PepsiCo accelerator brand Hilo Life launches keto-friendly tortilla chips


Dive Brief:

  • Hilo Life, a company within PepsiCo’s Hive accelerator, has launched an almond flour-based tortilla chip targeting keto and carb-conscious eaters, according to a press release.
  • The chips are made with defatted almond flour to provide more protein than traditional almond flour without increasing the fat content. They contain 3 grams of net carbs and 9 grams of protein per serving, and come in three flavors: Nacho Cheese, Ranch and Spicy Salsa.
  • The keto-friendly segment continues to ramp us as Hilo Life’s latest product joins other snack debuts over the last year, including General Mills’ Ratio line and Swedish brand Nick’s Keto Snack Bars.

Dive Insight:

Hilo Life’s newest addition expands its keto-friendly snack portfolio, which also includes a cheese and nut snack mix that comes in single-serving packages.  

As consumers continue to explore different diet approaches from low-carb to plant-based, keto has emerged as a popular option. High-fat diets saw the largest boost in popularity between 2018 and 2019, according to Statista, with the total number of subscribers jumping 3%. The global keto diet market could reach $1.11 billion in value by the end of 2023, Technavio reports.

But the high-fat, low-carb meal plan can make it difficult for dieters to find packaged goods that fit the bill. A number of brands, however, are launching keto-friendly products. Just last week, Swedish brand Nick’s released Keto Snack Bars, while in September General Mills debuted its first keto-friendly line called Ratio, which includes crunchy bars and dairy yogurt snacks. Conagra also introduced keto-friendly versions of its Duncan Hines brand products while better-for-you ice cream maker Halo Top launched seven keto flavors.

PepsiCo has been working to add better-for-you brands to its offerings over the last several years, most recently through its brand accelerator The Hive. The snack and beverage maker recorded a revenue increase from the better-for-you segment from 38% of total revenue in 2006 to 50% in 2017. The next year, the company launched The Hive. The first brand to join was plant-based protein bar, mix and snack maker Health Warrior in 2018 through an acquisition. It added baked fruit and vegetable snack maker Bare to the lineup later that year and also acquired probiotic drink maker KeVita. In 2019, it snapped up BFY Brands, the maker of PopCorners.

The Hive offers PepsiCo a way to nurture niche brands, which often require a different approach to marketing and distribution compared to conventional products. The outfit is also focused on identifying brands it can acquire to keep up with consumer demand instead of investing a larger amount of time and money to build new brands in-house. 

With such a large market opportunity, however, many other CPGs are hot on PepsiCo’s heels. Kraft Heinz, Campbell Soup, Nestlé and Conagra are engaging in similar brand acquisition and acceleration efforts. Although this benefits consumers through increased product offerings, it makes competition fierce among manufacturers.