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Period: March 28, 2021 to April 4, 2021
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

Mondelēz Buys Majority Stake In Sports Nutrition Firm Grenade

The Chicago-based snacks company’s investment in the U.K. sports-nutrition business is a step further into the healthier foods segment, but it may prove “problematic.” “Mondelēz is continuing to try to tap into the increased desire among a growing number of consumers to buy better-for-you products,” writes Just-Food editor Andy Coyne, “a trend underway before COVID-19 but which has been exacerbated by a renewed interest in health and wellness linked to the virus.” Mondelēz reportedly paid about $277 million for Grenade, which markets better-for-you snacks, including high-protein, low-sugar bars, shakes, and drinks targeting the physically active. Mondelēz suggests the purchase of a "significant majority interest" in Grenade "enables expansion in broader snacking and fast-growing well-being segments." But some analysts suggest the investment may prove difficult for Mondelēz. Said one observer: "The Grenade branding is likely problematic for [Mondelēz] rather than complementary, ...  More

"Has Mondelēz boosted health of snacks portfolio with Grenade?", just-food global news, March 23, 2021

Companies, Organizations  

Freakin’ Healthy Snacks Expands To U.S., Has Sights On Europe

The U.A.E.-based healthy snacks brand Freakin’ Healthy, launched three years ago, is implementing an international marketing strategy with ecommerce testing in the U.S. and has its sights set on the U.K., Germany, and other global markets. The company sells a range of clean label, free-from, and vegan raw chocolate bars, protein balls, and superfood bars in supermarkets and hypermarkets in the U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It plans to release new fruit and nut bars this month. It is testing seven SKUs in U.S., including its protein balls and nut butter bites. The company says the flavor of its protein balls matches the taste profiles enjoyed by Americans, including peanut butter, almond, and coconut. The company is also interested in expanding to China, Singapore, and Qatar.

"Get your freak on: UAE snack brand Freakin’ Healthy kicks off international expansion and outlines portfolio extension", Food Navigator Asia, March 24, 2021

Pretzels, Inc., Expands Lineup With Nut Butter-Filled Pretzels

The Bluffton, Ind.-based maker of pretzels and other snack products has expanded its product portfolio with almond butter filled pretzels under the Harvest Road brand. Available at select Walmart stores, the new product will also be available as premium private label offerings from numerous retailers. Filled pretzels have been growing in popularity over the last several years: volume was up 17.5 percent in 2020. According to Pretzels, almond butter volume is growing 18.6 percent compared to the total nut butter category growth of 8.5 percent in 2020.

"Pretzels, Inc. Expands Product Line by Introducing Almond Butter Filled Pretzels; New Product exemplifies Pretzels' commitment to innovation", PR Newswire, March 22, 2021

Elavi Debuts Multi-Collagen Snack Bar

The San Francisco start-up Elavi is introducing a multi-collagen snack bar containing marine and bovine collagen peptides, previously available only as powders or pills. According to the company, the combination offers a variety of health and beauty benefits. The plant protein bars are formulated with sustainably sourced wild marine collagen that has been linked to stronger skin, hair, nails and connective tissue. Collagen continues to gain traction in new product launches. Nestle’s recent acquisition of Vital Proteins underscores the market opportunity for collagen-based food and drink. Elavi’s products are available online, in local retailers in San Francisco. and at Erewhon stores in Los Angeles. Amazon.com recently invited Elavi to join its emerging brands program.

"Multi-collagen — the next big thing in functional ingredients?", Food Business News, March 19, 2021

Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

Israel Approves BioHarvest Sciences’ Request To Add Resveratrol To Snack Bars

The Ministry of Health in Israel has approved the Canadian snack company’s (Vancouver, B.C.) request to include the Vinea (piceid resveratrol) proprietary red grape cell product in a health snack bar, the first approval for piceid resveratrol as a functional food in Israel. The snack bar will be launched in Israel in Q2/2021, and early in 2022 in the U.S. Vinea is already considered both a functional food and a dietary supplement in the U.S.; the company's overall forecast for U.S. sales of the Vinea dietary supplement will be updated soon after the U.S. launch of Vinea in May 2021. Through its BioFarming technology, BioHarvest can produce piceid resveratrol at industrial scale in a way that is non-GMO, maintains the natural structure of the compound, and has superior solubility, bioavailability, and efficacy versus other forms of resveratrol.

"BioHarvest Sciences Inc. Receives Approval from Israel's Ministry of Health to Include Vinea in a Health Snack Bar", Barron’s, March 18, 2021

Market News  

Abby’s Better Garners $1M In Seed Financing

The Charlotte, N.C.-based maker of clean label nut butter and snacks has raised $1 million in seed funding ahead of a Series A funding launch. NBA player Kevin Love and supermodel Kate Bock also signed on as investors. The company markets a range of nut butters and snack bites containing five or fewer ingredients sweetened with fruits or honey. The products, which are gluten-free, peanut-free, paleo-friendly, and plant-based, are available online and in grocery and big box stores throughout the South, Midwest, and Northeast.

"Abby’s Better raises $1 million ahead of Series A funding launch", Food Business News, March 23, 2021

Marketing & Advertising  

HipPeas Adds Company Ecommerce Channel To Its Marketing Strategy

The Los Angeles-based organic chickpea snacks company has expanded its marketing beyond brick-and-mortar and Amazon.com retail to a new ecommerce site. While continuing to be sold at 50,000 retail locations nationwide, the direct-to-consumer platform will “take advantage of the growing market for plant-based ecommerce delivery options,” the company said. The online store will initially deliver the brand's puffed snacks directly to consumers followed by the brand's newest addition, Tortilla Chips. HipPeas products include Vegan White Cheddar, Nacho Vibes, Bohemian Barbecue, Sriracha Sunshine and Himalayan Happiness. Organic Tortilla Chips will also be available for purchase in Straight Up Sea Salt, Rockin' Ranch, and Jalapeño Vegan Cheddar flavors.

"HipPeas is Spreading the Peas & Love with the Launch of New Ecommerce Site", PR Newswire, March 18, 2021


KP Snacks Cuts Package Sizes To Achieve Sustainability

The U.K. snack company cut Hula Hoop packaging by 23 percent, equal to 11 tons of plastic, and Popchips and Tyrrells packaging by 14 percent, equivalent to 23 and 43 tons respectively. The company noted that it is also investing in new equipment to achieve more efficient packaging of its products. The company says that would cut 142 tons of packaging across Nik Naks, Space Raiders, and Skips. It further plans to save an additional 144 tons of plastic by cutting package sizes for Popchips sharing bags, Hula hoops six-packs, Butterkist, and Hula Hoops Puft. The company has partnered with TerraCycle to create snack packs that can be recycled at any of 500 drop-off locations across the U.K.

"KP Snacks announces slew of packaging reductions across products", Better Retailing, March 20, 2021

Products & Brands  

Danone Launches Evian+ Flavored Sparkling Waters In U.S.

The Evian+ line is free from sugar, sweeteners, and calories and is available in Raspberry & Ginseng, Lime & Ginger, Grapefruit & Basil, and Cucumber & Mint flavors, each containing magnesium and zinc to support normal cognitive function and reduce fatigue. According to the company, "The introduction of a sparkling flavored functional water reflects the importance of adapting to consumer habits."

"Danone's Evian+ - Product Launch", Just-drinks.com, March 26, 2021

University In Peru Develops Variety Of Purple Corn For Popcorn

Scientists at the Peruvian Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM), using traditional genetic improvement technology and modern double haploids (DH) technology, have developed a new variety of purple corn for popcorn that offers nutraceutical properties. Corn is rich in starch, carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, and vitamins, and purple corn adds anthocyanins with antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins are said to help lower blood pressure, contribute to the treatment of diabetes and obesity, and help prevent cardiovascular disease. Scientists at the university are conducting tests of the hybrid purple corn kernels to determine its suitability for popcorn, i.e., how much it bursts, its color, its performance, and other positive characteristics. 

"Peru : UNALM makes purple corn popcorn rich in antioxidants", Tridge, March 19, 2021

Bob's Red Mill Intros Instant Oatmeal Packets

The Milwaukie, Ore.-based producer of whole grain food products is building on its success with oatmeal cups and hot cereals with the introduction  of gluten-free single-serve instant oatmeal packets in Brown Sugar & Maple, Apple Pieces & Cinnamon, and Classic flavors. The company claims the new products offer a cleaner nutritional panel and lower sugar content than top competitors. Made with Bob's whole grain oats and flaxseed meal, the just-add-water packets contain fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids along with a few other simple ingredients. A package (SRP $4.99) contains eight single-serving packets that are GFCO certified, kosher, and Non-GMO Project Verified, 

"Bob's Red Mill Launches Instant Oatmeal Packets For Breakfast", The Shelby Report, March 18, 2021

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