INTERVIEWEE - Ms. Nadja Schoser
Founder of PaPicante

PaPicante is an interesting newcomer in savoury snacking. The snack start-up, based in Stuttgart, Germany was one of the key exhibitors at Gulfood Health and Wellness section held recently in Dubai. In this candid interview, Nadja Schoser, one of the founders of PaPicante, speaks to Dhanya AK explaining how PaPicante snack bars are different from their counterparts in the market.

Can you introduce PaPicante to our readers?

PaPicante is the new savoury, clean and delicious snack bar in international flavours that satisfies your hunger perfectly between meals and on the go. Our pea protein cereal bars are apt for a mobile and busy lifestyle and provide you with a savoury, novel and highly addictive snacking experience with a clear conscience - thanks to our innovative ingredients like pea protein crisps based on the local superfood pea, quinoa, dried vegetables, aromatic herbs and exotic spices. It is more like a real meal than just an ordinary snack. It has natural and gluten-free ingredients, high-fibre and vegetable source of protein with no preservatives or flavour enhancers. In short, it’s an international cuisine that fits in your pocket.

Which are the international flavours available?

As of now, PaPicante snack bars are available in American, Mediterranean and Asian styles. The American style is the one and only choice for meat and BBQ lovers. The Mediterranean style is the perfect match for vegetarians. And the Asian style is the exotic one for vegans. These flavours are inspired by the typical kitchen of different regions and continents. Our “ethno-food to go” works well with different forms of nutrition and preferences.

Who is your main target group?

Our main target group is women from the age of 25 years. It is perfectly suited for women with a busy yet healthy and naturally active lifestyle. But, anyone can try PaPicante whether they are working out, are outdoors enjoying nature, after an exhausting business meeting or at a late hour. It’s for everyone who looks for a healthy and tasty snack that satisfies hunger on the move.

How did you reach to the idea of launching PaPicante?

The idea behind PaPicante is closely connected with the background of me and PaPicante co-founder Tobias. As a former flight attendant I know exactly about the needs of travellers and people on the go. Reflecting on the fact that these busy people tend to prefer something light but satisfying during the day, the idea of creating a healthy and savoury counterpart to sweet cereal bars being served on-board, was born.
Tobias, a sportsman and sales professional was excited about the idea from the start. Not only did he enhance our snack bars in terms of nutritional aspects, but also pushed their realisation to a completely new level. Our mission is to make savoury snacking healthy, satisfying and tasty all at the same time. We call it a ‘green revolution in savoury snacking’.

Any story behind the name “PaPicante?”

Yes. When it comes to cereal bars, everybody thinks of sweet or fruity flavours. In order to promote our “hearty revolution” in the snack bar market, we already wanted the product name to reflect our new savoury flavour. In Spanish, the word ‘Papi’ means ‘cool guy’ and ‘Picante’ means ‘spicy’. So ‘PaPicante’ means ‘cool and spicy’. We think it’s the best name for our innovative and international snack bar.

Can you explain your experience at Gulfood 2018?

This was the first time we attended the show. We were nominated for Best Health and Wellness Product in the Gulfood Innovation Awards. Though we didn’t win it, the nomination itself was an honour for us. We were among the four best companies in the Health and Wellness section of this year’s Gulfood. And they displayed PaPicante in the section of best innovative products. Seeing that, many people came to our booth to know more. Definitely, Gulfood was a great experience.

Are your products available in the UAE?

Not yet. We are a start-up company. We launched the product in Germany seven months ago. There, the product is available online as well. People can make orders from our website and we provide delivery. Apart from Germany, currently we have distribution in Switzerland and Austria. Soon it will be available in the UK and the Scandinavian regions. We want to start distribution in the UAE also. We are in talks with people from India for the same. PaPicante has spicy flavour and many spices and herbs in it. We got very good feedback in Germany. So we have an impression that PaPicante has even better market in the UAE as people here like salty and spicy food. Moreover, we can feel the demand for a healthy product like PaPicante in the region. Our products are for busy people on the go, but also for people who want a light meal while it is hot outside or when they go to beach. In Germany, our sales are down during winter. PaPicante is definitely more of a summer product. In the UAE, the summer lasts all year long. So we have better prospects here.

What are the future plans of PaPicante?

We are planning to extend our product range. We will be launching three new flavours: Greek Style with feta cheese and black olives, Mexican Style and Arabian or Indian Style. We will bring Arabian or Indian Style with an inspiration from Gulfood. The two countries are so related. We are in discussions with some Indian suppliers on the spices and Indian style. We are so motivated to bring more savoury snack bars. We will also introduce new products based on pea protein crisps. Our basic ingredient is pea protein, which is high in fibre and a natural source of plant-based protein. This combination is very filling. People feel satisfied with a light snack. Likewise, we have lots of nice ideas and we will put them into practice. That’s our action plan for this year.

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