When most people think of healthy condiments, BBQ sauce is never at the top of the list. In a world filled with low calorie dressings and sauces, BBQ typically gets a free pass.
True, most people don’t go out for pulled pork when they are trying to slim down. But when Kansas City native, and self-professed ‘BBQ Junkie,’ Brendon O’Neill found out he can’t have gluten in his diet, he began to realize just how unhealthy he was eating.
“When you have to start reading every label, you realize most sauces are filled with corn syrup, tons of sodium, and a list of ingredients that I can’t pronounce.” After months of frustration, he decided to try his hand at making a healthy sauce recipe made with simple ingredients most people have in their own kitchens. So he teamed with a longtime friend, Jason Pope, to create the perfect Kansas City style sauce.
“Our sauce has literally twelve ingredients that I pulled from my cabinets. After creating several recipes with Jason,” O’Neill says, “I realized there is no need for excess sugar, artificial ingredients, or gluten in any good tasting sauce.”
Their first sauce, Kansas City Natural, is a tribute to the tangy, slightly sweet flavors they grew up with. And so far, it’s making a strong impression, even in a city flooded with BBQ options. But with only twenty calories, three grams of sugar, and lower sodium than most other sauces, it’s no wonder consumers who make healthy food choices are starting to take notice.
“When we demo the sauce, we have diabetics, parents of autistic children, and of course people with celiac who love the sauce because it tastes awesome, and it’s a healthy alternative,” said Jason, who specialized in sales and local store relationships. “And people who don’t have a problem with gluten like it too. Just proves how unnecessary it is to fill food with junk.”
Like most entrepreneurs who work day jobs and bootstrap their dreams on the side, they are currently seeking crowd-funding support to help launch their brand. Their current Kickstarter campaign will help fund their presence at the Gluten and Allergen Free Expo in Chicago, which takes place this April 12-13. This will put their product in front of thousands of gluten-free consumers who want to know the latest products and engage with their favorite brands. There, they hope to spread the word that BBQ can be healthy and tasty.
“Plus, this sauce goes on so many things,” adds Jason. “We’ve used it as pizza sauce, in dips, on French fries. I even put it on my steak.”
They also view the Kickstarter project as a way to introduce their sauce to backers from all over who will hopefully generate interest from stores and nationwide distributors. Of course, more sauces are in the works. “We have a recipe we’re working on right now, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We still have to make the first one work. Needless to say, we aren’t planning on quitting our day jobs yet.”
Gluten-free BBQ Sauce for Men Heads to Chicago!
Probably the hippest, healthiest, and tastiest BBQ sauce you’ve ever had. Help us launch our brand at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo!
Gluten-free BBQ sauce
We asked some people at a recent demo what they thought about our sauce.