AUT ‘Nothing Else’ snack bar to take on commercial market

A healthier muesli bar developed by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is set to take on the commercial snack bar market

The Nothing Else bar has just eight simple ingredients - the date and almond bar is a nutritious combination of oats, dates, almonds, oat bran, manuka honey, sunflower oil, flaxseed (linseed) and cinnamon. The bars have a low glycaemic index (GI), so consumers can keep hunger pangs at bay for longer through better blood glucose control, and are preservative-free, additive-free and a good source of fibre.

The low GI snack bars will be manufactured and distributed by South Auckland food manufacturer AB Foods, in consultation with AUT Professor of Nutrition Elaine Rush from a health and nutrition perspective, and advertising creativity lecturer Dave Brown, who created the Nothing Else brand. The product has been four years in the making, and was commercialised through AUT Enterprises Ltd (AUT Ventures).

Professor Rush says this collaboration is an example of organisations, experts, and partners working together successfully across disciplines, to provide a healthier food choice for consumers.

“It’s through the strength of collaborations like these that we can add value to products so that validated health claims can be made on them.”

“Globally there is a call for better value food. Yet, there’s no shortage of unhealthy food in the market, and that is why we need to work harder to improve the nutrition of New Zealand’s people, one bar at a time,” says Professor Rush.

“From our sales trials across AUT’s three campuses, we know that consumers keep coming back for more.”

On how the Nothing Else brand was created, AUT Advertising Creativity Lecturer Dave Brown explains how the brand was specifically designed to be upfront and transparent about ingredients in their products.

"Consumers are surrounded by product labels with tempting yet questionable health claims,” says Brown, who prior to working at AUT spent five years as a Creative in New York before returning to NZ to work at Saatchi & Saatchi in Auckland and other award winning local Ad agencies.

“By being upfront with familiar, natural ingredients, a customer can easily make their own choice. As there is growing awareness of the importance of products that are preservative and additive free the choice is simple.

“And, of course, with healthy sales, it’s a win-win for our partners AB Foods, AUT and our consumers," says Brown.

AB Foods Quality Assurance Manager Janice Tan, says they are proud to be working with AUT to give consumers a really healthy, honest option when it comes to stocking up on snack bars.

“We want to ensure we are doing our bit when it comes to improving the nutrition of consumers, and the Nothing Else snack bar is helping us do so,” says Tan.

The GI testing was conducted at the AUT South Campus in Manukau by a team of researchers dedicated to ensuring the lowest GI possible.

The Nothing Else team has also introduced a vegan option for consumers, adding to the original date and almond bar with the addition of a cranberry and cashew version.

“The new flavour contains the sugar in the sweetened cranberries, rather than honey, making this bar a suitable option for consumers following a vegan diet,” says Professor Rush.

Suppliers or individuals interested in purchasing the snack bar can contact AB Foods directly by emailing