Better Brand Seeks To Improve Bagels With A Low-Carb Launch


Aimee Yang is fed up with the word “guilty” associated with nice things to eat. So she started a business to improve consumer choices.

His company, Better Brand, is preparing for its first launch: the low-carb Better Bagel, which looks like a regular bagel, but has five net carbs – that’s half an orange or two slices of a banana. It will be available on the company’s website this week.

“A lot of it stems from my personal issues with diet and healthy eating,” said Yang, CEO of the company. “… I was always going back and forth in the cycle of ‘Should I eat this? This might not be good for me, but I want it.’ And then if I did, I would feel super guilty, and if I didn’t, I would feel deprived. ”

Yang’s company used ingredient innovation and food science to sidestep this mental argument. The best bagels are made with ingredients that go through a proprietary process that uses enzymes to transform high-carb items. The best bagels don’t contain wheat flour, but are made with ingredients like modified wheat starch, wheat protein isolate, chicory root fiber, and potato starch. A single bagel contains 27 grams of dietary fiber, or 96% of the recommended daily allowance on the Nutrition Facts label.

Aimee Yang

Courtesy of Better Brand

Investors – both institutional and famous – put their money behind Yang’s company. In February, Better Brand closed a $ 1.2 million funding round led by VERSO Capital. Legal services firm Cooley also participated in this cycle, according to Crunchbase. Other notable investors include Wendy’s heir Sean Thomas, actress Emmy Rossum and Venture for America CEO Dorie Smith.

Yang said the company is focused on disrupting the $ 8 trillion refined carbohydrate market, but is starting with bagels.

“We really thought that by preparing the foods that were the highest in carbohydrates … [the carbohydrate equivalent of] two banana slices, so that really allows us to put our stake in the ground as a leading innovator in the field of refined carbohydrates, ”she said.

“Grain change technology”

How can a baked product that looks and tastes like a bagel go low in carbs?

According to the company, the answer is its “grain change technology,” a term Better Brand has registered. In an email, Yang said Better Brand has been working with external experts to determine how, through enzymes and processing, to formulate ingredients with less total carbohydrate but offering the texture, function and taste of a bagel. Yang wrote that she worked with four world leaders in ingredient production to develop the initial bagel. Together, she said, the R&D teams have over 200 years of experience.

“We also have, in the same way, a very uniquely designed process to allow us to get food of a higher caliber and quality,” Yang said, “and everything from proofing to mixing through cutting, cooking, cooking … involved to get us there. “

“A lot of it stems from my personal issues with eating and eating healthy.… It was so, so consuming to me.”

Aimee Yang

Founder and CEO, Better Brand

Keeping the final product label clean was important to Better Brand, Yang said. Although the Better Bagel is very different from what consumers are used to, all of its ingredients are recognizable to consumers, she said. Plus, the bagels are paleo-friendly and made with non-GMO ingredients.

Yang said in an email that Better Brand is working with master bakers – including Matthew McDonald, director of artisanal bakery LA Hearth in Southern California and former director of culinary innovation at Aryzta – to develop and improve the process of cooking. production. She added that the majority of the $ 1.2 million raised in Better Brand’s funding round will go to R&D and building what she described as “Better Labs.”

Launch strategy

While the bagels will arrive in select stores this month and will be available for direct ordering on Better Brand’s website, Yang said plans are to distribute them more widely and showcase them in select dining areas. This should happen closer to fall, she said.

Better Brand also has more innovations in the pipeline, Yang said, with more products launching soon.

According to Yang, there has been a lot of enthusiasm for Better Brand and its products, even though the company has nothing on the market yet. Already with several prominent investors, Yang said it shows the need for baked goods that are both tasty and carbohydrate-free. It also shows confidence in using technology to process food, she said. Yang said Better Brand has moved beyond what she called the “existing industry predispositions of what has to be” in the bakery space.

“Traditionally, the [way the] big GPC companies operate, they just don’t focus on innovation. It’s more about focusing more on existing products, ”Yang said. “… But it opens up this huge white space for us to really come in as newcomers. Some people think differently. “

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