Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery has named Quinn Snacks, Boulder, CO, its 2017 Snack Producer of the Year. Quinn Snacks has introduced revolutionary new products that have singlehandedly changed the direction of entire snack categories, setting the pace for global snack industry trends.
Founded in 2012 by husband and wife team Kristy Homes-Lewis, co-founder and CEO, and Coulter Lewis, co-founder and CMO—and Quinn is their son—the business has seen strong progressive growth over the years. The company continually challenges snack industry conventions, setting its own pace and refusing to compromise on its ideals.
As noted in our 2016 “State of the Industry: Snacks” report on popcorn, “Clean-label and flavor innovation drive popcorn sales forward,” Quinn Snacks had a breakthrough year with its microwave popcorn in 2016, bringing its revolutionary, industry-first approach to clean-label microwave popcorn to the masses. The products posted a dollar sales gain of over 62 percent in a segment that was down over 3 percent in dollar sales for the year, per IRI, Chicago. The bags have no synthetic chemicals and are fully compostable. The flavor lineup includes the culinary-inspired Aged Parmesan & Rosemary and Vermont Maple Kettle Corn, as well as classics like White Cheddar & Sea Salt, Real Butter & Sea Salt and Just Sea Salt.
Whole Foods Market was an early supporter of the microwave product and helped it gain a national audience. While Whole Foods is still a key partner for retailing Quinn Snacks products, today they also see distribution through a wide range of national retailers, including Target, The Fresh Market, Hy-Vee, Wegmans, H-E-B, Safeway and many more.
Quinn Snacks is also setting the pace for transparency in snacking today. While many across the industry pay lip service to this ongoing movement, Quinn Snacks offers comprehensive “Farm-to-Bag” tracking capabilities for all of its snacks, including the microwave popcorn, a line of ready-to-eat popcorn and gluten-free pretzels. Via the Quinn Snacks website, people can trace their purchased products back to specific farms with batch numbers found on packaging—and even learn more about that particular farmer’s approach toward agriculture.
The RTE popcorn products come in flavors like Virgin Coconut Oil Popped, White Cheddar, Super Kale, Classic Sea Salt and California Olive Oil. A new line of gluten-free pretzels is available in Classic Sea Salt and Touch of Honey. Quinn Snacks also offers popping kernels.
The company’s approach to ingredient sourcing is nothing short of meticulous. Quinn Snacks has a goal of “complete transparency” for its sourcing partners. This equates to going “three layers deep” with every supplier: names of farmers, location of the farms and an overview of farming practices. It then turns around and provides this information to the public via its website.
The Farm-to-Bag page on the website provides detailed discussions about each ingredient in the Quinn Snacks stable, including the various types of popcorn it sources, whole-grain sorghum flour and organic honey (used in the new gluten-free Farm-to-Bag Pretzels), Vermont maple sugar (a key flavor component of the Vermont Maple microwave popcorn), high-oleic sunflower oil (also part of the microwave popcorn lineup), and dozens of other ingredients that go into the products. Fans of the brand can learn about the farmers Quinn Snacks has chosen to partner with, including how they serve as stewards of the earth and their sustainable approaches to farming.
Recognition for this pioneering work has been quick to surface. Kristy was named one of Fortune magazine’s “Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs” of 2015. Other accolades have included:
- New Companies to Watch in Colorado
- Clean Eating Clean Choice Award
- Naturally Boulder Breakthrough Innovation Award
- Prevention Cleanest Packaged Food Award
- Forbes Most Innovative Consumer & Retail Brands
- Delicious Living Best Bite Award for Eco-Packaging
- Best New Food Product at Natural Products Expo East
Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery will feature an exclusive profile of Quinn Snacks in its 2017 Snack Producer of the Year cover story in the March issue.
For more on Quinn Snacks, see: