AUGUST 31st: WE DID IT!
100% FUNDED!!! THANK YOU to every one of our contributors, friends, and families who made it possible!
OUR PASSION, OUR PRODUCT
ZEGO is passionate about making allergy-friendly snacks that are nutritious and delicious to support the growing minds of children, the performance of athletes, the dedication of parents, and the health of everyone!
More and more people are avoiding certain ingredients because of food sensitivities and allegies, according to government reports. Parents, kids, and adults need a healthy snack that tastes great and is not made with any of the top 8 ingredients that cause allergies and trigger sensitivities. More on ZEGOs and allergens below and here.
We call ZEGO “A HIGHER BAR” because it meets these needs and tastes better than other energy bars on the market. It’s an amazing combination of great taste and great nutrition.
INGREDIENTS & NUTRITION
What ZEGOs DO have:
- Lots of protein – 10 grams/bar
- Not a lot of sugar
- Natural ingredients
- Delicious flavor
- Great chewy texture with a bit of crunch
What ZEGOs DON'T have in their ingredients: (how we define ALLERGY-FRIENDLY*)
- NO Peanuts or Tree Nuts
- NO Gluten
- NO Dairy
- NO Soy
- And NO GMO’s or High Fructose Corn Syrup
*Please read more about how we define "Allergy-Friendly" and our Manufacturer's Allergen Disclaimer here.
Why do we use organic SUNFLOWER SEEDS as ZEGO's main ingredient? Sunflower seeds are a superfood that:
- Deliver lots of antioxidants & vitamins
- Boost your immune system and protect your heart
- Increase you energy by helping move oxygen into your red blood cells
- Provide high quality protein, which strengthens muscles, bones, and memory
ZEGO’s other healthy ingredients, like brown rice and quinoa, are high in calcium, iron, and magnesium to help further strengthen your bones, blood, and immune system. And, our crunchy cacao nibs are high in fiber and potassium, and have more health-promoting antioxidant catechins than green tea!
ZEGOs are naturally vegan and they taste great.
ZEGOs make being healthier easier for everyone. And, they come in 2 delicious flavors, Chocolate, which has a rich, chewy brownie flavor & Sunflower, with a hint of caramel. Recommend them to all your friends!
WHY WE NEED FUNDING
Our minimum order to produce ZEGO bars at scale is going to cost us over $75k. We have self-funded $100k already over 3 years, including the smaller production run already completed so we can send your ZEGO bars immediately when the campaign ends. For the big production run, we’ll add in more self funding, and with your support, we’ll launch ZEGO in stores and on Amazon!
We already have 2,000 boxes of ZEGO bars ready to send to our first Indiegogo supporters!
And look at how happy kids get when the eat ZEGO bars! Contribute to the fun today!!
ZEGO DONATES 20% of PROFITS
At ZEGO, we also have a mission to make it easier for everyone to eat healthy food, especially kids in families with low incomes.
We created ZEGO, in part, to help fund the work of Campaign for Better Nutrition - an organization founded by Colleen to improve nutrition for low-income children. We donate 20% of ZEGO’s profits to support that work.
WHY ARE ZEGOs ALLERGY-FRIENDLY?
More and more children and adults are allergic, intolerant, or choosing to avoid foods that have been staples of our diets in the past. Here are just some of the reports documenting what's behind this trend:
- One-in-three adults are avoiding gluten. (2013 study, NDP Group)
- 75% of U.S. adults are lactose intolerant. (2011, National Institutes of Health)
- 90% of the food allergies come from 8 foods: peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish. (2013, www.foodallergy.org) ZEGOs have none of these ingredients in our recipes! (Cross contact is possible. See full allergen disclosure and manufacturing disclaimer here.)
- 18% increase in food allergies occurred from 1997 to 2007. (2008, Center for Disease Control)
- Two children in every classroom have food allergies. (www.foodallergy.org)
- Soy is high in phyto-estrogens and eating too much can disrupt your natural hormones. (Kaayla, The Whole Soy Story)
Whew, all this makes finding a healthy snack on-the-go really challenging for a LOT of people. Luckily, the challenge just got easier thanks to ZEGO. If you have severe food allergies, please read more about our allergen disclaimer and post-production testing here.
HIGH PROTEIN-TO-SUGAR RATIO
If you compare ZEGO's nutrition label to that of other energy bars, you'll see we pack in a lot of protein without a lot of sugar. We worked hard to develop a tasty bar with this high protein-to-sugar ratio. We provide a combination of sunflower seed, rice and pea protein, because protein is so important for muscles and bones as well as for building the pathways necessary for forming long-term memories.
Too much sugar, on the other hand, can spike and crash your energy and, over time, can contribute to obesity and other metabolic diseases. So, we limit and balance our sugars to provide just enough sweetness to make ZEGOs delicious but not enough to challenge your pancreas with a big insulin surge.
MANUFACTURING ALLERGEN INFORMATION
ZEGOs are made without ingredients containing peanuts, treenuts, dairy, wheat, soy, gluten, oats, corn or egg. ZEGO bars are tested post-production to guarantee gluten-free certification and meet the strictest gluten-free standard of <5ppm and no oats of any kind. We don't even use "gluten-free oats" because many oat strains have amino acid chains that are very similar to wheat and cause reactions in Celiacs.
ZEGO’s manufacturer maintains a wheat-free facility but makes other products that contain tree nuts, soy, peanut, milk, oats and egg in their facility and on the same equipment. Our manufacturer required for our first trial run that we use a "facility that also processes" statement but we have requested and received permission to use a "shared equipment" disclaimer in the future. Our manufacturer uses a strict allergen control plan in place similar to the FARRP (Food Allergy Research and Resource Program) plan and do a complete allergen cleanout at the end of each production day.
On the days that ZEGO bars are produced, ZEGO bars are run first, before they introduce any allergenic ingredients on the line. We are actually present during production to watch for and prevent any contamination. In addition, we send a statistically representative sample of our ZEGO bars to FARRP for testing of the top 8 allergens, including all the individual tree nuts present in the facility. We post this information on our website (first posting will be at the end of August when the data will be available for us). Consumers with food allergies will be able to look up this allergen report by batch number and decide for themselves if ZEGO bars are right for them.
Our goal is to find or build (years down the road--we'll need some profits first) a facility that is free of the top 8 allergens. Until then, we will continue to use strict allergen control methods and post-production testing to make ZEGO bars as allergy-friendly as possible. It is important to note that even a statistically significant sample is no guarantee that one bar in that production run is the same as the sample, cross-contact that escapes our lab test is possible. But we feel that it is better to give our customers dealing with allergies as much information as possible to make their own decision, rather than using the standard method of applying a blanket disclaimer without any explanation. More info here.
REWARDS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION
What are the Reward or "Perk" Levels?
Starting at the $10 contribution level, each backer will receive some number of ZEGO bars or boxes - (12 bars per box) - as well as a super-cool ZEGO sticker and a vote on what you think our next flavor should be in our follow-up survey after we successfully complete our Indiegogo campaign. It’s your chance to ask for exactly what flavor you want next from ZEGO!
Can I Get Some SWAG?
Love ZEGO and want to tell the world? Be sure to contribute at our $100 level or higher and you’ll also receive a ZEGO T-Shirt (like the ones we are wearing in the video) and two water bottles. We have a limited number of these to offer, so get your order in early. We’ll email you to find out if you want brown or green shirts and to make sure we send you the right size.
When Will I Get My Bars?
We have indicated at each contribution level when your ZEGO bars will be shipped. There are two delivery windows, August (EARLY DELIVERY) and October. We have put limits on the levels of our August deliveries to make sure we can deliver from our current inventory. Other contribution levels indicate October delivery, as they will be taken out of our first large-scale production run, which we are funding with this Indiegogo campaign.
"Snacktastrophes" are looming around every corner - like the good old PB&J sandwich that you can't bring to school anymore if there are nut allergies in the classroom.
We met 3 years ago at a nutrition lecture at UCSF Medical Center. We quickly realized we share a passion for nutrition and wanted to create a company to help kids and adults be healthier. We set our sights on creating a healthy snack that is great for anyone and also meets the needs of increasing number of kids and adults with food allergies or intolerances.
As you can read below, we think our complementary professional backgrounds make us a great team.
Colleen: I have worked as a child nutrition advocate for the past 25 years. And, whether working as Congressional staff, heading child nutrition policy work for nonprofits, or giving nutrition workshops for parents, my focus has always been to improve nutrition for low-income kids so they can be healthier and achieve their dreams. I continue this work today as Executive Director of Campaign for Better Nutrition, a nonprofit I founded eight years ago.
I have Celiac disease myself, so I can’t eat gluten, and my 3 kids have had a variety of food sensitivities over their childhoods, including gluten, dairy and sugar.
My friends and I often share our frustration in putting together healthy, high protein snacks for our kids to take to school every day. Our kids’ schools don't allow nuts on campus, and with the additional foods that my kids needed to avoid, it made finding a health snack a really difficult task. When I met Jonathan, I found he had a similar passion for nutrition and such high energy, positivity, and talent that I knew that we just had to do something together to help everyone (including my kids!) be healthier.
Jonathan: I’ve been building technology startups for 20 years, so I am well versed in how to develop, launch, and build a consumer brand and company. I’ve also been a student of nutrition my whole life, born from my passion as a competitive athlete, a passion I've kept all through my busy career in startups. I’ve noticed striking similarities between succeeding in sports and startups, including the fact that you need high quality snacks for high quality output – in the workplace and on the bike!
I credit my dad for my love of sports - my first ski instructor, soccer coach, not to mention best friend and hero. I’ve always studied nutrition while seeking peak performance in sports – as a varsity soccer player and captain of the ski team in college, and since then, as an avid triathlete and cyclist (I have more miles on my bikes than my car!).
My cycling friends and I constantly discuss what to eat before, during, or after any long ride, or race, or workout, and we’re always searching for something you won't get tired of, gives you good energy, and actually tastes good. ZEGO passes the test!
When I met Colleen, I knew I had found a kindred spirit and great business partner. I was immediately impressed with how much she had accomplished in her nutrition career, and how she combines the “get-it-done” DNA I’m familiar with in startups with a deep expertise in nutrition.
We are committed to nutrition that works in today's world--where food allergies and sensitivities are more common, parents have less time, and kids and athletes demand great taste.
ZEGO has been a team effort from the start, and we have incredible people working with us. First, thank you to our loving families and spouses and kids: Jennifer, Erik, Liam, Kelsey, Evie, our extended families, so many friends, and our world class designer Tricia, and our web developer Trevor, and our videographer Tom. All of your talents, creativity, sanity, and patience have been invaluable. Thank you!
RAVE REVIEWS & FEEDBACK
Hundreds of people across the country have sampled our ZEGO bars and have given them rave reviews. Here is some of the feedback we've gotten:
"I can't have gluten or dairy but now I can have a great tasting energy bar--thank you ZEGO!" -- Andy, Memphis
"I love the brownie flavor (Chocolate), and the crunchy cacao nibs are really fun!" -- Sarah, San Francisco
"My kids' school doesn't allow nuts--but these ZEGOS will make packing a healthy snack easy." -- Katie, New Haven
"I'm an athlete and I need a bar that is all natural, not overwhelming in flavor and easy to eat--ZEGO's Sunflower flavor and texture is perfect for my long bike rides and runs." -- Jim, Healdsburg
"Usually if I eat an entire energy bar, my stomach hurts or I just feel icky. With ZEGOs, I feel great, and they taste great, from start to finish.” -- Marie, Cordova
"I teach a spinning class and eat a lot of bars. I can tell you, ZEGOs are so much better than the other bars I eat between workouts." -- Jennifer, Chicago
“I normally don’t eat energy bars, but I will be buying Sunflower ZEGOs – they’re delicious.” -- Tracy, Petaluma
“I can’t stop eating ZEGOs, even when I’m not on the bike!” -- Scotty, San Francisco
Check out the news outlets, blogs, and newsletters that have written articles about ZEGO and run our Press Release, including:
ABC News/WSET-TV, Yahoo Finance, Running Network, FlicksandFood.com
The Sacrament Bee, Grams Light Bikes, Food-news.net,
Marin Gluten Intolerance Group Newsletter,
Newly added in our Gallery (tab above):
PRESS RELEASE: July 23, 2013
- Episode 1 "Dad So Busted" "Dad So Busted" tells the classic and tragic story of a well-intentioned dad, attempting to find snacks for the kids to take to school, and getting it all wrong.
- Episode 2 - “Kicked Out of the Pool” In "Kicked Out of the Pool", poolside snacks are down and out, rejected due to food allergies. It's tragic.
- Episode 3 - “Big Sticky Mess” As the snack pressure rises, the plot thickens between peanut butter and jelly. One "BIg Sticky Mess!"
- Episode 4 - “Throw Us a Snack” Safety perils abound In "Throw Us a Snack."
Episode 5 - ‘Where’s My Epi Pen”
PICS: Nutrition Info, Flying the Flag, Family of Support, ZEGO on the Bike (7/14/13)
FILES: Allergen Disclaimer Information (7/16/13)
WHAT IF WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
Hallelujah! We can assure you, success won't be a problem for us. We already have enough bars from our preliminary manufacturing run to cover our Indiegogo Perk needs for delivery in August. And, our manufacturer can easily increase the scale of our first production run – all we have to do is give them go-ahead!
If we exceed our funding needs, we have the following two stretch goals:
- The much requested ZEGO Mini! These half bars would be perfect for younger kids or people who want a smaller snack.
- Two new flavors developed based on your feedback on Indiegogo! Everyone who pledges will receive a survey asking what you want our next bar to be – such as Lemon Coconut or Honey Kissed flavor or a crunchy bar with a variety of healthy seeds--there are so many delicious flavors to discover!
RISKS and CHALLENGES
We have already produced enough bars in our trial run to meet our Indiegogo goal and fulfill all promised perks on time. Once we start heading towards our stretch goals, we will add more perk levels with a delivery date of October. All of our supporters can rest assured they will receive their bars by October, and before they are for sale through Amazon.
If demand is overwhelming, NO PROBLEM! We simply will increase our order size for our first production run. Our minimum run is 100,000 but we can increase that amount as soon as we have orders for more.
If we reach our goal but no more, NO PROBLEM! We will stick with our original plan of ordering 100,000 bars. All of those bars will be available for sale in local stores we have already been in contact with in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as on Amazon. When you are ready to reorder, that's where you will find us!
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Please spread the word, tell your friends, tell ALL your friends. You'll help make their lives easier and healthier. They will thank you. And we will thank you.