The company started as a kitchen-counter project in 2010; in 2013, the granola’s growing popularity moved the founders to consider producing the product on a larger scale.
“Our business truly began when we relocated to Portland, Oregon, just over a year ago,” Gypsy Crunch founder Randi S. Nash told FoodProductionDaily. “While searching for an accredited lab to provide Gypsy Crunch nutritional decks, my partner Bill Anti and I were referred to the Food Innovation Center.”
The FIC, located at Oregon State University, offers resources and facilities to assist with product and process development, packaging engineering, shelf-life studies, and consumer testing. Nash and Anti harnessed the FIC’s extra kitchen to hone granola recipes and speed the granola to market.
“While testing our formulas at local farmer’s markets, we began building a following and selling to retail chains including Whole Foods Market, New Season's Market, Market of Choice, and Williams-Sonoma Artisan Market,” Nash said.
Along the way, the Gypsy Crunch team worked on coming up with packaging that fit the product’s message.
“When choosing a package, it was really important for us to think about the consumer's desire to maximize the shelf life of their foods, and create a non-wasteful, eco-conscious, and consumer friendly packaging design,” she added.
The company teamed up with packaging designer Anton Kimball, who created the logo and engineered a reusable five-sided pouch, topped off with a Velcro Press-Lok closure. Nash told FPD incorporating a reliable closure in the resealable pouch was an important consideration, to protect the granola and make it last as long as possible.
“As granola is a product that easily absorbs moisture, it was imperative our packaging closure maximize the ability to keep out any dampness and exposure to airborne elements,” she said. “Gypsy Crunch products have extended the shelf life of our products by approximately 10 weeks.”
Additionally, Nash said, the closure design eliminates some of the frustrations that she has faced in her own home.
“Our customers include children, young adults, as well as a generation riddled with arthritic conditions,” she said. “As a mom of four children, I am constantly throwing away foods that are not resealed properly; they tend to get moldy, attract ants, and go stale.”
Nash said the end result, which features a five-sided pouch with see-through panels and the Velcro Press-Lok closure, has resonated with shoppers.
“This innovative package catches the eye of the buyer and consumer alike and extends a compelling invitation to taste our yummy all-natural, gluten-free, and non-GMO Gypsy Crunch granolas,” Nash said.
The Gypsy Crunch line includes four varieties (Emma's Bada Bing, Zachary's Brazilian Bombshell, Daniel's Mod-Macs, and Juliet's Pecan-Can) named after Nash’s children. The pouches are produced by Ontario-based Peel Plastic Products.