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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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August 08, 2021, to August 15, 2021

Challenges Face BFY Snack Formulators

The functional snack business is experiencing healthy growth as U.S. consumers continue their search for foods that offer health benefits, such as immunity, or simply provide a healthy alternative to salty and fatty snacks. But reformulation of snack seasonings poses many challenges for BFY snack makers. After all, salt and fat guarantee taste delivery while ensuring that seasoning sticks to, and is evenly distributed across, the snack base. One solution is almonds, which are available in over 14 formats. They can help overcome taste, texture, and nutrition challenges while delivering protein and fiber. Almonds contain six grams of protein in a one-ounce serving. And now recently-developed defatted almond flour, or almond protein powder, goes even further toward achieving protein requirements, and its extra-fine texture and neutral taste allow for more versatility and fewer masking agents, contributing to a clean label.

Don Pancho Intros Grain-Free Tortillas, Chips

The new products from the Salem, Ore.-based maker of traditional and on-trend Mexican foods target consumers looking for healthier and better-for-you options, including non-grain flours and low-carb ingredients. The gluten-free, paleo- and keto-friendly chips and tortillas are made with cassava flour, an ancient root vegetable prized for its nutty flavor, and flax seeds rich in omega-3 fats and dietary fiber. According to IRI, the tortilla category is growing quickly and represents $2.2 billion in sales with grain free, whole wheat, and low carb products representing a growing sales opportunity. The Grain Free Tortillas (9.5-ounce package) are $3.79; as is the five-ounce package of chips in three flavors (Smoky Queso, Sea Salt and Hint of Lime).

Simple Mills Launches First National Ad Campaign

The Chicago-based maker of better-for-you crackers, cookies, snack bars, and baking mixes, has launched its first national advertising campaign, Live Full, across video, social, digital, and audio platforms. Developed by agency FIG, the campaign “embodies a relatable, human approach” that “highlights moments in our everyday lives when we're in a ‘flow state,’ getting things done and in a groove.” The FIG agency specializes in crafting integrated advertising stories that “cut through the clutter and complexity of the Information Age.”

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August 01, 2021, to August 08, 2021

U.K.’s Wholebake Has New Parent Company

The 37-year-old Welsh B Corp. and manufacturer of BFY snacks is looking forward to the future after its parent company, Healthfull Holdings Group Limited, was acquired by private equity firm Elysian Capital III LP from Bridge Fund Management. Wholebake is a co-manufacturer of functional snacks for weight management, sports nutrition, toddler snacking, healthy indulgence, vegan-friendly, digestive health, and mainstream better-for-you brands, along with its own brands Brynmor, Nine, and Bounce. The deal is the second investment in the past month from Elysian Capital, a private equity fund specializing in the U.K. and Ireland lower mid-market. Elysian is especially interested in the snack bar market as consumers transition away from traditional confectionery into tasty and healthier alternatives.

Kellogg's RX Unveils Cereal Containing Plant-Based Protein

RX Cereal, available in chocolate almond, vanilla almond and strawberry, uses a mix of pea protein, almonds, and brown rice to provide protein. Each serving of the cereal contains 11 to 12 grams of protein and three to four grams of fiber depending on the flavor. The cereals also are made without artificial colors, flavors, ingredients, or preservatives. RX says its new cereal is also a good afternoon snack that consumers could enjoy as a cereal or more like a granola. Kellogg changed the name RXBar to RX in 2019 as part of a push to expand into new product lines. 

Wide Variety Of Snacks Meets The Needs Of Post-Pandemic Shoppers

After enduring more than a year of COVID-19 pandemic stress and anxiety, consumers are prioritizing health and safety more than ever before. Online and in-store shoppers are looking for better-for-you nourishment by scanning labels, zeroing in on unfamiliar ingredients, skipping items loaded with sodium, sugar, and fat, and looking for as many health benefits as possible in every snack or meal. Among the sought-after foods and snacks in “the new normal,” as reported by various grocery retailers and experts, are: dates; low-sugar chocolate bars, sour cream and onion protein puffs, and ketogenic malted milk balls; fruit and nut snacks made with simple ingredients; salty and savory snacks (including ready-to-eat popcorn); chickpea chips, green plantain chips, keto bars, refrigerated snack solutions, and ready-to-eat meat (sticks, jerky, and bacon to go).

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July 18, 2021, to August 01, 2021

Cofresh Expands Grills And Crackers Ranges With New Flavors

Responding to an increase in the number of “shared snacking occasions with friends and family,” the Indian snack brand based in Leicester, U.K., has added Mango Chutney Grills and Onion Bhaji Corn Crackers to its lineup of mixed savory snacks, bars, and nuts. The launch will be supported by PR and social media advertising, as well as in-store activity such as multi-buys and “When It’s Gone, It’s Gone” promotions. The company says its line of Grills contains 3o percent less fat than competitors.

Simple Mills Debuts Seed And Nut Flour-Based Cookies

The Chicago-based provider of better-for-you crackers, cookies, snack bars, and baking mixes has introduced Sweet Thins, a coconut sugar-sweetened snack made from a flour that blends watermelon seed, cashew, sunflower seed, and flax seed. According to the company, watermelon seed flour helps create Sweet Thins' light and crispy texture, while delivering protein, good fats, and micronutrients. The snacks are also certified gluten-free; free of grains, corn, soy, dairy, gums, emulsifiers; Non-GMO Project Verified; and paleo-friendly. Simple Mills products are available in more than 25,000 U.S. stores.

KP Snacks Sponsors U.K. Cricket Matches

The German-owned British producer of branded and own-label corn-, potato-, and nut-based snacks is partnering with men’s and women’s cricket competition The Hundred (21 July – 21 August in England and Wales) to “champion healthier lifestyles and inspire people to get more active through cricket.” The company’s Popchips, Butterkist, Pom-Bear, Tyrrells, KP Nuts, Hula Hoops, McCoy’s, and Skips brands will be displayed on team shirts and featured in broadcast indents and advertising spots during ad breaks, as well as on in-ground screens. KP is also running a retailer competition to win match tickets and merchandise by purchasing cases of promoted products. The partnership also includes retailer bundle deals, in-depot activity, and branded POS.

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July 11, 2021, to July 18, 2021

Safe + Fair Food Company Adds To Seasoned Popcorn Portfolio

The Chicago-based maker of clean-label, plant-based, allergy-friendly foods, snacks, and beverages is expanding its seasoned popcorn offerings with the launch of Everything Bagel Seasoned Popcorn. The new snack delivers the taste of an everything bagel made without allergens sesame seeds or poppy seeds. The popcorn is made with sunflower oil, pea protein, and traditional everything bagel spices like sea-salt and garlic, contains only 44 calories per cup, is 100 percent whole grain, as well as gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO. Everything Bagel Seasoned Popcorn is available exclusively on Safe + Fair's website for $5 a bag.

Good Crisp Company’s Cheese Balls Boost Immune System

The Boulder, Colo.-based better-for-you canister-stacked chips brand Cheese Balls contain the clinically-tested immune-boosting ingredient Wellmune that helps strengthen the immune system and enhances its key functions. The snacks are non-GMO, gluten-free, and made with all-natural ingredients providing “a cleaner version of an age-old, household favorite snack.” Available in Cheddar and Aged White Cheddar flavors, Cheese Balls are sold in the brand's canister shape. A six-pack of 2.75-ounce canisters sells for $24.00 online.

Sow Good Raises $3M In Second Private Placement

The Irving, Texas-based maker of freeze-dried foods, including bagged fruit and vegetable snacks, completed a $3 million private placement. The share price of $4.25 represents a 6 percent premium to Sow Good’s private placement earlier this year. Investors in the private placement included the company’s top executives, board members, and a few accredited investors. Proceeds from the placement will be used to fund additional marketing and brand development, brand extensions, and working capital investments. The company raised more than $1 million in an earlier funding round. According to the company, the months following its May launch have seen the introduction of Sow Good products to retail stores and development of new products, including five flavors of gluten-free granola featuring freeze-dried fruit, and miniature bags of its initial snack line.

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June 27, 2021, to July 11, 2021

Food For Life Baking Debuts Organic Sprouted Flax Tortillas

The Corona, Calif.-based family-owned bakery specializing in sprouted grain breads and all-natural baked goods has launched fiber-rich certified organic Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Flourless Flax Tortillas, made with freshly sprouted live grains and flax seeds. They contain no refined flour, artificial ingredients, or preservatives. Each tortilla has 150 calories, 3.5g fat, 7g protein, and five grams of dietary fiber. They can be used to make nutrient-dense wraps, burritos, tacos, pizzas, quesadillas, and more. With six tortillas per package, the Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Flourless Flax Tortillas are available in the freezer section at natural food stores and supermarkets in the U.S. 

Barnana’s Mission: BFY Plantain Snacks That Are Planet-Friendly

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based plantain chip brand is expanding its portfolio from the flagship salty snack, Organic Ridged Plantain Chips, to include Organic Plantain Crisps. Made with 100 percent organic coconut oil, rather than palm oil, and organic green plantains, the crisps contain less sugar than those made with ripe plantains and give the crisps a savory flavor. Launching on National Banana Lovers’ Day, August 27, in the U.S., the snack will be available in Sea Salt and Garlic varieties, with a four-ounce bag of either flavor retailing for a suggested $4.99. Barnana says it works with smallholder farmers in Ecuador who grow plantains using traditional regenerative agroforestry practices that “ensure healthy soil, support biodiversity, and keep carbon in the ground.”

This Saves Lives Expands Distribution Footprint

The Culver City, Calif.-based snack bar brand on a mission to end to severe malnutrition in children says it has expanded retail distribution of its products to more than 1,200 Kroger banners in the U.S. The classic snack bars are available now, and the Kid's Snack Bars and Kid's Krispy Treats will be available beginning in July. Every This Saves Lives purchase sends life-saving food to a child suffering from severe acute malnutrition globally. This Saves Lives' snack bars are available in ten flavors, including Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate & Cherry, and more. The Kid's Snack Bars and Kid's Krispy Treats are both available in five flavors. Both kids' lines feature clean ingredients and minimal sugar. All products are available in Starbucks, Target, Whole Foods, and on amazon.com. 

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June 20, 2021, to June 27, 2021

Salt of the Earth Develops Lower-Sodium Solution That Enhances Plant-Based Snack Flavors

The nearly hundred-year-old Atlit, Israel-based food ingredients company has developed a clean-label, plant-based solution that enhances flavor with less sodium in lentil snack bites. The resulting protein-rich, lower-sodium lentil snack bites can be chilled, frozen, or dried. The Mediterranean Umami Bold formulation allows food companies to turn lentils' natural blandness into a savory treat. "You can add Mediterranean Umami Bold to the wet mixture as part of the other ingredients. It completely dissolves, naturally boosts flavors, all while lowering sodium levels by a third."

B&B Cereal Launches Breakfast Cereal Bar

The Black-owned cereal company’s “first of its kind HipHop cereal breakfast bar” was created to meet the needs of the 300 million children worldwide who depend on schools for at least one of their meals. B. Brock, and his son Shameek Brock, saw an opportunity to infuse what they called “a much-needed breath of fresh air to the cereal industry” by offering a free, nutritious, convenient breakfast bar to poor families. The launch campaign pledges to donate one B/Brocks Cereal Bar to a child in need for every bar sold on the B&B Cereal website. The B/Rocks Breakfast Cereal Bar will be available in November.

California Walnut Board Wants America To Embrace Walnuts As Healthy Snack

The Folsom, Calif.-based organization that represents the state’s walnut growers and handlers says its Snacking Retail Campaign, beginning in July, is designed to focus a spotlight on the benefits of walnuts as a nutritious snack. The campaign, which includes participation by more than 7,400 U.S. food retailers, is based on the research finding that people who eat walnuts enjoy them most often as a snack. Surveys have found that walnuts are often combined with other ingredients; Americans want snacks that deliver taste, texture (often crunchy), and health benefits; and they are about evenly divided between salty or sweet flavors. The campaign comprises a walnut cookbook, custom signage and displays, value-added offers, social media activities, and ads with streaming audio, digital video, and radio tags highlighting the participating retailers. 

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June 13, 2021, to June 20, 2021

Farm Girl Updates Its Range Of Keto-Friendly Breakfast Cereals

The low-carb, gluten-free nut-based cereals and granolas from the online health food retailer (Ontario, Canada) are suitable for diabetic consumers and those on a keto or low-sugar diet. Ketocrunch Salted Caramel (170 cals. per serving), for example, is a nut-based cereal containing almonds, walnuts, seeds, brazil nuts, coconut flakes, and extra fiber. Other options include Caramel Apple Spice, Chocolate, Cinnamon Maple, and Brown Butter nut-based cereals. Customers who prefer porridge for breakfast can choose the Chocolate Nut Crunch or Strawberries &#38; Cream Porridge, Farm Girl's instant hot cereals. All are available on the company website.

Snacks Increasingly Cater To Followers Of All Types Of Diets

Data from SPINS and New Hope Network show that any of the popular diets – gluten-free, vegan, keto, paleo, etc. – have corresponding snacks. Diet-specific snacks aren’t a new phenomenon, but a couple of “overwhelming and overlapping trends” are driving their growth. Label claims such as gluten-free, organic, non-GMO and vegan are driving sales, along with cleaner labels that highlight allergen-free and high protein ingredients. Consumers also are seeking products that are free from artificial sweeteners and colors and offer unusual flavors. Among the players: Earnest Eats (snacking avocados); Rind Snacks, (crispy thin-cut fruit chips with the peel on); Elma Farms (steamed and marinaded asparagus snacks); and New York-based Union (crunchy charcuterie chips in genoa, sopressata, and chorizo varieties that promote regenerative sourcing).

Indian Consumers Increasingly Demand Clean-Label Snacks

“No additives or preservatives” is a number one claim associated with clean-label snacks in India. Clean-label snacks have grown from 11 percent of total snack launches in the 12 months to January 2017, to 19 percent between February 2020 and January 2021, according to Mintel. Moreover, as products with “free-from” claims on packages raise consumer awareness about specific ingredients to avoid, the demand for such formulations is likely will rise. Prior to the pandemic, hunger and energy were the key drivers of snacking, but not anymore. Today it's the search for comfort, stress-reduction, health benefits, and clean ingredients that moves consumers. The study conducted among 3,000 Indian adults shows how brands can emphasize naturalness and no “nasties” as a means to justify snacking and remove guilt.

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June 06, 2021, to June 13, 2021

Offcuts Become EdgeNola In Repurposing Of 88Acres Snack Bars

When Boston-based allergy-friendly 88Acres bakery makes its cinnamon-flavored Seed+Oat Bar Thins, a popular free snack on JetBlue airlines flights, the edges are trimmed to ensure clean lines. As a "zero food waste" bakery, however, it had to find some way to upcycle those trimmings, and that's how Cinnamon Maple Edge'nola was born. Made in a facility that's free from peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and sesame, Edge’nola contains organic sunflower seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, gluten-free certified oats, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, organic cinnamon, and sea salt. The snack is kosher, vegan, and certified by the Non-GMO Project and the Gluten-Free Organization. 

Asia Pacific Region Touts Insects As Sustainable Protein Source

Governments and food industry players in the region are increasingly enthusiastic about the insect-based food industry as an alternative protein source that is both healthy and sustainable. Globally, the edible insect industry is expected to increase in value to hit more than $1 billion by 2023, with more than 2,100 insect species eaten as food in countries worldwide. In the Asia Pacific region, research analysts predict this market to hit $270 million by 2024. South Korea is a leader in the region, thanks to laws and frameworks already in place governing the development of the sector. As a result of the government’s investment – including its Third Comprehensive Plan For Nurturing The Insects and Sericulture Industry – farmers and food firms involved in the insect-food industry increased 280 percent to 2,535 between 2015 and 2019. Other countries actively building an insect-based food industry include Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Shore Wins Prestigious “Free From” Award For Spicy Seaweed Chips

The Scottish seaweed company beat out a slew of national food brands to win a snack category Gold Award for its Sweet Sriracha Seaweed Chips. Shore also landed two other awards at the prestigious U.K. Free From Food event in the food innovation and store cupboard categories. The bronze award in Innovation honored its Lightly salted Chips; the silver award in the Store Cupboard category was bestowed on its Black Kale Seaweed Pesto. Earlier this year, the company won a Great Taste World Innovation Award, having impressed the panel of industry experts with the innovative concept of turning a sustainable, local superfood into better for you snacks and foods that taste delicious. Shore, based in the North East of Scotland, is primarily engaged in harvesting and wholesaling seaweed and producing healthy snacks made with seaweed.

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May 30, 2021, to June 06, 2021

Federal Judge Certifies Plaintiff Classes In KIND Advertising Suit

Despite the lack of a uniform definition of the term “natural,” especially as it applies to foods, a federal judge in the Southern District of N.Y. has certified three classes of plaintiffs in three states who allege that KIND LLC, maker of eight brands of BFY snack bars, deceptively marketed several products as “all natural” and “non-GMO” even though they purportedly contain synthetic and genetically modified ingredients. According to an article in the National Law Review, the decision by Judge William H. Pauley III was “somewhat surprising, given the deep reservoir of class certification decisions finding that, where plaintiffs fail to establish a controlling definition for a key term or phrase in the challenged advertisement, individual issues predominate and class certification should be denied.” Pauley found, nevertheless, that the definitions cited by the plaintiffs weren’t all that different from one another. The FDA has declined to adopt a formal definition of the term “natural.”

Takis Expands Super-Hot Snack Lineup

The Mexican snack brand, owned by Grupo Bimbo business unit Barcel, is branching out beyond its mouth-singeing corn chips lineup into popcorn, chips, and other fiery salty snacks. Takis Waves Fuego (wavy potato chips), Takis Watz (spiral stick), Takis Pop (popcorn), and Takis Stix (stick-shaped corn snacks) all deliver the fiery flavors of the original tortilla snack. Takis first expanded beyond tortilla snacks with the introduction of Takis Hot Nuts in October 2020. Launched in the U.S. in 2001, Takis has reported 25 percent growth year-to-date, outpacing the salty snacks category, which sees 10 percent growth year-to-date. Despite stiff competition, hot snacks is a growing category. And, FoodDive says, Takis may be able to take advantage of Gen Z consumers, who have helped its popularity skyrocket through social media campaigns.

Real Food From The Ground Up Expands Into Carroty Snacks

The Fairfield, N.J.-based maker of veggie-based snacks has launched Purple Carrot Crackers. Made with real purple carrots, the snacks are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. The company’s main product lines feature snacks made from cauliflower and butternut squash in several formats: crackers, stalks, pretzels, chips, and tortilla chips in cheddar, sea salt, nacho, parmesan, and cinnamon flavors. The snacks are sold in grocery stores and online in packs of six 4-ounce bags for about $25 a pack.

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May 23, 2021, to May 30, 2021

Spanish Snackmaker Hits A Home Run With Its Artichoke Chyps

Though based in Murica, Spain, Cynara’s reach is global, and that includes Traverse City, Mich., where Melissa Elms serves as the U.S. sales director. The latest product from Cynara is Artichoke Chyps, which “are flying off virtual store shelves since their introduction in January of this year.” Gluten-free, Non-GMO certified, vegan, plant-based, and low in calories and carbs, Artichoke Chyps are more expensive than potato chips or other salty snacks because artichokes cost more to grow and harvest. Elms says a 1.76-ounce bag retails for between $5.99 and $7.99. They are sold in four- and eight-packs on Amazon and on natural- and organic-food online retailer Thrive Market.

Barnana Upcycles Unsellable Brazilian Bananas Into A Profitable Snack

Founded by a former professional triathlete from Brazil who wasn’t happy with the available sport snacks, the San Diego-based snack company makes its products with bananas and plantains that can't be exported internationally to supermarkets because of size or ripeness. Caue Suplicy, 42, launched Barnana in 2012 after a trip to Brazil when he noticed that local banana farmers were tossing up to 20 percent of their stock. The initial upcycles products were sold in airports, at convenience stores, at LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook offices – “all disappeared overnight.” The company’s dehydrated plantain and banana snacks – tortilla chips, plantain chips, banana bites, etc. – are available in a variety of flavors online and at supermarkets across the U.S.

Simple Mills Launches Seed-Based Crackers With Home Garden Promo Campaign

The Chicago-based provider of better-for-you snacking and baking products launched its first USDA certified organic cracker, Organic Seed Flour Cracker, with a promotional campaign that encourages backyard organic gardens. The "It Starts at Home" initiative urges consumers to help restore the planet by implementing small, sustainable changes, like starting an organic garden at home. During gardening season, Simple Mills will award ten selected consumers a $1,000 gift card to cover the cost of starting an organic home garden. The new crackers are made with a blend of sunflower, pumpkin, and flax seed flours rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Consumers can purchase the certified gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly cracker line at Whole Foods Market and Sprouts, and online on its website and on Amazon, at an MSRP of $4.99 a box in three varieties: Organic, Garlic & Herb, and Everything.
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