Zak Organics Crunchy Peas is a new made-in-Saskatchewan healthy snack hitting the markets across the country. This agricultural foods product is also a model for how farm families can add value to their operations.
Zak Organics Crunchy Peas is a crunchy, flavoured snack made from organic peas that are grown, processed and packaged all in Saskatchewan. Zak Organics Food Co. Ltd., a family-run organic farm near Fir Mountain, makes it. Allen and Marilyn Zak and family operate a 6,000-acre organic farm. The Zak family currently produces organic lentils, peas, flax, kamut and other crops. They have been growing lentils for the past 30 years.
Zak Organics is truly a family business. Allen and Marilyn Zak and their children are involved in all aspects production. Their nieces and nephews also work in various aspects of the company such as marketing. “It’s nice to see the whole family get involved,” said Allen Zak, company CEO.
The idea for the pea snack grew out of their own search for healthy snacks for their children. Peas are a healthy snack, full of protein and rich in fiber and iron. The family tried out many varieties of peas until they hit on the perfect one that stayed crunchy after cooking and retained great taste. They began production of their line of pea snacks in 2015. As of March 2016, the company is offering three flavours — sea salt and lime, garden herb and smoky barbecue.
During their initial phase, they have been marketing their pea snacks Canada-wide on their website and through trade shows like the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina and Assiniboia’s Christmas craft show. Locally, their products are available through the Southland Co-op and other area stores. But in the new year through a new distributor, they are set to launch sales in 100 stores in Eastern Canada.
The Zak family seeds and harvests their pea crop then bring it in on their own truck to Saskatoon for processing at the Food Centre. This is a federally-inspected food processing plant where the Zak’s processing and packaging follow food safety protocols. The Canada Food Inspection Agency has an office on site at the plant. The organic herbs used in the flavourings are grown in the province in Watson. The eventual goal will be to have a processing plant closer to their Fir Mountain farm, Zak explained. The new year promises to be bright for Zak Organics. Along with expanded marketing, plans include adding three new flavours in 2017 along with new sizes of packaging.