Crew Created: Chef Paul Kahan Creates NRG Foods

21 November 2019 By Aileen Mack

For eight years, Paul Kahan has been a chef on board yachts, last aboard M/Y Three Sons. While he still occasionally works as a yacht chef, he dedicates much of his time to his food distribution business NRG Foods and his snack bar NRG Bite. The idea of the company has been years in the making, but only two years ago did he begin to move forward and put more time and thought into it.

“Being a Type 1 diabetic, I needed something tasty and healthy with a good amount of protein to hold me over in between meals throughout the day that didn’t blow my blood sugar through the roof,” he says. NRG Bites was inspired by a recipe and snack he ate regularly — organic nut butters and rice cakes with an amazing flavor and texture combination. At the time, Kahan saw a huge void in the market for a smaller, more conveniently sized snack.

At one ounce, NRG Bites are about half the size of the typical protein bar, but contain nearly 10 grams of protein. “This lends to the appeal not only for [me] as a diabetic, but to a larger audience who isn’t looking to eat an entire protein bar or meal replacement bar, which can sometimes consist of up to 420 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrates,” Kahan says.

While doing research for creating the bar, he found that people wanted a smaller bar. After conducting focus groups, they drew the conclusion that full-size bars, more often than not, tended to be half-eaten and then thrown away.

“So many bars out there utterly lack flavor and texture. Having background experience as a chef ingrained a lot of value and thought into my bars,” he says. “While the process took a bit longer than I would have liked, we have created something incredible and delicious without sacrificing flavor and texture whilst utilizing the best ingredients and maintaining a very healthy macro nutrient profile.” All ingredients in the bars are responsibly sourced, with most being organic, GMO free, and gluten-free.

NRG Bite is currently available at 18 retailers and on their website with three flavors: chia chocolate, cranberry almond, and peanut butter. The company is regularly doing demos at gyms and their other retail locations. Kahan says their goal ultimately is to create a fitness and nutrition umbrella company, along with expanding the NRG brand internationally. And as the founder, he hopes to build awareness for Type 1 diabetes and make donations to research and wellness for other Type 1 diabetics.

You can find the bars at local LA Fitness gyms and GNCs in the South Florida region, including Café Collective, Upload Fitness in Fort Lauderdale, The Healthy Way in Boca Raton, and GNC in Victoria Park, Pompano Beach, and Miami airport, Runners Depot, and several locations in Dallas, Texas.