SNAX-Sational broadens licensing capabilities in two-company merger

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

Vintage Italia's Pasta Chips combine semolina flour with Italian herbs for a snack similar to a pita chip but with 20% less fat. Pic: Vintage Italia
Vintage Italia's Pasta Chips combine semolina flour with Italian herbs for a snack similar to a pita chip but with 20% less fat. Pic: Vintage Italia

Related tags Snacks Sweets&Snacks Expo chips better-for-you Pasta Italy Wheat brand licensing Cookie Ferrero

Perfect Snax’ Snack Pop – the name behind Mrs. Fields’ and Butterfinger-flavored popcorn – has joined forces with the pasta-chip brand of Vintage Italia, to improve distribution and marketing.

The two brands have embarked on a permanent alignment to create ‘an effective blend of each company’s greatest proficiencies.’ 

According to the new company, called SNAX-Sational Brands, Vintage Italia’s experienced sales, finance and operations team will propel Perfect Snax into the next frontier – and split administrative costs in half.

Snack Pop / Candy Pop

“The combination immediately allows for more efficient execution on the operational, sales and logistics side of our business,”​ said Jerry Bello, CEO, SNAX-Sational.

"Now, as owners of category-defining brands and trademarks… we are in talks with many large brands who [desire] us to create a popcorn item with their brand and flavor profile.”

Snack Pop already works with Ferrero USA on a Butterfinger-coated popcorn (called Candy Pop) and with Mrs. Field’s on two cookie flavors (called Cookie Pop). Two 5.25oz bags run for an RRP of $7.98, available online.

“The innovation side of this is personally exciting to me, and we look forward to presenting to the market a continuance of fun flavor combinations,”​ added Bello.

Frank Florio, president and chief operating officer of the newly formed snack company, said to expect innovation and disruption from both Snack Pop and Vintage Italia.

Semolina snacks

Bello is also CEO and managing partner of KEEN Growth Capital, which has invested in several healthy snack and functional food startups, including Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle, Sneaky Pete’s Oat Beverage and Drink Chia Beverages.

Vintage Italia Bowtie Snacks

In 2005, he sold his biscotti brand Mamma Says to Nonni’s Foods, which took over and remodeled its manufacturing facility in the northeastern US.

Bello created Vintage Italia in 2013 as a better-for-you snack made with semolina flour and Italian herbs.

The pasta-shaped chips contain 60% less fat than the average potato chip and 20% less fat than pita chips, according to the company.

The flagship pasta chip, which resembles an unstuffed ravioli, features flavors such as Rosemary, Marinara, Alfredo, and Garlic Olive Oil. Veggie versions include Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper and Spinach, Broccoli & Kale.

A Goldfish-like bowtie chip offers more traditional snack flavors – Smooth Cheddar and Creamy Ranch – as well as modern takes like Honey Butter and Meatball Parm.

At the Sweets & Snacks Expo in May, Vintage Italia debuted its penne-shaped chip and a kids’ line licensed by Disney.

“The retailer response to these have been significant as the consumer is driving demand for better-for-you, innovative and fun snacking options,”​ said Bello.

"Our line of snacks based on pasta dough and pasta shapes is really creating a buzz, and we expect to continue developing our exciting and well differentiated offerings.”

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