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Period: November 21, 2021 to December 12, 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  

Louisiana Entrepreneur Grows His Dream Business From South American Seeds

Aaron Gailmor’s healthy snacks venture – two-year-old Brass Roots – began when he encountered sacha inchi seeds in the bulk foods aisle of a California grocery store. The South American and Caribbean sacha inchi plant produces fruit with large, edible seeds that can be roasted, ground into powder, or pressed to extract oil, and are rich in protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. They are also free of many of the allergens associated with peanuts and tree nuts. After forging a relationship with a Thailand-based grower/supplier, he launched in New Orleans at the end of 2019. The company now makes three butters, three varieties of roasted seeds, and three “puffs,” essentially healthy versions of Cheetos. The company’s first round of investment came from a small venture capital firm in Chicago. A second round came in January 2021 from John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc.

"N.O.-Based Snacks Startup Bets on South American ‘Superfood’", Biz New Orleans, November 29, 2021

Cereal-Loving Millennials Want Healthier Breakfasts For Their Kids

Thanks to the breakfast preferences of Millennial parents, today’s cereals might come out of a box that promotes social justice, probably contain high protein and less sugar, and might be paired with milk that’s better for the planet. Breakfast cereals have also kept up with social media trends, including pop-ups like KITH Treats, collaborations between Supreme and Wheaties, and cereal milk latte recipes found on TikTok. Popular cereal brands on the market today swap out the sugar for added protein. Magic Spoon frosted snacks, for example, mimic the nutritional composition of a protein bar or keto smoothie, sweetened with monk fruit, stevia, and a rare, non-glycemic sugar called allulose. Three Wishes cereal is made with chickpeas and pea protein. Also available are “nostalgic” cereals like Schoolyard Snacks, which markets “old school,” keto-friendly cereals in vintage packaging. 

"Cereal Brands Are All Grown Up", Thrillist, November 23, 2021

European Food Community Wants To Make Food Health Claims Comprehensible

To help food product developers communicate, and help consumers better understand, health claims, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has launched the Health Claims Unpacked project. The idea is based on the need for multinational producers to overcome the challenges in communicating health claims to European consumers from differing societies and cultures. Funded by EIT, the project wants to find out how consumers respond to health claims presented on food packages; what is the impact of wording, location on pack, and use of symbols and pictures; and how to help producers cope with regulatory requirements while appealing to consumers,

"Lost in translation: Fortifying snacks with health claims that everyone can understand", Bakery and Snacks, November 17, 2021


Deceptive Brands Jump On The Healthy Snacks Bandwagon – It’s Called Healthwashing

With obesity and diabetes at an all-time high, consumers in the COVID and post-COVID era are looking for healthier snacks. Because of this, “purposeful’ snacking” – for fuel, focus, or a protein boost, for example – will become even more mainstream. But as the demand for better-for-you snacks grows, so do the number of snacks that claim a “health halo.” Unfortunately, the nutrition in the snacks often doesn’t live up to the health claims, a phenomenon known as healthwashing. Many so-called “healthy” snacks are either packed with sugar – “many refined sugar-free snack bars/balls contain more sugar than a Kit Kat” – or they contain unhealthful ingredients hiding behind “low sugar’ claims.” Some deceptive brands positioned in the health space deliberately obscure warnings they are legally required to carry – a particular problem online. 

"'Healthwashing’ in snacks: ‘We need to protect and educate the public’", Food Navigator, November 17, 2021

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Zertus Acquires British Snack Maker Sun Valley Nut Company

The German food group Zertus pushes into healthier snacking in the U.K. with the acquisition of Sun Valley from the Hacking family, who founded it in 1949. Zertus’ U.K. market presence includes free-from chocolate brand Nomo, kids' snacking brands The Fruit Factory and Forest of Hope, and a partnership with Diageo to produce Baileys Chocolates. Sun Valley's sales boomed during the pandemic, with revenue in 2020 up 13.9 percent to £45.5 million ($61 million). The increase in own label and retail sales made up for the "almost total" loss of pub sales.

"Sun Valley Nut Co sold to German confectionery group Zertus", The Grocer, November 24, 2021

Market News  

Decathlon Capital Partners Arranges “Revenue-Based Financing” For Riceworks

Decathlon’s “highly customized financing solution” for the Long Grove, Ill.-based maker of gluten-free whole grain brown rice crisps will help fuel an aggressive expansion strategy across North America, along with new product lines. The revenue-based finance arrangement means Riceworks is not required to give up equity or ownership for growth capital. Riceworks was founded in 2005 by a family of rice growers and today creates better-for-you, all-natural rice-based snacks, including five variants of chips. Available in more than 7,500 grocery stores, warehouse clubs, and convenience stores in the U.S. and Canada, the new funding will fund further expansion of distribution.

"Seven-figure ‘dilution-free’ boost will fast track gluten-free snack maker’s NA footprint", BakeryAndSnacks.com, November 24, 2021

Marketing & Advertising  

Nestlé Plans To Double Ecommerce Sales Over Next Three Years

Ecommerce, including direct-to-consumer and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) online sales, today accounts for about $12 billion of Nestlé’s total annual sales ($92 billion). But the company has ambitious plans for the next three years: it expects ecommerce will represent about 25 percent of all sales. To generate more business and sales from ecommerce Nestlé is investing more in digital marketing and data analysis. “We will continue to enhance our ecommerce offerings and increase our spend in digital marketing,” said the head of strategic business units Bernard Meunier, who noted that the company will focus on capturing more valuable consumer data points to better understand customers.

"Nestlé cooks up plans to make ecommerce 25 percent of sales by 2025", Digital Commerce 360, December 03, 2021

Spotlight On The Products That Work Best In Micro Markets

Micro market kiosks are convenient, easy-to-use, and offer an array of payment options, including cash, credit/debit cards, prepaid account, fingerprint reader, etc. But not all products work well in micro markets: those that meet the needs and demands of customers will help kiosk retailers succeed. Single-cup coffees and teas that offer multiple flavor choices are working the best, along with alkaline waters, CBD waters, and non-filtered spring waters. Also working for micro market distributors are healthy brain food snacks, including fresh fruits and granola, energy bars, and meals on-the-go in the form of shakes. And don’t forget the impulse items: energy drinks or other types of caffeinated beverages, gum, mints, candies, etc. Key advice: be on the lookout for the latest market trends.

"Current Trends In Micro Marketing Distribution", Forbes, November 22, 2021


Taste, Protein Quality Are Top Considerations In Food Purchases

More than three out of every five consumers around the world rank flavor and protein quality as their top priorities when buying food, including snacks, according to the “Protein Mindset” report from Irish taste and nutrition company Kerry. Protein consumers are motivated by health and wellness, with 50 percent of survey respondents associating protein with “healthy diet” and 46 percent with “healthy lifestyle.” Consumers are also willing to pay a premium for protein fortification: 75 percent would pay a higher price for protein fortified food and beverages. On-pack claims of “better for you,” “healthy halo,” and “clean label” were identified as crucial to creating protein-based foods and beverages that will resonate with consumers.

"Kerry publishes Protein Mindset report", Dairy Reporter, November 30, 2021

Products & Brands  

General Mills Debuts Cereal Mashup

Among the eight new breakfast cereals the company is introducing is a mashup of Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch dubbed CinnaGraham Toast Crunch. The cereal, which combines the subtle but sweet taste of graham crackers with the cinnamon-packed flavor of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, will arrive in select stores in mid-December and retailers nationwide in January. General Mills’ other new offerings are Reese's Puffs Cluster Crunch, Strawberry Banana Cheerios, PJ Masks Cereal (purple midnight berry-flavored corn cereal with marshmallows), Ratio Keto Granola Toasted Almond, Ratio Keto Granola Coconut Almond; Plentifull Cereals Peanut Butter, and Plentifull Cereals Cinnamon Almond Butter. 

"General Mills Is Introducing CinnaGraham Toast Crunch & 7 Other New Cereals", Thrillist, November 29, 2021

Naturya Floods Market With Superfood-Based Snacks And Foods

The U.K.-based superfoods specialist’s 20 new products were created to help retailers capitalize on the growth in demand for superfood-based foods for breakfast, lunch, snacking, baking, desserts, and drinks. The new products include Chia+ Pudding, Overnight Oats, Keto Breakfast Porridge, Hot Chocolate, and Cacao Butter Drops. Included as superfood ingredients are acai, cacao, chia, goji, hemp, and maca. Online store Ocado will stock some of the new SKUs beginning in January, along with Holland & Barrett, Superdrug, Tree of Life (serving independent health stores), and Amazon.

"Naturya Rolling New ‘Superfoods’ Range", Kam City, November 26, 2021

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