A high-protein pasta made from chickpeas is gaining popularity.
Banza, a startup based in Detroit, created a new pasta made out of chickpeas. It has two times as much protein and four times as much fibre as traditional pasta has. It also has half as many carbs as traditional pasta has.
Co-founder Brian Rudolph graduated from Emory University in 2012. He went to Detroit with Venture for America, a program that aims to “build companies and revitalize communities through entrepreneurship,” according to its website.
During the program, Rudolph taught himself how to make pasta in his apartment. He experimented with different recipes to figure out how he could make a more nutritious version of pasta.
He eventually tried chickpeas as his base, and he was pleasantly surprised by how much it tasted like pasta. He even tricked his roommate into thinking it was regular pasta.
Banza’s chickpea pasta was born.
In 2014, Banza took home a $500,000 prize at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Contest, a business competition.
Banza has nine people on its team. It has expanded quickly in one year. Its pasta is now sold in 1,700 grocery stores in the United States, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Meijer, Fairway, Wegmans, Shoprite, and Eataly.
The pasta comes in a variety of shapes: penne, rotini, shells, and elbows. An eight ounce box costs $4.One serving of Banza’s chickpea pasta contains 14 grams of protein, whereas regular pasta has only seven grams of protein. Banza’s pasta has 24 grams of carbs per serving, and one serving of regular pasta contains 40 grams of carbs. Banza’s pasta does not contain any gluten, grains, or soy.
“Regular pasta is the biggest offender of overeating,” a Banza team member told Business Insider. “We look to Chobani as a business model because they reinvented regular yogurt and made Greek yogurt a popular trend. We hope to be able to do the same with Banza.”
Banza is on a mission to reinvent products with healthier ingredients. It plans to expand its product line beyond pasta in the future.
People who have tried it seem to think it’s a good alternative to regular pasta.
once I get my paycheck tmrw I shall purchase this banza pasta
— cici (@svdci) November 20, 2015
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