Company: Eat Well Group
Introduced: December 2021
Product Snapshot: Inventor of Cheetos Frito-Lay’s Twisted Cheetos, Dr. Gino Bortone, has announced a new cheesy vegan snack through Eat Well Group portfolio holding Sapientia Technology LLC, focused on disrupting the entire snack food market, estimated to reach $736 billion by 2026.
Eat Well Group, a plant-based investment company, announced it will be launching Protein Twists, a high-protein, cheesy snack, into 300 Federated Co-Operatives toward the end of December 2021, followed by an expansion to additional Co-Operatives, select retailers, and e-commerce in the first half of 2022.
In 2018, vegan-friendly snack startup, PeaTos launched its pea-based version of Cheetos, also seeking to disrupt the massive salty snack market thus far dominated by industry leader Frito-Lay, with founder and CEO Nick Desai stating last year: “Look, if you want to be the best, you have to take on the best, and there is no one that does snacking like Frito-Lay.” This February, Peatos raised $12.5M in a Series B round led by Post Holdings.
Dr. Eugenio Bortone serves as chief technology officer at Eat Well Group, and is also an award-winning food scientist and extrusion expert. Dr. Bortone has filed four foundational patents relating to the shape and texture of “protein curls” and crispy puff-style snacks. While working for Frito Lay, Dr. Bortone developed several multi-million dollar products, including the famous Twisted Cheetos.
Dr. Bortone’s new Protein Twists are set to offer a cheesy flavor, texture and crunch without the frying and excessive calories found in most available snack foods. According to Eat Well Group, the plant-based Protein Twists contain 30 percent fewer calories than similar corn-based products, up to six times as much protein, and up to five times the fiber.