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News for professionals in the food business

Highlights

UK-Based Start-Up ELEAT Launches With High Protein Cereal

UK-based start-up ELEAT cereal is now sending orders out to the more than 1,000 people who signed up for pre-launch access. ELEAT was founded by two university sportsmen who wanted to create a nutrient-dense cereal for an active lifestyle. The pair developed the cereal in their student kitchen and received start-up funding and mentoring from the University of Bristol’s Careers Service. ELEAT’s cereal is vegan, gluten-free, low in sugar, and high in protein and fibre, including gut friendly prebiotics. ELEAT’S four flavors are: Chocolate Triumph, Cinnamon Sensation, Strawberry Blitz and Vanilla Thriller. The cereal will be delivered to customers on a subscription model in two packaging options: a large resealable 250g pouch and a 50g single-serve pack, designed for on-the-go. The subscription model allows customers to tailor the flavor and quantity to their needs. Over the coming year, ELEAT plans to extend from its direct-to-consumer business to retailers and diversify its product portfolio.

European Consumer Insights On Protein-Fortified Snacks

Glanbia Nutritionals' European Healthy Snacking Innovation Team conducted new research that discovered fortified protein snacks are popular with European consumers, who are generally turning to perceived healthier snacks over more traditional options. Its research found 16 percent of respondents are eating protein-fortified snacks, such as protein bars, powders, cereals and pancakes, at least once a week. This jumps significantly to 29 percent for active lifestyle consumers, and 40 percent for sports performance consumers. Another finding is that taste is non-negotiable for consumers. It’s the number one requirement for protein products, followed by being high in protein, low in sugar, and filling. European protein bar users are showing an interest in protein cookies (50 percent) and brownies (47 percent), while 34 percent say protein crisps sound appealing. Baked goods such as protein-fortified pastries and donuts (30 percent) are also rated highly, as well as small, bite-sized formats like protein bites (30 percent) and balls (24 percent).

Opopop’s Innovations In The Popcorn Market

Premium popcorn brand Opopop was founded in 2018 with the aim of innovating in the stagnant popcorn market. Opopop aims to differentiate itself from competitors such as Pop Secret and Orville Redenbacher’s through reimagining formats, flavors, and design. In 2021, Opopop launched its Flavor Wrapped Popcorn Kernels, which the company claims are the world’s first pre-flavored popcorn kernels. Each individual kernel is coated with flavoring, allowing the popcorn to be seasoned as it pops. This past January, Opopop launched its Peel + Pour cups, single-serve packages that contain popcorn kernels with a solid chunk of flavoring inside. The cups are meant to be used in Opopop’s collapsible silicone popper. Opopop also takes an experimental approach with its flavors, with varieties like Cinnalicious, Chedapeño, Salted Caramel and Maui Heat. In April, Opopop debuted its Wasabi flavor and last month launched its dill pickle flavor Pickle Monster. Opopop’s colorful branding and play on words attracts a younger audience. Opopop is available online on its website and in retailers such as Williams Sonoma and Foxtrot Market. The company is currently planning a wider retail launch at grocery stores to reach new consumers. 

Key Trends Within BFY Foods: Functionality & Dietary Requirements

Within the BFY food landscape, two clear trends are emerging in product development: functional and diet-specific foods. Functional foods with claims of specific health benefits and ingredients such as adaptogens and nootropics are gaining traction. In 2021, global functional and fortified food sales reached $292 billion, including $83 billion in the US. A new functional snack start-up is DOH!, which offers vegan, gluten-free cookie dough enhanced with nutrients to target specific needs such as immune support and stress relief. Products promoting digestive health are particularly popular. For example, BelliWelli offers plant-based, gluten-free digestive health bars aimed at consumers suffering from irritable-bowel syndrome. Dalci serves a line of gut-friendly dessert bars formulated with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as avocado oil, coconut sugar and almond flour. Food alternatives are also increasingly popular as more consumers follow specific diets or eating patterns. Snow Days is a brand of organic, grain-free pizza bites made with a cassava flour crust, aimed to rival General Mill’s Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Additionally, Three Wishes Cereal, creates gluten-free, low sugar cereal that is formulated with chickpea, pea protein and tapioca.

Comment & Opinion

Health Claim Use & Preferences In France And U.S.

INSEAD Knowledge recently published research that studied health claims of breakfast cereals and consumer preferences in the U.S. and France. The research found that “clean” claims – labels that highlight nothing artificial has been added – are the fastest-growing category in both France and the U.S. “Enriched” claims are the least used, while “diet” claims grew similarly in both countries. “Whole” claims like “wholesome” or “organic” grew faster in France and are now the second most popular category, whereas they remained in third place in the U.S. Regarding consumer preferences, the research found Americans prefer claims about the presence of good than about the absence of bad, while French consumers preferred more natural-based claims. The research hypothesized that the disparity between the claims that people like and the claims that companies are using is due to the high number of privately owned companies in the U.S. that target a niche market. 

Companies, Organizations

Nestlé Delists Non-HFSS Cereal Shreddies The Simple One

Nestlé has announced it is delisting Shreddies The Simple One, its non-HFSS alternative to the popular breakfast cereal. Shreddies The Simple One launched in April 2021 amid U.K. government efforts to reduce promotions and advertising of products high in fat, sugar, or salt. The cereal contained 5 percent less sugar than the original, with fewer and more natural ingredients, including whole grain wheat, fruit puree and date syrup.  

ReGrained And Kerry Launch Upcycled Protein Crisp

Child-focused snacking brand LiL' Goodness has partnered with Sikkim Government's State-owned brand, Sikkim Supreme to introduce a range of snacks. Under the agreement, LiL' Goodness will roll out an assortment of prebiotic chocolates, Vitamin B12 Jaggery, and extruded snacks, and innovate exciting formats to promote consumer engagement with nutrition in Sikkim. 

Moonshot Snacks Expands Into Target Stores Nationwide

Climate-friendly snack company Moonshot Snacks is expanding to almost half of Target stores nationwide. As a result, Moonshot Snacks are now available in over 2,500 stores, including Sprouts, The Fresh Market, Imperfect Foods, Foxtrot, Bristol Farms and MOM’s Organic Market. Moonshot sells its “Climate-friendly Crackers” in three flavors - Sourdough Sea Salt, Rosemary Garlic and Margherita Pizza – and is currently working on an additional flavor and a new product line. Moonshot’s sister company Planet FWD is also seeing growth. Planet FWD is a carbon assessment platform that helps brands improve their environmental impact and bring climate-friendly products to market. Just last month, Planet FWD announced it secured $10 million in Series A funding, and 25 brands signed on, including Kashi, Pangaia, Just Salad, Numi Organic Tea and Healthy Hippo. 

Boundless Activated Snacking Extends Its Grab & Go Bag To New Retailers

UK-based gut-health brand Boundless Activated Snacking recently confirmed a series of new wholesalers and listings for its 23g Activated Chips Grab & Go bag. The chips are made using sprouted sorghum, which has a low carbon footprint and is soaked to allow the body to better absorb the grain’s gut friendly fiber, iron and potassium. Boundless’s chips are also gluten-free and vegan, and available in two flavors: Chipotle & Lime and Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar. The range will be sold in all WHSmith Travel sites and be included in its meal deal, a first for the company. It will also be sold in several major offices, including LinkedIn, and on transport such as the Eurostar. 

Almond Board Of California Partners With Marvel Studios

Non-profit organization The Almond Board of California (ABC) has partnered with Marvel to broadcast ads featuring Thor: Love and Thunder. The advertisements emphasize the convenience and health benefits of almonds and is part of ABC’s wider efforts to popularize the nut amongst Millennials. The ads will appear on social media channels such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram and streaming platforms such as YouTube and Hulu. 

Sweet Potato Snack Brand Spudsy Expands Distribution To 4,000 Stores

Sweet potato-based snack brand Spudsy has expanded its retail distribution to more than 4,000 new stores across the US. Spudsy’s Sweet Potato Puffs and Sweet Potato Fries will now be available in stores including H-E-B, Albertsons-Safeway, Hy-Vee, Stater Bros, Hudson News, and CVS. Spudsy makes its vegan, gluten-free snacks out of upcycled, imperfect sweet potatoes to cut down on food waste. 

Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Win Good Housekeeping 2022 Healthy Snack Awards

Two flavors of Wonderful Pistachios No Shells, BBQ and Chili Roasted, were selected as Good Housekeeping 2022 Healthy Snack Awards winners. Wonderful Pistachios No Shells are shelled pistachios seasoned with flavoring, with 6 grams of protein per serving. Good Housekeeping 2022 Healthy Snack Awards highlight innovative snacks that meet the publication’s nutritional criteria and consumer tests. 

Australia Apple Crisp Brand Chippy Apples Expands Retail Footprint

Australian-based apple snack brand has announced its expansion into over 400 stores across the country. Chippy Apples aims to reduce fresh produce waste and improve nutrition in children through its 100% apple crisps. The brand takes low-grade, local apples through a two-stage drying process that brings the apples’ moisture down to 0.1%. Chippy Apples is owned by Pipan Foods, a food manufacturing company based in Victoria. Pipan Foods is looking to improve upon the Chippy Apples brand through making its packaging compostable and applying its drying process to other seasonal produce including pears, mangos, and bananas. In addition, Pipan Foods is currently exploring a series of ‘hot sauce’ apples, including a Wasabi flavor. 

SpudLove Announces Expansion Into Whole Foods Markets

Organic chip brand SpudLove announced it will expand into all 509 Whole Foods Markets across the US by the end of the summer. SpudLove’s Organic Thick-Cut Potato Chips are farmer-owned and farmer-grown and are produced using sustainable farming practices. In May 2022, SpudLove was named a 2021 Supplier of the Year for the Pacific Northwest Region in Whole Foods' Annual Awards program. The Supplier of the Year program recognizes suppliers that effectively prioritise quality, innovation and social responsibility and is considered by the retailer to be their most prestigious award for suppliers. SpudLove was also recently acknowledged by Whole Foods Market as practicing Regenerative Agriculture, meeting rigorous standards set forth by the company. SpudLove is among the first brands to be granted this acknowledgment by the retailer.

Two Farmers As The Only Brand Of Chips Sold At Glastonbury

Herefordshire brand Two Farmers provided the only chips sold at Glastonbury Festival due to its 100% plastic-free and compostable packets. Two Farmers packaging is derived from three layers of sustainable cellulose and plant-based and biodegradable ink and glues. Compared to typical chip packets that take decades to decompose, Two Farmers’ packaging decomposes into water, carbon dioxide and biomass within 26 to 38 weeks. Two Farmers’ emphasis on sustainability complement Glastonbury’s mission to make its event more environmentally friendly. In 2019, Glastonbury banned the sale of single-use plastic bottles, saving over one million bottles from waste.

Consumers

Wonderworks Foods Launches Keto Cereal In Aldi Stores

Wonderworks Foods has recently launched its keto friendly cereal in Aldi stores across the U.S. Its cereal contains 6g of fat, 3g of carbs, and 14-17g of protein per serving, and is available in four flavors: chocolate, cinnamon, peanut butter and frosted. However, Aldi customers have complained about the cereal’s flavor and price. On @aldi.mademedoit’s Instagram post of the product, the users in the comments section took issue with the $7.98 price point. Others complained about the flavor, claiming ‘It’s nasty and has a soapy aftertaste’ and it ‘tastes like soggy cardboard.’ 

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing

Calbee Group Acquires Majority Stake In Greenday Group

Japanese snack company Calbee Group has acquired a 75 percent stake in Thailand-based healthy snack maker Greenday Group. The acquisition will help Calbee group increase its global reach and production capabilities. Calbee, which supplies North America, the UK, China, Australia, and Southeast Asian markets, said it has positioned the expansion of its overseas business as one of the growth pillars in its 2030 vision, Next Calbee. The company has a focus on North America, Greater China, the U.K. and Indonesia.

Innovation & New Ideas

South African Entrepreneur Processes Edible Caterpillars

South African chemical engineer, Wendy Vesela, has set up a business that harvests and processes edible caterpillars known as "mopane worms”. Vesela steams and slices the caterpillars to be used as pizza toppings and also dries and grinds them into flour that can be used in savory biscuits, cereals, and protein bars. The caterpillars are high in protein, fats and minerals and are sustainable to farm as they require no extra water or land. Vesela claims she has found domestic and international customers for her organic products and plans to expand the business in the near future. 

Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy

Insane Grain To Launch With Non-HFSS Knobbly Sticks

U.K. start-up Insane Grain is debuting with its Baked Knobbly Sticks, a non-HFSS competitor to Nik Naks that reportedly contains up to 52 percent less fat. The gluten-free snack is made from sorghum and contains vitamin B12 and probiotics. The snacks will roll out in three flavors - Cheese, Salt & Vinegar and Truffle & Cheese – and will be available in Asda, Ocado and John Lewis by the end of July 2022. The launch comes after Warburtons invested £250,000 in the brand last year through its Batch Ventures bakery innovation fund.

Market News

Popped Water Lily Seed Company Bohana Sees Growth Since Shark Tank Deal

Popped water lily seeds snack company Bohana appeared on Shark Tank in March 2020 and secured an offer with Kevin O'Leary for a $200,000 loan in exchange for 8 percent equity. According to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, Bohana grew by 500 percent in 2020. Bohana’s popped water lily seeds are an ‘Ayurvedic superfood’, believed to support a balanced, mind-body approach to food. The snack is marketed as a healthy alternative to popcorn, with reportedly lower calories and more protein. They are available online on its website and at Amazon, and in-store in natural food stores and markets. There are four flavors: Himalayan Pink Salt, Zesty Ranch, Wild White Cheddar and Hickory BBQ.

Hickory Harvest Celebrates 50 Years Of Business

Nut and snack manufacturer Hickory Harvest is celebrating 50 years of business. Hickory Harvest started in 1972 as a smoked sausage and cheese stall at county fairs. Now, the company remains a family operation, but has grown significantly. Hickory Harvest is looking to further its growth through future acquisitions, consistent product innovation, and an emphasis on private label products. 

Indian BFY Snack Start-Up Open Secret Raises $10 Million In Series B Round

Indian-based healthy snack start-up Open Secret has recently raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding led by sector-agnostic fund Ananta Capital. The round also saw participation from the company’s existing investors, including Matrix Partners India and Sixth Sense Ventures. These resources will be used to innovate products, hire new talent, scale up its tech and expand its omni-channel distribution presence. Open Secret is operated by ImmaculateBites Pvt. Ltd and offers BFY snacks such as cookies, chips nuts, chocolates, and cereals. Its products are currently available through its own website, multiple e-commerce platforms and over 3,000 offline stores across India. The company claims that it has added 9 new product categories over the last 9 months and has experienced 10 times growth over the past year due to strong consumer demand.

Marketing & Advertising

World Macadamia Organisation Launches Love Macadamia Initiative

Singapore-based not-for-profit, the World Macadamia Organisation, recently announced the launch of its new positioning platform and campaign Love Macadamia. The mission of Love Macadamia is to popularise the nut amongst U.S. consumers, as well as to generate awareness about its health benefits and versatility. Love Macadamia will connect to consumers through paid media, content marketing and social media, with content focused on nutritional education, recipes and lifestyle inspiration. 

Press Release

Tata Consumer Products Unveils Soulfull Masala Oats+

Indian-based company Tata Consumer Products has expanded its snacking portfolio with the launch of Tata Soulfull Masala Oats+. The oats are made with wholegrain oats, traditional Indian millets such as navane and jowar, desi masalas and vegetables. Tata Soulfull Masala Oats+ is available in four variants: Malt Masala, Desi Veggie, Tomato Twist and Peppy Curry. The Tata Soulfull brand aims to modernize traditional Indian millets and currently sells products including cereals, snacks, muesli and protein drinks.

Products & Brands

LiL' Goodness Partners With Sikkim Supreme To Introduce Snack Range

Child-focused snacking brand LiL' Goodness has partnered with Sikkim Government's State-owned brand, Sikkim Supreme to introduce a range of snacks. Under the agreement, LiL' Goodness will roll out an assortment of prebiotic chocolates, Vitamin B12 Jaggery, and extruded snacks, and innovate exciting formats to promote consumer engagement with nutrition in Sikkim. 

No Nasties Project Releases Reduced Sugar Cereal Range

Melbourne-based start-up The No Nasties Project has rolled out its new cereal range across Coles stores nationally in Australia. In alignment with the brand’s mission to reduce sugar intake across Australia, the company claims the cereal contains 50 percent less sugar than mainstream brands. The cereal is also a good source of B-vitamins and iron, and is available in three flavors: Cinnamon Donuts, Fruity Loops and Choc Bombs. 

Magic Spoon’s Spoon/Straw Innovation

On April 1st, better-for-you cereal company Magic Spoon released its limited-edition innovation, Magic Stroon, and gave it away to customers with every purchase. The Magic Stroon is a combination of a spoon and a straw, that allows people to eat cereal with the spoon end, then suck up the milk with the straw end. The product was wildly popular and quickly sold out, leading to customers begging for it to be restocked. 

Surreal Launches Its High Protein Cereal

Better-for-you cereal brand Surreal has launched its high protein, zero sugar cereal in the UK. Surreal cereal is plant-based, gluten-free and comes in four nostalgic flavors: Frosted, Cocoa, Cinnamon and Peanut Butter. To promote its launch, Surreal is running a campaign that takes digs at other popular cereal brands for their high sugar content. Some lines include: “Coco’s got competition,” “Snap, Crackle and Jacked,” “Don’t Tell Tony” and “It’s special, k?” The campaign will be live from July 18 to August 15, running across over 180 billboards in London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. 

RIND Launches Limited Edition Peach Chips Exclusively At Thrive Market

Upcycled fruit brand RIND Snacks has launched its limited-edition Peach Chips, which will be exclusive to membership-based, online retailer Thrive Market. RIND’s Peach Chips are only made from California peaches, with no added sugars or preservatives. Each 3oz bag of RIND Peach Chips contains healthy sources of vitamins A and C, as well as 9g of fiber and 100 calories. RIND's mission is to maximize nutrition and minimize waste through taking upcycled produce and dehydrating it through a proprietary, low-heat process. 

Snacks From The Sun Expands To Asia

Canadian-based, vegan brand Snacks from the Sun has announced the expansion of its sun-baked chips into Asia. The brand will first expand into a supermarket chain in the Philippines through Global Brand and Export Development LLC. The supermarket chain is a leading player in the mid-premium supermarket segment of Southeast Asia and is in 25 cities and municipalities across the Philippines.

Once Again’s Graham Cracker Sandwiches Wins Good Housekeeping's 2022 Healthy Snack Award

Once Again’s Sunflower Seed Butter Graham Cracker Sandwiches have been selected as a winner in Good Housekeeping's 2022 Healthy Snack Awards in the Best Crave-Worthy Cookies Category. The organic, gluten-free snack is a vegan and allergy-friendly alternative to the traditional peanut butter filled cracker sandwiches. It is hand-crafted in small batches will ethically sourced, clean ingredients. The plant-based product is also part of Once Again's Honest in Trade program, an initiative that seeks to improve quality of life through environmentally, economically and socially fulfilling partnerships from farm to fork. The product is sold in-store at Whole Foods and Sprouts and online through the brand's website and Amazon. 

Cape Town Brand Plato Makes Its Crisps From Recycled Beer Grains

Cape Town-based brand Plato collects spent grain, a by-product from beer production, to create its grain crisps. Each year, Plato's collects approximately 24 tons of left-over malted barley grains from Darling Brew, a beer maker in the Western Cape, and makes it into 6.5 tons of crisps a month. Plato’s crisps are manufactured by canola oil company Southern Oil, which owns the brand in part. The crisps are flash fried, which the company claims makes the fat content of the snack 50% lower than regular potato chips. Plato’s crisps are made to enjoy with beer and are available in three flavors: Jalapeño Chutney, Mature Cheddar, and Smoked BBQ. In the future, Plato is looking to use spent grain to produce crackers, cookies, and fermented drinks. 

Munchy’s Partners With AirAsiaRide To Promote Its Crackers

Malaysian-based snack brand, Munchy’s, has partnered with AirAsiaRide to promote its Crackers Plus. From 16th June to 6th July, 30 vehicles will operate in the Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, and Penang and offer free samples to passengers. QR codes within the vehicles will also encourage passengers to spontaneously order the crackers from Munchy’s official Shopee store. Munchy’s Crackers Plus are free from cholesterol and trans fats and include 10 nutrients, such as vitamins (A, B1, C, and B6), calcium, iron, and zinc. The snack is available in three flavors: Original High Calcium, High Protein Chia Seeds, and High Fibre Whole Grain. 

Trends

BDSI Survey Shows Chips Are The Most Popular Snack In Germany

Results from the latest consumer study from Germany’s BDSI confectionery sector have placed chips as the most popular snacking item for consumers within its national market. The study found that potato chips were favoured by 76 percent of respondents, followed by nuts or nut mixes (69 percent) and salty peanuts (57 percent), peanut flips (57percent), pretzel sticks/pretzels (48 percent) and trail mix (43 percent). As the BDSI noted, there have been recent changes in eating habits, with the enjoyment of snack items increasingly moving to daytime, including between meals and on the go. Furthermore, the BDSI noted the salty snacks category has seen steady growth in Germany for a number of years.
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