New Protein Bar Coming in From the Cold
If you've been on the beaches in East Hampton this summer, you might have seen some buff guys in white bathing suits passing out small boxes of bars from a cooler. If you tried one, you know that Icebound is an entirely new category of product, a frozen protein bar boasting 150 calories and 14 grams of soy and whey protein.
The brainchild of Robert Guida and Jessie de Santiago, who live part time in the Georgica section of East Hampton, Icebound comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors and is covered in chocolate. The company owners discussed the new product over a conference call on Friday.
As a fitness enthusiast coming from a family that was always health conscious and reading food product labels, "I was looking for something satisfying after a hard workout and finding these dry protein bars that all looked the same, all tasted the same, and were all packaged the same," Mr. Guida said.
With a Wall Street background and an entrepreneurial bent, he sought out a food scientist in San Diego and "gave her the criteria for what the perfect protein bar would be: satisfying, cooling, refreshing, nourishing, low in calories, high in protein. The quest went on for three years," he said. When they finally came up with the formula that would satisfy those requirements, they decided to put it in bar form and coat it in real dark chocolate.
It was a product the market hadn't seen before. "When we applied for the L.L.C. and the bar code," Mr. de Santiago said, "there was no real way to categorize it, so we were all kind of confused. It's not a dessert, it's not a dry protein bar, so it's kind of a new category we're opening up here. Robert really just combined all of his loves."
"The thing people always ask is why nobody thought of this before, but the fact is nobody did," Mr. Guida said.
Mr. de Santiago, who has a background in art and interior design, came up with the packaging, which evolved from the idea of rewarding yourself. "Opening the box is like sliding out a piece of jewelry," Mr. Guida said.
Mr. de Santiago concurred. "The box is a hollow wraparound with a slide-out to reveal the bar wrapped in foil. It's like giving yourself a gift."
The South Fork is the first market where the bar has been tried. In addition to the beach promotions, Icebound can be purchased at specialty markets such as Duryea's in Montauk, L&W Market in Bridgehampton, and Sylvester's in Sag Harbor, where it has already sold out once.
It is manufactured on Long Island in Commack and frozen and packaged in Astoria. The first run of the bars was completed in June. "When this was coming to fruition and close to putting in stores, the Hamptons was always the place we thought we would want to launch it," Mr. de Santiago said. "Everyone is very health-conscious out here. We wanted them to have it in their hands."
The next step will be putting mini freezers of the product in New York City gyms and then supermarkets and large chain drugstores like Duane Reade. They are also considering more flavors and may launch an Instagram campaign to see what flavors their followers would like to see next. In a few weeks, the bars will also be available through the company's website. The retail cost is $5.50 per bar.