A while back I was contacted by Jesse Koltes, COO at LonoLife about a new high protein bone broth noodle cup he was developing. Well, it’s done and here’s an interview I did about the products he’s got! They’re all high protein for those looking to add more of that essential to their diet.
Interview With LonoLife – United States
THE RAMEN RATER> Thank you for agreeing to this interview! To start, can you tell my readers about the history of LonoLife?
LONOLIFE> LonoLife was founded by a group of eight friends and entrepreneurs based in Oceanside, California. Most of the team has known each other for decades (some pairs even went to kindergarten together). Of the co-founders, Paul Taparauskas had the background in food R&D, and tinkered on the original concepts at home with his son and (and cofounder) Mark.
TRR> What was the first product you made?
LONOLIFE> The very first product we made was “soup in a kcup”. Mark and Paul’s ideas was that it would be really convenient if you could have a cup of soup made in your Keurig machine to soothe you when you were feeling sick. The original concepts are still for sale on our website. We eventually took a higher protein “bone broth in a kcup” to market for the official launch of business, and we’ve been in the powdered bone broth business ever since.
TRR> Tell us about your noodle products – instant, but using egg noodles?
LONOLIFE> We are broth guys first and foremost so the noodles were a challenge. We originally imported gluten free rice noodles from Asia (several years ago) and we just couldn’t get the taste to pop like we wanted it to. Even more traditional fried wheat noodles just did not give us the taste experience we were looking for. We eventually found the current cut length egg noodles, and the match with our broth was perfect. (Try it with a little siracha!)
TRR> Can you tell us about the varieties of noodles you make?
LONOLIFE> Right now we are only going with the egg noodle. I wouldn’t be surprised if we continue to seek innovation in the gluten free / low carb noodle space.
TRR> Where does the name ‘LonoLife’ come from?
LONOLIFE> Lono is the Hawaiian god of peace, prosperity and wellness. When we were starting out, we really wanted something to captured the healthy lifestyle we were interested in promoting. Several team members have family from and currently living in Hawaii who inspired the choice.
TRR> What are the benefits of bone broth vs boullion?
LONOLIFE> Generally speaking bone broth is much, much higher in protein and bouillon. Bouillon itself is often combined with another protein source, whereas bone broth itself is the protein source, which makes it great for drinking by itself, or combining with noodles for a complete meal. If you
compare the labels, lots of bouillons are also full of hard to pronounce exotic ingredients, that bone broth suppliers like LonoLife avoid.
TRR> In what countries are your products available?
LONOLIFE> Primarily the United States right now. We have periodically exported to South America and the Caribbean but at the moment, the vast majority of sales come from the states.
TRR> How does your noodle making process differ from other noodle manufacturers?
LONOLIFE> The two things that stand out in our noodles are that they are egg noodles and that they are cut. Neither aspect is commonly available in American noodle cups right now, but we think the ease of spoon eating cut noodles is a huge upgrade over longer noodles. The egg noodles also add a nice heft to the experience that we don’t feel other instant noodles can match.
TRR> Are noodles the only products you make?
LONOLIFE> No! Our primary product are bone broth stick packs. Consumer rip, the stick pack, pour into water, and drink the bone broth straight, like a coffee replacement. The noodle cups are our first foray into a meal.
TRR> A lot of people are concerned with their sodium intake. How would you recommend people enjoy your product as part of a healthy meal?
LONOLIFE> We do offer low and reduced sodium options of our stick packs, which if you have your own noodles, can be a great way to enjoy LonoLife.
TRR> Are you involved in in your local community or participate in charities?
LONOLIFE> Yes, LonoLife donates product to our local food bank, a North County San Diego organization called Got Your Back, as well as many other small events that need help raising funds. This year we also partnered with the nationwide non-profit organization Blessings in a Backpack to raise much needed funds to help provide elementary school children food on the weekends who otherwise might go hungry. This year with the COVID-19 situation and school children not being in school, the need was just that much greater. Basically, it’s hard for LonoLife to say “no” to any organization who needs our help-and we are particularly interested in helping kids whenever we can.
TRR> Are there any new products coming soon?
LONOLIFE> I’m exhausted from developing this noodle cup! In all seriousness, making a noodle cup was a lot harder than I would have guessed. It’s been on my plate for several years. We have some new parts of the soup aisle that we think we could play in, but I’m not going to think about that until my team lets me go on vacation.
TRR> When you make noodles for yourself, what do you like to add to them to make them extra special?
LONOLIFE> The number onE addition is good old fashioned Sriracha. That kicks it up for me, and goes with the egg noodles really well. A slightly odder addition is Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce. It goes well on everything, but if you combine that, a poached egg, and some Sriracha – heaven!
THE RAMENRATER> Thank you very much for this opportunity to learn about LonoLife and your products!