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These days, mesquite may be seen as a bit of an underdog. A sleeper, if you will. But that hasn’t always been the case. Really, it wasn’t until the past few decades that America has had one main use for the mesquite tree: chopping it down and burning its wood to cook barbecue. But the truth is, our sweet ‘squite has so much more to offer. And historically, it’s done just that as a staple food source in the Americas and beyond, and is still used in many parts of the world today as a part of a balanced diet. Indigenous communities had many uses for mesquite, not the least of which was harvesting its fruit—a powerful little pod packed with immense potential, and one of the main reasons for our ongoing love affair.


Diverse, rich, and expansive, mesquite’s flavor profile is chocolatey, sweet, and cinnamony, with hints of toasted coconut and date, plus plenty else in between. This versatility is mesquite’s superpower, and lets us use it to achieve things that can’t be done with more traditional ingredients like cacao. For example, the sweetness of cacao-based chocolate can only be achieved by adding lots of sugar or other artificial stuff into the mix. With mesquite, natural sweetness is built in, and it provides the very unique experience of a chocolatey flavor that’s neither too sweet nor too bitter. And that allows us to rev things up for more of a milk chocolate flavor, or tone it down for something closer to a classic dark chocolate. Put simply, mesquite unlocks the possibility for serious exploration and discovery in the flavor department, and we’re just getting started.


One tiny little mesquite pod packs a serious nutritional punch. We’re talking protein, fiber, calcium, iron, amino acids, and antioxidants out the wazoo. On top of all that, it doesn’t have any of the caffeine or other stimulants found in cacao, as well as 500x less tannins—the group of compounds that give cacao its bitter and astringent nature, and require mounds of added sugar to combat. This means we can use a whole lot less sugar while combining mesquite with other wholesome, nutrient-rich ingredients to make foods that look, smell, and taste like a treat, but are healthy enough to enjoy all the time. A real “have your cake and eat it too” moment, you guys.


Okay, more good news: mesquite isn’t just great for us humans—it’s pretty great for the planet, too. A true desert native, it thrives naturally in hot, dry climates with almost no water or fertilization, and grows on every continent except Europe and Antarctica. Even better yet, it regenerates soil in the process, helping remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere simply by existing. Which gets us pretty excited, we must say. Because if we can make innovative products that keep the mesquite tree in the ground, we see the pathway to creating forests, improving soils, reducing carbon emissions, and expanding arable land into zones traditionally not seen as agriculturally productive.


We take the saying “it’s what’s inside that counts” to heart when we source Mez™ Bar ingredients, always ensuring that they live in two worlds: nutritious and delicious. Which means mesquite is just one piece of a purposeful potion designed to not just satisfy your craving, but fuel your body, too.

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Chufa is a “tuber” — one of a plant’s root storage organs. It comes from Northern Africa, but is mainly cultivated in Spain, Morocco and Ghana. Also known as tiger nut, yellow nutsedge, and earth almond, it has no allergenicity, despite its nicknames. Tastewise, chufa has a nutty, vanilla, and shredded coconut profile that helps to dampen the intensity of Mez™ Bars, smoothing the flavor into something rich and delicious. From a nutritional standpoint, it's a complex starch that gives interesting benefits, and there’s some research showing that the soluble fiber inherent to chufa allows for better absorption of micronutrients.


After partially hydrogenated oils were outlawed in the United States and Europe, the food industry cast its gaze upon palm oil, and hasn’t looked back since. We see illipe as an equitable, scalable solution to palm (and cocoa butter, too). We’re working with growers in the Indonesian rainforest — where illipe is grown and endemic to, and also where the palm oil craze continues to devastate rainforests. Admittedly, illipe’s flavor is actually quite bland on its own. But what it lacks in taste it makes up for in its ability to hold everything together, making sure Mez™ Bars melt in your mouth, not anywhere else, and giving off the same mouthfeel as chocolate, without an overpowering flavor or aroma.


On their own, pea and rice proteins aren’t a complete protein. But eaten together, they pick up each other’s slack to become one. Our blend is fermented with mycelium (yup, the roots of mushrooms) to make it even more bioavailable, as well as reduce some of the off-flavors that can come with plant-based proteins. On top of being a great source of protein, it’s extraordinarily rich in iron to boot — and with less tannins, this iron becomes more bioavailable, too! With a mild flavor but rich, creamy texture, it helps add a more milky smoothness to our bars. Oh, and did we mention it’s 100% vegan?


Carob has been made into chocolate for over one hundred years, but mixing it with some other flavors won’t cut it. We love carob, but strictly as a more acidic element and flavorant rather than the main show. Which works out well, because as it turns out, it’s a great flavor match with mesquite, giving another dimension of nutty chocolateyness that’s on the lighter and brighter end of the spectrum. Carob can be bought roasted at many different levels, and we’ve opted to use a medium roast because the bright, acidic flavors tend to come through more than their dark-roasted counterparts. By growing in high heat, low water environments and producing a great fruit, carob has many awesome climate-friendly characteristics, too.


Hi there, we’re Bob and Ben—and yes, we’re brothers. Together, we co-founded Mez™ Foods. When we started Mez™, we set out to fix chocolate. And not only the well-documented sustainability and supply chain issues in cacao production. Really, our big beef with chocolate has always been that we can’t eat it all the time. And with Mez™, we’re changing that.

Before Mez™, we grew up in the farmlands of southwest Michigan. We spent our teen years detasseling corn fields, working in local restaurants, and developing a deep empathy and respect for where our food comes from. After college, we followed different pathways: Bob delved further into food, while Ben followed his passion for product development. These experiences gave us the opportunity to hone our skills in creating things that have the potential to enrich lives. 

We felt a calling to leverage all of that, and use it to work on solutions for the most fundamental problems humanity faces today, which we believe are the interrelated issues of food availability, climate change, and energy creation. Our first step was to look at our food system, and which aspects contribute most greatly to that mega-problem. Then, to create alternatives that people will love—not just because they’re more sustainable, but because they’re delicious, nutritious, and unlike anything else on the chocolate shelf.