BALTIMORE — A perfectly boiled egg has a rich, orange, creamy yolk, said Chelsea Bialla, chief brand officer of Sonoma Brands. So many packaged hard-cooked eggs feature a crumbly, rubbery texture and pale yellow or gray tint.
That was a key piece in the development of Peckish, the latest concept from Sonoma Brands. The Sonoma, Calif.-based incubator behind Smashmallow and Zupa Noma was launched by Krave Jerky founder Jon Sebastiani in 2016.
Debuting at Natural Products Expo East this week in Baltimore, Peckish offers a line of Peck Pack snacks pairing two eggs with crispy, crunchy, flavorful dips. Varieties include Eggs & “Rancheros,”" Eggs & “Maple Waffles,” Eggs & “Fried Rice,” Eggs & “Salt & Pepitas,” and Eggs & “Everything.”
Ms. Bialla co-founded Peckish with the goal to create a high-protein snack with simple ingredients and on-trend flavor profiles. The packs feature organic, free-range eggs and dip options that fit paleo, keto, Whole30 and gluten-free lifestyles.
“At Sonoma Brands, my role as chief brand officer gives me the responsibility of being truly in tune with what’s happening from a macro trends perspective and also always looking through the lens of where there are opportunities in the marketplace or categories that may be ripe for disruption,” Ms. Bialla told Food Business News. “I can cook an amazing version of eggs in my own kitchen, but there aren’t really great, truly clean ready-to-eat options in the marketplace. That was a bit of the ‘aha moment’ in a nutshell.”
Ms. Bialla said in the early days of product development, she and her team experimented with a number of dips to pair with the eggs, such as pesto or aioli and different seasonings. The team discovered quickly that dry dips yielded a better textural experience than wet dips.
“This really crispy, crunchy dip not only is an amazing vehicle to infuse spices and flavor but surprises and delights with just a fun eating experience,” Ms. Bialla said.
The goal was to develop a playful brand that sits at the “intersection of totally clean and totally indulgent,” she added.
“It would have been easy for us to go eggs and chive or some cracked peppercorn and pink Himalayan sea salt, but we wanted to really take it a step further,” Ms. Bialla said.
Peckish will be available to purchase online and in select retailers beginning early next year. A Peck Pack will retail for $3.99. The brand also will offer Peckish Perfectly Boiled eggs in a multi-count pack of four individually wrapped eggs for $4.99.
“Individually wrapped helps mitigate the real deep pool of water you get on some of these six-count multipacks,” Ms. Bialla noted. “Not to mention once you open it, you have to consume all within a three-day period. This gives a better, more appetizing experience, and the consumer more flexibility on how to use it.”
Ms. Bialla said she expects the brand will draw more consumers to the packaged egg category.
“Egg consumption is the highest it’s been in almost 40 years,” she said. “Consumers are eating 279 eggs per year in the U.S. When we just think about where the opportunity lies for us, this does not have niche relevance.”
The broader vision for Peckish is not as a snack pack company but as a “fresh snacking platform” with eggs as the nutritious foundation, Ms. Bialla said.
“What’s fun is when you think about eggs, they actually have a place in all different verticals and places,” Ms. Bialla said. “Our imagination can go wild a little bit. I think you’ll see us reinvent some classic egg-based products in a truly better-for-you manner. Things like an egg salad... and then maybe even more innovative. Different egg-based dips or custard-like products.”