Continuing with popular foods served at Super Bowl parties, we come to chips and other salty treats. These are the most popular foods of all found at parties for the big game. Among the money the salty snack industry rakes in: $278 million is spent on potato chips, $224 million on tortilla chips, and $86 million on popcorn. But the next day, many Americans pay the price for the Standard American Diet. Antacid sales go up 20%. And 1.5 million people call in sick to work.
The biggest problem facing snack products such as potato chips, tortilla chips, popcorn has been the use of seed soils such as canola and soybean oil. Another problem has been ingredients which aren’t organic and are sprayed with multiple pesticides. In the case of tortilla chips, that also means genetically modified corn.
The good news is over the past decade, there’s been a huge growth in snacks foods using real ingredients. These products use healthy oils including avocado, coconut, and palm oil. The manufacturers are responsible about the other ingredients they source too. Many of them are certified organic. Some of the companies give us better versions of the classic potato chips and popcorn. Others do more contemporary takes using ingredients such as sweet potatoes, cassava flour, and coconut flour to come up with twists on the traditional potato and tortilla chips. These alternative flours are great for anybody who has issues consuming grains.
If you serve any of these better snacks foods below at your Super Bowl party this year, you’ll score a touchdown. In alphabetical order, here are the 12 best snack foods using real ingredients:
Artisan Tropic began in 2012 when the Guzmans’ daughter Maca was diagnosed with autoimmune disease. They tried all types of medicine for treatment, resulting the holistic methods working the best. This led to the Guzmans becoming passionate about food and nutrition and deciding to produce healthy snacks. As they’re Colombian, they wanted to reinvent the plantain and cassava snacks, which they loved, by making them with whole and clean ingredients. Most recently, Maca married the plantain farmer’s son Joe Agudelo. Now Artisan Tropic’s entire process from farm to snack is literally in the family. Their products are cassava and plantain strips cooked in palm oil, in the flavors of naturally sweet, sea salt plantain strips, jalapeño, and barbecue.
In 1994, brothers John and Mark Maggio founded Boulder Canyon to create snacks which were both healthy and delicious. The two learned how to make potato chips and soon started frying them in better oils, such as avocado oil. Boulder Canyon’s potato chips come in both ridged and thin textures and in the flavors sea salt, malt vinegar and sea salt, and cheddar sour cream.
Good Health has been around the longest of any of the chips here, dating back to 1994. They pride themselves on innovative ingredients and great tasting tasting flavors. Their slogan is “Enjoy Being Good”. Good Health makes a number of avocado oil potato chip flavors from sea salt to lime ranch to barbecue. They also have baked organic cheese puffs and cheese fries with cheese sourced from Organic Valley.
Originating in British Columbia, Hardbite founder Pete Schouten was determined to handcraft an all natural chip which tasted as good as the big brands but didn’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives. Pete experimented with cooking them until he got the perfect crunch, taste, and flavor. Along with using all natural ingredients, he was an advocate of non-GMO before the movement was well known. Hardbite also buys the highest quality potatoes from local farmers. As the company has grown, Pete has expanded its product line. More recently, Hardbite introduced its potato chips cooked in avocado oil, coming in the flavors of apple cider vinegar, black truffle sea salt, spicy honey dijon, and sweet ghost pepper.
The story of Jackson’s Chips starts with the Megan and Scott Reamers’ son Jackson getting diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. After trying various methods to improve his health and quality of life, they found that a high fat low carb diet worked the best. The entire family began living a HFLC lifestyle, but they missed eating snack foods. So they attempted cooking locally sourced and thinly sliced sweet potatoes over their stovetop. They loved how the sweet potato chips tasted. Their son Jackson’s legacy lives on through the chips he inspired and the company. Jackson’s Chips has sweet potatoes fried in avocado oil in the flavors of sea salt, spicy tomatillo, and carolina BBQ plus a coconut oil sea salt option.
Kiwa founder Martin Acosta had a calling to change the world. At the beginning, he had just five employees and basic plantain chip machinery, but he also had a room filled with dreams. It took the company a year and a half to figure out what exactly they were going to do, to put the basics of the business into practice, and to get selling. In 2009, Kiwa introduced their first product, the vegetable chips mix. Presently, Kiwa is a global leader with their vegetable chips sold in over 30 countries. They take part in the Direct Trade program. This program connects farmers to manufacturers, building long term trusting relationships between the two sides, guaranteeing better working conditions, technical support, and a higher pay for the farmers. Kiwa has also shifted from its traditional farming practices to regenerative agriculture. They work directly with farmers in eight of Ecuador’s 24 provinces and northern regions of Peru. Kiwa’s offerings are all cooked in palm and come in mixed vegetable, plantain, and cassava chips.
Since 1998, Jans Enterprises‘ mission has been to improve people’s quality of life by providing them with better food products. Their product line consists of everything from beverages to dairy products to desserts to chips. Among Jans’ chips are organic yellow and purple sweet potato chips fried in coconut oil. Jans also has non-GMO cassava chips mixed root chips cooked in palm oil.
President and CEO Charles Coristine came to Lesser Evil as he thought it could be a great opportunity to have the company carry out his practices of mindfulness and healthy living, not to mention he loved the name. He saw the goal of Lesser Evil as creating organic, sustainably made delicious snacks that inspire mindful snacking. Examples of their sustainable practices are the energy efficient facility they own, composting their food waste, and packaging the products in NEO Plastics. Lesser Evil produces a wide line of snack foods cooked in either coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil. The snacks range in everything from organic popcorn to cassava flour puffs and curls to veggie sticks to paleo cookies.
Unsatisfied with all of the chips on the market, Ancient Crunch founder Steven A. set out to create a chips with two simple requirements. First, the corn must be naturally grown and the tortillas must be naturally prepared. Second, the tortillas need to be free of any inflammatory seed oils. So he came up with MASA, the first tortilla chips made with both organic corn and grass fed tallow. Steven is now working on his next project known as vandy crisps.
Pop Art Snacks founder Mike and Venessa Dobson both come from an art background. Their company is all about making snacks not just healthy but also fun. They add that they do for snack food what Andy Warhol did for Campbell’s soup cans. Pop Art’s products take the traditional popcorn snack and elevate it into a savory “taste of art”. Their products are all sourced with organic and natural ingredients. Pop Art’s popcorn comes in bold flavors, including cheddar jalapeno, Hawaiian sea salt, and dill pickle ranch. All of those flavors are with kernels cooked in avocado oil.
Founders Julie & Marty Lapham created Popzup with the purpose of offering a healthy snack which is better both for the people and the planet. Popzup has popcorn made with pure and simple ingredients which are sourced at least 50% from the local community and 100% within the eastern United States. The kernels are popped in coconut oil. Their cleverly named popcorn flavors are butter me up, cheddar head, cheesie herbie, and maple cinnamon toast. Popzup also sells popcorn kernels and seasonings.
Siete‘s formation can be traced to founder Veronica Garza’s family of seven (or siete in Spanish) helping her overcome numerous health challenges. As a teen, Veronica was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune conditions which made her fatigued, overweight, and depressed. So her family began exercising and joined her in following a low-inflammation, grain free diet. Being a Mexican American family in South Texas, using lettuce in place of the flour and corn tortillas for tacos and fajitas wasn’t cutting it. Veronica began making grain free tortillas. When her Grandmother Campos told her that the grain free tortillas tasted better than the flour tortillas her grandmother had been making for decades, Veronica knew she had a winning product she could sell on the market. The first products were tortillas and tortilla chips made from cassava flour and fried in avocado oil. Siete has since expanded into avocado oil potato chips and even sauces, seasonings, churro strips, and cookies. Their tortillas and potato chips are available in a wide variety of flavors.