The growing popularity of the ketogenic diet can cause many to feel like pasta is little more than a memory of a comfort food once enjoyed with friends and family. While the delicious staple of many Italian dishes is typically packed with carbohydrates, one inventor is looking to switch up the market. Enter Palmini, a new low-carb pasta brand looking to make waves with the growing number of consumers who are going low-carb for health or aesthetic reasons, as well as those who suffer from gluten sensitivities.
Carbonara without the carbs?!
A low-carb pasta? It may sound like an oxymoron, but don't be so quick to dismiss the concept; a single serving of Palmini pasta has just 15 calories, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and no sugar. The product is also gluten-free which, along with carbohydrate concerns, is another reason why consumers skip the noodle aisle. Palmini products are made with a vegetable called “heart of palm,” which is the edible bud of a palm tree.1
Palmini is owned by parent company OA Foods, which was launched by CEO Alfonso Tejada in 2012 to offer consumers more access to healthy and natural food options–a new concept just a few years ago. Catching the wave of the natural food trend when it was at its highest, Tejada told reporters that he hopes Palmini will be the next big thing for consumers looking to eat better.
“Back [in 2012] nobody knew what quinoa was, so I started importing it,” Tejada explained. “Today nobody knows what Palmini is yet, but I believe it will be even bigger than quinoa.”2
A massive deal
Palmini stepped onto the national stage in February of 2018, when the CEO jumped into the Shark Tank, a reality television show in which entrepreneurs seek financial backing and guidance from “sharks” seeking a percentage stake in the company. Tejada ended up walking out with a partnership between himself, owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban, and home shopping expert Lori Greiner. Tejada exchanged a 25 percent stake in OA Foods for $300,000 and the invaluable expertise of Cuban and Greiner.3
While we probably won't be seeing Palmini served up in stadiums where the Dallas Mavericks are playing, Tejada's partnership with the “Queen of QVC” Greiner means that a television promotion may be soon making the rounds on a home shopping network near you.
Carb-conscious consumers demand corporate consideration
Palmini is entering the market during a time in which demands for low-sugar and low-carb options is at an all-time high. Picky millennial consumers who have become accustomed to nutritious options that are both delicious and use wholesome ingredients are shifting the entire culture of the market, making room for indie brands and startups to take a slice of the profits from major corporations. The low-carb movement isn't just taking place in the United States; as the sugar levy in the United Kingdom goes into effect this year, it's possible that more and more governments will take steps to encourage low-sugar and carb consumption in their consumers…making even more room for companies like Palmini to thrive.