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Pretzels, Inc., Signals Expansion Plans With Investment In New Kansas Factory

December 9, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Indiana-based manufacturer of pretzels and other snacks announced “a significant investment” in the building of a state-of-the-art production facility in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to creating new jobs, the 150,000-square-foot facility will increase the company's capacity across a range of products and formats. The factory is expected to be operational within a year. Pretzels, Inc. is a portfolio company of an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital, a middle-market private investment firm. The company makes a variety of flavored and stuffed pretzels for private label and national brands, and also sells pretzels under the Harvest Road brand.
"Pretzels, Inc. Announces Significant Expansion With New Facility In KC Region", PR Newswire, December 09, 2020, © Cision US Inc
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New Nightfood Packaging Emphasizes “Sleep-Friendly” Benefits

December 9, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
New packaging for the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based “sleep friendly” ice cream company’s products puts greater emphasis on better-for-you night-time snacking formulated for better sleep. The revamped packaging features the company’s familiar Cravemonsters in a bolder design with a new deep blue background for stronger shelf-presence. The packaging also suggests night-time cues to the consumer, according to the company. The “sleep-friendly” nutritional profile includes more prebiotic fiber, casein protein, calcium, magnesium, and zinc compared to regular ice cream, while containing less sugar, less fat, and fewer calories. These benefits are highlighted in detail on the back of each pint. During the 18 months the ice cream has been on store shelves, consumer reviews and company interviews determined that 95 percent of reviewers ticked 4 or 5 stars. Production of Nightfood pints in the new packaging is expected to appear on store shelves starting in March. The packaging update was executed by OffWhite Co. 
"Nightfood Unveils New Packaging with Increased Emphasis on Sleep-Friendly Benefits and Nighttime Nutritional Profile", GlobeNewswire , December 09, 2020, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Kellogg Canada To Debut BFY Cereals In 2021

December 8, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Among the Mississauga, Ont,-based food company’s new and updated cereal and snack products – including four new flavors of the iconic Cheez-It brand – are  a high-protein cereal and a variant of its Special K brand made with whole blueberries. The company’s Vector Maple Crunch Cereal contains 15 g of protein per 44 g serving of cereal (with 125 ml of milk), 14 g of whole grain per serving, and 11 essential nutrients, including vitamin B6. Special K Whole Blueberries Cereal is made with whole grain wheat and rice – 15 g per serving – with no artificial flavors or colors, and nine vitamins and minerals.
"Innovation Shapes the Future of Food Heading into 2021", Canada Newswire, December 08, 2020, © CNW Group Ltd.
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SnackFutures Develops Carbon Neutral Cracker For French Market

December 8, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Mondelez International innovation hub’s French cracker brand NoCOé meets the needs of younger consumers for snack brands that offer “values or purpose.”  According to the company, NoCOé is both carbon neutral and nutritious, free from preservatives and additives, and a source of fiber and plant proteins. The crackers are also low in sugar, saturated fat, and salt and have been awarded a green NutriScore rating of “B.” Plant-based ingredients include spelt flour, hemp, red quinoa, and pumpkin seeds. 
Katy Askew, "Meet NoCOé: Mondelez’s first carbon neutral snack brand", FoodNavigator.com, December 08, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Good Crisp Company Uses Augmented Reality Packaging In Holiday Promotion

December 7, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Boulder, Colo.-based BFY canister chip company is using augmented reality (AR) to transform its packaging into animated visions of “winter warmth, swirling snow, and even a selfie with Santa.” According to the company, the curved-image AR packaging is new in the snack industry. Consumers hold their smartphone up to a Good Crisp canister, scan a QR code linking the phone to its website, and immediately get “a cheerful message from Santa himself.” No app is required. Good Crisp Company chips are gluten-free, non-GMO certified, and free of eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and other potential allergens including sesame seeds, mustard and celery. The snacks are available at Whole Foods Market, Walmart, and other grocery chains nationwide.  
"The Good Crisp Company Spreads Holiday Cheer with a Message from Santa on Each Can ", PR Newswire, December 07, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Kraft-Heinz’s Deal With APC Microbiome Greatly Expands Its Snack Innovation Potential

December 4, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Global Data says major food companies like Kraft-Heinz and Nestlé are heavily engaged in researching plant-based food technology while expanding rapidly into the space. An example of the priority is Kraft-Heinz’s recent deal to conduct research on fermented ingredients with APC Microbiome. The arrangement allows the company to try novel flavors and formulations without wasting time on internal, potentially dead-end, research. The recent surge in coronavirus cases, and the ensuing lockdowns, is pushing consumers to buy savory snacks and condiments and pushing companies to speed up development of new products, especially for at-home consumption. By focusing on ingredient and formulation innovations via the APC Microbiome partnership, Kraft-Heinz can better align with strengthening demand for “clean” and “safe” products “that will resonate with consumers during these trying times.”
"Kraft-Heinz making bold investments in growing savory snacks market", Global Data, December 04, 2020, © GlobalData Plc
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Nature's Path Introduces Two Grain-Free High-Protein Hot Cereals

December 3, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Richmond, B.C.-based organic breakfast and snack food company’s nutty, protein-rich hot cereals blend plant-based watermelon seed protein with nutrient-dense, healthy fats. Available in Maple Almond Crunch and Cinnamon Apple Crisp flavors, the cereals feature chia seeds and pumpkin seeds instead of grain, and are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and ALA omega-3 fatty acids. The cereals are also vegan and paleo friendly, certified USDA organic, and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
"Nature's Path Grain Free Hot Cereal Brings Protein to the Table", PR Newswire, December 03, 2020, © Cision Ltd
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Bubba's Fine Foods To Unveil Nut Mixes For Carb-Conscious Snackers

December 2, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Loveland, Colo.-based maker of grain-free snacks has created a line of Keto Nut Mixes in six flavors for paleo diet fans, Debuting in January, the new flavors will be available on Amazon in three savory and three sweet varieties, each delivering 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of net carbs. The savory Keto Nut Mixes are made with seasoned walnuts, pecans, and healthy seeds, and sold in 1.2-ounce packs in flavors such as Pepperoni Pizza, Traditional Recipe, and Sour Cream & Chive. The sweet nut mixes, also sold in 1.2-ounce packs, are made with nuts and seeds in Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Maple Cinnamon Praline, and Thai Sweet Chili flavors. The snacks are low-glycemic, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and free of refined sugars, and artificial flavorings. Besides Amazon, the snacks will be sold at Whole Foods Market, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, The Fresh Market, King Soopers, and other retailers.
"Grain Free Snacking Is About to Get More Flavorful with Launch of Bubba's Keto Nut Mixes", PR Web, December 02, 2020, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.
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MicroSalt Launches Low-Sodium Potato Chips In U.S.

December 2, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The London-based company, a unit of Salarius Ltd., has begun selling its SaltMe! low-sodium potato chips in four flavors on Amazon in North America. The chips are sold in six-count boxes of 5-ounce bags for $19.97 with free shipping. In January, the company plans to introduce 1-ounce bags on the platform, to meet consumer demand for a lunch bag option. SaltMe! potato chips are made with MicroSalt, a proprietary salt made with micron-size salt particles that dissolve in the mouth significantly faster than regular salt and, according to the company, contains 50 percent less sodium per serving than regular potato chips. SaltMe! chips are also Non-GMO, all-natural, kosher, and gluten-free. They are also sold in Central Market stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Francesca Morgan, "Tekcapital’s Salarius launches SaltMe!® on Amazon in North America", Vox Markets, December 02, 2020, © Vox Markets
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Foodnerd Introduces Plant-Based Cereal With Broccoli Sprouts

November 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Buffalo, N.Y. “sprouted mega-food” company says its SeeReal is a raw and sprouted cereal formulated for optimal nutrition that complements its OverNights line of sprouted overnight oat, chia pudding, and buckwheat breakfasts. SeeReal is made with real fruits and vegetables “deliciously disguised” to serve as the replacement for the most popular cereals. Available in Fruity Fantasy, Dark Chocolate, and Banana Bread flavors, the cereals are using a technology the company calls “positive processing:” sprouting to increase bioavailability; never using heat above 118 degrees F, the temperature at which nutrients begin to degrade; and never using chemical additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, or “natural” flavors. 
"Foodnerd Launches First Plant-Based Cereal Containing Broccoli Sprouts", VEGWORLD MAGAZINE , November 28, 2020, © VegWorld Magazine
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EuroLife Brands To Acquire Granola Maker Holy Crap

November 27, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Vancouver, B.C.-based health and wellness products company says the maker of granola and other plant-based foods will become a subsidiary of EuroLife, which very recently renamed itself Plant & Co Brands Inc. Holy Crap’s line of plant-based, gluten-free, and kosher products are available across Canada at retailers like Whole Foods Market and Save-On-Foods. The Canadian brand generated approximately $262,700 in revenue in the last six months, 
Angela Harmantas, "EuroLife Brands strikes deal to acquire popular cereal brand Holy Crap of Dragon's Den fame", Proactive Investors, November 27, 2020, © Proactive Investors
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Several British Companies Are Selling Edible Insects

November 26, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Though a common practice in countries like India and China, eating insects has been slow to catch on in Western countries. But catching on it is, and insects mass-produced for human consumption, often sold dry roasted or in powder form, are increasingly available in stores, touted as nutritious and beneficial to the environment. Available from U.K. companies like Bugvita, Eat Grub, and EntoKitchen are: whole roasted crickets; herb- and spice-roasted grasshoppers and buffalo worms; and dried mealworms, eaten on their own, salted, sprinkled on salads, or added to soup. They can also replace nuts when making cookies or cakes “as they taste a lot like peanuts.” But there are some potential challenges caused by production and safety concerns: insects are capable of accumulating potential hazards, such as pathogens, allergens and pesticides.
DHIREN MANGA, "Edible Insects which You Can Buy and Eat", DESIblitz, November 26, 2020, © DESIblitz
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Conagra Brands To Showcase New Snacks At NACS Virtual Showroom

November 2, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Chicago-based branded food company says it will showcase a hefty list of new meat snacks, seeds, salty snacks, popcorn, and sweet treats in its virtual showroom at the online 2020 “Crack The Code Experience,” sponsored by the National Association of Convenience Stores. Conagra will also feature a selection of merchandising vehicles for convenience stores designed to optimize assortment, placement, and product visibility to spur impulse purchase. An example is the Slim Jim Countertop Caddy Stand Fixture, sized to place at checkout. Among the products to be spotlighted at the virtual showroom are several new flavors and sizes of meat sticks, sausages, and meat jerky; a plant-based jerky; sunflower seeds in new flavors; beer battered onion rings; juicy gels candy; and new varieties of kettle corn and microwave popcorn. 
"Conagra Brands Brings Big Flavor, Bold Protein Snacks Innovation To Virtual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) 'Crack The Code Experience'", PR Newswire, November 02, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Research Suggests Breakfast Cereals Are Getting A Reputation Makeover

October 29, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Breakfast cereal, long in decline as consumers turned to lower-carb, less processed breakfast foods,  is shaking free from some of its negative stereotypes as consumers look for relief from pandemic-related pressures. The research from General Mills found that these pressures include balancing tighter budgets due to lost jobs, maintaining family health in a time of spreading coronavirus, and preparing every meal at home. When the pandemic forced consumers to reduce the frequency of grocery trips, many people gave shelf-stable options – like cereal – a second look. More than half of the survey respondents (55 percent) said cereal was their children’s top choice for breakfast and one that many parents are confident offering to ensure their families consumed essential key vitamins and minerals. And many cereals now provide whole grain and fiber.
Elizabeth Crawford, "Cereal shakes off negative stereotypes as the pandemic reshuffles consumer priorities", FoodNavigator-USA.com, October 29, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestlé SA Says Online Sales Are Strong And Growing

October 22, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Swiss multinational says e-commerce sales, driven by COVID-19, increased 48 percent over the first nine months of the fiscal year to reach 12.3 percent of total company sales, up from 8.5 percent in the same time of the previous year. CEO Ulf Mark Schneider said the results indicate that Nestlé is “coming of age” in the digital era of food and beverage, thanks mostly to health concerns brought on by the pandemic. Out-of-home sales, which accounted for about 10 percent of total Nestlé sales before COVID-19, decreased 31 percent. The slide moderated to 26 percent in the third quarter from 55 percent in the second quarter. CFO Francois-Xavier Roger, noting that coffee, pet care, nutrition, and water are most suited to online buying, said Nestlé’s online sales are largely from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China, and Japan. Nestlé also upgraded its fiscal-year guidance to about three percent organic sales growth from about two percent.
Jeff Gelski, "Nestlé’s e-commerce sales now make up 12 percent of total sales", Food Business News, October 22, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Danone Adds Management Positions, Begins Review Of Portfolio

October 19, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Determined to stick to its strategic goal of three to five percent profitable growth in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Paris-based food and beverage company is creating two new “macro-regional” chief executive officers, a new chief operating officer, and a new chief financial officer. Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant were appointed macro-regional chief executive officers of Danone International and Danone North America, respectively. Henri Bruxelles was appointed COO of end-to-end design to delivery, a new position. Cecile Cabanis will retire as executive vice-president of finance, technology and data, cycles, and procurement in February 2021, and will be replaced by Juergen Esser, CFO of Danone’s Waters and Africas divisions. The company will also begin a review of assets where performance is not aligned with the rest of the business. The review will start with the company’s operations in Argentina and the Vega brand. [Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]
Keith Nunes, "Danone making management changes, conducting portfolio review", Food Business News, October 19, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Soy Sauce Maker Kikkoman Works With Coca-Cola To Create Dashi-Based Beverage

October 11, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Japan and Kikkoman have partnered to deliver a ready-to-drink dashi-based beverage served in a can. Dashi is a cooking stock used in Japanese dishes like noodles and the savory pancakes known as okonomiyaki. Go: Good Mmm! Delicious Japanese Dashi is basically a canned serving of dashi, whose recipe was developed by Japanese food manufacturer Kikkoman. It contains bonito, kelp, and flying fish extract to deliver an umami-flavored beverage. The drink, which can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, will be released with a re-release of its predecessors in the Go: Good line: canned corn potage, shrimp bisque, and minestrone soup drinks. 
"Coca-Cola and Kikkoman team up for canned 'dashi' drink", Japan Today, October 11, 2020, © GPlusMedia Inc.
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Reorganization Initiative Touches Coca-Cola India Businesses

October 10, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging reorganization initiative recently touched its Coca-Cola India, South West Asia operations, including its Indian bottling arm, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd. Along with a flurry of middle management shuffling, the company appointed Neeraj Garg, president of the West Africa Business Unit, as the CEO of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), replacing Christina Ruggiero as of January 1.  Ruggiero was appointed president of Central Operations, North America Operating Unit. 
Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "Neeraj Garg appointed new CEO of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages", The Hindu Business Line, October 10, 2020, © THG PUBLISHING PVT LTD.
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BFY Snack Formulators Have A Natural Ally In Almonds

September 22, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Health-conscious consumers increasingly opt for snacks that offer nutritional benefits, full transparency, and are “free from” ingredients perceived to be either useless or harmful. So, snack developers are innovating with a focus on natural, familiar ingredients that also offer nutritional benefits; One of these is almonds, which deliver essential nutrients that may be hard to come by in a total plant-based diet, including protein and calcium. In addition, most consumers think of snacks as an indulgence, so mouthfeel and flavor are important. A crunchy ingredient like almonds complements products with softer textures, and roasted almonds pair well with sea salt or high cacao chocolate to add a more premium product positioning. Market data show that almonds continue to be the leading nut used in global new product introductions, with particularly strong growth in the bakery, snack, and confectionery categories.[Image Credit: © Steve Buissinne from Pixabay]
Gill Hyslop, "Almond inclusions add plant-based nutrition and clean label value to baked goods and snacks", BakeryAndSnacks.com, September 22, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Global Diversified Marketing To Add Gourmet Plant-Based Snacks To Portfolio

September 22, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
As soon as it knows what it wants to market, the Island Park, N.Y., food and snack maker will introduce plant-based gourmet snack foods to its product lines in 2021 to meet demands of health- and environment-conscious consumers. The company says it is working out plans with co-packers and other marketing associates to “decide on the best possible specific product choices.” Immediate emphasis will be on gourmet cookies and snacking, two of the company’s bestselling lines. The company's established sales division will handle marketing with the help of partner store sites, and ecommerce channels, including Amazon.com. CEO Paul Adler said he and staff “have been aggressively investigating the best options to add to our product lines so that we can give our valued customers the choices they want most.”[Image Credit: © Global Diversified Marketing Group Inc]
"Global Diversified Marketing Group Moving to Enter the Strongly Emerging Plant Based Foods Sector with New Gourmet Snack Products", GLOBE NEWSWIRE, September 22, 2020, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Has Its Eye On Post-Pandemic Resurgence

September 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
CEO James Quincey told investors at a Barclays conference recently that his company is determined to emerge from the pandemic with more customers and a more engaged, slimmed down organization. Coke restructuring during the pandemic crisis involved streamlining its portfolio and its global organization. The changes, which include easing its customer supply chain through reduced SKU management, offer a “golden opportunity” for the No. 13 consumer goods company to accelerate the focus on portfolio winners that attract and keep customers globally.[Image Credit: © Business Wire, Inc./The Coca-Cola Company]
Lisa Johnston , "In Restructuring, Coca-Cola Sets Its Post-Pandemic North Star", Consumer Goods Technology, September 21, 2020, © EnsembleIQ
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Nestlé Cereals U.K. Introduces Individually-Wrapped Cereal Portions For Kids

September 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
NAT Bears, a new individually-wrapped breakfast cereal for children from the Gatwick-based food company, contains no artificial colors or flavors, is high in fiber, and comes in honey and chocolate flavors. The brand claims one 32-gram bear equals one bowl of breakfast cereal when added to milk. The product is packaged as pre-proportioned, individually wrapped bears, sold in a pack of six for £2.89 ($3.68). NAT Bears began rolling out in Sainsbury’s and will go on sale in Tesco stores in November. The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign, including social media, digital TV, and shopper activation.[Image Credit: © Nestle]
"Nestlé Launches Pre-Proportioned Breakfast Cereal Product", Kam City, September 21, 2020, © EMR-NAMNEWS Ltd.
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Mondelez Hopes To Extend Its Snack Line With Acquisitions Of Healthy Snack Companies

September 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
As consumers watch their weight, and investors and governments urge action on obesity, the $81 billion Ill.-based maker of Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate, and Ritz crackers, is looking to acquire healthier snack brands. The company has made healthy snacks a priority as it diverts billions of dollars’ worth of investments in coffee companies JDE Peet’s and Keurig Dr Pepper. CEO Dirk Van de Put criticized increasingly popular sugar taxes in an interview with the Financial Times, saying they were overly “restrictive” to consumers and would limit the potential for his company to invest. [Image Credit: © Mondelēz International]
"Market Chatter: Mondelez International Seeking To Expand Healthy Snacks Lineup Through Acquisitions", Financial Times, September 21, 2020, © The Financial Times Ltd.
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UF International Launches Chickpea-Based Snack Chips

September 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The British food distributor and wholesaler (Wokingham) is targeting the healthy snacking market in the U.K. with a nutrient-dense snack made from fiber- and protein-rich chickpeas. According to the company, PeaPops have 20 percent plant-based protein, are high in fiber, gluten-free, vegetarian and, because they are popped using heat compression technology, have 60 percent less fat than regular fried chips. Pea Pops are available in Smoky BBQ, Chilli & Lime, and Cheddar & Onion and come in two pack sizes: single-serve 23-gram and 80-gram sharing bags. They are priced with an RSP of 86p ($1.09) for single serve and £1.99 ($2.53) for a sharing bag. UF International will also be selling via its own website and Amazon. The marketing will comprise a social media campaign and future brand activation events.[Image Credit: © UF International Ltd]
Fiona Briggs, "New PeaPops launch in the U.K. and target healthy snacking", Retail Times, September 21, 2020, © RetailTimes.co.uk
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Pipcorn Introduces Baked Cheesy Corn Crunchies In Four Flavors

September 18, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Bethlehem, Pa.-based minority-owned better-for-you heirloom corn snacking brand’s new Heirloom Crunchies are baked, not fried. The crunchy, twisty, cheesy treats have 20 percent less fat than category favorites. Available in cheddar, cheddar jalapeno, and parmesan truffle flavors, Crunchies are made with sustainable heirloom corn and organic cheese, are Non-GMO Project Verified and whole grain, and available for $3.99 a package. The company says Heirloom Crunchies will be launching in retailers that “mirror Pipcorn's commitment to sustainable agriculture,” with Truffle Parmesan & Jalapeno Cheddar available exclusively at Whole Foods Market, and Cheddar on Thrive Market.  The company’s other Heirloom snack lines include Cheese Balls, Corn Dippers, and Crackers, all with less than four ingredients, and whole grain, gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Pipcorn]
"From Munchies To Crunchies: Pipcorn Launches New Baked Cheesy Twists", PR Newswire, September 18, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Peak Rock Capital Buys U.K. Healthy Snack Company

September 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

The Austin, Texas-based middle-market private equity firm, owner of the Turkey Hill and Pretzels Inc. food brands, among others, has acquired Halo Foods Ltd., a Welsh maker of healthy bars and snacks. Halo’s portfolio includes cereal bars, fruit and nut bars, and gluten-free, high protein, and nutritionally controlled bars, including the rapidly growing "Skinny" brand. No financial terms were disclosed.[Image Credit: © Halo Foods]
"Peak Rock Capital Affiliate Completes Acquisition Of Halo Foods Ltd. ", PRNewswire, September 17, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Comfort, Flavor, Value, Functionality Were Hallmarks Of Cracker Sales In Early-2020

September 16, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
As homebound shoppers stocked up on familiar and traditional shelf-stable snacks that deliver comfort, nostalgia, and flavor during the pandemic, dollar sales for crackers leapt 14.1 percent for the four months ending April 5, 2020, year-over-year. Sales were up 6.8 percent over the previous quarter ending June 14, 2020. Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Snacks has introduced more than a dozen new cracker products this year. Traditionals like Kellogg’s Cheez-It Baked Snack Crackers, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, and Nabisco’s Ritz Crackers earned the most dollar sales. Pepperidge Farm Flavor Blasted Goldfish sales rose 19.6 percent. But customers were also looking for healthful attributes, e.g. fiber as a functional benefit. TH Foods’ Crunchmaster brand launched a line of fiber-rich Grain-Free Crackers. Also high on the shopping list were functional snacks that boost energy or satiate hunger mid-morning or afternoon. Another cracker shopping trend: larger package sizes. Crunchmaster launched a 10-oz Party Pack of its bestselling Multi-Seed Original Crackers to appeal to value-seekers.  [Image Credit: © WikimediaImages from Pixabay]
Beth Day, "What's fueling cracker sales in 2020?", Baking Business, September 16, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Snack Brands Team Up For "Snack, Watch and Win" Sweepstakes

September 9, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Conagra Brands’ Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn and Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix are teaming up with the Hallmark Channel to sponsor the "Snack, Watch and Win" Sweepstakes, an 18-week campaign of weekly drawings whose grand prize is a walk-on role in an upcoming Hallmark Channel original movie taping. The winner will also get a one-year supply of Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn. Other prizes include a limited-edition Swiss Miss & Hallmark Channel mug and a package of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Mix. Orville Redenbacher's microwave popcorn with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or dyes.[Image Credit: © Conagra Brands, Inc.]
"Orville Redenbacher's, Swiss Miss And Hallmark Channel's "Snack, Watch And Win" Sweepstakes Returns With Another Walk-On Movie Role", PR Newswire, September 09, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nature's Path Unveils Superfood Granolas, Oatmeal Cups

September 8, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

The Canadian cereal and snack maker’s new line includes two granolas and two RTD oatmeal cups containing several functional ingredients. The “superfood” line includes Golden Turmeric Superfood Granola, a “cookie-like” granola with clusters made from gluten free oats and cashews, as well as turmeric (anti-inflammatory) and avocado oil; and Smoothie Bowl Superfood Granola strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and super greens spirulina, barley grass, wheatgrass, broccoli, chlorella, kale, and spinach. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Nature’s Path]
"Nature's Path Packs a Nutritious Punch With New Superfood Line", PR Newswire , September 08, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestlé To Invest Millions In Transition From Use Of Virgin Plastics

September 8, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

The company plans to invest $30 million in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund, a private equity fund of Closed Loop Partners, to help support the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics across the U.S. The goal is to upgrade U.S. recycling infrastructure and secure access to food-grade recycled plastics. It is the first investment from Nestlé’s sustainable packaging venture fund, which was established earlier this year as part of its CHF 2 billion ($2.2 billion) sustainability commitment. The company plans to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, and reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third. Closed Loop will use the money to finance acquisitions of companies advancing circular economies in the U.S.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
Emma Upshall, "Nestlé invests $30m in U.S. recycling initiative Closed Loop", FoodBev Media , September 08, 2020, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Small Giants Introduces Savory Snack Made With Cricket Flour

September 5, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The bite-sized savory crackers from the London, U.K.-based snack food start-up are made with cricket flour, a sustainable source of protein, which the founders claim is “a great way to eat insects without the yuck factor.” Company founders Edoardo Imparto and Francesco Majno say their mission is to make consumers aware of the benefits of insect-based snacking to the planet and people’s health. “Small Giant Crackers are the best way to try insects for the first time – and fall in love with them,” says Majno. The oven-baked snacks, available in three umami flavors in 40-gram packs, are made with 15 percent cricket flour. Other ingredients include extra virgin olive oil and wheat flour.[Image Credit: © Small Giants]
Charles Wheeldon, "Small Giants launches insect-based snacks", Nutrition Investor, September 05, 2020, © Investor Publishing
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Camacho To Leave Danone For Greener Pastures

September 4, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
After 20 years at Danone, the head of the dairy and plant-based food and beverage unit is leaving to pursue “outside opportunities.” Francisco Camacho has served in a variety of leadership roles at the company, most recently as EVP of Essential Dairy and Plant-Based (EDP) International. Prior to that he was EVP of Danone’s global waters business and chief growth and innovation officer.[Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]
Monica Watrous, "Longtime Danone leader to depart", Food Business News, September 04, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Coca-Cola’s Restructuring Aims To Streamline Operations Globally

September 4, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
As part of the comprehensive reorganization initiative announced last week, Coca-Cola is pruning its Africa business unit from the previous Europe, Africa & Middle East division and making it a distinct operation led by Bruno Pietracci, current Africa & Middle East business unit president. Europe will also stand on its own, led by Nikos Koumettis. The Middle East operations will be combined with Eurasia. Vamsi Mohan Thati, head of the South Pacific business unit, was appointed president of the Greater China business comprising mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Mongolia. South Korea will be paired with Japan as a single unit. Latin America, Europe, and North America will also have new operational leaders. Lastly, T. Krishnakumar, president of the India and Southwest Asia business unit, was named chairman of Coca-Cola India, and Sanket Ray, COO of the Mainland China business, was named president of India and Southwest Asia.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Andy Morton, "The Coca-Cola Co splits off Africa in structural overhaul", just-drinks, September 04, 2020, © just-drinks.com
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Nestlé Appoints New CEO Of Central And West Africa Business

September 1, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The company appointed Mauricio Alarcon, a twenty-year Nestlé veteran with an “in-depth understanding” of Central and West Africa. Alarcon joined Nestlé Mexico in 1999 and has held various roles within the global business since then. He became the managing director of Nestlé Nigeria, the largest Nestlé operation in the region, in 2016. Before that he served as managing director of Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire, and also headed Nestlé’s operations in Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Mauritania, and Cape Verde. Alarcon succeeds Rémy Ejel.[Image Credit: © Nestlé Indonesia]
Antonia Garrett Peel, "Nestlé names Mauricio Alarcon as CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa", FoodBev Media , September 01, 2020, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola’s Reorganization Elevates Three Executives

September 1, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

Three key leadership appointments were announced in the wake of the company’s recent reorganization into an entity that is highly networked, less hierarchical, and built for future growth. Henrique Braun of the Brazil business unit was named president of the new Latin America Operating Unit; Nikos Koumettis, president of the Europe, Middle East & Africa group, was named president of Europe Operating Unit; and Nancy Quan, who oversees the company’s technical and supply chain community, will lead the combined innovation and technical function, following the February 2021 retirement of chief innovation officer Robert Long.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
"The Coca-Cola Company Announces Key Leadership Appointments", Coca-Cola, September 01, 2020, © The Coca-Cola Company
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“Beverages For Life” Strategy Is Inspiration For Coca-Cola’s Latest Reorganization

August 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Atlanta-based company’s newest reorganization helps implement the strategy of ensuring there’s a Coca-Cola beverage for consumers at every life stage and for every occasion. The reorganization – which affects operations, beverage categories, and services – will drive growth by balancing the “power of scale” with deep local marketing information. Nine new tightly-interconnected operating units will replace the current 17, offering more consistency in structure, less resource duplication, and faster scaling of new products. The company has settled on five global categories that show the strongest consumer opportunities: Coca-Cola; sparkling flavors; hydration, sports, coffee, and tea; nutrition, juice, milk, and plant; and a catch-all “emerging categories.” The company expects that the reorganization will require layoffs globally, but it has initiated a “voluntary separation program” offering employees a separation package. The severance programs could cost as much as $55 million, the company said.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"The Coca-Cola Company Announces Strategic Steps to Reorganize its Business for Future Growth", Coca-Cola , August 28, 2020, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Names Alfredo Rivera As New President Of Coke NA

August 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

The 59-year-old Rivera, who has worked at the company for 23 years, replaces the retiring James L. Dinkins, who has served as president for two years. Rivera has managed the company’s Latin America group, which includes 40 countries, since 2016. He joined the company in 1997 in the Central America and Caribbean Division as a district manager for Guatemala and El Salvador, and in various capacities in Brazil, Ecuador, and Mexico before being named president of the Latin Center business unit. Dinkins will serve as a senior advisor to the company until his retirement in February 2021. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"Alfredo Rivera Named New President of Coca-Cola North America", Business Wire , August 24, 2020, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Nestlé Waters NA Factories In California Earn Water Stewardship Honors

August 20, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Connecticut-based company’s Ontario, Calif., factory received the platinum rating, highest attainable certification, from the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The company said all five California Nestlé Waters factories and all seven Arrowhead spring water factories were certified under the standard. The AWS standard measures responsible water stewardship across social, cultural, environmental, and economic criteria. Independent auditors look at the watersheds where sites are located, rating water quality, water quantity, and the health of important water-related areas. The AWS is a global membership-based collaboration that unites organizations promoting responsible use of freshwater.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé Waters Becomes First Food and Beverage Company in the World to Earn Platinum Rating under the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard", Nestlé, August 20, 2020, © Nestlé
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Riceworks Makes Its Snacks Available To Snack Box Subscribers

August 3, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Three of the Ohio-based gourmet rice snacks company’s products will be featured in August Variety Fun snack boxes: sweet chili, salsa fresca, and sea salt & black sesame. Riceworks snacks are made with whole grain rice without artificial flavors or preservatives. They contain nine grams of rice per serving, zero grams of trans fats, zero cholesterol, and are non-GMO, vegan and celiac friendly. The Variety Fun snack subscription service features a wide selection of both classic and healthy snacks, including old favorites and start-up brands.[Image Credit: © Riceworks]
"Variety Fun Features Riceworks Gourmet Rice Snacks In Snack Subscription Box", Business Wire, August 03, 2020, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Nestlé’s Pandemic Response Is To “Rethink” The Out-Of-Home Business, Not “Right-Size” It

August 3, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé CEO Ulf Mark Schneider told investors recently that the company has no plans to “right-size” its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is definitely “rethinking” categories like coffee and water and will adapt wherever possible in the out-of-home business. That means less hotel and restaurant business “for a while going forward,” Schneider said. But he noted that many more consumers have ordered in from restaurants and dark kitchens during the crisis, so “there's almost like a blurring of the lines between what is in-home consumption and what is out-of-home consumption.” Nestlé’s out-of-home sales declined by as much as 60 percent in the first half of the year as offices, restaurants, and hotels closed. The company’s year-to-date profit increased 18 percent to 5.9 billion Swiss francs ($6.5 billion); earnings per share increased 22 percent to 2.06 Swiss francs ($2.29). [Image Credit: © Nestlé]
Monica Watrous, "Nestlé rethinking, not rightsizing, away-from-home business", Food Business News, August 03, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Gerber Expands Organic Snacks Lineup With BabyPops

July 30, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The baby food company’s new Gerber Organic BabyPops is a popcorn-shaped puffed corn and oat snack created as a “self-feeding” treat for “crawlers” and toddlers. Available in peanut, tomato, and banana raspberry flavors, the snack contains no added sweetener or salt. All variants are flavored with fruits and veggies and are made with organic peanut flour. A pediatric nutritionist said: "Of course, parents should always discuss the introduction of peanut and other food allergens with their doctor and follow their doctor's instructions." BabyPops are available nationwide at Target stores and will soon be available online at Target.com. They will be offered at Albertsons and Safeway retail locations in November. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Gerber]
"Gerber Launches New Organic Snack Line BabyPops for Crawlers Learning to Self-Feed", PR Newswire, July 30, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nature Valley Launches Sustained Energy Granola Bar “Packed”

July 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

The new General Mills snack product contains “hard-working, energy-boosting” ingredients, the company says, including nut butter, nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or peanuts), and cranberries or blueberries. The sustained energy snack bar contains no artificial flavors or colors and no high fructose corn syrup. It is available in Peanut Butter & Cranberry and Almond Butter & Blueberry varieties at most retail locations in the U.S. or online for a suggested retail price of $4.49 per four-count box. [Image Credit: © Nature Valley - Packed]
"Creamy, Crunchy, Chewy: Introducing Nature Valley Packed, a NEW Sustained Energy Bar", Business Wire, July 28, 2020, © Business Wire, Inc.
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China’s Wholly Moly Wants To Replace Rice With Whole Grains In Country’s Diet

July 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The young Shanghai-based company has its marketing eyes fixed on the country’s younger, more health-conscious generation with its instant oatmeal made of oat bran. The company raised several million dollars from C Ventures, led by a Hong Kong billionaire, to take advantage of China’s burgeoning health food market. “China has a severe lack of wholegrain food options,” said Claire Fang, founder and chief executive. “We want to introduce [whole grains] into young people’s diet in a way that is easy for them to embrace.” The market for natural health food in China is forecast to expand to $26 billion in value by 2022, an annual rate of 12 percent since 2017. Wholly Moly, which generates 90 percent of its income from e-commerce channels, including a store on Tmall, posted sales of $15 million in 2019 and hopes to triple that this year. The company works with farms and milling factories in the Midwest and northern U.S. as well as southern Canada, because the oats harvested there are said to be more aromatic and chewier than cheaper oats planted in China or Australia.[Image Credit: © Yum Delight, Inc./WhollyMolyChina]
Yujing Liu, "Health food start-up Wholly Moly aims to shake up the Chinese diet, swapping rice for American wholemeal oats", South China Morning Post, July 24, 2020, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
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Nestlé SA Settles On Six Major Bidders For Yinlu Foods Group

July 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The list of bidders for the company’s Chinese business unit was trimmed to six, including three food and beverage companies and three private equity firms. Yinlu Foods Group, a maker of instant porridge and Nescafe ready-to-drink coffee, could fetch at least $400 million. Binding bids are due by the end of August from China Resources Beer Holdings Co., Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp., Dali Foods Group Co., FountainVest Partners, Affinity Equity Partners, and Citic Private Equity Funds Company management have also been invited to participate in the bidding. Yinlu, which specializes in the production and sale of canned foods and beverages, was acquired by Nestlé in 2011.[Image Credit: © Yinlu Food Group Co., Ltd]
"Nestlé Narrows Bidders for Yinlu Foods Unit in China", Bloomberg News, July 17, 2020, © Bloomberg LP
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Start-Up Snack Company Debuts Flagship Product Made From Sprouted Almonds

June 23, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Calif.-based plant-based snack start-up AKA Snacks has launched its flagship sprouted almonds product. Palmonds are soy–free, gluten–free, dairy–free, paleo, and vegan, made from sprouted – not roasted – almonds that are dehydrated and flavored with organic spices, coconut sugar, and coconut aminos, a condiment typically used as a savory alternative to soy sauce. Palmonds, which deliver 10 grams of plant–based protein per serving, are available in salty sweet, cinnamon sugar, sweet barbecue, and spicy nacho flavors, each containing between 250 and 280 calories. AKA Snacks is named for founder and CEO Ashley Kathleen Allyn, who created the brand after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.[Image Credit: © AKA Snacks]
Rebekah Schouten, "New plant–based snack company launches its first product", Food Business News, June 23, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Three Wishes Adds Cocoa Flavor To Line Of Plant-Based Breakfast Cereals

June 23, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
New York City-based Three Wishes cereals, founded in October 2019 by a husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team, has launched a new flavor, cocoa, which joins cinnamon, honey, and unsweetened flavors. Three Wishes cereals are high protein (eight grams per serving) and low sugar (three grams from monkfruit and cane sugar). The grain-free breakfast cereals are made with chickpeas, pea protein, and tapioca, are gluten–free, and free from wheat, dairy, soy, oats, corn, rice and peanuts. The cereals are available on the company website and on Amazon, and in select retailers across the country. [Image Credit: © Three Wishes]
"Three Wishes Cereal Launches New Cocoa Flavor, Original 1971 Willy Wonka Cast is Obsessed", PR Newswire, June 23, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Blake’s Seed Based Broadens Market Reach Beyond People With Food Allergies

June 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Chicago-based snack company Blake's Seed Based’s niche market is consumers with food allergies who need snack bars free from the top eight allergens. It’s a big market: more than 32 million people in the U.S. live with food allergies, 90 percent of whom are affected by the top eight allergens. But company founder Blake Sorenson is positioning his company to attract more than people with food allergies, so he is now focusing marketing on the general health benefits of seeds, while appealing to those looking for an alternative to nut–based and granola bars. Consumers are getting more savvy about seeds, which "are still trending," says Sorensen, and his seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and flax) pack a lot of nutrition per serving (i.e., healthy fats, protein, and fiber). Launched as an online brand, the products can now be found in 1,000 brick–and–mortar stores nationally, often positioned next to category giants such as KIND. Still, the new pandemic-driven stay-at-home lifestyle has forced the company to rethink and strengthen its Direct-to-Consumer marketing strategy: it is building a new website to reflect the change in course.[Image Credit: © Blake's Seed Based]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Blake's Seed Based founder: 'It s important that we re not just an allergen brand'", FoodNavigator–USA.com, June 17, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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As The Pandemic Grinds On, Coke Believes Even More Strongly in Innovation

June 16, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is committed to innovation as a growth engine, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic. By staying local, by reacting quickly to developments, by staying tuned to consumer needs, and by determining “what behaviors are short-term versus those that may stick” as the pandemic drags on, the company will be able to turn challenges into opportunities. An example is hygiene, a particular concern of consumers now. "Building touchless solutions in the away-from-home channel is a big opportunity we need to tap into,” says Coca-Cola CFO John Murphy. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, Coca-Cola vending machines have started to accept bitcoin to reduce the number of contacts consumers need with the machine. [Image Credit: © The Coca Cola Company]
Rachel Arthur , "What does innovation look like in a coronavirus era? Coca-Cola reveals its strategy", Beverage Daily, June 16, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestlé Health Science To Buy Majority Stake In Vital Proteins

June 10, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Nutritional science company Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) announced it will acquire a majority stake in Chicago-based Vital Proteins, a collagen brand and lifestyle/wellness platform offering supplements, beverages, and food products. Vital Proteins will continue to operate as a standalone business, but will become part of the Nestlé Health Science portfolio, giving it access to “a variety of resources to scale their reach and innovation in pursuit of global wellness.” Vital Proteins has 150 SKUs across 35,000 retail stores in North America and Europe, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walgreens, and Kroger. NHSc said Vital Proteins’ products complement its own vitamin, mineral, supplement, and wellness brands, including Atrium Innovations, Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations, and Persona. Founder and CEO Kurt Seidensticker will remain the head of the company. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé Health Science agrees to acquire majority stake in Vital Proteins", Nestlé, June 10, 2020, © Nestlé
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CCEP Q1 Revenue Declines Four Percent

April 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners plc (CCEP) reported that FY 2020 first quarter revenue slid four percent from a year ago to $2.7 million. Challenging comparables, some customer disruption due to a planned pricing strategy, and the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all played a part in driving comparable volumes for the period down four percent. Revenue per unit case increased 1.5 percent, thanks to favorable price and promotions offset by negative channel and pack mix. The company is reducing discretionary spending in trade marketing, promotions, merchandising, incentives, seasonal labor, travel, and meetings, representing a potential fiscal year cost reduction of $218 million to $272 million. CCEP is also delaying some discretionary capital expenditure, resulting in a 2020 capex of about $381 million.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"Coca-Cola European Partners Q1 Revenue Down 4 percent - Quick Facts", Nasdaq, April 28, 2020, © Nasdaq, Inc.
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