There’s been a lot of talk in the news recently about the growing levels of food that gets wasted in the UK and one of the big reasons for this wastage are the strict rules that many major supermarkets place on the fruit and vegetables that they stock and sell. We hear stories of bananas that must bend at a certain angle, carrots that must measure a certain length and apples that must be just the right shade of red, but what happens to those that don’t quite meet these incredibly high standards?
Statistics show that in the UK alone a whopping 18 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill every year and perhaps most concerning of all is that a third of that figure gets wasted before it’s even had a chance to reach the supermarket shelves! As consumers we can certainly do our bit to try and reduce the amount of food we waste at home and we can also help by buying fresh produce from farmers markets and independent greengrocers where there is no elite class system for beautiful fruit and vegetables; just natural, delicious and yes OK sometimes a slightly odd looking parsnip, but who doesn’t love a game of ‘guess what the vegetable looks like’?
Snact, in very simple terms, are saviours of ugly fruit; they are the crime fighters of squishy strawberries, the protectors of bruised apples and the heroes of misshapen mangoes, they use so-called ‘ugly fruit’ to produce a product that is both healthy and delicious.
Snact was started by two friends, Ilana and Michael, who wanted to make a positive impact on the world by producing healthy snacks whilst also tackling the food waste problem. They started off by collecting surplus fruit from wholesale markets in London and transforming them into fruit jerky to then sell at markets. From what started as a small kitchen business, has now seen Snact take their fruit jerky to the next level and they are now saving tonnes of fruit every day.
We wanted to see and taste for ourselves exactly what Snact fruit jerky was really like, so when the people at Snact kindly sent us some samples to try we thought we’d give it the ultimate taste challenge…giving it to The Art of Healthy Living kids!
Both our kids are great lovers of pretty much all fruit and veg; they’ve grown up with a wide and varied diet and it’s never been an issue trying to get the healthy stuff into them, but, like any kid, give them half a chance and they’d be scoffing biscuits and chocolate for as long as they could get away with. They’re always absolutely starving after school and because I insist on us walking the 40 minute round school trip, it is essential that I take sustenance. Normally the after school snacks will be something easy to carry like a packet of raisins, a little pack of biscuits or some other kind of dried fruit snack, which although professing to be healthy are actually jam packed full of sugar and really not great for little teeth. Snact, on the other hand is different in that it is literally made up of just two ingredients, both of which are fruit.
Now, at this point I probably need to confess that I may have ‘accidentally’ eaten one of the packets by the time I arrived to pick up child number 1. I was hungry, I was hitting the mid-afternoon slump and it was the only food I had on me, so yes guilty as charged, I stole snacks from my child.
I ravenously tore open the pack of Apple and Raspberry Snact fruit jerky; which might I point out was incredibly easy to do thanks to the handy indented corner, and gobbled down the deliciously chewy fruit snack.
Made up from 80% apple and 20% raspberry puree, the fruit jerky was a really nice mixture of sharpness combined with an underlying sweetness, that didn’t leave a horrid chemical after taste like so many other dried fruit snacks containing artificial sweeteners can often do. It’s simple, 2 ingredients combined together to form an easy to eat, on the go snack that is both tasty and nutritious at the same time.
Well, fortunately for them I managed to stop myself tucking into the second packet, which was the apple and mango flavour, so when we picked up child number 2 I reluctantly handed over the packet and really bigged up how much of a treat it was and weren’t they lucky to be having this ‘new’ snack. Turns out I needn’t have bothered with all the dramatics, because just like me, the packet was torn open (as equally easy for kids to do, unlike some snack packets) and devoured within seconds.
They LOVED IT!
I was met with cries of, “Wow, mummy this tastes so yummy” and “Mum have you got any more”; a resounding success and a HUMUNGOUS thumbs up for them both!
And when I went on to explain how what they had just eaten was made of surplus fruit that nobody else wanted because it might have looked a bit funny, I was told, in only the way that a child would see it:
“Mummy that’s silly, why wouldn’t people eat fruit that looks funny? I like funny looking fruit, it makes me laugh!”
Now, I know that there are some great recipes out there for making your own fruit jerky at home, but you tell me this…who realistically has time to peel, slice and pulp some fruit then wait for it to dehydrate in an oven for hours on end? I for one know that I certainly don’t, which is why Snact is so great; they’ve done the job for me!
A fantastic product on so many levels and I really wish them the greatest of success with their future plans. To finish, let me pass you over to Snact to tell you a bit more about their products, their mission and maybe by the end you too will be able to call yourself a Snactivist.
A Chat with Snact
What is Snact?
“Snact is a company that aims to contribute to making a better food system by making healthy, tasty snacks.”
Who are Snact?
It was started by Michael and me; we both grew up in Brussels, met at school and we’ve been friends ever since. We realised that with our common passion for food and sustainability, we could do something worthwhile together.”
“Just over 2 years – we started in 2013.”
What was the inspiration behind Snact?
“We started Snact for various reasons:
- We wanted to create our own business.
- We were passionate about the food system, but saw that it was broken in a variety of different ways and we wanted to do something about it.
- We realised that food waste was a huge component of this broken food system!
- Our goal and motivation has always been and will remain: to contribute to making a better food system!”
Why the name Snact?
“Snact is an umbrella word for Snack + Act. Because that’s what we do: we ACT on the issue of food waste. We act for a better food system, whilst making tasty healthy snacks.”
How many products do you have?
“At the moment there are 2 flavours in one product range – fruit jerky. We’re about to launch a new flavour in March and then hopefully another 2 shortly after that. Further down the line, we’d like to launch other product ranges.”
“Young professionals and young families.”
Do you eat Snact?
“Um yes ha-ha. Mostly in the afternoon, as a snack. Some people use it to top up their cereal or porridge in the morning. It’s a great dessert too if you like something sweet after your food, but don’t want to indulge in chocolate or actual sweets.”
Where can I buy Snact products?
“Online at www.snact.co.uk/shop and in a whole bunch of independent shops and cafes – check out our social media pages for the latest updates. We should be announcing some bigger key accounts soon so stayed tune!”
What are your future plans?
“To develop more product ranges that allow us to tackle more food waste and thus have a much bigger impact.”
What is the ‘big dream’?
To be a well-established brand that stands for doing things differently and that inspires people to think about food differently; to think more about the impact their food has on society and the environment around them.
Describe Snact in 3 words.
1 snack = 1 act.