Dr. Wilda Reviews snacks: ‘Harvest Snacks’

22 Sep

Moi received a complimentary selection of the following Calbee Harvest products for a review:

Snapea Crisps Lightly Salted

Snapea Crisps Caesar

Snapea Crisps Black Pepper

Snapea Crisps Wasabi Ranch

Lentil Snaps Tomato Basil

Lentil Snaps Onion Thyme

Before proceeding, moi reviewed this product as a consumer since she does not have training in nutrition or dietary evaluation. The nutritional value of the product is beyond moi’s expertise.

Here is a bit about Calbee North America:

It Starts With Passion

Meet Calbee North America

You might think we’re a little pea-brained, but at Calbee North America, we don’t think great taste should be compromised. You see, our mission is as simple as our products: delicious, natural and good for you. Our passion is to offer you something wholesome and tasty, so you can enjoy snacking the way it should it be. Because to us, a snack is more than just a bag with a name. It’s a privilege you should celebrate every day, anywhere with anyone! So the next time you’re crunching at a soccer game, nervously munching during a thrilling movie, or opening up a bag “just because,” we want you know we think you’re snacking the right way, the Harvest Snaps way.

How We Got Here

We were one of the first Japanese food manufacturers in North America when we began selling our Saya and Shrimp Chip brands in the early 1970’s. We have a company culture that is built on new product development and our leadership is committed to innovation in everything we do.

We stand by our claim: “Harvest the Power of Nature.”

We build our brands and innovative snacks around taste, fun, and wholesome ingredients.

We recognized the need for wholesome snacking in North America and launched the Snapea Crisp brand in 1999. Since their inception, Snapea Crisps have had a loyal and growing fan base. We also recognized the opportunity to expand in North America would need local partners. In 2012, we agreed with RDO to create Calbee North America. Like every pea has its pod, we credit our snacking virtues to our parent companies, Calbee Inc. and RDO.

RDO already has a firm and steady relationship with Callbee and has been processing and supplying potatoes to Calbee for years. The relationship makes a lot of sense because RDO is one of the largest agricultural / farming companies in North America. RDO has vertically integrated its business model to include: growing, selling and processing potatoes; distributing farm equipment, dairy farming, and farming other agricultural products. They bring knowledge and trust to the business partnership and the two companies together are aiming for long term future growth in North America.

About Calbee Inc.

Headquartered in Tokyo Japan, Calbee Inc. has been committed to harnessing the great taste of nature and promoting healthy living for more than 63 years and is known for it’s global prowess. In fact, Calbee Inc. is the second-largest snack food company in the world. Calbee Inc. has strategic partnership with Pepsico Inc.

About RDO

Founded in the United States, RDO is now one of the biggest potato farm and farm equipment companies in the country. The company was founded by entrepreneur Ron Offutt who started his business from just a 40 acre farm to achieve an ultimate American Dream by his own hand in just one generation. RDO owns our sister company, Idahoan, a leading potato flake brand.

Other Great Calbee Products

Shrimp Chips

Accented by a mild taste of fresh shrimp and sprinkled with a delicate pinch of salt, our Shrimp Chips have an airy texture that’s as light as an ocean breeze but still satisfyingly crunchy. Dive into classic Original flavor, turn up the heat with Wasabi or go bold with Hot Garlic.


How does one describe Saya? Two words: Simply. Delectable. That delicate snow pea taste is perfectly infused with Japan’s traditional Dashi for Umami flavor, making for a crispy, guilt-free treat that’s sure to please any snack lover.

Potato Chips

Leave it to Calbee to put a new twist on an old favorite. Calbee Seaweed & Salt Potato Chips blend the essence of the sea with a super-crispy, thin-sliced chip….


Here is information about the history of Calbee http://www.calbee.co.jp/english/about/history.php

Here is Calbee’s profile:

Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 22nd Floor

1-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005, JAPAN

Telephone : +81(0)3-5220-6222

April 30, 1949

Akira Matsumoto

Shuji Ito

11,586 million yen (As of Mar 31, 2013)

Consolidated sales 179.4billion yen (Ended March 2013)

3,352 on a consolidated basis and 1,519 on a parent basis (as of March 31, 2013)

Production and sale of snacks and other foods

Hokkaido, East Japan, Central Japan, West Japan

Chitose, Shin-Utsunomiya, kiyohara, R&D Group, Shimotsuma,

Kakamigahara, Ayabe, Konan, Hiroshima East Wing, Hiroshiima West Wing, Kagoshima

Calbee Potato, Hokkaido foods, Potato Foods,

Sapporo, Utsunomiya, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, etc.

Chitose, Utsunomiya, Higashi-Matsuyama, Kakamigahara, Shiga, Hiroshima, Kagoshima



The question consumers must decide for themselves is whether Harvest Snacks are healthy snacks?

The YMCA of Silicon Valley defines healthy snacks:

YMCA of Silicon Valley Healthy Snacks Definition and Implementation Practices

The guidelines below are compiled from YUSA and the Harvard Project, California Nutrition Network and the Center for Disease Control.

Please use these guidelines when planning snacks to meet our ‘healthy’ snacks requirement. Included in this document are best practices for implementing the healthy snack guidelines.

What is a ‘healthy’ snack?

      No trans fats

 No sugar sweetened beverages

 Fruit or vegetables daily – fresh preferred (as opposed to canned)

 Water is the primary drink available and is served at the snack table (not just at a water fountain)

 Low fat milk /100% fruit juice are served as alternatives to water

 Foods high in fats, salts and sugars are limited consistent with Harvard guidelines

 A balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins is served….


Whether one views Harvest Snacks as a healthy alternative will, frankly depend on their personal lifestyle choices.

There are Factors Affecting Food Selection:


The cultures or societies that people live in, along with the type of contact that individuals have with one another (social factors), influence food choices. The importance of beliefs, traditions and taboos was discussed earlier in this chapter and we have observed that the media, as part of everyday life, influence us to make certain food choices. The type of lifestyle, job and education, size of the family and the importance of hospitality within the social group are also important when we make food choices.

Culture and traditions

Traditions are customs that are repeated at specific times by members of a group or society. Many traditions relating to special occasions involve food. Festive and social occasions always involve food to some degree, and the meal is often the focus of the event. Family traditions often revolve around food, as do major social and cultural customs in most societies, for example:

• Easter — a time of giving and receiving painted hard­ boiled eggs, or confectionery and chocolate eggs

•Chinese New Year — celebration with displays of special foods such as rice cakes


In general, lifestyle factors that influence food selection relate to:

•Employment- What you choose to eat may depend on the physical demands of your job. For example, construction work requires more energy than working in a video store does. Active jobs require the worker to eat more carbohydrate­ rich foods for energy, while people who do sedentary work (a task that requires little bodily movement) need to be careful not to overeat.

•Education- Obviously, wiser choices come from having more information about the options.People also become better informed about nutrition and food choices through government programs, reading magazines, watching various television shows, food store hand­ outs and fast food brochures. The better informed a person is about the nutrient content of foods, dietary requirements and food preparation, the greater the likelihood of wiser food selections.

•Geographic location-the staple food of a country will most likely depend on whether it can be grown given the geography and climatic conditions. If the climate is tropical, then growing sugar cane, pineapples, bananas and coconuts is perfect and these foods will be cheaper, more plentiful and often used in a variety of culinary ways.Climate affects not only the types of food grown in an area but also the food choices people make. Summer brings the desire for bright, fresh, light foods — fresh fruit salads, juices and smoothies, cold quiches and crispy salads, ice­ creams and barbecues. Winter is the season of porridge and thick soups, meat pies and lunchtime pastas, warm drinks and hot desserts.

•Travel and interests-Most countries are now open to tourists; the internet allows us to make purchases from faraway places; and trade agreements between nations have meant that major events in one part of the world can be felt throughout the rest of the world. When traveling, we experience a wide range of foods, some of which we like and seek out upon returning home. Personal interests and the interests of close personal friends can also influence food choices.

•Household structures and roles-The make­up of the family unit determines the variety, quality and quantity of food consumed in a meal. For example, young children who have very sensitive taste buds prefer less spicy foods, while elderly people may have a reduced sense of taste and often like more heavily flavored (especially salty and sweet) foods. Personal likes and dis­ likes are often the most important factor in food selection within a household.Catering to different dietary needs within the family may mean that more care needs to be taken to prepare food in an attractive and enjoyable way.

Social interaction

Food has long been a symbol of friendship and hospitality. When friends enter your home one of the first things you do is offer them something to eat and drink.Food helps to create a relaxed atmosphere in which even a shy person can be part of the group by busying themselves with preparing or serving food.


In an affluent country like Australia, the media play a big role in the food selections we make. Advertising of food is everywhere, each day we are exposed to thousands of advertising text, images and sounds from magazines, bill­ boards, the radio, cinemas, the internet and television.Much of the food advertised through the media is lower in nutritional value than its unprocessed or less refined alternatives. However, these products are presented as if they are the very basis of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Peer group

An individual’s peers are people in roughly the same age group with the same social status.The influence of the peer group is strongest during adolescence. The need for acceptance makes teenagers eat what and when their friends eat rather than what their parents think they should eat and what is nutritionally sound. Trying new things is safer in a peer group, and sharing food is a good way to get to know people and cement friendships.

Hospitality at home

Family entertaining in the home environment is becoming more informal and less frequent. People’s lives are busier and, with the increasing range of takeaway food outlets and restaurants, it is often easier to have others do the cooking. Working parents do not have the time to shop and cook for a dinner party; it is easier to use takeaway meals or go to a restaurant where the washing up is done by others. http://factorsaffectingfoodselection.weebly.com/social.html

There are some purists who will only eat locally sourced raw food or have vegan diets. The question is what is healthy for the average consumer who eats a product in moderation.

Moi really loved the Harvest Snack products. Generally, she favored the varieties with a strong definite taste like Black Pepper and Onion Thyme. The Wasabi Ranch needed more of the Wasabi influence. Since moi tends to eat in moderation, the question of whether Harvest Snacks are a healthy choice is not an issue. She liked the product better than potato chips.

The principal critic seems to be Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD who posts in the article, Update on Snapea Crisps: Are They Healthy Yet?

Last year I published a post about Snapea Crisps entitled, Food Labeling Lies: Are Snapea Crisps Healthy?  Interestingly, it has been one of my most popular posts. Since Calbee—the company that created Snapea Crisps—has made some changes, I wanted to post an update on the product.

Calbee has changed their packaging, their website, and the amount of fat, carbohydrate, and sodium their product contains. They also came out with different flavors for Snapea Crisps such as Caesar, Black Pepper, and Wasabi Ranch. And they now have Lentil Snaps.

But does that make Snapea Crisps healthier? The short answer is no. Here’s why.

Snapea Crisps now have:

  • 120 calories per ounce instead of 150
  • 6 grams of fat instead of 8
  • 80 mg of sodium instead of 125
  • 15 grams of carbohydrate instead of 14

But, they are still ground up peas, ground up white rice, corn oil, and salt formed into a pea shape and baked and not puffed peas. The bottom line is this product is still a highly processed food!


As a very tasty snack, moi gives Harvest Snacks a thumbs up and highly recommend.

Other Reviews:

Harvest Snaps Healthy Snacks Review


Update on Snapea Crisps: Are They Healthy Yet?


Food Labeling Lies: Are Snapea Crisps Healthy?


Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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One Response to “Dr. Wilda Reviews snacks: ‘Harvest Snacks’”

  1. Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD February 24, 2014 at 2:58 am #

    Nope, this is not a healthy product. I do not recommend it!

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