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Conscious Snacking with SnackConscious

Protein bites that actually taste like dessert? And contain healthy ingredients that help your brain and body function? GoodGood met up with Shannon Fitzgerald, the Co-founder of SnackConscious and we got the scoop on how these delicious snacks came to be, and how their adaptogen blends work together in one of the tastiest pick-me-ups you can find in the snack section.

Shannon: I'm Shannon Fitzgerald, the co-founder of Snack Conscious. We started the business with my friend Craig Morantz, who is based in Toronto, and I'm right outside New York City.

Xana: Alright, let's dive into it. So how did this start? Where did the inspiration for creating an alternative protein bite come from? What lit that fire?

Shannon: It all started during the COVID lockdown. We were just chatting with each other, and we had the realisation that we were reaching for unhealthy, sweet snacks. We wanted the usual chocolates, cookies, and brownies. When we noticed this, we thought “oh my god, we have to prioritise our health”. So, we started supplementing like crazy. I've been taking adaptogens for a long time, so I knew that in order to feel better, less stressed out and have more energy, we all had to be taking adaptogens.

So, that’s where it started. The question was, "what if we could combine these things where we could have something sweet that we wanted to reach for but also had these functional benefits all in one?" We designed what that was on paper, and then we brought it to different manufacturers and research and development people. They all told us it was impossible because mushrooms taste bad- and you can't get this much protein and something that tastes like a brownie but we were persistent. It took 12 months, but we made it happen.

Xana: Congratulations. I love that SnackConscious was created because of the pandemic. I feel like so many cool things came out of people just taking a pause and thinking about how we can make the world and our lives a little bit better? You know? But like you said, it was challenging to get everything in there and make it taste good, so tell me what that process was like.

Shannon: Our focus going into it was thinking about how we make a product that makes you feel good, and what do we have to do to support that? We love adaptogens because they help your body just manage all the side effects of stress and kind of help you come back to a balanced normal.

When putting our blend together, it was really asking, how do we boost our mood? And how do we just make sure that we're feeling good? We picked three powerhouse adaptogens. The first one is Reishi, and they call her the queen of the mushrooms, she’s the mood booster and helps you feel good. And then we have Cortisol, which helps manage your body's energy level levels. They call it nature's pre-workout. And then Maca is good for so many things that help balance your body and support endurance. You get the energy to do the things that you want to do all the time.

The taste was the hardest thing to do. There are tons of adaptogen products in the market and adaptogens just taste like dirt, right? You're never going to have one and think, oh, that was delicious. We have strong flavours like chocolate brownie or the peanut butter chocolate chip, or the strawberry flavour, so we had to find natural foods and ingredients that helped balance the strong mushroom taste. We learned a lot about what ingredients not to mix with adaptogens because some just make it taste even worse. It was a learning process for sure.

Xana: I remember when I went through my morning smoothie phase and added the powdered maca blends which just made them taste like dirt ,so I never gravitated towards adaptogen blends and ultimately gave up on making them tasty. But - it seems like that problem has been solved with these protein bites, which gives me hope. They are a sweeter snack to reach for, so I'm curious if there's a benefit to eating them at a particular time of day or, what type of lifestyle is the snack great for?

Shannon:  I mean, I think it depends on the flavour. Like we see people gravitating toward different ones at different times of the day, but we designed it to be kind of like your afternoon snack, right? The thing that you're eating between a meal or maybe you're not ready to have a whole meal yet you just want to treat yourself. It was designed for that afternoon moment.

Xana: Can you tell me about the proteins and sugars you use? 

Shannon: We went with a pea and brown rice protein that we then fermented in Chautauqua mycelium. And what this does is it removes that protein taste that a lot of plant-based protein products have, and it makes it bioavailable. So it's really healthy for you. It's easy to digest, easy to absorb, and your body can use it. I think that's kind of the big one. In terms of sugar, we just use monk fruit as our sweetener. The only added sugar in the product is the tiny little dark chocolate chips that are in there which we're changing. But you know, we wanted to have this great protein and wanted to make sure that it was naturally sweetened, but not in a way that's going to add lots of grams of sugar. 

Xana: What is your favourite flavour?

Shannon: It changes all the time. It was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip because it does just taste like cookie dough. It was that flavour for a long time. So - funny story about that is that we knew we wanted cookie dough as a flavour, and my co-founder, who does all our formulations and product development, kept sending us samples and they just weren't tasting like cookies, they were tasting like peanut butter chocolate chip. So when I submitted the packaging, which is like brand new marketing's my side of the business, I changed it to Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip because I don't want to say cookie dough and then it doesn't taste like it. But I should have trusted him because when we got that final sample back from him, it just 100% tasted like cookie dough. So it really does.

Xana: I agree, it tastes exactly like cookie dough and that one just might be my favourite. What’s next for SnackConscious?

Shannon: We have some really exciting Limited Edition flavours that you know we'd love to talk to GoodGood about carrying because they'll be kind of only for a couple of weeks at a time but we have some fun ones coming out like birthday cake and s'mores so we're excited for those.

Learn more about SnackConscious by visiting their website, or following them on Instagram. 

Shop SnackConscious 

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Snack Conscious Bites - Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites
Snack Conscious - Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites
Snack Conscious Bites - Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites
Snack Conscious - Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites

Snack Conscious - Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bites

$3.99

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