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Companies, Organizations  

Only Oats Debuts Certified Gluten-Free Oatmeal Brand

The Saskatoon, Sask.-based company says its gluten-free Oatmeal Brand is made with oats grown in Canada and processed and packaged by a Canadian company that monitors every step of the production process to ensure that only oats are included in their oatmeal products. While oats do not naturally contain gluten, which is mainly found in wheat, rye, and barley, processing plants that handle a variety of cereals can have residual amounts in their equipment. Health Canada requires that any foods labeled as gluten-free must have gluten content under 20 PPM (parts per million). Only Oats is certified to contain less than five PPM. 

"Only Oats Launches A New Canadian Gluten-Free Oatmeal Brand", WFMJ, November 11, 2020

Canadian Bakery Bridor Launches Snacks For “Flexitarian” Diets

The Boucherville, Quebec, company has launched a range of vegetarian snacking products that cater to a “plant-based snacking market forecast to experience steady growth,” led by a rise in “flexitarianism.” The Mini Snacks range includes: Mini Pesto Swirl (30g; 225 units per box), Mini Pizza Swirl (35g; 225 units per box), Mini Cheese Swirl (35g; 225 units per box), Mini Cheese Extravagant (35g; 180 units per box), and Mix Mini Snacks (225 units per box). Bridor said the range can be enjoyed by consumers hot or cold and either “on-the-go, for breakfast, during meetings, for brunch, or out-of-home.”

"Bridor rolls out Mini Snacks range for ‘flexitarian’ consumers", Talking Retail , November 11, 2020


Ritz Launches Holiday Ad Featuring Family, Gay, Transgender Themes

The commercial from Mondelēz cracker brand Ritz features a gay couple as part of a message about the beauty of chosen families. The "Where There's Love, There's Family" commercial “sets out to remind consumers that there is strength and love in togetherness, and a blood relation isn't the only way to define family,” the company said in a statement. Vignettes in the ad show a young gay man, a child staying in a homeless shelter over Christmas, a grandmother unable to celebrate the holidays with her family, and a festive gathering with LGBTQ partygoers. The grandmother puts out a tray of hors d'oeuvres at her retirement home, and the girl in the homeless shelter shares a Ritz cracker with a man across the table from her.

"Ritz takes a bite out of holiday ad space with LGBTQ-inclusive commercial", NBC News, November 12, 2020

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban Invests In Plant-Based Protein Snack Start-Up

The Shark Tank panelist and billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team negotiated an investment of $300,000 in exchange for a 25 percent stake in the new venture of food scientist Juan Salinas, who created P-nuff Crunch, a healthy peanut-based puff that is combined with navy beans and rice. P-nuff Crunch, expected to finish the year with $200,000 in sales, will use the investment cash to boost marketing and distribution. In related Shark Tank news, businesswoman and investor Barbara Corcoran agreed to invest $150,000 in GoOats, a healthy oatmeal ball snack, in exchange for 20 percent equity. Made in a convenient heat and eat format, GoOats are warmed in the oven or microwave for just a few minutes to create a quick meal or snack. Each box contains three oatmeal balls which contain only 170 calories. GoOats is available at Whole Foods Market.

"Shark Tank: P-nuff Crunch Accepts $400,000 From Mark Cuban", Business 2 Community.com, November 16, 2020

Finance, Economics, Tax  

Buderim Group Rebrands As Health And Plant-Based Protein Company

The Australian company, which sold its ginger business to the Queensland-based Himstedt family in August, is looking to raise as much as $6.2 million to fund its updated business plan as a health and plant protein company, anchored by its macadamia business. The goal is to be a vertically integrated macadamia production, processing, and brand, focused on the U.S. market. It has 2.6 percent of the world macadamia nut production and 35.5 percent in the U.S. It has two brands: heritage brand MacFarms for snacks and confectionery; and Royal Hawaiian Orchards which has FDA approval for the Heart Healthy Claim and tapping into the healthy snack market. The funds will be used for capital expenditure, marketing, NPD and working capital.

"Buderim Group $6.2m capital raise", Food & Drink Business, November 13, 2020

Innovation & New Ideas  

Japanese Snack Maker’s New Product Marketed As Sleep Aid

As part of a long-term strategic plan to develop foods derived from natural compounds, Tokyo-based Calbee announced an edible sleep aid product, dubbed Nyumin. The orange-scented, dissolvable strip contains crocetin, a chemical compound, derived from crocus and gardenia flowers that was shown to improve sleep quality and lessen fatigue in clinical trials. The sleep-aid product was developed over two years by researchers who survey people of all ages to pinpoint gaps in the market for new dietary products. The team specifically designed Nyumin in the form of a dissolvable strip that can be ingested directly before sleeping. No water or chewing is necessary to activate the strip. The company began taking pre-orders for Nyumin on the Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake on November 12 with plans to ship the first boxes in late December. One standard box of Nyumin contains a week’s supply of seven strips and retails for 1,080 yen ($10.32).

"Japanese snack company Calbee unveils new edible sleep aid strips", Sora News 24, November 16, 2020

Market News  

Mars Acquires Kind Snack Company

In a deal reportedly valued at about $5 billion, privately held candy giant Mars, the company that produces M&M’s and Snickers, is acquiring New York-based Kind North America, maker of snacks that contain no artificial flavors or preservatives The deal comes three years after Mars took a minority stake in the company, expanding categories and distribution of Kind snacks into more than 35 countries (including China, Germany and France) and into eight total categories (including frozen and refrigerated). The company also launched new products such as Kind Bark, Kind Frozen Bars and Kind Smoothie Bowls.

"Kind and Mars Announce Next Step in Partnership to Build a Kinder World and Bring Healthy Snacks to People Worldwide", Business Wire, November 17, 2020

Modern Meat Buys Vegan Snack Brands

The Canadian plant-based food company (Vancouver, BC) purchased the vegan brands from JDW Distributors (Gardena, Calif.) for $450,000 as part of its expansion into the U.S. market. The deal will include a robust sales and distribution network. JDW sells healthy gourmet foods, including its own line of vegan brands such as Snacks from the Sun and Sunsations in the U.S. and Canada. The Snacks from the Sun brand includes popped potato crisps and sunflower chips that are vegan and gluten-free. The brand first launched in 2019 and is sold in more than 5,000 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada.

"Modern Meat acquires vegan snack brands from JDW Distributors", Food Processing Technology, November 17, 2020

Products & Brands  

PeaTos Debuts Plant-Based Competitor To “Funyuns”

The Los Angeles, Calif., maker of the plant-based rival of Cheetos has introduced a better-for-you version of Funyuns. PeaTos Classic Onion Rings are available at 215 Sam's Clubs stores nationwide in a 10-ounce pack. "Our goal is to eliminate the compromise between comfort food ‘junk’ chips and tasteless better-for-you options,” says CEO Nick Desai. PeaTos Onion Rings, made with peas, contain twice the protein and three times the fiber than Funyuns, the company says, and are non-GMO, gluten-free, and free from artificial colors, flavors, and MSG. 

"PeaTos Launches "Junkless" Onion Chips to Rival Funyuns at 215 Sam's Clubs Across the United States", Business Wire, November 17, 2020

Supply Chain  

Expected Strong Pistachio Harvest Drives Industry To Promote Innovative Uses

Facing an abundant harvest this year – a billion pounds – California's pistachio industry has launched campaigns promoting the nut as not just a tasty snack but also a super-nutritious protein suitable in entrees, sprinkled over cupcakes, and mixed into ice cream. The campaign includes cooking webinars, conducted by celebrity chefs such as Los Angeles restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, whose mission is to boost consumption of pistachios in foreign and domestic markets. Industry observers say pistachio market conditions remain strong and that indications of solid demand mean growers should continue to see relatively strong prices despite expanding supply and competition from lower-cost pistachios from Iran.

"Pistachio industry looks to reposition product amid supply boom", Tehachapi News, November 15, 2020

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