Melanie Zanoza Bartelme

New use for ugly produce
Potato chip company Dieffenbach’s isn’t able to use every potato it receives in its line of kettle chips; some are blemished, too large or small, or simply surplus. To prevent these not-quite-perfect and extra potatoes from becoming food waste, the company introduced its Uglies Chips, complete with packaging that explains what’s “wrong” with them.

Uglies will have brown edges, brown spots, or be darker all over, but their flavor is still delicious,” says Dwight Zimmerman, vice-president of sales and marketing for Dieffenbach’s.

Working with regional farmers, the company sources these rejected potatoes and manufactures them in small batches, using fresh, custom seasonings. They are available in Original Sea Salt, Mesquite BBQ, and Salt & Vinegar.

With a suggested retail price of $1.50–$2 per bag (nearly half the price of the leading chip, says Zimmerman), Uglies pass on the company’s savings from purchasing damaged and surplus potatoes to the consumer.

Protein-packed cookies
Munk Pack
debuted its Protein Cookies, a line of non-GM, gluten-free, vegan treats that provide 18 grams of plant protein from nuts, grains, and brown rice. Munk Pack cofounder Tobias Glienke says the company created these cookies in part because consumers want a convenient way to consume protein in product types that go beyond shakes and bars.

“What drives us at Munk Pack is doing things that have never been done before … that others say are impossible,” he explains. “There has never been a high-protein, gluten-free, vegan cookie. It is already challenging to create a gluten-free cookie that holds together without eggs, let alone a high-protein and delicious-tasting cookie with less sugar than existing products.”

Although they contain vegan-friendly turbinado sugar, the cookies are the only ones on the market with less sugar than protein that do not use sugar alcohols, which can be hard to digest, says Glienke.

Protein Cookies are available in four flavors—Double Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Coconut White Chocolate Macadamia, and Oatmeal Raisin Spice—for a suggested retail price of $2.49.

Stirring up hummus innovation
Realizing that hummus tastes best when it’s freshly made, Hummustir founders Rakesh Barmecha and Alon Kruvi set out to provide consumers with a way to enjoy hummus that was as good as what they’d eaten growing up in Israel—without preservatives and fillers. The product Kruvi invented consists of individual packs of ground chickpeas, tahini, and spices that users stir together in the accompanying paper bowl.

The kits are available in three flavors—smooth and simple Classic, tangy lime and garlic Mediterranean, and cumin- and garlic-accented Village. They are shelf stable for up to 18 months, though they do need to be refrigerated after mixing, and the ingredients are non-GM, organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Hummustir can be found on Amazon, Jet, and at Wegmans for a suggested retail price of $14.99 per three-pack.


Hummustir kits let users create fresh hummus on demand by mixing individually packaged ingredients in the handy included bowl.

Munk Pack Protein Cookies

Single-serve Munk Pack Protein Cookies provide 18 grams of plant protein from nuts, grains, and brown rice.

Uglies Chips

Dieffenbach’s Uglies Chips transform damaged and surplus potatoes into a potato chip product designed to reduce food waste.