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Watch: Why Skratch Labs’ Founder Waited on Bars

Meagan McGinnes

Skratch Labs’ co-founder Allen Lim never wanted to create a line of energy bars. In fact, he spent a majority of his professional career creating alternatives to them. But now, with the increased demand by athletes for portable, convenient foods, Lim is having a change of heart.

The Boulder, Colorado-based sports nutrition company announced last week that it’s moving further into food with its newest product line: Anytime Energy bars. The new line, like Skratch Labs’ hydration products, use real fruit and contain no artificial colors or preservatives. Available in almond chocolate chip, cherry pistachio and ginger miso, the bars are gluten free, vegan and made with non-GMO ingredients.

“I’ve never been a fan of bars,” Lim said. “It’s a frustration that made me initially reluctant to explore this possibility for Skratch Labs until I realized that it was that frustration, which was shared by so many in our family, friends and customers that motivated us to try.”

The company, which originated as a beverage brand, has a portfolio that includes endurance recovery mixes, gummy-like “fruit drops” and cookie mixes, as well as merchandise like cookbooks, containers and apparel. Skratch Labs products are carried at over 6,000 stores including the Rocky Mountain region of Whole Foods, REI, Performance Bicycles and over 1,000 independently-owned bike and running stores.

Lim described the move into a prepackaged bar as a natural evolution. He began by hand-making thousands of cookie bars for athletes he trained. Lim then co-wrote a cookbook including said cookie recipe, before ultimately launching his at-home cookie mix in his product portfolio.

A new product line is not the only news coming out of Skratch Labs as of late. Last fall, the company expanded its executive team with a new head of customer experience, VP of marketing and VP of operations — the latter two, Lim said, played critical roles in the new launch.

In an interview during Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Md, Lim spoke about the new bars, his plan after the departure of one of the company’s partners and his “Chinese Restaurant” model for growing a business.

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