This Canadian entrepreneur's healthy gummy bears are taking over the candy world
Vancouver’s Tara Bosch has found sweet success as the CEO of SmartSweets – gummy bears made with natural ingredients to help kick your sugar habit.
And now, just over a year and a half on shelves around Canada, SmartSweets has relaunched their low sugar gummy bears with a newly improved recipe and new packaging. The new SmartSweets fruity gummy bears are in a bright pink bag, and the sour gummy bears are in a lime green bag.
“We wanted our packaging to match the innovative nature of our kick sugar candy, and wanted to make sure that when consumers see a SmartSweets bag they know within a matter of seconds, by simply looking at the product on the shelf that they can enjoy the entire bag for just 3g sugar per bag,” Bosch told Daily Hive.
The gummy snacks are only 90 calories per package, making for a healthy treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Bosch says she was inspired to start the company after her own experience of having an unhealthy relationship with food growing up.
As she grew older, she embarked on a personal journey to make smarter choices and began exploring the effects of sugar on health.
At 21, Bosch dropped out of university, bought a gummy bear mould from Amazon, and began testing recipes for a candy that would still taste delicious with limited sugar. Less than one year later, SmartSweets launched across Canada.
Aside from the revamped recipe, SmartSweets is now available in over 3,000 stores across the Canada and the US, including London Drugs, GNC, Loblaws, Whole Foods, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Save on Foods.
With SmartSweets success, Bosch has been featured by Forbes and POPSUGAR. She is also the winner of several entrepreneurial awards including becoming the Ryan Holmes 2016 “The Next Big Thing” Venture in Residence, being named a 2017 Peter Thiel Fellow, winning the BMO Celebrating Women-Growth & Expansion Award 2017, and being named to Canadian Entrepreneur’s Top 20 under 23 list.
Like any entrepreneurial venture, SmartSweets has seen its challenges.
“The biggest challenge we’ve faced since launching has been laying a strong foundation to set us up to successfully scale rapidly, from a distribution, innovation, squad, and funding perspective,” said Bosch.
“For example, last year, in our first year on shelves, we were out of stock four times! We’ve worked hard to build out the foundation now and fill in the gaps, but are constantly looking things through the lens [and asking] ‘what are we missing?’ As they say… only the paranoid survive!”
Will SmartSweets stay in the gummy bear-only business? Bosch said her vision is “to be the global leader in innovating confectionary products that kick sugar. That means the entire non-chocolate category. We are launching five new plant-based and seasonal innovations in 2018.”
The new and improved SmartSweets are now available online and at various retailers across the country.