An exclusive interview with the founder and CEO of Perfect Bar
Perfect Bar LLC, based in San Diego, has long maintained strong points of differentiation for its snack/nutrition bar products. They make strong use of nut butters. They’re organic. They focus on whole-food ingredients. They’re gluten-free, non-GMO and preservative-free. They also stand out due to the fact that they require refrigeration, sold and merchandised out of the cold case at retail.
Exposure to this unique product line continues to spread. Earlier this month, Whole Foods Market expanded its agreement with Perfect Bar, and now the retailer carries all of its 10 SKUs, including three new products that were just launched: Blueberry Cashew, Maple Almond and Coconut Peanut Butter.
In order to learn more about Perfect Bar, we reached out to Bill Keith, founder and CEO of the company.
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh: What is the origin of Perfect Bar?
Bill Keith: Our Dad, Dr. Bud Keith, was a renowned nutritionist and fitness industry pioneer, constantly tinkered with healthy snack recipes to feed our king-sized family (13 of us in total). One day, after grinding up dried fruits and vegetables and mixing them with freshly ground peanut butter and honey, he took a bite and declared he had found the perfect combination for us kids while on the go. When our Dad grew ill with skin cancer, us Keith kids knew had to come together to support our family. Inspired by his original recipe, our older siblings founded Perfect Bar in 2005. Today, our sibling start-up carries on the nutrition principles instilled in us as kids to produce the freshest, whole-food nutrition bars on the market.
DJP: What does “clean label” mean to you?
BK: A “clean label” to us means real ingredients you would find in nature and nothing too ambiguous that you can’t pinpoint what it is (i.e., “natural flavors,” which most brands would be hard-pressed to give you the actual ingredients they use under that umbrella).
DJP: Where do you find your passion and drive to succeed in today’s food industry?
BK: Our family is on a mission to bring whole food nutrition to the world through high-quality, delicious products that satiate and educate at the same time. Our passion lies in the awareness and education of what whole-food nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can do to enhance quality of life. Additionally, being an innovator in the nutrition bar category, with the first line of refrigerated bars, is exciting, and encourages us to continue pushing the limits in the fresh snacking category.
DJP: What are the benefits of prominently featuring nut butters in the Perfect Bar products?
BK: Nut butters boast a variety of benefits, such as whole-food protein, healthy fats and fiber to keep you satiated. Nutrition aside, the flavor profile makes for a great base for taste, and mixes well with other whole-food ingredients, like coconut, dates, cranberries and blueberries, which can be found in some of our bar flavors. Additionally, we add over 20 superfoods in our bars, such as kale, spinach, chia, rose hip, etc., so the nut butters take over the flavor in the bar, so it doesn’t taste like you’re biting into whole-food supplements.
DJP: Why did you decide to create bars that require refrigeration?
BK: We created Perfect Bar with refrigeration required, because fresh food is best kept cold. Since our bars are made with only real ingredients, using organic honey as the only binder of the whole foods, the cold acts as a natural preservative to keep the texture and shape of a bar, so you don’t need a spoon to eat it (like a jar of peanut butter). Additionally, the omega oils we have as part of our superfood blend only intensify the need for refrigeration, which are part of the original recipe. Otherwise, you have the oils separating from the ingredients, again, like a jar of peanut butter sitting in the cupboard.
DJP: Why is Whole Foods Market is good fit for Perfect Bar?
BK: Whole Foods Market continues to be a very valued partner of ours for a multitude of reasons. Of course, for the integrity behind the products and brands they place in their stores, but also because of the chance they gave us back in 2005, when refrigerated nutrition bars weren’t something the marketplace had ever heard of. The chance they gave us was the beginning of something incredible, and we’re excited to continue our partnership with them—most recently, with the exclusive launch of our three new flavors: Coconut Peanut Butter, Maple Almond and Blueberry Cashew.
DJP: Where else are Perfect Bar products available?
BK: Perfect Bar can be found in more than 5,000 fridges nationwide, including Target, Safeway, Kroger, Publix, Jimbo’s, Stop & Shop, GIANT, Costco, Wegmans and many others. Check out our store locator for a full list of stores.
DJP: What is the best-selling Perfect Bar?
BK: It varies from store-to-store, but our original Peanut Butter and original Almond Butter have stood the test of time to still be fan favorites.