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Why We Don't Offer Pumpkin Spice in October

Why We Don't Offer Pumpkin Spice in October

We don't have anything against pumpkin spice. Honestly. 😬

We do have something against wastefulness, and we hope this post will explain why we've consciously decided to not offer trendy or seasonal "versions" of our products.

Decades ago, companies selling food products discovered that people would buy more if they came out with multiple flavors, sizes, forms, etc. It became a "best practice" for a food brand to have line extensions, and there was an explosion of "new" products and accompanying marketing and advertising. At the time, it felt like an exciting time to be alive, a marvel of our western society. In reality, it was the start of a journey toward oversaturation and waste. 

By the early 2000s, it was starting to feel different, and in 2004, Barry Schwartz published his book "The Paradox of Choice." It questioned the conventional wisdom that more choice was better, and his research found that too much choice led to cognitive overlead and weaker brand preference. Of course, there was great debate about it and conflicting research (hmmm, sound familiar?). Over time, further study tended to support the notion that too much choice overwhelms consumers, and they tend to stick with what they know when faced with a dizzying array of options.

We agree with those conclusions, but it's not actually what drove our decision, and what influenced our decision was reducing waste. Every time you create a new version of something, you have to create a new set of processes, packaging, and content. So if we were to offer five versions of the Gruelnola™, that would mean five cooking workflows, five different packages and labels, and additional content developed specifically for that version. That all takes time, money, and people, and when you add those things, you add expense and waste.

Creating a basic version of our products that includes the foundational nutrition, flavor, and texture makes the best use of our resources. It keeps our costs down, allowing us to offer our products at an affordable price (our goal is to reduce price as we grow). But even more than that, it will enable our customers to make the food theirs

See, when it's just the basics, each person can add ingredients that they've learned work for them (hopefully ingredients already in their pantry or refrigerator). It will taste how they prefer and offer the nutrition they desire.

  • More protein? Replace rice or quinoa with some gruel and a dollop of butter. 
  • More antioxidants? Throw berries in there for breakfast or snack.
  • Want fiber? Throw some gruel on a salad or in a bowl of soup!
  • Want to increase the nutrition of baked goods? Try substituting gruel in replacement some of your flour ingredients (we are working hard to create some substitution guidelines).  

This is an actual choice because we like to say, "you can add to it, but you can't subtract." And most important, it makes the best use of our resources. No matter your beliefs, it's clear that we will have to become better stewards of this earth, and we just can't continue consuming resources the way we have. It's just math.

So as we grow, it will be with basic products that people can tailor to their needs. That won't be for everyone, and you know what? 

We're OK with that. 

Yours in health,

Kent & Sue 

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