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Food Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

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October 24, 2021, to October 31, 2021

Alpen Adds Oat-Based Variant to Snack Bar Line

The British muesli breakfast cereal brand has expanded its snack bar offering with the launch of an oat-based variant in three flavors: Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Orange and Cocoa & Peanut.  Alpen Oat Blends mix fiber-rich oats, nuts, and fruits with a caramel center and topped with nuts or nibs. The new range will initially be available in Asda this month with an RRP of $4.14 per four-packs of 32 grams. The launch will be backed by in-store and digital promotions as part of the brand’s biggest promotional campaign in recent years: “Up & Alpen.”

Nightfood Expands Distribution To Hotel Chains

Although the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based bedtime snack maker’s products are found in more than 1,500 supermarkets, including some Walmart and Albertsons locations, the company says its imminent national hotel rollout will greatly accelerate growth. A successful pilot test with an unnamed global hotel brand that led to the introduction of its ice cream, which has 10 percent of the fat of traditional ice cream, less sugar, and no artificial sweeteners, into thousands of hotel lobbies in the next few months. According to the company, that distribution would equate to an endorsement by the industry and would accelerate consumer awareness and acceptance. Nightfood has engaged North Carolina-based iDEAL Hospitality Partners Group to help boost the hotel footprint. 

Furikake Adds Flavor, Texture To Rice-Based Snacks

Originally a Japanese dietary supplement comprising pulverized sardines, poppy seeds, and seaweed, the modern version of furikake is a seasoning made from sesame seeds, seaweeds, herbs, fish flakes, and salt. It is commonly served on bowls of steamed rice and pressed into rice-based snacks, adding a layer of flavor, texture, and nourishment. Writer Sonoko Sakai notes that furikake not only gives rice a punch of flavor, but also perks up pasta, noodles, vegetables, pizza, popcorn, dips, and focaccia. Sakai has also “come across savory granolas that act like furikake but are substantial enough to be snacks.”

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October 17, 2021, to October 24, 2021

Microsalt’s Low-Salt Chips Will Be Sold In Large N.A. Supermarket Chain

The so far unnamed chain will market SaltMe! potato chips, developed by the U.S. subsidiary of U.K. investment firm Tekcapital’s portfolio company Salarius. The chips will be available in more than 800 of the chain’s stores in 2022. In September 2020, the company hired food distributor Gehring-Montgomery Inc. to assist in the sale of Microsalt products in the U.S. The distinguishing feature of MicroSalt is its small salt particles – one hundred times smaller than table salt – that use a large surface area-to-volume ratio to generate a salty taste with less salt. Microsalt expects SaltMe! to become “a national brand” in the low-sodium snack category. The company is hoping other food manufacturers will use MicroSalt in their products.

Perkier Raises $1.4M In Crowdfunding Round

The British healthy snack bar company, which raised the cash on Seedrs with backing from 345 investors, plans to spend the cash on a marketing campaign to boost brand awareness, investment in NPD, staff, and in-store activation. Perkier's range of snack bars are available online and in more than 5,000 stores in the U.K., including Sainsbury's, Morrisons, and Asda. The company, which says its snacks contain 60 percent less sugar and 100 percent more fiber than competitors, also makes protein balls and porridge pots. Retail sales increased 16 percent last year and have accelerated in 2021, growing 86 percent in the latest quarter.

Conagra Brands Spotlights Snacking At C-Store Confab

The Chicago-based branded food company returned to the National Association of Convenience Stores' 2021 NACS Show with an assortment of familiar snacks that did not claim any better-for-you benefit. The company’s $2.7 billion snacking portfolio includes Andy Capp's Hot Beer Battered Onion Rings, the 3 oz. Slim Jim Savage meat snack, ACT II microwave popcorn, and BiGS Sunflower Seeds. ACT II is entering the ready-to-eat popcorn category with 1.7 oz. bags of ACT II Butter Lovers popcorn. The company also showcased its collection of merchandising racks and displays for convenience stores to enable optimal assortment, better placement, and improved product visibility.

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October 10, 2021, to October 17, 2021

Griffith Foods Introduces Prebiotic Snack Seasoning

The Canadian food ingredients specialist collaborated with Canadian potato starch producer MSP Starch Products Inc. to create a prebiotic seasoning using MSP's resistant potato starch, Solnul. The seasoning, available in tzatziki (a Greek cucumber yogurt sauce) and white cheddar flavors, targets digestive health and is “well-suited for popcorn, extruded snack, rice cake, and crisp applications.” Solnul is a substantiated prebiotic resistant starch that increases Bifidobacterium, the beneficial bacteria known for its effects on healthy digestion, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) symptoms, and proper immune system function, according to MSP.

Good Food Partners Releases Reformulated Messy Monkeys Snack

The new cereals and snacks division of Australia’s Arnott’s Group has released its first product, a reformulation of Messy Monkeys Wholegrain Bites. Arnott’s, purchased by U.S. private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) from the Campbell Soup Company in 2019, bought the cereals and snacks business from distressed Freedom Foods early in 2021. The business became Good Food partners, and the reformulated Messy Monkeys Wholegrain Bites is their first branded product. The new Bites have revamped flavors, a softer texture, and are gluten- and allergen-free, containing no nuts, soy, or egg. They also have less than one gram of sugar per serve and account for more than 10 per cent of a child’s daily fiber intake. They are available in Australia for A$4.80 each, or A$0.80 per individual serve.

Sweet Potato Upcycler Spudsy Closes $3.3M Funding Round

The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based brand that upcycles imperfect sweet potatoes and turns them into snacks has closed a $3.3 million funding round led by KarpReilly and Stage 1 Fund. This brings the total funding for the brand to $6.5 million in two years. Spudsy annually upcycles 75,000,000 tons of sweet potatoes headed for landfills due to minor “flaws” (shape, size, color) into Sweet Potato Puffs and Sweet Potato Fries. According to the company, the new cash provides the capital to enter new sales channels and reach new customers. The brand will also use the money to develop sales and marketing strategies and build out its ecommerce channel. 

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October 03, 2021, to October 10, 2021

Pop Star Brothers Launch Popcorn Brand

The Jonas Brothers – Nick, Joe, and Kevin – have teamed up with food and beverage platform The Naked Market to launch a vegan “artisanal” treat inspired by a bowl of popcorn Nick first had more than a decade ago. Rob’s Backstage Popcorn – named after long-time friend Rob Garbowsky – is available for nationwide delivery on eatrobs.com. The brothers say the key to Rob’s popcorn is Garbowsky’s “secret seasoning,” which they describe as “a perfect mix of sweet and savory.” The popcorn is vegan, GMO-free and gluten-free. Rob's Backstage Popcorn is sold in a four-pack for $19.99

Michele’s Granola Says Its New Muesli Cereal Has Only Three Grams Of Sugar

The Timonium, Md.-based maker of small batch granola and muesli cereal has added its lowest sugar variety, Michele’s Apple Cinnamon Toasted Muesli, to the product lineup.  The new variety is a toasted oat-based cereal with nuts, seeds, apples, and raisins, and a total of three grams of sugar per serving. Two grams of sugar occur naturally in the dried fruit, while one gram is added via pure maple syrup. The company introduced its original Toasted Muesli in 2015. The brand also bakes a line of handmade granola cereals containing all-natural ingredients. The company says it was on a 20-25 percent annual growth trajectory before 2019, but doubled that rate from 2019-2020.

U.K.’s Native Snacks Introduces Eco-Friendly Vegan Prawn Crackers

Available in Original Prawn and Sweet Chilli flavors, the crackers will be in Asda’s vegan aisles in 222 stores from October 4 at an RRP of $2.16 for 60-gram sharing bags, and at Planet Organic, the Vegan Kind Supermarket, and online. The prawn-free snacks are delicately flavored with a light, crunchy texture, similar to traditional prawn crackers, but only 99 calories per serving. The brand says that by offering a prawn-free alternative snack, it will save 2,226 metric tons of CO2 and 460,000 prawns for every 100,000 bags sold.

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September 26, 2021, to October 03, 2021

India’s Parle Products Ventures Into Breakfast Cereals

The Mumbai-based maker of biscuit brand Parle-G is extending its popular Hide & Seek brand with a breakfast cereal that can also double as a snack. Fills chocolate cereal is mainly positioned as a breakfast cereal eaten with milk. But, thanks to its 50 percent chocolate filling, the product can also be enjoyed as a sweet snack. Hide & Seek Fills will be rolled out across Parle’s distribution network of about eight million outlets across the country, with an RRP of Rs 10 ($0.14) per pack.

Myprotein Debuts High-Protein Breakfast Mix In India

The British online retailer of sports nutrition products says its Protein Rava Idli Mix is an instant breakfast mix with 22 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. The product is a variation of the popular South Indian breakfast food idli (rice cake), made usually with rava durum wheat, Bombay rava, or semolina. 

Forbidden Foods Raises $5.5M, Will Acquire Snack Bar Company

The Sydney, Australia-based maker of infant, toddler, health, and plant-based foods is acquiring snack bar company Blue Dinosaur (Littleton, Colo.) after raising $5.5 million. Forbidden Foods sees the $4 million acquisition as a serious step into the snacks market. Ten-year-old Blue Dinosaur caters primarily to health-focused Millennials with its baked snack, protein, and energy bars containing no soy, gluten, dairy, preservatives, added colors or sugars, stabilizers or artificial ingredients. The deal is expected to close by October 2021.

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September 19, 2021, to September 26, 2021

U.K.’s Burts Snacks’ Sales Unimpeded By Pandemic

The Plymouth-based maker of crisps and popcorn posted a $9.7 million hike in sales in 2020 to a total of $79.4 million, making it “the U.K.’s fastest growing independent “snacking” company, despite the COVID pandemic.” Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – a measure of profitability – were $3.6 million for 2020, up from $1.4 million in 2019. The company is optimistic about 2021 sales in the U.K., and is developing several new export markets that it says are “a key pillar in our overall strategy.”

Carnivore Aurelius Adds Steak Crisps To Meat-Based Snack Line

Founded in 2019, the Sheridan, Wy. -based maker of beef liver crisps has introduced a chewy steak crisp made with beef and salt and no sugar or soy fillers. According to the company, plant-based foods offer excellent health benefits but lack some nutrients that humans need for optimal performance, especially vitamin B12, taurine, and iron. Grass-fed steak crisps, containing only salt and 17 grams of protein, are sold by subscription or as a one-time purchase of a 14-bag package at $7.14 per bag.

Calbee Launches Vegetable-Based Snacks In U.K.

The Japanese-owned snack manufacturer’s new range of veg and pulse-based snacks taps into the growing consumer preference for plant-based products and the continued growth in holistic health and wellness. Non-GMO Project Certified Harvest Snaps, available in nine flavors, including Caesar, habanero, and mango chile lime, in 28-gram 130-calorie packs, are made from peas, lentils and black beans. The branding rolled out across multiple flavors and pack formats, as well as campaign creative, sales collateral and POS.

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September 12, 2021, to September 19, 2021

Scion Of Singapore Snack Firm Is Revitalizing Her Family’s Products, Image

Esther Loo, the third-generation scion and current head of marketing of the Tai Sun brand of nuts and chips, was well aware that the company’s outdated image needed an overhaul. Market research told her that branding – not product quality – was the root of the problem: packaging was a mess, and “there was no real formatting for the brand as a whole.” What’s more, younger consumers really didn’t know about the products, and therefore were not buying them. Loo launched a repositioning campaign, complete with brand bibles and product segmentation. Tai Sun’s current portfolio now includes brands like Nature’s Wonders, Treatz, UCA, and more. Nature’s Wonders will be rolling out new nuts and mixes, and Treatz will receive a significant revamp. And Loo wants to convey to the public – using social media etc. – that healthy snacks such as pecans and macadamias, often thought of as premium nuts, are not necessarily out of reach.

Nature's Path’s New Granolas And Cereals Are Keto-Friendly

The Canadian (B.C.) organic breakfast and snack food company’s new line of keto products includes two organic cereals – Cinnamon Toast Organic Keto and Dark Chocolate Organic Keto – as well as three new Ketola Crunch granolas: Toasted Pumpkin Seed & Vanilla Nut, Dark Chocolate Chip & Nut, and Blueberry & Cinnamon Nut. The products are organic, keto-certified, non-GMO, plant based, gluten-free, dairy-free, and contain no artificial sweeteners or flavors. They contain seven grams of protein and three grams of net carbs per serving; the keto granolas contain five grams of protein and up to three grams of net carbs per serving. They are available at U.S. retailers including Whole Foods and Kroger and online.

Canada’s Modern Plant-Based Foods To Be Sold At Aldi

The British Columbia plant-based food company announced that its Snacks from the Sun “Popped Potato Crisps” will be sold at 285 Aldi stores in Canada. Modern Plant-Based Foods’ portfolio includes meat and dairy-free alternatives, soups, and vegan snacks. “Popped Potato Crisps” are made from potatoes, whole grains, and seasonings, then popped. The chips, available in four flavors at U.S. and Canadian retail stores, are vegan and free of gluten, cholesterol, and saturated fat. 

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September 05, 2021, to September 12, 2021

Snack Companies Should Cater To Consumer Quest For New Flavors

Market researcher Mintel’s data support the recommendation that snack companies should experiment with flavors to fuel sales of all types of snacks. Forty-three percent of consumers say they look for new flavors all of the time or most of the time, while about 41 percent do so occasionally. The consumer quest for new flavors varies somewhat by age: the under-45 group, which includes Gen Z and younger Millennials, are most likely to seek out new flavors all of the time while those 55 and older are less likely to try something different. Top flavors such as cheddar, salted, barbecue, garlic, and ranch aren’t surprising: older consumers lean toward onion-flavored snacks while Gen Z tend to prefer peanut butter the most.

FSSAI”s Approach To Healthier Snacks And Sweets Is Two-Pronged

The Eat Right Movement of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, which originally focused on reducing sugars, sodium, and saturated fats in snacks and candy, is now promoting immunity boosting ingredients. The relatively recent emphasis emerged during the pandemic, and now India’s food companies are adding healthy ingredients such as whole grains, vegetables, and micronutrients to their products, including children's foods. An example is Lil' Goodness, a children’s food and nutrition brand that is targeting deficiencies of vitamins B, C, D, zinc, calcium, Iron, protein, as well as an excess of unhealthy fats and carbs. The company’s product lines include savory snacks (multigrain puffs, veggie crackers made with real veggies) and sweet snacks such as prebiotic chocolates. 

New Kerry Microapp Will Help Private Labels Fine-Tune Snack Marketing

The Irish taste and nutrition company’s research shows there are ample opportunities in the snack marketplace for grocery and private retail labels to plant their product flags. The company created what it says is an “easy-to-navigate online microapp” designed to provide information about its research results and identify the opportunities shaping the private label snacks space. The “Seizing the Private Label Snack Category” microapp allows users to explore product packaging examples and reveals the claims and ingredients that resonate with various consumer types. Insights related specifically to snacks provide direct guidance on tackling snack product innovation. For example, private label consumers comprise two key groups: “adventure seekers” (novel flavors) and “practical traditionalists” (tried-and-true flavors).

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August 29, 2021, to September 05, 2021

Market For Healthy Functional Snacks Broadens

The elderly and “ultra-health-conscious” are no longer the only drivers of demand for healthy functional snacks, according to a recent Glanbia Nutritionals-sponsored survey of 2,001 British consumers. With post-pandemic healthy eating on the rise, and better nutritional information available to all consumers, the demand for the ultimate functional snacks increasing among a wider array of snack buyers. Key data from the survey: younger generations (in particular, 25-34-year-olds) demand high-protein snacks; 43 percent of Baby Boomers prefer foods to be made with simple, real ingredients; 43 percent of Gen Z prefer to have something labelled as “no preservatives, artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, or trans fats;” and “conscious indulgence” is on the rise, with healthy, clean label chocolate fudge brownies and peanut butter cups “the top two preferred flavors.”

Ancient Provisions Creates Cheesy Crackers With Banana Flour, No Dairy

The Los Angeles-based company’s mission to produce snacks that are wholesome, delicious, and vegan led to the development of Cheddar Cheezish Gluten-Free Crackers. The cheese flavor of the crackers was created without dairy, and no wheat flour was used. The crackers are crafted with green banana flour, cassava flour, sunflower oil, and a blend of spices. They are allergen-free and gut healthy, thanks to the banana flour, which is made from bruised or slightly damaged green bananas. The crackers are available online and at select grocers in 1-4 oz boxes starting at $1.75.

Country Archer Provisions Puts Down Roots In Plant-Based Snacks

The San Bernardino, Calif-based meat snack maker is entering the plant-based category with a new line of plant-based jerky made with whole slices of King Oyster mushrooms. According to the company, the mushrooms have fibers with a similar look, tear and chew to traditional jerky. Certified soy- and gluten-free, the plant-based jerky contains three grams of fiber per serving and comes in spiced bacon, barbecue, and teriyaki flavors. Country Archer’s plant-based jerky retails for $7.99 per 2-oz bag and is available online and at Sprouts stores. It will roll out to Whole Foods Market stores nationwide in October.

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August 22, 2021, to August 29, 2021

General Mills Adds To Yop Potable Yogurt Line

The company has added a coloring-free chocolate flavor to the range sold in the U.K., which also includes strawberry and raspberry flavors targeted at teens.  as part of the Yop range, the new offering is free from colorings and is said to be great for portion control on the go. According to the company, Yop sales have increased by 12.6 percent, boosting household penetration by 72.6 percent. With an RRP of $2.74, Yop Chocolate is sold in Asda stores in four-packs. 

Sales Of Snacks Are Up, But Watch The Impact Of The Delta Variant

Sales of low-calorie, diet, and convenience foods have started to rise as vaccinations have slowly increased, more restaurants and bars are operating at greater capacity, and workers are heading back to their offices. Sales of low calorie/reduced fat snacks are up 20 percent, drinkable yogurt for adults up 23 percent, rice and popcorn cakes up 13 percent; diet measured meals/snack bars are up 11 percent, adult nutrition drinks and fresh fruit are up 12 percent, and adult nutrition bars rose 10 percent. But market researcher Catalina advises grocers that these sales trends may reverse as offices push back opening dates and events are canceled because of the burgeoning Delta variant of COVID-19. 

Food Packaging Advances In The U.K.

U.K.-based premium snack manufacturer TruffleHunter has introduced new recyclable packaging materials for its line of truffle crisps. Black Truffle Crisps and the newly developed White Truffle & Lobster Crisps are now available in fully recyclable tins and compostable bags. The company upgraded its Cotswold factory to handle compostable truffle crisp bags. In other U.K. packaging news: organic cereal manufacturer Bauck has upgraded its production to handle sealable, paper-based, stand-up pouches produced by Sappi in partnership with machine manufacturer Rovema. The material features an integrated mineral oil barrier (MOSH/MOAH) and high heat-sealability; and cakes and baked goods manufacturer Finsbury Food Group has revamped its Thorntons Bites products to feature new-look packaging designed to increase product stand-out on shelves by evoking the “luxury and quality of Thorntons chocolate.”
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