Post subscribes to PeaTos’ bid to de-monopolise the junk snack category

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

PeaTos founder Nick Desai has dared to challenge Frito-Lay's dominance of the salty snacks category. Pic: PeaTos
PeaTos founder Nick Desai has dared to challenge Frito-Lay's dominance of the salty snacks category. Pic: PeaTos

Related tags Peatos Post holdings Frito-lay

An oversubscribed Series A3 funding round – led by Peebles and Honey Bunches of Oats maker Post Holdings – will enable revolutionary snack brand PeaTos to ramp up its mission in challenging Frito-Lay for a piece of the salty snack category.

The excitement generated by the funding round is evident that its stance is on the right track, claims PeaTos founder Nick Desai.

Since inception in 2019, the Los Angeles-based producer has maintained that choice at the retail level in the salty snack category ‘is an illusion’ – with massive dominance and an effective monopoly being exerted by one player.

“While the amount of money we raised is a rounding error to Frito Lay, we are extremely proud of this strong show of support from our investors, as well as retailers and consumers, who believe in our important mission,”​ said Desai.

Beyond Post, the brand boasts investment from other leading figures in the food scene, including 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. 

“Even in today’s challenging fundraising environment, there is still a strong demand for a compelling and unique brand promise.”

Cleaning up the snack category

PeaTos Founder, CEO Nick Desai (1)

PeaTos recently announced it had gained non-GMO certification – a first in what it coins the ‘junk snack’ category.

Desai maintains the snacks category has been monopolised by one player for far too long.

Frito-Lay, the American subsidiary of PepsiCo, was formed through the merger of Frito Company and H.W. Lay & Company in 1961. In 2017, the megalithic company was estimated to be worth $15.798bn, churning out mega brands like Lay's, Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, Cheetos, Sun Chips, Tostitos, Rold Gold, Funyuns, Walkers, Kurkure and Uncle Chipps.

However, not one to shy from adversity, Desai has met Frito-Lay head on – in fact, blatantly daring confrontation – with an approach that harks back to the David vs Goliath battle – designed to bridge the gap between the craveability of ‘junk food’ with snacks that are a nod towards the better-for-you trend.

To achieve this, PeaTos says it has replaced the traditional corn base with nutrient-dense peas for a unique snack experience that offers twice the protein and three times the fibre of other salty snack counterparts, without a hint of anything artificial.

“For too long, snackers have been led to believe that if a snack tastes good, then it must be bad for you, and that all better-for-you snacks taste like cardboard,”​ said Desai, adding that paradigm is outdated.

Times have changed

We can do it

“Cheetos were invented in 1948 and the times have changed.

“PeaTos is revolutionising the snacking category by incorporating better-for-you nutrition and plant-based nutrition into the same crunchy fun, flavour-forward, tasty promise of snacks modelled after Cheetos and Funyuns. It’s the holy grail of snacking.”

Taking the fight further, PeaTos is now challenging the ‘must-loved cheesiness’ of Cheetos by going 100% dairy-free, employing a proprietary methodology to replicate the dairy experience with plant-based ingredients. The result is an all-plant based, vegan snack that, it claims, still offers the finger-licking experience of America’s favourite snacks. 

“PeaTos has made great strides in a short time, demonstrating a real opportunity in the salty snack category for the same great ‘junk’ snack flavour and fun that America grew up on, but with 100% plant-based ingredients, better-for-you nutrition and none of the junk,” ​said Desai.

Proof of the pudding comes in distribution, and PeaTos is certainly racking up the footprint, rolling out into several hundred Walmart locations across the US.

The announcement follows PeaTos’ Q2 launch into several thousand CVS Health and HEB Texas store locations.

“We are ecstatic to introduce the PeaTos snacking experience to Walmart shoppers,” ​said Desai.

PeaTos is a member of social media platform We Won’t Have Time, which seeks to reduce climate impact and promote an ecologically sound environment.

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