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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.

<<567891011121314>> Total issues:489

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August 16, 2020, to August 23, 2020

PeaTos Tweaks The Nose Of A Snack Cheetah With “Hey Chester” Ad Campaign

Describing itself as a “young snack food upstart” and a “ground-breaking snack brand,” PeaTos is mounting a marketing challenge to snack behemoth Frito-Lay and its official Cheetos mascot Chester. The company is positioning its pea-based snack as a more healthful alternative to Cheetos and FunYuns that is just as tasty and crunchy. PeaTos says it has replaced the “old school base of corn and artificial ingredients” with peas and other clean ingredients that delivers two times the protein and three times the fiber per serving. The Los Angeles-based company‘s "Hey Chester" campaign features “intentionally provocative” billboards and “blunt” digital ads that proclaim PeaTos’ belief that it has outdone Frito Lay with a snack option “the market has been craving.” The secret to its success – PeaTos is now available at more than 4,700 retailers in the U.S. – is “the pulse-based heat and extrusion process,” the company notes. 

U.K.’s Erbology Snack Brand Says “Personalization” Is The Key To Its Future

The London-based start-up believes that a better understanding of customer preferences leads to the creation of better snacks. Erbology focuses on plant-based ingredients in its line of snacks and beverages, which include bergamot shots and sea buckthorn juice. Its powders are made with milk thistle and Jerusalem artichoke. The plant-based snack lineup includes crackers, energy balls, and tigernut granola. But the company is trying something new: a personalization strategy that crafts snacks that are more likely to deliver on the health benefits customers seek. The tailored offering, dubbed Erbology Personalized, begins with a customer survey, the answers to which determine the right ingredients and flavors, as well as ingredient intolerances and dietary requirements. This all results in creation of a cracker made from organic plant-based ingredients that is gluten free and made without processed sugar. The company produces its personalized snacks range in Central Europe, close to its suppliers, and ships them directly via a D2C model to consumers.

Belgium’s Lotus Bakeries Invests In British Corn Snack Company

Belgian biscuit company Lotus Bakeries’ corporate venture fund FF2032 has invested in London, U.K.-based Love Brands, taking a minority stake in the maker of a crunchy corn snack under the Love Corn brand. The company plans to use the cash injection to beef up marketing and hire staff. The money will also be used to grow working capital. Love Brands corn snacks are gluten-free, non-GMO, and available in four flavors. A major emphasis this year and in 2021 will be expansion of distribution and growth in the U.S. and the U.K. The Lotus FF2032 venture fund invests in food and drinks businesses offering “innovative products, technologies or market approaches,” with a specific focus on the healthy snacking category.

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August 09, 2020, to August 16, 2020

Nature’s Bakery Introduces “Recess Edition” Of Snacks For At-Home Families

The Pasadena, Calif.-based fig bar and soft-baked snacks maker’s Snack Sized Adventures: Recess Edition kits, designed to support back-to-school families during the pandemic, are available free to parents who apply online. The free limited-edition kits contain supplies, activities, and snacks to “encourage much-needed at-home recess breaks whether kids are hybrid or distance learning this fall.” The company says the recess kits offer parents a chance to “put their own spin” on recess that children don't have to miss out on because they're not at school. Eligible participants can enter for a chance to win one Recess Edition box online until September 30, 2020. The kits contain a variety of Nature's Bakery snack bars and materials, such as chalk, cones, bean bags, and more, “to create a world of imagination and play whenever the recess bell (figuratively) rings.” 

Roberts Bakery Enters British BFY Snacks Category

The Cheshire, U.K.-based bakery is launching what it calls a “breakfast inspired” fiber-rich range of snacks this September. The Porridge Loaf is made with oats and will be available in apple, raisin and cinnamon, and cranberry and coconut flavors. The Pangel, a high-protein pancake-bagel fusion, comes in raspberry & chia and chocolate & coffee flavors. The 250-calorie Brookie, combining a soft brioche bun with a swirl of cookie, will be available in chocolate orange, and apple and cinnamon flavors, individually wrapped in compostable packaging. The range will be available beginning September 7 for an RRSP of £1.25 ($1.63) per item, in convenience stores, and from doorstep milk delivery services.  

New Popcorn Brands Focus On Healthful Ingredients

As nutritionists have pointed out for years, fiber-rich popcorn is a healthful snack but lacks what health-conscious snackers want: protein. So, smaller brands of BFY pre-air popped popcorn snacks have been emerging lately that use non-GMO corn fortified with pea protein, spirulina, or nutritional yeast. Pop Zero ($3.99) adds pea protein, a complete vegan protein with all nine essential amino acids that the body can’t make on its own. Other BFY popcorn snack makers include: Azzizah’s Herbal Green Popcorn ($14.77) with protein-rich spirulina (algae); Three Dads Popcorn ($3.99) with nutritional yeast (“nooch”; Sakara’s Sweet, Salty, and Cheezy Popcorn Trio ($45) with coconut sugar and nutritional yeast; Project Pop ($22 for a 2-pack) with coconut oil; and Pop Zero with algae oil plus vitamin A, vitamin B-12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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August 02, 2020, to August 09, 2020

Snacks In The Time Of Coronavirus: Indulgence Yes, But BFY Is Not Forgotten

Consumers may have turned to buying large volumes of comfort snacks – salty snacks, candy, cookies, and crackers – to relax a little from the pandemic, snack at home, and not have to shop at the grocery store as often. “They have been moving big volumes," one expert said. “All of the top snack products were doing extremely well." But that doesn’t mean they have abandoned better-for-you snacking, according to industry watchers. In fact, the focus on health and wellness, coupled with a desire to explore new flavors and ingredients in snacks, continue to drive snack innovation. Retailers who provide advanced flavor profiles that are better-for-you than traditional snacking options will end up winners in the market, DiNunzio said.

Wasa Survey Reveals Insights Into Parental Snacking Behaviors

A survey by the Swedish crispbread maker reveals that half of U.S. parents are snacking more today than they were during the first few weeks of pandemic quarantine. Other survey findings about today’s snacking habits: three of four parents snack in the afternoon; nine of 10 parents prioritize their kids' snacking needs over their own; eight of 10 parents sometimes hide or disguise snacks to keep their kids from eating them; half of parents snack in front of the TV or on the couch or at the fridge (55 percent); nearly two-thirds grab leftovers from another meal, eat a store-bought snack (65 percent). or eat whatever is about to go bad in the fridge (58 percent); and moms are most likely to grab a snack because of boredom (50 percent), while dads snack because of hunger (39 percent). Wasa (Wasabröd, Stockholm, Sweden) became part of the Barilla Group in 1999.

Nestlé’s Pandemic Response Is To “Rethink” The Out-Of-Home Business, Not “Right-Size” It

Nestlé CEO Ulf Mark Schneider told investors recently that the company has no plans to “right-size” its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is definitely “rethinking” categories like coffee and water and will adapt wherever possible in the out-of-home business. That means less hotel and restaurant business “for a while going forward,” Schneider said. But he noted that many more consumers have ordered in from restaurants and dark kitchens during the crisis, so “there's almost like a blurring of the lines between what is in-home consumption and what is out-of-home consumption.” Nestlé’s out-of-home sales declined by as much as 60 percent in the first half of the year as offices, restaurants, and hotels closed. The company’s year-to-date profit increased 18 percent to 5.9 billion Swiss francs ($6.5 billion); earnings per share increased 22 percent to 2.06 Swiss francs ($2.29). 

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July 26, 2020, to August 02, 2020

Nature Valley Launches Sustained Energy Granola Bar “Packed”

The new General Mills snack product contains “hard-working, energy-boosting” ingredients, the company says, including nut butter, nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or peanuts), and cranberries or blueberries. The sustained energy snack bar contains no artificial flavors or colors and no high fructose corn syrup. It is available in Peanut Butter & Cranberry and Almond Butter & Blueberry varieties at most retail locations in the U.S. or online for a suggested retail price of $4.49 per four-count box. 

Songwriter/Grammy Winner Invests In Female-Founded Snack Company

The Seattle-based snack marketer launched by a mother-daughter duo announced that Colombian singer-songwriter and Grammy winner Shakira has invested in the company through her nonprofit education-focused Barefoot Foundation. "I was hooked on SkinnyDipped almonds and chocolate (two of my favorite things, but with less sugar!) from the moment I tried them,” Shakira said. SkinnyDipped's gluten-free and non-GMO products, containing no artificial colors or flavors, include a line of almond snacks in four flavors, and a new non-almond line, SkinnyDipped Cashews, available in two flavors. The products are sold on Amazon.com and at natural and conventional grocers in the U.S., including Kroger, Safeway, Target, Whole Foods, Wegman's, and HEB. 

By Changing Corn’s Amino Acid Profile, Plant Scientist Makes Popcorn More Healthful

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln plant breeder who believes popcorn can and should be healthful has come up with a way to imbue corn with a more complete amino acid profile. The original goal was to improve the levels of lysine and tryptophan in the corn kernel through traditional breeding. Once that was accomplished, popcorn was the next logical target. Corn is high in protein, but it is not the complete protein needed by the human body. Some amino acids, especially lysine, are deficient. By changing the protein profile, David Holding says, corn becomes a more complete protein source, and popcorn could become “a unique food snack that's compatible with the healthy eating movement." The new varieties may also offer some interesting flavor possibilities. The only downside? "A slight reduction" in the popping volume, he says.

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July 12, 2020, to July 26, 2020

Mercadona Launches BFY Edamame/Soy Bean Snack

The Spanish supermarket chain’s Mixbeans Edamame & Soy from Hacendado is a better-for-you snack that blends white, green (edamame), and black soy beans that have been roasted and lightly salted. Soy beans are rich in protein, as well as vitamins A, D, E, and F, minerals potassium and phosphorus, plus fiber and amino acids. The snack, manufactured by Menken Orlando of Rotterdam (The Netherlands), is sold in bags of 100 grams at €1.50 ($1.72) a bag. 

Coca-Cola Sees Some Financial Improvement In 2nd Quarter

After a “most challenging” first quarter marked by a 28 percent pandemic-caused sales decline, Coca-Cola said second quarter soda demand improved, a fact reflected in adjusted revenue of $7.18 billion, largely in line with analyst estimates. Demand for Coca-Cola drinks was battered by the closings of restaurants, theaters, and sports venues. Unit case volume trends, a key demand indicator, improved from a 25 percent drop in April to a 10 percent drop in June as lockdowns eased. For the June quarter, volume sales declined 16 percent, with flagship Coca-Cola falling seven percent and sparkling soft drinks dropping 12 percent. Unit volume of teas and coffees slid 31 percent, largely because of the temporary closure of Costa Coffee stores in Western Europe.

Chobani Debuts Plant-Based High-Protein Probiotic Beverages

The New York-based Greek yogurt maker’s new line of oat-based, fermented organic drinks contain probiotic cultures and 15-25 grams of protein in four varieties. Chobani Probiotic drinks combine whole grain oats and fruit juice fermented with probiotic cultures, then blended with organic fruit and herbal extracts with “a light effervescence.” The drinks are non-dairy, certified organic and certified non-GMO. Each bottle has 80 calories with 11 grams of sugar, billions of probiotics, and no sweetener ingredients. The drinks are available in lemon ginger, pineapple turmeric, peach mint, and cherry hibiscus tea varieties at $3.79 per 14-ounce bottle.

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July 05, 2020, to July 12, 2020

Animal Skin Snacks Hope To Benefit From BFY Food, And Keto Diet, Trends

Fried chicken skins are a popular snack in the Japan and Southeast Asia. But will consumption of edible animal skins – beyond pork rinds, that is – ever catch on in the U.S.?  Several companies are betting on just that, and on the hunch that Americans are becoming more conscious of the sources and health factors of their food. Los Angeles-based Goodfish, launched during the rise of the pandemic and dependent on DTC online sales, sells fried wild Alaskan sockeye salmon skins at $3 for a 1/2-ounce pack. Available in chili lime, spicy BBQ, and sea salt flavors, Goodfish skins contain seven grams of protein, marine collagen, omega-3 fatty acids, and zero carbs. The fried chicken skin snack Flock (Naked Market, San Francisco) markets itself as keto-friendly, high-protein, and low-carb. The keto trend has also benefited a more traditional “animal skin” snack: in 2018, pork rinds saw a 49 percent increase in dollar sales, according to IRI.

Annies Reports Boost In Sales After Partnering With U.S. Subscription Food Firm

The New Zealand-based snack maker shifted its business model and marketing strategy in response to the COVID-19 crisis and is now enjoying a million-dollar revenue turnaround. Annies saw its retail fruit bar and snack sales sputter early in the pandemic as consumers stayed home. The company then struck a deal with California-based subscription food box company Imperfect Foods in February. Annies sends products to Imperfect Foods under a private label, and puts its own branding on products delivered in a weekly food box. The U.S. is Annies' fastest-growing market: the company, owned by Māori food and beverage producer Kono, expects a 420 percent growth rate in the current financial year. 

Food Writer Emily Elyse Miller Launches “Socially Responsible” Cereal Brand OffLimits

New York-based Miller, author of “Breakfast: The Cookbook,” is on a mission to take down the sexist “patriarchy” that dominates the breakfast cereal industry. That includes the slew of male cereal mascots like Tony the Tiger, the Lucky Charms leprechaun, Count Chocula, and Trix’s Silly Rabbit. Launching in two flavors (coffee & cocoa and vanilla & pandan), Dash and Zombie are represented by two “emotionally unstable cartoon characters” named Dash (a female) and Zombie. Miller says she is also reinventing the concept of cereal box toys, with “a gamified, arcade-style experience where consumers can redeem points collected from cereal purchases for unique merchandise.” 

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June 28, 2020, to July 05, 2020

Plant-Based Snack Company Helps Revive Scotland’s Seaweed Industry

With the help of £1.7 million ($2.2 million) in new investment, Scottish seaweed food firm Shore (Alness) is expanding its range of plant-based snacks. Shore uses sustainably harvested seaweed to produce its range of snacks, introduced in late 2018. Seaweed has a long history in Scotland: at one time the industry was worth about £7.5 million ($9.2 million) a year to the Hebrides alone. The funding package combines a business development grant from Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE), equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), and contributions from several private investors.

British Company Unveils “World’s First Organic Daily Nutrition Bars”

Human Food (Tenby Pembrokeshire, U.K.) has introduced meal replacement bars that contain all the essential nutrients and minerals you'd expect from a normal meal. Human Food bars are described as the “world's first organic daily nutrition Bars” and can be used in smoothies, crumbled into granola, or just eaten on their own. The bars contain 20 organic whole foods and whole food extracts, but no added sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, flavorings, synthetic nutrients, soy, grains, wheat, dairy, or GMOs. Each bar contains 11 grams of protein, 100 percent of the daily vitamin B12, 50 percent of daily iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and D. Three variants are available: a red bar (goji berries), yellow bar (turmeric), and green bar (organic spirulina). They are priced at £33 ($40.50) for a box of ten.

Finnish Company Unveils Eco-Friendly Snack Packaging Solution

Finnish fiber-based products company Ahlstrom-Munksjö (Helsinki) has introduced its first brand of CelluSnack snack packaging papers, designed to reduce the impact on the environment by making compostability, biodegradation, and recycling easier. The new snack packaging papers are the result of the company’s “from Plastic to Purpose” initiative that encourages food and industrial packaging producers to consider fiber and paper-based packaging solutions. CelluSnack papers also offer heat sealing and various barrier coatings.

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June 14, 2020, to June 28, 2020

Wisconsin’s Kohler Chocolates Debuts Line of Protein Bars In Three Flavors

Wisconsin-based Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates’ new protein bars combine 21 grams of protein with plant–based ingredients, including peanuts, quinoa, chia seeds and hemp hearts. The bars are low in sugar and sodium and free from egg, soy, and gluten. They retail for $2.49 for a 2.1–oz. bar and $24.99 for a 12–pack. Available flavors include berries, coffee, and peanut butter. The company also introduced new flavors and packing for its handcrafted chocolate bars. With two bars to a pack, they contain natural ingredients such as Colectivo coffee and the brand’s own 70 percent Andoa Dark Chocolate. The bars retail $3.49 per two–pack and $19.99 for six two–packs. The new lines are available at the Craverie Chocolatier Café and Woodlake Market in Kohler, Wis., or online at kohlerchocolates.com.

Start-Up Snack Company Debuts Flagship Product Made From Sprouted Almonds

Calif.-based plant-based snack start-up AKA Snacks has launched its flagship sprouted almonds product. Palmonds are soy–free, gluten–free, dairy–free, paleo, and vegan, made from sprouted – not roasted – almonds that are dehydrated and flavored with organic spices, coconut sugar, and coconut aminos, a condiment typically used as a savory alternative to soy sauce. Palmonds, which deliver 10 grams of plant–based protein per serving, are available in salty sweet, cinnamon sugar, sweet barbecue, and spicy nacho flavors, each containing between 250 and 280 calories. AKA Snacks is named for founder and CEO Ashley Kathleen Allyn, who created the brand after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

Three Wishes Adds Cocoa Flavor To Line Of Plant-Based Breakfast Cereals

New York City-based Three Wishes cereals, founded in October 2019 by a husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team, has launched a new flavor, cocoa, which joins cinnamon, honey, and unsweetened flavors. Three Wishes cereals are high protein (eight grams per serving) and low sugar (three grams from monkfruit and cane sugar). The grain-free breakfast cereals are made with chickpeas, pea protein, and tapioca, are gluten–free, and free from wheat, dairy, soy, oats, corn, rice and peanuts. The cereals are available on the company website and on Amazon, and in select retailers across the country. 

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April 12, 2020, to June 14, 2020

Sainsbury’s Showcases Start-Up Snack Maker’s Products In Its Future Brands Category

U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury’s has chosen start-up Pep & Lekker's Seed Snacks to be part of its Future Brands category showcasing tomorrow’s pioneering brands. The chain announced it would test two flavors – Fennel & Chia and Rosemary & Hemp – under the label in 70 stores beginning June 9. The baked snacks are billed as healthier living, vegan-friendly, crunchy snacks with a low-carbon footprint that represent a no-added-sugar, high-fiber, high-protein, gut-healthy alternative to standard crisps. Each 30-gram pack has a recommended sale price of £2 ($2.53). Sainsbury’s also helped Pep & Lekker shift to colorful, compostable packaging that stands out on store shelves. The grocery chain launched its Future Brands program two years ago to support small and innovative suppliers.

Royal Hawaiian Introduces 24-Ounce Bag Of Macadamia Nuts For At-Home Snacking

Royal Hawaiian Orchards (MacFarms, LLC, Dana Point, Calif.) has introduced a family-sized bag (24 ounces) of Sea Salt macadamia nuts. The company says the larger bag gives consumers “a one-stop, healthy option to help feed and nourish the entire household” while homebound during the pandemic. Royal Hawaiian says its macadamia nuts are gluten-free, keto-, paleo-, and vegan-friendly. The new 24-oz option is available online and in select retail locations.

Researcher IRI Names Two New Pistachio Snack Flavors As “Rising Stars” In Sales

Chicago-based research firm IRI has named Wonderful Pistachios’ (Los Angeles, Calif.) No Shells Chili Roasted and Honey Roasted flavors as “Rising Stars” in its annual New Product Pacesetters Report. The status confirms the two flavors’ first-year sales success, according to a company news release. They are the only snack nut and healthy salty snack on this year’s list, the company said, and drove 94 percent of the company’s flavored snack nut growth, and more than 30 percent growth for the No Shells line. The IRI report features the biggest consumer packaged goods launches based on sales.

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January 19, 2020, to April 12, 2020

Huge Market Opportunity Forecast Through 2026 For Pulse Flour Manufacturers

Pulse flour manufacturers can expect to benefit from rising global consumption of snacks such as nutritious soups, sauces, and nutrition bars, according to new research from Fact.MR (Dublin, Ireland). The world pulse flour market is projected to accelerate at a surprising CAGR of more than 10 percent from 2020 to 2026 – double the growth rate of the global flour market. Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas are a good source of amino acids and plant-based proteins, a reason they are being incorporated into gluten-free products. Demand for pulse flour is expected to create a $15 billion market opportunity into 2026.

Break Your New Year’s Resolutions At Hotels.com’s “Bread & Breakfast” In New York City

Hotels.com, a website for booking hotel rooms online and by phone, announced it has introduced the “Bread & Breakfast,” a limited-time hotel room experience that opened at New York City's Refinery Hotel on January 17 – “which just so happens to be National Ditch Your Resolution Day.” After check-in, guests are treated to a “belt-bustin' carbo-load” in their rooms where they find a minibar with a bakery case stocked with an assortment of free pastries, bread, or a breakfast of cereal, bagels, and doughnuts, along with butter, jam, and cream cheese. The room service menu features “scrumptious starches,” including an array of pastas. The Hotels.com Bread & Breakfast is $225 a night, through January 31. 

California Bakery Expands To Whole Foods Markets In Two States With Plant-Based Pizzas

California-based Pizza Plant (Pasadena), known for its large 13-topping, CBD-infused, plant-based Nacho Pizzas, recently debuted a USDA certified organic take-and-bake plant-based pizza at Whole Foods Market locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Available organic plant-based pies include: house-made ancho chilled spiced tofu pepperoni slices, Italian spiced wheat crumble, bell peppers, onions, kalamata olives, and cashew nut cheese and marinara; roasted baby bella mushrooms, broccoli, house-made pumpkin seed pesto, red onion, and cashew nut cheese; and house-made Italian spiced wheat crumble, cured shiitake bits, shaved fennel, and cashew nut cheese and marinara. atop an artisan crust. The 10" pies are packaged in a microwavable TreeSaver Pizza Pan. Pizza Plant is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Plant Craft Foods, Inc.
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