Posted on Apr 10, 2019
Sorghum is gaining momentum in various categories in the food industry. In fact, new, innovative products are looking to sorghum as a smart choice due to it’s super grain qualities. To promote U.S. sorghum as a preferred ingredient in a variety of products, the Sorghum Checkoff created a cooperative branding program to leverage sorghum’s presence in the industry. One company putting the partnership in motion is Ka-Pop!, located in Boulder, Colorado. Ka-Pop! launched in April of 2018 and has been making waves in the food industry since. We sat down with the founder and CEO Dustin Finkel to get the scoop on all things Ka-Pop!
The following responses have been edited for brevity.
I'm a big health and fitness nut. I'm a CrossFit instructor, and I work out 6-7 times a week. I'm very, very conscious about what I put in my body, and over the years, I've become very passionate about ancient grains across the spectrum. I wanted a healthier snack, so after some experimenting with popping different ancient grains, I went out to create a good-for-you healthy alternative to a chip. We created Ka-Pop! Ancient Grain Popped Chips, which are essentially 100 percent sorghum, cold pressed olive oil or sunflower oil and seasoning. Nothing else. We're gluten-free, non-GMO, top 12 allergen-free and vegan, but we're not taste free, and that's why people love us.
Ka-Pop! Ancient Grain Popped Chips are essentially everything you know and love about a popped chip - an airy, light chip that has a nice crunchy texture but not too hard. We're completely air-popped, so it's not baked or fried. All we literally do is take sorghum, both whole grain and flour, we put it into a high-pressure popper that's shaped like a chip. It makes a chip and then we add either cold-pressed olive oil or sunflower oil and seasoning. We have really simple seasoning, in fact our olive oil and sea salt, which is one of our flavors is literally only three ingredients - sorghum, olive oil and sea salt. Our other flavors take that exact base and add spices that are 100 percent from your pantry. We have four flavors - rosemary garlic, vegan cheddar, salt and vinegar, and olive oil and sea salt.
Sorghum is an incredible ancient grain. It originated in northern Africa and has such a powerful nutrient profile. It's also incredibly beneficial for our earth - it uses a fraction of the water as other grains, its bio-regenerative to our soils, which we've damaged over time. One of the best parts from a food application standpoint is that it is very versatile. You can pop it like popcorn, you can extrude it, you can crush or pop it into a chip. It's really nice to have a grain that has such an incredible nutritional profile, is naturally gluten-free, doesn't have a hull and can be so versatile in many different applications.
We are one of the only, if not the only, snack that is fully 100 percent ancient-grain based on a national level. I would say the biggest differentiator we have, and this is why four out of five people who try us on demo buy us, is because not only do we live up to the different expectations that consumers of today have, but we also have absolutely incredible taste. I think there is a lack of taste in the marketplace when you start really focusing on the no-no-nos, you take away what is meant to be an enjoyable experience. So one of the key tenants of our brand is we want to bring authenticity, simplicity and joy back into the marketplace. If you look at our branding, it's fun, it's exciting, it's in your face, it's very lively, because food and snacking shouldn’t be boring. It does not need to be a trade-off, and we really want to bring that excitement back in the market. When people try our product they’re like “wait, it's this clean and this delicious and this much fun?”
You can always find our products using the store locator on our website - www.kapopsnacks.com. We're located in about 700-800 stores nationwide. We're in a lot of retailers in different regions. You can also buy from our website or on Amazon, which is of course, nationwide. You can use code TOPKAPOP to get 15% off your order on our website.
We are a small company, and it's something that is so deeply passionate for us. We’ve given everything we have into this company. If consumers want to talk to us, we're only a click away. You can contact us through our website, and the message will literally go to me (Dustin Finkel) or Haley, our only other full-time employee. We will be quick to respond and help you with anything you could have ever hoped for.
To learn more about Ka-Pop!, visit their website. Have you tried the chips? Share a photo with us online by tagging Ka-Pop! and Simply Sorghum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.