October 25, 2021

Launch of world’s first vegan Prawn Cracker retail range

UK Snack Brand Native Snacks is launching the world’s first retail Vegan Prawn Cracker range, its second range of snacks under its street food inspired snack portfolio: Super Street Snacks. Coming in at under 99 calories per serving, they are flavoured with all natural, plant-based ingredients with absolutely zero prawn involved.

Native Snacks want to ‘bring the cracker back’ for Vegans and Veggies who may have had to bin their crackers in the past. Asda and Planet Organic are leading the way in introducing this like-for-like vegan alternative to the much loved classic snack. Tasting exactly the same as a ‘normal’ prawn cracker, the crustacean-free, egg-free, milk-free and gluten-free snack has been created for vegans, vegetarians, and the environmentally conscious consumer wanting to cut down on their prawn and fish intake as well as their carbon footprint.  

The Native Snacks team were shocked to learn that prawn-farming actually creates as much as four times as many Co2 emissions than beef farming*. What’s more: excessive prawn farming is often accommodated by the deforestation of mangroves (trees/shrubs that grow in tidal and coastal swaps) to make space for farming. The destruction of these important trees that are vital for wildlife, coastal fisheries, and also serve as buffers to the effects of storms, contributes to the loss of entire coastal zones which in turn impacts coastal communities.** When mangroves are ripped out to accommodate prawn-farming, a key infrastructure is lost that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, as well as disturbing vitally important, life-giving seagrass underneath. Furthermore, traditional prawn crackers use egg or milk which, as they are derived from animals, require a lot of water, grain and energy to grow to produce these by-product ingredients.

So the foodie duo – who launched a Street-Food Inspired, vegan Popped Lotus Seed snack in Sainsbury’s last year – set out to create an alternative to this much-loved snack that is more sustainable, less-damaging to the environment, yet not compromising on crunch and taste. Inspired by a chat with the Veganuary Founder, Matthew Glover, who said that prawn crackers are a much missed product when people go vegan – the pair set out to find a way to ‘bring the cracker back’ for Vegans and Veggies. Glover has gone on to become a major investor in the Native Snacks portfolio.

Pr*wn Crackers are a like-for-like, plant-based alternative available in two tasty classic flavours: Original Prawn, the perfect accompaniment to any meal with all of the taste and texture of an original prawn cracker; and Sweet Chilli, a sweet and spicy pick-me-up at any time of the day and delicious when dunked into a dip or sauce. 

Native Snacks founders, Charlie and Darcy, said: “We were shocked to hear that the farming of prawns produces more Co2 than beef per kg. We wanted to create an easy like-for-like swap for such an iconic snack for vegans and non-vegans alike to enjoy. We loved eating prawn crackers as kids and no Friday Night Takeaway felt right without a bag. We always had some friends who couldn’t eat them due to being veggie or vegan. As well as creating something that tasted delicious, it also had to work from an ethical standpoint too. We knew from looking at the many vegan insta accounts that we follow – many who have posted about wanting to find a ‘prawn’ cracker – that the demand was there.”

Alison Thomas, Grocery Buyer at Planet Organic, said: “We know there are more than half a million vegans in the UK, and over a third of the population who identify their food choices as ‘flexitarian’. Up until now, no one has launched a like-for-like alternative to prawn crackers for vegans, vegetarians and the environmentally conscious. We are really excited to launch Native Snacks’ range of plant-based Pr*wn Crackers.”

Matthew Glover, Co-founder of Veganuary and Managing Director of Veg Capital, says: “Consumers aren’t fully aware of the impact that prawn farming is having on the environment, or that prawn crackers can actually contain up to 35% prawn – because of the texture many assume it’s a cracker with added flavour, but in fact it’s real prawn being farmed and used to make this snack. I used to love eating prawn crackers before going vegan and it has been one of the things I’ve really missed and so I am really excited that Native Snacks are providing a like-for-like plant-based alternative to traditional prawn crackers. I hope that consumers will realise that there really is no need to eat traditional prawn crackers anymore when you can buy an alternative that is kinder to our planet – and prawns.”

Native Snacks Pr*wn Crackers will be in the Vegan Bay across 222 Asda Stores from 4th October 2021 with an RRP of £1.60 for a 60g sharing bag. The range will also be available from Planet Organic and www.wearenativesnacks.com

*As a result of removing prawn from their vegan Pr*wn Crackers, for every 100,000 bags of Native Snacks’ Pr*wn Crackers sold, the brand calculated it would save 2,226MT CO2e and 460,000 prawns. Full study on prawn farming available here: https://www.cifor.org/knowledge/publication/6431/ 

**Mangroves and Prawn Farming: https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/farmed-shrimp