“I came up with this snack after learning more and more about this problem: Americans have some serious habits that need to be broken,” said founder and managing partner of the company, Frank Guido. “My solution is snacks do not have to be junk food.”
Launched in August last year, NutteeBean’s fava beans are cooked in expeller-pressed, high oleic sunflower oil from California and are available in three flavors: wasabi and ginger; chili and lime; and salt and vinegar.
Produced and packed in a dedicated fava-only facility that is guaranteed nut-free, they are flavored with food powders, such as powdered ginger, spinach and horseradish, rather than flavorings, and each bean also has a ‘hand-trimmed husk’ that forms a belt around the fava bean.
Florida-based NutteeBean claims that it is the only company selling whole roasted fava beans in the US market. According to Guido, Favalicious is “a globally inspired snack” with much inspiration for the product coming from the food he saw during travels to Bolivia, China, the Middle East, and Europe, where fava beans – also known as broad beans – are common.
“Bringing a new product that was part of other heritages and traditions […]and introducing a unique proposition to a consumer audience is a risky task,” Guido said.
“We took this product and tooled it towards a snack that could be flavored for US consumption and made an innovative’ healthy alternative to traditional - and not so healthy - snacks that fits with today’s lifestyle, nutrition needs.”
Although NutteeBean said the product was formulated for a wide consumer base, its target consumer-base is children.
One bag of NutteeBean contains 14 grams of protein while a 7g serving provides just under 37% of the recommended protein intake for children aged four to nine and just over 20% for nine- to thirteen-year-olds.
PepsiCo Greenhouse success
The start-up, which so far has been entirely self-financed, caught judges’ attention at FoodNavigator-USA’s FOOD FOR KIDS summit last November where it was selected as a runner-up in the annual trailblazer challenge, but its ‘big break’ came this year when it was chosen to take part in the 2020 PepsiCo North America Greenhouse program.
The program, which supports emerging food and drink entrepreneurs, provides the 10 selected companies with mentoring on key issues such as marketing, distribution, manufacturing, supply chain, packaging, and label claims while one winning company will receive additional $100,000 in funding to further scale its business.
“Being accepted in the program gives us the affirmation, validation, and confidence that we have made the right decisions and postured ourselves to become a brand of the future,” Guido told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Bringing a new product of any kind to the market, not just a snack, is a journey with lots of challenges and risks. Being selected by the premier snack company in the world and being in their 2020 PepsiCo North America Greenhouse program […] helps confirm that we are on track and that we are getting noticed.”
NutteeBean has been selling for over one year via its website and in 2020 is aiming to expand into grocery and convenience channels. Other milestones for 2020 will include launching new flavors and package sizes.