Higher Model seeks to enhance bagels with low-carb launch

Aimee Yang is uninterested in the phrase “responsible” being related to issues which can be pleasurable to eat, so she constructed an organization to enhance customers’ selections.

Her firm, Higher Model, is making ready its first launch: the low-carb Higher Bagel, which seems to be like an everyday bagel, however has 5 web carbohydrates — the identical as half of an orange or two banana slices. It can develop into out there on the corporate’s web site this week.

“Plenty of this stems from my private ache factors round weight-reduction plan and wholesome consuming,” Yang, the corporate’s CEO, stated. “…I used to be at all times going backwards and forwards within the cycle of, ‘Ought to I eat this? Possibly it isn’t good for me, however I wish to.’ After which if I did, then I would really feel tremendous responsible, after which if I did not, I might really feel disadvantaged.” 

Yang’s firm has used ingredient innovation and meals science to get round this psychological argument. Higher Bagels are made with elements that bear a proprietary course of utilizing enzymes to remodel high-carbohydrate objects. Higher Bagels include no wheat flour, however are made with elements together with modified wheat starch, wheat protein isolate, chicory root fiber and potato starch. A single bagel has 27 grams of dietary fiber — 96% of the really helpful day by day consumption on a Vitamin Details label.

Aimee Yang

Courtesy of Higher Model


Traders — each institutional and well-known — have put their cash behind Yang’s firm. In February, Higher Model closed a $1.2 million funding spherical led by VERSO Capital. Authorized companies firm Cooley additionally participated on this spherical, in response to Crunchbase. Different notable traders embody Wendy’s inheritor Sean Thomas, actress Emmy Rossum and Enterprise for America CEO Dorie Smith.

Yang stated the corporate has its concentrate on disrupting the $8 trillion refined carbs market, however is beginning with bagels. 

“We actually thought that by making probably the most carb-heavy meals … [the carbohydrate equivalent of] two slices of banana, then that basically permits us to place our stake within the floor as a number one innovator within the refined carbohydrates area,” she stated.

‘Grain-changing expertise’

How can a baked good that appears and tastes like a bagel develop into low carb?

In line with the corporate, the reply is its proprietary “grain-changing expertise,” a time period that Higher Model has trademarked. In an electronic mail, Yang stated Higher Model labored with exterior specialists to determine how, by way of enzymes and processing, to formulate elements which have fewer whole carbohydrates however present the feel, operate and style of a bagel. Yang wrote she labored with 4 world leaders in ingredient manufacturing to develop the preliminary bagel. Put collectively, she stated, the R&D groups had greater than 200 years of expertise.  

“We even have, equally, a really uniquely designed course of to permit us to get the meals to be the upper caliber and high quality,” Yang stated, “and every thing from proofing to mixing to slicing, kettling, baking … concerned to get us there.”

“Plenty of this stems from my private ache factors round weight-reduction plan and wholesome consuming. … It was so, so consuming for me.”

Aimee Yang

Founder and CEO, Higher Model

Retaining the top product clear label has been essential to Higher Model, Yang stated. Whereas the Higher Bagel is vastly totally different from what customers are used to, all of its elements are recognizable to customers, she stated. And, the bagels are paleo pleasant and made with non-GMO elements.

Yang stated in an electronic mail that Higher Model has been working with grasp bakers — together with Matthew McDonald, bakery director at artisan Southern California bakery LA Fireplace and former director of culinary innovation at Aryzta — to develop and improve the manufacturing course of. She added that almost all of the $1.2 million raised in Higher Model’s seed spherical might be allotted towards R&D, and constructing what she described as “Higher Labs.”

Launch technique

Whereas the bagels might be attending to some shops this month and out there for direct orders from Higher Model’s web site, Yang stated there are plans to make them extra extensively distributed, and introduce them to some foodservice areas. This could occur nearer to the autumn, she stated.

Higher Model additionally has extra improvements within the pipeline, Yang stated, with different merchandise launching quickly. 

In line with Yang there was a variety of enthusiasm for Higher Model and its merchandise — despite the fact that the corporate has nothing in the marketplace simply but. With a number of outstanding traders already, Yang stated it exhibits the necessity for baked items which can be each tasty and never loaded with carbohydrates. It additionally exhibits confidence in utilizing expertise to remodel meals, she stated. Yang stated Higher Model has moved previous what she referred to as the prevailing trade’s “predispositions of what must be” within the baked items area. 

“Historically, the [way the] giant CPG corporations function, they’re simply not centered on innovation. Moderately, it is extra of a concentrate on current merchandise,” Yang stated. “…However that opens this enormous white area for us to actually are available in as newcomers. Some folks assume in another way.”

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