ARMONK, N.Y. -- Three years ago, Lisa Goldbaum’s two pre-teen children fought junk food addiction. The Armonk mother solved the situation with her own ingenuity, and now, she has a business that other families are finding helps them win the junk-food battle.
Goldbaum, a former journalist, started YummyHealth, which makes a line of candy bars and chips called YummySnacks. The company’s trademark phrase is “Help your kids eat right without a fight.” The company’s snacks include bars in kid-friendly flavors like chocolate, brownie, cookie dough and more, as well as pizza-, nacho- and cheddar-flavored cheese chips.
“Everywhere they go, especially at school, they’re surrounded by junk food,’’ Goldbaum said. “They’d go to friend’s houses, games, and it was the same thing. It was starting to take its toll.”
Goldbaum did find snacks at the grocery store that were lower in sugar, but they didn’t pass muster with the kids.
“The problem we ran into was that we couldn’t get a substitute for candy,’’ she said. “There’s nothing out there that tastes like candy that kids would want to eat. Even granola bars don’t taste like candy, and they’re often filled with sugar and starch.”
Goldbaum set out to mimic the candy bars she saw on supermarket shelves, while keeping sugars low and using healthier ingredients. She also set out to create a substitute for chips and cheese crackers without all the starch and chemicals.
After much trial and error, Goldbaum finally found the ingredients that worked well together. She created candy bars that contain cocoa, coconut, almond butter and flax seed. The chips consist of real Wisconsin cheese and seasonings. Just as important is what Goldbaum left out. There are no hydrogenated oils, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup.
“It took us a while to refine it,’’ Goldbaum said. “When you start any new company you have this grand idea of how long it’s going to take. It was a pretty long process trying to define the ingredients that work together with the right kind of chemistry. It took a few iterations to find the candy experience. It took a year before I thought it was ready for prime time.”
Once she found the right mix, Goldbaum needed a marketing strategy. She sells the product regionally in DeCicco’s, and has an online distribution platform on Amazon and Netrition. The products are in about 1,000 stores nationally, with the biggest concentration in California, where they can be found in chains like Sprouts and CVS.
“They tend to be trendsetters in experimenting with new, healthier products in California,’’ Goldbaum said. “The challenge has been getting the message across about how we’re different - that our candy has less sugar than an orange and no starch, but does contain ingredients that will help keep you full.”
Goldbaum said she had the perfect litmus test for making her products kid-approved: “If you put it in their Halloween baskets, would they egg your house?’’ she said. “We’ve been able to meet that standard. They’re getting the junk food experience without the junk. That’s not easy to do.”
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