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News for professionals in the food business


Mintel Highlights Value, BFY, Fusion And Emotional Needs As Key Drivers For Salty Snack Demand

New Mintel research covering the salty snacks market in the US, UK and Germany suggests the category has seen rising prices affecting consumption habits. It highlights four main trends. First, with inflation pressuring costs, brands must offer value beyond the price point because snacks are often seen as having a lower priority in the shopping basket. One approach might be to use wonky veg to sell imperfect snacks, saving on costs and preventing waste, to allow for lower prices. Second is the emergence of healthy snacking and the extent to which consumers in Europe are looking for nutrition-dense food, as evidenced by the success of Nutri-Score and traffic light labelling. Mintel says North America too is seeing higher demand for healthier snacking. Thirdly, with flavor, indulgence and new ingredients key drivers in salty snacks, especially in Asia, there’s growing appeal for fusion as consumers seek and discover new and exotic flavors. Finally, snacking is more and more seen as a way to satisfy emotional needs, with seven in 10 US consumers snacking to relax and around 40 percent of UK consumers seeking indulgence through snacks. 

Weight Loss Drugs Will Impact Snacks Sales, But The Future Remains Bright

Madeline Wright from Lindsell Train pointed to a possible five-fold increase in the number of patients taking GLP-1 drugs by 2035. The drugs supress appetite and can lead to a 20-30 percent reduction in daily calorie intake. However, Wright says that snacks are different from other foods, often driven by impulse and indulgence. She said: “We’ve long thought that snacks are a superior category to grocery as products tend to be impulse, low volume and low unit priced purchases with strong brand loyalty and low private label penetration, so even if American consumers reduce their calorie intake by the highest 30% estimate, there’s likely to still be room for the occasional indulgence in their favourite snack.” Nick Train from investment firm Finsbury Growth & Income Trust highlights the impact of appetite-suppressing drugs aimed at the weight loss market is having on share prices of companies producing snacks but says that the US Census predicts the country’s population will grow by 79 million by 2060 and although some will use GLP-1 drugs, most won’t.

Mushroom-Based Chips, Popadelics, Opens Up New Channels, Widens Distribution

Marilyn Yang and Michael Casali co-founded Popadelics during the pandemic after searching for better-for-you snacking options and noticing the attention being given to mushroom-based foods. Ms. Yang says the chips are “super crunchy like a potato chip or crouton”. They are vacuum fried, and then tossed and coated in sunflower oil and seasoning. Vacuum frying allows for lower temperature cooking, which lessens the loss of nutrients, color, flavor and texture. Three flavors - truffle parmesan, Thai chili and rosemary and salt – comprise the range, which was launched direct-to-consumer in April last year. It’s now sold through offline channels too, including retailers Urban Outfitters and Foxtrot. Foodservice is a future target channel, but Ms. Yang mentioned a “big pending launch that will add another 200 doors on the West Coast later this year, and we’re in late-stage discussions with a bunch of other usual suspects in terms of national grocery retailers that at least a few of those should convert in the near term.” 

Companies, Organizations

New Real Veggie Chips From Planting Hope Now On Sale In Whole Foods Market

Planting Hope is a foodtech company exploring the sustainable food and beverage space, using common and nutrient-dense crops to produce reimagined pantry staples. It has launched Mozaics™ Real Veggie Chips, available in around 500 Whole Foods Market stores in the US in three flavors: Sea Salt, BBQ and Salsa. They are popped rather than fried, are Certified Plant-Based, Gluten-Free and OU Kosher, and each contains between 2g and 4g of protein and dietary fiber per serving.  

Amia Launched Snack Bars Free Of Migraine-Inducing Ingredients

Texas-based functional food brand Amia has introduced a range of migraine-friendly snack bars using gluten-free oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, pepita seeds and ground flax. They are free of ingredients commonly thought to trigger migraines, such as nuts and soy, dairy and gluten. The baked oat and seed bars come in three varieties - coconut, cinnamon and original – and are priced at $29.70 for a nine-count box on the brand’s website. 

Weetabix Wants Its Home Town To Be The Capital Of A Newly-Formed Weetabixshire

In a bid to “relocate” itself from Northamptonshire in England to a new county, the Weetabix brand is lobbying to create Weetabixshire around its Burton Latimer mills, covering a 50-mile radius from which it sources all its wheat. It has already installed three seven-foot tall ‘Welcome to Weetabixshire’ signs in the town and have rebranded Burton Latimer Town Cricket Club to Weetabixshire Cricket Club. There’s also a Weetabixshire Primary School to help bring the brand and local community together. Local residents are generally supportive and the town’s MP, Philip Hollobone, said “we are so proud to be the birthplace of the nation’s favourite cereal and we are fully behind Weetabix in their campaign to create Weetabixshire – as long as we can be the capital of course!”  

Caulipuffs Are Expanding Distribution On California’s Central Coast

California-based snack brand "CauliPuffs" claims its puffs are kosher, non-GMO and free from gluten and soy, and are baked using avocado oil to create a better-for-you snack. Founded in 2022 in Salinas by a husband and wife team, the aim was to produce snacks their kids could eat when returning home from school. They are available in white cheddar, honey BBQ, habanero ranch and vegan salt & pepper varieties. First launched in Star Market in Salinas, they have since expanded distribution to other stores in the state’s Central Coast region. 

Perdue Offers Chix Mix Snacks Based On Its Chickens’ Diet

Fresh chicken brand Perdue is launching a limited-edition snack, Chix Mix, inspired by the vegetarian diet its chickens are fed, containing corn, wheat and edamame, with BBQ spices to increase the appeal for humans. Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior VP of technical services and innovation, said the company has for the last two decades “worked diligently to achieve No Antibiotics Ever raised chickens”, and adding ingredients to promote good gut health. From November 17, visitors to PerdueChixMix.com can order a free bag of Chix Mix while stocks last. 

Millet-Based Ragi Bites From Tata Soulfull Named A Nielsen BASES Breakthrough Innovation Winner

Better-for-you snack brand Tata Consumer Soulfull announced that its millet-based Tata Soulfull Ragi Bites No Maida Choco was named as a 2023 Nielsen BASES Breakthrough Innovation Winner. The breakfast snack contains no maida, a white wheat flour, and contains seven wholesome grains: ragi, whole wheat, rice, oats, jowar, dal, and peas. Adding chocolate makes it appealing to kids while delivering functional benefits. Tata Soulfull says it is committed to promoting ‘Desh ke Millets’ like ragi, jowar and bajra in its breakfast cereals.

raincoast crisps® Debuts Gluten-Free Almond Flour Crisps

Small batch, artisan crisps brand raincoast crisps® is launching gluten-free almond flour crisps. As well as a blended base of almond, cassava and tapioca flours, the crisps also contain flax, pumpkin, sesame, chia seeds, fruits and herbs. They are pitched as suitable for eating alone or as part of a charcuterie board and come in two varieties: Salty Date and Rosemary Raisin. Selling for average SRP of $7.49 for a 5.3-ounce box, they will be available in deli sections of local retailers across the US. 

Rich Mushrooms Launches Amazon Storefront Selling Mushroom-Based Jerky

Texas-based Rich Mushrooms opened an Amazon storefront selling mushroom-based jerky in three flavors: original, sriracha and honey miso. Founder Nicholas Ton was inspired by a YouTube video and began with a grow-your-own kit. Unlike most other mushroom-based jerky, Ton uses oyster mushrooms and claims they have better flavor than those in stores and provide a texture more like meat. 

Boise-Based Greenbelt Granola Offers Small Batch Granola

Idaho-based Greenbelt Granola is producing small batch granola for consumers near its home in Boise. The brand name comes from the Boise River Greenbelt in Treasure Valley. Founder Catherine Cheng says mass-produced granola often comes with artificial flavors and refined sugars. Instead, Greenbelt Granola is a “crispy, low-sugar granola”, using local honey and oats, and is free from refined sugars and seed oils. There are five flavors: Original, Pumpkin Harvest, Maple Tahini, Chocolate Hazelnut and Triple Threat Ginger. They can be found in local stores and the Boise Farmers Market as well as on the brand’s site, selling for $10.

Just Live A Little From Kestrel Foods Introduces Gluten-Free Granola Brand

Snack food company, Kestrel Foods, based in Ireland, has launched a new range of gluten-free granolas. Just Live a Little granolas come in four varieties - Maple & Toasted Pecan Granola; Raspberry, Coconut & Cashew Granola; Cocoa & Hazelnut Granola; and Peanut Butter & Apple Granola – all priced at an RSP of £4.00 for a 360g bag. Tesco and Spar will start to sell them on November 6. They contain wholegrain oats, fruit, nuts, seeds and nut butter, and are vegan with no refined sugar. Kestrel Foods marketing director Bronagh Clarke says over four million UK consumers actively choose to reduce or eliminate gluten in what they eat.

Scooter’s Replaces Red Bull Infusions With Its Own SCOOOT! Energy Drink

Scooter’s Coffee, which owns a chain of coffee houses, is launching its own brand of energy beverages called SCOOOT! Energy drinks. They aren’t yet being sold through retail at the moment, but the cans are used in their custom drink blends. It has previously used Red Bull as a caffeinated mixer, but now SCOOOT! Energy will be an "exclusive ingredient" in its vertigo smoothies and infusion drinks. There has been some initial fallout among customers unhappy with the replacement of Red Bull infusions, mainly on the grounds of taste and sugar content rather than the amount of caffeine. 

Charli, Dixie D’Amelio And Parents Launch Be Happy Snacks Popcorn In 4 Flavors

Two sisters, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, and their parents have launched Be Happy Snacks Popcorn exclusively at Walmart and on Walmart.com. The snacks are gluten free and available in four flavors: Cotton Candy, Maple Bacon, Parmesan Garlic and Nice Spice. Charli is a social media personality; Dixie is a singer, and the brand’s name comes from her 2022 release "Be Happy". 

Crisp-Maker Burts To Double Capacity At Its Leicester, UK, Facility

A £6 million investment by Burts will double snack-making capacity at its Leicester plant in England’s Midlands. There will be two new fryers, a new bagging system, 14 compression poppers for its Lentil Chips, and double the potato storage capacity. Managing Director Dave McNulty admitted the company, acquired by Europe Snacks this year, has a way to go “in terms of sustainability for the business, but we are confident these changes are a step in the right direction for the business and the planet, without compromising on our great-tasting hand-cooked snacks.”


Cost Of Living Hikes Mean “Snackrificing” Australian Consumers Now See Snacks As Luxuries

NielsenIQ data from research conducted for Product of the Year indicates a shift in Australian consumer shopping preferences triggered by the cost of living, with home-brand products gaining attention and cut backs in small indulgences, including snacks. It found 86 percent were taking a cost-saving approach to budgeting, and three in five are “snackrificing” foods like snacks. Sarah Connelly, director of POY, says the cost of living has changed the FMCG world, and affordability and ease are the leading consumer drivers. Connelly added that snacks are “now classed as luxury items rather than a need, with many shoppers viewing snacks as a low priority when it comes to feeding the family.” 

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing

Premier Foods Snaps Up UK Snacks And Cereal Maker, Fuel10K For £34M

UK-based Premier Foods is acquiring breakfast brand Fuel10K in a deal worth £34m. Fuel10K offers cereal, snack bars and milk drinks to major UK retailers including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s, and they are also available online through Ocado and Amazon. Premier Foods CEO, Alex Whitehouse, said: “Fuel10K provides us with an ideal platform to accelerate our expansion into the breakfast category, building on our recent successful launch of Ambrosia porridge pots.” Whitehouse also noted that the protein enriched Fuel10K range gives the group a “differentiated category position” and appeals to a younger audience. Three production sites are included in the deal - one oat bar facility in the UK and two in Germany, for granola and drinks. 

Innovation & New Ideas

Spent Grains From Brewing Converted Into Healthy Snacks In Bulgaria

Zero Wave is a Bulgarian healthy snacks company. It uses spent grains from the brewing industry. Several sustainability-minded individuals on an entrepreneurial program founded the Zero Waste foundation, which focuses on educating others on sustainability issues. One of the founders owned a zero-waste restaurant and after testing some crackers made from spent grain on diners, the team decided to go to market them about 18 months ago. They have been supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development’s Star Venture program, which has provided mentoring and business expertise, and are now approaching investors. Spent grain is a versatile ingredient and Zero Wave is exploring new innovations including plant-based protein powders and biodegradable tableware.

Marketing & Advertising

Dairy Co-Operative BFY Brand In Good Hands Takes Its Cheese Protein Puffs On The Road

California-based functional snack brand In Good Hands has launched the SoCal Cheesy Crunch Tour, giving away samples of its cheesy protein puffs on branded bike stands at sports and fitness as well as food events and farmers’ markets throughout November. In Good Hands Protein Puffs, founded in 2022 by dairy farmer co-operative California Dairies, Inc., are gluten-free and contain 12g of milk protein, 1g of sugar and 130 calories per serving. They are sold on InGoodHandsFoods.com. 


Nudie Snacks Founder Offers BFY Snack Producers Advice In APAC Market

In an interview, Nudie Snacks Founder Tracey Hogarth talked about the better-for-you snacks sector in Asia Pacific. She believes that producers must focus on functionality and freshness to maintain strong growth and that it’s no longer enough to rely on low sugar or salt claims. Instead, the snacks must be high in fiber or protein and low in calories, but they have to taste good too and contain the plant-based proteins that consumers demand. Hogarth says Nudie Snacks is well placed to deliver the freshness that consumers associate with quality and that “as the as the trends start to grow, we believe that more and more vegetable crisps will be appearing on the shelves, with very limited preservatives or colors.” After launching in Hong Kong, Nudie Snacks is planning launching too in South Korea and Singapore. 

Tesco Study Shows Better Baskets Strategy Makes Shopper Purchases Healthier

New research from Tesco in the UK indicates that supermarket efforts like HFSS changes and in-store “nudges” do improve the health profile of shopping baskets. Tesco’s Better Baskets campaign included changes to product placement and promotions in 2022, and to customers switching to healthier options. Over 500,000 (of 3.3 million) more Tesco shoppers’ baskets contain at least 65 percent healthy products. A reformulation program removed 71 billion calories from Tesco’s own-brand products, and now the retailer is urging its suppliers to do the same. Better Baskets zones feature products that contain a higher fiber content, less sugar, fewer calories or are produced more sustainably.  

Products & Brands

Thai Food Company Chao Sua Launches New Snack Sub-Brand With Pork Crunchy

Chao Sua Snacks is a new sub-brand from the Chao Sua Food Industries in Thailand. It debuted with “Pork Crunchy”, pork sticks with almonds or roasted chilis and containing 9g of protein. Chao Sua says the new sub-brand reinforces the company’s leadership in protein snacks, takes the company into a meat snack market that has strong growth potential, and addresses a new kind consumer – those looking for tasty but healthier snacks. Both Pork Crunchy with Almonds and Pork Crunchy with Roast Chili are made with high grade pork, are roasted instead of fried, and come in 22g and 45g packs, available on e-commerce platforms and in supermarkets and convenience stores. 

Pastry Flatbreads Mark A Move Towards Healthier Snacks For Wall’s Pastry

New WALL’S Pastry Flatbreads from the UK-based food brand offer a snack with 300 calories per pack. They come in three varieties - Pepperoni Pizza, Bombay Potato & Spinach and Sweet Chilli Chicken, the latter two of which are HFSS-compliant. Brand owner The Compleat Food Group says the new product offers a lighter and healthier handheld snack without losing out on taste and can be eaten hot and cold for consumption at home or on the go. 

Nairn’s Launches New Larger Pop Oats Cases For Wholesalers

UK-based gluten-free brand Nairn’s has launched a 24-case option for its Pop Oats line, which, at 83 calories per 20g bag, contains 60 percent less fat than regular fried crisps. They are available in three flavors: Salt & Vinegar, BBQ and Sour Cream & Chive. Ken Cameron, national account controller, said: “With new regulations, such as HFSS or the School Food Standards, wholesalers and retailers need to be able to offer options to their customers that are both compliant, but also in line with customer needs.” 

Myna Snacks Launches With Midnight Mini Cookies For Healthier Snacking While Gaming

27-year-old Twitch streamer Imane Anys, or Pokimane, and Darcey Macken, an ex-Kellogg SVP of global sales, have co-founded a healthier snack brand for gamers called Myna Snacks, backed by Connect Ventures. First up are Midnight Mini Cookies, which will be sold online at $28 for a four-pouch box. The snacks are gluten-free and are a good source of vitamin D, according to Anys, who has 9.3 million Twitch followers.  

Rich Nuts Claims Its Soaking And Sprouting Process Delivers BFY Benefits

Rich Nuts uses soaked and sprouting nuts to deliver heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Soaking softens the outer layers to ease digestion, sprouting mimics the natural germination process, enhancing the nutrients. They are then seasoned and dehydrated at a low temperature to improve the crunch. The nut blends are suitable for diets including vegan, paleo, keto and kosher, and they come in six varieties: Maple Pecans, Cinnamon Walnut Crunch, Go Nuts & Berries, Savory Sage, Crunchy Curry, and Brilliant Balsamic.

Aussie Rice Brand SunRice Adds Protein Chips To Its Product Portfolio

SunRice Protein Chips come in two flavors - Barbeque and Sour Cream & Chives. Sunrice is an Australian rice company based in Sydney, with Japanese origins. The chips contain 10g of plant protein per 50g bag and are free from artificial colors, preservatives and gluten. They join other snacks in the SunRice portfolio such as rice crackers, brown rice chips and mini-bites, and are available in Coles and Woolworths across the country.

Kallø Adds Plant-Based Crackers To Its Snack Line-Up

The Kallø food brand, owned by UK-based Ecotone, has launched a range of plant-based crackers suitable for vegans. Kallø Veggie Thins are baked flatbreads based on chickpeas and offer fiber and plant protein. They are free from gluten, artificial flavors and preservative and come in three flavors - Rosemary & Sea Salt, Mixed Seeds and Beetroot & Mixed Seed. The snacks are baked, not fried, suitable for vegans, and available in Waitrose supermarkets for an RRP £2.99.

Higher-Protein Oats Join The Bob’s Red Mill Portfolio

New protein oats from Bob’s Red Mill contain only specially bred whole grain rolled oats that have as much as 60 percent more protein than regular oats. Bob’s Red Mill says the oats are gluten-free and non-GMO project verified. They join the company’s portfolio of other oats, including quick cooking, thick cut, steel cut, rolled and Scottish style. Organic and conventional options come in 32oz. bags for a suggested retail price of $10.29, and the conventional protein oats are also available in 16oz. bags at $5.39 in select nationwide retailers and on the Vitacoast e-commerce platform. Four-packs are available on Amazon.

Indian Snack Brand Beyond Snack Launches Banana Wave Chips For Younger Consumers

Kerala-based Beyond Snack has launched Banana Waves Chips in two flavors, Cheesy Jalapeno and Sriracha Delight. Co-founder of Beyond Snack, Manas Madhu, says the mission was to reimagine the classic banana chip in a way that would appeal to younger snackers. Banana waves can be bought in retail stores in major cities across India, and online on Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket and other platforms, at Rs.50 for a 65g bag. They are free of cholesterol and trans-fats, and non-GMO.


Clean-Label Trends Could Be Hampering Sodium Reduction Efforts

Tia Rains, VP of science, innovation and corporate affairs at Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America believes consumer trends are obstructing efforts to develop products that are healthier and more nutritious. She argues that years of research into reducing sodium, for example, has made little headway in reducing sodium intake in the US diet, currently around 3,400mg each American per day. That’s well above the 2,300mg recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Rains says the clean-label focus hasn’t led to scientific evidence that a shorter ingredient list is healthier than a longer one. Many consumers don’t want lower-sodium products because they see them as tasteless, but Ajinomoto knows “how to pull the levers of umami to enhance deliciousness with less sodium”. 
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