S’porean Turns “Ugly” Vegetables Into Healthy Snacks
Walk the snack aisles in supermarkets and you will notice that they are full of options.
However, most of the available snacks are still mostly fried, unhealthy, and have low nutritional content.
Like many of us, Confetti Fine Foods Founder and CEO Betty Lu faced the same situation.
In 2015, she embarked on a 3.5 year journey around the world. It was while hiking in the mountains of British Columbia that she had the “first spark”.
The graduate from Nanyang Technological University said she was frustrated with the lack of suitable snack options for hiking.
She then began to prepare vegetable snacks in her own kitchen and seasoned them with spices that reminded her of Singapore.
To her surprise, everyone loved her homemade snacks and said they would love to buy them in stores. It was then that she made the decision to return to Singapore to create Confetti Fine Foods.
From “ugly” vegetables to gourmet snacks
“Confetti is a celebration of color, and it’s also about making veggies fun and delicious to snack on,” Betty told Vulcan Post.
Even though the snacks look vibrant and delicious, they’re actually made from “ugly” veggies.
Go to any supermarket and you realize the demand for perfection. All apples, for example, are the same size.
Even an apple that is too big or too small is rejected because it does not meet the exacting cosmetic standards demanded by retailers, even if it is a perfectly good apple from a nutritional standpoint.
Betty Lu, Founder and CEO of Confetti Fine Foods
According to Betty, up to 40% of food is wasted largely for cosmetic reasons, and this is a major challenge for society and the planet.
In addition, an additional eight percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste, which is why reducing food waste is seen as the best solution to climate change.
Confetti takes on this challenge by creating snacks from otherwise wasted, yet perfectly nutritious vegetables.
The start-up prioritizes its supply to produce colorful and low-starch products such as carrots, radishes, okra and purple beets.
He works with farms and wholesalers who supply them with products that are cosmetic waste. To reduce its carbon footprint, the startup sources for regional production and rejects the use of palm oil in one of its products.
In addition, Confetti also donates some of its nutrient-dense snacks to feed the hungry and empower poor farmers.
Celebrating diversity through food
Betty believes love is best expressed through food, which binds people together regardless of their culture.
She draws her inspiration from exploring farmer’s markets on her travels and visiting farmers who have a strong passion for bringing healthy produce.
Currently, some flavors available for Confetti’s Mushroom and Vegetable Chips include Teriyaki BBQ, Tandoori Curry, Summer Truffle, and Green Curry.
A bag of veggie chips costs S $ 7.50, while mushroom chips cost S $ 8.50.
“Our philosophy as a company is to truly instill an inclusive culture where diversity is celebrated through our recipes or the imperfect vegetables we use,” she said.
Confetti has a chef in residence, Mitch Prensky, based in Manhattan.
According to Betty, Mike walks around supermarkets and goes to specialty stores to get consumer information and knowledge on snack trends.
Ultimately, Confetti aims to create a wonder experience using authentic recipes with a rich culinary history.
Sprinkle “ confetti ” in markets around the world
Although it was founded just two years ago, Confetti Snacks has grown in popularity and even won awards and accolades.
Its products are currently stocked in 57 outlets of Shell, Taste Gourmet Markets, some Fairprice hypermarkets, the Japanese supermarket Meidi-Ya, Food Folks at Lau Pa Sat, popular bookstores, The Green Collective, SPRMRKT, Foreword cafes and online retailers such as Panda. Mart and Mogu Shop.
Confetti has also been accredited as a social enterprise by raiSE Singapore, and is listed on platforms that tackle sustainability and food waste, such as SusGain and treatsure.
In 2019 and 2020, Confetti received the “ Tasty Singapore Brand Ambassador ” award. Most recently, it also received the title of “ Best Gourmet Snack Brand 2021 ” by APAC Insider’s fifth annual Singapore Business Awards.
Outside of Singapore, Confetti has a strong interest in distribution in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
We look forward to sprinkling confetti in these markets in the near future to meet the explosive consumer demand for tasty plant-based snacks. We are very happy to make Confetti a global snack company to bring more color to people’s lives.
Betty Lu, Founder and CEO of Confetti Fine Foods
With the traction and adoption rate of retailers and customers, the start-up raised an “oversubscribed seed round” from VCs like Big Idea Ventures, Food Ventures and Innovate 360 last October.
In the coming years, Betty aims to develop Confetti on a “global scale”, where the team can achieve its mission of bringing color to supermarket aisles around the world.
Featured Image Credit: Confetti Fine Foods
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