Here at Udi's Granola we are very excited about the 3 new items launching in 2008. We had a few things in the back of our mind that we'd like to accomplish: kid-friendly, snack, and muesli.
A while back, Yasmin (our pastry chef and granola diva) came to my office with some crunchy, freeze-dried fruits and said these would be perfect for a kid's granola. I thought she was crazy, who in their right mind would like crunchy fruit. As it turns out, freeze-dried fruits were all the rage at last year's Natural Products Expo East as I discovered walking the floor of the show where I sampled my share of them. Because they are simple reductions of the fruits (no sugar or oils added), freeze-dried fruits are healthly and taste like the real thing The easiest way to tell the difference is to try a traditional banana chip and then a freeze-dried banana and then tell me which one tastes the most like the actual fruit.
So, I was convinced about freeze-dried fruits, now we had to come up with a granola flavor for kid's. We quickly landed on the classic combination of strawberries and bananas. Next up was a name for this flavor which was going to be a challenge because all our other flavors are one word. That's when we started playing around with merging the two fruit names together StrawBana didn't work as well as BanaBerry.
And finally, we created this flavor with kids in mind, but when you get a bunch of adults together to design the package the 1st versions weren't very kid-oriented. That's when we got the idea of putting it in some kids' hands and asking them how they'd re-design the bag. Soon we had a bag with doodles, cross-outs, and word changes. We loved the edited looking bag so much that we cleaned it up a bit and decided to put it out on the market as is.
I can't tell you how many times we've heard someone say, "I love snacking on your granola, but it's too messy to eat by hand!" Yes, we do break out granola into small pieces, but that is so it mixes well into yogurt, milk, etc. In the quest to come up with a healthy snack item to add to our offerings, we landed on the Nuggets. Or, like Marty Jones likes to say, "Granola you can holda!"
Since our bakery doesn't currently have the packaging capabilities for bars (and that market is saturated with them), we landed on bite size pieces of granola. The Nuggets are basically our Original granola minus the fruits which we couldn't bake into them without burning since our granola has such long bake times. So, it would have to be just oats, nuts, and honey.
The name comes from the gold mining heritage of our home state of Colorado and one of my favorite foods - chicken nuggets. Yes, this granola tycoon (to be) has a weakness for fried food. My hope is that the professional basketball team from our state that also shares the name will become big fans of Udi's Nuggets as well.
After trips to Europe and Israel, Udi Baron, would always return with some version of Muesli and wonder why isn't this cereal more popular in America. Traditional Swiss Muesli is one of Europe's top selling cereals, but hardly anyone in America has ever tried it. Maybe it's because of the raw nature of it. Many of those samples from Udi's trips tasted like chicken feed.
So, we got the idea to try to put a Muesli on the market that would appeal to the American pallet. First off, we would gently toast the usually raw five grain mix so that it would have a bit more crunch and flavor. Next up we had to find a way to sweeten it rather then the honey and fruit powders used in traditional muesli's. Those powders tended to just fall to the bottom of the bag and did little to coat the grains with sweetness.
That's when we came up with the idea to sweeten our muesli with some Udi's Vanilla Granola. That added more crunch to the mix and the gentle touch of sweetness needed to give the mix a great flavor. If you have never tried Muesli before, let Udi's be your first foray into one of Europe's most popular cereals.
Here is a picture of the 3 new bags:
They'll soon be available on our website for sale and in stores near you! Please let us know what you think once you've had a chance to try them.