Cheetos challenger PeaTos claims world’s first Non-GMO Verified junk free status

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

PeaTos is on a mission to make 'junk free' snacks that consumers can feel good about - both for themselves and the planet. Pic: PeaTos
PeaTos is on a mission to make 'junk free' snacks that consumers can feel good about - both for themselves and the planet. Pic: PeaTos

Related tags Peatos PepsiCo Frito-Lay Cheetos Funyuns Non-gmo project verification Junk food plant-based

Four SKUs from the California better-for-you brand – renowned in snacking circles for challenging PepsiCo Frito-Lay’s category monopoly – have passed independent authentication to bear the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal.

The pea-based treats – Crunchy Onion Rings, Crunchy No-Cheese Curls, Crunchy Fiery Curls and the all-new Crunchy Pizza Rings – have undergone extensive independent testing and verification to become Project NON-GMO Certified.

The four will now bear the coveted seal, which is recognised by consumers to offer assurance that best practices have been followed to avoid the inclusion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Non GMO Project Verified

Since its introduction in 2019, PeaTos has experienced explosive growth and received widespread acclaim, thanks to its enigmatic founder’s disruptive approach​ in challenging in so-called junk snacks like Cheetos and Funyuns.

“PeaTos continues to revolutionise the snacking category by offering the same great tasting classic snacks that American grew up on, but with plant-based nutrition and none of the junk,”​ said PeaTos founder Nick Desai.

“Moms love PeaTos because they mimic old school snacks like Cheetos and Fun-yuns, but without all the scary ingredients. Now PeaTos are the world’s first Non-GMO Verified Junk Snack.”

PeaTos product

David and Goliath

PeaTos Founder, CEO Nick Desai (1)
Nick Desai

According to Desai, the snacking category has been monopolised by one player for decades, which has substantially constricted consumer choice. In fact, the Los Angeles-based producer even claims that “consumer choice at the retail level is an illusion.”

He set up PeaTos in 2019 to challenge the PepsiCo subsidiary’s dominance – garnering the attention and backing of investors like Post Holdings; Carlos Barroso, former head of Global R&D for PepsiCo; Carl Lee, former CEO of Snyder Lance; and Apu Mody, past president of Mars Food.

Throwing down the gauntlet in a classic David vs. Goliath battle, Desai’s approach has been to bridge the gap between the cravable stimulation of junk food and better-for-you nutrition, specifically fingering Frito-Lay’s Cheetos and Funyuns.

PeaTos replaces the traditional corn base with nutrient-dense peas, noting artificial and now no diary for treat that offers twice the protein and 3x the fibre of the leading salty snack counterparts.

The company uses proprietary methodology to replicate the dairy and finger-licking sensory experience of popular snacks, using only 100% plant-based ingredients. The result is a snack to feel good about – both for people and the planet – without losing the full ‘junk food’ enjoyment. The company is a member of  social media platform We Won’t Have Time, which seeks to reduce climate impact and promote an ecologically sound environment

PeaTos is available at more than 7,000 retail outlets, including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Sprouts, CVS Health and H-E-Band, as well as online and on Amazon.

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