Success FUELed by Baseball + Probiotics + Protein
The success story of simplyFUEL is about as American as apple pie and baseball. So much so that owner Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, attributes the company’s initial success to the sport. “As the Team Sports Nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals for the past 11 seasons, I decided to make my very popular on Pinterest protein balls for the team,” Dulan says. “The players loved them and two games later, the Royals clinched the division for the first time in 30 years. The media went crazy about my protein ball story. In baseball, we are superstitious so I kept making the same protein ball recipe for the players throughout the playoffs and then the World Series and we ended up becoming the 2015 MLB World Champions! I had people all over Kansas City asking me to make them protein balls,” she exclaims.
After the World Series win, with requests for the protein balls showing no signs of slowing down, Dulan decided to make it official and launched simplyFUEL in April 2016. simplyFUEL protein balls are kitchen-crafted with simple, high-quality, non-GMO ingredients to fuel deliciously. “My 20 year background as a brand nutrition spokesperson and national media expert has also been put to great use,” Dulan says.
With product sales booming, Dulan is launching four new flavors to bring the young line’s SKU total to 7 with Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter, Tart Cherry Chocolate, Peanut Butter Honey Almond, Brownie Batter, Sweet + Salty, Choconut Crunch, and Coconut Love. Six of the seven flavors are gluten-free.
The Probiotic Homerun
One way Dulan sets her protein balls apart from the competition is the inclusion of probiotics. “As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I truly understand the important role of probiotics to help support gut and immune health. I am fascinated by the emerging microbiome research. I recommend my clients choose foods to boost their intake of foods containing probiotics so it was really a no brainer for me to include probiotics in our protein balls.”
It was the peer-reviewed science behind the probiotic, GanedenBC30, that made Dulan choose it to boost her product. “I was super impressed about the focus on research and scientific information that I found with GanedenBC30. As a registered dietitian, it was very important to me that the folks behind the probiotic company I chose were true science people and not just good sales people. I also loved the new research they shared with me about GanedenBC30 helping to support the utilization of protein as I already knew about the gut and immune health benefits of probiotics.”
A plus was how easy it was formulating with GanedenBC30. “It was just incredibly easy to formulate and I was so excited when the lab testing came back that showed GanedenBC30 survived so well in our protein balls,” she says. “The Ganeden team was also so helpful when I was formulating the product, and made it very easy for me.”
Retailers and consumers are responding well to the inclusion of probiotics in a protein ball.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. First, they are excited to have fun, ball- sized fueling snacks that taste so yummy while also providing both protein and probiotics. I just had a mom tell me today that her middle school daughter asked, ‘These are actually good for me?’ as she loved them so much and has requested that her mom include in her school lunch and some for her locker,” Dulan relates.
Fueling the Whole Team
simplyFUEL resonates with consumers across the board. “From superstar pro athletes, busy moms, and workout warriors, to young athletes and teenagers, the balls are resonating with folks who want to eat high-quality foods with clean ingredient labels but also taste great. I like to tell folks to ‘fuel deliciously’. I also provide a product warning to parents: kids love ‘em, too, so you must hide or share!” Dulan says with a smile.
With the company’s early success, Dulan has expansion plans in mind. “I already have future product plans beyond the protein balls and absolutely plan to include probiotics in these products as well. I am super busy with my food start-up and devoting most of my time to simplyFUEL, as I’m no longer working for the Royals organization. Although players are still texting me with protein ball requests – they miss them! I’ve recently added more pro sports teams to my customer list and the media continues to love my protein balls. I just got my first request from Hollywood to include my protein balls in an upcoming movie and very popular TV show. I’m also super lucky that I have a large group of friends and colleagues who are the top nutrition influencers in the country and they are fully supporting me and simplyFUEL. 2017 is shaping up to be a very exciting year for simplyFUEL.”
To find out more about simplyFUEL visit www.simplyFUEL.com.