Health food is a lifestyle, not a trend. This was evident by Take Root’s triumph at the International Food Exhibition Philippines (IFEX), the country’s largest international trade exhibition for specialty food, last Friday, May 19, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila. The Makati-based junk-free snack company and their all- natural kale chips are the 2017 Katha Award winner for Best New Product in Snack Food, besting thousands of other products.
The Katha Awards for Food highlights innovative, export-competitive products and aims to boost the Philippines’ reputation as a go-to destination for premium Asian food and ingredients.
Take Root’s dehydrated kale chips stood out for their originality, great taste, nutritional benefits and high-quality packaging. The first of its kind in the Philippines, these vegan, gluten-free chips are made from pesticide-free kale grown by small, family-run farms in Cavite and Benguet and contain no preservatives, added oil or sweeteners.
Aileen Payumo-Whisnant and Monica Mendiola, the duo behind Take Root, returned to Manila from New York in 2014 to establish what is now one of the most recognizable local vegetarian snack companies in the Philippines.
“We are honored to be recognized by the Katha Awards as a health food company that produces globally competitive products,” says Mendiola.
In line with Take Root’s mission to make plant-powered snacking fun and accessible to all, the kale chips have recently made the leap from local to international and are now being sold at Farm Direct, a chain of health food stores in Hong Kong and soon on RedMart, an online supermarket in Singapore.
According to Payumo, they received buyer inquiries from Japan, Australia and Mexico. “We want to help boost the Philippines’ image as a source for premium healthy and organic products,” she says.
Take Root’s products can be purchased on their website, takeroot.ph and at over 20 locations in Metro Manila including Salad Stop, Blue Kitchen and Real Food (complete list on website). The company’s facility is located in Makati. They are FDA and Halal certified.