The New Jersey-based business was started just under two years ago by serial entrepreneur Mike Metro, and the company has developed two new varieties including vegan dark chocolate raspberry and salted caramel.
The products, which contain several energizing sources such as caffeine extracted from Arabica green coffee beans, taurine, and B Vitamins, are designed primarily for fitness enthusiasts, on-the-go consumers, and busy professionals, Zippy Bites said.
Zippy Bites has a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a two-serving package, and it is currently available online, at natural food market and independent grocers mostly on the East and West coasts of the US.
Not competing with other confectionery categories
Metro told ConfectioneryNews chocolate just happened to be Zippy Bites’ ideal delivery system for energizing ingredients, such as caffeine extracted from tealeaves and coffee beans.
“Caffeinated chocolate is nothing new,” he said. “It actually goes back to as early as the 1900s.”
However, Zippy Bites did not start as a confectionery brand, as it has been displayed mostly on the “performance bar aisle,” on shelf next to energy drinks and shots.
“Consumers don’t usually find our products next to KitKat bars for example,” the company said.
Natural caffeine for select consumers
As many manufacturers have started using dark chocolate as a natural energy booster, the non-chocolate confectionery category also followed the functional trends, with several gum producers attempting to add caffeine to their products.
Caffeine-added products have sparked health concerns among consumers, and companies such as Tea Squares have responded by using alternative ingredients, this site’s sister publication BakeryandSnacks previously reported.
Metro said Zippy Bites contains 152 mg of caffeine per serving, compared to around 200 mg of caffeine in many 16-ounce energy drinks or shots.
Metro said Zippy Bites’ caffeine content is 100% pure and natural.
“We’re also non-GMO, organic and gluten-free, so we actually hit all the consumer health trends,” he added.
“There should be no additional [health] concerns other than the typical concerns of managing caffeine,” Metro said. “People’s tolerance of caffeine are different, and I wouldn’t recommend those with a heart condition to purchase our products.”
Seeking additional funding
Metro self-funded Zippy Bites with a $250,000 to begin with, but the company is seeking additional funding from investors.
Zippy Bites has posted 25% to 30% monthly growth on average so far this year, “much faster” compared to last year, Metro said.
The company is currently in talk with several new retail channels to carry its products in the next few months, and the company believes its market visibility will become “contagious.”