Last Update: April 11, 2023
If you wanted to capture the flavors of Hawaii in a snack, you’d probably want to start with some of the island’s signature ingredients, like coconut, Kona coffee, and macadamia nuts.
With their new, special-edition protein bar, ALOHA has done just that—and they’ve taken it a step further by sourcing ingredients from local farms and giving back to an organization that is helping to build a better future for youth in Hawaii.
Just like all of ALOHA’s protein bars, the Kona Bar is plant-based, Non-GMO Project Verified, and free of gluten, dairy, soy, stevia, and sugar alcohol sweeteners. It delivers 14 grams of plant protein thanks to ALOHA’s organic blend of brown rice and pumpkin seed protein, plus 10 grams of good-for-the-gut fiber and only five grams of sugar.
There are three standout ingredients that make the Kona Bar extra-special; they all come from farms and suppliers in Hawaii that were intentionally chosen for their thoughtful agricultural methods that put sustainability first.
“As an employee-owned, certified B-Corp, we’re always searching for new and innovative ways to design great tasting food while reducing our impact on the planet,” says ALOHA CEO Brad Charron. “This strategy includes partnering with farms who not only produce some of the world’s most nutritious and delicious ingredients, but are also leading the charge on sustainable farming practices.”
The Kona coffee that gives the Kona Bar its distinctive nutty, chocolaty flavor comes from a fifth-generation family farm that’s been producing top-quality beans for more than 150 years. Greenwell Farms is hands-on in every step of the coffee production process, from planting and nurturing the seedlings; to ripening and harvesting; to drying, hulling, and roasting; ensuring the highest quality final product. The farm reduces its footprint by practicing sustainable methods, like hand-picking coffee cherries, and through maintaining a fully U.S.-based supply chain.
What’s more Hawaiian than macadamia nuts? The crunchy morsels used in the Kona Bar come from Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, who are on a mission to improve the lives of local farmers and their communities while employing sustainable practices. Based in the historic area of Kawaihae—part of the National Parks System, and the site of one of the largest ancient Hawaiian temples—the company generates almost all of its electricity from solar and biomass energy.
On 100 acres of land near Haleiwa that was once used to farm sugarcane, Terviva grows a climate-resistant, regenerative species of tree called pongamia. The hardy pongamia tree can grow where other crops can’t, and has been shown to sequester carbon and improve soil health. When pressed, the beans of the tree produce an oil called Ponova™ that Terviva says is more sustainable than traditional palm or sunflower seed oil. ALOHA’S Kona Bar is the first commercial launch of Ponova™ in a food product.
“After more than a decade of innovation, Terviva has unlocked its vast potential as a climate-friendly and nutritious food ingredient that can help to sustainably feed the world’s rising population,” Charron states. “We hope our use of this ‘super oil’ inspires others to follow suit, making the pongamia bean (Ponova™) a go-to ingredient for health and sustainability-minded brands across the globe.”
ALOHA spared no details when it came to authenticity with the Kona Bar; even the packaging features original artwork from Honolulu-based artist Kelsie Dayna.
ALOHA’s new Kona Bar combines organic ingredients like almond butter, rolled oats, and chocolate chips to create a nutritious plant-based protein bar that’s ideal for stashing in your travel carry-on, workout bag, or pantry for a pick-me-up. Here’s how the nutritional stats break down on the Kona Bar:
ALOHA honors the community, culture, and values that inspired the Kona Bar by giving back with every purchase. Ten percent of proceeds from the Kona Bar will be donated to Kupu Hawaii, the state’s foremost youth empowerment program.
Kupu, a non-profit organization, upholds a two-fold mission to enrich the lives of Hawaii’s youth while preserving its precious natural resources. Since founding, it has provided hands-on training for more than 5,000 young adults in sustainability, conservation, and environmental education. Beyond teaching participants about subjects like agriculture and biology, Kupu’s programs aim to instill the spirit of environmental stewardship in future generations.
“The ALOHA Kona Bar allows us to advocate for and support our company mission,” Charron says. “It embodies what we do best: make plant-based food that tastes great, is better for you, and better for the world.”
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