Antithesis Foods, the snack food innovators that debuted with Grabanzos, a chocolate-covered chickpea-based snack, announced the launch of its new brand this month.
Protos are grain-free baked “crisps” or chips based on the same gluten-free legume technology the company has been perfecting since 2019—the year it received a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Phase I award to explore ways to replace commodity ingredients in the processed food industry, such as wheat, potato, and rice, with its patented nutrient-dense chickpea ingredients.
Instead of reaching for those pita chips, customers aiming to eat healthier in the New Year, can now pick up a bag of Protos, which offer more protein and fiber and fewer calories and net carbs, while still offering the deeply satisfying taste experience that snack food connoisseurs are looking for when they open a bag of chips.
In addition to being a delicious gluten-free snack, two of the flavors (Simply Salted and Summer BBQ) are also vegan and allergen-free. For those who enjoy dairy, Sour Cream and Onion is another flavor option in the product line.
“While we started the company to make Grabanzos, our goal was always to use food science to make foods that are as great for you as they taste,” said Jason Goodman ’20, CEO and co-founder. “So, the mission is the same, just in a product that tastes even better—and is a lot easier to make!”
Antithesis Foods and the food science behind its initial product was conceived in 2018, when the founding team—all students in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University at the time—were tasked with creating a healthy snack in a product development course. The group grew their business idea in eLab, Cornell’s student startup accelerator
Since then, the company has made great strides in getting healthier snack products on shelves, as well as significant contributions to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2020, Antithesis partnered with the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) and other food and agriculture stakeholders in the region on an agriculture diversification initiative to successfully grow chickpeas in New York State. The company is a member of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, a startup incubator located in downtown Ithaca, NY.
“We’re so excited to finally get Protos in the hands of customers! They have been in development for about a year, and we’ve done a lot of testing with the Rev community and Grabanzos customers to iterate on the product prior to launch. We can’t wait to see how customers at large react to the product and use that to drive further innovation at Antithesis,” said Ashton Yoon ’19, COO and co-founder.
Customers can currently get their hands on Protos by visiting eatprotos.com, or purchasing them at P&C Fresh (Ithaca, NY), or the café in Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. More retail locations will be coming soon. In the meantime, the company encourages those interested in the new brand to join their mailing list for the inside scoop.