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Food Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

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September 04, 2022, to September 11, 2022

Indian Government Capitalizes On Millet Popularity

As millet is growing in popularity due to its nutritional benefits, the Indian government is enacting plans to promote its consumption and production. Syncing its idea with the UN's declaration of 2023 as 'International Year of Millets', the country has planned 19 events at global venues in countries like Germany, Belgium, USA, Japan, UAE, South Korea, South Africa, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, U.K. and France beginning next year to promote millets and millet-based products. The government is also running promotional activities within the country. In 2023, four cities, including Mumbai and Kolkata, will have millet expos, while 19 districts across 10 states will see multiple activities including 'millet villages targeting tourism'. The government has also planned an international conference on millet processing in January and food events with special focus on millets in October next year. Despite the increased demand for millet and its favorable production conditions, Indian farmers primarily grow rice and wheat crops. The government is now creating incentives for farmers who transition to millet and raising awareness on the crop’s short duration and low production costs. There is also a plan to set up the International School of Millet Processing (ISMP) in Thanjavur.

Step One Foods Aims To Revolutionize Heart Health Without Medication

Minnesota-based cardiologist Elizabeth Klodas, MD, founded Step One Foods to challenge the medical system’s approach to heart health. Instead of taking medication, users are to consume two servings of Step One products daily. Step One’s products deliver four “heart health building blocks” – fiber, plant sterols, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids - in convenient formats like oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes and snack bars. The products have been put to the test with a double-blind study conducted at Mayo Clinic and the University of Manitoba. After 30 days of taking the Step One program, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol,” was reduced in participants by an average of 9 percent, with overall cholesterol declining 5 percent. The company claims it has seen a 250 percent increase in sales last year. 

Simply Protein Expands From Regional To National Costco Distribution

Wellness Natural USA Inc. announced its SimplyProtein Crispy Bars have expanded from regional to national Costco distribution. SimplyProtein Crispy Bars first entered 50 regional Costco warehouses in January 2022, with this national expansion bringing distribution to over 600 warehouses nationwide. The plant-based Crispy Bars are available in a Costco-exclusive 15 bar multipack featuring the Peanut Butter Chocolate, Lemon Coconut, and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt flavors. Beyond Costco, SimplyProtein sells other snacks, including Energy Bites, Snack Bars, Cookie Bars, and Kids Bars online on its website and on Amazon, and in-store at retailers including Kroger, Mwijer and HyVee. 

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August 21, 2022, to September 04, 2022

Pescavore Hopes To Transform The Jerky Market With Ahi Tuna Jerky Strips

California start-up Pescavore aims to transform the jerky market with its Ahi Tuna Jerky Strips. Pescavore developed proprietary technology and a technique of small batch, natural wood smoking to keep the product shelf stable and maintain the fish’s flavor, texture and nutrients. The snack contains 15 grams of protein per package and is high in vitamins, minerals and omega-3s, with less salt and sugar than conventional jerky. Pescavore sustainably and locally sources its fish, and is currently in the process of obtaining certification from the Marine Stewardship Council, a non-profit that certifies seafood products for sustainable sourcing. Pescavore’s Ahi Tuna Jerky Strips are sold at retailers nationwide in three flavors: Caribbean Jerk, Island Teriyaki, and Smoke Poke. The company is testing new products with a variety of fish species, including salmon, groundfish and petrale sole, and is looking to launch its next seafood snack in late summer. 

Kind Launches OOH Campaign In Partnership With Refugee Charity

Snack bar brand Kind has launched its first out-of-home campaign in support of its partnership with refugee support organization Choose Love. The campaign sees Kind highlight acts of kindness from local people in their communities on digital and print posters in London, Manchester, Bristol,and Edinburgh. It is part of a wider strategy that includes limited-edition on-pack designs by Iranian artist Majid Adin, as well as digital and influencer marketing.

Belvita Launches Three Non-HFSS Fruit Bars

Breakfast biscuit brand Belvita is launching three new non-HFSS Fruit Crunch bars in the UK. The bars are lower in saturated fat and come in Raisin & Currant, Apple & Pear and Soft Bakes Filled Apricot.

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August 14, 2022, to August 21, 2022

Sea Moss And Jellyfish Chips Grow In Popularity

Alternative seafood ingredients such as jellyfish and sea moss are gaining popularity due to their nutritional value and low environmental impact. Sea moss, or Irish moss, is a reddish algae which grows abundantly on rocks of the coast of Britain, Ireland and North America. The food has become popular on social media and by celebrity endorsers due to its benefits for the gut, brain and heart. Sea moss is rich in phytochemicals, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and is sold in dried, gel and capsule form. Sea moss-infused products are also coming to retailers; Selfridges’ new Feel Good Bar currently sells a sea moss chocolate shake and Tesco sells a vanilla-flavored sea moss canned drink. Jellyfish chips have been pioneered by scientists at the University of Southern Denmark, who compare the snack to pork rinds. They make jellyfish chips by soaking jellyfish in pure alcohol, drying them out and then adding salt and vinegar. The snack is zero calorie and high in protein, magnesium, iron, choline and vitamin B12. It has been endorsed by Sainsbury’s, which highlighted it in a recent future foods report. In addition to being nutritious, both sea moss and jellyfish are highly sustainable as they grow abundantly in the ocean and require no fresh water, land or fertiliser to produce. 

Ecuadorian Snack Company The Inca Trail Expands To USA

Premium Ecuadorian food company The Inca Trail has announced its launch in the US. The Inca Trail offers a variety of products including Dried Crunchy Shrimp Snacks, Dried Andean Cheese Snacks, and Cured Beef Sirloin. Its products use quality ingredients that are sourced from the rainforests of South America. 

SHORE Expands Its Seaweed Chips Into Holland & Barrett And Booths Stores

Scottish seaweed snack brand SHORE will expand its Seaweed Chips into 450 Holland & Barrett and 24 Booths stores from August 15. SHORE’s Seaweed Chips are plant based and non-HFSS and are made from a mixture of seaweed, quinoa, corn, yellow pea and potato. The chips come in three flavors: Lightly Salted, Sweet Sriracha and Peking Duck.  

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July 31, 2022, to August 14, 2022

Rollagranola Buys Assets Of Liquidated U.K. Cereal Brand Primrose’s Kitchen

Handmade granola company Rollagranola has bought Primrose’s Kitchen, the U.K.-based breakfast cereal business that went into liquidation last year. Dorset-based Primrose’s Kitchen sold organic, vegan and gluten-free muesli to suppliers including Waitrose, Whole Foods Market, Ocado and Amazon. Rollagranola will focus on re-engaging the Primrose’s Kitchen customer base with plans to activate fresh marketing communications that re-acquaint them with the brand. Primrose’s Kitchen will relaunch online this month and will be available in retailers shortly after. 

Snack House Foods Expands Into The Vitamin Shoppe

Snack House Foods has launched four of its six Keto Puff flavors in The Vitamin Shoppe stores nationwide. The gluten-free puffs are made with milk protein and have 15 grams of protein per serving. Snack House’s Cheeseburger, BBQ, Flaming Red Hot, and Loaded Nacho flavors will be featured around the cash wrap in The Vitamin Shoppe stores. In addition to The Vitamin Shoppe, the company is sold online at Amazon along with over 500 independent retailers nationwide. 

Arva Flour Mills Acquires Red River Cereal Brand From The J.M. Smucker Co.

Arva Flour Mills announced its acquisition of the Red River Cereal Brand from Smucker Foods of Canada Corp., a subsidiary of The J.M. Smucker Co. In 2011, the Red River Cereal recipe was slightly altered to include steel cut wheat and rye. Arva Flour Mills plans to revert back to the original recipe, which includes cracked wheat and rye for a creamier texture. The Mill is currently in the process of acquiring a hammer mill to crack the wheat, rye and flax ingredients for the updated recipe. Red River is now available at Arva Flour Mills’ onsite retail store and website, with plans to expand into retailers later this year. 

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July 17, 2022, to July 31, 2022

UK-Based Start-Up ELEAT Launches With High Protein Cereal

UK-based start-up ELEAT cereal is now sending orders out to the more than 1,000 people who signed up for pre-launch access. ELEAT was founded by two university sportsmen who wanted to create a nutrient-dense cereal for an active lifestyle. The pair developed the cereal in their student kitchen and received start-up funding and mentoring from the University of Bristol’s Careers Service. ELEAT’s cereal is vegan, gluten-free, low in sugar, and high in protein and fibre, including gut friendly prebiotics. ELEAT’S four flavors are: Chocolate Triumph, Cinnamon Sensation, Strawberry Blitz and Vanilla Thriller. The cereal will be delivered to customers on a subscription model in two packaging options: a large resealable 250g pouch and a 50g single-serve pack, designed for on-the-go. The subscription model allows customers to tailor the flavor and quantity to their needs. Over the coming year, ELEAT plans to extend from its direct-to-consumer business to retailers and diversify its product portfolio.

European Consumer Insights On Protein-Fortified Snacks

Glanbia Nutritionals' European Healthy Snacking Innovation Team conducted new research that discovered fortified protein snacks are popular with European consumers, who are generally turning to perceived healthier snacks over more traditional options. Its research found 16 percent of respondents are eating protein-fortified snacks, such as protein bars, powders, cereals and pancakes, at least once a week. This jumps significantly to 29 percent for active lifestyle consumers, and 40 percent for sports performance consumers. Another finding is that taste is non-negotiable for consumers. It’s the number one requirement for protein products, followed by being high in protein, low in sugar, and filling. European protein bar users are showing an interest in protein cookies (50 percent) and brownies (47 percent), while 34 percent say protein crisps sound appealing. Baked goods such as protein-fortified pastries and donuts (30 percent) are also rated highly, as well as small, bite-sized formats like protein bites (30 percent) and balls (24 percent).

Opopop’s Innovations In The Popcorn Market

Premium popcorn brand Opopop was founded in 2018 with the aim of innovating in the stagnant popcorn market. Opopop aims to differentiate itself from competitors such as Pop Secret and Orville Redenbacher’s through reimagining formats, flavors, and design. In 2021, Opopop launched its Flavor Wrapped Popcorn Kernels, which the company claims are the world’s first pre-flavored popcorn kernels. Each individual kernel is coated with flavoring, allowing the popcorn to be seasoned as it pops. This past January, Opopop launched its Peel + Pour cups, single-serve packages that contain popcorn kernels with a solid chunk of flavoring inside. The cups are meant to be used in Opopop’s collapsible silicone popper. Opopop also takes an experimental approach with its flavors, with varieties like Cinnalicious, Chedapeño, Salted Caramel and Maui Heat. In April, Opopop debuted its Wasabi flavor and last month launched its dill pickle flavor Pickle Monster. Opopop’s colorful branding and play on words attracts a younger audience. Opopop is available online on its website and in retailers such as Williams Sonoma and Foxtrot Market. The company is currently planning a wider retail launch at grocery stores to reach new consumers. 

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July 10, 2022, to July 17, 2022

Once Again’s Graham Cracker Sandwiches Wins Good Housekeeping's 2022 Healthy Snack Award

Once Again’s Sunflower Seed Butter Graham Cracker Sandwiches have been selected as a winner in Good Housekeeping's 2022 Healthy Snack Awards in the Best Crave-Worthy Cookies Category. The organic, gluten-free snack is a vegan and allergy-friendly alternative to the traditional peanut butter filled cracker sandwiches. It is hand-crafted in small batches will ethically sourced, clean ingredients. The plant-based product is also part of Once Again's Honest in Trade program, an initiative that seeks to improve quality of life through environmentally, economically and socially fulfilling partnerships from farm to fork. The product is sold in-store at Whole Foods and Sprouts and online through the brand's website and Amazon. 

BDSI Survey Shows Chips Are The Most Popular Snack In Germany

Results from the latest consumer study from Germany’s BDSI confectionery sector have placed chips as the most popular snacking item for consumers within its national market. The study found that potato chips were favoured by 76 percent of respondents, followed by nuts or nut mixes (69 percent) and salty peanuts (57 percent), peanut flips (57percent), pretzel sticks/pretzels (48 percent) and trail mix (43 percent). As the BDSI noted, there have been recent changes in eating habits, with the enjoyment of snack items increasingly moving to daytime, including between meals and on the go. Furthermore, the BDSI noted the salty snacks category has seen steady growth in Germany for a number of years.

Calbee Group Acquires Majority Stake In Greenday Group

Japanese snack company Calbee Group has acquired a 75 percent stake in Thailand-based healthy snack maker Greenday Group. The acquisition will help Calbee group increase its global reach and production capabilities. Calbee, which supplies North America, the UK, China, Australia, and Southeast Asian markets, said it has positioned the expansion of its overseas business as one of the growth pillars in its 2030 vision, Next Calbee. The company has a focus on North America, Greater China, the U.K. and Indonesia.

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July 03, 2022, to July 10, 2022

Key Trends Within BFY Foods: Functionality & Dietary Requirements

Within the BFY food landscape, two clear trends are emerging in product development: functional and diet-specific foods. Functional foods with claims of specific health benefits and ingredients such as adaptogens and nootropics are gaining traction. In 2021, global functional and fortified food sales reached $292 billion, including $83 billion in the US. A new functional snack start-up is DOH!, which offers vegan, gluten-free cookie dough enhanced with nutrients to target specific needs such as immune support and stress relief. Products promoting digestive health are particularly popular. For example, BelliWelli offers plant-based, gluten-free digestive health bars aimed at consumers suffering from irritable-bowel syndrome. Dalci serves a line of gut-friendly dessert bars formulated with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as avocado oil, coconut sugar and almond flour. Food alternatives are also increasingly popular as more consumers follow specific diets or eating patterns. Snow Days is a brand of organic, grain-free pizza bites made with a cassava flour crust, aimed to rival General Mill’s Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Additionally, Three Wishes Cereal, creates gluten-free, low sugar cereal that is formulated with chickpea, pea protein and tapioca.

Sweet Potato Snack Brand Spudsy Expands Distribution To 4,000 Stores

Sweet potato-based snack brand Spudsy has expanded its retail distribution to more than 4,000 new stores across the US. Spudsy’s Sweet Potato Puffs and Sweet Potato Fries will now be available in stores including H-E-B, Albertsons-Safeway, Hy-Vee, Stater Bros, Hudson News, and CVS. Spudsy makes its vegan, gluten-free snacks out of upcycled, imperfect sweet potatoes to cut down on food waste. 

Cape Town Brand Plato Makes Its Crisps From Recycled Beer Grains

Cape Town-based brand Plato collects spent grain, a by-product from beer production, to create its grain crisps. Each year, Plato's collects approximately 24 tons of left-over malted barley grains from Darling Brew, a beer maker in the Western Cape, and makes it into 6.5 tons of crisps a month. Plato’s crisps are manufactured by canola oil company Southern Oil, which owns the brand in part. The crisps are flash fried, which the company claims makes the fat content of the snack 50% lower than regular potato chips. Plato’s crisps are made to enjoy with beer and are available in three flavors: Jalapeño Chutney, Mature Cheddar, and Smoked BBQ. In the future, Plato is looking to use spent grain to produce crackers, cookies, and fermented drinks. 

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June 26, 2022, to July 03, 2022

Kellogg Is Splitting Into Three Businesses

Kellogg Company has announced its decision to split into three independent companies focusing on cereal, snacks, and plant-based foods. Chairman and CEO Steve Cahillane claimed the division will give each company greater autonomy to encourage innovation and growth. The breakup will occur through two tax-free spinoffs that will be completed by the end of 2023. Cahillane will remain as the CEO of the global snacking business, which will include the snack brands Pringles, Cheez-Its and Pop-Tarts, along with Kellogg's international cereal portfolio, the group's African noodles business and the US Eggo unit. Kellogg’s snacking business will focus on innovation, brand building and expanding internationally, including in South America and AMEA. While much smaller, the plant-based unit will be led by the Morning Star Farms brand and focus on growth and product innovation. Kellogg shares jumped as much as 5.5 percent on the day of the announcement, the most in over a year. Under the plan, Kellogg shareholders will receive shares in the two spinoff companies on a pro rata basis.

Kellogg’s Attempts To Debase UK HFSS Regulations In Court

Kellogg’s has turned to the U.K. High Court in a three-pronged attempt to prevent the upcoming government HFSS restrictions. Kellogg’s first argument claims the HFSS regulations should be declared “ultra vires” because enforcement powers given to local authorities to enforce the rules have never been approved by parliament. If the court decides the enforcement regime is illegal it could force the government to completely discard the legislation. It could also allow the regulations to continue but order the government to revaluate how they are enforced, leaving the ban in limbo. The second strand of Kellogg’s case centres on the HFSS nutrient profiling model, which was set up in 2004 as the basis for Ofcom’s policing of advertising aimed at children. Kellogg’s claims the model has never been before parliament. If the argument succeeds, the government would be forced to either drop the legislation or re-pass it with a different model. Kellogg’s third claim is that cereals should be excluded from the clampdown because most consumers add milk to the product, contributing to calcium intake and the cereal’s overall nutritional value. Within the court documents, Kellogg’s claimed it could lose up to £113 million in sales if the government’s crackdown on HFSS promotions goes ahead. Within the coming weeks, the court is expected to reveal which of the legal arguments the review will hear. If Kellogg’s arguments succeed, it would have huge implications on the government’s current obesity strategy. 

We the Many Renews Packaging & Expands To Woolworths

Byron Bay-based better-for-you snack brand We the Many has unveiled “mono-material” recyclable plastic packaging across its range. The launch coincides with the brand’s recent partnership with Woolworths in Australia, which will stock its gourmet breakfast range in 332 stores nationwide. Its breakfast range includes Prebiotic Granola, Antioxidant Granola, Turmeric Granola and Antioxidant Porridge. We the Many’s products are vegan, non-GMO and preservative and additive free. 

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June 19, 2022, to June 26, 2022

Daily Crunch Announces Two New Flavors Of Uniquely Crunchy Sprouted Nut Snacks

Daily Crunch has introduced two new flavors for its Uniquely Crunchy sprouted nut snacks at NYC’s Summer Fancy Food Show 2022: Cinnamon Java Sprouted Nut Medley and Nashville Hot Sprouted Almonds. The Cinnamon Java Sprouted Nut Medley contains coffee-infused sprouted almonds, dried black currants, coconut flakes and cashews, all flavored with cinnamon and sea salt. The Nashville Hot Sprouted Almonds are sprouted almonds seasoned with cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chilli powder and monk fruit sweetener. These new varieties join the other Uniquely Crunchy flavors: Original, Cherry Berry, Golden Goodness, and Cacao + Sea Salt. Uniquely Crunchy is created with the company’s patent-pending sprout and dehydration process that makes nuts easier to digest. The vegan snack is made with clean ingredients, is high in protein and fiber, and contains minimal to no oil or sugar. Daily Crunch’s snacks are sold online on its website and in more than 1,000 retail locations, including Meijer, Central Market, Foxtrot, Bristol Farms, Erewhon, and Jimbo’s. 

The Unlikely Connection Between International Snacks And Hip-Hop

International snacks and beverages have long been popular in the U.S. International supermarkets like 99 Ranch and online stores such as Weee! thrive off the demand for them. They have a cult-like following among customers who feel compelled to try each new product and flavor. Popular flavors include Spicy Sour Doritos from Israel, Chinese Chicken Cheetos from China, and Esan Hot Pot Lay's Chips from Thailand. Recently, the international snack industry has crossed over with hip-hop culture. San Jose rapper Yonex Jones sells international chips and beverages at his TankShop in San Jose and in his box truck at pop-up events. Furthermore, Exotic Pop, a Houston beverage company that launched in 2016, sells international beverages and makes branded sodas that feature popular rappers including Soulja Boy, Sean Combs and Too $hort. According to Exotic Pop's founder and CEO, Charleston Wilson, international snacks and beverages connect to hip-hop culture due to exclusivity and high price point. Wilson claims international snacks are often flaunted on social media and even music videos to emphasise wealth and success. 

Peatos Releases New Crunchy Pizza Rings

Plant-based ‘junk’ food brand PeaTos has announced the release of its latest offering: Crunchy Pizza Rings, a Funyuns-style onion ring in a dairy-free “cheesy” pizza flavor. New in 2022, PeaTos uses proprietary technology to replicate the dairy experience using only 100 percent plant-based ingredients. With its technology, PeaTos aims to challenge the PepsiCo Frito-Lay’s category monopoly by creating products that offer the flavor of junk food snacks like Cheetos and Funyuns but with the benefit of better-for-you nutrition. PeaTos replaces the traditional corn base with peas to offer more protein and fiber than the leading salty snack counterparts but with fewer calories, and less fat and sodium. 

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June 12, 2022, to June 19, 2022

Research Finds Protein Snacks Are Very Popular, But Taste Is Key

A Europe-focused study from Glanbia Nutritionals looked at consumer attitudes relating to protein snacks. Consumers from Germany, France, Sweden and Italy were polled. The survey found that about one in six eat them once a week or more to manage appetite and energy, as well as for enjoyment, and consumers are reducing their consumption of less healthy snacks. Nearly half think protein bars are healthy snacks. Although many use snacks as nourishment and for an energy boost, more use them as a treat, and taste is the most important factor when choosing a snack. Protein content is then considered, as well as the amount of sugar it contains. The study also found that format innovation in protein snacks will become increasingly important, with interest shown for protein cookies and brownies, as well as protein crisps, protein-fortified pastries and protein bites, balls and spreads. For its part, Glanbia Nutritionals has created Crunchie Milk Protein Crisps, which can be included in bars and snacks, and also sells custom premix solutions of vitamins and minerals, with bioactive, functional and nutritional ingredients.

Plant&Co. Secures Rabba Fine Foods Listing For Holy Crap Cereal

Rabba Fine Foods, a 34-store grocery chain in the Toronto area, is now selling the complete Holy Crap Superseed four-flavor range of cereals, including the latest flavor, Mango Coconut, launched last year.  The company also highlighted the success of its 2021-2022 growth strategy, which includes LumberHeads snack brand, which it recently acquired, and Heal Wellness, a new QSR brand. Holy Crap comes products certified organic, non-GMO, kosher and gluten free, containing hemp, buckwheat, chia seeds and gluten-free oats. They are also high in fiber, free from the top nine allergens and contain no added flavors, preservatives, chemicals, color, salt or oil. 

Chasin’ Dreams Farm Is A Dream Come True For Sydney Chasin

A San Diego gluten-free snacks brand, Chasin’ Dreams Farm, is the culmination of almost two decades of effort by Sydney Chasin, who has eaten gluten-free food since she was seven and started to experiment with making healthy snacks at home. The brand has launched air-popped, sorghum-based “Tiny Pops” in three varieties: sweet and salty, cinnamon and cocoa. They look like mini-popcorn and can also be eaten as a topping. Chasin established the company in 2018 while she was working in a New York City restaurant and prototyped the snacks in her apartment. Sorghum can be used as a gluten-free flour replacement, but it can also popped and is used in crackers and chips Chasin chose to air pop them without oil. The startup raised $62,000 through the Republic crowdfunding platform and has also been backed by Kathleen King, an angel investor. The products are currently sold by Compass Group in five regions, and can also be bought on the brand’s direct-to-consumer site and on Amazon.
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