We bring you another up-close look at one of our proudly Filipino brand partners, Jennifer Tan of Founding Farmers, a startup that is taking snacking to a more meaningful level, without sacrificing our craving for that kick and bite that only junk food can give.
1. When did your passion and interest for vegetable-based snacks begin?
Growing up, we would always be asked to eat more veggies. But similar to most kids, it was not the most appetizing meal to have. However, the sentiment towards vegetables switched gradually when our mom shared to us some fried vegetable chips from China, specifically it included ampalaya (bitter gourd) which we found interesting to eat as a substitute for our normal junk food. With age, we became more health conscious (have to manage those LDL levels!) but still don't want to let go of our snacks and junk food. This reminded us of our childhood memory on how our snack cravings can be satisfied without compromises on the taste (that crunch!) yet not digesting all those sodium, preservatives and trans fat! There are all sorts of healthy snack options, wherein some are mashed into chip like while others lack in taste. That's how we founded Founding Farmers, to address our cravings for a more genuine product.
2. What inspires you about creating your snack range?
To a certain extent, it's the lack of choices in the market that are accessible to consumers. Moreover, being snack lovers ourselves, the platform allows us to be selective on the manufacturing process as well as ingredients that provides essential nutrients (i.e. A cup of edamame provides 17g of protein which is more than double of what you get on a cup of oats)
3. How do you choose your brand partners? What are the common values you embrace?
We admire most of our brand partners as they impart the same goal which is to be intentional in the products that we purchase and eat. Promoting a healthier lifestyle and making things more accessible so that consumer can make a better choice on their lifestyle
4. Tell us what makes your veggie crisps unique, compared to imported variants.
We really like the fact that the original form of the vegetables remain intact. Our team really made the site visits to ensure that the production facility is at par with international standards, verified with certifications such as HACCP and GMP. Interestingly, our ingredient sources are also used by Australian and US brand companies that we see in the market. Hence, we find comfort in the integrity of our products when we say it's gluten free, trans fat free and cholesterol free.
5. Are the nutrition benenfits dried/dehydrated veggies the same as cooked ones? Please help us learn more about their benefits.
We used vacuum frying technology for cooking because frying at low temperature allows the oil not to decompose so readily, therefore carcinogens are less present and the process (low temperature/high pressure) makes the vegetables superbly crisp. Studies indicate that this process retains more nutrients compared to traditional frying. The process of dehydration doesn't require oil, which makes it healthier, however, it doesn't result in the same crisps as how you'd want to munch on snacks. We try to find the balance in both since we want to deliver nutritious snacks without compromise on taste (including the crispiness)
7. What are your dreams for your brand?
Our vision for Founding Farmers is to be the preferred brand for Better-For-You snack brand that provides healthy snack alternatives to the ever growing discerning consumer throughout Asia & beyond. We hope to collaborate & engage with like-minded individuals & companies to expand our brand & product awareness reaching the consumers who desires a lifestyle that is better for them.