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Article: How we develop our products

Hoe we onze producten ontwikkelen

How we develop our products

Every Kalkman product begins with a problem to solve, just like Alexander's first energy bars. When we surveyed 110 amateur cyclists we found that the biggest problem with sports food is the taste. Was is even possible to make an energy food that you could actually enjoy eating? Could eating on the bike be healthier? Could sports food be available in a range of real food flavours? With these questions, and more in our minds we headed to the kitchen. There we developed some prototypes using real food that also met the scientific requirements for the effectiveness of the products.

Cyclists and endurance athletes have quite tightly defined requirements for their sports foods. It needs to be convenient to carry, open and eat, in one hand, with gloves on. Without stopping. It needs to be able to survive the rough and tumble of being carried in a jersey pocket. It needs to be able to stay good long enough to be taken on a couple of tours or a holiday. But most of all it must taste good! It must be something that you look forward to on your ride rather than force down in order to finish a ride. It must deliver the nutrients that you need to achieve your goal with minimal risk of stomach problems. Nobody needs unscheduled toilet breaks during a ride.  

We believe that the only way to meet all of these requirements is with fully natural ingredients. The food that we evolved eating is full of the nutrients that our body understands. the trick is to carefully choose the natural foods that are best able to meet the needs of modern athletes. 

With the help of experts and dieticians we analyse the scientific literature to work out a desired nutritional profile for each product. Then we search for the combinations of ingredients that can deliver this profile. Specific flavour combinations are often inspired by chefs or famous recipes. This gives us a shortlist of recipe ideas that are also tested for practical qualities such as texture, structure and shelf stability. Then there is the most important test of all: tasting with the Kalkman Club members.

Products must always meet our three core requirements: delicious, natural and convenient portions.