PURCHASE, NY. — It looks like a Dorito, but with fewer carbohydrates and more protein.
Hilo Life, a keto-friendly snack brand launched recently by PepsiCo, Inc., is introducing tortilla-style chips formulated with defatted almond flour. Flavors include nacho cheese, ranch and spicy salsa. A serving contains 3 grams of net carbohydrates, 9 grams of protein and 0 grams of added sugar. (A serving of Cool Ranch Doritos, by comparison, has 18 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein. It is not a significant source of added sugars).
"We connected directly with consumers who follow a keto lifestyle to learn what they were missing, and a top request was a carb-conscious chip that tastes like the snacks they used to love,” said Amanda Cheung, brand director for Hilo Life. “We also identified almond flour as a very popular ingredient and used that insight to develop something truly unique that delivers on protein content and 3 grams net carbs. We recognized a delicious opportunity to innovate and bring our consumers a keto-friendly snack with the flavors and textures they crave."
Hilo Life is part of PepsiCo’s Hive portfolio, a business unit established several years ago to create and grow innovative and differentiated brands, including Stubborn Soda, Maker Oats and Health Warrior.
In late 2019, Hilo Life quietly debuted with the online-only introduction of low-carbohydrate cheese and nut snack mixes. Earlier this year, the products began appearing on retail shelves nationwide at Sprouts Farmers Market and Woodman’s Markets stores and select Hy-Vee stores.
The brand was developed to tap into “noshtalgia,” said Ms. Cheung, describing a feeling consumers experience when adopting a keto lifestyle.
“It's about missing the little things when you're eating low-carb, from the crinkle of opening a chip bag to the feel of a satisfying crunch and even licking the cheese dust off your fingers," she said.
Hilo Life products are available on Amazon.com and hilolife.com.