A purple snacks with a purpose
By Nithya CalebBusiness Operations Bake & Snack Food Purple corn Purplesful
Purplesful uses purple corn to create tasty treats. They’re available at Loblaws, and will be in Sobeys later this month. In an e-mail interview, Matthew von Teichman, the company’s founder and CEO, discusses his plans and aspirations.
When did you start Purplesful?
MT: Purplesful Snacking became a project of mine in 2020, and was brought to fruition in late February and early March of 2022. I’m a firm believer that it’s important to create products and brands that aren’t swayed or guided by profit for stakeholders solely, but are in fact generating profits to benefit a larger cause. The snacking sector is really comprised of a few corporations that don’t have much of a soul. They give back where possible, but giving is not a part of their DNA. Shoppers deserve the opportunity to shop mindfully, and to explore brands that go beyond simply providing a tasty treat. Purplesful popcorn not only explores healthy snacking, but it also addresses larger issues such as funding education, health and nutrition programs for the next generation of kids, by donating 25 per cent of all profits to charitable organizations supporting those causes.
What flavours do you offer?
MT: We currently offer Purplesful popcorn in two delicious flavours in our original family-sized packs-sea salt and vegan cheddar. All products are made using high antioxidant purple corn, and are non GMO, gluten free and have an unbelievable light and fluffy texture.
How are they unique to the marketplace?
MT: Purplesful Snacking is unique in the sense that we utilize a superhero ingredient in purple corn; we’ve ensured that both flavours are NON-GMO, 100 per cent plant-based and gluten-free, offering a healthy snacking option friendly to those with specific dietary needs and restrictions. Purplesful snacking also contains 0 g of trans fat and is created using whole grains only. This alternative to your regular popcorn and chip truly changes the game, as shoppers no longer have to sacrifice healthy eating for tasty and delicious treats!
What’s your mission statement?
MT: At Purplesful, our mission is to support underprivileged children through the sale of healthy snacking products. Through the sales of our popcorn, we’ll be donating 25 per cent of all profits, in hopes of creating an opportunity for all children to reach their full potential.
Why did you decide on using purple corn?
MT: I first discovered purple corn when I met a with a fantastic guy from Peru at the Natural Products show in California. He told me that he was a multi-generational farmer from the Andes, and was actually at the convention centre representing a group of farmers. While we were chatting, he shared a ton of information on what makes purple corn better than normal yellow corn nutritionally, and the other benefits that come from this ancient grain. That’s when I began to think about how this superfood ingredient can transform the snacking industry, and from there, the gears in my mind began to turn as I began thinking of how we can implement purple corn into a new and innovative snack. The added benefits of purple corn include higher levels of polyphenols. They’re packed with rich antioxidants and nutrients, while tasting out of this world. By using non-GMO purple corn, they’re naturally much smoother creating a far creamier taste, that doesn’t compare to anything currently on the market.
Where do you source your ingredients?
MT: We source our ingredients by partnering with local farmers from South America, who have been specializing in growing and cultivating purple corn for centuries. Once the ancient grain is harvested, it is then shipped to our facilities in Canada where we transform the product from kernel corn to popcorn! By partnering with local Peruvian farmers, we’re able to support stakeholders beyond simply our primary customers, investors and advisors.
What challenges did you face from concept to product launch?
MT: We’ve had loads of challenges, like every startup does. Most of the challenges have been around sourcing enough of the purple corn and then we had a lot of challenges getting the vegan cheddar flavour just right. I think we finally nailed it but it took a long time. Since our launch, we have the same struggles as most, balancing production with demand, getting the message out about what makes us different. All in all though, it’s been a great journey so far!
Where can consumers buy your products?
MT: At the moment, Purplesful Snacking is currently available at select Loblaws locations, independent grocers and natural food stores. Later this month, we will also be available across all Canadian Shopper Drug Mart locations and in Metro as well.
What are your future plans?
MT: We’re planning on making Purplesful a really meaningful business. We hope to raise $50 million in the next five years to support charities that help kids in underprivileged communities. To do that, we’ll be launching a lot more products, and getting our current products into the hands of many more individuals and shoppers. We’re also launching in the US this upcoming fall!
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