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Period: October 25, 2020 to November 1, 2020
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Velocity Snack Brands Extends Popchips Snack Line

The Los Angeles-based company, created by private equity firm VMG Partners as an incubating platform after it acquired Popchips last year, has launched additional varieties, including two grain-free popped chips made with cassava – sea salt and cajun honey – as well as an air-popped corn chip product. They will be available at more than 2,100 U.S. Kroger stores. Additional flavors will launch in other major retailers, including Albertsons’ Safeway, in the near future. According to VMG, Popchips has achieved 89 percent brand awareness with its distribution in nearly every domestic retailer. Popchips products are not fried, have clean taste profiles with simple ingredients, and are gluten-free and non-GMO. VMG plans to launch the new products with an integrated, data-driven digital and in-store marketing campaign, in addition to a new website for Popchips in the coming weeks. The company is doubling down on efforts to help brands increase their e-commerce revenues because of decreased ...  More

"Velocity Snack Brands Launches New Popchips Lines To Strengthen Healthy Snacking Platform", Forbes.com, October 26, 2020

Mavericks Snacks Introduces Brand Targeting Preadolescents

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company  is debuting a snack brand for pre-teens at Target stores after a successful introduction at Whole Foods Market locations in April 2020. Created by Green Park Brands, a holding company started by Livio Bisterzo, Mavericks markets two peanut-free, school-safe products that meet USDA Smart Snacks requirements. Crackerz contains eight grams of whole grains per serving; Cookiez has “40 percent less sugar than the leading natural competitor and 60-75 percent less than iconic conventional brands.” The brand is also available on Amazon. The target demographic is the “older sub-segment of 8-11-year olds” within a broader target demo, 4–11-year olds (middle childhood years). The biggest marketing challenge is reaching young children and raising product awareness without in-store sampling and fewer parents shopping with kids. But the company says it saw a “crescendo in unit velocities” at Whole Foods using a “back to school” promotion and velocities have ...  More

"‘Authentically kid-first’ brand Mavericks Snacks heads to Target after successful debut at Whole Foods", FoodNavigator-USA.com, October 23, 2020

Comment & Opinion  

British Business Accelerator Picks Seven Healthy Snack Brands Targeting Obesity

The Good Food Fund, a London-based business accelerator, has picked seven snack start-ups it believes can help tackle the U.K.’s childhood obesity problem. The £1.8 million ($2.3 million) venture fund that backs healthier food and drinks brand was launched in March by the U.K. food and drink accelerator Mission Venture. Selected start-ups get intensive support, including help establishing new manufacturing partners, advice on reduction of costs and RSP, retailer partnerships, and increased distribution, among other aids. The seven brands are: Insane Grain (puffed snacks made with sorghum); JimJams (chocolate spreads made with 83 percent less sugar); Lexi’s Treats (low-calorie snacks made from puffed rice and marshmallows); Naturelly (jelly pots with inulin fiber from chicory root); Nombots (wholegrain lentil puffs for kids); Rootles (light and crispy biscuit covered in Belgian chocolate and made with carrot and sweet potato); and Snackzilla (fiber-rich, low-sugar oat cookies). 

"Meet the 7 brands promising to disrupt the healthy snacking space", FoodNavigator.com, October 21, 2020

Companies, Organizations  

Ka-Pop! Snacks Unveils New Packaging Designed To Attract COVID Era Shoppers

The Erie, Colorado-based BFY sorghum-based snack chips and puffs company has revamped its superhero themed packaging to better reflect its “continued commitment to healthy eating, a clean label, and the joy of snacking for all” and to “pop off shelves” to attract COVID-19 era shoppers. "The new packaging reinforces our belief that healthy snacks don't have to be boring!" says CEO David Finkel. Revamped packaging will appear on shelves in select Kroger and Wegmans stores starting in November and is starting to ship now on Amazon and kapopsnacks.com. The new designs were developed by Stone Strategy & Design, a multi-disciplinary brand and creative strategy studio in Golden, Colo.

"Ka-Pop Snacks Unveils New Updated Look and Packaging", PR Newswire, October 27, 2020

Wildway Sustainability Plan Emphasizes Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Packaging

The San Antonio, Texas-based natural food company is launching sustainable post-consumer recycled packaging designed to prolong the life of plastic, giving it a second use before it reaches a landfill. The new design will roll out this fall in Wildway’s Apple Cinnamon and Banana Nut grain-free granola. The entire product portfolio will be updated by 2023. U.S. recycling companies had been sending plastic trash to China to process, a practice shut down last year. Other countries began to purchase American plastic trash without proper infrastructure in place. “By redesigning our packaging, we are doing what we can to prolong the life of non-recyclable plastics instead of contributing to more single-use plastics that go straight to the landfill, despite what marketing departments claim,” said Wildway CEO Kelli Koehler. Wildway, founded in 2014, produces better-for-you grain-free granolas, hot cereals, and fruit & nut snack mixes made with real-food ingredients.

"Wildway Launches Sustainability Plan With Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Packaging", Vegworld Magazine , October 23, 2020


Snack Maker KIND Offers Advice To Retailers On Healthy Snack Marketing

Eighty-five percent of U.K. shoppers are actively trying to improve their diet in some way, so it’s no surprise that healthy snacking is set to boom. Although snack maker KIND obviously wants retailers to fill store shelves with its snack products, it offers some general advice on how to take advantage of the fact that shoppers are willing to pay up to 30 percent more for products with perceived benefits – “a great opportunity to grow the basket spend of your shoppers.” Top snack trends for the coming year include products with added protein, plant-based products, and take-home snacks. Lastly, the company advises retailers to give healthy snacking the space it deserves in-store; create secondary space for healthy snacking; and make a clear distinction between different consumer protein needs (performance, lifestyle, natural, i.e. plant-based). Word of warning: carve out dedicated space in store for healthy snacking, do not mix it in with traditional confectionery. 

"Healthy snacking: everything you need to know about managing the category", conveniencestore.co.uk, October 21, 2020

Finance, Economics, Tax  

Newly-Acquired Brand, New Shopping Patterns, Boost Simply Good Foods

The Denver-based marketer of the Atkins and Quest lines of protein-rich and low-carb foods and shakes reports that sales in the summer grew 60 percent as quarterly profits doubled thanks to a new brand it acquired and to increased in-home snacking during the pandemic. The company reported fourth-quarter profits of $12.4 million, or 12 cents a share, on $222.3 million sales in the three months ended August 29. The company’s $1 billion acquisition of the Quest line of low-sugar, high-protein foods drove sales growth in the quarter, though sales of the company's Atkins brand snacks and meal replacement products declined by eight percent. The company attributed the slide in Atkins sales to less weight-consciousness in the pandemic and increased time at home. About 40 percent of the Atkins brand products are typically eaten outside the home, the company said.

"COVID-19 snacking drives Simply Good Foods sales growth", Denver Business Journal (Colorado), October 27, 2020

Market News  

Nestlé SA Says Online Sales Are Strong And Growing

The Swiss multinational says e-commerce sales, driven by COVID-19, increased 48 percent over the first nine months of the fiscal year to reach 12.3 percent of total company sales, up from 8.5 percent in the same time of the previous year. CEO Ulf Mark Schneider said the results indicate that Nestlé is “coming of age” in the digital era of food and beverage, thanks mostly to health concerns brought on by the pandemic. Out-of-home sales, which accounted for about 10 percent of total Nestlé sales before COVID-19, decreased 31 percent. The slide moderated to 26 percent in the third quarter from 55 percent in the second quarter. CFO Francois-Xavier Roger, noting that coffee, pet care, nutrition, and water are most suited to online buying, said Nestlé’s online sales are largely from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China, and Japan. Nestlé also upgraded its fiscal-year guidance to about three percent organic sales growth from about two percent.

"Nestlé’s e-commerce sales now make up 12 percent of total sales", Food Business News, October 22, 2020


Start-up Maine Crisp Company Clinches Distribution Deal

The Waterville, Maine-based start-up has turned an opportunity to stock a small local store display through the Whole Foods Local Forager program into a 46-store distribution deal that will place Maine Crisp’s products in each of the retailer’s New England supermarkets. Beginning in November, the company’s Cranberry Almond and Wild Blueberry Walnut crisps will be on store shelves at Whole Foods Market locations all over the region. The Whole Foods Local Forager program selected Maine Crisp because of its high-quality, locally-made product. Maine Crisp sources its buckwheat, a gluten-free seed that comprises the base of the crisp recipe, from Aroostook County, and manufactures the product exclusively in downtown Waterville in its 2,500 sq. ft. facility.

"Maine Crisp Co. Lands New England Distribution Deal with Whole Foods", Main Crisp, October 22, 2020

Products & Brands  

U.K.’s KP Snacks Rebrands BFY Popchips Snack

The savory snack company announced it is relaunching the Popchips brand – not to be confused with a U.S. snack of the same name – with a new look and is moving its production in-house. Popchips products were previously made in the U.K. and Belgium, but will now be made at a new 1,800 square foot facility at KP's Leicestershire base. The snack line includes Barbeque, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Sour Cream & Onion, and Sea Salt & Vinegar variants. The smaller packs will remove 23 tons of plastic from the supply chain every year, the company says. The new design, debuting in November, "prominently features core ingredients, gives the brand standout and is more fun and relevant", said KP. It also incorporates Popchips' signature tagline, “Popped not Fried.”

"KP revamps Popchips and slashes packaging", thegrocer.co.uk, October 22, 2020

Byron Bay Brands Launch Functional, Carbon-Neutral Cereals

Three of the Australian company’s brands have collaborated to launch nutrient-dense, carbon-neutral cereals formulated from functional ingredients supporting personal and planetary health. The “We, the many” environmental movement was created by the Brook family from Brookfarm and Cape Byron Distillery; and Brad Rogers and Jamie Cook, two of the co-founders of Stone & Wood, all of whom wanted to create “a movement where climate change is a key business driver rather than an afterthought.” We, the many* will commit 50 percent of profits to climate-change action projects, including regenerative agriculture, wind and solar farms, recycling technology and forest regeneration. We, the many’s full range of cereals is scheduled to launch next month.

"Byron Bay brands join forces to create carbon-neutral cereal range", Inside FMCG, October 22, 2020

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