Looking for a delicious snack with ingredients you can read?
Grab a Natti Bar and take in all that banana-y goodness
To find out more behind how Natti Bar got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Natti Bar co-founder, Fabrice Le Det
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with Natti Bar co-founder Fabrice Le Det. Natti Bar is a snack bar made from bananas. That’s it. One ingredient that is globally celebrated. Made from dehydrated banana paste from bananas that would otherwise go to waste, Natti Bar stands out with it’s simplicity and stands tall being a delicious and nutritious snack. Fabrice and his partner Francois Carrete came up with the idea on surf trip in Mexico. It wasn’t long before the pair used their prior expertise to get the ball rolling and only 10 months later, they were ready to go to market. Join us as we put Natti Bar under the lens and see what makes them tick.
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- Check out Natti Bar’s website
- Pick a case of the original, cocoa, and dark chocolate Natti Bar
- More about what is Natti Bar
- Follow Natti Bar on Facebook and Instagram
- FAQ’s about Natti Bar
What is Natti Bar?
“Natit Bar is a nutritional snack. Very simple and healthy snack, it goes from one ingredient only on the pure banana one to three ingredients. We have three kinds, one with just banana, one with banana and cocoa nibs and, banana and dark chocolate…”
How did you guys get started with Natti Bar?
“My partner and I go on surf trip and biking trips to Baja a lot. It was in 2015, we were around a campfire in Mexico, I just had a little kid and we were talking about the food that’s out there. There’s a lot of bars and nutritional snacks with ingredients that we really didn’t know what they were. We were thinking why not come up with a nutritional snack that is simple. With ingredients that you can find in your kitchen that you’d feel good about giving to your kids…”
What is your background like and did you always have this drive to start your own business?
“I’m French but, I grew up in Italy and was born in Switzerland...I was supposed to go to England for college but I came here to LA. I moved here, went to a four year college and I was really into snowboarding and while I was studying I would go to all the main snowboarding and snowsports trade shows around the nation and would gain distribution contracts for a chain store in italy…”
How did you develop your bars?
“Early on, I was an advisor on a company that was making a bar...I went through the process of overseeing and getting some knowhow… I would advise them in more of the business side of things… Where I learned was sourcing and the production process...I was exposed a few years back from that…”
How long did it take you to fine tune and nail it with the bars?
“It took us a while actually… for us to get the product down and find the right co-packer it took us almost a year. There was a few times where we didn’t think we would make it…I’d say 10 months to actually get the product down…”
Was there any roadblocks that got in your way to move faster?
“Finding the right partner in the U.S. We wanted to get the product from South America and finish the product in the U.S. To find a partner that was willing to be flexible enough to accomodate us, work with our quantities, be reliable, and also be a top notch supplier was a very big challenge. It took us 7 months just to do that…”
How many bananas do you go through?
“Each bar is the equivalent of a banana. We could count the amount of bars we products and sold. Off the top of my head i’d say about half a million…”
One something unique about you or Natti Bar that makes you stand out as a brand?
“This is basically dehydrated banana and, the pure one is the equivalent a banana. A banana, the life cycle is usually 5-7 days and then usually it gets beat up. You take a bar and it keeps all the ingredients, it’s non-gmo, gluten free, vegan...That’s our differentiation, the simplicity, the healthiness of our product and it’s basically a snack on the go that you can beat up…”
Did you know you wanted to use bananas right off the bat?
“Bananas are basically the most consumed fruit on the planet… bananas are eaten everywhere and it’s such a good source of energy, potassium, and magnesium...When you run in a triathlon they don’t give you an apple, they give you a banana…”
Did you guys have any mentors in getting Natti Bar off the ground?
“We created a board of directors who gave us a lot of pointers in marketing, pricing, and we also gave online surveys to a bunch of people to see if it was a viable product...and what would be the most important characteristics for a snack like this…”
Did you guys bootstrap the Natti Bar or are investors involved?
“We self financed...We were going back and forth in the beginning...but, we felt we could do it ourselves at the beginning and then get to a certain level where we would be ready to raise some funds…”
What’s the growth been like since you got started in 2015?
“We only had one SKU in 2015 and noticed right away that having one SKU on the whole distribution limited us. We were doing very small business in 2016 and then we came out with two other SKUs in 2017. We’ve done a little bit of marketing and SEO, things like that...On the wholesale we’re not in the big nation wide chains, we’re more in health food stores, bike shops, running shops, things like that…”
How do you stay committed to sustainability?
“First of all, where we get out bananas those bananas are perfectly good bananas. Usually those bananas stay in the domestic market and some of them go to waste so we wanted to definitely get an opportunity to tap into that resource, fruits that could potentially go to waste… One of the first things we did was join the 1% for the planet…We actually had an idea to forego our boxes and just send our bars in a recyclable bag...”
What would you say is one of the hardest parts about starting Natti Bar?
“As mentioned before the completion of the bar business is a crowded market, and we knew that...Bringing the product to market is probably are number one challenge. And, when I say that it means getting the distribution out there to the big chains, the whole foods of this world...”
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made while building Natti Bar?
“Probably, forecasting the business and planning for the future, sometimes it’s really hard. I’ve done it for many businesses in the action sport industry...maybe we were too bullish in the beginning and we over invested on things…”
What advice would you give someone that wanted to start a business?
“I’ve worked for several companies and it’s been companies ranging from the 20 million box to the multibillion turn over. Having your business is super fun, one you need to be very passionate about it...never give up, fight, believe in what you stood for at the beginning and also be humble and be willing to listen to people. Sometimes you get tunnel vision…”
Where do you see Natti Bar headed into the future?
“When we first started this brand we said to ourselves it wasn’t really how big we wanted to become but we wanted to finance our healthy lifestyle...it was always related to the outdoors…”
What’s the best part about running Natti Bar?
“Being my own boss is pretty cool. I had bosses for the passed 22 years. But, I think the most rewarding thing of all is going to an event or getting emails and getting compliments and great feedback...creating a vision that we had about two and a half years ago around a campfire and, getting it down and seeing it come to fruition is the most rewarding thing…”