by Lizzy Scully, Merge This Media
After years of being frustrated finding only candy, chips, and row upon row of energy bars at convenience stores, local entrepreneur Arn Hayden brainstormed a new option. In March of 2010, he envisioned Solbites, an all natural single-serving snack package of crackers, nut butter, and fruit spreads. And this August, about eighteen months later, he and partner Adam Spector are bringing this nourishing treat to stores throughout Colorado.
“There’s a huge void of healthy, delicious snacks in stores today,” notes Spector. “It’s the same bars and beef jerky. This is a whole new concept. We’re not just adding another bag of granola or jar of salsa onto an already crowded shelf; we’re creating a new natural foods product. And it tastes great!”
According to Hayden, twenty-five percent of the caloric intake of Americans is snack food. “That’s a quarter of what we eat. And with kids that percent is even bigger. That’s why there are all these snack foods in convenience store isles. The problem is they all have high fructose corn syrup and trans fats. I don’t want my kids eating that junk. This is the perfect back to school snack for them.”
In addition, this whole food snack offers a balanced mix of protein, sugars, and vitamins. “It’s not an energy bar designed for athletes,” says Hayden, “it’s a real food snack that will satisfy you while you’re driving to work or on the move.” And, Spector and Hayden both agree, their new business is satisfying. “It just feels good to provide people with a healthier, environmentally friendly product,” adds Hayden.
Conscious of their carbon footprint, the pair purchases almost all their ingredients and packaging materials locally, including fruit spreads from Colorado, and trays from Denver. Another “green” choice the pair made, was to make their recyleable packaging from recycled materials, and the company offers a low-impact point of purchase display that utilizes less materials. “Solbites is a little bit of sunshine, from its taste to its nutritional value, to the low impact it has on the environment,” says Hayden. “This is a culmination of over a year’s worth of work. We’re very excited about getting this product into peoples’ hands.”
Their company, called Two Rivers Foods, has partnered with Alfalfa’s, Lucky’s Market, the St. Vrain Market, and numerous other local retailers to launch Solbites, a healthy, GMO free, all natural snack alternative to energy bars.