Founded by female entrepreneur, Lara Merriken, in 2000 LÄRABAR, the original fruit and nut bar, has taken the US market by storm with sales hitting a whopping $200m in North America last year, making it the fastest growing wellness brand in the nutrition category. And now it has finally hit the UK! You can find their delicious bars at Sainsbury’s and on Amazon.
LÄRABAR is on a mission to help people eat better, get active and be present. The multi-million dollar brand was dreamt up by Merriken whilst she was on a hike in the Rocky Mountains, based upon the idea that real food should be accessible to all and believes that a sound mind and body are derived from food in its simplest state.
Discover more about the brand at www.larabar.co.uk
We caught up with Lara herself to find out what it takes to create a brand from the ground up and her best piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs.
What were you doing before you launched LARABAR?
Before launching LÄRABAR in 2000, I was working as a social worker for at-risk children – I was actually living in Brighton in the UK too!
What was the most exciting thing about the beginning stages of launching LARABAR?
Having a clear vision to create LÄRABAR was so exciting, but the journey of putting together each component to create the brand and seeing it happen has been an experience I will never forget. Visiting the first supermarket and seeing LÄRABAR on the shelf is a memory that will stick with me forever!
What was one of the biggest challenges with growing the company?
Running your own business always involves challenges but during the launch stage of LÄRABAR there were endless hurdles to work through and overcome. The important thing I have learnt is to always remain positive and look to find a solution and move forward rather than dwelling on the problem.
Why do you think LARABAR has been so successful in today’s very crowded snack bar market?
LÄRABAR was born from the idea that real food should be accessible to all and I’m proud to say that all our products have retained this original vision. Today, people are increasingly looking for convenient snacking solutions that are made from real food that tastes delicious and whilst it’s a hugely competitive market, we still see huge room for growth.
LÄRABAR is a fun brand, with great tasting products that are a joy to eat, and our customers love to seek out our unique flavoured products knowing that whatever product they choose, they can enjoy simple, real ingredients!
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love being an entrepreneur, and building concepts and products from the seed of an idea. Building the LÄRABAR brand has been such an inspiring journey for me, but it’s also incredibly exciting and rewarding to see other people’s lives enriched by real food brands like ours.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own entrepreneurial endeavour?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! When starting your own business, it is so important to follow your passion and be surrounded by people that support your vision. Perseverance is key to achieving success, and learning along the way is crucial to grow and continue to be inspired. It also is hugely important to look to other people for guidance, and help others who are looking for a mentor on their journey too.
We are very excited about LARABAR launching in the UK, what’s next for you and the brand?
Having just launched in the UK this January, we are now available nationwide at Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods Market and Amazon nationwide, so we want to focus on driving awareness and engagement and build a LÄRABAR tribe of advocates here! It’s so exciting to see such a healthy appetite for LÄRABAR and so many people excited to see the brand reach the UK!
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