Though foodservice menus and retail shelves are the usual safekeepers of our industry’s burgeoning trends, inspiration from industries outside of ours sometimes serve as catalysts. Collagen, for example, is a supplement that is increasing in popularity outside of the beauty industry, with innovators like Hey Frida tapping the benefits in unique—and delicious!—product lines.
I sat down with Tessa Wanders, Founder, and Jo Baur, Business Development Lead, to find out more about a female-owned-and-operated brand that is doing more than just expanding the scope of the health craze—it’s creating a new, exciting niche within an evolving category.
“At Hey Frida, we are obsessed with efficiency and optimizing our health, and we fell in love with the concept of functional food. We believe that the food we eat should provide more than just basic nutrition,” Tessa shared with me, explaining the mission behind Hey Frida’s bar products. “So, every bar we create does not only taste extraordinary but also fulfills a specific function: from enhancing body and beauty to enhancing cognitive function and overall mood.”
Hey Frida’s fudgy energy bars are unique in the energy bar category. Specifically, the Hey Frida bars infuse more flavor, health benefits, and freshness into shelf-stable products—all of which are helping and encouraging consumers to buy more healthy, delicious snacks.
“Collagen is great for almost all bodily functions, which is why we created a bar with collagen as a main ingredient. We only use type I and III collagen, which are the best to support skin, muscles, bone strength, hair and nail growth, digestive diseases, and it helps stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, and improves wound healing,” Jo noted. “Additionally, our bars contain lots of healthy fats, vitamin B6, and minerals like magnesium and zinc. Chocolate, another of our key ingredients, also adds to our product's health benefits, since it is known to increase the mood and lift neurotransmitter serotonin, consumers will feel good on the inside and outside.”
Currently, the line is available in a Dark Chocolate + Coconut + Collagen flavor (the Beauty Bar), with a Double Chocolate + Mint + L-Theanine flavor (dubbed The Relax Bar) debuting this month. The new flavor pulls extra health benefits from L-theanine, an amino acid that Jo said not a lot of people are familiar with yet. It is known to amplify alpha brain waves—allowing for a type of calm alertness and even heightened creativity—and reduce stress and improve mental endurance. It is because of cutting-edge ingredients like collagen and L-theanine that make Hey Frida a pioneer and trendsetter, not just in the bar and bakery category, but in the specialty food sector as a whole.
“At Hey Frida, we know that in 10 years, we will look in disbelief at our current food habits. Thankfully, consumers are already waking up to ingredients like sugar not being good for them. I started Hey Frida to help consumers find a low carb, no sugar alternative to high-carb, all-time favorites, like brownies and peanut butter cookies,” Tessa continued. “Fats are also making a comeback, and the trendiest diets are on board. With the rising popularity of keto, paleo, grain-free, and even ‘pegan’ (paleo + vegan) diets, plus a general shifting consumer mindset, fats are starring ingredients in creative, convenient foods—like Hey Frida!”
In addition to fats, high-protein, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free label attributes are also trending with consumers, with Hey Frida a leader within this burgeoning movement.
“Millennial consumers want fresh food and are willing to pay a premium to have clean, fresh food that doesn’t contain shelf stabilizers. At Hey Frida, we are proud of our expiration date. We make our bars fresh every week, in small batches. This fits into a Whole Foods trend as well as into the grab-and-go trend,” Jo added. “As a result, the refrigerated section is filling up with the kind of wholesome, fresh snacks typically prepared and portioned in advance at home. These snacking innovations mean ingredients lists are shrinking and there’s a lot less guesswork in picking up a quick snack consumers can feel better about—which is what our fresh bar snacks are accomplishing.”
Hitting a whole host of trends, Hey Frida is a brand to watch as we continue forward into this new decade. With 12 grams of protein in each flavor-packed bar, Hey Frida has something to offer today’s health-ravenous shoppers. As brands continue to arise alongside Hey Frida in this movement, Deli Market News will continue to report on the latest.