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Period: November 1, 2020 to November 15, 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
Companies, Organizations  

Hershey Links Licensing With Its Marketing And Business Strategies

The Pennsylvania candy and snacks giant is hoping to broaden its customer base by forging partnership and licensing deals in unexpected ways. Perhaps the most striking example of this strategy is its affiliation with brewery D.G. Yuengling & Son to create a limited-edition chocolate porter available in 22 states. The hope is that the mashup will attract younger consumers who like craft beers – and chocolate. Over the past several months, Hershey has also debuted pudding and whipped topping products with Kraft; Hershey's and Reese's cookie mashups with Mondelez International's Chips Ahoy brand; and an expanded line of candy-inspired Jolly Rancher and Hershey's Kisses cereals with General Mills. A Hershey licensing exec says "there are many more categories that we belong in, but we don't have direct access." The idea is to remind shoppers of Hershey brands “when they are shopping outside of our core competency.”

"Hershey bets on product mashups by weaving licensing into marketing", Marketing Dive, November 02, 2020


Numerous Health Benefits Claimed For Lotus Seed Snacks

Though consumers globally are trying to eat a more nutritious diet, they still have cravings for delicious snacks. But it’s definitely better if those snacks are also healthful. With that in mind several snack makers are offering versions of an East Asian seed/nut known as makhana, also known as fox nuts or lotus seeds, that deliver an array of nutrition benefits. Brands on the market include Phool Makhana (7 ounces, $12.00), Rani Phool Makhana (3.5 ounces, $12.99), Taali Himalayan Pink Salt Water Lily Pops (4-pack, 2.3 oz multi-serve bags, $18.99), and Taali Variety Pack Water Lily Pops (10-pack, 0.8 oz bags, $18.99). Health benefits and claims include: low-calorie, immunity booster, vegan, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, etc.

"Makhana: The sub-continental superfood", Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates), October 28, 2020

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Highlander Partners Adds Miller Baking To Benestar Stable

The Dallas, Texas-based portfolio company says its Benestar Brands unit has acquired Miller Baking Company, the Milwaukee, Wis., manufacturer of Pretzilla soft pretzel bites and buns. Once a multi-product bakery, Miller unveiled the Pretzilla brand in 2010 and has since transitioned to a pretzel bread snack business offering a variety of soft pretzel products, including Burger Buns, Mini Buns, Sausage Buns, and Bites, distributed nationally to more than 10,000 stores. All of its products are non-GMO, allergen-friendly, vegan, and kosher. The company has invested significantly in R&D and operations, spurring innovation in the category in terms of both product introductions and product attributes. Benestar Brands operates as a holding company for a diverse range of snack products.

"Highlander Partners Announces Acquisition of Pretzilla Best Known for Its Fresh Soft Pretzel Bites", PR Newswire , November 03, 2020

Finance, Economics, Tax  

Hershey Takes Minority Stake In Quinn Snacks

The Colorado-based natural foods snack company has closed an additional Series D funding round with an undisclosed minority investment from the Hershey Company, as well as existing investors. The funding will support new distribution and product innovation, the company said. Quinn has established itself as a salty snack leader – mainly popcorn and pretzels – in the natural channel with distribution in more than 7,500 stores nationwide. The brand's snacks, which include both savory and indulgent product offerings, have experienced a 65 percent growth in revenue this year over last year.

"Quinn Closes Series D Financing with The Hershey Company", PR Newswire, October 28, 2020

Products & Brands  

Cornitos Introduces Gourmet Chips, Seeds, Nuts Gift Packs For “Festive Season”

The Mexican-style snack brand of India’s Greendot Health Foods has launched “Joy of Indulgence” gourmet gift packs designed to “enliven festivities.” The Nachos Fiesta gift pack features Nachos crisps and dips, while a diamond-shaped “party pack” includes Nacho Crisps & Party Nut mix. The Indie Nuts Box of Royalty contains premium nuts: lightly salted cashews, pepper and herbs cashews, lightly salted almonds, and smoky barbeque cashews. The Pop N Crunch theme packs combine almonds, party mix, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, and coated green peas. The packs range from Rs 190 ($2.55) to Rs 1,470 (about $20.00) and are available at leading retail outlets and online. Traditionally, India’s four-month “festive season” begins in August and is marked by celebrations and ceremonies.

"Cornitos launches 'Joy of Indulgence' packs - Nacho Crisps, Nuts and Seeds", Food & Beverages News, November 03, 2020

Calbee North America Debuts “Popable” Green Pea Snack

The Fairfield, Calif.-based healthy snacks company has introduced a plant-based snack made with  green peas and without potato or corn fillers. Popper Duos are baked in a “popable” round shape, available in Salsa & Cheddar, BBQ & Ranch, and Yellow & White Cheddar flavors. The lineup is also certified gluten-free, vegetarian friendly, and free of palm oil, artificial flavors and colors, and common allergens soy, nuts, peanuts, wheat, and eggs.

"Green Pea-Based Snack", WholeFoods Magazine, November 02, 2020

Conagra Brands To Showcase New Snacks At NACS Virtual Showroom

The Chicago-based branded food company says it will showcase a hefty list of new meat snacks, seeds, salty snacks, popcorn, and sweet treats in its virtual showroom at the online 2020 “Crack The Code Experience,” sponsored by the National Association of Convenience Stores. Conagra will also feature a selection of merchandising vehicles for convenience stores designed to optimize assortment, placement, and product visibility to spur impulse purchase. An example is the Slim Jim Countertop Caddy Stand Fixture, sized to place at checkout. Among the products to be spotlighted at the virtual showroom are several new flavors and sizes of meat sticks, sausages, and meat jerky; a plant-based jerky; sunflower seeds in new flavors; beer battered onion rings; juicy gels candy; and new varieties of kettle corn and microwave popcorn. 

"Conagra Brands Brings Big Flavor, Bold Protein Snacks Innovation To Virtual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) 'Crack The Code Experience'", PR Newswire, November 02, 2020

FutureLife Bran Flakes Replaces Probiotic Sachets With Capsules

Following a study showing that consumers prefer to take their probiotic as a capsule, the South African functional food brand’s Bran Flakes now comes with HOWARU Premium Probiotic capsules, replacing a probiotic in sachets. The high-fiber cereal/probiotics combo is designed to support the everyday functioning of the gut, the company says. FutureLife Bran Flakes are also low in saturated fat (0.2 grams per serving) and total fat (0.9 grams per serving). The cereal is rich in carbohydrates and protein, and contains 12 vitamins. The global probiotics market was valued at $47.1 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8 percent from 2019 to 2026 to $78.3 billion in 2026.

"South African food brand FutureLife launches breakfast cereals powered by probiotic capsules", Food Business Africa, November 02, 2020

Meiji America Introduces Caramel-Flavored Salty Crackers

The York, Pa.-based confectionery and snack company’s Hello Panda Caramel flavored crackers, the first brand not launched in Japan, will be available in a hexagonal 2.1 oz. box (SRP $1.39), standard 2.2 oz. pillow bag (SRP $1.39), hexagonal 8 count 0.75 oz. multi-pack box (SRP $3.59), and stand-up 7 oz. pouch (SRP $3.49). Meiji crackers are also available in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and matcha green tea flavors. 

"Introducing Caramel Fun with a Cracker Crunch!", PR Newswire, October 28, 2020


Research Suggests Breakfast Cereals Are Getting A Reputation Makeover

Breakfast cereal, long in decline as consumers turned to lower-carb, less processed breakfast foods,  is shaking free from some of its negative stereotypes as consumers look for relief from pandemic-related pressures. The research from General Mills found that these pressures include balancing tighter budgets due to lost jobs, maintaining family health in a time of spreading coronavirus, and preparing every meal at home. When the pandemic forced consumers to reduce the frequency of grocery trips, many people gave shelf-stable options – like cereal – a second look. More than half of the survey respondents (55 percent) said cereal was their children’s top choice for breakfast and one that many parents are confident offering to ensure their families consumed essential key vitamins and minerals. And many cereals now provide whole grain and fiber.

"Cereal shakes off negative stereotypes as the pandemic reshuffles consumer priorities", FoodNavigator-USA.com, October 29, 2020

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