Plant-based fast-food upstart PeaTos, launched in 2018, has its sights set on industry giant Fritos (Frito-Lay) in the growing direct to consumer (D2C) marketplace with its introduction of BetterSnacks.com.
This comes as Pepsico subsidiary Frito-Lay launched its new D2C website Snacks.com. There, consumers can shop over 100 of Frito-Lay’s snack foods which will be sent straight to their homes.
So, the stakes are high.
Since its launch in 2018, PeaTos came out of the gates swinging, making a name for itself with its irreverent brand of humor and the no holds barred approach to embarking on a David vs Goliath battle with Frito-Lay.
“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. I mean I grew up on their brands,” says Peatos Founder and CEO Nick Desai.
Looking to disrupt the massive $20 billion salty snack market which has been dominated by industry goliath Frito-Lay for years, Desai saw a large opportunity in a small ingredient: the mighty pea. And Desai wasn’t alone in thinking peas are the future. In 2018, over 700 pea-based products hit the market, and according to Allied Market Research, pea protein is projected to grow to a $175 million industry by 2025. It’s also the star ingredient behind other innovative heavyweights like Beyond Meat and Ripple.
Desai assembled a team of some of the brightest snack minds in the world to develop a snack that tastes, crunches and satisfies like traditional corn-based junk food snacks, but made from nutrient dense peas.
In 2018, PeaTos launched as a “junk food” snack made from peas that put taste first while containing no artificial ingredients, 2X the protein and 3X the fiber as its famous corn-based counterparts. “PeaTos is delivering those feelings of comfort food nostalgia that snacks like Cheetos and Funyuns provide, but without all the artificial ingredients and frankly the junk that comes with eating those snacks,” says Desai, “Honestly If customers don’t feel 100% satisfied, I’ll personally send them a bag of Cheetos.”
In less than two years, PeaTos has become a force in the salty snack industry and experienced massive growth in both the e-commerce space and in traditional retailers like Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, and 7-11. From 2019 to 2020, the brand experienced 50% growth making it a leader in the sector.