Give Peas a Chance: How Hippeas Snacks Can Change the World

unnamedA groovy new snack is turning millennial-age consumers into proper hippies, and the hippies are crazy about it too. Just one serving benefits your health, your taste buds, the soil and African chickpea farmers.

Hippeas are crispy, puffed curls made of chickpeas. Not only are they packed with flavor, but they’re surprisingly good for you. Hippeas are gluten-free, vegan, organic and even kosher. A 1-ounce serving packs 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. The calorie count is around 100. If that’s not enough to win health-conscious converts, Hippeas contain no MSG. Consumers who have dietary restrictions or just want to live longer can stuff their faces with pride and impunity.

There are even more reasons for Hippeas to become the next globally-adored brand.

As chickpea plants grow, they release nitrogen back into the soil. Nitrogen stimulates future plant growth and increases tolerance to harsh conditions like drought and hot weather.

In accordance with the official Hippeas motto, Peas, Love & Giving Back, a percentage of sales is donated to Farm Africa. Contributions go toward agricultural education and improved farming techniques. The desired result is ending hunger and improving the lives of farmers. Green Park Brands, the maker of Hippeas, doesn’t just want you to like its healthy treats and continue to buy them. It wants you to help bring about social change.

Hippeas are the brainchild of Livio Bisterzo, a relative newcomer to the health-food industry. He looks far too young to have attended Woodstock or experienced the Summer of Love, but his snacks and their packaging are decidedly cool. The bright yellow bags sport a lip-smacking logo, and flavors include Sriracha Sunshine, Maple Haze and Far Out Fajita.

Clever marketing has given tired hippie clichés a relevant twist. The colorful Hippeas website opens to a retro drawing of a hand making the peace sign. The caption reads, “Power to the Peaple,” and the snacks are touted as “good for mind, body and soil.”

Young people are mildly amused by advertising aimed at their grandparents, but what they’re really after is the protein: A 2016 survey found that more than half of millennial-age consumers are gobbling up protein like it was going out of style.

Bisterzo seems to have hit on the right product at the right time. Hippeas were conceived and launched in the spring of 2015. By September 2016, he’d staked his claim on shelf space in 18,500 U.S. and U.K. stores. Retailers include Starbucks, Amazon, Boots and Whole Foods. Amazon sold out within the first hour of stocking Hippeas. Revenues are expected to top $35 million in 2018. Bisterzo’s only challenges are finding enough organic chickpeas and answering 200-300 gushing emails every day.

Fans of Hippeas are exhorted to stand together with “arms in the air, flowers in our hair and crumbs in our beards.” Can you get behind it?