ZEGO, the new innovative leader in delicious and nutritious, allergy-friendly snacks, announced the launch of the first-ever line of energy bars made from organic sunflower seeds. All ZEGO bars are made without nuts, gluten, soy or dairy. ZEGO is unveiling two flavors at launch: Chocolate, with a cacao nib crunch, and Sunflower, with a hint of caramel. ZEGO bars are available for pre-order through August 15th on Indiegogo, where ZEGO launched last week and has already earned two coveted top spots— placement in the home page carousel and the number-one “most popular” food startup. ZEGO will be available in San Francisco Bay Area stores and on Amazon in November.
In the crowded marketplace of energy bars, it’s hard to believe there is any room for innovation. But for the increasing number of people with food sensitivities who avoid gluten, nuts, soy or dairy, ZEGO bars are a revolution. For two years, ZEGO hand-selected the ingredients, refined the recipes, balanced the nutrition profile, and conducted nationwide taste tests to ensure that ZEGO bars taste great to both kids and adults.
ZEGO is the brainchild of Jonathan Shambroom, a competitive athlete and seven-time technology startup veteran, and Colleen Kavanagh, a pioneering child nutrition advocate and parent. Jonathan and Colleen started ZEGO in response to the increasing need for nutritious and convenient, protein-rich snacks that will not trigger food sensitivities or cause digestive problems.
Protein is essential to the formation of long-term memories needed to learn, according to the NIH. Finding protein-rich snacks for kids is particularly difficult for parents whose kids have food sensitivities. Kavanagh faces this challenge every day when packing snacks for her children, who are sensitive to gluten and sugar and attend nut-free schools. She found there are not a lot of easy options. Kavanagh explained, “Before ZEGO, energy bars weren’t an option because nearly all of them contain nuts and some combination of gluten, soy and dairy. Lentil soup and slices of turkey have a lot of protein, but they’re not exactly cool or convenient for kids to whip out at snack time.”
A similar appeal holds true for anyone who exercises. As an avid cyclist and accomplished triathlete, Shambroom believes the protein and great taste of ZEGO will be welcomed by all athletes, from the bike to the gym to the yoga studio.
“My friends and I are tired of bars that taste like cardboard. Plus, getting great nutrition that is easy to eat and easy to digest has huge appeal for athletes, whether or not they have food allergies.”
“ZEGO bars are also great for busy adults and the workplace because they are nutritionally balanced to provide a steady source of energy and not cause spikes and crashes,” said Shambroom. “After 20 years of building technology startups, I know first-hand that you need high quality snacks for high quality output.”
Social responsibility is a core part of ZEGO. ZEGO donates 20 percent of profits to the nonprofit, Campaign for Better Nutrition. The two share a mission to make it easier for children to eat healthier. Typically companies donate 1 percent or 2 percent of their profits to a charity, but ZEGO is setting a higher bar by donating a full 20 percent.