It all started in 2005 when founder Jason Winn and his mom whipped up the first PB&J Bonk Breaker in his apartment kitchen. A Division 1 college quarterback turned triathlete, Winn completed his first IRONMAN triathlon and saw a huge nutritional need for athletes: a bar that was moist and offered rocket-fuel energy. Using his sister as a taste tester, Jason perfected the first Bonk Breaker PB&J bar.
“Peanut Butter and Jelly was the perfect flavor to start with. It’s a cultural staple of America—we all grew up on it—but there weren’t any PB&J nutrition bars out there,” Winn says.
Soon after, co-owner Chris Frank teamed up with Winn in the Bonk Breaker endeavor. Frank, a Cat 1 road cyclist, tasted the bars and it was love at first bite. Frank traded in his Wall Street suit and tie for a Bonk Breaker hat and T-shirt, and the partnership has been unstoppable ever since. One would be hard-pressed to find two more passionate business who bring so much fun to what they do.
“Jason and I looked at what needs in the marketplace weren’t being satisfied,” Frank remembers. “Some bars had great flavor. Others had solid nutrition. Few, if any, had both, and none combined these attributes with a fresh, moist, and easy to eat consistency. From the start, our motivation has been to solve this riddle by baking great-tasting “real food.”
The process has become a little more sophisticated since the apartment kitchen days, but the nutrition philosophy has stayed the same. “When it comes to developing products and new flavors, our top priority is starting with premium ingredients,” Winn says. “With a ‘whole foods’ philosophy, we aim to use simple, minimally-processed ingredients that your body can recognize and digest. This was my intention from the start and continues to be at the core of our brand and philosophy.”
Bonk Breaker is committed to creating cutting-edge sports nutrition, using athletes as their chief “research department.” For example, athletes found that a bite-sized version of the bar suited them well during races, so Bonk Breaker created the Bonk Bites, hitting store shelves now.
As athletes, Winn and Frank strongly believe that the roots of the Bonk Breaker brand live within the active lifestyle and endurance sports industry. “We think it’s really important to our brand that we walk the walk,” says Winn. “The whole Bonk Breaker team understands the unique nutritional demands of elite level competition. We believe that our customers deserve the very best whether they’re top professional athletes, weekend warriors, or moms, dads, and kids simply looking for a tasty and healthy snack during the day.”
Now on their second year as the official bar for U.S. IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events, Bonk Breaker is changing the way athletes fuel. With a lineup that now includes 14 unique products (eight energy bars, two high protein bars and four Bonk Bites). All Bonk Breakers are baked fresh every week and are free of gluten, dairy, and soy.
Fun Facts about Bonk Breaker:
250,000+: Number of Bonk Breakers consumed at IRONMAN events in 2012
10: Number of ingredients in most Bonk Breaker bars
2005: Year the first Bonk Breaker was made
13: Number of IRONMAN races completed by Bonk Breaker staff