For those who do not know much (or anything) about me or about Hank’s Protein Plus my name is Henry “Hank” Capasso and I am the owner/creator of Hank’s Protein Plus High Protein Nut Butter Spreads. My reasons for reaching out are two-fold, primarily I want to introduce myself to you and also to give you an idea of the infrastructure behind our high protein, flavored peanut butters and almond butters. Contrary to what you may have heard, or even read, Hank’s Protein Plus is the originator and first manufacturer of protein infused nut butters. I began manufacturing flavored nut butters with protein about 15 years ago in the basement of my home for a select group of metabolically disordered people. This group, along with many others were following nutritional programs specifically designed by me, for weight management and fat loss. With the concept of more frequent, smaller meals and snacks for a better balancing blood sugar levels, far too many were having a difficult time fulfilling the snack portion of their day. This was the beginning of my personal think tank, the idea forming process of what to do nutritionally to satisfy one’s appetite for a couple of hours, to eliminate the junk and to replace it with a food that will stabilize and eliminate cravings until the next scheduled meal. Born was the idea of how to get protein into the peanut butter making process and it finally coming to fruition in 1989. Fast forward to approximately 6 years ago in 2015, I legally formed the company PBUTTRI LLC with the dba Hank’s Protein Plus. My goal today is to get my high protein (or protein infused) peanut and almond spread products into the hands of the right people who can get Hank’s into the homes of thousands of people across the U.S. and the world.
As a part to my introduction it is noteworthy to share my products evolution. I began with 3 flavors and immediately it was recognized as great tasting fill in snack. I used average quality ingredients however right from the beginning the taste and texture was different than anything anyone ever had. Today I have taken my 17 spreads to a brand new level. Today (6 years later), we are 100% natural, free of any and all artificial ingredients, gums and fillers and no whey protein concentrates. This was accomplished without the use of sugar alcohols like mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol and erythritol to name a few. Hank’s also proudly stands alone as the only manufacturer of Vegan, naturally flavored high protein peanut butter spreads. Therefore Hank’s Protein Plus is the only nut butter of its kind, not just the only protein infused nut butter of its kind, but the only peanut and almond butter of its kind.
As a nutritionist, I would first like to think this type of product was born of necessity, helping those with metabolic disorders, enabling them to get through their day nutritionally, offering them an alternative to unhealthy snacks and moreover, the many unhealthy peanut butters that are on the market today. It has taken 15 years of work, research and development by a team of one (that’s me) to finally be able to say that my products are exactly where I want them to be…..where they should be, apart from ALL the rest….. 100% healthy, made with only the best and “cleanest” of ingredients (including monk fruit as the sweetener). The benefits of Monk Fruit will be covered in the next post.
Over the past 6 years there have so many changes to the peripherals, not the process. Packaging has changed, flavors have been added, a new size has been introduced, rebranding has taken place and most importantly, today the ingredients are of the highest and best quality with no compromise to taste, in fact because I now control the natural flavoring percentages of each, each spread has never been so flavorful. There isn’t another company that can match what we have done, and the way that we did it. No one else can say that they took their nut butters from point A to Z like Hank’s (included in Hank’s are my workers who have been with me from the start). I can confidently say that no one did it the way we did. Apart from my manufacturers, it has been and still is a one man operation. No teams of researchers, I did all of that. No angel investors, whatever monies from sales went right back to trying to develop a better product. I tried a partnership but that failed miserably and its life was brief. I take full blame for that fail! However, the one constant, the one step that never changed was that process. Although I have made a ton of mistakes and failed miserably more times than I want to remember, I was at least smart enough to recognize that my 8 step process always produced unique to the industry texture and on point taste. No matter what stage of development the company was immersed in, no matter what hole I was coming out of, the process always remained the same and the product was always lauded by many as the best protein nut butter they have ever eaten.
Today my focus for Hank’s Protein Plus is you, the mainstream consumer who desires to choose healthy amidst the hundreds of other choices. When I first took Hank’s off the ground, products containing “protein” always seemed to be pigeon-holed into the circle for bodybuilders and competitive stage athletes. I am not and never will complain about this. But from a marketing position protein containing products were always targeted to that entity and was rarely positioned outside the circle into mainstream society. As a nutritionist I always advocated for a more normal day to day snapshot of the advantages of protein, especially for women who seemingly never consumed enough of it. I tried to communicate that truth back then and I am still fighting today for a more “total health profile” related approach to consuming (not over consuming ) quality protein. With the distribution network of Chex Finer Foods, the addition of Roche Brothers Supermarkets and of course Europa Sports Products we can successfully appeal to everyone with an emphasis on the mainstream consumer, the mom especially who often controls what comes into the home. Finally, appealing to the person who can and will purchase a higher price point product, not just because they can but because it is worth it on so many different levels. Healthy for you is the number one priority because health is one thing you just cannot hang a price tag on.
Being healthy for you and having great flavor is the most difficult combination for a consumer to find, until now. It is usually one or the other right? My goal, with product development was to make my tag line 100% true; “THIS IS HOW HEALTHY SHOULD TASTE!” Because this is how healthy can taste if a company puts the work into it. We both know that when something is super healthy for you it usually comes with a taste disclaimer! Happy to say David has defeated Goliath in 2020! During the rebranding and the upgrading of ingredients to artificial ingredient free status I knew I was taking a risk. However I also knew that I would not release a “better” product unless it was truly a better product through and through. If Hank’s Protein Plus didn’t check all of the boxes that I set for myself I would have taken a step back and just changed the logo and the packaging. The product would have gone back to the way it was. God has blessed me with a characteristic of perseverance with just about any task that is in front of me.
In this industry I believe one has to separate oneself from the pack. I think of our nut butter spreads as a crafted food. I invented an 8 step process that no one else uses, so it takes a little longer but it is so worth it. All of the others mass produce their nut butters using the same 3 step process on the same high speed equipment. We could do the same but we choose not to, because Hank’s would no longer be Hank’s. Our earthy, wholesome texture and amplified on-point taste unique to the industry (and that we have always been known for) would take on a different look, feel and texture. Standing alone is one of the benefits of separating ourselves from the pack. We persevered, we weathered many storms. Over time and with more exposure, as our brand gains more and more traction, you the consumer will come to experience exactly what I am talking about.
It truly is a lot of work, a lot of hours, a lot of ups and a lot of downs. But all of the work, the time is so worth it when you, the buyer have a choice and you choose Hank’s Protein Plus. You have put us on the map and only you can move us to the different parts of the country. In the end I will always to listen to you our fans and supporters and soon to be fans and supporters. I will do my due diligence and to come up with new ideas, new products, new flavors using only the best ingredients and never ever compromising the integrity of the product, the company or of myself.