As a very small start-up company PLANT SNACKS suffered losses of over $1.5 Million dollars over each of the last 3 years in an attempt to create a broad allergy friendly nutritionally dense snack for the market. In addition to these operating losses, we were subject to a frivolous California Prop 65 dispute. We spent over $250,000 in legal fees trying to battle the Prop 65 dispute. Faced with endless legal costs to defend ourselves and our retail grocery store partners our only course of action in order to survive as an entity was to reformulate and stop the legal fee hemorrhage. This reformulation change was forced upon us…we had no option. Unfortunately, in our testing, there is no product with high levels of cassava that is allowed under Prop 65 regulations. We expect many cassava-based products will reformulate over the next 12-36 months in order to keep lead levels under Prop 65 limits.
After over a year of research, trials, product testing, and competitor product testing, we came to the conclusion that it is impossible, given the current constrained global cassava flour supply, for any cassava flour-based chip to be compliant with California Prop 65 standards. The lead levels in the global cassava flour supply, while safely within FDA’s guidance, are outside of Prop 65 safe harbor levels. As a root vegetable, cassava absorbs minerals and elements from the soil. We tested cassava sources from South America, Asia, and Africa. All had lead levels above Prop 65 limits, thus our reformulation. After we came to this conclusion, we performed an exhaustive search and trialed alternate flours to use, and honestly, the resulting products ended up being a healthier and more delicious than our previous product lineup.
We are excited to announce the launch of our new packaging and reformulated products. Our products will remain vegan, dairy-free, free of the big 9 allergens (sesame, wheat, milk, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, and egg), gluten-free (certified by the GFCO), kosher, free of added sugars, and Non-GMO Project Verified. Our product blend now contains corn, pea and mushroom ingredients that are more expensive than just cassava flour.
Therefore, with this relaunch, we are moving away from using only cassava flour in our base chip, to our own flour blend – resulting in a tastier and more functional snack with the additional benefits of protein, fiber and vitamin D. The updated packaging is bright, modern
and eye-catching. Our Cassava Root Chip line (5oz) has been rebranded as Plant Thins™, and our Restaurant Style line has been rebranded as Tortilla Chips.
We sincerely apologize to those sensitive to corn, pea and mushroom ingredients and those loyal to our old cassava formulation.
Feel free to contact us with any questions, let us know what you think, or just drop a line to say hello.
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