‘Holy Grail of snacking’ banks on mega plant-based trend and kid power

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

PeaTos is available in Classic Cheese Curls, Fiery Hot Curls, Classic Onion Rings, and the all-new Crunchy Pizza Rings. Pic: PeaTos
PeaTos is available in Classic Cheese Curls, Fiery Hot Curls, Classic Onion Rings, and the all-new Crunchy Pizza Rings. Pic: PeaTos

Related tags Peatos plant-based women empowerment PepsiCo Frito-Lay

PeaTos snacks – which founder and CEO Nick Desai claims ‘taste as good as Cheetos’ – is capitalising on the mega plant-based trend, along with a bold updated look featuring the new face of PeaTos, ‘sassy’ female character, DJ_P that it hopes will win big with kids.

Since its introduction in 2020, PeaTos has experienced explosive growth, in part driven by the highly public ‘David and Goliath battle’ waged against PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay. PeaTos claims it offers the flavour and fun of so-called junk food snacks like Cheetos and Funyuns, but with the benefit of better-for-you nutrition.

“Despite the growth in the better-for-you snack category, the market still remains dominated by Frito-Lay,”​ said Desai.

“But PeaTos takes snacking to the next level as more consumers convert to our unique approach – one that delivers on the taste and comfort food nostalgia of America’s favourite snacks, but without all the artificial junk.”

Challenging the status quo, PeaTos replaces the traditional corn base with nutrient dense peas and uses only all-natural, non-GMO ingredients – nothing artificial. Each serving has 2x the protein and 3x the fibre of its contemporaries, along with less calories, fat, sodium and no dairy.

Furthering its mission to revolutionise the $29bn salty snack category, PeaTos has announced it capitalising on the mega plant-based trend.

“For decades, the category has been dominated as a monopoly by PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay, meaning consumer choice at the retail level is an illusion,”​ said Desai, who is a panellist on BakeryandSnacks Healthy Snacking webinar, to be aired on 26 May.

“But those days are over – consumers no longer need to sacrifice taste for nutrition. PeaTos is the only brand to make good on the dream of bridging the gap between junk food taste and better-for-you nutrition.”

Winning big with kids

A recent consumer study showed the brand performs exceptionally well among families with kids: PeaTos households have almost twice the kids of Cheetos, Funyuns and Pirates Booty, and three times that of better-for-you brands like Hippeas.

“Kids are the toughest customers, and our research tells us kids love the taste and crunch of PeaTos. We’ve effectively put an end to snack-time negotiation with plant-based snacks that taste just like the leading junk food snacks. Kids can’t tell the difference and parents love them, too.”

“It’s the Holy Grail of snacking,”​ said Desai.

The brand is hoping its attention-grabbing female ambassador will also win big with kids of all ages.

“While other better-for-you brands take a uniformly niche, nutrition-first approach, our new look reflects our unique fun and flavour first approach to snacking,”​ added Desai.

To support its new standout packaging, PeaTos is launching a 2022 marketing campaign consisting of in-store and trade promotions, consumer marketing, digital engagement and public relations.

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