A legume coup

1 minute read

Banza’s obsession with chickpea protein started in the pasta aisle 10 years ago. (Banza has 50% more protein and three times as much fiber as traditional pasta.) As the company rose to become the fifth biggest pasta brand in the U.S., ranking only behind old-guard refined grain pasta makers, it widened its focus. Today Banza’s chickpea-based mac and cheese, rice, frozen pizza, and—as of September—frozen waffles are for sale in over 30,000 stores around the U.S. including Walmart, Whole Foods, and Costco. The company’s national product distribution rose 20% in 2023, as bean- and legume-inspired “alternative pasta” products go mainstream. Banza has raised roughly $30 million since its inception in 2014 and is now eyeing international markets. “If our pizza tastes like a classic frozen pie, or if we offer the same pasta shapes that traditional pasta brands do, we’re making it easier for people to choose a more nutritious option,” says CEO and co-founder Brian Rudolph.

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