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Why This Company Decided Not to Hide its Biggest 'Weakness'

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This story appears in the July 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Most protein bars have an image on their wrapper. Gatorade, PowerBar and Nature Valley show the food itself, often coated in chocolate. Clif Bar shows a rock climber. But Exo's packaging is minimalist, with no image. That's because its founders feared drawing too much attention to its special ingredient: crickets.

Exo

It's not as if Exo hides anything -- "cricket powder" is on the package, though in a smaller font than "protein bar." But when it launched last year as part of a boomlet of cricket-selling startups, nobody knew what Americans would swallow. So Exo was understated. Then paleo diet and CrossFit enthusiasts embraced crickets, Exo netted $4 million in Series A financing and Exo became a leader in this burgeoning industry.

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