Start an Energy Bar Business the Easy Way

Save 5% off on your energy bar or other custom mix order with PROMO CODE: YourBarBusiness

In the heart of Los Angeles lies a small family business that’s spawning a world of both small and big businesses: YouBars. They are what’s called a “co-packer,” which is a contract manufacturer who handles the production of food products–whether you have a recipe or want them to start from scratch.

YouBars works with individuals and food entrepreneurs launch natural energy / protein / meal replacement bars as well as trail mixes and other healthy, customizable products, at minimal effort. How hot are they? Just this month, the company expanded from their one-person apartment-sized space near the CBS studios to an 8,000 square food facility in downtown Los Angeles (hooray for the local economy!).

Working with a contract manufacturer like YouBars makes it easy for anyone with a plan to create and market a product with no food skills or production facility. I recently chatted with YouBars founder Anthony Flynn to learn the steps to launch a line of bars. It all starts with strategy: What kind of product are you looking to develop?

How You’ll Make the Next Great Energy Bar

To start your business, you’ll need to get licensed as a “business.” A major nugget though: They can add you to their insurance policy which is an extremely affordable way to get liability coverage.

1) They help formulate a recipe. You’d tell them if you want it raw, organic, the nutrition facts you’d like to have such as if it’s high protein or low sodium. They’ll recommend a bar size too, such as if you’re targeting a 100 calorie bar or 9 grams of protein. They approve it or make adjustments. Then do a sampling and ask their friends for feedback.

2) You get an initial price. Then based on the ingredients and packaging they’ll come up with a final estimate for your energy bars.

3) They work with a few different packaging companies and can get packaging from one unit (very expensive) to a million packages (the definition of “economies of scale”). It takes about a month to have the packaging made.

Then production!

Voila you have your own line of snack bars to sell on your Facebook, gyms, restaurants, dieticians, and stores. “You see all sorts of creative things, such as using bars as business cards or wedding favors,” says founder Anthony Flynn.

Of course you taste the formulas before anything is finalized.

How Fulfillment Works

Say you order 10,000 bars. You can pull from that purchase order in smaller quantities and get the bulk discount. They can dropship for you, either to stores like Whole Foods or for orders that come in on your website. They have great shipping rates and can handle your website as well as customer service.

For some customers only when they get an order do they make it. So there’s no inventory or shelf-life issues.


Customers around the world look to YouBars to help develop, launch, and manage their energy bar and meal bar companies. You’ll find YouBars in the Middle East munched on by soldiers, throughout Europe and Asia.

You won’t find the YouBars brand on your store shelves. They exist to help food entrepreneurs and consumers bring their energy bar visions to life.

We sampled some bars on a visit. Ranging from a halvah-like cashew bar to traditional granola bars, we loved the variety. My mind is reeling with ideas. Is yours?

Save 5% on your energy bar or other custom mix order with my PROMO CODE: YourBarBusiness