Established 26 years ago in Bournemouth, UK company Organix says it is on a “junk-busting” mission.
“Some infant snack products contain more than 30 ingredients and that is not really necessary,” managing director Philipp von Jagow told FoodNavigator.
"We’ve reached a situation where the very fact of having a claim on pack makes the product seem healthier but in reality it isn’t. Some might have a gluten-free claim but still have a lot of added salt and sugar.
“We want to raise awareness that when you buy something from the toddler snack aisle, not everything is as good as it seems. We encourage parents to look at the back of packs and not to fall into the trap of front-of-pack claims.”
Organix claims to be the market leader in snacks aimed at babies and toddlers with a 40% share of the UK market.
Clean label ingredient list
It recently launched Goodies, a range of savoury protein snacks for babies and infants. The pea snack is aimed at babies from six months of age and above and contains just two ingredients – 80% pea and 20% corn. Nutritionally, it provides 20% protein and 10% fibre.
The toddler range is aimed at infants over 12 months of age. The cheesy pea snaps, for instance, contain split peas, corn, sunflower oil and cheese powder, made of 50% organic skimmed milk powder and 50% organic mature cheddar cheese.
“We already had similar snacks but with this range we wanted something a bit more premium with a high content of pea and lentil that is more than 65%."
Organix’ description of the snacks – ‘savoury veggie finger food for babies’ – is nothing if not premium. It is also a differentiator, von Jagow said.
“We don’t say they are crisps because that is easily understood as adult crisps – a snack that doesn’t offer the nutritional value that an infant should get. Our products are focused on babies and toddlers so we make sure the calorie, salt and sugar content are all appropriate for young ones.
“We never add anything unnecessary and it’s all organic with no added salt or sugar. Generally, our product range is based on a concern for what little ones can and should eat.”
But even if the baked snacks have a good nutritional profile, is it responsible to be encouraging snacking habits in infants?
“We are based in the UK and the snacking habits here are very strong – by far the strongest in Europe,” said von Jagow, a German native who moved to
the UK one year ago.
“Many years ago it became obvious that parents were giving snacks to their children but ones that are aimed at adults so these are full of salt, sugar and fat. Knowing that parents would give their kids snacks anyway, we wanted to provide them with the best they could give.
“We are in constant talks with our consumers to understand their needs and wishes. While the main market consists of sweet snacks we are seeing more demand for savoury snacks, and this launch is a result.”
The UK launch began in March and is ongoing – so far, the crisps are listed in Waitrose, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Ocado with Tesco to “hopefully” follow later in the year – and the company is keeping an eye on sales before considering exporting to other markets, probably to Nordic countries.
The company said so far sales have been “above our expectations."
According to market research agency Mintel, there could be an untapped market for certified organic food and drink products aimed at toddlers and children.
“The fact that organic is so prevalent in baby food suggests that it could be extended further into kids foods as well,” said research manager, Chris Brockman.