Magazine October 2019

Startup Roundup: ReadTheLabl

Startup Roundup

by Dustin Jayroe

ReadTheLabl: Why Not Delicious and Nutritious?

Ever been frustrated by the number of preservatives and lack of nutritional content in store-bought sauces and yearn for a product that combines delicious with nutritious? If so, then the team at Little Rock’s ReadTheLabl has you covered.

ReadTheLabl was founded by Kent Wood in December 2017 after years of searching for nutritious foods in stores. For too long, Wood was limited to making homemade sauces if he wanted to add any modicum of legitimate nutrients to his meals. Making sauces from scratch is a fantastic option, but the time and expense required are not always available.

This frustration led to innovation, as Wood realized just how large a problem he had identified.

“Someone needed to disrupt the so-called ‘healthy food’ industry, so why not me?,” Wood says.

The products created by ReadTheLabl are able to combine the flavor and healthiness of something made at home, from fresh ingredients, with the added convenience of simply picking it up off of a shelf.

Setting ReadTheLabl apart even further is the fact that the company manufactures, packages and distributes all of its product line out of its base in Little Rock. Typically, this is an extremely difficult venture for a food startup. But doing so affords Wood and his team complete creative control over what they put out, ensuring the highest quality standards are met with each batch.

Currently, ReadTheLabl offers three types of sauces: Veggie Soiree, Marinara Plus and Matcha Sriracha. All three feature the same five quality stamps: vegan, no nuts, gluten-free, no sugar added. Each sauce is sold in a pouch, rather than a jar, which prevents the breakdown of nutrients via ultraviolet light penetration and also prevents the release of harmful by-products into the sauces.

Aptly, everything listed on the back of ReadTheLabl’s packaging contains full disclosure of all ingredients, as well as transparent nutrition facts that go well beyond the FDA’s requirements. When Wood and his team pushed the nutrition labs to provide them with labels that include so much information, they were told that they were the first company to ever have made such a request.

ReadTheLabl’s sauces are available online via its website — ReadTheLabl.com — or Amazon.com, as well as at brick-and-mortar stores across the state. The Marinara Plus was recently featured as the “No. 1 Hot New Marinara Sauce” on Amazon.

As for the future of his venture, Wood hopes to take smaller steps before eventually taking aim at the global specialty-foods market. The company will start by adding four to six additional sauces to its arsenal and then branch out into other food categories. All the while, making sure to maintain the same standards for transparency, nutrition and taste.

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