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Period: December 26, 2021 to January 2, 2022
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
Comment & Opinion  

Flavorchem Highlights Four Food Flavor Trends

The Downers Grove, Ill.-based flavor and ingredient supplier said it gleaned four key trends for 2022 from monitoring new product releases, market intelligence reports, data sources, and social media buzz. They are: the further rise of citrus fruit flavors and ingredients – yuzu, blood orange, kumquat, tangerine – as consumer interest in immune-boosting food and beverage products grows; more keto diet products, including snacks, cereals, bars, breads, and cookies; more pre, pro, and post-biotic ingredients supporting gut health in nutritional drinks, juices, snacks, and dairy; and continued consumer interest in ethically and environmentally conscious practices (transparency, the environmental impact of packaging, upcycled ingredients, and the next generation of proteins.

"Flavorchem issues 2022 flavor and trend forecast", The Dairy Reporter, December 21, 2021

Companies, Organizations  

As Supply Costs Rise, Snack Maker Monitors Frito-Lay’s Pricing Tactics

Like many businesses in the U.S., Better Made Snack Foods of Detroit feels the pinch of supply chain disruptions and inflated prices for potatoes, oil, and other ingredients during the pandemic. The company knows it has to hike prices at some point, but it is waiting to see how much Texas-based, market leader Frito-Lay raises prices on Ruffles and Lay's potato chips. "If you raise your price over what the major national brand is selling for, you're not going to be in a very good marketplace," said company President David Jones. "So we've got to see what the national leader is doing and then we follow right behind them." Better Made, which distributes snacks in 20 states, says prices have increased 20 percent for potatoes, 30 percent for seasonings, 20 to 30 percent for corrugated cardboard, and 158 percent per pound for cotton seed oil.

"Why We'll Pay More For Detroit's Better Made Chips", Deadline Detroit, December 17, 2021

Price Increases Inflate Value Of U.K.’s Bagged Snack Sales

Higher production costs and fewer promotions are driving up the price of snacks in the U.K. The bagged snacks category made an extra $174 million over the past 12 months – a four percent increase – but volumes rose by just 1.8 percent. That means the 2.2 percent rise in average price was the main driver of that gain. The average price of Pringles, for example, is up by 10.3 percent. One factor behind these changes is higher production costs: the price of packaging, energy, deliveries – and ingredients such as oil and potatoes – is moving upwards. At KP Snacks, the price of its nuts brand is up an average four percent. KP seems to be bucking a trend, though: despite price increases, volumes are up 7.8 percent.

"Bagged snacks 2021: big nights in getting pricier - and healthier", thegrocer.co.uk, December 17, 2021


IRI Tells Snack Makers That At-Home Snacking Trend Is Here To Stay

Snack companies should anticipate ongoing demand for on-the-go items – including snack bars and single-serve packaging – combined with continued snacking at home, an IRI exec told The Food Institute recently. VP Joan Driggs said consumption of snacks at home will remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, with a growing focus on better-for-you offerings. This outlook is largely due to Americans increasing their screen time throughout the pandemic. Trends to monitor include consumer interest in snacks that deliver health benefits (healthier oils, baked vs. fried, high protein, gut health ingredients, and vitamins); flavor innovations; and sustainability messaging (e.g., packaging and carbon labeling).

"IRI: Snacking at Home Trend Destined to Continue", The Food Institute, December 21, 2021

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Belgian Baking Company Buys Stake In Good Crisp Company

The Boulder, Colo.-based better-for-you snacks startup, has sold a minority stake to Belgium’s Lotus Bakeries as part of a Series A funding round. Lotus, which makes waffles, biscuits, and snacks, invested in the business via its venture capital arm FF2032. The financing round included a returning investment from San Francisco-based VC firm CircleUp Capital Partners. Good Crisp, founded originally in Australia in 2015 and moved to the U.S. two years later, produces gluten- and allergen-free, clean-label potato chips without any artificial flavors; it recently added cheese balls to its portfolio. The products can be found in Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, and Wegmans.

"U.S. start-up Good Crisp attracts Lotus Bakeries minority interest", just-food global news, December 17, 2021

Market News  

Investment Firm Sells Pretzels, Inc., To Hershey

Pennsylvania-based Hershey Company has acquired the 40-year-old snack maker (Bluffton, Ind.) from an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital, a private investment firm. Pretzels, Inc., has an extensive portfolio of salty snacks that includes traditional, peanut-butter-filled, almond-butter-filled, flavored, seasonal, and gluten-free pretzels, as well as extruded snack products. The company serves a blue-chip customer base that includes grocery chains and national brands. An affiliate of Peak Rock acquired Pretzels in 2018 from the founding families. During Peak Rock's ownership, Pretzels expanded its Plymouth, Indiana, factory and built a new facility in Lawrence, Kansas. The company also invested heavily in new product development, introducing several successful products, including almond-butter-filled pretzels.

"Peak Rock Capital Affiliate Sells Pretzels, Inc. To The Hershey Company", PR Newswire, December 15, 2021


Europe’s Food Regulators Are Warming Up To Foods That Contain Insects

The European Food Safety Authority (Parma, Italy) has approved a Dutch-based insect company’s application to market food products made from migratory locusts. The approval of locusts for human was included as part of the “novel food” category. Fair Insects provides a range of products, including insect-based crisps and insect-based falafel mix. This follows a similar approval for dried yellow mealworms in January 2021 submitted by French insect producer, SAS EAP Group Agronutris, which also produces insect-based snacks and food ingredients. According to BMI, the latest approval is a sign of the regulatory framework speeding up and highlights the opportunities within the edible insect market. As of mid-October 2021, the EU has received 20 insect food applications for food products that contain house crickets, banded crickets, black fly soldiers, and honey bee drone brood species.

Via Lexis Nexis

"Quick View: Increasing Regulatory Approvals For Edible Insects", BMI Western Europe Food and Drink Insights, December 28, 2021

Press Release  

Private Equity Firm Invests In Contract Manufacturer Of BFY Granola

Chicago-based Entrepreneurial Equity Partners has invested in Organic Milling Inc., a San Dimas, California contract manufacturer of better-for-you cereal, granola, snacks, and ingredients for leading brands and private label customers. The 61-year-old company provides customers a range of processing and packaging options with a focus on organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Product offerings include a variety of granolas and extruded items such as rice crisps, high-fiber twigs, flakes, and coated puffs. No financial terms were disclosed.

"Entrepreneurial Equity Partners Invests In Organic Milling", Entrepreneurial Equity Partners, December 20, 2021

Products & Brands  

Startup’s Allergen-Free Crackers Attract Grocery Chains, Investors

Two Chicago-based entrepreneurs with personal and family experiences with autoimmune disease and food intolerances have created a snack brand that's free from the 14 most common allergens, as well as corn and sugar. Despite unfortunate timing – launching at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – Every Body Eat’s crackers are now sold in more 700 U.S. stores, including Whole Foods Market, Wegman's, and Mariano's. The company makes snack thins and "crispbreads," which are long crackers that hold toppings or spreads. Its "Cheese-less" snack thin is like a Cheez-It without the cheese. In November, Every Body Eat won first place and $1 million at Grow-NY, a food innovation and agriculture competition in New York. Investors include Cleveland Avenue, the VC fund from former McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, and Kansas City-based 1248 Holdings. 

"An allergen-free snack that tastes good? Every Body Eat thinks it's cracked the code", Chicago Business Journal, December 20, 2021

Instagram Influencer Launches Granola Brand

New York-based “advertising executive, granola connoisseur, and Instagram influencer” Tom Bannister has relaunched his Tom’s Granola brand as Tom’s Perfect 10. The popular Ginger Zing flavor, available for purchase on Instagram Checkout and Shopify, will be followed by more flavors every quarter. Bannister launched a subscription-based flavor-of-the-month granola club which instantly had a waitlist of ten thousand-plus. 

"Tom's Perfect 10: The Subscription-Based Granola", Packaging Strategies, December 18, 2021


ADM Spotlights “Snackification,” Other Snack Trends

The Chicago-based food ingredients company says the “snackification” movement (snacking vs. specific meals), which emerged before COVID-19, continues to grow as consumers focus on making better-for-you snack choices for themselves and their children. That means snacks that deliver nutrition and satiety with ingredients like whole grains, fiber, and protein. The company’s research arm found that 64 percent of households with children under the age of 18 revert to snacks to ensure sustained energy throughout the day. The vegan, vegetarian – or at least flexitarian – approach to eating has also taken hold, and plant-based will continue to be a major buzzword in 2022. Alternative proteins will account for 11 percent of the total protein market by 2035.

"Plant-based eating is trending in snacks for kids", Bakery and Snacks, December 15, 2021

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