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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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February 27, 2022, to March 06, 2022

Cancer Surgery Led Entrepreneur To Launch Seahorse Snacks

Following surgery to remove her stomach to avoid developing cancer, Stacy Martin had to rely on small, high-protein meals and snacks for nutrition. The result is Seahorse Snacks – seahorses do not have stomachs - a brand that is based around nuts. Stacy founded the company last year and started selling her products a farmers’ market last March. She offers two flavors: Chili Turmrific, based on almonds, cashews and pistachios; and pecan-based Maple Chaitastic. She is now focused on expanding distribution at high-end and boutique retailers in the southeast of the U.S. 

Graham Cracker Sandwiches, The Latest Snacks From Once Again

Once Again Nut Butter is using its nut and seed butters in its newest launch, 100% gluten-free graham cracker sandwiches, and showcasing them at Natural Products Expo West. There are two flavors: peanut butter and sunflower seed butter. Once Again says that the convenient, single-serve snacks are the only sandwich crackers certified both organic and gluten-free, and they are vegan, kosher and non-GMO Project Verified. The crackers are available nationwide at retailers, including Whole Foods Market, as well as online on Amazon and the brand's website.

PeaTos Brand Upgrade Brings All Plant-Based Snacks

Launched in 2020, PeaTos expects to sales to reach almost $30 million this year, and has announced a new brand image, featuring the face of the PeaTos kid-friendly character DJ_P, as well as a move to go all in with plant-based snacks by replacing the traditional corn base with peas and all-natural, non-GMO ingredients. The brand claims each serving has twice the protein and three times the fiber of leading salty snacks like Cheetos and Funyuns, but with fewer calories and less fat and sodium, and no dairy. PeaTos flavors are Classic Cheese Curls, Fiery Hot Curls, Classic Onion Rings, and new Crunchy Pizza Rings, which will debut in March 2022. PeaTos can be found at some 4,700 retailers nationwide, including Kroger and Sprouts, and online at Peatos.com, SamsClub.com and Amazon.com. In 2021, the company closed a Series B funding round led by Post Holdings, Inc. that also included the former head of global R&D at PepsiCo, Carlos Barroso, and Apu Mody, former president at Mars Food.

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February 13, 2022, to February 27, 2022

Can Cold Oatmeal Compete With Chips?

Ashley Thompson, founder of Mush, believes oats can extend beyond breakfast, with cold ready-to-eat products in flavors like mixed berry and vanilla bean. Thompson thinks the products will appeal to snackers on-the-go or at home. The brand has seen annual growth of at least 100% since its 2017 launch. Other attempts to broaden the snack horizon include Brami, a range of marinated snacking beans, Hippeas chickpea “puffs”, and Harvest Snaps baked veggie snacks. A new line of pickled vegetables called Rick’s Picks is now sold in single-serve pouches for on-the-go snacking. IRI found that snacks sales in the 52 weeks to January 23 grew 6.9 percent to $30.5 billion, with growth in all snack categories, including potato chips (+3%) and dried meat (+21.3%). Snacks overall are showing strong growth, but Americans are more willing now to try new ideas, such as Brami’s lupini beans, inspired by the founder’s childhood trips to Italy. Phil Lempert, editor of SupermarketGuru.com, believes the new products pose a serious threat to the ore established brands for space on shelves. 

Young Entrepreneur’s Keto-Friendly Cereal Now In 15,000 Stores Nationwide

At just 17, Krishna Kaliannan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In 2017 he launched Catalina Crunch keto-friendly cereals from a New York City apartment. The low-carb cereals and cookies can now be found on the shelves in over 15,000 stores including national chains like Kroger, Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Publix and Albertsons. Diagnosed in 2010, he found there were few crunchy cereal options for him, and he started by working on chocolate and cinnamon-flavored products, like the Coco Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch he ate as a child. When he launched the brand, there was little competition, but not so now, with the big players also involved. He said that eating low carb and low sugar is the future, and not just for diabetics. The products use “Catalina Flour,” a blend of pea protein, potato fiber, guar gum, corn fiber and chicory root fiber. Some products also contain tapioca flour, sunflower oil, baking powder, salt and stevia extract. Each cereal serving offers 14 grams of carbs. 

GrandyOats Renamed, Expands Product Portfolio

Maine-based organic granola company GrandyOats is building on 2021 sales growth that saw revenues rebound to pre-pandemic levels by renaming the brand Grandy Organics and extending its product assortment. The company sells to retailers including Whole Foods, online sales now represent 30 percent of its total sales and it has moved from selling bulk granola to packaged products. CEO Aaron Anker said the pandemic forced the company to diversify and look at its communications, which are now more focused on digital ads, and lean more into online channels. It has decided too to raise prices between eight and 12 percent in response to input price inflation and supply chain problems.

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February 06, 2022, to February 13, 2022

BRB Popcorn Chips Launches In Four Flavours

Indian company BRB Chips is debuting BRB Popcorn Chips for snacking at home and away, including in cinemas. The range has four flavors - Golden Butter, Salted Caramel, Salsa and Cheese & Olive – and can be purchased on the company's website and at Amazon, as well as offline and online at the 24x7 convenience platform, The New Shop. Co-founder and CEO, Anuj Krishan, said “popcorn chips are the latest result of our product development engine, and we are extremely excited to bring this new product to the market.” The Popcorn Chips are healthier than traditional chips and are made using European popping technology rather than frying or baking. They are gluten-free, cholesterol- and trans-fat-free, and contain no preservatives or artificial flavors. BRB plans to invest around US$2 million in the coming months on marketing, additional capacity, and expanding distribution. The new product adds to the brand’s Popped Potato Chips, which is aimed at the country’s Gen-Z demographic that is transitioning from traditional and ethnic snacks.

Pandemic Changed UK Consumers’ Relationship With Breakfast Cereals

In a long article, the authors look at how lockdowns changed our relationship with breakfast. With breakfast eaten by 98 per cent of the U.K. population, according to Kantar, healthy breakfast options represent a massive opportunity. Although more people were eating breakfast at home during the pandemic, the meal was often taken later, and some consumers were cooking it rather than turning to cereals. The U.K. cereals category is dominated by the big brands. Darryl Burgess from Weetabix says they are backing their big brands this year and looking to bring in innovation after the successful launch of Weetabix Melts. It’s also reviewing pack sizes to optimize them for convenience retailers and the impulse channel. Another issue driving Weetabix’s innovation and communication efforts is impending HFSS legislation and the impact it will have on consumer preferences and expectations. All Weetabix-branded products, including its more indulgent options, are already HFSS compliant, and as a ban on HFSS promotions arrives, Weetabix wants to be sure retailers are ready to direct shoppers to healthy options.

TagZ Foods Focuses On Healthier Options, Attracts Investment

Indian startup TagZ Foods is aiming to expand internationally. Launched in 2019 and based in Bengaluru, it targets urban Gen Z consumers by offering healthier snacks. It launched with popped potato chips with 50 per cent less fat than fried chips, in two ranges: classic Indian flavours like Masala and Cream Onion; and international bar snacks, like Beer n Barbeque and Italian Wine n Cheese. The ranges contain no cholesterol, trans-fat, artificial colors, preservatives, palm oil or gluten. It recently launched a range of international gourmet dips, and it sells its products on its website, around 30 other online stores and in more than 2,000 physical stores nationwide. It identifies Pringles and KETTLE as its primary competitors in the premium potato chips category, and Cornitos and Doritos in the nachos category. It has raised close to $1 million from several investors. Most recently, it raised an undisclosed amount from Ashneer Grover of BharatPe and Namita Thapar, Executive Director of Emcure Pharmaceuticals. Ashneer Grover invested in the company on Shark Tank India, and Namita Thapar, another shark on the show, invested after the show was filmed. 

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January 30, 2022, to February 06, 2022

Brits Are Moving To Healthier Cereal Choices, Away From Products High In Sugar

A lockdown boom for cereal sales during the pandemic has come to an end, according to Kantar data, but a possibly more serious and enduring challenge is looming for sugary cereals – restrictions on the promotion of HFSS products. Kellogg’s has revamped it Oatibix range to highlight its nutritional benefits. For non-HFSS Weetabix, nothing is changing but it is reformulating its kids' cereal portfolio with all but one of the five bestsellers becoming non-HFSS this year. BY the end of 2022, some Nestlé cereals will contain as much as 16% less sugar and half the salt. Eat Natural is using ingredients like dried fruit and honey to provide much of the sweetness, but some sugar is retained. HFSS is not the only health focus for shoppers in the U.K. ‘Natural and wholesome’ was the only cereal segment to see growth in the past year, benefiting brands like Naturya, which last month added products to its functional breakfast range in December. Alpen launched high-fiber Oat Blend bars last fall and Kellogg's added three high-fiber non-HFSS products to the Wheats line. Another segment that did well out of the pandemic was 'quick eats' but has seen sales plunge. 

Magic Spoon Wants To Deliver Grown-Up Cereals

The brand is seeking to bring consumers’ childhood flavor classics to healthy adult cereals. The company is launching two new flavors: Honey Graham and Oatmeal Cookie. The former evokes graham cracker snacks - a sweet and mild flavor with 5 grams of net carbs and 14 grams of protein – and the latter is an adult take on cookies and milk, with 4 grams of net carbs and 14 grams of protein. Both are limited edition, and neither have artificial ingredients. Magic Spoon is not yet available in stores but can be bought online via a subscription.

Peel + Pour Popcorn Cups Is Opopop’s Newest Product

Opopop Popcorn has launched Peel + Pour Popcorn Cups in a reusable silicone microwave bowl. They can be bought online and come in four flavors: Salty Caramel, Like Buddahh, Vanilla Vanilla, and Lightly Salted. The brand, which debuted last year, has expanded distribution to include Foxtrot Markets, Nordstrom, and williams-sonoma.com. 

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January 23, 2022, to January 30, 2022

Scottish Snack Brand Based on Seaweed Focused On Growth

Seaweed snack brand, Shore, based in Wick, Scotland, has been operating for some five years, and recently launched a new range of plant-based foods. An overall goal is the promotion of a viable edible seaweed sector in Scotland based on sustainability, beneficial to the coast and supporting local communities. Co-founders Peter Elbourne and Keith Paterson point to the fact that  seaweed needs no intervention to grow and absorbs carbon dioxide. Harvesting seaweed in Scotland has a long tradition, but kelp has recently been given ‘superfood’ status, with nutrition benefits like prebiotic fiber, protein, magnesium antioxidants and iodine, and it is low-fat. The 17 different types of seaweed Shore harvests are hand-picked from the shore before being washed and dried. As well as the chips, seaweed is also used in pestos and tapenades, and as ingredients for food and drinks manufacturers. Elbourne and Paterson say they have retained the umami flavor of the kelp without any fishiness. The chips can be found online and at branches of the Coop and Sainsbury’s supermarkets, as well as in health stores and farm shops in the U.K.

Hormel Foods Rolls Out Upgrade For Planters

The peanut brand, acquired by Hormel Foods, has re-branded with a new logo and packaging, which includes a new "plant-based protein" seal, endorsed by the iconic Mr. Peanut character. The new owners want to turn around the fortunes of a brand that cost $3.3 billion from Kraft Heinz Co. in June 2021, but which has faltered despite fitting into consumer trends such as increased snacking and protein-rich eating. Hormel says it has big ambitions for the brand by extending beyond the nut aisle. The Corn Nuts brand was a part of the acquisition and is also getting strong support, which has already started to pay off. 

The Once Again Nut Butter Brand Pushed Into The Snack Aisle

available in peanut butter and sunflower seed butter varieties. The snacks are single-serve and on-the-go products, gluten-free and certified organic, made with organic sorghum flour, oat flour and cassava flour. They use palm oil certified by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil as well as sustainably sourced cane sugar and will appear on retailers’ shelves in March. 

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January 16, 2022, to January 23, 2022

New Survey Highlights Snacking At Home As A Major Eating Trend

The 10th annual "What's Trending in Nutrition" survey by Pollock Communications and Today's Dietitian spotlights 2022 trends and provides a look back at the last decade, in the eyes of over 1,000 Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). One key trend identified is increased snacking as people work from home and seek comfort food. Other trends include the emergence of keto dieting, plant-based eating and options like gluten-free and vegan. They see emerging purchase drivers as immunity support and emotional well-being, and new functional ingredients like CBD and collagen. Attributes that appeal to consumers include convenience, taste, healthy and natural. The Top 10 superfoods are once again headed by fermented foods, but regulars like avocados, seeds and nuts also appear. Popular diet trends for 2022 are expected to include intermittent fasting, ketogenic and clean eating. Top RDN recommendations include more vegetable servings, less highly processed and fast foods, more higher fiber foods, but fewer foods with "added sugars".

Plant-Based Snack Company Spudsy Launches Sweet Potato Fries At Whole Foods Market

Following news that the company had secured a new funding round, Spudsy’s new Sweet Potato Fries are coming to Whole Foods Market nationwide in January 2022. This will be Spudsy’s second product sold by the retailer. Spudsy uses sweet potatoes that might be rejected by consumers because of their size or shape and turns their flour into savory snacks. 

The 56th Big Game Gets A Boost From Wonderful Pistachios

The pistachio-focused California snack company has launched a new campaign aimed at people snacking while watching the Big Game this February. Spectators going to the game can take advantage of discounted transport from Alto, a Los Angeles-based rideshare company, and in-car snacking; those watching at home are invited to enter a social media competition to win an entertainment system. The company says that its snacks are the perfect accompaniment to watching the game, as each ounce contain six grams of plant protein and three grams. The range includes different flavors as well as shell-on and shell-off varieties. 

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January 02, 2022, to January 16, 2022

Nestlé Develops Optimum Ratio Formula For Ceereal Carbs, Fiber, Sugar

Collaborating with scientists from Australia, Singapore, and Tufts University (Boston, Mass.), Nestlé has developed and validated a new nutritional concept for carbohydrate quality in a porridge or cereal format. The Grainsmart balance concept is a defined ratio between carbohydrates, fibers, and sugars that aims to limit the number of free sugars and increase the number of fibers, which helps to shift to healthier products and balanced products diets. This ratio is 10:1:2 and indicates that for every 10 g of total carbohydrates, there should be a minimum of one gram of fiber and no more than two g of free sugars when developing certain products such as cereals. Products that meet the 10:1:2 ratio can include the Grainsmart balance logo on pack. Nestlé has launched the first products based on Grainsmart balance, consisting of an oatmeal cereal product range with Nutri-Score A rating in Europe.

Cereal Sales Were Rejuvenated During Pandemic, But Seem To Be Slowing

With consumers confined to their homes during the pandemic, they turned back to an old breakfast staple: cereals. As a result, U.S. cereal sales bounced back above $9 billion in 2020, good news for General Mills and Post Consumer Brands that together sell half of all of the ready-to-eat cereal in the U.S. However, as lockdown stockpiling eased, cereal sales slipped this year to $8.66 billion, according to market researcher IRI. Kellogg says the performance of key brands in the U.S. was also impacted by supply complications in North America, though international growth has been healthy. Despite slippage here and there, the sales outlook for cereal has been revived somewhat by the lasting effects of pandemic-era grocery shopping and a permanent shift to more people working from home.

Potato Cultivation Kits From Japan’s Calbee

In an effort to raise awareness of potatoes, Tokyo-based potato chip-maker Calbee is selling kits that make it easy for people of all ages to grow their own potatoes. Two products that work together to grow potatoes were released by Calbee in December to home and garden retailers in the Kyushu area of Japan. The Poroshiri kit, named for Calbee’s in-house potato variety, contains two seed potatoes – not “potato seeds” – to get a garden started. Potato Bag, meanwhile, is a 10-kilo sack full of coconut peat, palm mulch, and fertilizer. Just plant the seed potatoes, water as necessary, and “behold as the miracle of life takes place before your very eyes.”

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December 26, 2021, to January 02, 2022

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.

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.

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.

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December 19, 2021, to December 26, 2021

Breaking Through India’s Snack Product Clutter Is No Easy Task For Start-Ups

Food industry analysts in India say sustained profitability is tough for snack start-ups, but there is a demand-supply gap that new companies can leverage. There are plenty of packaged and healthy snacks on the market, so new brands try to rise above the clutter by straddling the indulgence-versus-health marketing message: “no chemicals or preservatives,” “baked instead of fried.” and “no added sugars” have become the buzzwords that attract buyers. Entry-level pricing also plays a role in luring consumers. “We want to democratize the better-for-you category with healthier snacking at an affordable premium positioning,” says Anuj Krishan, co-founder of Forbidden Foods. Other marketing ploys include free sampling at stores and alternate consumer outreach channels, like partnering with local sports, cultural, and lifestyle events.

RIND Introduces “Island Inspired” Snacks

The New York-based company known for its upcycled dried fruit peel snacks is introducing a limited-edition, island-inspired rind blend made with made with rescued, overripe, and slightly imperfect skin-on fruits. The new Island variety includes sweet honeydew melon, mandarin orange, and banana bites. The Island snacks have no added sugar or sulfites, contain 100 calories per serving, four grams of fiber per bag, and are vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO verified. Island Blend will be available on RINDSnacks.com for a limited time while supplies last.

Hain Celestial Group Acquires Parmcrisps Maker In $259M Deal

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based maker of organic and natural products paid $259 million to Clearlake Capital Group (Santa Monica, Calif.) for Proven Brands, Inc. and KTB Foods, Inc. (That's How We Roll, Montclair, N.J.), the makers of the Parmcrisps crisps and Thinsters crunchy cookies brands. The purchase will be financed with loans. Clearlake acquired the company in 2014 and subsequently acquired Kitchen Table Bakers, the makers of ParmCrisps, in 2016.  

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December 12, 2021, to December 19, 2021

KP Snacks Cultivates Green Farming Methods

The scale-up of regenerative farming practices is part of a partnership with agricultural sustainability experts Future Food Solutions. The Hayes, U.K.-based producer of the McCoy’s and Tyrrells potato chip brands is working with a number of potato growers in the country. They will grow cover crops between food crops in the farm rotation to sequester atmospheric CO2 and improve soil health by increasing soil organic matter. The project also has two pilot farms where Sustainable Futures will partner with growers to demonstrate additional regenerative practices, as well as collect data to share with the whole supply chain.

Sagacious IP Expects Patents For Healthy Snacks To Increase In 2022

The Seattle, Wash.-based intellectual property specialist says the number of patents granted and published globally for healthy snacks should increase in 2021, compared to the past four years. By November of this year, 507 patents related to healthy snacks had been granted and published. There were 509 in 2020, 497 in 2019, 509 in 2018, 477 in 2017, and 653 in 2016. Nestlé SA (Vevey, Switzerland) filed the highest number of patents (115) from 2016-2021, followed by Roquette Group (Lestrem, France), Mondelez International (Chicago), and PepsiCo (Purchase, N.Y.). China was the leading country with 12,876 patents filed from 2016-21, followed by Korea at 718 and the U.S. at 443.

Sustainability Of Peanut Farming Plays Big Role In Record Consumption Levels

The National Peanut Board (NPB) says the consistent rise in the nut’s popularity, even during the pandemic, is largely due to its healthfulness and significant sustainability figures that resonate with consumers. Peanut consumption in the U.S. has hit record levels for the second year in a row: an all-time high of 7.9 pounds (3.5 kg) per American in 2021, topping the previous record level of 7.6 pounds (3.4 kg) in 2020. During the pandemic, peanuts helped people meet their nutritional needs during stressful and hectic times. As to sustainability, peanut farmers long ago began taking extra steps to care for their land because they knew it was key to being able to farm well into the future. Eco-conscious Gen Zers are among the biggest consumers of peanut products, though Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers also place the environment on the top of their list of priorities.
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