To celebrate all the brains behind our Thrive Festival brands we wanted to delve deeper into the beginnings behind each one! Today we chat to Shane from Blendi Snacks
What is Blendi’s mission statement?
To inspire healthier snacking by connecting people to real food. “Snacks Grown not Made”
Where did you get the inspiration for your brand?
Blendi Snacks was built on failure. Three years ago my mom started out making a Smoothie product and I started bagging pieces of fruit (mango’s, banana’s slices) as snacks for school, when I first came across the broad beans, I thought they were nuts. My school friends were always on the hunt for tasty healthy snacks & were asking me to also bring in bags for them, they loved them! Then the school invited Blendi to come in and do a pop-up /tasting stand during Health Week when we saw the overall response to the students consuming the beans we knew we had to develop the snack product, and the rest is history!
What are some of your favourite brands in your space that you don’t make?
I have to put my hand up & say I love the Fulfill Bar, I like the taste, and the brand positioning & marketing is very clever.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest innovation within your sector in the last few years?
The biggest innovation in snacks these past few years has to be the inclusion of protein while still maintaining a good tasting product.
While high protein considerations are important for consumers when snacking, they are also choosing to indulge in products that have to be really delicious. As such, in developing Blendi we focused purely on taste as the bean ingredient had all the nutritional integrity, thus giving the consumer the best of both worlds.”
What has running your own business taught you?
That you have to be obsessed with the consumer, always trying to improve your offering, anticipate their next needs in product development or in service.
What do you think is the next big thing in the world of wellness?
If you had asked me this question pre-COVID-19 I would have said Fibre without any hesitancy but now I feel Immunity (supporting our defence systems) could be the next big thing!
What did you and your team enjoy the most about this year’s Thrive Festival?
As Blendi Snacks had only just launched it was the first time we saw the expression on peoples faces when they tasted our snacks, firstly, their reaction as to how we managed to make vegetables taste so good and secondly that we had thought about cutting down on packaging by launching our Jumbo Pouch with re-usable tube also enabling the consumber to take control of their own snacking.
You’ve been working from home during the COVID19 crisis. Tell us what your daily routine is like?
I am “was” a leaving cert student up until recently, so it is a summer I will never forget for many reasons!! Now that it is cancelled it has given me lots of time to spend working in Blendi. I work in the office 3 days a week, main responsibilities are putting the online orders together, making local deliveries & I have just started growing my own broad beans in the garden, yes, I am sure Keeling’s also started out just sowing a few plants!