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ELF

The Excitement of Change

June 25, 2013

Enjoy Life Company News

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.

Cocoa LocoQ: 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 jwarady@enjoylifefoods.com. We welcome the opportunity to hear what you have to say.

Thanks for your great support of the Enjoy Life brand.

30 Responses to “The Excitement of Change”

  1. Deanna Says:

    I am so thankful for your company as a mom of a 10-allergy daughter, you have brought so much joy into our lives. After ballet performances,school field trips, or quick sweet treat- your products always deliver my daughter a sense of “normal”. I will happily support your new changes…and thank you for not raising the cost as we all know how expensive other allergy free products can be.

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Thanks Deanna, your comments mean everything to us. We are so thankful that we get to play a role in our customers’ lives. Thanks for your great support of the Enjoy Life brand.

      Reply

  2. Mary Says:

    Thank you so much for making the extra effort to keep your products allergy free. My son’s allergies are all of the 8 most common, and his second highest allergen is soy, so we particularly appreciate the careful watch you keep. Thank you, as always!

    Reply

  3. Maria Says:

    Great explanations. Thank you so much for keeping your standards high. We love that your products are allergy friendly, but being GMO free is also so important. You don’t have to go that extra step, but you do, and I for one, truly appreciate that. Kudos on the new packaging and recipe for the Sunbutter Crunch bars. I get 6 boxes at a time through Amazon Subscribe and Save, so when I got the new shipment, I was pleasantly surprised. Really love the look of the packaging and the better texture in the recipe.
    One thing I noticed with the new recipe, which I have never seen with the old one, was that several of the bars were green inside. I know this can easily happen when you cook with sunflower seeds, but I can’t imagine that the look would appeal to someone who is unfamiliar with this funny little bit of chemistry. Other than that, they’re great and my kids didn’t miss a beat (or a crumb). Oh, and a note on the new Decadent bars… just amazing. The fact that you managed to make them this delicious and indulgent while keeping them healthy and low in sugar, is another way you clearly keep your standards high. Yay!
    Bottom line, you are absolutely right that you are part of a life-fulfilling business, and you genuinely seem to acknowledge and honor that. It makes all the difference in the world. I know I’m gushing, but I’m afraid I’m failing to articulate just how much we appreciate and enjoy your products and the philosophy you embrace. You could be allergy friendly without all the extra attention to detail and health, but that’s just not how you see things; I can’t tell you how important that is. Sincere thanks from my entire family.

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Thanks Maria. Your comments are so appreciated. Thanks as well for enjoying the new recipe and the new packaging. We really worked hard on these. With respect to your comments about the “green” bars, you are 100% correct. Trust us, this is not on purpose. What happened is exactly what you described; some of the bars ended up with the incorrect pH balance, which causes the bars to turn a greenish color. They taste fine, but they look weird. And they are not supposed to look this way. We have adjusted the recipe, changing the amount of baking soda in the product, with will slightly alter the pH balance. Thanks for letting us know, and let us know if you need us to replace any of your bars. Thanks for the great support of the brand; we truly never take for granted the trust our customers put in us and we always appreciate the suggestions and comments.

      Reply

  4. Lynn Says:

    Enjoy LIfe Foods,
    Thank you for all that you have done for our Celiac community for several years! For staying true blue and maintianing the highest standards of ensuring there are no traces of the top 8 as well as gluten! You are truly a leader and we are blessed by your company. We(CDFTwin Cities) partner with our allergy group in the metro area in offering our 4th annual gluten/allergy free camp and enjoy Life is a “go to ” product for us at camp in which all the campers can enjoy as a group and no one is left out! A true blessing. Thank you

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Thanks Lynn, it means a lot to us when people such as yourself are aware as to how hard we work to achieve the quality level that we do. Thanks for your kind comments. You made our afternoon.

      Reply

  5. Adam Says:

    I was excited to try the new bars, until I saw that none are vegan.. I do hope there’s chance of more reformulation in the future to source ingredients that don’t contain honey so even more people will be able to enjoy your products

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Thanks for your comments, Adam. Same of our products continue to be vegan, but yes, the bars now have honey. We are always looking at ways to improve our products, and you can be sure we will keep you posted. Thanks again for sharing your comments.

      Reply

  6. Brigid Bronik Says:

    We love your products and are so thankful for them. Our son is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts. His most severe allergy is sesame which is not on the top 8. Are the new products still free of sesame? Thanks for your time and for your safe, delicious products.

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Thanks Brigid. We love the fact that you are a happy customer. Good news. Sesame is one of those ingredients that will NEVER be in our products. We remain sesame-free. You are able to continue to eat freely.

      Reply

  7. Karla Says:

    I’m depressed now. My kiddo loves the berry and sunbutter bars, but the addition of buckwheat removes them from the menu. I understand the reasoning and we will miss your products. :(

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Karla, we are so sorry that the new recipe for the bars does not work for your family. We have many new products that do not have buckwheat as an ingredient so hopefully we will be able to continue to earn your loyalty with some other products. Thanks for sharing your comments; greatly appreciated.

      Reply

  8. Tardis_blue Says:

    I appreciate Enjoy Life’s open communication and dedication to making delicious, safe treats. You are probably the only food company I come close to completely trusting. We like your new sunbutter Decadent bars, and I’m interested in the changes to the chewy bars and soft cookies. The soft cookies have never been a huge favorite in our house, but they are a reliable, safe choice that are easy to find, even when we are traveling, so I look forward to seeing what’s in store for them.
    Thanks for looking out for us!

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Thanks Tardis. We do not take your trust lightly and will continue to do everything we can do continue to earn it. Hopefully you will find the new recipe of the Soft cookies to be more to your liking. You will know when they are on shelf due to their bright new packaging. Thanks for your great support.

      Reply

  9. Jason Says:

    Count me as another customer who will probably have to give up on the sunbutter bars with the new recipe. That’s really a shame because they had become a staple of my very limited diet over the past few months.

    Reply

  10. AJ Says:

    Thanks very much for the update. As someone who is allergic to many types of nuts as well as soy protein, I rely on your bars to fuel my running and other exercise. I appreciate you keeping the soy out of the bars.

    I did recently purchase a box of the reformulated Sunbutter Crunch – they taste great and the texture is great, but I have a concern about them — they contained BRIGHT GREEN particles. Is this the natural color of one of the ingredients, or it is mold? I haven’t experience any illness from the bits I have eaten, but I am refraining from eating the rest of the bars in the package unless/until I get confirmation that they are not moldy.

    Also, please keep making Sunbutter Crunch and Cocoa Loco. I much prefer those to the new bars (with the exception of Chocolate Sunbutter). Would like to see new products trend more toward healthy than junk food.

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      So pleased to hear that you like the new recipe. The green tint is not harmful, but it is not correct. When SunButter is baked, some times (not too often) the pH balance gets out of whack and the SunButter turns green. It is not harmful, but it does not look great. We are sorry that this happened to you. They are more than safe to eat, but we want to make it right for you. Send me your mailing address to jwarady@enjoylifefoods.com and we will send you some coupons for a replacement pack.

      Don’t worry, we will continue to produce our Classic Chewy Bar line along with the new Decadent Bar line. Thanks for your great support.

      Reply

  11. Barbara Says:

    We love your products but unfortunately my son has developed a sunflower seed allergy and many of them are no longer safe. We think you are a wonderful company and will keep supporting you as best we can.

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      Sorry to hear about the sunflower seed allergy. While we do use the sunflower seeds in many of our products, we also have many that are produced without. We have new products being developed all of the time so we hope that some of the varieties in the future will be safe for your son. We appreciate your comments.

      Reply

  12. Jenn Says:

    My daughter is 8 years old and has FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome) She has only 27 safe foods plus her hypoallergenic formula. The Enjoy Life Coco Loco bars were one of the only safe foods that Sarah had that could be transported easily to school and that would not melt in the car or the airport during travel. She has had one everyday for the past two years as it is one of her only 3 safe snack foods that will not cause an allergic reaction. When we trialed the new coco loco bars, she was sick within 3 hours. She is very upset and I am frustrated since another company changed their ingredients this week as well. Thank you for listing the change on the packaging (many companies do not). Sadly, children with allergy syndromes have many more than just the top 8 allergens that they need to avoid and many of us struggle to find safe food. I am sad that we are losing Coco Loco as one of our “safes”. I will pass along the change of ingredients to the other parents at thefpiesfoundation.org.

    Reply

    • Joel Says:

      I certainly can understand your frustration. When you only have a limited number of products that are safe to eat, and then a company makes the product no longer edible due to an ingredient change, well I can only imagine how this must make you feel. As you know, we do all that we can to make our products as safe as possible for everyone, and we balance that against making them taste great. There is nothing we dislike more than to lose a customer, and losing you as a customer frustrates us as well. We hope that in the future, as we develop new and exciting, great tasting products, that your daughter will once again be able to enjoy our products. Thanks for your great support, and for sharing your thoughts with us.

      Reply

      • Jenn Says:

        We have shared the ingredient change information on thefpiesfoundation.org as well as our facebook page. Thank you for being so up front about the ingredient change and for changing the packaging as well. It makes it easier for us to recognize the change. Yes, you’re right, it is frustrating, but much less frustrating that not knowing what is happening. Thank you again and please know that on a personal note, our family still can safely use your dark chocolate Boom-Choco-Boom bars. Please don’t change them. ;)

        Reply

        • Joel Says:

          Thanks for sharing the information, and for your understanding and support. And don’t worry about the Boom Choco Boom bars; they are staying as is. We love that we are still able to count you as a customer.

          Reply

  13. Sandy Evans Says:

    It is good to know that a company is always looking to make products better and making sure they remain safe for customers.

    Reply

  14. Joel Says:

    Thanks! We appreciate your sharing the update.

    Reply

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