“This is a natural extension and next step for our brand. As a leader in the trend around plant-based protein snacking, we have built up a lot of brand equity with our consumers and relationships in the industry,” and they agree that Biena is poised to repeat the success it saw with its flagship roasted chickpeas in the fast-growing puff space, Poorvi Patodia, founder and CEO of Biena Snacks, told FoodNavigator-USA.
She explained that while the better-for-you puff snack category is growing “very fast,” there is still “a gap in the market and unmet need” around taste and nutrition.
“For example, I have a 5-year-old who loves cheese puffs,” but she doesn’t like the taste of the better-for-you options on the market, Patodia said.
In addition, she noted, “nutritionally, we can see that the healthier puffs on the market today are a little bit better, but they are not significantly better. Many still contain rice or corn or protein-wise they have 3 or 4 grams, which is better than 2, which is what is in Cheetos, but it is not a win in terms of getting real nutrition into your body.”
Patodia believes her company’s new Chickpea Puffs can fill these gaps with 7 grams of plant protein and up to 40% fewer carbs than other puffed snacks per serving, and a clean ingredient deck that excludes rice and corn and uses natural juices for colors and no artificial ingredients.
Plus, she says, they “taste delicious” with a light, airy and melt-in-your-mouth texture that comes in a less conventional sphere shape, compared to the longer doodle form, for better “popability.” The initial line-up includes Aged White Cheddar, Vegan Ranch and Blazin’ Hot, “which is our take on the very popular Cheetos Flaming Hot, but without the artificial ingredients,” she said.
With these flavors, “you can now eat and get the taste experience of these puffed snacks you grew up with, but you can also feel really good about eating them because they actually have real nutrition and taste amazingly good. And they are clean,” she said.
While the puff’s nutritional profile will help set them apart from the competition, the line’s “light and positive” packaging will help the snack standout on a crowded shelf, said Patodia.
She explained that the cheery sun in the middle of the package surrounded by puffy clouds “really signal and communicate the lightness of this snack and its airiness.”
In addition, the soft pastel color pallet will help the bags stand out from other chip bags, which tend to favor bold primary colors that shout at consumers, rather than beckon them quietly, she said.
A new look
In order to create a sense of unity between the new and existing products in Biena’s portfolio, the company took advantage of the puff’s launch to redesign the look and feel of its roasted chickpea snacks, as well.
“We wanted to have a brand identity system that would work across multiple product lines, and on the one hand each product line needs to be distinct, but then we also want to have common visual elements across the products to really bring them together and show this as one grand platform that we are building,” Patodia explained.
The brand did this by carrying over the sun motif from the puff’s packaging to the existing roasted chickpea line. But unlike the puffs, the roasted chickpeas will feature a half rising sun that is divided so that the top half is a solid color block with a white font declaring the product flavor and the bottom is a window that shows the actual snack inside the pouch.
“The sun with the rays will become a visual asset that belongs to the Biena brand going forward,” and it represents “the hopefulness of a better future and a better tomorrow” that Biena as a brand wants to convey, Patodia said.
The roasted chickpeas’ packaging also retains along the bottom of the pouch the same colors that are used on the existing packaging to help bring consumers’ along with the redesign and also help them easily select the same flavors they have always loved, Patodia said.
The brand also streamlined the call-outs on the new packaging for a cleaner, more minimalist look. For example, the new bags dropped the fat reduction comparison claims that were featured on the old packaging – a move that also will help align the brand better with key diet trends, such as keto, which is reinforced with a keto certification on the single-serve bag of puffs.
By removing this claim, the brand was better able to focus on call-outs for protein and fiber, which Patodia says are key for today’s consumers.
“The changes make the communication hierarchy of the brand name, product name and flavor below that even easier to see so that the consumer can easily see the most important priorities,” she said.
Finally, the brand adopted a new tagline -- “Goodness That Wows,” in order to reinforce the idea that consumers don’t have to compromise taste or nutrition with Biena, said Patodia.
“The ‘wow’ is not just taste, but this idea that consumers are getting nutrition that they didn’t expect, as well, or vice versa that they thought they couldn’t have nutrition and expect it to taste so good,” she said. “This really is a key differentiating position for us, even though it is so simple.”