Michigan State University and the Product Center give “Start-up to Watch” award to Marshall Rader
Michigan’s premier Specialty Food Show bestows award to The Gluten Free Bar.
Posted on November 14, 2013 by Paul James Werner, Michigan State University Extension
The Start-up To Watch Award was given to Marshall Rader during the Making it in Michigan Specialty Food Trade show on November 12, 2013, held at the Lansing Center in Downtown Lansing, Mich. An award ceremony was held during the lunch hour honoring the company for the successful introduction of gluten free protein bars. The company has distribution in 650 Midwest stores, and national presence with eight distributors. The company has experienced tremendous growth. The award ceremony inculded an introduction video and award presentation. The event was free to attend and was held at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing, Mich.
The Gluten Free Bar partner team includes Marshall Rader, President; Elliot Rader and Ben Wahl, Vice-Presidents; and Jeremy Sher, R&D Director. Partners operate with a clear division of duties from Michigan and Seattle, Wash. and manufacuture the product at their plant in Ada, Mich.
Their product line includes a protein bar in four flavors and protein bites in three flavors. All bars are certified gluten-free by GFCO, certified vegan by Vegan Action, certified kosher by Kosher Michigan, and GMO free. In late 2013, The GFB will introduce soy-free bars, further enhancing their appeal in the gluten-free and allergen-friendly marketplace. Their motto, “believe in a better bar” reflects their commitment to meeting the needs of millions of gluten-intolerant individuals with a tasty, nutritious and convenient product.
The company was launched in 2010 and today is sold in over 650 stores in the Midwest and in national distribution through eight distributors. Internet sales constitute 10 percent of total sales. They are experiencing a 300 percent compounded annual growth rate. The business employs 11 workers, up from 3 at launch. In addition to producing their own product line, they operate a separate private label and co-packing business.
The company’s web site is professionally developed and maintained. It includes extensive information about the products, reviews, store locations, a blog and online ordering. They utilize search engine optimization, ad words and are pro-active with bloggers.
The Gluten Free Bar executives operate with clear vision and measurable goals. They recently conducted a strategic planning process and business plan update as part of their initative to accommodate general growth and expansion. The company is a contributor to the local food bank and the company supports the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
The Gluten Free Bar and the officers of the company received one of four separate awards. All of the award winners were recognized as part of the Making it in Michigan, the only premier specialty food trade show in Michigan. The trade show is a compilation of a marketplace for producers to sell their products to grocery buyers, an educational component that delivers classes from marketing to regulation and a formal conference and expert speakers. This year’s keynote speaker was Tim McIntyre from Domino’s Pizza. The event was hosted by Michigan State University and the MSU Product Center, partner ofMichigan State University Extension and MSU AgBioResearch.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).