Tim Schlitzer and Jerry Amabile never claimed to be fast athletes. In fact, during one trail race, the conditions and terrain got so difficult it took the two friends longer to complete the course than they normally would.
And as any triathlete or runner can attest, if you get to the finish line late, the pickings at the post-race food table may be slim. There were gels and energy bars and chocolate but the two were looking for some real food at that point – something not synthetic.
Thus began the idea that came to be Try Chips.
“We had been talking with lot of athletes who were having stomach problems,” Schlitzer said. “I grew up in a family with diabetes and didn’t want a lot of sugar. I was also trying to keep my weight down and didn’t want something with a lot of calories. Our goals were to make something with no processed sugar, light on the calories but would help you on the run or post run or pre run. And be something tasty.”
Originally, the friends, now business partners, saw their freeze-dried fruit mixture as a substitute for gels and bars. Eventually, they found their product worked in conjunction with those staples of the runner’s and triathlete’s diet. It became something to eat before or after a workout – particularly lighter workouts which didn’t require a huge refuel – something somewhat antithetical to getting fit and keeping one’s weight under control.
“Runner’s World picked Clif as the best snack bar for runners,” Schlitzer said. “But a latte and a Clif Bar can be around 800 calories. That’s a whole lot of a calories. Clif Bars start at 230 calories and go up from there depending on the flavor. If I’m just going out o a 45 minute run, I don’t need 230 calories. That’s a little overkill.”
Ah, but Try Chips are not just for athletes. The company’s motto – “Waste nothing. Try everything.”