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Native Snacks Widens Distribution Network In U.K.

January 22, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The London-based better-for-you snack producer’s aggressive strategy to become a serious player in the mainstream savory snacks area includes expansion of its U.K. distribution network by 1,500 percent. The company has secured listings with Sainsbury’s, Holland & Barret online. and Ocado for its range of better-for-you Popped Lotus Seeds. The seeds are roasted rather than fried and contain fewer than 90 calories a pack, 60 percent less fat than regular potato crisps, and are protein rich, vegan, and low GI, with no artificial ingredients, or preservatives. They are also free of allergens, gluten, palm oil, MSG, and GMOs. To further its overall strategy the company has also implemented a rebrand and hired a commercial consultant to provide guidance on driving snack sales.
Gill Hyslop, "Native Snacks expands retail footprint by 1,500 percent", BakeryAndSnacks.com, January 22, 2021, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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How A Careful Rebranding May Propel A Successful Snack Start-Up To Stardom

January 19, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
According to Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor, the “unique product positioning” – “vegan pork rinds” – of Rockville, Md.-based start-up Snacklins helped it triple sales last year. The snack chip is made from yuca, mushrooms, and onions, is gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, certified non-GMO, and certified kosher, and only 90 calories a bag. But the young company’s biggest achievement, according to Taylor, has been its ability to analyze customers and “environmental changes” and rethink its product. In December the company launched a rebranding effort that featured more flavors, a graphics refresh (stylized mouth designs), an advanced e-commerce website (a response to the coronavirus pandemic), and the introduction of a larger, multi-serve (three-ounce) package size. 
Charles Taylor, "Snacklins: A Fun Lesson In Rebranding During Good Times (Just Ask Mark Cuban Or Rachel Ray...)", Forbes Media, January 19, 2021, © Forbes Media LLC
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Craize Uses South American Recipe To Create Vegan Snack

January 19, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The crunchy, wafer-thin roasted corn crackers are made from a traditional South American recipe for arepa – a maize-based pancake – and come in six varieties: plantain, seeded, everything, sweet corn, coconut, and guava. Because of their large size the crackers, which are also gluten-free, are “an ideal platform for toppings.” Available in packs of six 4-ounce bags at $20, the snacks are sold at gocraize.com and at amazon.com.
Ann Trieger Kurland, "Craize crackers give tortilla chips some competition", Boston Globe , January 19, 2021, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Campbell Soup Company To Shutter Georgia Snack Factory

January 18, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Camden, N.J.-based food company decided to close the Columbus snacks manufacturing facility in phases by spring 2022 because of its age and reduced consumer demand for non-core products made there. The plant, which employs 326 people, produces candy, crackers, cookies, nuts, and bars under brands such as Snyder’s of Hanover and Pepperidge Farm. The 94-years-old plant was part of Campbell’s purchase of Snyder’s-Lance in 2018. Campbell says it will phase out the production of candy under the Lance brand and will shift production of its higher demand Lance, Emerald, and Late July snacks across the division’s manufacturing network.
Emma Upshall, "Campbell to close Georgia snacks plant and lay off 326 people", FoodBev.com, January 18, 2021, © FoodBev Media Ltd.
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Market Researcher Says Innovation In Sweets, Snacks Is Strengthened By Storytelling

January 18, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Among the important themes highlighted by Innova Market Insights in the sweets and snacks categories are provenance, sustainable sourcing, and packaging. The researcher’s 2020 survey found that 85 percent of global consumers want to learn more about where their food comes from. In response, food companies are working harder to meet evolving ethical, environmental, and clean label consumer demands using creative, meaningful storytelling to communicate this. Sweets and snacks companies are emphasizing ingredient provenance for raw materials such as nuts, cocoa, and sugar, along with ethical credentials and packaging sustainability. Other key trends include: plant-based; demand for different formats, new plant proteins; personalized nutrition that features healthy and immune-supporting ingredients; and the availability of “branded cinema-style snacks” in the home.
Elizabeth Green, "Sweets and snacks innovation bolstered by sustainability storytelling, says Innova Market Insights", FoodIngredientsFirst.com, January 18, 2021, © FoodIngredientsFirst.com
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New Snacks Expected In 2021

January 17, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Among the “new and exciting” snacks expected to launch this year are an array of frozen treats, animal product-alternatives, better-for-you spins on popular comfort foods, baked goods with refined ingredient lists, dairy-free dressings, crunchy, salty snacks, and more. Look for: Pop Bitties Chips (Stacy’s Snacks, PepsiCo) in one-ounce bags with bag of pop bitties chips in four flavors; Forager Project Strawberry Organic Gluten-Free Cereal (gluten-free, low in sugar, vegan friendly); and Siete Foods' Churro Strips (cassava flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean powder), $33 for 6 bags at Siete Foods.
Julia Guerra , "14 New Items Hitting Grocery Store Shelves in 2021", Eat This, Not That!, January 17, 2021, © Galvanized Media
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Acquisition Target Holy Crap Brands Has a Solid Financial Year

January 14, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The breakfast cereal company, which is in the M&A crosshairs of Toronto-based Plant & Co. Ltd., posted a 129 percent increase in cereal bags sold and a 166 percent increase in revenue generated in 2020 over 2019. Plant &Co. linked the improvements to the hiring of Donna Reddy as president in 2019. Total online sales of Holy Crap's breakfast cereals were up almost 60 percent for the second and third quarter 2020 compared to the same time period year prior. In the second half, there was a 95 percent increase in first time buyers online. Plant & Co. says it is moving into the final stages of the acquisition of Vancouver-based Holy Crap. 
"Plant&Co. Reports on Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal Record Sales", Newsfile Corp., January 14, 2021, © Newsfile Corp.
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Sabra Sponsors “Create Your Own Play” Campaign For Super Bowl Snacking

January 14, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The New York-based hummus maker has hired celebrity chef Charity Morgan to create a limited-edition snack kit for the “Big Game,” one of the biggest dipping occasions of the year for American pro football fans. Each kit includes a full size 17-ounce tub of Sabra hummus, Cholula Original Hot Sauce (2 oz.), Triscuit Original Crackers (8.5 oz.), McCormick Gourmet Organic Shawarma Seasoning (1.87 oz.) and Organic Harissa Seasoning (1.87 oz.), and collectable chickpea sun and football-shaped spice stencils. Sabra hummus is made with chickpeas grown in the Pacific Northwest on family-owned farms and produced in Virginia.
"Vegan Celebrity Chef Charity Morgan Teams With Sabra® For Limited Edition 'Create Your Own Play' Snack Kits For The Big Game", PR Newswire, January 14, 2021, © Cision US Inc.
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Kashi Introduces Keto-Friendly Low-Sugar Cereals

January 13, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Solana Beach, Calif.-based subsidiary of Kellogg’s has launched Kashi GO Keto-Friendly Cereal, made with 12 grams of plant-based protein, one gram of sugar, and lentil and chickpea flour and available in cinnamon vanilla and dark cocoa flavors. All Kashi products are Non-GMO Project Verified. The cereals are sold at $4.99 per box at Target, Kroger, Shoprite, Sprouts Farmers Markets, and Amazon.  
"New Kashi GO Keto-Friendly Cereal Goes Low On Sugar & High On Flavor", PR Newswire, January 13, 2021, © Cision US Inc.
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Entrepreneurial Couple Launches “Paleoh’s” Cereal

January 13, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Lundes have introduced their paleo-friendly cereal online with a subscription-based marketing model. The cereal is “nutrient dense,” containing almond flour, maple syrup as the main sweetener, coconut oil, eggs, and arrowroot starch. The couple’s goal is to eventually provide pop-ups in the Ann Arbor area and sell their products in coffee shops and restaurants.
Dana Afana, "Ann Arbor couple launches ‘Paleoh’s,’ a paleo-friendly cereal", Mlive.com, January 13, 2021, © Advance Local Media LLC
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Jus Chill International Finds Success With Breadfruit-Based Snack

January 13, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Denver, Colo.-based company, founded by a Jamaican entrepreneur, debuted its Breadfruit Chips last March. Distribution has spread from the U.S. East Coast and Florida to Texas, California, Georgia, Nevada, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. The company sources the breadfruit from Hanover parish and other rural parishes in Jamaica and is now shipping 500 bags a month. Founder Javion Blake expects demand to grow in the second quarter of 2021 as Jus Chill International expands its line, adding as many as three new products by the summer. A package of Breadfruit Chips costs $9.99 (three bags).
Howard Campbell, "Jamaican Entrepreneur Launches Breadfruit Chips Snack from Denver", South Florida Caribbean News, January 13, 2021, © South Florida Caribbean News
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Ladera Foods Expands Granola Product Line With Protein Bites Snack

January 12, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The San Mateo County, Calif.-based granola company has added Protein Bites to its portfolio. Described as a “salty snack with a crunch,” the product offers functional benefits from its “super foods” ingredients, which include buckwheat and chia seeds. Each serving contains 12 grams of plant-based protein. The product is sold at Bianchini’s in Ladera and at other local markets.
Linda Hubbard, "Ladera Foods gives its granola a refresh while launching new products", InMenlo , January 12, 2021, © InMenlo LLC
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Kellogg Unveils Version Of Raisin Bran With Oats

January 12, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Battle Creek, Mich.-based breakfast foods company’s Raisin Bran Toasted Oats and Honey is made with the traditional bran flakes and raisins plus whole-grain toasted oats and honey. Available now at U.S. retailers, the new oats and honey version has a suggested retail price of $2.99 for a 15.6-ounce box and $3.99 for a 22.1-ounce box. 
"Expanding The Bran With New Kellogg's Raisin Bran Toasted Oats And Honey", PR Newswire, January 12, 2021, © Cision US Inc.
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Flavor Trends For 2021 Are All Over The Palate Map

January 12, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Food and beverage flavor manufacturers and industry observers have come up with end-of-year flavor trends they expect will carry into 2021. Among the widely scattered favored flavors are: apple carrot ginger, blueberry elderberry, manuka honey, cereal and milk, French toast, banana bread, blueberry cheesecake, pizza, chicken vegetable soup, fried chicken, and grilled chicken (Comax Flavors); yuzu fruit, cherry blossom, dill pickle, honeycomb toffee (Beck Flavors); olive oil, honey, “Buddha’s hand,” and chicory coffee, cherry blossom (Tastepoint by IFF); and chocolate flavor and Nutella flavor (Dawn Foods). 
Jeff Gelski, "Flavor trends go fruity and functional for 2021", Food Business News, January 12, 2021, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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New Promotion From Special K Canada Features Twist On “Ditch Resolutions” Day

January 12, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg’s Canadian brand (Mississauga, Ont.) is putting a new twist on January 17, known as "Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day," when Canadians fall back into old habits. Special K’s "Prove It Day" promotion is designed to encourage Canadians to reach their New Year’s goals. It turns a Special K box into a prize generator: consumers visit a website to scan a cereal barcode offering a chance to win motivational prizes, including exercise bikes, fitness trackers, water bottles, yoga mats, and a year's supply of Special K, among others. The celebrity face of the promotion is Kaitlyn Bristowe, ABC's Dancing with the Stars 2020 winner, former Bachelorette, and podcaster. 
"Kellogg's* Special K* Launches "Prove It Day" with Kaitlyn Bristowe to Help Inspire Canadians", Canada NewsWire, January 12, 2021, © CNW Group Ltd.
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Casey's General Stores Adds100+ Low-Price Snacks, Drinks To Private Brand

January 11, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Ankeny, Iowa-based company’s array of new products includes snack categories such as chips, jerky, and nuts. The new center-store focus includes packaged snack cakes, snack foods, and packaged beverages, carbonated drinks, juices, teas, and lemonade. The new products reflect Casey's updated branding, which debuted in October 2020, as well as a refreshed merchandising strategy. Casey's General Stores is the fourth-largest convenience store retailer and the fifth-largest pizza chain in the United States.
"Casey's Launches More Than 100 New Private-Brand Snacks & Drinks", Convenience Store News, January 11, 2021, © EnsembleIQ
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Nestlé, Cereal Partners Unveil New Organic Version Of Cheerios

January 11, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Cheerios variant, Organic Honey and Chocolate Cheerios, is available now in the U.K.’s Waitrose supermarket chain and will debut in Sainsbury's stores in May. Nestlé's certified organic honey hoops, sere made from five organically-farmed whole grains, and chocolate cereal pieces. Ingredients are sourced from farmers following organic farming practices. Cereal Partners U.K. is the British operation of Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW, Switzerland), a global breakfast cereal company that makes Nestlé cereals, including Nesquik, Shredded Wheat, Cheerios, and Shreddies. It was established in 1990 as a partnership between Nestlé and General Mills. 
Rod Addy, "Nestlé and Cereal Partners launch new organic Cheerios line", FoodManufacture.co.uk, January 11, 2021, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Utz To Acquire Chicago-based Snack Food Brand Vitner’s

January 11, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Hanover, Pa., maker of branded salty snacks plans to acquire specific assets related to Snak King Corp.'s Vitner's, a brand of snack foods serving the Chicago metropolitan market, for $25 million. Assets include Vitner's trademark and direct-store-delivery distribution assets related to Vitner's branded products. Vitner's approximately 55 DSD routes will provide Utz a strengthened foothold in Chicago and the Midwest from which to further grow the presence of its Power Brands, which include Utz, On The Border, Zapp's, Golden Flake, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Hawaiian Brand and Tortiyahs! Vitner’s products include potato chips, cheese snacks, corn snacks, and popcorn. The acquisition would make Utz the number four provider of salty snacks in the Chicago market, and the fourth largest salty snack market in the U.S. 
"Utz Brands to acquire Vitner's brand for $25M", Vending Times, January 11, 2021, © Networld Media Group, LLC
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Nuttee Bean’s Fava Bean Snack For Kids Debuts On HSN

January 11, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The maker of non-allergenic foods (Miami, Fla.) announced that its Favalicious fava bean snack has debuted on the Home Shopping Network. The product is a roasted high-protein keto-friendly fava bean snack designed as an “allergy friendly alternative to nuts” that can be easily added to kids’ lunch boxes. The company says Favalicious also serves as a gluten-free crouton substitute on salads, and in soups and tacos. Available in 2-oz bags, a serving of Favalicious has fewer than six grams net carbs, 14 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, no added sugars and low sodium.
"Start a Favalicious 2021 with some crunchy Fava Bean Snacks debuting on HSN in January", openPR, January 11, 2021, © openPR
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Outstanding Foods Raises $10M In Series A Round

January 8, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Los Angeles-based maker of plant-based PigOut Pigless Pork Rinds and TakeOut Meal-In-A-Bag Puffs says the new financing will be used to expand both its retail footprint as well as its direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing efforts, while bolstering its research and development team. Outstanding Foods plans rapid retailer expansion both nationally and globally in support of both products. "We've experienced explosive growth in 2020 in both our DTC and retailer channels," said CEO Bill Glaser. Outstanding Foods products are sold in Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods Markets nationwide, and in Southwest 7-11 locations.
"Outstanding Foods Closes $10M Series A Financing Round", PR Newswire, January 08, 2021, © Cision US Inc
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Investor ICA Buys Into Insect Snack Maker Don Bugito

January 7, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Bay Area business accelerator has closed a $200K investment in the fast-growing San Francisco food business Don Bugito, maker of insect-based snacks inspired by pre-Columbian Mexican cuisine. Founded by Monica Martinez, the company champions the use of "bugitos" like crickets and mealworms, combined with traditional spices found in Native American and Mexican cuisine. The company’s product line includes Chile Lime Crickets, Spicy Bugitos, Granola Bites powered with insect protein powder, and even baking flour made of insects. ICA's investment is part of the San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOCF), a collaborative investment fund that partners with local Community Development Financial Institutions to deploy capital to underinvested Latinx- and Black-owned businesses.
"ICA invests $200,000 to Accelerate Insect Snack Maker", PR Newswire, January 07, 2021, © Cision US Inc
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ProAmpac To Provide Recyclable Packaging To Ocean Spray Snack Mix

January 7, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Cincinnati, Ohio-based maker of flexible and recyclable food packaging says it will provide a premium high-barrier recyclable package for Ocean Spray's Craveology Tuscan Herb snack mix. The package uses ProActive Recyclable R-1000 film, part of the company's ProActive Sustainability product offerings. R-1000 film is recyclable in flexible polyethylene film streams and qualifies for store drop-off in North America. It is available with a registered matte or gloss finish, or with ProAmpac's Signature Surfaces Paper Touch tactile enhancement. Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers in the U.S., Canada, and Chile. ProAmpac is a portfolio company of Pritzker Private Capital. 
"ProAmpac and Ocean Spray Announce Premium Recyclable Snack Packaging", Business Wire, January 07, 2021, © Business Wire, Inc
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Bel Brands Launches Babybel Functional Cheese Snacks

January 6, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Chicago-based dairy foods company has introduced a new range of functional dairy snacks in two varieties, Babybel Plus+ Probiotic and Babybel Plus+ Vitamins, both in the familiar red wax packaging. Babybel Plus+ Probiotic contains billions of live and active cultures of the LGG probiotics strain. Babybel Plus+ Vitamins provides vitamins A and B12, which are known to support eye health and metabolism, respectively. Available in six-count packages, Babybel Plus+ Probiotic and Babybel Plus+ Vitamins will be sold at retailers nationwide starting February 2021 for a suggested retail price of $4.49.
"Babybel Launches the First Range of Functional Snacks in the Category, Babybel Plus+", PR Newswire, January 06, 2021, © Cision US Inc
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Earnest Eats Launches Avocado-Based Snack Line

January 5, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Solana Beach, Calif.-based snack and breakfast food company has launched a line of Snacking Avocados, a light and crispy clean-ingredient snack made with slices of real avocado that are freeze-dried and seasoned with sea salt and spices. Available in Sea Salt, Sea Salt Lime, and Roasted Chipotle flavors, the snacks are vegan, keto, gluten-free, non-GMO, high-fiber, and sugar free. Each bag contains one 160-170 calorie serving, featuring 15 grams of healthy fats, two grams of net carbs, seven grams of fiber, and no added sugar or preservatives. The snacks are available at certain stores in California and online for $3.49 per unit (.6 oz) or $27.99 per eight-count multi-pack. 
"Earnest Eats Puts the Keto in Clean Snacking with New Snacking Avocado Line", Business Wire, January 05, 2021, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Mondelez International Finalizes Acquisition Of Healthy Snacks Company Hu

January 5, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Chicago-based snacks company has acquired the remaining interest in Hu Master Holdings, an Albany, N.Y. healthy snack and paleo chocolate maker. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mondelez said the deal comes after a 2019 minority investment granted it a right of first offer to acquire the company. Hu markets vegan and paleo-friendly chocolate bars and grain-free crackers and has become, according to Mondelez, "one of the fastest-growing confectionery brands" sold in the natural retail channel in the U.S. The company, which has just started building the distribution of its products into more mainstream outlets, now stands a solid chance of carving out a foothold in the competitive U.S. grocery market with the help of Mondelez.
Dean Best, "Mondelez's M&A strategists continue health kick", just-food global news, January 05, 2021, © just-food.com
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Lil Bucks Hopes To Raise Big Bucks To Keep Snack Business Growing

January 5, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Chicago-based granola alternative startup has launched a crowdfunding initiative to supplement money raised from founder Emily Griffith’s friends and family. The company sells bagged sprouted buckwheat crunch and adaptogenic buckwheat clusters that are gluten-free, non-GMO and have five grams of fiber per serving. The products come in several flavors, like matcha and cacao, and are designed to be incorporated into breakfasts and snacks. Griffith has raised $265,000 from friends and family to fund Lil Bucks, and recently launched a Republic crowdfunding campaign that has raised more than $14,000 of a $25,000 goal. Griffith also said she plans to raise traditional venture capital funding in the future. "We're trying to take a path that gets us to $1 million in revenue in the fastest and most efficient way possible," Griffith said. Lil Bucks products are available online and at more than 160 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Foxtrot, and Erewhon.
Katherine Davis, "Food startup Lil Bucks is making granola alternatives from 'superfood' buckwheat", Chicago Business Journal (Chicago, IL), January 05, 2021, © American City Business Journals
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Mindful Snacker Launches With New Cooking Technology

January 5, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The British company says it will announce a ground-breaking new cooking process next month that makes a potato crisp with significantly lower fat and salt-content. According to the female entrepreneurial team behind the company, the product will offer the convenience sector, independent grocery stores and delis, health/wellness outlets, and coffee chains “a portfolio solution for the health-conscious consumer.” Backed by London-based venture specialist Pilot Lite, the start-up has enough financial security to plan on larger-scale in-store marketing and POS support for retailers to ramp up sales. Other better-for-you product launches are planned for 2021 across a range of categories.  
Sam Danley, "Mindful Snacker launches in the U.K.", Food Business News, January 05, 2021, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Food Ingredients Company Forecasts Big Role For Chickpeas In The New Year

January 5, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.’s EHL Ingredients says 2020 was a year of considerable growth for the chickpea. And, thanks to its versatility and nutritional value, the chickpea is likely to be even more popular in 2021. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus and falafel, so they are already popular among vegans and vegetarians. But they are also being widely consumed dried, puffed or roasted as a snack, or coated in flavor. The company says it is also starting to see high-protein chickpea-based versions of classic foods such as pasta, rice and ice cream hitting store shelves.
Alan Brown, "2021 Top Food Trends from EHL Ingredients", About Manchester, January 05, 2021, © Made in Manchester
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Weetabix Launches Brand Building Ad Campaign

January 4, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The top U.K. breakfast cereal company’s £2 million ($2.7 million) campaign will run across TV, video on demand, and online and social media platforms through January and February. Retailer-specific activity includes online advertising via Criteo and “Pay Per Click” investment to make sure health-conscious consumers are aware of the nutritional benefits of Weetabix. At least 30 percent of Weetabix sales are now made online. To support the above-the-line ad campaign, instore and online retail will highlight Weetabix Original and Oatibix nutrition, including 100 percent whole grain, fiber content, and added vitamins and minerals.
Fiona Briggs , "Weetabix to rally nation for a better 2021 in major new campaign", Retail Times, January 04, 2021, © RetailTimes.co.uk
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Plant-Based Foods Will See Continued Growth In The U.K. In 2021

January 4, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Among the challenges and opportunities facing British food manufacturers in 2021 – Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, the environment, robotic automation – there is the continued surge of plant-based foods, according to industry observers. A report by consultancy Deloitte, for example, says U.K. consumers account for nearly 40 percent of the European meat substitute market, a phenomenon that has spurred innovation among brand owners within the food and beverage market. The pandemic lockdowns also played a role, accelerating adoption of a part-time approach to veganism. Meat-free and plant-based foods are set to continue their popularity during 2021: look for vegan versions of sausage rolls, pastries, pies, croissants, flapjacks, nutrition bars, seeded and nut snacks, biscuits and cookies, cakes, brownies, quiches, pies, crackers, and bread.
Jerome Smail, "Food industry trends for 2021", FoodManufacture.co.uk, January 04, 2021, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Popcorn Subscription Provider Wins Best-In-Class Award

December 30, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
TopConsumerReviews.com (Overland Park, Kan.) recently awarded its best-in-class five-star rating to Amazing Clubs, a provider of online Popcorn Club subscriptions. The monthly subscription boxes are delivered to the home or office, both in traditional versions like caramel corn and cheddar and in some novel ones not often found in stores. Subscriptions range from monthly to quarterly to annual. The  Popcorn Club comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.  Amazing Clubs offers more than three dozen clubs ranging from bacon to wine. 
"Popcorn Club Savors a Best-in-Class Award from Top Consumer Reviews", PR Web, December 30, 2020, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.
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Seven Sundays Unveils Grain Free Sunflower Cereal

December 30, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Minneapolis-based food company has launched Grain Free Sunflower Cereal in three flavors: Real Cinnamon, Real Cocoa, and Real Berry, made with sustainable sunflower protein derived from a by-product of the sunflower oil pressing process. Seven Sundays upcycles the protein and fiber rich by-product into a quality food-grade flour.  Originally sold at a local farmers market, Seven Sundays’ products are now available in more than 5,000 grocery stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Kroger, Safeway, and select Costco club stores. 
"Seven Sundays Launches Grain Free Sunflower Cereal", Nosh.com, December 30, 2020, © BevNET.com, Inc.
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McCormick & Company Acquires Flavorings Company

December 30, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Baltimore, Md.-based food and spice company has acquired flavor maker Fona International for $710 million. Founded more than three decades ago, Fona posted around $114 million in annual sales last year and is expected to grow at a mid-to-high-single-digit rate under McCormick's umbrella. The company makes clean and natural flavors for use in bakery, cereal, dairy, desserts, chocolate, and other product lines. McCormick says it will finance the transaction through cash and commercial paper. 
Jayson Derrick, "McCormick Announces Second Major Acquisition Of 2020: What Investors Need To Know", Benzinga, December 30, 2020, © Benzinga.com
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The Year Of Sustainability Innovations In Packaging

December 29, 2020: 12:00 AM EST


2020 saw many sustainability-friendly innovations in the field of packaging. These include Frugalpac’s Frugal Bottle, a paper-based bottle made from 94% recycled paperboard with a food-grade plastic liner to hold the liquid. Another is Diageo’s 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle developed by Pulpex, a sustainable packaging technology company. Kellogg announced a new can made from recycled paper, developed in partnership with retailer Tesco, for its Pringles brand of chips.[Image Credit: © Frugalpac Limited]
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Pretzel Pete Adds Seasoned Pieces To Lineup

December 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Hatboro, Pa.-based snack manufacturer has launched Seasoned Pretzel Pieces to its lineup of gourmet pretzel snacks. The pieces, made with soft red winter wheat flour, are available in three flavors: Smokey bacon and cheddar (buttermilk, onion powder, garlic powder, natural smoke flavor, and natural cheddar), Buffalo blue (hot sauce, cayenne pepper, garlic, vinegar, paprika, annatto, turmeric, and blue cheese), and cinnamon brown sugar (brown sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, sugar, molasses, and vanilla extract). A 1/3-cup serving contains 150 calories, two grams of protein, eight grams of fat, and from zero to as much as four grams of sugar. All Pretzel Pete snacks are made from local, non-GMO ingredients and are free from artificial flavors, colors, flavor enhancers, peanuts, nuts, and sesame. Seasoned Pretzel Pieces come in multipacks that include four 10.5-oz packages for a suggested retail price of $19.50 per package. 
Taryn Parker, "Pretzel Pete launches Seasoned Pretzel Pieces", Food Business News, December 28, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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U.K. Government Proposes Restrictions on Retail Sales Of Junk Snacks

December 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s COVID-induced pledge this year to reduce levels of excess weight and obesity, supermarkets in England will be barred starting in April 2022 from displaying unhealthy food and drinks at checkouts or using them in buy one, get one free offers. The proposed government check-out restrictions, praised by health advocates as a “bold first step,” will also apply to other sales-boosting locations such as the entrances to stores or at the end of aisles. Similar rules will apply to websites, banning sales links to unhealthy foods on places such as homepages, or at checkout or payment pages. Restaurants will no longer be able to offer free refills of sugary drinks. Sixty-three percent of British adults are classified as overweight or living with obesity; a third of children leave primary school overweight or obese.
Pete Walker, "Unhealthy snacks to be banned from checkouts at supermarkets in England", The Guardian (London), December 28, 2020, © Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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India’s Tapas Foods Hopes To Internationalize Healthy Snacks

December 25, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The ambitious mission of the Udupi-based start-up is to make available its superfood snacks – makhana, also known as foxnuts or lotus seeds – globally. Makhana, which comes from a plant called euryale fox that grows in stagnant water, is said to be low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fats, and a good source of magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorous. and protein. Tapas Foods offers two brands of makhana snacks – Tapas and Nummy – in plain and roasted varieties, and as ready-to-eat makhanas in cheesy, spicy, and tangy flavors, in small, medium, and large packs, among others. A three-pack (225 grams) is priced at Rs 369 ($5.04) on Amazon.
Sindhu Kashyaap, "This Udupi-based healthy snack brand wants to make natural superfoods like makhana available worldwide", Yourstory.in, December 25, 2020, © YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd.
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India’s Slurrp Farm Raises $2M To Fund Further Growth

December 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The four-year-old healthy cereal and snack maker (Gurugram, Haryana) has raised $2 million from multi-stage venture fund Fireside Ventures, in its Series A funding round. The company in June 2018 raised $1 million in a pre-Series A round from various Indian investors. The company says the funds will be used for product innovation, marketing, and increasing inventory to meet ”increasing demand,"  It will also look to strengthen its team and fortify its direct-to-consumer channel. Slurrp Farm’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) grew 300 percent during the last six months and the company is “looking to grow at the same rate to an ARR of $5-$6 million in the next 12 months."  The Slurrp Farm portfolio of 25 products includes porridges and cereals, puffed snacks for children, millet pancakes, millet dosa, and cake mixes, available in India, UAE, and Singapore.
Sneha Shah, "Slurrp Farm lands $2 million Series A funding from Fireside Ventures", The Economic Times, December 24, 2020, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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British Snack Maker Sold To Irish Food Company

December 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Ireland’s Valeo Foods Group, owner of the Kettle chips, Jacob's biscuits, and Rowse honey brands, has acquired the Gateshead, U.K.-based snack manufacturer It’s All Good, which employs 265 people. The company, which makes pita chips and tortilla snacks, was backed by Newcastle private equity group NVM. The deal, which takes Valeo's annual sales above the €1 billion ($1.2 billion) mark, will see It’s All Good’s workers transfer to Valeo's snacking business. Since its founding in 2010, Valeo Foods has expanded rapidly, now selling food in more than 100 countries. The deal marks the exit of NVM, which backed former Union Snacks managing director Calum Ryder, who launched It’s All Good with two partners. 
Graeme Whitfield, "Snacks firm bought out by food giant Valeo", Business Live (U.K.), December 24, 2020, © a Reach plc subsidiary
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Coke’s European Bottlers Expect Major Changes Now That COVID-19 Vaccine Is Rolling Out

December 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The general manager of Uxbridge, England-based Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) says the first half of 2021 will look pretty much the same as the second half of 2020: lockdowns and purchase of larger beverage packages. But Stephen Burgess expects that as the company moves further into 2021, and the COVID vaccines become more readily available, people will feel more confident about leaving the house, and sales of on-the-go packs will increase. “I am convinced those opportunities will come back,” Burgess added. For the first half of 2021 he suggested that the brand should ensure take-home packs are as affordable as possible. In fact, prices on 500 ml packs have already started to drop.
Waqas Qureshi , "Coca-Cola bottler forecasts a ‘year of two halves’ as vaccine is rolled out", Packaging News, December 24, 2020, © Metropolis International Group
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Chickpeas Predicted To Star In Snacks, Other Foods In 2021

December 23, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
EHL Ingredients foresees chickpeas playing a starring role in snack and other manufacturing in the coming year, as meat-free and plant-based foods continue their foray into the mainstream. Chickpeas are gaining traction because of their versatility and nutritional value, The main ingredient in hummus and falafel, popular with vegans and vegetarians, chickpeas are also being widely consumed dried, puffed, or roasted as a snack, or coated in flavor. High-protein chickpeas are also being incorporated into pasta, rice, salads, Middle Eastern stews or tagines, curries, Italian soups, and as a meat replacement in meat-free burgers, fritters, and fajitas. Other key food trends for 2021, according to EHL, include mindful eating and wellness trends such as allergen awareness and organic foods. 
Fiona Briggs, "EHL Ingredients tips 2021 top food trends", Retail Times, December 23, 2020, © RetailTimes.co.uk
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Canadian Company Announces New Amazon Strategy For Holy Crap Cereal

December 22, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Toronto-based Plant & Co. announced it is making a strategic shift from Amazon's Vendor to Seller Central to grow existing Holy Crap cereal sales in Canada and position the product for expansion to the health and wellness market in the U.S. According to the company, Amazon's Seller Central will give it greater control over online product sales. Holy Crap cereal sales increased more than 120 percent in the second half of 2020 over the same period in 2019. Holy Crap contains certified organic, non-GMO, kosher, and gluten free ingredients, including hemp seed, buckwheat, chia seeds, and gluten-free oats. 
"Plant & Co. Brands Announces Holy Crap Cereal Brands' 2021 Amazon Sales Strategy", MarketWatch, December 22, 2020, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Snack Companies Experiment With Carbon-Neutral Products

December 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Snack companies young and old are trying to keep up with the conscious consumerism trend by introducing carbon neutral – or “climate-positive” – snacks. Among the bigger food players offering the innovation is PepsiCo and its Walkers Chip line in the U.K. The company has partnered with British clean tech firm CCm Technologies (Oxford) , which is using carbon-capture technology to help  Walkers turn its leftover potato peelings into new low-carbon fertilizer. Walkers is installing CCm’s equipment at its Leicester-based factory in 2021 to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 70 percent in its crisps line. Other companies dabbling in carbon-neutral technology include Mondelez and its recently-launched NoCOé crackers brand, Planet FWD and its Moonshot Snacks, and start-up Impact Snacks.
Sally Ho, "Carbon-Neutral Snacks Are Coming To A Supermarket Shelf Near You – The Rise Of Climate Positive Food", Green Queen, December 21, 2020, © Ekowarehouse Limited
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U.K.’s Cheeky P’s Unveils Rebranded Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

December 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The London-based snack company has rebranded its range of flavored crunchy chickpeas with “brazen and colorful packaging” to reflect a “playful style” and bold taste credentials. The Kickin’ Curry flavor will roll out alongside the brand’s latest addition to the range, Lip-smackin’ Cheese, in Sainsbury’s Taste of the Future trial bay in selected stores and online. Each of the flavors, which are fiber- and protein-rich, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly, are available in 40-gram bags at an RRP of £1 ($1.36).
Fiona Briggs, "New look Cheeky P’s secures major listing in Sainsbury’s", Retail Times, December 21, 2020, © RetailTimes.co.uk
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18-Count Packages Of Keto Nut Mixes Available At Sam’s Club

December 20, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart-owned membership warehouse chain Sam's Club (Bentonville, Ark.) is now selling bags of keto snacks in 18-count packages. The snacks include sweet and savory nut mixes containing about two grams of net carbs, one gram of sugar and seven grams of protein in two flavors: Probiotic Keto Snack Mix (almonds, pepitas, walnuts, cheese balls, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts) and the Probiotic Choconut Keto Mix (almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, roasted coconut chips, and dark chocolate). The packages are priced at $12.98 each.
Alexis Morillo, "Sam’s Club Now Sells Individually Packaged Keto-Friendly Snacks", Yahoo! Life, December 20, 2020, © Verizon Media
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RW Garcia Extends Line Of BFY Crackers

December 19, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The family-owned San Jose, Calif.-based BFY snack maker’s new organic crackers come in two varieties: Organic Everything and Organic Kale. The kale version is made with stone-ground white corn, kale, flaxseed, chia seed, and black sesame seed. The Everything version is made with stone-ground corn, poppy and sesame seeds, onion, garlic, and sea salt.  Both are Non-GMO Project verified, certified gluten-free, cholesterol-free, kosher, and contain no trans fats. The company also offers Sweet Beet, Sweet Potato, and Lentil with Turmeric variants.
Anne Allen, "RW Garcia Launches New Products", delimarketnews.com, December 19, 2020, © delimarketnews.com
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Nature’s Fynd Invests In Commercialization Of Foods, Beverages Containing Fy

December 19, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Chicago-based a food technology company, formerly known as Sustainable Bioproducts, has big plans for its fungi protein called Fy, made by fermenting the fusarium strain flavolapis. According to the company, Fy contains all nine essential amino acids, and is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nature’s Fynd plans to commercialize food and beverage products that contain Fy across the breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack occasions. Fy has been shown to work in meat alternatives and dairy alternatives. To realize its commercialization plans, the company recently hired four executives with more than 60 years of combined experience working for food and ingredient companies, including Baljit Singh Ghotra as senior vice president of food innovation. He previously was vice president of food research at Archer Daniels Midland Co. 
Jeff Gelski, "Fungi protein company adds four to executive team", Baking Business, December 19, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Freedom Foods To Sell Health Cereal, Snacks Businesses To Arnott’s

December 18, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The beleaguered Australian food company, which recently stunned investors when it revealed it had a nearly A$600 million hole in its accounts, is selling off its health cereal and snacks business to Arnott's, a company that was carved from the Campbell Soup Company last year in a A$3.2 billion deal led by private equity firm KKR. Freedom Foods, which is facing a shareholder class action as it tries to raise capital, will also change its name to distance itself from a recent trading and financial mess that has seen its chief executive and chief financial officer quit in quick succession after hundreds of millions of dollars of impairments drenched the accounts in red ink. The sale includes various cereal and snacks manufacturing facilities in New South Wales and Victoria, as well as the Freedom Foods, Messy Monkeys, Heritage Mill, and Arnold's Farm brands. It does not include the Crankt Protein brand.
Gill Hyslop, "Arnott's bites into Freedom Foods", BakeryandSnacks.com, December 18, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Ferrero Group Acquires Eat Natural Snacks Company

December 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Luxembourg-based confectionery company has agreed to acquire the British maker of cereal bars, fruit and nut bars, toasted muesli, and granola for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is said to be part of a strategy to expand its footprint in the healthier snacking space to maintain its value among consumers who are increasingly focused on their health and what they consume. According to Bloomberg, the global healthy snacks sector – which has experienced a surge in sales recently, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic – is expected to surpass $33 billion in value by 2025. Ferrero plans to build on Eat Natural’s (Epping, U.K.) strong brand authenticity, while pushing its expansion into new markets and category segments.
Anthony Myers, "Ferrero adds Eat Natural snacks to burgeoning better-for-you portfolio", Confectionery News, December 17, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Lays Off 17 Percent Of Global Workforce

December 18, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The company said it is laying off 2,200 workers – half of which are in the U.S. – as part of a larger restructuring aimed at paring down its business units and brands. As of the end of 2019, Coke employed 86,200 people worldwide. The restructuring process was accelerated by the pandemic, causing sales at places like stadiums and movie theaters to dry up due to lockdowns. Revenue fell nine percent to $8.7 billion in the July-September 2020 period. The company is also reducing its brands by half to 200. The layoffs won’t impact Coke’s mostly independent bottlers.
Dee-Ann Durbin, "Coca-Cola laying off 2,200 workers as it pares brands", Associated Press , December 18, 2020, © The Associated Press
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