Startup Spotlight

Myna Snacks targets gamers as stepping stone to everyone ‘behind screens’

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

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Contrary to popular belief, not all video-gamers are happy to chug energy drinks and devour junk food for fuel – rather most eSports enthusiasts want convenient, tasty snacks that will not compromise their competitive edge by compromising their health.

The same can be said for the 88% of Americans who, according to recent research, eat in front of a screen, where they spend an average of 7 hours and 4 minutes a day.

To help usher in a “new era of health, flavor and fun with snacks for the digital age,” CPG industry veteran Darcey Macken and the No. 1 female Twitch streamer Pokimane (aka Imane Anys) recently launched Myna Snacks, a better-for-you snack brand created for consumers of all ages who spend a significant amount of time in front a screen – either for fun or work.

Gamers want healthy options to support mental, physical demands of eSports

“When people think of gaming or eSports,” they imagine someone “down in a dungeon online streaming. Well, that is not really the case … we are all gamers in different ways. If you are playing a game while you are watching TV on your phone, that is gaming, so it is defining or understanding multiple screen-types of gaming,” which significantly broadens the consumer base, Macken said.

She also dismissed the myth that gamers or people eating in front a screen only want junk food.

“We did a lot of research with this audience, and what is amazing is … I learned more about what they do not want,” which is caffeine that will make them jittery or snacks that were messy and could cause crumbs to fall into their keyboard, she said. Rather, they want sustained energy that keeps them full and supports their focus, and they want products that will not make their body “feel bad.”

Myna offers clean snacking options

Based on these insights, Myna plans to create a line of snacks that are clean – both in terms of what is in them and how they are consumed, as illustrated by its inaugural launch of Midnight Mini Cookies, which are dark chocolate with white chips and sea salt and which Macken says anyone can feel good about eating any time of day.

Macken said that everything the brand creates is gluten-free, grain-free, non-GMO and has added functionality, such as vitamin D, “because we are all sitting inside a little bit more.”

But even more important than a product with a clean label is a snack that tastes great, she said. Which is why Myna uses a “premium” gluten-free flour blend that is not gritty, and coconut sugar and agave for sweetness that will not cause energy spikes.

Gamers are a gateway to all snackers

Even though Myna is gluten-free and co-founded by an online gamer, Macken says the brand represents much more and has a broader appeal.

She explains that is why even though the brand’s initial go-to-market strategy will focus on the online gaming community of which her co-founder is a part, the company eventually will expand its campaign to anyone who wants to snack without feeling guilty.

“We just want to be that go-to snack for all day snacking, especially for those that are behind screens. And that is really where that positioning shifts because as we grow our audience, we know we want to be mainstream,” Macken said.

“We know that the gamers in the world are buying snacks – it is a $25bn industry. So we start there. But then snacks is a $500bn global industry,” and that is where we want to be, she added.

She pointed to Clif Bar’s initial marketing strategy as a potential blueprint for Myna.

“They entered into [the market by targeting] that outdoor enthusiast. It was for hikers and bikers. … But now, as you know, it is massive and it is for everybody,” she said.

Myna will​ build a following online before moving to retail

Myna Snacks initially only sold its products online through – a strategy that emphasized quality over quantity.

By focusing on its own ecommerce site, Myna can learn from consumers what they like and do not like and earn their trust and loyalty by offering “extras,” such as free gifts and collectables that will keep them coming back, Macken said.

The information the company gleans from selling direct to consumers online will also help it tell a compelling story to retailers about why the brand should have valuable shelf space, Macken added.

Looking forward, Macken says she sees significant potential for Myna beyond its initial launch to include additional cookies or flavors as well as other center-store snacks.

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