Making its debut at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago later this month, Awesome Organics comprises two product lines, This Popcorn is Awesome and This Chip is Awesome.
This Chip is Awesome are popcorn chips that are made with non-GMO Project Verified whole-grain corn and also contain whole quinoa, flax seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. It is available in a four-ounce sharing format ($2.99) and one-ounce single serve ($1.49) in three flavors: Salty Sweet Kettle; Aged White Cheddar, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
This Popcorn is Awesome ($3.99) contains more than 22g of wholegrains and is available in four flavors: Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Sea Salt; White Cheddar; Black Pepper; and Truffle Oil.
Branded and private-label production
Brooklyn-based Snack Innovations, which produces air-popped potato stick Smart Fries in addition to private-label lines, launched in 2009 and has since seen production capacity increase 10-fold.
Chief executive Allen Benz told BakeryandSnacks he expected a further surge in growth following the launch of Awesome Organics.
“The biggest upcoming trend I see in popcorn is more indulgent forms of popcorn snacks, and popcorn in the form of a chip,” he said. “Specifically, wholegrain non-GMO popcorn chips that offer more health benefits.”
Tapping key consumer trends
Benz added that the new products tapped three key consumer trends - organic, wholegrains and superfood ingredients.
“Organic products are on trend now and experiencing explosive growth over the past year,” he said. “Organic yellow wholegrain corn that’s also non-GMO project verified has only now become available to us for use in our process for making popcorn chips.”
Increased product development
The US represented more than half the global popcorn market in 2013 [Euromonitor]. Ready-to-eat popcorn accounted for two-thirds of those US sales, according to Benz, who added that increased product development such as new flavors and packaging had helped grow penetration.
“More people have started buying popcorn and in larger quantities and more frequently,” he said. “The analysts forecast the global popcorn market to grow at a CAGR of 7% during the period 2016 to 2020.”
And with consumer demand for Snack Innovations products growing, one of the company’s biggest challenges is space and capacity at its Brooklyn factory.
The site – which is GFSI, BRC and Kosher Certified – currently operates three production lines, and the company is looking to add 80% more production capacity by the end of this year.