Outstanding Foods is Giving Junk Food a Better-For-You Makeover

Outstanding Foods is Giving Junk Food a Better-For-You Makeover

Each serving of Outstanding Cheese Balls contains four grams of protein and includes 20 vitamins and minerals. Photo courtesy of Outstanding Foods.

Outstanding Foods, the maker of plant-based, better-for-you junk foods like cheese puffs and pork rinds, has plans to expand beyond the salty snack category. The Los Angeles-based brand — whose high-profile investors include rapper Snoop Dogg and ex-professional skateboarder turned investor Rob Dyrdek — is set to debut soft-baked, gluten-free cookies and is also developing egg substitutes.

Outstanding Foods was co-founded by serial entrepreneur and longtime vegan Bill Glaser and chef and product developer Dave Anderson in 2016. The company’s first product offering was a bacon-inspired, mushroom-based snack. Since then, it has developed three product lines: Outstanding Puffs, Outstanding Cheese Balls and Outstanding Pig Out Crunchies. 

These offerings are formulated with pea protein and a blend of nutrients from broccoli, spinach, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, sunflower seed, cranberry, chlorella and maitake and shiitake mushrooms. Current flavor profiles range from white cheddar and nacho cheese to pizza and barbecue. Soon, the company will be launching Outstanding Cookies, which contain 5 grams of protein per serving.

Related: Are HighKey Cookies the Next Sugar-Free Oreo Alternative?

To date, Outstanding Foods has raised a total of $16.7 million over six rounds of funding. Glaser and Anderson intentionally brought on early investors who were celebrities and influencers so that they could leverage them in creating content. To do so, the duo sent out samples and let the products speak for themselves.

“I’m excited to partner with the Outstanding Foods team,” said rapper Snoop Dog, in a press release from 2020. “They got some great snacks coming out, including the PigOut munchies. Wait until you see what else we got up our sleeves, ya dig.”

Even though its products may be classified as junk foods, the brand prides itself on using wholesome ingredients that contain vitamins and minerals to give customers functional foods without sacrificing flavor. Outstanding Foods is also taking advantage of nostalgia by innovating classic snacks, from its dairy-free Cheese Balls to plant-based pork rinds.

However, Outstanding Foods is not the only company that markets nostalgic, better-for-you snacks. Companies like Magic Spoon, Goodles and GoodPop are among the many independent brands in the better-for-you snack space, which is expected to reach $70 billion by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5 percent. 

Since consumers are gradually shifting towards healthier snacks, but don’t want to fully cut out their favorite childhood flavors, manufacturers are focusing on using more nutritious ingredients and adding essential nutrients to their offerings, like protein, vitamins and minerals. 

Key players in the better-for-you snack market are also becoming more transparent about their ingredients and sources. They are disclosing details about various processes that raw materials go through before they are converted into final products, including processing and packaging.

Given the competitive landscape of the market, it is unknown whether Outstanding Foods will remain independent, merge with a larger food company or even hold an initial public offering (IPO). For now, customers can find its products in nearly 22,000 retail stores, including Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods and on Amazon.