Feb42011

“Most of our marketing is done through in-store samples. We’ve found that once customers taste the bars, they’re hooked!”

Bill (President/ CEO) and Leigh Keith (Vice President) - Perfect Foods Research Corporation
Bill and Leigh Keith
Perfect Foods Research Corporation
Bill (President/ CEO), Leigh (Vice President)

Interview by Kevin Ohashi of KevinOhashi.com

Siblings Bill and Leigh Keith run Perfect Foods Research Corp.  Perfect Foods is a family owned business started by their parents in 1995.  Perfect Foods’ main product is a nutrition bar (Perfect Foods Bar) that is 100% whole food with absolutely no GMOs, preservatives, chemicals or fillers. They are produced in their own certified organic factory in San Diego, California.  Perfect Foods believes food can be delicious and healthy without making compromises such as using artificial preservatives.  Their hand made product has gotten the attention of many top dieticians, athletes and health conscious people.  It has also made a guest appearance on a popular TV show: The Big Bang Theory and recently voted favorite energy bar by actress Marisa Tomei in the August issue of Shape Magazine.

MO:
I had never heard of Perfect Foods Bar until this interview.  Where is it available and through what channels do you sell the bar through?

Bill and Leigh:
The bars are available in 36 states so far, primarily on the west coast. Since the bars are sold out of the refrigerator, they aren’t found with the traditional dry bars. Perfect Foods Bars are available in  natural food stores such as: Whole Foods, Henry’s, Jimbo’s Naturally, The Fresh Market, Super Supplements, etc. To find store locations near you, visit our website!

MO:
Your father, Dr. Bud Keith first came up with your recipe.  What inspired him to create the Perfect Foods Bar?

Bill and Leigh:
Our dad was a leading nutritionist for over 40 years and he was always trying to find ways to get us kids to eat healthy and get our vitamins. One day our dad and mom mixed together organic peanut butter, honey and ground up whole food tablets along with protein powder and a blend of omega oils and rolled them out like candy -  we loved it… had no idea how good they were for us!

MO:
Your product has been described as having a cult following. I see pictures from around the world of people holding up their bar.  Could you tell us about how you market Perfect Foods Bars?  How do you engage with your community?

Bill and Leigh:
Honestly, most of our marketing is done through in-store samples. We’ve found that once customers taste the bars, they’re hooked! The bars really do sell themselves – between the taste and the way it makes you feel, people just LOVE the bars! This has been very helpful since our startup capital was basically the change we had in our pockets!

MO:
Fifteen years ago I don’t remember there being such a huge backlash against artificial foods/ingredients.  Your product seems to be ahead of its time in that regard.  What changes have you seen over the years you’ve been in business in terms of consumer behavior and demands?  How have you adapted to these changes?

Bill and Leigh:
Our dad was a firm believer in the nutritional benefits of whole foods all the way back in the 60’s. We really think he was ahead of his time. Most people who eat whole, real food notice the difference in the way it makes you feel. I think we’re lucky that consumers are now experiencing this for themselves and that research is starting to come out that backs it up. We’ve recently adapted to the growing demand for a peanut-free bar by releasing a new line of almond butter bars. Word is starting to come in from the stores that everyone loves them! 

MO:
You are committed against large scale machines for manufacturing your product.  How do you scale your business?  What sorts of limitations have you run into and how have you gotten around them?

Bill and Leigh:
It’s not that we are against large scale machines… we just don’t believe in adding chemicals to food just so it will go through a machine. Most consumers don’t realize that there is a significant amount of chemical fillers and emulsifiers in processed food that is included not for nutritional benefit, but to aid in the manufacture of the product. We have had several major food bar manufacturers try and make our recipe, but they always come back with a list of chemicals or emulsifiers that we would have to add in order to use their machines. These additives and emulsifiers are man-made in laboratories and our bodies were not meant to digest them. It also adds a chalky, synthetic taste to the bars ,which takes away from the clean, fresh taste of whole foods. 

MO:
You’re working on a new line of products called Perfect Foods Nutrition.  Could you tell us a little bit about what you’re planning to offer and what makes it different from what’s already available on the market?

Bill and Leigh:
We are very excited about this upcoming line because it is the foundation of our whole philosophy. It really comes down to synthetic versus authentic. Most vitamins that you buy in the store are synthetic versions (chemicals), but our vitamins are concentrated whole food powders. For example, the average Vitamin C tablets at the store are made with ascorbic acid, but our tablets are made with a combination of natural foods that are high in Vitamin C (organic rosehip powder, organic orange powder, organic lemon powder, etc). We believe that when the body gets vitamins and minerals from natural sources the absorption rate is much higher. It is such a great way to supplement our diets with natural sources of much needed vitamins and minerals that are lacking in our everyday meals. We hope to launch a Perfect Foods Nutrition daily multi-pack early next year along with several other products we are very excited about.

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