Whether you’re working out or simply working, having the right snack to hand can mean the difference between feeling full until your next meal or facing a full-blown hunger slump within an hour of stuffing your face.
In the UK we love to snack, munching our way through a belly-busting 9.1 billion packs of crisps, nuts and snacks in the past year. And according to a report by the European Snacks Association, our snacking habits usually see us enjoying snacks on-the-go as a quick energy boost or as a treat during the day.
But when it comes to snacking, finding a healthy product isn’t always easy, with many so called healthy snacks containing lots of sugar and other nasties. This being said, on a recent visit to Lunch2015, a multi-award winning trade event show for the food-to-go sector, it was evident that healthier snacks marketed on their lower fat content and natural credentials are booming, which should hopefully translate into more choice for the health conscious consumer.
One such company that aims to pack a healthier snacking punch is 9BAR. A delicious, mixed seed energy bar, 9BAR prides itself on providing a “natural source of good energy for people who lead active lives.” Each bar is packed with sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and hemp seeds, providing around 200-250 calories per bar and they are gluten free too.
Packed full of protein these bars aim to keep you fuller for longer, and a recent recipe revamp has seen the 9BAR team reduce the fat and sugar content of their bars, making them an even healthier hit.
But it wasn’t just the taste of their bars that caught our attention. In line with their recent product makeover, which sees the brand having a new logo and new packaging, we were informed of 9BARs new focus – to give “good energy twice.”
So what does giving good energy twice mean exactly? Well, as well as providing super-seed energy to anyone that eats a 9BAR, the company has also teamed up with UK charity SolarAid, as part of their Solar Revolution, to provide sustainable solar-powered light energy to families in Africa. Every time you buy a 9BAR, with Solaraid, they’ll provide a family with a solar light – they’ve termed it the power of seeds and the power of deeds.
Nearly 600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, with many relying on toxic and dangerous alternatives such as kerosene for lighting. SolarAid provides solar lights to those who need them most across Africa, with the eventual goal of eradicating these dangerous, expensive and toxic kerosene lamps by the end of the decade.
The impact these solar lights make is amazing: just one of them can save a family over £130, protects the environment by eliminating half a tonne of CO2 emissions and toxic fumes, and provides light for over 1,000 extra hours of study, allowing the children to study after dark. The image below shows the progress so far.
Mark Gould, CEO of Wholebake said:
“We were thrilled to get involved with a cause who supported energy access for people living without electricity. Energy is an enabler, allowing a family to earn, learn and play. Without energy, and most crucially light, families are stuck in the dark. We just loved SolarAid’s mix of philanthropy and enterprise and knew that this would allow 9BAR fans to have a big impact on lives in Africa.”
Filisa Likatu, a farmer from Malawi, bought a solar light. Filisa’s child used to study with a kerosene lamp but can now use the solar light and is doing double the amount of hours each night of homework.
“The solar light doesn’t need fuel so it lasts longer than kerosene,” says Filisa. “The solar light has reduced expenditure in my family, we don’t bother to use kerosene lamps anymore which require us to buy kerosene every week. I pay school fees for my children with the savings. At night, with the solar light, we gather at night to listen to folktales from grandfather.”
If you want to see more families in Africa benefitting from good clean energy, you can sign up to the Speed of Light network now and help make a difference by donating one solar light for as little as £3. Or for more information on 9BAR and their initiatives, visit www.9BAR.com where you can also purchase sample packs of their super-seed range.
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.