Penn State SBDC client expands business by reimagining the banana

February 26, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — State College entrepreneur Gracienne Myers teamed up with the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to launch a new product that will give bananas a competitor in convenience for people on the go.

Myers said she began developing Banana Vital in 2016 with everyone in mind, not just athletes. The Simply Bananas bar is available in 31 retailers in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey and the product line is expanding to include Banana + Guava and Banana + Coconut.

“We all know the health benefits of bananas, but we also know the problems associated with keeping them fresh, tasty, visibly appealing and transportable,” said Myers. “My son, Harry, is a soccer player and we had all of these issues.”

Myers said Banana Vital is a snack bar made with complex carbohydrates to provide energy and rich in potassium to prevent muscle cramps. The bar is labeled 100 percent bananas, all natural with no sugar added, no sodium, no additives and registered with the United States Food and Drug Administration. Myers worked with a manufacturer in Brazil to create the product and approached the Penn State SBDC when she was ready to take Banana Vital to market.

“The SBDC is amazing. They helped me tremendously with marketing research, content for presentations and finding retailers that can carry our product,” Myers said.

Maria Spencer, business consultant for the Penn State SBDC, said Myers has done an amazing job bringing Banana Vital from concept to reality.

“I’m really happy the SBDC could be there as a sounding board and as a resource to help Gracienne get the word out about the product and its benefits,” Spencer said. “By talking to potential customers, she has developed a clear idea of both her target market and of the value proposition that her product provides to them. Her legwork in this area helped me to help her think through and pursue possible retail outlets for Banana Vital.”

Banana Vital is available in the State College area at Wegmans, McClanahan’s Market, Appalachian Outdoors, Nature’s Pantry and Victory Nation.

For more information about starting a business, visit the Penn State SBDC online or call 814-863-4293.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 26, 2018