Nudie Snacks specialises in the development of snacks made from plants and vegetables such as lentils, corn and chickpeas, and its trademark Cauliflower Crisps won the Gulfood 2023 Innovation Award for Best Plant-based Product earlier this year.
In addition to the better-for-you snacking trend on a rapid rise in the region, Nudie Snacks Founder Tracey Hogarth believes there is also an opportunity for snack brands to cash in on an increasing demand for shareable snack packs.
“We already have smaller individual snack packs that are 22g each here, but we are seeing a real trend in the Middle East for sharing bags and bigger bags, because consumers are increasingly seeing snacking as a big part of occasions to gather,” she told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“So we’re looking to roll out our snacks in bigger packs moving forward here as well, probably 80g packs, and the major product that always does really well here is the cauliflower crisps, in Cheese and Caramelised Onion as well as Katsu Curry as the flavour really appeals to consumers here.
“The region is definitely seeing a huge increase in demand for plant-based, healthier and better-for-you snacks, so things like pulses, vegetable crisps, lentil crisps are all really gaining in popularity as well.”
The firm believes that the high vegetable content of its snacks is a big draw to consumers given the strong correlation between vegetables and healthier diets, and that there is little point in trying to cut consumers off from snacks no matter what the reason.
“Consumers will always be looking for snacks, but it’s just that now they want healthier snacks that can be enjoyed in certain amounts to give them that satisfaction yet still be better for them,” she said.
“So it's really important to create a market where they can still have their snacks, but these are not huge in calories or saturated fat or anything else harmful, and this is what we are trying to do.”
Nudie Snacks incorporates a strong upcycling element in the production of its cauliflower snacks, which also enables the firm to include high proportions of actual cauliflower in these.
“We use actual fresh cauliflower to make our crisps, utilising ‘wonky’ looking batches that would otherwise be destined for waste,” Hogarth added.
“So that is a plus in terms of the snacks being really sustainable, and gives us an additional unique edge as well.
“This also means that we have crisps with some of the highest proportions of vegetables used, as these contain some 40% fresh cauliflower.
“The same goes for many of our products such as the lentil chips which also have 40% actual lentil content, and the corn snack which is made from whole corn kernels.”
In addition to supermarkets, independent and specialty stores in the Middle East, back home in its stronghold of the United Kingdom Nudie Foods is ranged in major grocery stores such as ASDA and Whole Foods, as well as Holland & Barrett, Primark, and organic supermarket Planet Organic.