Retail

Quevos On Finding A Niche Market In Better-For-You-Snacks

Snacks

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands are putting a new spin on old snacking favorites designed to appeal to health-minded consumers — and those with special dietary needs. Among emerging brands following this trend is Quevos, a startup that is making chips with egg whites. Quevos Co-Founder Zack Schreier told PYMNTS.com in an interview that his product is “a crispy crunchy chip about the size of a Wheat Thin in thickness and in the actual shape.”

Schreier, who co-founded the company with Nick Hamburger, said eggs were always good no-carb option for him and suited his dietary needs as someone with diabetes. He particularly liked the crispy flakes of egg whites that coated a pan after he made omelets. That crust, he realized, had a crunch that was similar to that of a chip. And he thought that if he made a chip out of that kind of food, he could have great no-carb or low-carb food that was unlike anything that those who have diabetes can access. But he soon realized that such a product had a larger market that that: It could appeal to people on, say, the Keto diet as well.

Schreier’s product comes as the overall better-for-you snack trend is growing, according to the co-founder, as Americans recognize that they have been eating mass-produced food that is lacking in nutrients, fiber and protein. “People are really latching on to this idea of fueling yourself with foods that are better,” Schreier said. And he thinks the trend is here to stay because it represents the right move for consumers. But, at the same time, he said that those on, say, a sustainable low-carb diet don’t want to give up the salty and crunchy food that they once enjoyed. That’s where his company comes in: “We’re really a chip for these better-for-you snackers that can’t otherwise fit chips in their diet.”

Some of these better-for-you-snacks also allow consumers to eat more of the foods they love. Schreier pointed to other companies in the market like Halo Top that have made ice cream more voluminous. That’s is, consumers can eat a whole pint of their ice cream and feel satisfied with only having a few hundred calories per pint. Schreier noted that the company taught him the importance of having a high-volume snack. For that reason, he is able to provide many more chips per serving than other kinds of chips.

The Egg White Chip

Schreier makes the chips with ingredients like egg whites, oil and fiber, which provides some of the physical strength of the chip. He said he tried to keep his chips as clean as possible, too, knowing that ingredients are important to health-conscious consumers today. He also seeks to make the product soy-free, gluten-free, lactose-free and nut-free to make it “open to as many audiences as possible.” And aside from having fiber, Schreier, noted, his snacks are also a good source of protein as well.

To offer his product to customers, Quevos has an eCommerce website and offers free shipping on multiple cases. Schreier also offers a subscription service and offers discounts to shoppers who choose that purchase option. (He also said he plans to discount a customer’s first subscription even more to give customers the opportunity to try the product at a low cost.) In addition, he said that subscriptions can help customers get snacks that they like without thinking about it: He noted that it’s hard for consumers to remember to keep snacks that they like in their lives. And, while Schreier said that he is only six weeks into selling online, he would like to focus on subscriptions now. “That’s really the key to having a sustainable eCommerce site,” Schreier said.

Beyond the site, Schreier has the products in some brick-and-mortar locations such as the quick-service restaurant (QSR) Freshii, Hyde Park Produce as well as coffee shops, gyms, health shops and some campus shops as well. “It’s a nice mix of locations,” Schreier said. He said the exposure lets him see how his product does in each type of location because each one provides a different audience. The goal of having the product in stores, in all, is to continue testing customer response to the product as Quevos keeps iterating and eyes a planned Kickstarter campaign.

The efforts by companies like Quevos suggest that better-for-you snacks are finding a market not only online, but in many different brick-and-mortar retail environments, as consumers hunt for healthier versions of the snack food that they love.

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