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A Behind the Scenes Look: Kodiak Crunchy Granola Bars

When we first set out to create a whole grain, protein-packed crunchy granola bar to replace the standard bland store brand variety, we knew the first step was getting our in-house Product Developer, Jessica, on board. With plenty of experience in and out of the Kodiak Kitchen, her industry insights, knowledge, and expertise with some of our favorite ingredients were a must when creating a successful recipe. Here’s a quick look at how it all came together:

So, where did you mix up that first batch of Kodiak Crunchy Bars?

When Crunchy Bars first made the move from notes in a recipe book to a first batch, I was actually working out of a DIY “lab” that more closely resembled a small kitchen in the original Kodiak HQ. On one hand, working in a rather informal space offered up a lot of challenges but it also had an element of charm. It made it feel as though many of our recipes, including Crunchy Bars, were created, tested, and perfected in a home kitchen.

And how did you know where to start? 

Like all of our Kodiak products, it began with the basics. I sourced quality, whole grain, and high protein ingredients to create a foundation that I could tweak and improve after each batch. This is a time-tested process that I have used throughout my baking and recipe development career. I knew I needed to first perfect a tasty granola with a substantial crunch, and then from there I could turn that granola into a bar that could be replicated on a production line and sold on grocery store shelves.  

What were the highs and lows you faced throughout the process? 

Without a doubt the highs were nailing down the flavor for each variety of bar. That first time, as soon as I opened the oven the warm aroma of maple brown sugar filled the entire kitchen. I continuously caught myself taking small bites of each sample – “just to make sure they were good,” or at least that’s how I justified it. But I knew they weren’t just good, they were perfect. 

On the other end of the scale no creative process comes without frustration, and recipes are no exception. Think of them like a science experiment, you have to change one variable at a time to see what happens, continuously playing around with ingredients and percentages until you crack the code. I certainly didn’t get a recipe right in one go, it honestly felt closer to a thousand attempts. But, as soon as you get that “This is it! This is the bar.” approval from the team…it’s like music to my ears. 

Besides some well-deserved praise, how did you know you had finally found the right recipe?

For me, it came when I took a bite of a Peanut Butter Crunchy Bar sample I’d brought along on a backpacking trip. I was away from the kitchen, the ingredients, the notes, and feedback enjoying a snack the way everyone had hoped they’d be enjoyed. Even after all the trial and error, taste tests, samples and months of work…I still grab a Crunchy Bar every time I head out on the trail. I think that’s saying something.

Save $2 On Your Next Purchase

Print or download your coupon right to your phone to save $2 on your next purchase of Crunchy Granola Bars to in a store near you!


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