Launching a new superfood with Ahimsa Snacks Inc.

Ahimsa Snacks Inc./Dear Snackers started with the desire to bring the Makhaa - a little-known certified superfood - to Canada.

Learn more about the project below.

Project Essentials

  • Principal Investigator: Craig Wakefield
  • Co-Investigators: Dhananjay Agarkar & Kassandra Wagner
  • Years Active: 2019
  • Research Themes: Food & Beverage
  • Student Researchers: Hannah Gaum

The Challenge

Ahimsa Snacks (also known as Dear Sackers) saw an opportunity to introduce the makhana - a popular Indian snack made from popped water lily seeds - into the Canadian market. Like popcorn, the snack is rich in fibre, iron and protein and is also naturally gluten-free and vegan. FIRSt originally supported Ahimsa Snacks by scanning the snack category to provide insight into the market. Ahimsa Snacks then returned to FIRSt to develop three new flavours and a formulation that could bring this idea to life.

The GBC Solution

The research team developed benchtop prototypes so that the three flavours could be replicated in a shared kitchen facility. The final products were shared with the client as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) along with the final benchtop formulations and a day of initial production support. FIRSt also provided CFIA compliant Nutrition Facts Tables (NFTs) for the final prototype products.

The Result

FIRSt's work in this project has helped Ahimsa Snacks build initial sales with the MVP products and fulfil orders through manufacturing using the formulation developed. As a result, the signature makhana snack by Dear Snackers had a successful product launch and is currently available at several health food stores across the GTA.