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Period: September 11, 2022 to September 18, 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

New Study Points To Mushroom Boost For Functional Foods

A new study by Grand View Research forecasts the global functional mushroom category to reach almost $25 billion this year, and $47 billion by 2028. Zoey Henderson, from low-alcohol mushroom beer brand Fungtn, said the pandemic kickstarted the boom as consumers sought natural immunity booster. Mushrooms have been used in medicine for thousands of years. Henderson sees opportunities in offering supplements in more fun ways, such as in beer, as they can be seen as a bit boring. London Nootropics launched an adaptogenic coffee blend in 2020 using lion's mane and cordyceps mushrooms. The brand secured a listing at Harrod’s this year and also has a pop-up café near Piccadilly Circus that sells mushroom chocolates and products from other mushroom brands. Price is the main obstacle to mass adoption, but being able to convert their umami flavours into great-tasting functional products is also a challenge. However, the health benefits could begin to outweigh any reluctance caused by taste. ...  More

"Is a shroom boom due in functional foods? Functional category report 2022", The Grocer, October 22, 2022

Companies, Organizations  

Kameda Seika Aims To Grow Sales Outside Japan

Rice snack manufacturer Kameda Seika aims to leverage growing interest in gluten-free and meat-free options to expand its business beyond its domestic market in Japan. The company’s goal is overseas revenue of 50 billion yen by the end of the decade, from 9.2 billion in fiscal 2021. CEO Lekh Raj Juneja says there’s been an increase in rice snack sales in Asia and in the U.S., where it sells gluten-free crackers through subsidiaries. Juneja also wants to enter Europe and South America. The company’s flagship rice cracker, Kaki-no-tane, is popular in India, where it’s called Kari Kari. Juneja added that as the company deals with higher costs, it can reduce production costs by structural changes or by adding value to its products so it can raise prices.

"Japan snack maker Kameda Seika to ride gluten-free trend", Nikkei Asia, October 25, 2022

Nairn’s Launches New Gluten-Free Oats With Maple Syrup

Scotland-based porridge oats maker Nairn’s announced the addition of Scottish Porridge Oats with Maple Syrup to its gluten-free line-up. It is made with wholegrain oats and real maple syrup. It’s approved to carry the Crossed Grain logo by Coeliac UK.

"Nairn’s launches new addition to its gluten free range", Talking Retail, October 20, 2022

Undercover Snacks Launches In Some 70 Costco Wholesale Locations In Canada

The NJ-based chocolate snacks maker announced its plant-based Dark Chocolate + Sea Salt Quinoa Crisps launched in around 70 Costco Wholesale locations in Eastern Canada, following its U.S. Costco rotations in the Southeast and San Francisco Bay Area. The brand claims to offer “tasty, guilt-free, gluten-free and allergen-friendly treats with superfood protein and lower sugar and calories.” It was launched in 2017 by Diana Levy, who wanted a solution to healthier chocolate cravings. The products are also available on Amazon.com and UndercoverSnacks.com, and in more than 15,000 Loblaw's, Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, Albertsons, CVS, Rite-Aid and other stores, as well as in snack boxes onboard United and other airlines.

"Undercover Snacks Announces Launch into Costco Eastern Canada", PR Newswire, October 19, 2022

Purely Plantain Chips Expands Distribution Into Independent Wholesalers

Purely’s Plantation Crisps are now sold through Epicurium, a healthy snacks wholesaler, Vegan Store and the independent brand wholesalers faire.com and ankorstore.com. They were already available on mainstream supermarket shelves, including Ocado and selected Co-op stores in the U.K. Purely uses plantains from Ecuador. They are nutritious, containing antioxidants, magnesium, fiber and vitamins. The chips are HFSS-compliant and free from gluten, wheat, sugar, additives, dairy, palm oil and trans fats.

"Purely Plantain Chips, now available at independent wholesalers", Talking Retail , October 13, 2022

New England Natural Bakers To Launch TRUNOLA Granola Brand

In December, New England Natural Baker will introduce TRUNOLA to shelves in New England. The “TRU” in TRUNOLA stands for “trust”, “responsibly sourced organic ingredients” and “unconditional passion for product quality”. The brand received a good response at the Natural Products Expo East in September. Launch products will include blueberry hemp protein, goldenberry turmeric, cacao nib apricot and vanilla almond mixes. They contain no genetically modified ingredients and are certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The products can be bought now in bulk at McCusker’s Market in Shelburne Falls. 

"Greenfield-based company looks to grow with new TRUNOLA brand", Greenfield Recorder, October 13, 2022

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Spain’s Grupo Apex Snaps Up Mexican Popcorn Brand

Snacks company Grupo Apex has acquired Pop Up popcorn from Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican bakery giant. Terms were not disclosed. The news came just two months after Apex bought Viube Foods, a Spanish manufacturer of vegetable crisps. Apex said the deal fortifies its “leadership in the popcorn business”. Apex is also expanding its production capabilities including extending its plant in Ejea de los Caballeros (Zaragoza), and recent expansion at facilities in Ribaforada (Navarra) and Riego de la Vega (León). It now has nine production sites in Spain and reached EUR100 million in turnover in its latest full financial year.

"Grupo Apex snaps up Pop Up popcorn brand from Bimbo", just-food.com , October 19, 2022

Market News  

SunOpta Sells Its Sunflower And Roasted Snacks Business To Private Equity Firm

SunOpta Inc. is exiting its sunflower and roasted snacks business, selling it to Pacific Avenue Capital Partners for $16 million. The unit was a part of SunOpta’s Plant-Based Foods and Beverages segment. Assets include three facilities: Crookston, Minn., Breckenridge, Minn. and Grace City, N.D. It will be called Sunrich Products and have the same general manager and employee team. 

"SunOpta Announces Strategic Sale of Its Sunflower & Roasted Snacks Business to Pacific Avenue Capital", Business Wire, October 13, 2022

Products & Brands  

Happy Belly Gains 90 New Outlets For Its Holy Crap Cereal

Holy Crap cereals can now be found in 90 more retail locations with an expanded deal with Federated Co-op. Shawn Moniz, CEO of Happy Belly Food Group, the brand’s parent, said the company sees natural expansion of its relationships with retailers and distributors. Holy Crap offers organic, gluten free, non-GMO and high-fiber breakfast cereals.

"Happy Belly Food Group Expands Distribution of Holy Crap Cereals at 90 Federated Co-op Locations", Newsfile Corp., October 24, 2022

Propercorn Reformulated To Be HFSS-Compliant

Proper Snacks is reformulating its Propercorn range to be HFSS-compliant. It includes 10 products, including Sweet & Salty, Sea Salted, Salted Caramel, Caramelised Biscuit and Kids Sweet. Proper Snacks has also extended HFSS-compliance to its new lightly-ridged potato crisps range, Propercrisps. Over half of the company’s whole entire portfolio is now fully HFSS-compliant. The brand is also one of the first B Corp snack brands, and is vegan, gluten-free and free from palm oil. 

"Proper Snacks reformulates Propercorn range", Talking Retail, October 20, 2022

Theo’s Plant-Based Debuts With Beet Jerky

A Chicago-based chef has created a beet jerky. Theo Mourad partnered with Aaron Brodkey, an ex-program manager at Big Idea Ventures, to launch Theo’s Plant-Based. Beet jerky, its first product, will be available at certain Whole Foods Market stores in early 2023, and will also soon be sold online at Amazon and theosplantbased.com. The products are organic, gluten-free, soy-free and vegan, and come in sea salt and cracked pepper, sesame ginger teriyaki and savory barbecue flavors. 

"Chef-turned-entrepreneur launches beet jerky", Food Business News, October 18, 2022

South Korean Brand Introduces Seaweed Snacks To Europe And Japan

CJ CheilJedang Corp. of South Korea launched two seaweed-based snacks in Europe and Japan. “Gim”, a seasoned seaweed, is a regular in Korean cuisine, as an ingredient in kimbap or as a side dish. The Bibigo seaweed snacks for Europe are flavored seaweed chips in three flavors: sea salt, K-barbecue and hot chilli. Bibigo WASAC rice chips for Japan have a flavored seaweed topping. Flavors include wasabi and sesame seed. The company says it aims to expand sales of seaweed-based products in Australia, Europe and North America. Its "bibigo Gim" line is sold in 60 countries.

"CJ CheilJedang launches seaweed snacks for Europe, Japan", Yonhap News Agency, October 18, 2022

Search For Healthier Food Led To Launch Of Allergen-Friendly Snacks

The Real Renee snacks are the result of founder Renee Sorgi’s search for snacks that didn't contain allergens that upset her stomach. Sorgi said that food often left her feeling “bloated, fatigued” and her “skin was bad, and I just knew it wasn’t normal." After a diagnosis of gut health issues, she stopped eating nuts, grain, soy, dairy, eggs and wheat, but found it hard to find things to eat in the grocery stores. Experimenting at home, she made a granola with sliced tiger nuts as an oat replacement, olive oil, syrup, cinnamon and salt, with chocolate chips added. Sorgi launched The Real Renee in 2020, and the pandemic gave her time to further develop the products. The brand now has two granola products (chocolate chip and cinnamon) and three cracker flavors (chive, garlic, and Rosemary). They are available online and in the Rochester Hills Farmers Market. Sorgi is trying to raise money through crowdfunding.

"Rochester Hills woman creates allergy-friendly snack line after struggling to find safe foods", FOX 2 Detroit, October 17, 2022

FDA Highlights Cereals It Considers No Longer Healthy

The list of breakfast cereals the Food and Drug Administration no longer considers to be healthy includes Kellogg's Special K, Frosted Mini Wheats and Raisin Bran; Honey Nut Cheerios and Corn Flakes from General Mills; and Post Holding Co's Honey Bunches of Oats and Honey Roasted. Quaker Oats's Life cereal also made the list on account of its 8 grams of added sugars. But even these are healthier than some others, such as Post Consumer Brands' Golden Crisp, which contains 18 grams of sugar per serving. 

"FDA Says These Cereals Are No Longer Healthy", The Street, October 15, 2022

Research, Studies, Advice  

Hong Kong’s Consumer Council Releases Statement on Seaweed Consumption

The Consumer Council in Hong Kong tested 27 ready-to-eat seaweed snack samples. All 27 had a high iodine content. Iodine can provide metabolism benefits when taken in moderation, but with excessive consumption could impact thyroid function. One of the four products labelled suitable for infants and young children contained iodine at a level per serving 90 percent above the daily recommended nutrient intake for young children aged 1-3. The tests found that 19 samples were deemed high-sodium foods and 10 were found to be high-fat foods. The Consumer Council advised consumers to read the ingredients list and nutrition label on seaweed products and to be especially aware of their sodium, fat and sugar intake levels. It also said that taste preferences are often formed at an early age and warned parents that feeding children "strong-tasting" foods such as those high in sodium may result in the children developing a preference for salty foods.  

"Healthy Seaweed Cannot Be Consumed Without Limit Especially For Children All Rich In Iodine But 70% High In Sodium", Consumer Council (HK), October 17, 2022

Supply Chain  

Keuirg Dr Pepper Announces Strategic Partnership With Red Bull

Keurig Dr Pepper has announced a strategic partnership with Red Bull to sell and distribute Red Bull in Mexico, further leveraging and expanding KDP's partner network strategy. The sales and distribution partnership provides KDP with exclusive rights to distribute Red Bull Energy Drink products across independent retailers, wholesalers, regional key accounts and on-premise channels in the country, with some exclusions. The partnership also provides the company with the option to distribute future RTD beverage products that Red Bull launches in Mexico.

"Keurig Dr Pepper Announces Strategic Partnership with Red Bull", PRNewswire , October 06, 2022


Paris Event Showcases Snacking Trends

At the SIAL 2022 show in Paris, brands have been showing how they are responding to today’s snacking trends. They include We Cup, a Japanese brand launched in 2021 by Italy-based legumes company Lofrese, and its instant-cook legumes as an alternative to instant noodles. They are suitable for celiacs and vegans. The Original flavor is tomato and basil, and Mediterranean has peppers and olives, Hot & Spicy is with curry, Indian has Indian spices, and American offers a plant-based bacon flavor. They contain black lentils, mungbeans, chickpeas and yellow and green peas. VDTG showed it Asian snack, coconut chips, which are grated coconut, fried and flavored. VDTG is based in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Flovors include mango, dragon fruit, ginger, pandan leaf and chili. 

"Better bites: Craveable instant cup legumes, red ginseng treats and coconut chips inspired by Asian food trends", Food Ingredients First, October 20, 2022

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