Eco-conscious energy bar company with roots in Iowa expands to 200 stores in eight states
Reusable products, bulk bins and local recycling centers can help you reduce waste in your home and your community. Holly Nobles/Lansing State Journal
A lot can change in seven months — especially in the food industry. And this eco-friendly energy bar company with roots in Iowa has seen a lot happen during that time.
Ever since Iowa natives Reed McIntyre, 29, of Indianola and Tom Miner, 30, of Davenport, launched their nutrition bar company, Unwrapp'd, the "you-bake" nutrition bar dough packaged in recyclable containers has grown quickly. It's now available in 200 Hy-Vee stores across eight states.
A third partner, Maria Capecelatro, 30, acts as the chief nutritionist for Unwrapp'd and helps with nutrition information as well as dough development.
On Monday, Jan. 21, Unwrapp'd is launching its new 3-ounce jars made with post-consumer recycled material. Miner said these smaller jars hold two servings and fit perfectly in car cup holders, gym bags and even pockets for ultimate on-the-go snacking while still holding true to our core value of eliminating single-use disposable packaging.
Seven months ago, Unwrapp'd first launched in Ankeny. "Some people were walking in and asking the managers if they carried the healthy product from the Iowa guys," Miner said. "It also goes to show how much of a voice we have as customers to bring eco-conscious alternatives to life."
Unwrapp'd Energy Bar Dough is the first nutrition bar dough on the market that's packaged in recyclable tubs. These tubs help reduce waste from protein and nutrition bar wrappers that are usually made from plastic, foil or plastic-infused paper.
Available in five flavors — cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate chip, mint chocolate, cinnamon roll and chocolate sea salt — each refrigerated container includes enough dough for 20 1/2-ounce portions or seven bars for $9.99.
The all-natural dough is made with mostly dates and nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds and coconut flour. Each container stays fresh for around five months in the fridge. It only takes 10-15 minutes to bake into bars, but eating it at room temperature is just fine.
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After launching in Ankeny in July 2018, Miner said Des Moines-area residents began asking other local Hy-Vee stores to carry Unwrapp'd energy bar dough.
By the end of the month, Unwrapp'd was stocked in six Hy-Vee stores in the metro and its phone and online orders increased through its own website and on Amazon. By the end of August, it was in 10 Hy-Vee stores.
In the same month, a Hy-Vee dietician moved to Iowa City and placed orders for Unwrapp'd at her new store, which then led to stores in Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty carrying Unwrapp'd energy bar dough.
From there, a Davenport Hy-Vee manager in Davenport discovered Unwrapp'd, and the product found itself on shelves in the Quad Cities.
When September rolled around, the Unwrapp'd owner trio took a trip back to Iowa to visit more Hy-Vee stores in Waukee, Urbandale and West Des Moines, which landed even more customers.
In November, Miner met with PDI (Perishable Distributors of Iowa) in Ankeny to present Unwrapp'd while on his way home to see family for Thanksgiving.
Because of the success in getting into so many Hy-Vee stores so quickly, the meeting went really well, Miner said. "We are now launching into 175 Hy-Vee stores across eight states this month in partnership with PDI."
"It has been absolutely incredible to witness the tight bond that we Iowans share, no matter how far apart we are," Miner said. "This rapid growth has only been made possible by the support from our fellow Iowans."