Purplesful uses purple corn to create delicious treats. They are available at Loblaws and will be at Sobeys later this month. In an email interview, Matthew von Teichman, founder and CEO of the company, talks about his plans and aspirations.
When did you start Purplesful?
MT: Purplesful Snacking became one of my projects in 2020 and came to fruition in late February and early March 2022. I believe in the importance of creating products and brands that are not influenced or driven by profit for stakeholders only, but actually generate profits for the benefit of a larger cause. The snacking industry is really made up of a few corporations that don’t have much of a soul. They give back whenever possible, but giving is not part of their DNA. Shoppers deserve the opportunity to shop consciously and explore brands that go beyond simply offering a tasty treat. Purplesful Popcorn not only explores healthy snacking, but it also tackles larger issues such as funding education, health and nutrition programs for the next generation of children, donating 25% of all proceeds to charities supporting these causes.
What flavors do you offer?
MT: We currently offer Purplesful Popcorn in two delicious flavors in our Original Family Packs – Sea Salt and Vegan Cheddar. All products are made from high antioxidant purple corn and are non-GMO, gluten free and have an incredibly light and chewy texture.
How are they unique in the market?
MT: Purplesful Snacking is unique in that we use a superhero ingredient in purple corn; we’ve made sure both flavors are NON-GMO, 100% plant-based, and gluten-free, providing a healthy and suitable snack option for those with specific dietary needs and restrictions. Purplesful snacks also contain 0g of trans fat and are created using only whole grains. This alternative to your usual popcorn and chips is a real game-changer because shoppers no longer have to sacrifice healthy nutrition for tasty and delicious treats!
What is your mission statement?
MT: At Purplesful, our mission is to support underprivileged children through the sale of healthy snack products. Through the sale of our popcorn, we will donate 25% of all proceeds, hoping to create an opportunity for all children to reach their full potential.
Why did you decide to use purple corn?
MT: I first learned about purple corn when I met a fantastic guy from Peru at the Natural Products show in California. He told me he was a multi-generational farmer from the Andes and was actually at the convention center representing a group of farmers. As we chatted, he shared a ton of information about what makes purple corn nutritionally better than regular yellow corn, and the other benefits that come from this ancient grain. That’s when I started thinking about how this superfood ingredient can transform the snack industry, and from there the gears in my mind started turning as I was starting to think about how we could turn purple corn into a new and innovative snack. Additional benefits of purple corn include higher levels of polyphenols. They’re packed with antioxidants and rich nutrients, while tasting great. By using non-GMO purple corn, they are naturally much smoother, creating a much creamier taste, unlike anything currently on the market.
Where do you source your ingredients?
MT: We source our ingredients by partnering with local farmers in South America who have specialized in growing and growing purple corn for centuries. Once the ancient grain is harvested, it is then shipped to our facilities in Canada where we process the grain corn product into popcorn! By partnering with local Peruvian farmers, we are able to support stakeholders beyond just our primary clients, investors and advisors.
What challenges did you encounter from concept to product launch?
MT: We had a lot of challenges, like all startups. Most of the challenges were finding enough purple corn and then we had a really hard time getting the vegan cheddar cheese flavor right. I think we finally succeeded, but it took a long time. Since our launch, we’ve had the same struggles as most, balancing production with demand, getting the message out about what makes us different. All in all though, it’s been a great trip so far!
Where can consumers buy your products?
MT: At this time, Purplesful Snacking is currently available at select Loblaws stores, independent grocers and health food stores. Later this month we will also be available in all Canadian Shopper Drug Mart stores and in Metro as well.
What are your future plans?
MT: We plan to make Purplesful a truly meaningful company. We hope to raise $50 million over the next five years to support charities that help children in disadvantaged communities. To do this, we will launch many more products and put our current products in the hands of many more individuals and buyers. We’re also launching in the US this fall!