Food Entrepreneur - September 15, 2020 - 11

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pretty resource efficient."
Roasted seaweed snacks, the tissue-thin, sea salty strips, created a small
splash in the snacking category as several
brands entered the US market in recent
years.
"That is a different species of seaweed
that is not grown in North America," Mr.
Schnettler said. "It's called nori. It's a red
seaweed and has a fishier taste to it, and
it almost entirely comes from Southeast
Asia, China, Korea...
"Most of these products have a little
bit more of an Asian focus in the flavor

profile and branding. They have definitely
been very successful in their own niche,
but we wanted to build a product for a
more mainstream audience here in the
US. We geared the flavor profile and the
texture especially and everything else
toward a mainstream audience and are
positioning ourselves as a better-for-you
alternative to traditional salty snacks like
potato chips."
Mr. Schnettler began selling 12 Tides
snacks at area farmers' markets last year,
collecting feedback and refining flavors and
branding. The company partnered with San

12 TIDES

12 Tides founder,
Patrick Schnettler

September 15, 2020

Mateo startup incubator KitchenTown to
develop and manufacture the product and
appeared among a collection of emerging
brands in the Incubator Village at the Winter Fancy Food Show in January.
"We landed on the current product
format that we had at Fancy Food that was
super hot off the press ... and we built up
a little manufacturing capacity and then
the global pandemic hit," Mr. Schnettler
said. "That maybe delayed us by a couple
weeks. We ended up turning on the
website in April, and that was sort of our
soft launch. And then we entered retail in
June. We'll have new branding and a new
website dropping in October, which will be
a bigger launch for the brand."
In the meantime, the company continues to sell at Bay Area farmers' markets,
which have remained popular during the
pandemic and serve as an increasingly rare
opportunity to directly engage with consumers while grocery store sampling is paused.
"A lot of people are surprised by the
texture and flavor profile," Mr. Schnettler
said. "It's a lot different than maybe what
people would expect as a seaweed snack.
Generating that trial and providing those
education points is important for us, and
we continue to do that."
12 Tides also sells at select retail
stores that align with the brand's mission
and values, Mr. Schnettler said.
"I think there are so many different
really interesting and new tasty applications for the kelp product that we're working with now, and we plan to continue to
find new and innovative ways to put that
into different product lines," he said. ▪
Food Business News

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Food Entrepreneur - September 15, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Entrepreneur - September 15, 2020

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