Where did the idea come from?
We always knew we wanted to do something with chickpeas. It is such an incredibly healthy crop and after all, In 2013, SK produced over 99 per cent of Canada’s Chickpeas. Our minds first wandered to a hummus, but after trialing that out and failing miserably due to a limited shelf life, we decided we better stick to shelf stable good. We also knew we wanted to produce real food that tasted great. Minimal processing and full on flavor were top priority. What better way to do this than to roast and season our farmers’ chickpeas. It’s a process we do all the time in our home for snacks and salads. It’s also a common food in several ethnic markets due to the great taste, big crunch and awesome flavor. Once the idea was voiced, there was no going back. We were on a mission to make these chickpeas the rockstar of snack foods.
Here's Colin, one of our Three Farmers, seeding the chickpeas!
Picking the flavors
Flavors are tough. There are a million options out there ranging from mainstream flavors such as ranch and dill pickle and then there are the crazy combinations such as buffalo and blue cheese. We wanted unique. Something that was great to snack on but had a place in your salads as well. We needed to use flavors that people were familiar with and could appreciate. So what did we come up with? BBQ of course – an all time favorite. Balsamic & Cracked Pepper – a unique combination of subtle sweetness with a peppery finish. Sea Salt & Lime – anyone with an appreciation for salt will love the initial salty kick followed with a burst of fresh lime.
The texture challenge
There’s a distinct difference between the texture of a roasted chickpea versus the texture of a fried chickpea. For anyone that has roasted chickpeas at home, you know that if not done properly, you can lose a few teeth over them! But a fried chickpea has a light airy crunch that will have you coming back for more. We wanted the impossible - A roasting process that would result in the ultimate airy crunch – we like to call it!
This is always the most difficult part. It’s about finding the right combination of graphics and words, vibrant colors and clean space, balance and contrast, and English and French. It’s a struggle to find room for all the information that you want to include and all the information you have to include. Most of all, it’s about creating a package that will appeal to our customers in all markets. Something that will jump off the shelf and look delicious and intriguing. A design that says, Eat me! I’m delicious, I’m healthy, I’m real!
Along with new products comes the excitement of building in our traceability so that we can tell customers exactly who grew their chickpeas and when and where they were grown. Fortunately, with the launch of our brand, we built a tracing system on our website that was versatile and could accommodate new products down the road. So when our Three Farmers Roasted Chickpeas hit the market, be sure to trace your package on our website and find out who your farmer was!
Now the exciting stuff. We finally have the product in hand – how are we going to tell the world about it? The options are endless. There are food shows galore, school programs requiring nut-free alternatives, liquor tastings looking for the perfect snack pairing, marathon events looking for healthy foods on the go, sporting events (obviously we are referring to the Roughriders!), and the list goes on. So stay tuned folks because chances are we will be in your neighbourhood soon promoting these wonderful new nut-free, gluten-free, high fibre, high protein snack and salad toppers!