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News for food business professionals


Promising Healthy Dried-Beef Snack Platform Stryve Foods Gains NASDAQ Listing

The Plano, Texas-based company that specializes in protein-rich, low-sugar, dried beef snacks announced it will merge with publicly traded Andina Acquisition Corp. III (NASDAQ: ANDA) to become a public company listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol SNAX. The companies say they have agreements with institutional investors for an oversubscribed common stock private-investment-in-public equity (PIPE) of $42.5 million at $10 a share. Stryve also borrowed $10.6 million from investors “for general working capital purposes.” The bridge note for the loan will convert into common stock prior to closing. Stryve’s so-called “disruptive” snack platform features air-dried meats, mostly beef, including biltong from South Africa and carne seca from Latin America. Air-drying meat vs. cooking, as is done with beef jerky, yields a product that has 40-50 percent more protein per serving than beef jerky, the company claims. Stryve’s meat snacks are made with 100 percent uncooked beef, contain no sugar, monosodium glutamate (MSG), gluten, nitrates, nitrites, or preservatives and are keto- and paleo-diet friendly. 


Brand Finance Says Coca-Cola Knocks Disney Out Of Top Spot

The London-based consumer brand evaluation company ranks Coca-Cola as the strongest brand in the U.S., despite a drop in value, because of its marketing investment, customer familiarity, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Coca-Cola scored 91.7 out of 100 on a brand strength index score, though its brand value decreased 13 percent to $33.2 billion. The beverage giant toppled Disney from the top spot – it fell to fourth – after its brand value decreased nine percent to $51.2 billion. PepsiCo, whose brand strength index score was 88.4. was ninth in the U.S. as its brand value dipped three percent to $18.4 billion. 

Companies, Organizations

BFY Snack Brand Graze Achieves B Corp Status

The Unilever healthy snacking brand was certified as a B Corporation (B Corp) committed to being a force for good in the world when it comes to people, planet, and profits. Customers praised the company for an ongoing commitment to creating healthy alternatives to unhealthier snacks and for reimagining snacking by challenging traditional snacking conventions. The brand is guided by public health targets and a desire to play a part in tackling issues such as obesity. It has removed 160 tons of sugar from its snacks since the end of 2019, In addition, all graze snacks are a source of fiber, more than 75 percent contain fewer than 150 cal. per portion, and no graze snacks are high in salt. 

PeaTos Marches On With $12.5M Investment From Post Holdings

The Los Angeles-based chip brand, on a mission to loosen Cheetos’ stranglehold on the salty snack market, and less than six months after raising $7 million in a Series A round, has convinced Post Holdings to lead a $12.5 million Series B round of funding. PeaTos adds nutrient-dense peas to the traditional corn base and replaces artificial colors and flavors with more natural ingredients. The company says its snack has “all the flavor and fun” of Cheetos and Doritos, but with the nutrient claims of better-for-you options. PeaTos have twice the protein and three times the fiber of traditional salty snacks. The brand is available in more than 4,700 retailers, including Kroger and its affiliate stores, Vons, Pavilions, Albertsons, Safeway, Sprouts, and Sam's Club. 

N.C. Entrepreneur Creates “Macronutrient”-Rich Snack

A Charlotte entrepreneur and fitness buff who was having a hard time finding a snack chip good for his body has developed Macro Snacks, a gluten-free, vegan-friendly chip that comes in seven flavors. Each bag of Justin Wiesehan’s Macro Snacks has 11 to 12 grams of protein and a 45/35/20 carb/protein/fat ratio, making it easier for those who track macronutrients in their diet (or just want to eat a healthy snack). The seven flavors are based on popular snacks, Wiesehan says: BBQ Sauce, Pizza Pie, Churro Loco, Cheddar Cheese, Rockin' Ranch, Sour Cream & Onion, and Spicy Chili Lime. The brand was recently chosen out of more than 100 applicants to participate in an Austin, Texas-based accelerator program called SKU that began last week.

Canada’s Entomo Farms Raises Nearly $3M

The Ontario-based maker of cricket-based protein powders, roasted crickets, and insect-based snack bars has closed a US$2.9 million funding round to support growth and expansion. The round, led by investors in Asia and Canada, will be followed late this year by another capital-raising effort, the company said. Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's largest protein-centric packaged goods company, took a minority stake in the business in 2018. Entomo also has relationships with Crickstart, a Canadian company making protein bars, gourmet crackers, and smoothie mixes from cricket powder, and with Human Improvement, described as "an innovative health and wellness brand."

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing

Kraft Heinz To Sell Planters Snack Nuts Business?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chicago-based Kraft Heinz is in talks to sell its Planters snack nuts business to Hormel Foods in a deal potentially valued at $3 billion. Kraft Heinz has eliminated more than 1,100 products in recent months as it focuses on more successful products. Best known for its dry roasted peanuts, Planters also sells cashews, and cheez balls and curls. It may be able to find procurement savings by teaming up with Hormel, which owns nut butter brands Skippy and Justin's)

Innovation & New Ideas

Kellogg Company Seeks Innovative Start-Ups In Microbiome Improvement

The Battle Creek, Mich.-based food company has partnered with its innovation hub eighteen94 Capital and Future Food-Tech in a search for creative microbiome (gut)-based food solutions. The three have launched the Innovation Challenge, a collaborative initiative to “give new talent in the industry a chance to shine on the virtual stage.” They are inviting start-ups to apply entrepreneurial and scientific skills and submit ideas. The Challenge focuses on food’s impact on personal health, especially in areas like new plant fibers, valorized (value enhanced) fibers from waste streams, prebiotics, postbiotics, fermented ingredients, and new non-spore food stable probiotics – all of which have the potential to improve the functioning of the human gut and human holistic health. A team of judges will assess the submissions and “select the most impactful ideas to move forward.”

Marketing & Advertising

$5M Super Bowl Ad Budget For Mr. Peanut Diverted To “Pay It Forward” Campaign

The Kraft Heinz Company’s snack brand Mr. Peanut – recently dubbed Baby Nut – has launched a promotional campaign that implements “a new purpose to pay it forward to put more substance into the world” and “search out the good.” The company says it will spend its $5 million Big Game (i.e., Super Bowl) ad budget not on advertising but to recognize and reward “the little acts of extraordinary substance across the country.” According to Kraft Heinz, the Mr. Peanut is “officially back with a new purpose to pay it forward to put more substance into the world.” Examples: a Chicago couple who donated their canceled wedding's catering to those in need on Thanksgiving and a Florida man who paid his neighbors' past-due utility bills.


Snack Brands Enlist Hollywood Stars As Investors, Promoters

Joining bakery companies promoting bread and other products, snack brands have enlisted the help of big-name celebrities to invest in, and promote, their products among “star-struck consumers.” Some notable examples: Bonilla a la Vista’s Patatas Fritas saw sales surge150 percent after the potato chips were shown in the thriller Oscar-winner “Parasite;” the dried meat snacks of Stryve Foods were endorsed by actor/producer Channing Tatum and Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, both of whom have invested in the company; Oreo has become an official sponsor of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and will be rolling out limited edition Lady Gaga-themed Oreo cookies inspired by the album Chromatica; and Black female-founded snack brand Partake Snacks landed Grammy Award winner Rihanna as a participant in a $4.8 million series A funding round.

Products & Brands

Young Indian Entrepreneurs Launch Snack Crafted From Water Lily Seeds

With the help of a London, Ont.-based business incubator, two kinesiology students at Canada’s Western University have launched Arise N’ Go, which offers a popped water lily seeds snack. The product was inspired by Sucheta Khuranan’s family history in India and a mother trying to look out for her daughter. The water lily seeds are roasted, not cooked in oil, and are light and crunchy like popcorn; but have less fat, fewer calories and 50 percent more protein than popcorn. With three flavor combinations, they are sold in 11 stores and two markets in the London area. They are also available online. The two student entrepreneurs say they are already making plans for further expansion.

Kellogg Debuts Vegan Snacks For Children – By Children

The Michigan-based breakfast cereal company is launching a healthy vegan snack line in the U.K. purportedly created by kids. The W.K Kellogg by Kids Bars comes in orange & carrot and strawberry, raspberry & beetroot flavors. The 100-calorie bars are available at Morrisons grocery stores in the U.K., retailing at £2.49 ($3.39) for a five-pack. More grocers will stock the products in the coming months. 

Kind Snacks Combats Impulse Purchase Decline With U.K. Multipacks

The New York-based company will launch core flavors in the U.K. in three-pack formats. Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate, Caramel Almond Sea Salt, and Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt will be available at Sainsbury's and Morrisons this month. Coconut & Almond and Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate will arrive at Waitrose in late February. Impulse sales of Kind products have fallen during the pandemic, while multipacks are seeing "the most significant growth."  Free-from snack brand Livia's experienced a similar trend in October of last year when it launched three-packs of its Million Squares and Nugglets ranges a year ahead of schedule. 
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