As a personal trainer and lifelong soccer player, Pure Purpose founder Jane Kramer knows that nutrition is one of the most important components of a successful workout. Last spring, the young, local entrepreneur launched her brand with four different varieties of bite-sized, pre-workout energy bites. These carefully balanced snacks, which Kramer terms “food-based nutritional supplements,” represent the culmination of several years’ worth of market research, personal passion and no small amount of taste-testing.
Kramer’s earliest taste-tester was her daughter, then 3. Kramer had recently discovered that her son and many of her daughter’s friends were allergic to several of the top allergens which include milk, eggs, nuts, soy and wheat. It was in devising recipes for (and with) her daughter, and sharing them online, that Kramer came to recognize a demand within the health food and supplement market. When her pitch took first-prize in a Shark Tank-inspired competition in 2014, Kramer found the momentum and the funds she needed to go out and meet that demand. She spent several months in the grocery aisle, gathering input from shoppers; moved production out of her own kitchen and into a shared commercial kitchen space; and even took a trip to California to visit the farm which now provides Pure Purpose with dates, its key sweetening ingredient.
Unlike many other supplements you can find in stores today, none of Pure Purpose’s four flavors—coconut-chocolate, cinnamon raisin, matcha vanilla and Kramer’s personal favorite, key lime—are sweetened with added sugar or syrups. For customers like Joseph Robbins of Woodbury, that’s one of its major draws. He describes the bites as a “clean, energizing and reasonable snack” and adds that they have become a regular part of his morning workout routine. “I am not a breakfast guy; the bites make it easy, as I can grab a couple and eat them on the way to the gym,” Robbins says. “They get me through my workout and into my day.”
Tanya Berg, a personal training client of Kramer’s, agrees, adding that the bites not only fuel her high-intensity workouts but also her high-intensity life. “I use [Pure Purpose] during the day when I don’t get a chance to eat lunch, or when I need a snack,” Berg says. “It gives me an energy that is consistent and sustaining, without the highs and lows.” Kramer attributes this boost to Pure Purpose’s special formula, which includes protein sources like the superfood sacha inchi, hemp, collagen hydrolysate, cashews and pumpkin seeds as well as natural energy-enhancers like maca root.
Kramer, who holds an MBA in entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas, says her biggest surprise so far has been just how quickly her product gained traction. While the bites were initially sold online and at gyms, yoga studios, and nutrition boutiques like Tailor Made Nutrition in Woodbury, it was only a matter of months before they hit the shelves at larger regional distributors like Hy-Vee and franchises such as Dunn Brothers. Kramer now has her sights set on nationwide distribution, as well as growth of the Pure Purpose brand.
In the coming weeks, the company will expand its offering to include post-workout protein recovery bites which will be available at local retailers and online in snickerdoodle and chocolate-raspberry varieties. Also in the pipeline are banana-chocolate chip and chocolate-raspberry bites, designed specifically for active teens. A future project, Kramer says, is to branch out into fuel sources like drinks or gummies which long-distance athletes can take during races.