Erin Moroney is the founder of Nibble Protein Bites, a lower sugar, high protein, premium snack. Coming from a creative background, Erin ran a top photographic agency in London for over 15 years, selling to the best newspapers, magazines, ad agencies, and global brands.
She came up with the idea to develop Nibble when she was marathon training while working as a busy art director/producer. With almost no time to eat during the day, she was desperate for a protein snack that she could nibble on en-route to meetings. Then the long new product development journey started! Born near Boston, MA, Erin is on a mission to send Nibble Stateside!
We spoke to Erin about:
– The process of forming the Nibble Protein Bites brand
– The importance of educational marketing for the mass market
– Creating social media content that is both engaging and promotional
What was the thought process behind your logo?
I definitely subscribe to the “less is more” idea. I always prefer clean, minimal designs both from an aesthetic point of view but also in terms of clear messaging—they’re more impactful. When you cut down on text, it really forces you to prioritise what’s important.
When I first started developing Nibble a couple of years ago, there was a decidedly different aesthetic for most protein snacks. Many felt quite masculine and muscly. I really wanted to create a brand that looked at home in my handbag. I love colour blocking and Swiss print design (from the 40s/50s) so I guess it’s safe to say my personal taste influenced the look of the brand. But who knew creating packaging with an asymmetric circle printed to the edge would be so painful from a printing point of view?
In terms of the logo, I wanted “nibble” to be the main event—as a verb, almost as an invitation. I also hoped that by featuring “nibble” more prominently than “protein”, it might attract would-be healthy eaters who were maybe not typical “protein” consumers. On our logo, we also subtly reference our bite-sized round shape with the coloured dot on the “i” which changes colour with each flavour.
How has visual content helped you to communicate the nutritional benefits of your products?
Over the years I got my nutrition really wrong, so I was keen to explain the benefits of our ingredients. But the science can be read like a school textbook so wherever possible we used visuals to get the message across.
The Glycemic Index is one of those things I discovered that few people really know about, but it’s so fundamental to the formulation of our bites. So we opted to make our own explainer video because, as I discovered, there’s no real minimalist way to explain the GI! In the Protein section, we also particularly wanted to highlight some of the least known protein benefits. Everyone knows about the muscle benefits! So you’ll see the skin, hair, and nail icons pop up first. We also created a protein calculator which takes the maths (and long grids) out of working out protein requirements.
Why is it important for brands to be transparent about the health benefits of their products?
Consumers are becoming more savvy and increasingly interested in nutritional values when choosing between healthy snack brands. Hopefully, more and more consumers will compare nutritional information and ingredients. It’s great that more schools are introducing nutritional education too – the earlier the better!
For us, our health benefits are a key differentiator so it’s really important for us to get the message across. There are so many products out there that are marketed as healthy when they are chock full of sugar. We find that people are often pretty shocked when they discover just how much sugar is in their favourite snack bar or ball. Nibble is roughly 15% sugar while many other all-natural options are 28-45%+ sugar.
What are the most important considerations for nutrition businesses when planning their social media content?
It really helps to mix up social media content where possible. I think it’s pretty boring when a brand feed is all pack shots. Whenever possible we try to include content that talks about our ingredients (nutritional facts), other food our target consumer would eat and activities our target consumers would love. We’ve also found that it works really well to partner with other brands for competitions and promos. It’s a great way of attracting consumers with similar interests who might not find you otherwise.
Why is it important to maintain a balance between promotional, product-specific, content and inspirational content?
This is definitely important to consider when planning social media content. It can be hard to find time to generate non-promo content, but it’s definitely worthwhile because otherwise, I think people tune out. On social media, we try to drive traffic to the ‘wellness’ section of our site which contains original health, nutrition, and fitness articles. Our product is mini, which also means we have a great excuse to make the articles bite-sized. (This is a blessing since all start-ups are time poor!)
More often than not, my morning runs are part photoshoot to create Instagram content. Friends have also been generous enough to write some of the short features.
(Photo credits: Paul Hackett)