John Foss launches Fancy Plants and invents a new food category

Founder and Managing Director of the Chia Co John Foss standing in a paddock of Ord Valley chia near Kununurra.

The plant-based industry is worth half a million ($516M AUD) annually and the category set to boom next, is ‘snacking’. 

John Foss, the Australian plant-based pioneer, is leading the space with his new company Fancy Plants – achieving over $2 million in sales within the first 150 days in Australia.

Foss was the first Westerner to discover the previously unknown chia seed on a trip to Mexico, for a Nuffield Scholarship, two decades ago.

The Chia Co commercialising the chia industry

After understanding the ancient seed’s superfood qualities, he went on a mission to bring the chia seed to Australia and educate the world on its many health benefits.

He started The Chia Co, spearheading the commercial chia industry that today is worth a 1.14 billion (USD) industry globally and is set to grow 22.3% from 2019 to 2025.

The Chia Co. evolved from seeds to chia puddings and in John’s continued mission to improve global health through plant-based nutrition he launched Fancy Plants.

With John’s proven instinct for business, John saw a need for plant-based snacking that does not compromise on taste and Fancy Plants enables him to use a wider portfolio of plant-based ingredients, while remaining huge supporters of chia. 

The Australian statistics mirror his instinct – our nation is the top flexitarian country in the world and nearly half of Australians (45%) have turned to a plant-forward diet, to improve both their own and the planet’s health. 

Consumers are also in the process of changing their eating habits – they are moving towards replacing large meals with snacks and, interestingly, the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted consumers to seek healthier snack options, reinforcing the need for nutritional snacks.

Fancy Plants champions the potential of plants through snacks that provide positive nutrition, without compromising on taste by using an advanced plant-based stabilising system that, through natural methods, mimics the texture of dairy.

John Foss says, “Today’s consumer is of the no-compromise variety, so we knew that we had to make it easy to switch out of dairy to plant-based options.”

“The traditional barriers of moving to plant-based eating generally comes down to taste, health and price and, because of this, delivering a great tasting product with added positive nutrition was essential to appeal to the modern-day Australian.”

Fancy Plants is set to become the number one plant-based chilled snacking brand in Australia by 2021 and is projected to make $50 million in Australia and $100 million globally by 2024.

Fancy Plants is proud to offer a range of delicious plant-based puddings

The Silky Pot

An indulgent chocolate pudding that is named after its smooth as silk texture, with added prebiotic fibre to support digestive health.

The Chia Pod

A vanilla or chocolate flavoured chia pudding packed with added positive nutrition such as omega-3, fibre and calcium.

The Vanilla Rice Pud

A plant-based upgrade to the classic rice pudding, with added nutritional benefits of fibre and calcium.

Fancy Plants is available at the following retailers nationally Woolworths (AUS), Coles (AUS), Independent supermarkets (AUS), Tesco (UK) and Whole Foods (UK).

  • Chia Pod (150g) – $3 AUD
  • Vanilla Rice Pud (twin-pack, 2x 110g) – $4 AUD
  • Chocolate Silky Pot (twin-pack, 2x 95g) – $4 AUD