An interview with Peter Spenuzza, Founder and CEO of Rise Bar.
1) What is your experience with celiac or gluten-intolerance?
I’ve personally managed a gluten-intolerance all my life. It is what motivated me to make simple, “good for you” gluten-free snacks a reality for myself and others.
2) How does the company address the idea that “gluten-free” is just a fad?
As someone who is gluten-intolerant, I can attest that it will not go away. Sixteen percent of U.S. consumers are buying more gluten-free products than one year ago.1 Celiac and gluten-intolerance are real concerns for millions of people and it is up to us to develop innovative products that will positively impact their lives.
3) Are all your products certified gluten-free? How do you prevent cross-contamination?
All bars are made onsite in our certified gluten-free facility located in Southern California. This allows us to be involved in all aspects of production, quality control, and completely eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.
4) Did you set out initially to create a gluten-free protein bar, or did the fact that they are gluten-free follow naturally from your choice of ingredients?
Yes, my intent from early on was, and still is, to provide individuals with a high quality, gluten-free protein snack.
5) What do you think is the relationship between being gluten-free and being healthy?
This is a tough one because a lot of gluten-free products contain more fat than those with gluten. When you remove gluten in products you replace it with fat so the gluten-free products end up with more calories and fat than the gluten products. On the other hand, there is also the thought that when you eliminate gluten there is less inflammation in the large intestine, which means your body’s metabolism speeds up and processes your food at a higher rate. So the question ends up being: Which one is better for you? I believe you purchase and consume products that best serve your body and health.
6) Gluten-free foods are starting to taste better and better—is the company still experimenting with new recipes?
Yes! Great tasting gluten-free foods are a huge step forward for the food industry. We are constantly evolving our product line, tasting new recipes and flavors in an effort to provide our customers with great tasting, good for you, gluten-free snacks.
7) How has the company evolved in the past year?
Based on strong consumer demand, we have shifted our focus to our gluten-free protein bars, launching two new delicious bars: Snicker Doodle and Cacao Banana, with 20g and 16g of protein respectively. We’re continuing to expand awareness so more consumers can enjoy healthy, high-protein, gluten-free Rise Bars!
1The Hartman Group
Learn more about Rise Bar at risebar.com.