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Period: April 18, 2021 to April 25, 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
Companies, Organizations  

Bruized Turns Imperfect Produce Into Snacks, Other Food Items

The Canadian start-up’s dual mission is to reduce food waste while producing healthy snacks and other food items. Monique Chan, who witnessed food waste while working in restaurants and at farmers markets, launched Bruized to inform people about food waste and sell food items made from upcycled, imperfect produce. The top seller is a dehydrated granola made from carrot, beet, and pear juice pulp sourced at a juice bar. The pulp would be thrown away, but it’s still rife with fiber and other nutrients. The “pulp crunch” is sweetened with ripe bananas sourced from a local shop when they start to get spotty. Dehydrated “second grade” apples from a local farm round out the flavors.

"Toronto start-up Bruized turns food scraps into delicious snacks", Now Toronto, April 20, 2021

New Version Of Nestlé Cereal Contains Fewer Ingredients

The new incarnation of Shreddies breakfast cereal – called The Simple One – has only four ingredients, all of whose nutritional credentials are green under the U.K.’s traffic light system. The ingredients are whole grain wheat, fruit purée, date syrup, and “a pinch” of salt. The simple contents make the cereal non-HFSS, so it will not be affected by the government’s coming crackdown on unhealthy food promotions and advertising. The cereal is available at Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s.

"Nestlé adds ‘simple’ Shreddies made with four ingredients", The Grocer (UK), April 20, 2021

New Bagged Snack Brands Offer Alternatives To Good Old Potato Chips

According to a U.K. snack category report, the new so-called “disruptor” snack brands "are exploiting profound shifts in consumer attitudes and behavior,” such as growing consumer interest in healthier, more ethical, product ingredients and, more broadly, in snacks that are different from the generic branded items like potato chips. New offerings and their unique selling proposition (USP) include: Peter's Yard's Sourdough Bites (60 percent less fat); Small Giants Crackers (protein-rich cricket flour); Real Handful (baked nuts); Mister Free’d Barbecue Smoky Flavor Chips (gluten-free, vegan, fiber-rich); Honest Bean Co. Roasted Fava Bean Snack (eco-friendly alternative); and Unilever brands’ (Graze and Marmite) new Marmite Crunch (roasted corn, broad beans, corn hoops). 

"The challengers: bagged snacks category report 2021", The Grocer, April 17, 2021

Bohana Adds New Flavors Of Lily Seed Snacks After Shark Tank Win

A year after entrepreneur Nadine C. Habayeb secured a $200,000 loan (at nine percent interest over three years plus a small equity stake) from Shark Tank panelist Kevin O’Leary, the vegan, low-cal popped water lily seed snacks come in several flavors. Six two-ounce bags are packed in a box priced $24.99 to $26.99. The Himalayan Pink Salt, White Cheddar, and Soulful Sriracha Spice varieties are sold online and in more than 250 markets along the East Coast, including various branches of Roche Bros., DeLuca's Market, and Big Y.

"'This snack is giving me everything I want and more'", The Boston Globe, April 14, 2021

Insect-Based Snack Maker Crické Rebrands

The challenge that London branding agency Midday was given by Crické was two-fold: come up with a new name, market positioning, and identity – and smash an “ancient taboo” about eating insects. The new identity – Small Giants – is still about gourmet crackers made with cricket flour. But the packaging and marketing message are bolder and brighter, featuring “a loud color palette, a bold personality and an orchestra of oversized charming crickets” on the packs. Midday admits the rebrand goes "big on weirdness" and changes "yuck to yum." But the Small Giants team sees itself as powerful changemakers encouraging consumers to think again about insect snack treats. 

"Midday's new identity for Small Giants makes insect snacking more appealing", Creative Boom, April 14, 2021

Good & Honest BFY Snacks Debut In U.K. Stores

The British start-up offers healthy, plant-based snacks made using "all natural" ingredients, including chickpeas, sweet potato, pea, and beetroot. Most of Good & Honest’s snacks are suitable for vegan diets, while others are vegetarian. The core popped crisps line comes in sweet BBQ, sea salt, sweet chilli and sweet & salty variants. The protein line is available in sweet BBQ, cheese & onion, salt & black pepper flavors and contains at least 20 grams of protein per 100 grams. The Popped Veggie Crisps come in salted, sweet chilli, sour cream, and salted varieties. They are lower in calories and in saturated fat, are a source of both fiber and protein, and contain no artificial preservative, colors, or flavors. The 85-gram snack packs launched in Morrison's supermarkets this month, and will also be available on Ocado nationwide in May. 

"Introducing Good Honest, Good Ingredients, Honestly Made", ResponseSource, April 13, 2021

Eat Real Tries Again To Enter Chinese Market

The U.K.-based maker of healthy snacks – hummus and lentil chips, quinoa puffs, etc. – has been successful at distributing globally. But it ran into a snag when it tried marketing in China two years ago. The company was working with three different distributors, and sold its products via online channels such as Tmall. But the Chinese distributors sold the snacks under three different names, confusing consumers and sparking a price war. The company eventually abandoned the market last year. Now, after reorganizing its business strategy and brand positioning for China, the firm expects to enter the country within the next months. It will bring in only six SKUs, instead of 20, and work with a single distribution partner.

"Rebrand and reintroduce: U.K.’s Eat Real outlines second attempt to enter China with clean and healthy snacks", Food Navigator ASIA, April 12, 2021

SnackMagic Adjusts It Marketing Strategy

The New York-based build-your-own-snack-box service, whose business took a hit when the pandemic closed many offices, managed to stay afloat and even make a profit in 2020. It received a vote of confidence recently in the form of a $15 million Series A financing round led by Craft Ventures, with Luxor Capital also participating. The company will use the funding to continue growing its existing business, and to extend into gifting categories beyond chocolates, chips, hot sauces, and other areas like alcohol, meal kits, and non-food items. There’s also the possibility of expanding into areas like corporate gifting, marketing and consumer services, and analytics coming out of its sales.

"SnackMagic picks up $15M to expand from build-your-own snack boxes into a wider gifting marketplace", Tech Crunch, April 09, 2021

Rule Breaker Snacks Adds 1,650 Kroger Stores To Distribution Network

The deal with Kroger stores means the New York-based clean-ingredient snacks company has expanded its footprint in California, Texas, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. The Kroger umbrella includes Dillons Food Stores, Gerbes Super Markets, Baker's Supermarkets, King Soopers, City Market Supermarket, Fry's Food and Drug, Fred Meyer, and Smith's. Rule Breaker products, now available in 2,500 stores in the U.S., are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, nut-free, non-GMO, and free from the top eleven allergens. The products feature chickpeas as the first ingredient and are available in Deep Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chunk Blondie, Birthday Cake Blondie, and (nut-free) P'Nutter Chocolate Chip Blondie flavors.

"Rule Breaker Snacks Announces National Retail Expansion in 1,650 Kroger Retail Stores", 2 News KTVN, April 07, 2021

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Pan’s Mushroom Jerky Goes Big Time After Shark Tank Success

The original marketing strategy of the Portland, Ore.-based maker of shiitake mushroom jerky, launched in 2018 with a family recipe from Malaysia, was definitely grassroots: “knocking on doors,” emailing, and phoning independent retailers, co-ops, and small businesses offering samples. But it was an appearance on the TV show Shark Tank – and Mark Cuban’s eventual investment – that kicked the company into overdrive. Cuban’s team advised the small company – ten employees at the time – on D2C communications strategy; assisted with marketing strategy including SEO, advertising and email marketing; and introduced it to wholesale accounts. The company now has 30 employees and its products are on store shelves in more than 900 U.S. retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Ralph’s, Mom’s Market and Natural Grocers, and sold online through Thrive Market, Hive, Amazon, and Purple Carrot. 

"Pan’s Mushroom Jerky wins 'Shark Tank' deal, prepares to expand production", New Hope Network, April 12, 2021

Finance, Economics, Tax  

IWON organics Garners $350K In Funding Round

With the help of the new cash, the Corte Madera, Calif.-based protein snack brand hopes to double its sales this year. The company also launched a new protein cereal line. Like IWON's signature Puffs and Stix, the newly-released Protein Crunchies cereal contains a blend of organic peas, navy beans, and brown rice. The soy-free, gluten-free snacks are available at nearly 5,000 locations, including Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods Markets, Sprouts, Kroger, Safeway, and Walmart.

"IWON Organics Completes Funding Round and New Product Launch", PRWEB, April 16, 2021

Innovation & New Ideas  

As Pandemic Loses Steam, Snack Innovation Will Shift Into High Gear

Demand for snacks that promise comfort, new experiences, and wellness will drive snacking innovation this year – after a year of lackluster new product activity – as the U.S. ambles toward herd immunity from COVID-19 and the reopening of economies. Research firm IRI Worldwide says 2021 promises to be a “blockbuster year” for snacking innovation after 2020 saw drastically fewer new products. Last year’s near overnight shift to staying at home and repeated lockdowns helped drive dollar sales of snacking up 79 percent. But products designed for on-the-go and smaller pack sizes saw sales fall slightly with units down one percent and volume down 0.3 percent among total core snacks compared to a five percent and 10 percent increase in total store units and volume respectively. As more people become vaccinated and economies reopen, sales of on-the-go items and smaller pack sizes will pick back up, along with new product launches.

"‘Blockbuster year’ for snacking innovation on horizon after product launches slowed during pandemic", Food Navigator, April 13, 2021

Market News  

Maker Of Calmative Ice Cream Snack Raises $4.5M In Financing Round

Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Nightfood Holdings Inc., owner of better-for-you snack company Nightfood Inc., has completed a financing round totaling $4.5 million and got rid of all convertible debt. Nightfood ice cream launched in 2019 and has now secured distribution in several of the largest grocers in the U.S., including divisions of Kroger, Albertson's, H-E-B, and Walmart. The company also recently partnered with a global hotel brand to test the sale of Nightfood in the retail freezers of their in-lobby grab-and-go shops. 

"Nightfood Successfully Raises Equity Growth Capital, Eliminates 100 percent of Convertible Debt", GlobeNewswire , April 20, 2021

Marketing & Advertising  

First TV Ad Campaign For Healthy U.K. Snack Brand Graze Is A Tad “Squirrelly”

The £5 million ($6.9 million) campaign for the Unilever-affiliated snack box brand marks a significant increase in the brand’s media spend as it aims to increase brand awareness by reaching 40 million shoppers and 80 percent of adults. The campaign, helmed by Adam & Eve/DD, is the company’s first foray into TV advertising and will run until July, featuring its retail range, including its Cocoa Vanilla Protein Oat Bites. The TV spots feature a talking squirrel who functions as the company’s CEO: “Chief Eating Officer.”

"Unilever snack brand names talking squirrel as 'CEO' ", Campaign Asia-Pacific, April 12, 2021

Catalina Crunch Targets Midwest, Texas, With Food Delivery Service Gopuff

The Indianapolis, Ind.-based keto-friendly cereal and snack brand has partnered with food and beverage delivery service Gopuff to make its products available in several U.S. cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Austin, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Via Gopuff, customers can order the brand's four most popular flavors – Cinnamon Toast, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, and Peanut Butter Chocolate – and have them delivered to their door in about 30 minutes from one of Gopuff's 250 local micro-fulfillment centers. Gopuff delivers to customers in 650 cities across the country. Catalina Crunch also markets a line of cookies and smoothies. 

"Catalina Snacks and Gopuff Partner to Deliver Keto-Friendly Cereals to Customers in Minutes", PR Newswire, April 08, 2021

Products & Brands  

New Pret A Manger Granolas Arrive At Tesco

The British sandwich shop chain’s new vegan granola range includes four flavors: Original, Dark Chocolate & Almond, Bircher Muesli, and Coconut Crunch Granola. High in fiber, the Original Granola combines rolled oats, raisins, and pumpkin seeds with a baked apple and cinnamon glaze. The granolas cost £3.50 ($4.87) each as part of the “breakfast at home range.” The launch follows Pret's successful launch of the coffee-at-home range last summer and bake-at-home croissants last month.

"Pret launches new granola range at Tesco and it includes four delicious flavors", Daily Star Online, April 20, 2021

Livwell Emporium Unveils Whole Grain Snack Made With Nutritional Yeast

The Australian family-owned and operated company’s latest snack – Cheezy Nooch Wholepops – is a cheese-flavored whole grain snack made with protein-rich nutritional yeast (known to vegans as nooch). Nooch contains high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and may help protect against oxidative damage, lower cholesterol, and boost immunity. Nooch Wholepops, also available in turmeric, beet, and matcha flavors, are sold online and in independent supermarkets and health food stores in Australia.

"Cheezy Nooch the latest better-for-you snack", Food & Drink Business Australia, April 16, 2021

SkinnyDipped Extends Snack Range To Chocolate Bars, Peanut Butter Cups

The Seattle, Wash.-based marketer of thinly-dipped almonds, peanuts, and cashews has branched out into lower-sugar chocolate bars and peanut butter cups containing no stevia or sugar alcohols. The new offerings are sweetened with a blend of maple sugar, cane sugar and allulose, a sugar found in raisins and figs that tastes like cane sugar but has 90 percent fewer calories. The Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bar is made with dark chocolate and sea salt, almonds and three grams of sugar in a 30-gram serving. Other new snacks include Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Bars, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. All SkinnyDipped products are also non-GMO, kosher, and gluten-free. The chocolate bars are available in 12 packs for $39.99 and a variety 4-pack that retails for $19.99. The Peanut Butter Cups will be available in 4-packs that retail for $21.99. Both are available on Amazon and on the company’s website.

"SkinnyDipped Dives Into A New Category With The Launch Of Low Sugar Chocolate Bars And Peanut Butter Cups", PR Newswire, April 13, 2021


Eco-Friendly Snack Makers Deliver Sustainability With Flavors

ABC News reported on several companies that market inventive upcycled snacks that fight food waste. Brewer's Crackers (Boston, Mass.) takes would-be food waste, like spent barley and wheat, from the craft brewing industry and transforms it into crackers and chips. Seconds Carrot Crackers (New York, N.Y.) partners with juice and produce companies to upcycle nutritious pulps and peels, dehydrate them, and mill them into a flour that's mixed with nutritious seeds and baked into a crisp cracker. RIND Dried Fruit Blends (New York, N.Y.) makes its fiber-rich dried fruit snacks with non-GMO Project Verified fruit sourced mainly from small family farms in California with minimal to no processing and zero added sugars. Lastly, Hive Marketplace provides an online snack aisle showcasing an array of sustainable products.

"Sustainable snacks that taste good and do good for the environment", ABC News, April 19, 2021

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