Food can bridge cultures. After all, the most surefire way to someone’s heart is through a sweet or salty comfort snack (or maybe both), especially if that snack has a story behind it.
During the pandemic, anti-Asian racism spiked, and businesses owned by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) entrepreneurs were impacted intensely. And while activists are working to change that, stories of creativity and resilience among the AAPI community are shining through. In May 2021, coinciding with AAPI Heritage Month, Netflix launched a campaign with the platform’s AAPI creators and talent, featured in a bold, unapologetic way. The idea: to celebrate creativity and the incredible breadth of AAPI storytelling on-screen. To complement that initiative, we’re also spotlighting a range of AAPI-owned small businesses that happen to make snacks and drinks (and even home goods) perfect for a night of streaming.
Each brand in this list has an important story to tell. It might seem like a simple gesture to buy a snack or two from an AAPI-owned brand, but it can be a powerful act. The companies below draw influences from their founders’ childhoods and family stories, and they offer a way for everyone to experience culture and a sense of connection.
It also helps that these snacks are tasty. Some are beloved on both sides of the ocean: cult classics making inroads now. Others are modern twists on tried and true flavors, newly rendered for modern palates and diets. We’ve even recommended a graphic blanket for those nights when you want to snack and lounge in style, and you can use this handy Netflix link to find shows and movies spotlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander stories you’re sure to love.
So grab a snack, cozy up at home, and know that you’re supporting AAPI creators while doing so. Whether you chow down with Brooklyn Delhi’s Curry Mustard and spill the chai with Devi (Never Have I Ever), channel your inner Sasha Tran (Always Be My Maybe) with Omsom starters, or go on a Hawaiian Host adventure to paradise with Pili, Ioane, Hana, and Casper (Finding ‘Ohana), the common threads are fun flavors, great designs, and the promise of a little extra comfort while you’re enjoying them. Shop the list below, and enter for a chance to win the whole lot here.
As Netflix puts it: “Asians deserve better than the erasure, caricatures, and stereotypes perpetuated by the entertainment industry.” Cozy up with a few snacks, then settle in for a night of streaming with the shows and films in Netflix’s “Celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Stories” collection. You just might find your next favorite character on the screen.