Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

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Granola Bar Company Based On Principles of Love Finds New "Family" at Food Export

by Food Export | Jul 06, 2016
From New York’s 18th Congressional District in Westchester County, New York comes Lola Granola Bar: a brand with a backstory to melt the heart and a line of products to make the mouth water. Lola Granola Bar was born when Mary Molina’s family hit difficult economic times. Molina says that she did not set out to make a bar to sell; rather, she made it for her family as an alternative to comparable products she found in grocery stores that contained artificial ingredients that she had never heard of and couldn’t even begin to attempt to pronounce.

The snack promotes Molina’s values of keeping it simple, healthy, substantial, and delicious by powering consumers with “oats, honey, and love”. Molina’s products will take you from work to workout, school to practice, and everything else in between with certified gluten free whole grains, honey, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds without any of the following additives: artificial sweeteners, genetically modified ingredients, added fiber from corn cellulose or chicory root, added protein from chemically engineered process. As if that isn’t enough to spark your interest in Lola Granola Bars, this surely will. “My children inspire me,” says Molina, and they have certainly influenced her brand:  Lola Granola Bars come in five different flavors, named for her four young children and her nephew (so very sweet indeed!). And the kicker- “Because of the help we received from friends, family, our community and food banks during our financially difficult time, we share our bars with Children’s Back Pack Programs for children at risk for hunger over the weekend.”  What’s not to love about this love-fueled company?!

So, just how much has Lola Granola Bar grown since it has joined us at Food Export? Molina tells us that she used the online qualifier at, Food Export’s online Export Essentials, and she also electronically receives the periodical newsletter.  While using the free Market Evaluation Tool, she found a surprise in her initial exporting research with us when she discovered that China was one of the highest ranked in Lola Granola Bar’s top 25 markets. Molina elaborates, “We are a very simple snack, and I didn’t realize China was looking for simple natural products.” Food Export’s country profiles and market research tools have helped Lola Granola Bar find its current success in the beginning stages of exporting to not only China, but also Canada, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2015, Lola Granola Bar became a member of the Branded Program, a program in which members can receive up to 50% reimbursements for engaging in activities that may lead to exporting and international sales.  Molina attended the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. She was able to purchase a booth and make appointments with key buyers from Canada, China, France, and Japan at this event. The buyers were also able to come by and sample Lola Granola Bar products.  “We would not have been able to do this event without the help from Food Export and the reimbursement,” says Molina.

As Lola Granola Bar has evolved as an internationally –renowned brand, Molina has discovered the importance of Food Export’s Buyers Missions. At the Natural Products Buyers Mission in 2015, Lola Granola had actual sales of more than 50% of their projected sales after meeting with buyers from France. Most recently, she attended the Summer Fancy Food Show in late June, 2015 in New York after a successful attendance at the same event one year prior. Molina shares her regards with us about Buyers Missions as excellent opportunities to network, share news, contacts, and practices with fellow exporters. “It is always so great to be around others in the industry…During [the Summer Fancy Food Show], we typically meet 10-15 new companies. Last year, we made sure to stay connected with our new industry friends.  Whenever we have a question, we send it out to them and get good feedback to help make a more informed decision,” says Molina.

Molina concludes her thus-far experiences with Food Export to say, “My contacts at Food Export are like family. They want you to succeed and are always available for a phone call.  It’s a pleasure to see our Food Export family at international shows like Summer Fancy Food in NYC.  For example, Howard Gordon [who is Food Export Northeast’s liaison for Molina] stopped by [Lola Granola Bar’s booth] at Fancy Food to remind me about attending a Buyers Mission at another international show, even though I do not have a vendor booth [for this upcoming event]. [Food Export] also sends friendly emails checking in to see if I need any assistance.  It’s good to know I have support in an area of my business in which I am still learning. I’m confident I will be successful with exporting Lola Granola Bar because of all the help Food Export offers.” We couldn’t agree more, Mary! Good luck to you, your family, and your brand. We here at Food Export are happily helping you reach new potential in your ongoing mission to export to more and more markets. Happy (and healthy) snacking!

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products; as these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.

Story written July 2015 - Lola Granola Bar is located in the 19th Congressional District in New York

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