Jim Gutt is the founder of GoBites Snacks. He recently wrote a guest post GoBites Capitalizes on Growing Snack Trends .
He introduced me to new meal dayparts such as Brinner (breakfast for dinner), Linner (lunch merging with dinner). Perpetual Snacking (and small bites) are food trends pointing to we are becoming a nation of perpetual snackers. Did you know that only 5 percent of consumers eat the traditional three meals a day? Technomic points to this: the idea of a normal day being breakfast, lunch and dinner is a myth.
Jim's article needed a follow on since it stimulated many additional questions I had so here is some of our conversation.
Entrepreneurs succeed by identifying the consumer problem. What was the "consumer problem" you saw in the market …. The unmet consumer need?
We are surrounded by unhealthy snack choices at every turn. Even those of us who watch what we eat find ourselves straying between meals. We wanted to provide a convenient solution to that problem. Personally, I fell right into this trap whenever I was working long hours. Trips to the vending machines and the convenient store were common and I was making bad decisions. Having a supply of delicious food I don't have to feel bad about eating certainly made my life better.
I think it is worth mentioning that the types of foods we sell (nuts, seeds, and dried fruits) don't often come in single-serving sizes. Some of these items, while very healthy, are highly caloric. It is important to pay attention to the portions we consume, even for healthy foods. Personally, when I buy a bag of almonds, I can eat 1,000 calories worth of them before I realize what I did.
What is the USP for your business?
We offer a system that easily integrates into a person's life for healthy "mini-meals" between meals - or as we are often seeing, instead of major meals. Our products are filled with simple, high quality ingredients to provide our members with nutritious snacking options. "Members" take advantage of our products through our online personalized subscription service. Our offerings are portion-controlled to give people a nutritionally-sound, yet satiating amount of food. We offer a wide variety of products (and plan on aggressively growing our selection) and allow people to fully customize what they get based on their tastes, lifestyles, and nutritional goals. And, we deliver them to you as often as you want. All of this combines to form a very easy way for people to get the nutrition and satisfaction they need in between meals.
Who is your direct competition?
There are many companies like Kind Snacks who are selling their products through their website as well as at retail. You also have a company like lollihop.com who sends you a monthly package filled with name brand healthy snacks you find in stores. These companies do a good job of providing high quality products to their customers and we wish them continued success. I think what we offer is a bit different. We don't want to just sell products. We offer a service that gives people everything they need to eat right in between or in lieu of "major" meals. Our food is unique and delicious, and it is provided to consumers in a convenient and easy way.
How are you using social media?
We believe social media is an important forum for communicating with our customers. We are using Facebook and Twitter to share new developments at GoBites and post interesting content on health and nutrition. We also want to hear what our customers think and would like to use these tools to get whatever information they want to share with us. No one can operate in a vacuum and expect to be successful. We want to keep our customers engaged and plan on involving them in new product development. We will be having contests to have customers create and name some of our new products.
How are you following food trends to develop the snack menu and how are you managing to keep up a fresh channel of new products? Snacks seem to flourish on product line extensions.
We are always consulting with nutritionists to keep abreast of the latest developments in health and nutrition and always keep their opinions in mind on our search for new products. We are aware that keeping our menu fresh and interesting is the key to our long-term success. Finding new, delicious, and unusual ingredients to keep our customers interested is our top priority. And, we enjoy doing it. We already have plans to introduce new products incorporating dried papaya and blackberries in the next couple of months and are very busy talking to new producers.