How Energy Bars Became America’s Favorite Snack Food

Our take: The most unusual natural foods category has drastically altered the way we eat. Outside tells the story of how companies are capitalizing on snacking's explosion... | -------------

In 2003, Beryl Stafford and her daughter Alex (nickname: Bobo) decided to do some baking on a rare dreary day at home in Boulder, Colorado.

Rifling through the cupboards, they found the ingredients for oat bars. The next morning, young Bobo backpacked some of the bars to school to share with friends.

Meanwhile, Stafford, a single mother with a latent entrepreneurial bent, brought a dozen to a local coffee shop to sell commercially.

When she stopped back into the Brewing Market a few days later, all the bars were gone and the shop requested more.

Good stuff—except Stafford, who was a home baker and not a trained chef, hadn’t even been working from a recipe.

Still, friends had long told her that she should sell her baked goods, so she pieced together another tray from memory, and Bobo’s was born.

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