NASA Meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

July 21, 2009

1 Min Read
NASA Meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Given all the negative media coverage the natural products industry has experienced recently, it was nice to see some positive coverage from a recent episode of the NBC Today Show. Co-anchor Jenna Wolfe opened the segment with a factoid about Americans eating 2 billion nutrition bars annually, before flipping to a pre-recorded segment of her tour of the facilities of private label manufacturer Elan Nutriton, which makes more than 200 million bars a year for dozens of the top brands.

Wolfe called her walking tour of the private label manufacturers plant a sensory wonderland, where NASA meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sporting the common hair net and lab coat attire of a plant scientist, she paced through the entire nutrition bar manufacturing  process, from formulation and taste testing to bar coating and packaging. Along the way, she interviewed an Elan food scientist and a prospective private label client about their roles in the overall process.  

After the obvious revelation that the vast nutrition bar market has a bar to suit every consumers need, she whittled the success of any given bar down to one factor: taste. On that note, Wolfe and co-anchor Lester Holt sampled some of the Today Show-branded bars Wolfe made while at Elan. As she proudly detailed the dense nutrition packed into each of her bars, Holt lingered on the chewiness of the bar he tried.  Overall, it was a positive, albeit brief (3.5-minute), spotlight on the natural products industry.

See the full clip at Elan Nutritions YouTube channel.


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