Day Out
Day Out protein balls help to fuel you with good-for-you ingredients while maintaining super busy schedules. Day Out is the snack that you can rely on day in and day out. 
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Under The Hood: Becky From Day Out

Where did the idea for Day Out originate and what made you feel so passionate about it?

Becky: The idea for Day Out originated from my experience as a pharmacist traveling frequently for my job. After college, I worked for a Pharma company, and my job required me to travel constantly. I found myself eating quick, on-the-go food from airports and gas stations, like protein bars that were marketed as healthy. 

Despite these ‘healthy’ options, I felt terrible and developed stomach issues. I realized that these foods, filled with gums, emulsifiers, and preservatives to make them shelf-stable, were not making me feel good in the long term. 

I needed a healthier, convenient travel snack that wasn’t messy. So, I started experimenting in my kitchen, creating bite-sized energy balls made with functional protein, superfoods, and easily-digestible carbohydrates for sustained energy. After many order requests from friends and family members, my husband encouraged me to sell them and we began at farmers markets as well as local gyms in New Jersey. The positive feedback and demand showed me that others needed this product too, fueling my passion and belief in Day Out.

How’d you go from creating the product yourself to outsourcing it to a third-party, and how did that process go?

Becky: Initially, we hand-rolled every single protein ball in a commercial kitchen. It was just my husband, myself, and anyone else we could find to help. We would spend hours rolling balls and end up with around a hundred bags, which would sell out in one day, and then we would have to do it all over again. We quickly realized we needed some automation. 

However, making protein balls in a ball format is surprisingly challenging compared to bars, which is why you see more protein bars in stores. After about a year of hand-rolling and searching for a solution, we finally found a machine that could help us automate the process. We purchased the machine ourselves and used it in a commercial kitchen, which allowed us to maintain control over the recipe, texture, and flavor to ensure it was as good as if we were hand-rolling it. 

This control was crucial for maintaining the homemade feel and quality of our product even as we scaled up.

What were the challenges and benefits of owning your manufacturing process right from the start?

Becky: Owning our manufacturing process right from the start had its challenges and benefits. We were completely in control of the product quality, ensuring it always felt homemade, which is crucial for maintaining the integrity of our brand. 

Initially, we sold our protein balls at local farmers markets and gyms, generating local buzz and building a core tribe of believers. This hands-on approach confirmed that people were looking for a product like ours, but it wasn’t scalable. 

As we grew, we faced the challenge of maintaining product quality while scaling production. Hand-rolling the balls was labor-intensive and time-consuming, so finding a machine to automate the process was essential. Despite the challenges, owning the manufacturing process allowed us to keep the texture, flavor, and overall quality consistent, which might not have been possible if we had outsourced production from the beginning.

What are the main challenges of running a food D2C business, especially in terms of inventory and supply chain management?

Becky: Running a food D2C business comes with several challenges, particularly in terms of inventory and supply chain management. One of the biggest challenges is forecasting how much product to make while keeping the shelf life in mind and projecting for growth and scale. 

We constantly send out emails to find new accounts and talk to buyers, and we can receive an order request that requires us to deliver a large quantity on short notice. 

This makes accurate projections crucial but difficult. Additionally, the supply chain can be a nightmare, especially after the pandemic. Ingredients that used to take two weeks to arrive were taking four, five, or even six weeks to get to our facility. Managing these lead times for every ingredient included in our product adds another layer of complexity.

Balancing inventory to ensure we meet demand without overproducing, while also navigating these supply chain issues, has been a delicate and ongoing challenge.

What are some of your favorite tools in your tech stack?

Becky: We use Shopify of course. For subscriptions, we use Skio because it is very user-friendly and customizable. This is especially important for us since we like to do limited drops and offer exclusive flavors, and we want our subscribers to be the first to know and have access to these. 

We also use Rebuy to enhance the website experience and Gorgias for customer service.

What’s something you didn’t expect to be true about building a brand?

Becky: One thing I didn’t expect to be true about building a brand is the incredible power of people backing a small business. People really want to see the small guys win, and I completely underestimated this. Growing up, I saw big food giants like Kellogg’s and General Mills as the benchmark, thinking that’s what we should strive to be.

Initially, we tried to appear like we had everything figured out, but looking back, that was a huge mistake. Once we started telling people that we were a small business trying to solve specific problems, the support was overwhelming.

People dropped everything to help us. They appreciated our mission and were rooting for us. Being transparent about our journey and challenges allowed us to build a loyal community. I’ve learned that people genuinely want to support the underdog, and this support has been invaluable in building our brand.

What is your long-term vision for Day Out, and what’s the dream for the brand?

Becky: Our long-term vision for Day Out is to become a go-to brand for convenient, healthy snacks that people can take with them wherever they go. We started as Protein Power Ball, which was limiting because it confined us to just protein balls. 

With our rebrand to Day Out, we embraced our mission to provide portable foods that are satisfying, convenient, and packed with functional ingredients. We want people to never have to leave their house without something healthy and delicious from Day Out. 

As we grow, we aim to expand our product line and continue to innovate, always keeping our customers’ needs at the forefront. The dream is to make Day Out synonymous with high-quality, on-the-go nutrition that fits seamlessly into people’s busy lives, no matter where they are.