New Salty Snack Satisfies America’s Growing Appetite for Plantain Chips
Move over potato chips! There’s a new plant-based salty snack in our midst that’s gaining traction with Americans and it’s made from bananas — more specifically, plantains, a variety of banana that’s loved around the world and gaining well-deserved popularity in the U.S.
America’s salty snack lovers are broadening their taste preferences, and recent research1 suggests that plantain chips could be the next salty snack sensation. Barnana®, a sustainable snacks company, recently fielded a national consumer survey to gauge mainstream America’s knowledge about plantains as it introduces its newest chip, Organic Plantain Crisps. The national survey revealed that while potato chips may still be America’s favorite, with 87% of Americans finding them at least somewhat appealing, plantain chips are a contender at 42%, far ahead of kale chips at 27%. Younger adults are even more enthusiastic, with plantain chip appeal jumping to 55% among 18-34-year-olds, versus potato chips at 84%.
Plantains are an incredibly versatile fruit, used in countless ways globally, said Caue Suplicy, Barnana’s Founder. Our new Organic Plantain Crisps are a savory, crispy, layered chip perfect for Americans who love potato chips but seek something new that’s made from ingredients that are better for you and better for the planet. If you’ve ever tasted a tostón (also known as a patacón in Ecuador), a beloved and popular snack in Latin America, you’ll be familiar with the unique taste experience in-store from our new Crisps.
A common misperception about plantain chips is that they will be sweet because many plantain products on U.S. grocery shelves and served in restaurants use fully-ripe plantains that contain more natural sugar, giving them a sweeter flavor profile. Barnana’s plantain chips, including the new Organic Plantain Crisps, are savory because they’re made from organic green plantains which are rich in resistant starch that has not yet converted to sugar. They’re sliced, gently fried in 100% organic coconut oil, mashed until they’re even thinner, then fried again to create a unique, flaky, and layered texture.
While taste is still the top driver in snacking choices, nutrition is a factor in plantain chips, according to the survey, as Americans look for better-for-you options. Barnana’s Organic Plantain Crisps are made with only whole foods; the Sea Salt flavor is made from organic green plantains, organic coconut oil, and sea salt and the Garlic flavor is made with the same three ingredients plus organic garlic. Each variety contains 0 grams of sugar per serving and the crisps are gluten-free, grain-free, and Paleo-friendly.
Americans are embracing foods from all around the world and that includes plantains. Barnana’s survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans (71%) enjoy trying foods from different cultures. This is especially true for younger Americans as 76% of those 18-34 look to try foods from other cultures, compared to 65% of those 55+. This penchant for expanding food choices helps explain the survey finding that nearly one-quarter (23%) of Americans buy plantains or plantain products at least once per month, with 37% of younger Americans, those 18-34, purchasing them at that frequency.
Barnana’s Organic Plantain Crisps will also appeal to the growing number of people, sometimes called planetarians, who eat foods that leave a lighter footprint on the planet; or anyone who is trying to eat more sustainably to help reduce global environmental and social justice problems within the food system. They fit in perfectly with the growing demand for plant-based snacks.
We work with hundreds of small farmers in Ecuador, many of whom are indigenous people, to grow organic plantains using regenerative farming practices that rebuild and restore soil biodiversity, said Suplicy. As a Certified B Corporation, it’s critical to us that our snacks not only taste great, but that they are produced in a socially-just, environmentally sustainable way.
Barnana’s Organic Plantain Crisps in both Sea Salt and Garlic flavors will be launching on National Banana Lovers’ Day, August 27, on Amazon and Barnana.com and then will be available at retailers including Whole Foods in mid-September. The suggested retail price is $4.99 for a 4.0-ounce package.
Barnana’s mission is to provide innovative, healthier, delicious, banana-based snacks while minimizing its impact on the environment. Barnana is a certified B-Corporation, dedicated to deepening its partnerships with family farmers and indigenous communities in the Amazon. In July 2021, it formally acquired its longstanding Ecuador operations, partner, to share financial benefits and training resources, ensuring the availability of a steady supply of premium-quality, organic banana varieties for its growing product portfolio. Since its inception, Barnana has upcycled over 100 million bananas as a base for lightly-sweet Banana Bites and Cookie Brittle and 26 million plantains for its Ridged Plantain Chips and Plantain Tortilla Chips. Barnana products can be found at Kroger, Costco, CVS, Whole Foods, Safeway, and online at Amazon and Barnana.com.