Stroll down the snack aisles in supermarkets and you’ll notice that they are chockfull of options.
However, most of the snacks available are still predominantly deep-fried, unhealthy, and have a low nutritional content.
Like many of us, Confetti Fine Foods founder and CEO Betty Lu faced the same predicament.
In 2015, she embarked on a 3.5-year-long trip around the world. It was on a hiking trip in the mountains of British Columbia where she got the “first spark”.
The Nanyang Technological University graduate shared that she was frustrated by the lack of suitable snack options to bring on hikes.
She then started making vegetable snacks out of her own kitchen, and seasoned them with spices that reminded her of Singapore.
To her surprise, everyone loved her homemade snacks and said they would love to buy it in stores. That was when she made the decision to return to Singapore to start Confetti Fine Foods.
From “Ugly” Vegetables To Gourmet Snacks
“Confetti is a celebration of colour, and is also all about making vegetables fun and delicious to snack on,” Betty told Vulcan Post.
Even though the snacks look vibrant and delectable, they are actually made from “ugly” vegetables.
Go into any supermarket and you realise the demand for perfection. All the apples for instance are the same size.
Even an apple that is too big or too small is rejected as it does not meet the exacting cosmetic standards required by retailers, even though it’s a perfectly good apple, nutrient-wise.Betty Lu, Founder and CEO of Confetti Fine Foods
According to Betty, up to 40 per cent of food is wasted largely due to cosmetic reasons, and that’s a significant challenge for society and the planet.
Furthermore, another eight per cent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste, which is why reducing food waste is considered the single greatest solution to climate change.
Confetti tackles this challenge by creating snack products from otherwise wasted, but perfectly nutritious vegetables.
The startup prioritises its sourcing to produce that are colourful and low in starch like carrots, radishes, okra, and purple beets.
It works with farms and wholesalers that supply them with produce that are cosmetic rejects. To reduce its carbon footprint, the startup sources for produce regionally, and rejects the use of palm oil in any of its products.
To add on, Confetti also donates a portion of its nutrient dense snacks to feed the hungry and empower impoverished farmers.
Celebrating Diversity Through Food
Betty feels that love is best expressed by food, which bonds people regardless of which culture they are from.
She gets her inspiration from exploring farmers’ markets during her travels, and visiting farmers who have a strong passion in bringing wholesome produce.
Currently, some flavours available for Confetti’s mushroom and veggie chips include Teriyaki BBQ, Tandoori Curry, Summer Truffle and Green Curry.
“Our ethos as a company is to truly instill an inclusive culture where diversity is celebrated via our recipes or the imperfect veggies that we use,” she said.
Confetti has a Chef in Residence, Mitch Prensky, who is based in Manhattan.
According to Betty, Mitch strolls through supermarkets and visits specialty stores to gain consumer insights and knowledge on snack trends.
Ultimately, Confetti aims to create an experience of wonder by using authentic recipes with a rich culinary history.
Sprinkling ‘Confetti’ In Markets All Over The World
Despite being founded just two years ago, Confetti Snacks has boomed in popularity, and even won awards and accolades.
Its products are currently shelved in 57 outlets of Shell, Taste Gourmet Markets, selected Fairprice Hypermarkets, Meidi-Ya Japanese Supermarket, Food Folks at Lau Pa Sat, Popular Bookstores, The Green Collective, SPRMRKT, Foreword Cafes, and online retailers such as Panda Mart, and Mogu Shop.
In 2019 and 2020, Confetti was awarded ‘Tasty Singapore Brand Ambassador’. Most recently, it also received the title of ‘Best Gourmet Snack Brand 2021’ by APAC Insider’s Fifth Annual Singapore Business Awards.
Out of Singapore, Confetti is seeing strong distribution interest in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific.
We look forward to sprinkling Confetti to these markets in the near future to meet the explosive consumer demand for tasty plant based snacks. We are very excited to grow Confetti into a global snack company to bring more colours into people’s lives.Betty Lu, Founder and CEO of Confetti Fine Foods
With the traction and rate of uptake from retailers and customers, the startup raised an “oversubscribed seed round” from VCs like Big Idea Ventures, Food Ventures and Innovate 360 last October.
In coming years, Betty aims to grow Confetti to a “global scale”, where the team can actualise their mission of bringing colours into supermarket aisles around the world.
Featured Image Credit: Confetti Fine Foods