Product Inconsistencies

We realize some have had questions over the past few weeks about recently reported inconsistencies found in some batches of our products. We do apologize for the perceived radio silence, as we have been working tirelessly to identify and rectify all possible concerns since this was fully brought to our attention.

When we say we’re a small company created by athletes, for athletes, we mean it. People might be surprised to know just how small we actually are—only 10 people strong—but we’ve been thankful to receive so much support from the community as we’ve continued to grow over the years.

Please understand that we have never encountered an issue like this in the young span of our company, and so it has taken our small team some time to conduct a full, comprehensive analysis of our manufacturing and distribution processes to understand exactly what happened here and ensure the resolution of all possible issues.

We value our customers and partners dearly, and we take our standards seriously, so this has been a shock to our system, and we would have liked to address the situation differently than we did over the past few weeks. Ultimately, we are athletes first and company executives second, but we are always learning, and we remain ever committed to being the Spring Energy our customers have always known and trusted.

Having now completed our testing and analysis, we would like to share a full overview of the situation, including our findings, the steps we have already taken to rectify the matter, as well as upcoming plans that customers can expect in the near-term.

—Spring Energy

 

WHAT HAPPENED

  • We created Awesome Sauce in 2020 to provide customers and athletes with a powerful source of nutrients that they can enjoy in a convenient, delicious form, derived entirely from 100% all-natural, real ingredients.
  • We were proud and excited when we had officially finalized our formulation for production—and we have been truly blessed by the positive reception from the community since its launch—it has been a go-to favorite for customers, and ourselves, for four years straight.
  • With our formulation and manufacturing processes in place, and all indications being that they have been functioning as designed—our team has been focused on all our forward goals and areas of operations, and admittedly, we seem to have missed some blind spots that developed here over the last year.
  • Unfortunately, even while we regularly experiment to reinforce and enhance our formulations, we overlooked some of the variables that can come into play in food production when using all-natural ingredients.


ONCE WE BECAME FULLY AWARE

  • While members of the team became aware of some initial commentary about the consistency of our Awesome Sauce gel sometime in April, it wasn’t until May that we more fully realized these were not just isolated comments on social media.
  • As soon as we became fully aware of recent complaints, we immediately took to our manufacturing facility to assess the production processes and try to determine any possible causes of inconsistency. In combination with lab testing and analyzing each ingredient along every step within the process, we eventually identified some aspects that led to certain batches becoming overly diluted – affecting their nutritional value.
  • We recently referenced these aspects in a note to Spring Energy customers, and now that we have completed our full assessment, we are happy to share further detail. One of the main ingredients in Awesome Sauce is its rice component. Cooking rice seems like a simple process in a kitchen, but it can be slightly more complicated to obtain a specific by-product in an industrial setting with commercial appliances—ultimately, we determined that the cooking method we were using left too much room for variation in the final product. We also discovered higher levels of inconsistency than expected in the supply of applesauce that was being used across batches. We have alternated between various suppliers in the past, as one of the challenges in using all-natural ingredients is the continual variation between items from one season or source to the next. In a similar way to that apples can vary in taste or size; applesauce can differ in viscosity—and in this case, we ultimately determined the supply was not translating as desired to consistently meet the calculations used with the original formulation.
  • Combined, these two factors led to batches that were overly diluted, and unfortunately, failed to translate with the calculations used for the original Awesome Sauce formulation.


FIXING THE ISSUE AND LOOKING FORWARD

  • After identifying these aspects, we continued assessing for any other weaknesses in our processes that could contribute to possible changes in the product. We did not discover any other areas of impact and have since made appropriate adjustments in our cooking method, ingredients, and formula calculations to counter-act against a greater threshold of variation—with testing currently underway to ensure we are meeting the desired results.
  • We are confident that we have fully addressed the issue and are currently in the process of working with retailers to replace all existing inventory with gels that use this updated formula.

 

Q&A

Q: What happened?
  • We were recently made aware of reports that some packets of Spring gels were registering nutritional levels that were inconsistent with their design formula. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of our manufacturing processes and identified two contributing factors that have since been updated to counteract greater levels of variation between batches.
  • Following these changes, product testing is currently underway to ensure the nutritional content is reflected as designed. We are confident that we have remedied the source of inconsistencies and are working with retailers and customers to address any issues they might have had with products over the past six months.
Q: Do you test your products regularly for nutritional information?
  • We are continually updating, reinforcing, and enhancing formulations for our different products as we always seek to deliver the best quality supplements possible for customers. However, as our product line has grown, we recognize this is not a substitute for more regular testing of batches in ongoing production.
  • In addition to making some subtle updates in our production processes and changes in our ingredients sourcing, we have committed to more regular testing of all outbound products to ensure there are no overlooked issues in quality.
Q: Why didn’t you already have regular product testing in place?
  • With our formulation and manufacturing processes in place, and all feedback and indications being that they have been functioning as designed—our team has been focused on all of our forward goals and areas of operations, and admittedly, we seem to have missed some blind spots that developed here over the last year.
  • In addition to making some subtle updates in our production processes and ingredients sourcing, we have committed to more regular testing of all outbound products to ensure there are no overlooked issues in quality.
Q: Did you know there were inconsistencies in the nutritional value of your products prior to this? When did you first find out?
  • As with everything in food production, we realize there will always be slight fluctuations—especially when using 100% all-natural ingredients and seasonal items that can vary from one shipment or supplier to the next. However, we were not aware of these recent consistency issues until we conducted a complete assessment of the production process in May.
Q: How long have these consistency issues been going on?
  • As all our products have a maximum shelf-life of six months due to their natural ingredient composition—along with our small batch production processes—there is no way to identify the specific lots or dates for batches that may have been affected. However, we know these complaints are recent, first appearing in April, and this is the very first time we have ever received negative feedback regarding Awesome Sauce since it launched four years ago.
Q: When will Awesome Sauce be available again?
  • Following the recent changes to our processes, we are confident that have successfully remedied the sources of inconsistency and are finalizing product testing to ensure nutritional content is reflected as designed. We are planning to have Awesome Sauce fully back on the shelves within the coming weeks and we look forward to keeping customers updated.