Snack bar hopes its launch in Canada will bear fruit

LA-based That's It is coming to grocery and aims to differentiate by promoting products that are "free from the top 12 allergens."

that's-it

That’s It claims to be the best-selling fruit bar stateside, and now the Los Angeles-based brand is hoping it has the “it” factor to succeed in Canada.

The brand is bringing four apple-based SKUs north of the border, and like others in an increasingly crowded category, it’s touting its no-GMO and no-preservative bona fides, but it’s also reaching out to a key stakeholder group: people with allergies.

The protein/energy fruit bar is a sub-category of snacking that has taken a bit of a hit thanks to fewer on-the-go occasions happening this year.

However, That’s It company founder Lior Lewensztain tells strategy that the brand received inquiries and consumer interest from Canada over the last few years and so it set up the infrastructure and distribution channels in response.

That’s it Fruit Bars are now available in Canada at select Loblaw stores nationwide and can also be found at London Drugs, Longos, GroceryGetaway.com, Fortinos, Wholefoods, Well.ca, and at many local natural stores.

That’s It takes a multichannel approach to distribution stateside, where the brand has a broad presence, with products in Starbucks locations, gas stations, college campuses and even in airports.

In Canada, however, it’s taking more of a grocery-first strategy for now, with Loblaw complemented with natural food stores and smaller grocery banners. At Loblaw, it’s in the “better for you” section, not separated out as a vegan category, but with other nutrition bars.

“That’s where we are in the U.S. and are doing great there,” Lewensztain says.

Entrenched players like Clif Bar are aligned with extreme sports and energy replenishment. However, That’s It’s market positioning is around minimal ingredients, real fruit rather than purees or concentrates and a fraction of the sugar nutritional profile. This is amplified in its “snacks without secrets” messaging (see point of sale mockup below), with the bars positioned atop real fruit, further amplified by its “two ingredients: fruit and fruit” messaging.

Thats it mock up

According to Lewenzsztain, the brand’s products are also aimed at those concerned about portion control, at 100 calories per bar.

“Consumers now have heightened awareness of what they’re putting in their bodies given COVID,” he says. “Now more than ever, people are reading labels and paying attention.”

That’s where product design come into play, says Lewensztain. “We redid our packaging a couple of years ago, and the intent was to simplify and whittle it down to the core messaging, which is simplicity first and foremost. Packaging does a tremendous amount of work in being able to convey that message.”

The brand’s target is the healthy consumer looking for portable snacks, but in addition to highlighting the fruit-first value proposition, it’s also going after those with allergies, as it’s a community that’s “growing at an alarming rate,” says Lewensztain. As part of its messaging, That’s It is highlighting that the products are “free from the top 12 allergens.”

Lewensztain is very bullish on the ecommerce side and is looking to reinforce the digital aspects of the business, with digital couponing, for example, coming down the pike.

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