Last week our founder Marco Mega was interviewed by Bio Journaal. Below you find the text translated in English.
Do something good while snacking?
Marco Mega, food technologist, started FoodSpace in 2018. A start-up that came on the market in June this year with two different snack bars based on banana: Banabar Cacao & Hazelnut and Goji & Chia.
"The idea for this product actually came about because as a food technologist and someone who likes to eat snack bars myself, I was eating the same date and granola bars every time. So I decided to create an alternative. After thorough research into the different ingredients which could serve as the basis for my bars, I soon came up with dried banana and experimented with it and had people taste the end products and they liked the bars I had made, "says Marco.
Last summer Lidl made a call to pitch 'FutureGoods' - innovative, healthy or sustainable products - and Food Space has responded to this. “Ultimately, together with 11 other companies, we were selected for the FutureGoods Week in June. For a week the Banabars have been given shelf space in all Lidl branches. We have also received guidance through Lidl for the production of our bars. We have learned a lot from this and our products have received a lot of attention. And so it all started a bit: developing the product, producing it and marketing it. A process of approximately 6 months. "
According to Marco, Banabar distinguishes itself from the other bars because they are the only one based on organic banana. In addition, they also have a strong social and ecological mission. "To improve the social position of organic banana farmers and the environment in Ecuador, 1% of our revenue goes to a project to support the banana farmers with whom we work," he says. Marco explains why he chose the flavours Cacao & Hazelnut and Goji & Chia. "I wanted to make the two bars, despite the basis of 45% - 50% dried bananas, as different as possible in taste and texture, so on the one hand I opted for the Cocoa & Hazelnut bar, which is slightly crisper and somewhat richer The Goji & Chia bar, on the other hand, is a bit fresher and spicier in taste and the texture is softer. To give the bars these flavours, I had to experiment a lot and combine the right ingredients. play with." The bars can be ordered via the website www.banabar.com. They can also be purchased at the Natuurwinkel in Rotterdam and in Culemborg. Foodspace is looking at whether they can bring the products to the Italian market and then to the British and German markets. Marco is also planning to introduce new flavours for Banabar next year and to expand the product line. He is also working on a new meat substitute. Banabar has the ambition to become the best-selling organic snack bar in Europe. After all, their motto is "Do good, while snacking". The more bars they sell, the more money they can put into their project for organic banana farmers in Ecuador.
You can find the original article in Dutch here.