Alternative Approach with Alternative Oats
The foundations of alternative OATS began 7 years ago when Chris and Mel Burger began making their own to-go oatmeal blend for their daily work commutes, opting out of the sugar-filled options on the shelves at that time, They continued to eat the same recipe for 7 years, but eventually wanted to try something different.
During the pandemic, they began “tinkering” with different holistic ingredients to create a fun and nutritious oatmeal, leading to the creation of a bright pink oatmeal blend, which evolved to their popular flavor: island spice. “Our eureka moment was when we ended up with pink oatmeal. We thought we had something and that was really what alternative OATS was born from,” Chris said.
Chris and Mel officially started their brand, alternative OATS, in 2021, and began selling oatmeal products through their website and at farmers markets. alternative OATS sales have begun to grow as more customers experience their versatile all-natural products. Chris expands on the brand, stating that “oatmeal can be fun. It’s never had that reputation and we want to be the first to show what you can do by being creative and pushing the envelope with oatmeal.”
alternative OATS just launched its wholesale line to be sold in brick-and-mortar stores such as cafes, coffee shops, and retailers. The wholesale line will include their three most popular oatmeal flavors: banana bread, acai bowl, and island spice. This line differs in its original packaging, shifting away from the single-serve pouches to grab and go cups. alternative OATS redesigned the packaging based on consumer feedback and input from potential wholesale customers. With this new product packaging, consumers are now able to easily take a cup of oatmeal to go!
alternative OATS’ gluten-free oatmeal blends are packed with antioxidants, superfruits, organic seeds and nuts, and larger single-size servings, perfect for a filling and balanced meal on-the-go. The brand also emphasizes the use of clean and simple ingredients, differing from other oatmeal brands with products that may be filled with excessive sugar, “natural flavors” and other unnecessary ingredients. “alternative OATS is an alternative approach to what oatmeal can be. It doesn’t have to be over-processed and full of sugar,” Chris explained.
A large challenge that Chris and Mel encountered while first starting their company includes making sure the product would have an appeal to the average consumer. By selling at markets, Chris and Mel learned about their consumers’ buying and taste preferences. They worked through more product formulation to alter their product, catering it more towards consumers’ wants and feedback. Another challenge that Chris and Mel encountered while trying to launch their new wholesale line is pricing. Because the price of wholesale products differs largely from the price of single-serving products, in order to maintain the same quality and use the same premium ingredients, they had to analyze and adjust the price of their new products accordingly to ensure that there’d be a healthy enough profit margin to initially operate and grow from.