Financing Health and Nutrition: Smart Snack’s Journey in Chile

Key Details
SME Name
Smart Snack
Consumer Staples
Avg Transaction Size

Chilean-based food company Smart Snack (Alea Bakery) are on
a mission to meet their community’s healthy eating demands
and values. Working with local wholesalers and Chilean
retailers, the company’s variety of bars, biscuits and energy
balls continue to deliver innovative offerings that align with the
ever-evolving interests of conscious eaters. Smart Snack owner
Rodrigo Marchetti Ibieta has been leading the plant’s operation
alongside his valued team.

“The core business of our company is to produce healthy food
and snacks. What are healthy snacks? No added sugar,
gluten-free, lactose-free, and vegan, so every product has all
or some characteristics of this,” Rodrigo explains of how the
product qualities address the needs of their B2B customer
base. Founded by Rodrigo’s mother nearly twenty years ago,
the family business now employs 63 people, 70% of whom are
women, holding key positions in senior roles, such as human
resources, finance and administration, and production and
development of new products.

AGC in Chile during the SME Client Roadshow
AGC' Co-CEO Sudha Bharadia with our SME Smart Snack, investor and partner
Smart Snack facility
Guests visiting Smart Snack manufacturing facility

Building on the success of AGC’s first client roadshow in Colombia, Co-CEO Sudha Bharadia organised the second event during Q4 in Santiago, Chile. By providing our partner and investor with an immersive experience, we allowed them to meet the Smart Snack team and learn about their operations firsthand. “We start the process here where we mix all the dough using a 100-kilo machine,” Rodrigo demonstrates in the manufacturing facility. “This machine will make about 1.5 tons a day,’’ he adds. As the company has developed, Smart Snack has grown its ability to manufacture for two of the leading brands in the healthy snack market in Chile. Producing goods for supermarkets and shops, this constitutes 70% of their total sales. This growth has aligned with changes initiated in 2016, when legislation overhauled policies targeting the marketing of less-than-healthy foods through various media channels, marking a dynamic shift towards a more health-conscious food culture in the Chilean market. 

It would be impossible without them

– Rodrigo Marchetti Ibieta.

Smart Snack Energy Balls

Chile has actively worked to support and revitalize its economy.
Evidenced by the 2022 recovery plan, it involves financing
sectors, providing subsidies, and creating jobs for businesses still
grappling with the fallout from economic crises.

AGC’s partner has been an important factor in aiding how small businesses in this sector recover. They’ve efficiently addressed the working capital needs of Smart Snack to facilitate their growth plans and stability. “It would be impossible without them,’’ Rodrigo
expresses about AGC’s partner. “The cashflow is very tight and
they give us support so we can produce and sell our products. If I
have an order, they provide support so I can buy ingredients for
production. I’m paying a lot of money with all the machines you
see in the factory – I’m very happy with them [our partner],” he
adds. With SMEs accounting for 98.6% of Chilean enterprises,
providing these companies with the necessary capital to sustain ongoing economic growth has been

Smart Snack’s mandate from their buyers is to curate a diverse array of natural, unprocessed ingredients, to underscore their commitment to simple, nutritious offerings. Their product lineup features ingredients such as dates, almonds, cocoa, and ginger. “We make about 300 kilos a day, or 1.5 tons a week. That’s about 9 grams each cookie at about 150,000 cookies produced per week,’’ Rodrigo explains.

Looking ahead, Smart Snack aims to advance its growth trajectory by acquiring a new cartoner to enhance packaging efficiency. In pursuit of this goal, they are exploring financing options to boost productivity by 50%. Furthermore, within their business expansion endeavours, Smart Snack anticipates initiating exports to Asia in March 2024. This strategic move is projected to escalate monthly production from the current 50 tons to 70 tons, with the anticipated increase taking effect in late March and early April 2024.

[1] Chile’s Comprehensive Food Policy Offers Global Lesson in Tackling Unhealthy Foods. Health Watch Policy. Accessed Jan. 22, 2024. 

[2] Chile announces $3.7 billion recovery plan to aid struggling economy. Reuters. Accessed Jan. 22, 2024. 

[3] Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2022: An OECD Scoreboard: Chile. OECD iLibrary. Accessed Jan. 24, 2024.

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