“People with feeding tubes have been told that formula is their only option for decades. That simply isn’t true anymore,” said Julie Bombacino, Co-Founder & CEO of Real Food Blends.
Chesterton, Indiana (PRWEB) September 23, 2015
Julie Bombacino is proof that necessity really is the “mother” of all invention. The Northwest Indiana mom set out to find more natural and nutritious meal options for her young tube-fed son AJ and a couple of years later she and her husband Tony ended up launching Real Food Blends. Their company now makes 100% real food meals for people with feeding tubes and is changing the way tube-fed children and adults eat.
AJ failed many different formulas, most of which got the bulk of their calories from corn syrup, when he was put on a feeding tube at six months old. That’s when Bombacino started experimenting with pureeing and blending various whole foods at home to feed him through his feeding tube. She knew she was on to something when she saw AJ’s dramatic improvements with less vomiting, better sleeping and general attitude. But cooking, blending, preparing and storing safely took a lot of time (and money); and leaving the home was difficult. She needed a solution that was simple, natural and safe. So Julie and her husband Tony created one: Real Food Blends. A road-trip to Disney World, and all the associated work and inconvenience of blending on the road, was their “ah-ha” moment to create a line of pre-packaged, real food meals for people with feeding tubes.
“AJ’s reaction to real food wasn’t an anomaly. We all know that eating a whole food, variety-rich diet is better for the body than only processed food”, said Julie Bombacino, Co-Founder & CEO of Real Food Blends. “People with feeding tubes have been told that formula is their only option for decades. That simply isn’t true anymore.”
Thanks to their passionate community of “raving fans”, growing support of registered dietitians, expanded insurance coverage and great partners, in it’s first full year of operation, Real Food Blends will surpass $1Million in sales in 2015 and is positioned for exponential growth in the months ahead. The company is making real food a convenient option for tube-fed people of all ages and is just beginning its disruption of the $5 Billion U.S. enteral nutrition market.
“The digital economy and social media ecosystem enabled us to utilize many different online platforms to communicate with tube-fed people directly”, said Tony Bombacino, Co-Founder & CMO of Real Food Blends. “Our company could not have existed and scaled so quickly without the Internet connecting thousands of tube-fed people and their caregivers. These are the people that first convinced Julie to give AJ some real food. It’s in no small part because of our shared experiences with our customers – and their passion and advocacy, that we have been so successful to date.”
A well-received crowdfunding campaign helped fund their first production run in early 2014 and additional top-tier angel investors soon followed. When insurance companies started covering the meals, the company attracted the attention of leading medical supply partners (DMEs), home healthcare companies and hospitals alike accelerating its growth and reach even more. The company continues to experience rapid growth and gain broader distribution daily, making their products readily available to meet the growing demand. Real Food Blends are available online via RealFoodBlends.com or Amazon.com and through a nationwide network of medical supplies and home healthcare companies.
In addition to three meal varieties of Orange Chicken with Carrots & Barley, Quinoa with Hemp & Kale and Salmon with Oats & Squash that include seven real ingredients, they also offer a Coconut Calorie Booster, an all-natural powdered nutritional supplement for those who need additional calories with minimal volume. A new meal option is planned to launch later this year as well.
Now at four years old, AJ, the company’s Chief Inspiration Officer, continues to thrive. For Julie and Tony, seeing AJ’s progress and hearing similar stories and testimonials from customers of all ages across the country is their true measure of success. One Real Food Blends customer, Brian Liebenow, an oral cancer survivor and Air Force veteran, really put things into perspective when he said, “It was just like eating a regular blended meal. Easy on my stomach and I felt completely satisfied. No nausea either. These meals will also be so vital to me when I’m traveling. Real Food Blends are easy to pack and shelf-stable, without needing refrigeration. Seriously, EVERY TUBIE NEEDS TO GO OUT AND BUY THESE BLENDS!”
ABOUT REAL FOOD BLENDS
Real Food Blends makes 100% real food meals for people with feeding tubes. Founded by Julie & Tony Bombacino after their tube-fed son failed commercially available formulas, tube-fed people of all ages are now able to easily enjoy real food without corn syrup, additives or preservatives. Real Food Blends are covered by many insurance plans and available nationwide through major medical distributors, home health care companies, RealFoodBlends.com and Amazon.com. Learn more at RealFoodBlends.com.