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Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Former student creates energy bar inspired by brewing beer

Since its launch at the Fourth of July Davis Criterium Bike Race last summer, the BRUBAR energy bar has quickly become a popular snack among Davis athletes and students alike.

The energy bar, conceived by Christian D’Souza, the CEO of BRU Company LLC, is an all-natural, vegan product with many ingredients comparable to those in craft-brewed beer.

“[When] I realized that similar ingredients went into both craft-brewed beer and energy bars, I wanted to take that idea further and develop an energy bar that has a malty craft-brew characteristic,” D’Souza said.

D’Souza explained that the ingredients work together to create a snack that is both energizing and healthy.

“The bars have a balance of three energy sources,” he said. “The natural sugars from the dates act first before the slow-burning barley malt kicks in, [and then] the rolled oats convert to carbohydrates as the barley malt wears off.”

D’Souza is a recent graduate of the UC Davis School of Management. He said his proximity to high quality ingredients as a resident in Davis has helped him develop an energy bar that is perfect for active individuals.

“We get great feedback from training and endurance athletes about the effectiveness of a BRUBAR Energy Bar,” he said. “Also, the bars don’t melt or freeze, making them great for adventures in the desert and for winter sports.”

James Radkins, partner and co-founder of BRU Company LLC, mentioned that although the core market for the BRUBAR is currently recreational athletes, he hopes others will start to take notice of the bar as well.

Although the company has goals of making BRUBAR available all over the country, D’Souza stressed that starting small was a crucial step to success.

“It was important for us to start small so that we could get feedback from our consumers,” he said. “Once the positive reviews started flowing in we ramped up production and extended our reach beyond Davis to the region.”

The bars are sold at many locations on campus, including the Activities and Recreation Center and Silo. They are also available at Davis stores such as Ken’s Bike & Ski and the Davis Food Co-op.

Bija Young, advertising and branch manager at the Co-op, said the BRUBAR is a perfect fit for the Co-op because they have the same target market of the athletic, health-conscious consumer.

“Currently, [BRUBARs] are on the shelf with the regular bars, but they do have p-6 and local designation,” she said. “P-6 is a new cooperative movement [that means] a product has two of the three following criteria: small farmer or producer, locally grown or produced and from a co-operative or non-profit organization.”

The UC Davis Food Tech Club invited D’Souza and Radkins to speak to at the Mondavi Center this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The talk will be held in conference room 1207.

D’Souza said he looks forward to explaining how the BRUBAR evolved from an idea to a successful energy bar and reaching out to the UC Davis community.

“We will be talking about the history of our product development from the initial idea to a marketable product,” he said. “So far we are a proud supporter of the UC Davis bike team and we look forward to more involvement with [the school].”

VICTOR BEIGELMAN can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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