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Native Snacks launches world’s first vegan prawn cracker range for retail

04/10/2021 – Products / Vegan / Prawn Crackers / Snacks / Native Snacks

Native Snacks launches world’s first vegan prawn cracker range for retail

In October, UK snack brand Native Snacks will launch the world’s first retail Vegan Prawn Cracker range – its second range under the firm’s street-food-inspired portfolio Super Street Snacks. 

Coming in at under 99 calories per serving, the new vegan prawn cracker is light and crunchy, and delicately flavoured with all natural, plant-based ingredients – and with absolutely zero prawn involved. 

Native Snacks has said it wants to ‘bring the cracker back’ for vegans and vegetarians who may have had to bin their crackers in the past. Asda and Planet Organic are leading the way in introducing this like-for-like vegan alternative to the much-loved classic snack in the UK. 

Tasting exactly the same as a traditional prawn cracker, the crustacean-free, egg-free, milk-free and gluten-free snack has been created for vegans, vegetarians, and the growing army of environmentally-conscious consumer looking to cut down on their prawn and fish intake as well as their carbon footprint.

The shocking environmental impact of shrimp-farming

“The Native Snacks team were shocked to learn that prawn-farming actually creates as much as four times as many Co2 emissions than beef farming,” the firm said in a statement. “What’s more: excessive prawn farming is often accommodated by the deforestation of mangroves (trees/shrubs that grow in tidal and coastal swamps) to make space for farming. The destruction of these important trees that are vital for wildlife, coastal fisheries, and also serve as buffers to the effects of storms, contributes to the loss of entire coastal zones which in turn impacts coastal communities. When mangroves are ripped out to accommodate prawn-farming, a key infrastructure is lost that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, as well as disturbing vitally important, life-giving seagrass underneath. Furthermore, traditional prawn crackers use egg or milk, which require considerable inputs in terms of the water, grain and energy to first grow the animals before producing these by-product ingredients.

Sustainable alternative to a much-loved snack

Native Snacks – which launched a street-food-inspired, vegan popped lotus seed snack in Sainsbury’s last year – set out to create a sustainable alternative to this much-loved snack – one that is less-damaging to the environment, yet not compromising on crunch and taste. Inspired by a chat with Veganuary Founder Matthew Glover – who said that prawn crackers are a much missed product when people go vegan – the firm set out to find a way to ‘bring the cracker back’ for vegans and vegetarians. Mr Glover has since gone on to become a major investor in the Native Snacks portfolio.

Pr*wn Crackers are a like-for-like, plant-based alternative available in two tasty classic flavours: Original Prawn, the perfect accompaniment to any meal with all of the taste and texture of an original prawn cracker; and Sweet Chilli, a sweet and spicy pick-me-up at any time of the day and delicious when dunked into a dip or sauce.

Native Snacks founders, Charlie Bowker and Darcy Ogsto, said they were “shocked” to hear that the farming of prawns produces more Co2 than beef per kg. “We wanted to create an easy, like-for-like swap for such an iconic snack for vegans and non-vegans alike to enjoy. We loved eating prawn crackers as kids, and no Friday night takeaway felt right without a bag. We always had some friends who couldn’t eat them due to being veggie or vegan. As well as creating something that tasted delicious, it also had to work from an ethical standpoint too. We knew from looking at the many vegan insta accounts that we follow – many who have posted about wanting to find a ‘prawn’ cracker – that the demand was there.”

An innovative like-for-like alternative

“We know there are more than half a million vegans in the UK, and over a third of the population who identify their food choices as ‘flexitarian’,” noted Alison Thomas, Grocery Buyer at Planet Organic. “Up until now, no one has launched a like-for-like alternative to prawn crackers for vegans, vegetarians and the environmentally conscious. We are really excited to launch Native Snacks’ range of plant-based Pr*wn Crackers.”

Matthew Glover, Co-founder of Veganuary and Managing Director of Veg Capital, pointed out that consumers aren't fully aware of the impact that prawn farming is having on the environment, or that prawn crackers can actually contain up to 35-per-cent prawn: “Because of the texture, many assume it’s a cracker with added flavour, but in fact it’s real prawn being farmed and used to make this snack,” he advised. “I used to love eating prawn crackers before going vegan. It has been one of the things I’ve really missed, and so I am really excited that Native Snacks are providing a like-for-like plant-based alternative to traditional prawn crackers,” he continued. “I hope that consumers will realise that there really is no need to eat traditional prawn crackers anymore when you can buy an alternative that is kinder to our planet – and prawns."

Native Snacks Prawn Crackers will be in the Vegan Bay across 222 Asda Stores from 4th October 2021 with an RRP of £1.60 for a 60g sharing bag. The range will also be available from Planet Organic, and through the company’s website.

Native Snacks will also be donating 1p from every pack sold to charity partner Project Seagrass to support the conservation and planting of seagrass. Seagrass meadows are critical to the survival of every living thing on Earth, and provide habitats for 1000s of species. Seagrass produces oxygen, cleans water, absorbs greenhouse gas emissions and helps keep the ocean healthy, which stabilises the climate – both globally and locally.

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