Healthy snack in line for global innovation award

Crispy Green Bean and Sugar Snap Pea crisps, a unique veggie snack developed in Northern Ireland, is in the running for a major award for food innovation at next month’s big SIAL 2018 expo in Paris.


The snack has been created and manufactured under Pinkfinch, a snack brand from Food Stories in Belfast, which also produces artisan popcorn under the successful Cloud Corn brand.


The recipe for the Crispy Green Bean and Sugar Snap Pea crisps has been developed by Michael Heaslip, founder of Food NI member Food Stories, a company that began as a distributor of artisan foods in Northern Ireland, in 2014.


The Pinkfinch range of fruit and veggie crisps was launched by Mr Heaslip, earlier in the year, as part of a diversification into snack food production. The range is the outcome of market research and product development over almost three years.


“My aim was to develop a healthier crisp, one which could contribute to the five-a-day diet recommendation. We developed a unique cooking process that maintains the benefits of the fruits and vegetables,” Mr Heaslip explains. “This means, for example, that they are a healthier snack for children in particular. “They are also based on real fruit, are gluten-free and high in fibre.”


In addition to the Crispy Green Bean and Sugar Snap Pea, the Pinkfinch range includes Apple and Banana. Green Bean also won a UK Great Taste Award this year.


He sees the SIAL Innovation shortlisting as a “huge bonus” for the small business from the prestigious food exposition. “It’s a marvellous endorsement by a panel of expert judges of the quality and originality of the product. We are really excited about the shortlisting, our first time at SIAL. It will be enormously beneficial as we seek to grow our sales in Europe and further afield.”


The SIAL Innovation Award recognises and celebrates original food products from across the world.


“We are taking part in SIAL as part of our strategic focus on growing international sales. SIAL is a tremendously important showcase of new food ideas. And it’s great to be recognised as an innovator,” Mr Heaslip adds.