Too often, parents concerned about their kids’ health scan retail shelves and find the number of healthy, nutritious snack options to be lacking. Sujatha Duvvuri is one of those parents—and the shortage of suitable snacks eventually lead to the launch of The Greater Goods Snacking Co. To learn more about the producer’s origin story, its use of a novel sweetener, and the baked goods it produces, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery connected with Duvvuri, co-founder and chief product officer.

Jenni Spinner: Could you please tell us a bit about Greater Goods?

Sujatha Duvvuri: After graduating from the University of Michigan, I was pregnant and browsing through Ann Arbor grocery stores when I realized there were no clean-label, nutritious products to feed my son. Unsatisfied, I formulated my own products and started baking them at home. When I eventually moved back to India, I realized there were many other parents out there who, like me, wanted better snacking choices for their families. I went into business to provide products that moms can trust. While the company is known and branded as She Made Foods in India, we wanted to launch in the U.S. because it’s the original birthplace of the brand.

Our mission is to do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people, so we rebranded to The Greater Goods Snacking Co. when we debuted in the U.S. with three Certified Organic product lines (cookies, biscotti, and crackers) all boasting our almond flour-based, grain-free and vegan ingredients.

Our cracker varieties include Tangy Tomato & Basil, Caramelized Onion, and Sea Salt flavors, while the cookie product line consists of Cinnamon Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip, and Chai Spice flavors. The biscotti, which is the world’s first commercially available grain-free biscotti, is available in Orange Cranberry, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, and Double Dark Chocolate Pistachio.

While there are plenty of good-for-you snacks on the market, what makes Greater Goods unique is our commitment to working for the greater good of humanity, starting with the women in our bakery. With the motto, “Delicious Snacks Made Her Way,” we are dedicated to women's global empowerment and employment. We put this into action by ensuring that 72% of our workforce are women in India, a country where the female labor participation rate is among the lowest in the world at only 19%. We want to provide a safe and stable workplace, so we guarantee employees two meals a day, transportation to and from work, secure housing, further education, and more. At the end of the day, my hope is that Greater Goods leaves the world a better place and allows consumers to feel great about their purchases while sharing small, meaningful moments with their families.

JS: What are some of the most notable or toughest challenges when trying to balance the need to be delicious and appealing, while also being free from animal products, gluten, grain, and other ingredients?

SD: The biggest challenge in formulating recipes without gluten is finding the perfect combination of ingredients and processes to replicate its properties. Gluten is an elastic protein that brings binding properties to dough, which makes the kneading, handling, and reshaping of the dough very easy. It’s difficult to recreate gluten’s elastic and bonding properties and add the proper amount of protein into the product formulation to achieve the right balance of mouthfeel, crispness, and crunch.

Once you successfully overcome those hurdles, the next challenge is scaling the perfected recipe to a commercially viable size through proper manufacturing. As a company founded in my home kitchen, there was a major learning curve with scaling production from home to factory. Adapting to this change led us to develop custom manufacturing equipment.

Overall, creating healthy and delicious snacks requires a carefully balanced recipe, custom-built equipment for manufacturing, and detailed quality management of the baking cycle. An often overlooked part of getting these nutritious snacks on grocery shelves is creating sophisticated packaging that is easily understandable to the consumer but still details all of the product attributes. My hope is that when you see The Greater Goods Snacking Co. label at your grocery store, you know it was thoughtfully created by a mom, for other moms.

JS: Specifically, could you please tell us some of the tricky aspects of reducing sugar in snacks, while also staying natural?

SD: We always say, “Humans are born with a sweet tooth!” Our tongue maps show that we have the sweet receptor in the front, salty and sour on the sides, and bitter in the back. Humans are programmed to sense the sweet taste first. Processed white sugar, which is the easiest, cheapest, and most widely available ingredient to satisfy that appetite, is also the most harmful ingredient to our health. So, satisfying the sweet craving while minimizing processed sugar as an ingredient is a challenge.

Our goal to provide only natural ingredients led us to liquid jaggery (raw cane sugar). Liquid jaggery contains vital minerals and micronutrients that processed white sugar doesn’t, all the while giving Greater Goods snacks a sweet, delicious taste.

JS: Please tell us a little bit more about liquid jaggery—what it is, and how it helps Greater Goods meet its clean-label goals.

SD: Liquid jaggery is a lesser-processed, organic, and vegan natural sweetener commonly used throughout South Asia. This superfood sweetener is loaded with essential micronutrients, minerals, and antioxidants that boost the immune and digestive systems. As the least-processed derivative of sugarcane, it makes our delicious biscotti and cookies even more nourishing. Liquid jaggery allows our products to be made without artificial ingredients and synthetic chemicals, unlike many “free-from” consumer packaged goods. By using this natural sweetener, we are able to focus on creating tasty snacks that are organic, naturally free from gluten, dairy, and soy, paleo-friendly, grain-free, plant-based, vegan, and free from several top allergens.

JS: Do you have any new products or company news you’d like to share?

SD: We have a multitude of SKUs that have been commercially available in South Asia and the Middle East that will soon be hitting the North American market. They include new flavors for existing product lines and entirely new snack categories. These products are consumer-tested and ready for commercial launch. Stay tuned for an official announcement later this year!

JS: Do you have anything to add?

SD: Greater Goods is the only brand to offer a certified organic, grain-free biscotti that is commercially available anywhere in the world. This specific formulation was difficult to create, but we are proud to have cracked the code and launched multiple SKUs in this category. Such innovation inspires us to continue experimenting with more products with similar characteristics.

Related: Greater Goods joins U.S. snack market, launches better-for-you cookies, crackers, biscotti