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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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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scion and current head of marketing of the Tai Sun brand of nuts and chips, was well aware that the company’s outdated image needed an overhaul.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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August 15, 2021, to August 22, 2021

Environmental Benefits Of Upcycling Are Real – And The Snacks Are Good, Too

Companies that produce upcycled snacks – made with food production by-products otherwise bound for landfills – claim they’re helping the environment by reducing food waste and creating products with less power, water, and other carbon-heavy resources. Nutritionist and writer Ariane Resnick says her research found the claims mostly true. In the process, she discovered a few upcycled snacks and food products that she really liked. Among these are: CaPao’s fruit and nut bites made from cacao fruit left over after chocolate processing; Fast Company’s high-fiber, gluten-free flours, baking mixes. and snacks made with the by-products of plant-based milk processing; Renewal Mill’s okara flour made from the leftovers from soy milk production; and Pulp Pantry’s fiber-rich chips made from the pulp left over after fruits and vegetables are juiced.

British Company Boundless Raises Cash, Launches Sorghum Snacks

The four-year-old U.K.-based “activated” snacking brand raised $1.4 million from angel investors and others to expand its healthy snacks business, which includes a range of high-protein, gluten-free nut and seed mixes. The company’s FAB (flood, activate, bake) method involves soaking the nuts and seeds in salt water to kick-start germination before “activating” them by drawing out hard-to-digest phytic acid. The products are then baked at a low temperature. This month the company will debut two new snacks made from sprouted sorghum. The new funding will be spent primarily on overseas marketing, working on in-store sampling and virtual trade shows, and social media campaigns.

General Mills Tells Parents: Cereals Do Deliver A Healthy Breakfast

With breakfast cereal sales declining steadily in recent years – though growth projections have been rosier lately, thanks to the impact of the pandemic – the Battle Creek, Mich.-based company surveyed parents and found that many feel guilty about feeding their kids breakfast cereals thinking they’re sort of a nutritional cop out. In fact, the company says, nutrient-dense eating can and should include foods – i.e., breakfast cereals – that are accessible and affordable to all. “In reality, a bowl of cereal is hard to beat when it comes to nutrient density.” Especially, the company says, a bowl of one of the nutrient-dense options from General Mills Big G Cereals: Cheerios, Fiber One, Chex, etc. Guilt-free parenting can be easy after all.

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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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