(l-r) Alka founder Amir Krenzia, Elephant squeezed pretzels and Banana Joe's Nat Meechubot
In pursuit of innovation, I came across a giant elephant on the Alka Group stand in ISM’s hall 11.1.
A hard working fellow, the elephant is the latest piece of cutting-edge technology to be used at the Alka Group as the company seeks innovative ways to produce healthy, innovative products to meet consumer desire for wellbeing and enjoyment! Put to work on the production line for the company’s new Elephant Squeezed Pretzels, the elephant was found to have the perfect sized footprint for pressing the pretzels to the right fine, crispy thinness.
“Everything is new from the low fat product to the new flat, wide bottomed foil snack pouch,” said Amir Krenzia, Alka’s founder, who showed me the company’s latest 3D ad for the product, which if you like Dumbo and Walt Disney films in particular, is fabulous!
The full round, thin pretzel snacks were very good too. Available in salt or black & white sesame varieties, they are packed in 80g and 180g stand-up packs with less fat than standard crisps.
From elephants to bananas, and across the aisle I discovered Nat Meechubot’s Banana Joe’s snacks. Handmade using bananas handpicked from farms, the banana ‘crisps’ provide a novel alternative to the usual potato crisp.
“This is our first time at ISM, which is part of our EU launch,” said Nat, who is the founder of the snack brand from Opimus. “Banana chips are a nice, really healthy option as they have a higher fibre content than potatoes and contain a completely different starch, which is not harboured by the body and converted into fattening sugars.”
This means that the light (and they are light, unlike some other heavy, dry dull banana crisps I have tried), crispy banana snacks have 10% less calories than potato crisps. Picked before the sugar is formed in the banana, the Banana Joe’s are available in savoury flavours such as Sea Salt, Hicky BBQ, and Thai Sweet Chilli, as well as a new sweet variety called Tokyo custard for those with a sweeter palate.
According to Nat, Banana Joe’s secret is the selection of the finest ‘hom thong’ or ‘golden fragrant’ bananas, which are said to be the original ‘Gros Michel’ variety. They taste better than other varieties and adopt a golden colour in the cooked crisps, which contain no artificial flavours, preservatives, MSG, or gluten. There are over two bananas per foil pack of rather delicious crisps.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019