghum Flour, thus keeping soy 100% out of the product. You are going to love the enhanced taste of our new Soft-Baked cookies, and you will really adore our new packaging.
All of our products will always be Certified Gluten Free, Free From the Top 8 Allergens, verified Non-GMO, Kosher, Halal certified.
We hope this helps. Bottom line; you know how much we care. We are excited about our new recipes and we hope you share in this excitement. While change is never easy, please know that when we do introduce changes, we do so after great thought, healthy and lengthy internal discussion, and most of all with the majority of our consumers in mind. We never make these changes lightly, and we greatly appreciate your understanding and support.
All that said, we love to hear from you, and we welcome your comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter. Or feel free to email me directly at email@example.com. We welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for your great support of the Enjoy Life brand.