Rule Breaker Snacks raises funds for bite-sized vegan brownies

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

Nancy Kalish started Rule Breaker Snacks because she did not enjoy the sweet treats available in health food stores. Pic: Rule Breaker Snacks
Nancy Kalish started Rule Breaker Snacks because she did not enjoy the sweet treats available in health food stores. Pic: Rule Breaker Snacks

Related tags: brownie, fundraising, incubator, Pepsico, New product, vegan, Gluten-free baked goods, allergens

Rule Breaker Snacks, one of the first companies in PepsiCo’s incubator program, asked fans to chip in to a Kickstarter campaign to boost production of its new bite-sized brownie snack.

Reaction to the campaign was so positive the company reached its $10,000 goal within two hours of the page going live.

Rule Breaker makes chickpea-based brownies that are free from the top-eight allergens, including gluten, nuts and dairy.

The standard 1.9oz individually wrapped brownies ($3.39 per piece or $27.37 per 12-pack on Amazon) clock in at 230 calories with 11g of fat and 11g of sugar, but they also provide 5g of dietary fiber, as well as 10% of recommended daily iron intake and 15% for potassium.

The new ‘Bites’ will be sold in a re-sealable pouch in each of the brand’s three flavors – Deep Chocolate, Birthday Cake, and Chocolate Chip Blondie.

Customers often enjoy the brownies on-the-go, especially for breakfast, said Nancy Kalish, founder of Rule Breaker Snacks.

"We love hearing from fans who enjoy them in many different ways – including on-the-go or in lunchboxes or to top their favorite foods like ice cream, oatmeal, yogurt and smoothies. So we thought why not make it easier for them?

"Bites provide a lot of flexibility for use and also for serving size. A full-size Rule Breaker Snack equals about 7-8 bites and we think they are just the right size for one bite."

Rule Breaker currently has distribution in 22 US states in stores from Kroger to Whole Foods. Ecommerce has also been "a fruitful way for us to reach a national audience," ​said Kalish.

She also told BakeryandSnacks the Bites will reach consumers by mid-summer: Kickstarter campaign backers will get an exclusive first taste for their support.

The Kickstarter campaign had garnered about $16,000 within 24 hours, prompting a ‘stretch’ goal. If the company raises upwards of $30,000, it will add more flavors, starting with Blueberry Lemonade Bites followed by Chocolate Espresso and Chocolate Raspberry.

'An accelerator in the true sense of the word'

Kalish said the company was thrilled to partake in PepsiCo's Nutrition Greenhouse program, describing it as very motivating, and will be sad to see it end.

"It is an accelerator in the true sense of the word and the experience has far surpassed my expectations. We have benefited immensely from a true mentorship experience, having been given access to the brain trust and expertise at PepsiCo."

Kalish and her team showed 'incredible collaboration,' Carl Kazmierczak, food service senior director at PepsiCo and one of Rule Breaker's mentors, told BakeryandSnacks.

The Nutrition Greenhouse program supported ten companies last year.

"We’re happy that all the entrepreneurs are very engaged and are taking advantage of the expertise that their mentors and the rest of the PepsiCo universe is offering,"​ added Daniel Grubbs, ventures group managing director.

"We’re already seeing an impact and incredible progress since the start of the program, and we look forward to announcing the recipient of the final $100,000 grant soon.”

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