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Period: December 13, 2020 to December 20, 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  

Kraft-Heinz’s Deal With APC Microbiome Greatly Expands Its Snack Innovation Potential

Market researcher Global Data says major food companies like Kraft-Heinz and Nestlé are heavily engaged in researching plant-based food technology while expanding rapidly into the space. An example of the priority is Kraft-Heinz’s recent deal to conduct research on fermented ingredients with APC Microbiome. The arrangement allows the company to try novel flavors and formulations without wasting time on internal, potentially dead-end, research. The recent surge in coronavirus cases, and the ensuing lockdowns, is pushing consumers to buy savory snacks and condiments and pushing companies to speed up development of new products, especially for at-home consumption. By focusing on ingredient and formulation innovations via the APC Microbiome partnership, Kraft-Heinz can better align with strengthening demand for “clean” and “safe” products “that will resonate with consumers during these trying times.”

"Kraft-Heinz making bold investments in growing savory snacks market", Global Data, December 04, 2020

Nature's Path Introduces Two Grain-Free High-Protein Hot Cereals

The Richmond, B.C.-based organic breakfast and snack food company’s nutty, protein-rich hot cereals blend plant-based watermelon seed protein with nutrient-dense, healthy fats. Available in Maple Almond Crunch and Cinnamon Apple Crisp flavors, the cereals feature chia seeds and pumpkin seeds instead of grain, and are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and ALA omega-3 fatty acids. The cereals are also vegan and paleo friendly, certified USDA organic, and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

"Nature's Path Grain Free Hot Cereal Brings Protein to the Table", PR Newswire, December 03, 2020

Bubba's Fine Foods To Unveil Nut Mixes For Carb-Conscious Snackers

The Loveland, Colo.-based maker of grain-free snacks has created a line of Keto Nut Mixes in six flavors for paleo diet fans, Debuting in January, the new flavors will be available on Amazon in three savory and three sweet varieties, each delivering 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of net carbs. The savory Keto Nut Mixes are made with seasoned walnuts, pecans, and healthy seeds, and sold in 1.2-ounce packs in flavors such as Pepperoni Pizza, Traditional Recipe, and Sour Cream & Chive. The sweet nut mixes, also sold in 1.2-ounce packs, are made with nuts and seeds in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Maple Cinnamon Praline, and Thai Sweet Chili flavors. The snacks are low-glycemic, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and free of refined sugars, and artificial flavorings. Besides Amazon, the snacks will be sold at Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, The Fresh Market, King Soopers, and other retailers.

"Grain Free Snacking Is About to Get More Flavorful with Launch of Bubba's Keto Nut Mixes", PR Web, December 02, 2020

Foodnerd Introduces Plant-Based Cereal With Broccoli Sprouts

The Buffalo, N.Y. “sprouted mega-food” company says its SeeReal is a raw and sprouted cereal formulated for optimal nutrition that complements its OverNights line of sprouted overnight oat, chia pudding, and buckwheat breakfasts. SeeReal is made with real fruits and vegetables “deliciously disguised” to serve as the replacement for the most popular cereals. Available in Fruity Fantasy, Dark Chocolate, and Banana Bread flavors, the cereals are using a technology the company calls “positive processing:” sprouting to increase bioavailability; never using heat above 118 degrees F, the temperature at which nutrients begin to degrade; and never using chemical additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, or “natural” flavors. 

"Foodnerd Launches First Plant-Based Cereal Containing Broccoli Sprouts", VEGWORLD MAGAZINE , November 28, 2020

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

EuroLife Brands To Acquire Granola Maker Holy Crap

The Vancouver, B.C.-based health and wellness products company says the maker of granola and other plant-based foods will become a subsidiary of EuroLife, which very recently renamed itself Plant & Co Brands Inc. Holy Crap’s line of plant-based, gluten-free, and kosher products are available across Canada at retailers like Whole Foods Market and Save-On-Foods. The Canadian brand generated approximately $262,700 in revenue in the last six months, 

"EuroLife Brands strikes deal to acquire popular cereal brand Holy Crap of Dragon's Den fame", Proactive Investors, November 27, 2020

Innovation & New Ideas  

Kellogg Canada To Debut BFY Cereals In 2021

Among the Mississauga, Ont,-based food company’s new and updated cereal and snack products – including four new flavors of the iconic Cheez-It brand – are  a high-protein cereal and a variant of its Special K brand made with whole blueberries. The company’s Vector Maple Crunch Cereal contains 15 g of protein per 44 g serving of cereal (with 125 ml of milk), 14 g of whole grain per serving, and 11 essential nutrients, including vitamin B6. Special K Whole Blueberries Cereal is made with whole grain wheat and rice – 15 g per serving – with no artificial flavors or colors, and nine vitamins and minerals.

"Innovation Shapes the Future of Food Heading into 2021", Canada Newswire, December 08, 2020

Market News  

Coca-Cola Philippines Names New Country Chief

The Taguig-based beverage company has named Antonio “Tony” V. Del Rosario, Jr. the country president starting in January.  The first Filipino to lead the Philippine operations in almost three decades, he will also serve as vice president of franchise operations for Coca-Cola East Region, representing the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Del Rosario is a 20-year veteran of Coca-Cola in the country, having served as general manager positions in Coca-Cola across Southeast Asian markets since 2008.

"Coca-Cola Philippines appoints new country president", Business World Online, December 11, 2020

Credit Suisse Sees Food Portfolio Shakeups, Including In Snack Space

The Swiss investment bank says recent deals in the food industry, such as the acquisition of the snacks business Kind by Mars, are "just the beginning of a portfolio re-shaping 'revival' in the food sector," inspired by the COVID-19 experience. Look for companies to “either shift the weight of their portfolios toward higher growth segments or divest slower growth brands.” Among the major players in these portfolio shifts will be Tyson Foods, Hormel Foods, Conagra Brands, Kellogg, and Unilever. The bank particularly expects a “takeout” of Hain Celestial Snacks ($300 million in sales) or Simply Good Foods ($900 million sales) owing to consolidation trends in the snack category. Also highlighted as attractive assets are Amy's Kitchen ($500 million in sales) and Herr's Foods ($185 million).

"Portfolio shake-up likely in U.S. food sector, says Credit Suisse", just-food global news, December 08, 2020


Metal Packaging Boosts Sustainability Credentials Of Snack Brands

According to Laetitia Durafour of Crown Food Europe, snacks packed with sodium and fats will always be popular. But consumers are increasingly demanding healthier options, and they also want the containers to be 100 percent recyclable. Metal packaging is one solution. Once the contents of a metal package have been consumed, the metal can be recycled infinitely without loss of physical properties. Many packaging materials, once recycled, can only be used for a lesser quality product, but a metal recycled today could be back on the retail shelf in the same form. A recent study found that nearly eight in 10 respondents said sustainability is important for them when making a purchasing decision. Ultimately, says Durafour, healthy snacks and metal packaging are a symbiotic match, allowing consumers to consciously choose snacks that will boost their personal health, while also focusing on the health of the planet.

"The case for metal and the time to get healthy (snacks)", BakeryAndSnacks.com, December 03, 2020

Products & Brands  

Nestlé’s Functional Powdered Milk Product For Adults Approved In China

The company claims the product, introduced under the Yiyang Active brand, has been clinically proven to enhance mobility during aging by supporting bone health, muscle strength, and joint functionality. The move from the Swiss food giant comes as global consumers are increasingly concerned about healthy aging. The powdered beverage is the first Nestlé product with functional food approval in China. It was developed by Nestlé R&D and clinically tested in a collaboration between Nestlé and the Peking University Third Hospital.

"Healthy aging in China: Nestlé unveils functional milk beverage supporting mobility", Food Ingredients First, December 16, 2020

SnackFutures Develops Carbon Neutral Cracker For French Market

The Mondelez International innovation hub’s French cracker brand NoCOé meets the needs of younger consumers for snack brands that offer “values or purpose.”  According to the company, NoCOé is both carbon neutral and nutritious, free from preservatives and additives, and a source of fiber and plant proteins. The crackers are also low in sugar, saturated fat, and salt and have been awarded a green NutriScore rating of “B.” Plant-based ingredients include spelt flour, hemp, red quinoa, and pumpkin seeds. 

"Meet NoCOé: Mondelez’s first carbon neutral snack brand", FoodNavigator.com, December 08, 2020

Good Crisp Company Uses Augmented Reality Packaging In Holiday Promotion

The Boulder, Colo.-based BFY canister chip company is using augmented reality (AR) to transform its packaging into animated visions of “winter warmth, swirling snow, and even a selfie with Santa.” According to the company, the curved-image AR packaging is new in the snack industry. Consumers hold their smartphone up to a Good Crisp canister, scan a QR code linking the phone to its website, and immediately get “a cheerful message from Santa himself.” No app is required. Good Crisp Company chips are gluten-free, non-GMO certified, and free of eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and other potential allergens including sesame seeds, mustard and celery. The snacks are available at Whole Foods Market, Walmart, and other grocery chains nationwide.  

"The Good Crisp Company Spreads Holiday Cheer with a Message from Santa on Each Can ", PR Newswire, December 07, 2020

MicroSalt Launches Low-Sodium Potato Chips In U.S.

The London-based company, a unit of Salarius Ltd., has begun selling its SaltMe! low-sodium potato chips in four flavors on Amazon in North America. The chips are sold in six-count boxes of 5-ounce bags for $19.97 with free shipping. In January, the company plans to introduce 1-ounce bags on the platform, to meet consumer demand for a lunch bag option. SaltMe! potato chips are made with MicroSalt, a proprietary salt made with micron-size salt particles that dissolve in the mouth significantly faster than regular salt and, according to the company, contains 50 percent less sodium per serving than regular potato chips. SaltMe! chips are also Non-GMO, all-natural, kosher, and gluten-free. They are also sold in Central Market stores in the U.S. and Canada.

"Tekcapital’s Salarius launches SaltMe!® on Amazon in North America", Vox Markets, December 02, 2020

Research, Studies, Advice  

Finnish Scientists See Role For High-Fiber Rye Bran In Snacks

Scientists at the University of Helsinki report that up to 40 percent high-fiber rye bran could be included in extruded snacks without affecting their structural and textural properties, or compromising the taste. Rye bran, a cost-effective ingredient delivering both fiber and nutritional value, would work in extruded snacks such as cheese puffs that are usually made with refined wheat flour that lacks the health benefits associated with dietary fiber. The researchers note that rye, mostly used as animal feed, presents technical problems for food processors during extrusion because of its high levels of insoluble dietary fiber. This leads to less expanded products and a hard texture. So, modification of rye bran prior to extrusion is needed, increasing the applicability of rye bran in extruded snacks.

"Modified rye bran could turn un-healthy extruded snacks to healthy ones", University of Helsinki, December 07, 2020


Several British Companies Are Selling Edible Insects

Though a common practice in countries like India and China, eating insects has been slow to catch on in Western countries. But catching on it is, and insects mass-produced for human consumption, often sold dry roasted or in powder form, are increasingly available in stores, touted as nutritious and beneficial to the environment. Available from U.K. companies like Bugvita, Eat Grub, and EntoKitchen are: whole roasted crickets; herb- and spice-roasted grasshoppers and buffalo worms; and dried mealworms, eaten on their own, salted, sprinkled on salads, or added to soup. They can also replace nuts when making cookies or cakes “as they taste a lot like peanuts.” But there are some potential challenges caused by production and safety concerns: insects are capable of accumulating potential hazards, such as pathogens, allergens and pesticides.

"Edible Insects which You Can Buy and Eat", DESIblitz, November 26, 2020

Challenges – And Solutions – For Formulators Working With Plant-Based Proteins

According to the experts at food processing giant ADM, formulators using plant protein ingredients have to solve key problems like unsatisfactory taste and mouthfeel in finished products. To get around that, ADM uses high-quality, neutral-tasting plant proteins combined with various taste and texture solutions. ADM’s plant protein portfolio – hemp hearts, hemp powder and Arcon T textured pea proteins – have clean flavor profiles that address these challenges. Cargill uses a pea protein developed by Puris that, when added to a neutral-based bread or cracker, ends up with a nice flavor profile that is “very adaptable with seasonings.” Blue Diamond Almonds recommends using high-fiber, low-fat almond protein, which doesn’t seem to have the flavor problems of other plant proteins., 

"Plant-based protein is hot trend with its own challenges", Baking Business, November 25, 2020

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