Written by Shazia Govindji • Published 18th April 2019 • 5 minute read
Gone are the days when vegan snacking equated to carrot sticks dipped in houmous, or a lonely piece of fruit. These days supermarket aisles are bursting with plant-based foods, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a café or restaurant without vegan options on the menu. With the market for meat-free set to reach £1.1bn by 2023 (according to Mintel), it’s no wonder businesses are jumping on the trend left right and centre. Snacking options are vast and full of innovation, ranging from coconut jerky and hazelnut butter cups, to quinoa crisps and roasted corn snacks.
We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 snack brands that we think are particularly impressive (not to mention delicious!), and stand out amongst the huge range of vegan products out there.
Founded in 2013 by nutritionist and paleo fan Suzie Walker, who still runs the business today, snack bar company Primal Pantry is on a mission to get people making better snacking choices. Its commitment is to produce products from high-quality, whole food ingredients, free from additives or unrecognisable ingredients. In this vein, the company has just launched their new range of snack-sized fruit and seed bars in four delightful flavours: Lemon & Poppyseed, Cocoa, Coconut and Orange & Ginger.
Crunchy corn brand, LOVE CORN, has created a range of gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free and high-fibre corn snacks. Roasted corn has apparently always been very popular in the Mediterranean & South America, but wasn’t as well known here in the UK, and as a result, the first premium roasted corn brand was born. Founded by Jamie McCloskey in 2016, the company has grown from a penniless start up into a thriving business, with products stocked across several major retailers. The three flavours available are Sea Slat, Smoked BBQ, and Habanero Chilli.
Sisters Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell set up Squirrel Sisters in November 2015, which started off as a blog the year before. The blog’s fast success led them to venture into the snack bar business, and today their products hold a remarkable collection of awards. Scrumptious and guilt-free, Squirrel Sisters only uses whole dates to bind and sweeten its products – they contain absolutely no syrups, pastes or sugar alternatives, and as such the company is certified by international certification authority Sugarwise.
Jerky might be one of the last foods that comes to mind when thinking about veganism, but with the rise in demand for protein-rich snacks, vegan jerky is turning out to be a hot trend in 2019. Mighty Bee have managed to bring together this unlikely pair, with their new range of certified-organic, preservative-free coconut jerky, which comes in three flavours: Spicy BBQ, Teriyaki, and Chocolate Hazelnut. The range is made from Thai coconuts, which they dehydrate and marinate to give them a chewy, meaty texture. Impressively, this NPD has come very soon after the company’s last innovation, Bananitos, which launched last year and is a unique solar-dried chocolate-coated banana bar.
Snack company Eat Real is based on three simple concepts: taste, nutrition and real ingredients. Its crisp-like snacks are free from artificial flavourings, colourings and preservatives, but certainly do not compromise on taste. The range is so vast that it seems the only thing they don’t create crisps from is potatoes. From Quinoa Chips to Veggie Bites, and Snap Pea Crunch to Cheezie Straws, Eat Real have found innovative ways to produce crisp-like textures and flavours from all sorts of surprising ingredients.
Set up by three university friends in 2007, Pulsin has gone from strength to strength and is now an award-winning snack brand, with a variety of ranges including protein bars, raw chocolate brownies, protein powders and organic snack bars. The bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, and contain non-GMO ingredients. The latest addition to Pulsin’s range is the Fruit & Nut bars, which contain 30% less sugar and twice the fibre of other similar bars in their category. Health is at the heart of the Pulsin brand, which is why these new bars have been cold-pressed to preserve nutritional value.
Rimi Thapar, creator of organic snack brand LoveRaw, is one of the few people to ever turn down an offer from the Dragons. She appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2017 looking for a £50,000 investment, but when Debra Meaden asked for a 30% stake in the business, Rimi decided to go it alone. Through her dedication and with a vision to spread her love of organic, healthy food, LoveRaw grew into a thriving success, branching out into plant-based milks and recently vegan butter cups. Creamy and indulgent yet virtually guilt-free, these come in Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Hazelnut Butter flavours.
Coconut snack brand Ape Snacks was the brainchild of 19-year-old university drop-out, Zack Nathan, who was disappointed that all ‘natural’ snacks seemed to be either dull, bland and tasteless or else packed with sugar. He was determined to create something both healthy and delicious to shake up the UK’s snacking aisles, and in 2016 launched Ape Snacks’ Lightly Salted Curls and Natural Bites. The latest addition to the product range is the Coconut Puffs, which come in Lightly Salted, Thai Chilli, and Cheese flavours. Last week the company acquired fruit and vegetable crisp brand Emily Crisps. Founded in 2013 by Emily Wong and her partner Ale Ascani, the business initially grew through a crowdfunding initiative. Today it is stocked in several major retailers and boasts a full range of flavours including Sweet Potato, French Beans & Edamame, Crunchy Red Apple, Fig Banana, and Pineapple. As well as being vegan, all products are gluten-free, kosher-certified, and free from all additives and preservatives.
Primarily a premium food supplement brand, Tom Oliver Nutrition launched its first chocolate protein bar range last May, which comes in six varieties: Coconut, Coffee, Caramel, Mint, Raspberry, and Orange. Founder Tom Oliver saw an opportunity to venture into the snack bar category when he noticed that most plant-based bars are often high in fruit sugars and low in protein content. By comparison, his product range promises to bring fresh, innovative, natural raw materials together to benefit overall health, and each bar contains 14g of protein.
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