As consumers’ preferences between healthy and permissible indulgences continue, brands are tasked with balancing flavor and ingredients that entice consumers across the snacking spectrum.
Joshua Chen, co-founder of Root Foods, explains that the vacuum-fried process cooks the vegetables at high temperatures and low pressure, preserving the flavor, color and nutrients, while maintaining familiarity for consumers who already recognize these whole vegetables in the produce section.
“These vegetables are very common; you can find them in every grocery store. Right when you walk in you see tomato, you will see zucchinis, you will see green beans. So really, these are just your daily vegetables. And what we're doing is we're turning into a crunchy [snack],” Chen explained to FoodNavigator-USA.
The family-owned company works with farmers in Vietnam who practice regenerative farming to sustainably source its vegetables, bridging the gap between nutrition and environmental health.
“This is my family business. My dad, my grandpa have been doing this for 30 years. We have a really good relationship with the local farmers in Vietnam. We have been working with them for more than 20 years. They went from a tiny bedroom-size farm to now a few acres of just organic farms. We get our vegetables directly from them, they only grow for us. We use crop rotation so that the land will naturally regenerate its nutrients without having to use any chemical pesticides or without any plant food,” Chen elaborated.
During the show, the brand launched its one-ounce pack as a grab and go option for consumers, Chen explained. Valued at $11.4 billion in 2021, the global fruit and vegetable chip market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% from 2022 to 2030, driven by consumers’ preferences towards convenient, healthy and clean snacks.
Complementing these trends is the 2023 USDA study, which found that individuals’ emotional wellbeing were improved after consuming more whole vegetables, creating more opportunities for brands to develop innovative cognitive-boosting and nutritional snacks.