Wednesday, August 13, 2014

COOL GEAR,GADGETS,TRENDS Outdoor Retailer S/S 2015-'Manly' Snacks

Outdoor Retailer, SLC

What to eat on the go-when hiking, training for a 100 mile dash through some mountain terrain, or just hanging out paddling on some lake---there was a lot of noshing going on at the most recent OR tradeshow.

One trend that is coming to store shelves near you-brick and mortars or virtual-are beefed up bars, gourmet jerky- and snacks packed with protein from sources that are not traditional for the energy bar market.

No one was tasting these when we were at the booth-laden with CHAPUL Cricket Bars (maybe cultural hurdle in the bunch at the booth at that time?).

Nice packaging though-and Chapul's eats-get its protein source from 'farm raised' crickets that are ground into flour…that we were told-is somewhat akin to crustaceans-hence not for those with shellfish allergies.

Insects are staples in many countries' diets as cheap and readily available sources of protein. Plenty of consumer products also have insects in it-as the 'natural' food/cosmetics/fabric coloring-carmine-is derived from crushed cochineals.

FYI: Chapul's founder Pat Crowley secured funding $ from Mark Cuban on ABC'S HIT TV SHOW= Sharp Tank.

soy, dairy, gluten free and non-GMO. We found on Amazon for $12.99-$16.99-3 pack. so not inexpensive…Thai Bar has 190 calories and 8grams of protein… 8grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 18 grams of sugar----and some fiber, calcium (2% DV) and Iron (6%).

Chapul "You're not really Paleo…until you eat bugs" We get the pitch though why so many embrace a diet from our ancestors who had an average life span of 27 years old-eludes us.
3 flavors currently available-nut free Aztec Bar-Dark Chocolate Coffee Cayenne,  Chaco Bar with Peanut Butter/Chocolate, Thai Bar-Coconut, Ginger, Lime

we gave a Honey Mustard bar to our hiking buddy as we were having a cold one post day on the mountain-he inhaled it on the spot and noted how well it went with an icy cold Rolling Rock. Sweet+spicey mix-up.

Some nutrition facts- the above flavr=230 calories, 16 grams of total fat, 3 grams fiber, 6grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein, Iron (10%DV), Calcium (6% DV), Vitamin E (30% DV), Manganese (40% DV), Magnesium (25% DV), Copper (20% DV), B2 (15% DV), Phosphorus (20% DV), and Vitamins A (4%-DV), C (2% DV)
We first encountered tasty KIND BARS-at a New York Fashion Week event years ago-when the NY based brand first launched.
from Demo Day…love the Cranberry Almond...

WHAT'S new to us-is the five kinds of STRONG & KIND energy snack bars (gluten free-non-GMO)-aimed at the guy market---flavored up with  interesting combos if sweetness, hotness-and spices for more savory experience we kinda thought akin to popular bar food staples. But better for you via 10 grams of protein/bar of Almond, Pumpkin, Hemp Seeds + Legume (Pea) derived Protein.

Available in Roasted Jalapeño (hot), Hickory Some, Thai Sweet Chile, Honey Mustard, Honey Smoked BBQ. There's a spice meter on the packaging to guide newbies…

GOURMET BEEF JERKY-has a dedicated fan base-and OR had several of them displaying their offerings.

We don't eat meat but every sample, featured below-that we delivered to a brother who loves beef jerky-was met with appreciative approval. And not shared with anyone else. HA.

"Hand Crafted Beef Jerky-made from whole muscle cuts, marinade in small batches and smoked. 
Steamboat Springs CO based Sweetwood Cattle Co. -beef jerky comes in four flavors: Original (brown sugar/honey/spices), Teriyaki, Hot (crushed peppers/molasses), Peppered (black pepper, garlic). Each serving (2/pack) delivers 80-90 calories 9-11 grams protein, 7-9 grams sugar…a low calories/protein proposition why dieters like it.

lot of people eat Beef Jerky-no longer a 'blue-collar' food

Actually made with Jim Bean Bourbon-and beef, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup as the main ingredients …and interestingly enough-has a 'smores recipe using this for twist on the classic marshmallow/graham cracker/chocolate fireside staple.

DUKE'S beef jerkys-founded by Colorado based Justin Havelick (aka "Duke")- come in five flavors-with no added preservatives or MSG.

ALSO available-other portable ways of eating smoked meats…including pork based sausages.

Mad for bacon-on seemingly everything to eat these days-including ice cream and Sunflower seeds-by BIGS®. The flavoring adds no extra calories-fyi-but the seeds are actually pumpkin seeds-according to the company website…which are naturally packed with protein.

Other flavors too-including one that's dubbed Vlasic Dill Pickle (sour, garlicky taste-hmmm). Widely available- even Walmart carries the brand…and delivers too. Always a plus in NYC where there is no branch of the store.

BEEF bars-are getting popular-especially with the long-going bunch of humans that we meet at OR-who need some oomph on those 100 mile trail runs.

More akin to meals-than typical sweet snack-like energy bar ones---meat laden bars probably have more digestion requirements-which we guess, like any slab of meat-probably takes awhile.

EPIC's four bar offerings-Bison Bacon-Cranberry, Beef Habanero-Cherry, Turkey-Almond Cranberry and Lamb Current Mint-are made from grass-fed,, antibiotic/hormone FREE animals and are dairy, soy and nitrite free…with 140-200 calories/bar…10-14 grams of protein (depending on flavor).  Around $2.49 bar.

Montana based Omnibars…four flavors (roasted peanut, mango curry, chipolte barbecue, cranberry rosemary) delivers long lasting energy with meat and other ingredients-notably sweet potatoes that have a low glycemic level (less buzz/crash/burnout) of carb fuel that ultra endurance types need for long haul.

Two Creek Monture Ranch owned by 2/3 founders-inspired some of the thought process that went into taking grass-fed meats and putting into bars--- that cost around $3 apiece.

Mainly available out west/Alaska for now…but everyone delivers.

Taste-tbd…as one of our our meat eating bro's who loves beef jerky is curious to try---and has never even heard of beef bars before. 

Part 2 Energy on the go
Part 3 Glamping+Grilling