After four years as Innocent's commercial director, Giles Brook departed earlier this summer to launch the venture, based in Derbyshire. The Bear brand will comprise a 14-strong range of soft-baked fruit and granola snacks with 100% natural ingredients.
Brook has self-funded the business with ex-Innocent marketing director Gareth Helm. The pair are in partnership with Andrew and Hayley Gait-Guiding founders of dried fruit brand Urban Fresh Fruit who will balance time between both businesses. There was an untapped retail opportunity for a "truly delicious snack that contains absolutely nothing bad for you" and had a maximum of 100 calories per pack, said Brook.
The range includes Fruit Nibbles for adults, which include packets of soft-baked chunks of mango and pineapple in single, sharing or multipack formats (rsp: from 69p).
Kids' YoYos are also made purely from fruit that is blended, baked and rolled to look like a yo-yo (rsp: 49p for a pack of two).
It was always Brook's intention to price the products with value in mind, he said. "Lots of healthy snacking products are premium priced, but if manufacturers are serious about consumers eating healthier foods, prices need to be accessible."
Bear will sit in the snacking fixture of retailers with a listing in one major multiple, and Simple Simon and Marigold wholesalers promised for the autumn.