Soul Seed is the FMCG subsidiary of hemp product firm Trichomnia, which also operates Hemple, a cannabinoid-focused company making related products for the wellness space, which are exported to markets where these are legal such as the United Kingdom, United States and Europe.
Hemp was legalised for use in food products in 2017, and although Soul Seed previously started with a grocery line selling cold-pressed hemp seed oil and protein in the Coles and IGA supermarket chains, Super Seed Snaps is the company’s first foray into the convenience snacks space.
“Super Seed Snaps are gluten-free, high in protein (over 5g per 35g serving), high in fibre, contain many micronutrients, and have many seeds such as hemp, flax, chia and pumpkin to give long-lasting energy,” Soul Seed Co-Founder Georgia Branch told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“This snack hits three of the main F&B trends today: It is plant-based, which many people are looking for, it is gluten-free as mentioned, and we have also ensured that it is convenient to bring around and consume.”
As for how the brand intends to stand out from the competition, especially in the increasingly crowded snacks space, packaging was highlighted as a very important consideration.
“Especially in supermarkets where there are such a lot of choices, it is necessary to have good shelf presence to make sure not to be missed amongst the thousands of options that consumers have when it comes to snacks,” she said.
“It’s why we’ve gone with bold packaging to make sure we are eye-catching enough not to be missed.”
Additionally, ensuring the presence of high-quality ingredients in the content list as well as putting work into building a good brand identity out of the store were also emphasized as important strategies.
“We know our consumers are ‘flippers’, which means they will flip the pack over to look at the ingredients – it’s why we make sure to have high-quality ingredients, no additives, gums or anything like that that they don’t want,” said Branch.
“Building a good brand identity is also a very important endeavour – things like letting consumers sample the product so they know it’s good will help towards them making the decision to buy it when they go to the supermarket.”
The snack is currently available in four flavours: Turmeric and Black Pepper, Spicy Sriracha, Double Chocolate, and Salted Caramel. Double Chocolate is the only flavour that is not a vegan option.
“We just launched Super Seed Snaps out of Woolworths at the end of September, so there’s no concrete data in yet, but based on current observations on what goes off the shelves fastest, Salted Caramel is looking to be the most popular. That said, we’ve been surprised at how well Turmeric and Black Pepper has done too,” she said.
Super Seed Snaps is currently available in Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets, retailing at A$4.00 (US$2.70) for a 35g pack.
Snacks aside, Soul Seed is also looking at the development of several other grocery aisle items moving forth including milks and spreads.
“The plant-based milk market is a major growth category in Austalia, so we’re definitely looking at that to develop a hemp milk,” said Branch.
“Hemp milk could provide more calcium than cow’s milk, in addition to good amounts of protein along with a creamy taste.”
The firm also has its eye on the New Zealand market, where hemp seeds were approved for food use in 2018, as well as the United Kingdom.
“Asian markets such as China and Hong Kong also have a lot of potential – Hong Kong especially has a higher stress culture and many consumers also eat out and are in search of convenient options, so that could be a good development point for us,” Branch added.