Consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food options is on the rise in the US. According to the World Economic Forum, around 50% of Americans say they are actively trying to make healthy eating choices, but a culture of snacking may be getting in the way of the best intentions. This year alone, the US snack food market is valued at more than $108 billion.
BranchOut Food (Nasdaq: BOF) is a snack food company with a difference. Its fruit and vegetable snack products are processed using GentleDry, a disruptive technology that enables the company to deliver snacks that are packed with nutrition and boast intense flavor and perfect color.
BranchOut Food has established customers in grocery and convenience, it white-labels its products, and it is an industrial ingredients supplier. With this smart growth strategy, the company is achieving new revenue records each quarter.
We spoke to Eric Healy, BranchOut Foods’ CEO, to find out more.
BranchOut Food is aligned with a number of market trends, including consumer interest in ‘cleaner’ ingredients and healthy eating, the rise of flexitarian and vegan diets, and plant-based alternatives in response to growing awareness of the environmental impact of animal agriculture. We are well-positioned to address some attractive markets with our products. In 2023, the total US plant-based category was estimated at $8.0 billion, and the total US dried fruit category was valued at $1.2 billion. We also know that people love to snack, and part of our mission is to provide truly extraordinary, nutritious snacking options.
BranchOut Food prides itself on making a difference whenever possible. The equipment in our newly-constructed manufacturing plant in Peru runs on 100% carbon-free energy, and our dehydration process ensures the product is stable, reducing downstream spoilage and food waste. By removing the water from the produce we use, we’re able to lower the weight by 70-80%, making shipping more efficient with a lower carbon footprint. And the “ugly” fruit that never makes it to our bright grocery displays? BranchOut Food upcycles it, giving local farmers more income and reducing the environmental impact of food waste. We are also SMETA certified to ensure responsible and ethical sourcing.
Our GentleDry technology is fast, effective and truly disruptive. Using this technology, we can deliver fresh fruit and vegetable products that are completely different to the freeze-dried and air-dried products consumers are used to seeing in grocery stores. Freeze-dried fruits tend to be chalky, with muted color, while air-dried fruit become browned and sticky. Our GentleDry fruits and vegetables retain their color, 95% of their nutritional components and we’re able to customize the texture to be crunchy, chewy or marshmallow-like. They are delicious! We have an exclusive license to this technology.
Our South American factory is located in one of the world’s most abundant fruit and vegetable growing regions in the world. We leverage our vast network of local farmers to select the freshest raw produce close to the factory, which is then put through our GentleDry process and packaged immediately, locking in flavor and nutrition. By the time our products reach consumers in the United States, it has taken us just 10 days to create these wholesome snacks!
We’re very excited to be launching two new products – kids’ snack packs and salad toppers – in 2024. Fruit and vegetables don’t keep well in school bags, and we believe our kids’ snack packs will be a great way for parents to add healthy, tasty snack options to school lunch boxes. Our offerings will include carrot sticks, bell pepper crisps, banana bites and pineapple chips in convenient mini bags and with flavor locked in using our GentleDry technology. Our salad toppers will be available to add flavor, color and crunch to salads during 2024. Our initial offerings will include crispy avocado, crispy mandarin and crispy bell pepper.
We’ve worked really hard to get our products on grocery and convenience store shelves across the country for our customers to enjoy. BranchOut Food products are sold on our website, and at hundreds of stores including Costco, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Sprouts, with more coming this year.