Element Bars: Built-To-Order Nutrition Bars That Don't Taste Like Chalk

Health food stores are filled with a myriad of apparently magical supplement bars, guaranteeing everything from a stronger immune system to enhanced eyesight. But for all their variety, most of them taste horrible. Element Bars, an Illinois-based startup launching today, is handing the reins over to the public, giving users the chance to build their own (hopefully better tasting) supplement bars.

To build a bar, users are first asked to pick a base texture, with options including “Oaty”, “Crispy”, and “Datey”. From there, they gradually add fruits, nuts, sweets, and finally a choice of “Boosts” – the powdered supplements that contain large portions of protein, fiber, or antioxidants. While users are free to create whatever combinations they’d like, the site will warn them if one of their choices will probably turn their bar into a chalky mess (for example, it recommends against adding excessive protein to an Oaty bar).

The site says that all ingredients are all-natural and minimally processed, without any artificial sweeteners or processed starches. CEO Jonathan Miller explains that as a result a well-designed bar will generally taste much better than those purchased in a store, though he acknowledges that users might not be able to pack in as many grams of protein as they can get from mass-produced “artificial” bars.

Bars run $36 for a pack of 12, though users can get a $6 discount if they purchase bars that are listed under the popular section of the site (ElementBars gives a discount because they can order these in bulk). Miller says that an average order should arrive within 7-10 days.

If Element Bars can prove that its bars are either better tasting or healthier than the competition, it could find itself in a very profitable niche. Health fanatics are notoriously picky when it comes to the food they eat, and will probably flock to the service. Another startup in this space is YouBars, which also crafts built-to-order supplement bars.