November, 2013

 

Mary Molina, mother of four, is like most mothers in the United States.

She works hard to provide for her family in the best way possible. Her five granola bar varieties are named after her four children: Lola, Ruby, Ellie, Enzo, and her nephew, Nathan. The bars are all-natural, gluten-free and packed with protein, and are sold in hundreds of retail locations throughout the United States.

Molina started making granola bars because her husband, Ernie, asked her to get him a healthy snack at the grocery store. Ernie had been eating fast food to save money and had started to feel the effects of a high calorie, no nutrition diet. The family also was struggling to put food on their own table. When Mary went to the store, the bars Ernie liked eating had a lot of extra ingredients, and Mary wanted something natural. So, she decided to make him something. She simply pulled ingredients out of the cupboard that she thought would taste good. One of those ingredients was honey. Soon, the Lola Granola Bar was born.

Did you have prior experience as a chef/baker?  

I’ve worked side by side with chefs and caterers, but I have no formal education. My Aunt Flo is my greatest inspiration. She could make anything; she learned from my grandmother. Ernie also wanted to become a chef. He’s much more talented than I am in the kitchen. The recipe is mine; it was a surprise for him!

What prompted you to make the leap from feeding your family to starting a business?  

The second day I packed my husband the bars he called saying people wanted to buy them. I knew I had something great!

And the first bar was named after your daughter, correct?

Our financial situation was weighing heavily on him, and I wanted to cheer him up … that’s why I called it Lola Granola. And, I used honey because Ernie especially likes the honey and sesame bars found in international markets.

You currently have five bars. How does each one differ?

I started out with almond and cranberry because that is what I had in the house. The base of the bar is the same; I change the fruit and nut combinations. As you can see the bar flavors are named after my children, and I thought about which fruits and nuts my children like.

Let’s talk about honey. Why do you use it in your products and what positive aspects does it add to the bars. Why did you choose it as your sweetener of choice?  

After I started selling the bars a woman passed me in a store I was delivering to and said “I wish you only used honey, I’m a purist.” That was my epiphany. I started playing around with my recipe and found people liked it better with only honey in it.

The granola bar market has huge competition. What sets Lola Granola apart from competitors?

The difference is Lola Granola Bar is truly all-natural, using honey as our sweetener. The others may add honey or the flavor of honey, but that’s not the same thing. Lola Granola Bar uses all-natural ingredients processed naturally without chemicals.

Do you have any future plans for more made with honey bars or any other products?  

We have several new bars we have formulated and we are looking into other snack items.

 

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Cookie and cracker sales are on the rise, partly due to consumers wanting a natural, clean labeled option, but also a way to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Baked goods including anything that makes the product unique or a hybrid of two products are the latest trend with consumers, such as cracker chips, bagel chips or baguette crisps.

Cookies are taking on a new look to suit buyers as well, adding more all-natural ingredients such as honey, fruit or raw nuts. Since four out of five American households consume cookies, according to Baking & Snack magazine, players in the market are searching for the sweet spot and finding ways to compete in the sweet-and-salty snack category.

Mondelez International, Inc. topped mid-year reported cookie brands with more than $2.6 million in sales. Private label cookies, Keebler Co., McKee Foods Corp. and Pepperidge Farm Inc. round out the top five. And, four out of five of these companies use honey to sweeten their cookie or cracker products.

Honey Maid, a subsidiary of Mondelez, is the creator of Grahamfuls, a new graham cracker with peanut butter, yogurt crème, s’mores, chocolate and banana vanilla crème varieties.

Enjoy Life’s Vanilla Honey Graham cookies are not only made with honey, but they are gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, peanut-, tree nut-, egg-, soy- and shellfish-free. Enjoy Life was named to the Inc. Magazines 500/5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies for four consecutive years.

Keebler’s Wheatables combine honey with stone-ground wheat to create a unique oven-baked flavor, and Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish Grahams Giant Oat and Honey variety comes in a flavor blasted goldfish multi-pack for on-the-go access.

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Dole Mixed Berry Chia & Fruit Clusters Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

 

Dole’s Mixed Berry Chia & Fruit Clusters consist of honey, dried fruit, whole grains and chia.

Each serving delivers 11 grams of whole grains, with 10% daily value of Vitamin C antioxidants. All-natural chia boosts this treat with essential Omega-3 ALA nutrients. The Mixed Berry variety joins Cranberry Apple as the other snacking product with honey.

For more than 150 years, Dole has believed in the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, leading to the creation of the Dole Nutrition Institute in 2003. Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables.

Want to see what other snacking products contain honey?

 

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