The world’s first wrapper-free snack bar faces hygiene hurdles

A start-up brand is rolling out what is said to be the world’s first wrapper-free snack bar. The company, OGT, aims to build a brand by offering a product with packaging that is intended to be eaten along with the rest of the product.

Branded OGT, which stands for One Good Thing, the product launched in the UK in October 2023. The range features:

- Protein bars are made with oats and using fava bean protein and pea protein to bring the protein content to around 7.5g per 39g bar, with 7.6g-8.1g of sugar and 3.9g-4.1g of fibre.

- "Regular" snack bars made with 43% oats that deliver 3.3g-3.7g protein, 8g-8.9g of sugar and 2.2g-2.8g fibre per 39g bar.

All the products are enrobed in a natural coating made from beeswax and decorated with a label made from potato starch. The coating and label are fully edible and washable and are said not to affect the bars’ taste and texture. When we tried out samples at the New Nutrition Business office some of the team did, however, think that the taste and texture of the label was a potential deterrent to repeat purchase.

The only conventional packaging used is the recyclable cardboard box, made with 70% recycled material, in which the bars are delivered. Another way in which OGT's bars are unusual is that they are shaped as small cubes, rather than in a classic elongated bar shape.

Brand messages focus on taste and sustainability. But OGT’s USP – the fact that it has no wrapper – may also turn out to be its main barrier to success. As one consumer put it in a comment on the brand’s Instagram: “I am trying to understand how the coating works. I eat a lot of Clif bars, that I throw in my dirty bag. The wrapper whilst not good as it’s plastic, it does protect my bar from getting dirty before I put it in my mouth. How would I throw this in my bag and then eat it with a dirty edible wrapper?”.

Responding to such comments, OGT highlights that the bars can be washed just like a piece of fruit. It has also invested in videos that explain the hygiene standards of the production facility and in microbial tests which showed that rinsing the bar after handling removes bacteria.  

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