Savory Balance tortilla chips from Prime Choice Foods provide guilt-free, vitamin-enhanced snacking

by Jennifer Barnett Fox
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At first glance, Prime Choice Foods’ new Savory Balance yellow corn tortilla chips appear no different from traditional tortilla chips. But a peek at the back-of-package nutritional panel confirms these are no ordinary snacks. NutriFusion concentrates — a proprietary powder blend of tomato, broccoli, carrot, apple and orange added to ground corn — supply a health boost that requires no sacrifice in taste.

The bioavailable concentrates promote efficient absorption of the food’s natural vitamins and minerals into the body. Unlike other veggie chips that use color from broccoli or beets to highlight the real food components, the NutriFusion powder can only be seen under a microscope, according to Mauro Gomez, sales at Prime Choice Foods, Henderson, NV.

The company conducted lab analysis to further showcase the difference between Savory Balance tortilla chips and traditional tortilla chips. A 1-oz serving (10 to 12 chips) of the Savory Balance fruit and vegetable-infused chips contains the equivalent of one serving of fruit and vegetables in addition to 400 mcg of lycopene, antioxidants and an excellent source of vitamins A and C. The chips are also free of preservatives, GMOs, gluten and trans fat.

“We want to appeal to a wider audience that desires a healthier lifestyle,” Mr. Gomez said. “There is no change in the flavor of these chips, so why not offer a healthier alternative?”

Prime Choice Foods introduced the product at the Private Label Manufacturers Association show in November, where a number of retailers approached the company about branding the product. The tortilla chips also gained approval from the Denver, CO, and Chicago, IL, school systems for use during the 2011-12 school year, and the chips received two stars from the Guiding Stars nutrition rating system, the highest of all tortilla chips the organization has evaluated so far.

The company chose to call out many of the nutrition benefits on the front of the package and sells the chips in both 1- and 7-oz packages. The 1-oz bag, which retails for 99¢, will serve as both a trial item and a size for vending in the near future. The 7-oz bag retails for $2.89 to $2.99. The retailers that will launch their own branded versions of the Savory Balance chips in March plan to employ “softer” claims on the back of the package, according to Mr. Gomez.

“Being a smaller family-owned company, we have the opportunity to set ourselves apart by being innovative and taking the time to listen to consumers and give them what they want,” Mr. Gomez said.