The Best Vegan Snack We Are Addicted to and Eating by the Bagful
Okay so we went plant-based to be healthy. Then we discovered Hippeas vegan Hippeas Organic Chickpeas Puffs and, well, the daily office consumption rate basically put them in IPO territory in one quick month of munching. There was one single day last month when we each ate a full bag of puffs, and that was also the day we turned on the lights at The Beet. So if you've ever had kids, and the meal that put you into labor was, say, sushi, you will always connect California rolls with your firstborn entering the world. That's kind of how we feel about Hippeas. We love them and have a slightly out-sized admiration for the company and product.
It's not just the puff or the crunch, it's the fact that since they are made of chickpeas, they contain 4 grams of protein per ounce, and 17 grams of carbs so while they may not make the "super healthy" list or replace carrot and celery sticks for your diet-friendly crunch, they hit the spot in every way you want from a snack -- plus they are healthier for the planet than most.
Then last night we went to a Hippeas hosted event at New York City's Bar Verde, Matthew Kinney's East Village hotspot that is fully vegan and totally cool, and met the Hippeas founder Livio Bisterzo, who was wearing an unassuming wool beanie and eating a Double Zero pizza (also vegan, also a Matthew Kinney creation) brought in from the place next door. Bisterzo sat at the bar and talked casually to Kinney, positioned behind the bar and hosting the restaurant as if he were there every night. Then Bisterzo turned to his left and offered me the last slice of mushroom vegan pizza and the connection was too hard to resist. I somehow found the need to tell him the whole story about my love of Hippeas and how we launched The Beet and even though I'm usually a fairly healthy person, as the former editor of a major health and wellbeing magazine who doesn't usually accost total strangers and share pizza in a dimly lit bar, Bisterzo listened and was thrilled to hear about our love of Hippeas. Evidently, this is a founder who doesn't scare off easily.
According to Force Brands, an industry blog, Hippeas is one of the fastest-growing natural snack companies in the world. Founded in 2016 by Bisterzo, a serial entrepreneur, it's a brand that has both a purpose and a conscience. The point was to create natural nutrient-dense snacks that harnessed the powerful trend toward plant-based eating. We only wish there was a slightly lower fat version. For one ounce of puffs, you're taking in 5 grams of fat and 130 calories, and 170 mg of sodium. At least there is no sat fat and you're eating mostly air, so for crunch addicted snackers like me, this is the go-to for your most satisfying munchies of the day.
In an interview with Forbes, Bisterzo explains that he chose chickpeas because they release nitrogen back into the soil so as far as farming goes, growing them gives back to the Earth. ”I wanted to create something that could be a real challenger brand that would shake up a big category—salty snacks. I knew that we had the skillset to execute. I just needed a product that could deliver a premium yet affordable proposition that could grow fast and launch globally." He got that right. And next up he is going to release more nutrient-dense snacks that are healthier for you than the average crunchy chip. Stay tuned for more Hippeas news coming to a market near you. In the meantime, we will be enjoying a healthy puff over here.