Co-owners of nutrition snack brand Battle Oats, Kevin Smith and Shaun Gibbins told BakeryandSnacks that Holland & Barret is the first major high street retailer to distribute the product.
“Holland and Barrett is one of the UK’s leading high street health food chain, so securing this deal is a major step forward for us as a business. Our reputation is growing in the flourishing fitness and sports markets, and [this] is a major boost for our reach in the UK,” said Gibbins.
Smith and Gibbins founded the company in 2014 to develop an energy bar for fitness enthusiast.
The Battle Oats bar are gluten-free high-protein flapjacks made from English oats, butter, coconut oil (no palm oil) and protein isolate.
Each 70 g bar contains 8-9g of fiber, as well as 15.5 g of protein.
“The bars sell mainly to independent health stores and gyms in the UK and their popularity are now climbing the walls,” claimed Smith.
According to the co-owners, the firm has grown sales of the bars by over 100% per annum for the past two years. Last year, the company shipped more than one million bars and commanded a turnover of £1.25m ($1.56m).
Battle Oats are also exported to more than 10 countries, including Ireland, the Netherlands and Kuwait.
“Typically, the bars are handmade and baked at a small family-owned factory in Oxford in small runs of 5,000 bars, however, as the bars have become more popular, this has been ramped up to 3,500 bars per shift,” said Smith.
Battle Oats are available in five flavors – including white chocolate coconut; cranberry & blueberry fusion; cinnamon n’ raisin; double chocolate brownie; and dark choc chip – and retail at £16.99 [ON4] ($21.19) for a box of 12.
The brand name was developed after Smith and Gibbins ran a social media contest to gather suggestions from health-conscious target customers.
Smith noted the UK sports nutrition market is currently valued at £580m ($723.51m) and last year saw 21% growth in the sports protein bar and snack segment.
“We have established a loyal following who, along with new customers, will now find it even easier to find our products on high streets throughout the UK.”
The pair are hopeful the deal will open doors with other retailers and supermarket chains.
“We are in conversation with a number of other retailers, and with some new products coming online in Q2 that broaden our ‘free from’ range, we are confident of securing more retailers this year,” said Smith.
The company will be releasing a new protein cookie at the end of the month.