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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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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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May 16, 2021, to May 23, 2021

Hazelnut Growers Of Oregon Seeks Partner To Help Expand BFY Snack Business

The Aurora, Ore.-based business unit of farmer-owned cooperative Wilco wants to find a partner to create a marketing joint venture to build on the early success of its retail consumer hazelnut-based snack business. The partner would help HGO further expand the reach of its suite of hazelnut-based natural, seasoned and confectionery consumer products marketed under the Oregon Orchard brand, including 36 SKUs of savory, confectionary and natural hazelnut products; seven SKUs of food service hazelnut products; and 26 SKUs of hazelnut-based ingredients. New products are also in the pipeline. Hazelnuts are rich in protein, fiber, folate, antioxidants, vitamins B and E, and omega-6 and 9. HGO represents more than 200 hazelnut growers who own more than 20,000 acres of orchards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Sow Good Launches With Freeze-Dried Fruit Snacks, Smoothies

The Irving, Texas start-up’s direct-to-consumer freeze-dried smoothies and snacks are made with nutrient-dense, ethically-sourced fruit and vegetables processed using a cutting-edge freeze-drying technology that preserves more than 97 percent of the nutrients. The packaged snacks include single-ingredient fruits and vegetables such as Mon Cherry (cherries); Cool Beans (edamame); and What's Apple'n (apples). Smoothies are $7.50 each and packaged snacks are $5.25 per bag, all available on thisissowgood.com.

Real Coconut Products Company Develops Tortilla Wraps For Foodservice

The Santa Monica, Calif., marketer of coconut flour-based, gluten-, grain- and dairy-free tortillas and chips says its new line of clean label tortilla wraps are available specifically for the foodservice channel. The new line provides “a more durable and better tasting option for chefs seeking healthier alternatives to their menu items.” The tortillas have debuted in all Tocaya Organica's better-for-you fast casual locations and are now available to foodservice operators nationwide. Handcrafted in Southern California using sustainable coconut flour, the tortillas are available for food services in two sizes: a 10" wrap and a 12" large burrito wrap. 

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May 09, 2021, to May 16, 2021

Severe Nut Allergy Leads To Creation Of Seed-Based Snacks

An acute reaction to eating nuts that landed Nicole Ledoux’s future husband in the ER led her to develop safe-to-eat allergen-free seed bar snacks. The eventual result was the launch of Allston, Mass.-based 88 Acres, which originally marketed a line of snack bars made with pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds. They later added dense seed butters – pumpkin, vanilla spice sunflower, and dark chocolate sunflower. The company now has two new lines: Seed' Nola, like granola, but made instead with abundant clusters of seeds and gluten-free oats in flavors such as Triple Berry Blend, Ginger Apple, and Double Chocolate Sea Salt. The products are available at Whole Foods Market locations and at 88acres.com.

Mindful Snacker’s First Roasted Crisps To Hit U.K. Store Shelves In June

The British company, which earlier this year debuted an innovative cooking process that makes a potato chip with significantly lower fat and salt, said its new Simply Roasted crisps lineup will arrive on U.K. store shelves in June. The better-for-you crisps are roasted rather than fried, delivering half the fat, significantly less salt, and 99 calories per serving. The brand is launching with Sea Salt, Mature Cheddar & Red Onion, Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar and Black Truffle flavors, with more – Korean BBQ, Katsu Curry, Thai Green Curry, and “Naked” – to follow. Grab and go and share bags will be available on Amazon and the Simply Roasted website. Impulse bags are priced at £1.19 ($1.66), while share bags are £2.29 ($3.19).

Taking A Cue From Beverages, Botanicals Appear More And More In Snacks

The use of botanical extracts in beverages continues to grow, whether in sparkling drinks or bottled water. But botanicals have begun to extend beyond beverages into functional snacks, thanks in part to the growing 'food as medicine' consumer notion, according to TeaSquares (Chicago, Ill.) founder Jordan Buckner. One company, B.T.R. Bars, makes a line of functional bars using ingredients like ashwagandha and other adaptogens. But snack brands at this stage should put less emphasis in their marketing on functional claims, and instead use broad language such as “recharge,” “focus,” and “energize.” Or, they should focus on botanical flavor cues, as bar company Humming Hemp does, highlighting botanical flavors such as lavender, pistachio, and blueberry in its products. But as the category grows, consumer curiosity will grow. Shoppers will wonder, for example, just what exactly are the efficacious doses of botanical ingredients in snacks?

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April 25, 2021, to May 09, 2021

Sweets Company Unveils Snack Variety With 70 Percent Less Sugar

The Lexington, N.C.-based handcrafted sweets company has launched Thinful, a snack mix with only two grams of sugar and 60 calories per half-cup serving. A proprietary blend of natural sweetener allows Thinful to taste sweet, without an aftertaste, with 70 percent less sugar than comparable brands. Thinful snacks include popcorn, caramel corn, salty twist and waffle pretzels in Chocolatey Drizzle, Peanut Butter, Sea Salt Caramel, Snickerdoodle, and Birthday Cake flavors. Thinful will be available at Albertsons (select stores), Busch's Fresh Food Market, Central Market, Hannaford, Jewel-Osco, New Leaf Community Markets, New Seasons Market, Town & Country, and Walmart (select stores) with an MSRP of $4.99, and in three-packs online.

Real Good Food To Divest Snack Subsidiary

The U.K.-based food company Real Good Food (RGF) will sell Brighter Foods, a producer of organic snack bars that are supplied to the global confectionery, wellness and breakfast food industries, to ecommerce company The Hut Group (THG) in a deal worth $59.6 million. Upon completion of the deal, Brighter Foods will become part of THG's Nutrition division and join a brand portfolio that includes Myprotein, Myvegan, Myvitamins, and Exante. THG said that the acquisition of Brighter Foods will allow the company to make use of knowledge and resources for formulating and producing high-quality, healthier snack bars. 

No Nasties Project Launches Low-Sugar Cereals With Help From Disney Characters

The Australian start-up’s low-sugar cereal range is sold in packaging featuring licensed Disney characters Elsa and Anna from Frozen and Spider Man and Incredible Hulk from Marvel. The cereal has 50 percent less sugar and contains no artificial colors, preservatives. The company will donate $50,000 to youth nutrition organizations when it reaches its goal of reducing 500 tons of sugar intake nationally every year. Australian data show that one in four Aussie kids aged from five to 14 are overweight (17 percent) or obese (7.7 percent).

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April 18, 2021, to April 25, 2021

Bruized Turns Imperfect Produce Into Snacks, Other Food Items

The Canadian start-up’s dual mission is to reduce food waste while producing healthy snacks and other food items. Monique Chan, who witnessed food waste while working in restaurants and at farmers markets, launched Bruized to inform people about food waste and sell food items made from upcycled, imperfect produce. The top seller is a dehydrated granola made from carrot, beet, and pear juice pulp sourced at a juice bar. The pulp would be thrown away, but it’s still rife with fiber and other nutrients. The “pulp crunch” is sweetened with ripe bananas sourced from a local shop when they start to get spotty. Dehydrated “second grade” apples from a local farm round out the flavors.

New Version Of Nestlé Cereal Contains Fewer Ingredients

The new incarnation of Shreddies breakfast cereal – called The Simple One – has only four ingredients, all of whose nutritional credentials are green under the U.K.’s traffic light system. The ingredients are whole grain wheat, fruit purée, date syrup, and “a pinch” of salt. The simple contents make the cereal non-HFSS, so it will not be affected by the government’s coming crackdown on unhealthy food promotions and advertising. The cereal is available at Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s.

New Bagged Snack Brands Offer Alternatives To Good Old Potato Chips

According to a U.K. snack category report, the new so-called “disruptor” snack brands "are exploiting profound shifts in consumer attitudes and behavior,” such as growing consumer interest in healthier, more ethical, product ingredients and, more broadly, in snacks that are different from the generic branded items like potato chips. New offerings and their unique selling proposition (USP) include: Peter's Yard's Sourdough Bites (60 percent less fat); Small Giants Crackers (protein-rich cricket flour); Real Handful (baked nuts); Mister Free’d Barbecue Smoky Flavor Chips (gluten-free, vegan, fiber-rich); Honest Bean Co. Roasted Fava Bean Snack (eco-friendly alternative); and Unilever brands’ (Graze and Marmite) new Marmite Crunch (roasted corn, broad beans, corn hoops). 

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April 11, 2021, to April 18, 2021

Increasingly, Acquisition Targets In Snack Industry Are Focused On BFY, Plant-Based

Private equity firms and strategic buyers are getting very picky about who they consider prime targets for a snack or food industry deal. Along with animal-free supply chains and low-carbon packaging, nutritious ingredients matter to health- and eco-conscious snack shoppers, so they matter to dealmakers. Whether a granola bar contains milk-derived whey or pea protein could mean the difference between an average multiple and one with "flex," says one investment banker. A significant example is Swedish beverage company Oatly’s oat milk product. It avoids the carbon emissions of factory farming, and it’s vegan – “the holy duo in a market growing secularly toward health and social consciousness.” The company’s IPO is reportedly heading toward a $5 billion valuation less than a year after a July funding round pegged it nearer $2 billion – an "extraordinary" level, said a partner at Blue Point Capital.

Blue Diamond Growers Unveils Fiery Xtremes Almond Line

Capitalizing on the growing trends of spicy and healthy snacks, the Sacramento, Calif.-based almond growers cooperative has introduced three peppery versions of its snack almonds. The Xtremes line includes Cayenne Pepper (hot), Ghost Pepper (hotter) and Carolina Reaper (hottest) flavors, all made with real pepper. Each serving of the “Super Spicy Superfood” contains six grams of plant protein, plus vitamin E and magnesium. Xtremes Almonds are available at select retailers and will be available online and in major retailers beginning in June.

Simply Good Foods Company Partners With Walmart For “Fight Hunger” Campaign

The Denver, Colo.-based marketer of branded nutritional foods and snacking products has partnered with Walmart and Feeding America for the Fight Hunger, Spark Change campaign that launched early this month. Walmart’s 4,700 stores have partnered with one of 200 local Feeding America member food banks to help secure a meal for people facing hunger in the community. For each purchase of a participating Simply Good Foods product (Atkins meal bars, snack bars, and confectionery treats, and Quest protein bars, cookies, chips) at Walmart through May 3, the company will donate a dime to Feeding America. The guaranteed minimum donation is $50,000 and the maximum donation is $110,500. Nine Atkins and Quest products are participating in the campaign.
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