With our fast, busy lives we often find ourselves on the go without enough time to eat. For those of us who are into working out, we need something that gives us the nutrients we need, not extra-added stuff like sugar. Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest, two outdoor enthusiasts who hail from Austin, Texas, discovered they needed to create just the right snack to give them the nutrients they needed while biking, hiking and train running, and they came up with something so Epic, that they named it Epic Bar. Unlike all those other sweet, sugary nutrition bars on the market, Epic Bar takes animal protein — bison, beef, lamb and turkey — and fuses them with ingredients like berries and nuts, making for a quick bite that is rich in protein, vitamins, nutrients and omega-3s, plus is low glycemic, gluten free and paleo-friendly. It’s better than jerky, and the tiny touch of flavors that enhances the meat. The Manual spoke to Collins about how they came up with Epic Bar, why they decided to put the animals on the packaging and the best time to eat one.
How did you come up with the idea for Epic Bar?
Katie and I are long time endurance athletes. When we are not working, we are often found deep in the Texas Hill Country riding bikes, trail running, or hiking. It was always at these times when our bodies craved something savory, nutrient dense, and in a whole food form. We could only consume so many plant-based bars before our bodies started rejecting such high carb/sugar intake. So, we started packing bacon during our long endurance events and it was game changing! As a result, Katie and I set out to create a more portable and convenient way to snack on high quality animal protein on the go!
How did you concoct the different flavors?
We formulated the flavors with a trial and error method. Initially we made hundreds of versions of the EPIC bars. We dialed in the flavors to the current lineup by only keeping the ingredients that worked and getting rid of the ones that didn’t. We personally tested each concept during a trail run, daylong bike ride, or camping trip. The flavors that we enjoyed most and the ingredients that made our bodies feel the best evolved into EPIC bars.
When did you decide to turn it into a business?
We decided to turn EPIC into a business as soon as we dialed in a shelf stable version of the bar. We saw an amazing market opportunity to create a healthy snack and we went hard and fast to getting the bars on the shelf. We were even more motivated to create a business out of this product once we began to see that we could make a significant impact on re-educating consumers about the health benefits of grass fed meat. We have always been excited to help grow the market for high quality humanely treated animal protein and reward ranchers for raising animals the right way.
Are either of you on a paleo and/or gluten-free diet?
Everyone within the company eats grain-free and gluten free. Most of us stick to a paleo inspired diet. For everyone here we focus on eating whole foods more than anything else!
Why did you decide to put a photo of the actual animal on the packaging?
We wanted consumers to connect with where their food comes from. If you are comfortable eating animal protein, we believe you should be comfortable seeing an image of the animal you are consuming. It’s a way to pay respect to the actual animals that we eat. No other food companies do this, and that is sad to us. We selected beautiful images of our animals that would stand out on the shelf and also in people’s minds.
What’s the best time for an Epic Bar?
EPIC bars are good anytime… duh! Long lasting satiety comes easily with Epic’s nutrient-dense protein content and the absence of grains. This makes EPIC a great option for on-the-go healthy snacking. Additionally, EPIC bars are loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3’s, muscle-building CLAs, and antioxidant-rich vitamins A and E, thus also making EPIC a perfect fuel for athletes or post training recovery.
For more information, visit Epicbar.com.