What's the perfect snack to enjoy while watching "Shark Tank"? One New Jersey-based business thinks it has the answer to that question. Like Air makes what it describes as "Puffcorn," a riff on popcorn, but these puffed corn creations avoid some of the usual hassles of popcorn, such as hard kernels.
Like Air Baked Puffcorn, a product line from Lulu Snacks, Inc., debuted in 2020. Its founders, brothers Steve and Kevin Atieh and their sister Allison Lin, created a product aimed at the healthy snacks market. The product contains no artificial ingredients, and a cup of the puffs holds only 50 calories. The snack is sold in several flavors, including pancake, American cheddar, and butter and salt. There was a special cinnamon bun flavor and a limited pumpkin spice flavor sold at select stores in 2023. Lulu Snacks is a small operation with fewer than 10 employees, but they could be on their way to building a successful national food brand.
Like Air Snacks In Stores Across The Country
Like Air Baked Puffcorn hit the shelves at Sam's Clubs nationwide in 2021. The first flavor available was the Pancake Puffcorn, and the savings club now sells Like Air online as well. The following year, the brand won over major grocery retailer Kroger, which offered three flavors of Puffcorn in 1,000 of its stores.
At the time of the Kroger deal, company co-founder Allison Lin explained its business philosophy to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery. She said, "We prioritize innovation and created our Like Air Puffcorn for consumers to have a healthier snacking experience without the need to compromise flavor." The company's commitment to clean eating is apparent on the product's ingredient list, which only contains three items: cornmeal, sunflower oil, and natural seasoning. The company only uses non-GMO varieties of these ingredients. Clearly, investors are seeing the potential for this product in the market for healthy yet tasty snacks: Lulu Snacks Inc. attracted more than $2 million in outside investment in June 2023, according to Crunchbase. Will the sharks on "Shark Tank" be equally as interested?
Earning Awards And Getting Good Reviews
Not only has the company received substantial funding, but it has earned some important accolades as well. Like Air Baked Puffcorn took home the top prize last year offered by grocery chain Albertsons as part of its Annual Albertsons Cos. Innovation Launchpad competition. The company shared this honor with Evive Smoothie Cubes and Dream Pops Plant-Based Ice Cream. The three businesses shared more than $300,000 worth of cash and prizes.
The public reception of Puffcorn has been mostly positive. Reddit users raved about the pancake flavor, posting, "It tastes exactly like pancakes" and "[It] has a nice light syrup and butter flavor." In addition to being tasty, these melt-in-your-mouth airy corn puffs are remarkably friendly for a variety of diets and health concerns. The recipe for each flavor contains no soy, no peanuts, no tree nuts, and no gluten (the company is working on becoming certified as gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization). Like Air Puffcorn is, though, already certified Kosher. Even the factory where these snacks are made is nut-free. Find out if the sharks are as enthusiastic about Puffcorn as fans are on the Friday, January 19th episode.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.