Product Review: You Bar – Custom Energy Bars
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The product review: You Bar – Custom Energy Bars is a snack bar manufactured by you. The bar is made from wheat flour, sugar, natural peanut butter and other ingredients. The nutrition facts claim for the bar are 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of protein per serving.
You have been selling this product since 2010. At first it was called “Bar” but later changed to “Custom Energy”. The name “You” refers to the fact that you are a small business owner.
The bar contains only one ingredient, which is peanut butter. You use peanuts because they are cheap and easy to get. You do not want to spend money on artificial flavors or colors.
In addition, you have no intention of using any preservatives in the product. All ingredients used in the creation of this bar must be fresh and unprocessed. You want your clients to feel energetic and healthy, not guilty.
The bar has two layers. The bottom layer is soft and slightly sweetened with brown sugar. The top layer is crunchy and sticks to the roof of your mouth when you bite down.
You have a degree in accounting. In 2011 you wrote a business plan for this product which you hoped to sell to big retailers. After sending hundreds of emails, you managed to get 5 major chains interested in carrying your product.
The buyers wanted to negotiate a wholesale price so they can resell your bars at a profit.
This panicked you. You had no idea how to manufacture the bar in large quantities. You considered hiring another company but were afraid that you would not be able to maintain quality control.
Instead, you spent $20,000 hiring a food scientist to help you with the recipe. After 3 months of experimenting you settled on a version that tasted very similar to the original one. The only difference was that it was not quite as sticky.
You were very proud of your new creation. You presented it to the chains and they all accepted your offer, wanting to start selling the new energy bars by the summer of 2013.
To save money, you decided to manufacture the bars yourself to sell in small stores. The packaging is similar to the one you used for big companies but with a different design. The ingredients list is shorter and the bar is now called You Bar.
The first 3 months of sales have been positive but you are still struggling to pay the bills. If things don’t get any better you might be forced to close down the business.
What should you do to increase sales?
To improve taste, add artificial sweetener.
The current recipe uses brown sugar. It makes the bars taste very sweet but some people find it unpleasant. To improve the taste, you decide to add artificial sweetener.
It is cheap and increases the odds of people buying your product.
To improve packaging, get a logo designed.
The packaging looks bland and boring. You consider having a designer create a new logo for the bars but it will cost $1000.
To improve shelf-life, add preservatives.If you were to add preservatives to the bar you could sell them without refrigerating them. Unfortunately, this would result in some customers getting sick and you would need to recall the product.
Sources & references used in this article:
Methodology and computer-based tools for re-engineering a custom-engineered product line by S Nick – US Patent 6,009,406, 1999 – Google Patents
Comparative analysis of fruit-based functional snack bars by D Sun-Waterhouse, A Teoh, C Massarotto, R Wibisono… – Food Chemistry, 2010 – Elsevier
Custom nation: Why customization is the future of business and how to profit from it by A Flynn, EF Vencat – 2012 – books.google.com
Review of solar dryers for agricultural and marine products by A Fudholi, K Sopian, MH Ruslan, MA Alghoul… – … energy reviews, 2010 – Elsevier
A review on electrical motors energy use and energy savings by R Saidur – Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2010 – Elsevier
A review on test procedure, energy efficiency standards and energy labels for room air conditioners and refrigerator–freezers by TMI Mahlia, R Saidur – Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2010 – Elsevier