Pure Genius Is Breaking Rules With 2017 Name Change

Meagan McGinnes

Pure Genius is taking the old mantra “new year, new me” to heart in 2017.

The chickpea brownie company that launched at Expo East in 2015 is changing its name to Rule Breaker Snacks on January 1, according to founder Nancy Kalish.

rulebreaker_970Kalish told NOSH that she learned over the summer that the trademark she’d applied for upon launching the company was not going to go through, and that she would have to embark on the “hellish process” of coming up with another original name.

“Weirdly enough, I actually am not only happy about it, but I feel somehow [Rule Breaker Snacks] is more in line with my spirit as a founder and with our brand,” she said. “When you are willing to go to market with something like a brownie made from chickpeas, we really are trying to break the rules and do something different.”

Though happy with the outcome, the decision to change the name was not an easy one for Kalish, but she said she ultimately knew she needed to protect her brand. She added that, although the company is self funded for now, she knows trademarks are important to future potential investors. She is planning to raise funds later next year.

“It’s really scary putting all your own assets on the line,” she said. “We are literally putting our money where our mouth is… I feel like we are beyond proof of concept, but right now I still want to prove to other investors, and myself, that we are here to stay and increase our penetration in the markets we are already in, specifically the Northeast region.”

Loyal customers shouldn’t worry about any difficulties recognizing the new product on shelves. The wrapping will be exactly the same as the bright pink and blue packaging customers are familiar with. The only difference will be the new logo, which fits exactly where Pure Genius used to be.

And Kalish said her name isn’t the only thing changing. In addition to new SKUs rolling out at Natural Products Expo West in March, the company’s website is also getting an upgrade. Kalish said it will be more functional for customers and have a more robust rewards system– something vital to their success since about 25 percent of Pure Genius’s current sales are through its website.

Pure Genius also recently hired 35-year natural sales veteran Michael Hoare as its new vice president of sales. In 2016, Pure Genius was picked up by Whole Foods Market’s Northeast and South regions. Kalish said she hopes Hoare can bring them to the “next level.”

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