If anyone were to ask Tracy, our multisport editor, what items she couldn’t live without, we’re pretty sure that Justin’s maple almond butter would come in a close second to her bike. So when she had the opportunity to sit down with Justin Gold, the founder of Justin’s, needless to say, she was pretty excited.
For those who aren’t familiar with the brand, Justin’s makes natural (and amazingly delicious) nut butters, nut butter snacks, and organic peanut butter cups. Justin began creating his very first batches in his own home kitchen with a food processor. Today the company has ranked in the top 15 on the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies list in the Food and Beverage category two years in row.
We already mentioned Tracy’s favorite—maple almond butter—which we’ll eat with fruit, blend into our smoothies, and scoop straight out of the jar. It also comes in single-serve squeeze packets—perfect little packs of portable protein yumminess for stashing in a jersey pocket (there’s 6g of protein in a packet of Tracy’s favorite). Justin’s was the first to market with their squeeze packs, too. Other flavors include classic almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, honey peanut butter, vanilla almond butter, and several others that we will happily consume any day of the week.
Justin’s also recently launched a new peanut butter and banana chip snack pack, which we asked Justin about during our visit. We shared a preview of Justin’s pretzel snack pack during Interbike 2015, which included gluten free pretzels. Our only complaint? The pretzels simply couldn’t hold up to the nut butter (Justin’s nut butters tends to have a thicker texture than other brands, which does make it perfect for a portable packet for mid-ride snack). That made for a lot of broken pretzels. According to Justin, they searched high and low for the “perfect” gluten free pretzel, which for anyone who’s tried, is nearly impossible to find. Instead, they opted for a fruit delivery vehicle for the nut butter. And since bananas and peanut butter are pretty much the perfect combination, they went with it. We happily enjoyed one during our chat with Justin, and we can honestly say that we don’t miss the pretzels at all! You can score your own at Target stores nationwide.
We wrapped up our time with Justin by asking what’s next on the horizon for the Justin’s brand.
If you’re a Justin’s fan, you likely heard about the recent acquisition by Hormel Foods. According to Justin, Hormel is the “perfect partner” to help him to continue to grow the business—they’re going to continue to let Justin’s be Justin’s. And that’s good news for us. We don’t want them to change a thing. Unless that means the introduction of more awesome products that help fuel us day in and day out. And that’s just what Justin says he intends to do. The company’s plans are to continue creating delicious, protein-packed nut-based snack made with simple, high-quality ingredients. What could be better than that?
We were happy to end our interview by devouring a few samples, and Justin was understandably ready to go hit the trails.