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Sprouted Buckwheat Entrepreneur Slams Into A Coronavirus-Induced Supply Problem

Whole Foods Market locations in Chicago this month will start selling a crunchy sprouted buckwheat breakfast cereal topping known as Lil Bucks. Creator of the brand Emily Griffith has been obsessed with sprouted buckwheat ever since she first tasted it in Australia. She hopes to expand into other Whole Foods regions in the future if the rollout proves successful. In Australia, sprouted buckwheat is a common health-food cereal, but in the U.S., buckwheat mostly appears in pancakes, soba noodles, and buckwheat groats, also called kasha. Technically not a grain, buckwheat is actually the seed of a fruit related to rhubarb and sorrel and is a highly-sustainable crop. It’s gluten-free, suitable for paleo diets, low on the glycemic Index, and high in magnesium and antioxidants. Unfortunately, Griffith has a supply problem: because she sources her buckwheat from China, “the coronavirus epidemic is affecting all parts of the supply chain, from logistics to labor,” she says. “Fortunately, we ...  More

"Is This Aussie Favorite The Next Superfood?", Forbes.com, January 31, 2020

The Search For A Healthful Whole-Grain Bread That Appeals To The Masses

Bread makers who consider themselves purists – healthful ingredients only, no preservatives or other additives, no pre-slicing, no pan baking, and no plastic packaging – have had to deal with a harsh reality: the market often rejects what they’re selling. As Vermont baker Blair Marvin discovered, some compromise has been necessary though the goal – a soft, sliced, affordable, and healthful whole wheat bread – is still the goal. So Marvin and colleagues in a baking collective that is helped by the famous Bread Lab of Washington State University are working toward making a whole-grain loaf that’s familiar-looking and affordable enough to appeal to a mass audience. The result, dubbed “The Approachable Loaf,” is now made in 20 states, as well as in England, Canada, and Australia. Disguised as a standard-issue sandwich bread that kids will eat, the loaf contains fiber and other nutritious ingredients, but no chemical preservatives or additives (i.e., flavor enhancers or sugars), found in ...  More

"The Whole-Grain Grail: A Sandwich Bread With Mass Appeal", The New York Times, February 18, 2020

Barilla’s Protein+ Pastas Are Now Made 100 Percent From Plant-Based Ingredients

Pasta company Barilla Group announced its Protein+ line is now made entirely with plant-based ingredients, specifically semolina durum wheat mixed with protein from lentils, chickpeas, and peas.  new recipe removes the egg whites from the formula, while maintaining the same great taste and "al dente" texture of traditional semolina pasta, the company says. The new formula includes shorter cook times to achieve al dente texture for all seven varieties: spaghetti, angel hair, thin spaghetti, farfalle, penne, elbows, and rotini. Protein+ pastas have the same amount of protein per serving (10g/2oz serving) as before, but now derived from plant-based sources. The pastas, a good source of iron, thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, and niacin, are non-GMO project certified, vegan-certified, and kosher.

"Barilla Reformulates Protein+ Line", PR Newswire, February 20, 2020

Market News  

Australian Snack Maker Uncle Tobys Expands Flavors In Healthful Breakfast Bakes Line

Australia’s Uncle Tobys, a manufacturer of breakfast cereals and snack items, has expanded its Breakfast Bakes range with Roasted Cashew & Vanilla and Peanut Butter flavors. Containing no artificial colors or flavors, the products in the range have an Australian Health Star Rating of 4 or 4.5 (out of 5). Other flavors in the range include Honey & Almond, Berry Harvest Flavor, and Apple & Cinnamon. The breakfast bakes are available at Coles, Woolworths, and independent supermarkets in Australia and New Zealand in 65g x 4-packs. Australia’s Health Star Rating is a front-of-pack labeling system that rates the overall nutritional profile of packaged food.

"Uncle Tobys expands range of Breakfast Bakes", March 17, 2020

Products & Brands  

Bakery On Main Adds Paleo, Keto Snack Options To Portfolio

Bakery On Main (East Hartford, Conn.) is adding a certified paleo and keto Grain Free Cluster Trail Trek Blend line to its portfolio of gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified, and dairy- and casein-free snacks. The new Trail Trek Blend is the company’s answer to demands for low-carb and grain-free paleo and keto snacking options. The snacks contain six grams of sugar, less than seven grams of carbs, and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) extracted from coconut oil. Available in an 8-oz. stand up resealable bag, the Grain Free Clusters are available in chocolate and maple vanilla trail trek blends. The suggested SRP is $6.99.

"Bakery On Main Introduces Grain Free Clusters Snack Line", March 15, 2020

ReGrained’s New Puffs Product Launches Online After Expo West Cancellation

Unable to launch at the coronavirus-cancelled Natural Products Expo West in early March, U.S. snack producer ReGrained is unveiling its new upcycled Puffs product virtually with online buyer meetings for retailers and a limited presale trial offer. ReGrained Puffs are made with SuperGrain+, an upcycled product created using spent brewers’ grain. The Puff chips blend ReGrained SuperGrain+ and non-GMO organic corn, are expanded and then dried, rather than fried. The Puff chips contain 100 calories per 39-piece serving, no saturated or trans fats, and are “a good source of fiber.” To overcome purchase barriers caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the company is offering free shipping so online shoppers may more easily try the new product.

"ReGrained launches upcycled Puffs online amid COVID-19 ", March 17, 2020

Pipcorn Achieves National Distribution Of Its Heirloom Corn Snacks

Heirloom corn snack brand Pipcorn (Bethlehem, Pa.), whose heirloom popcorn is already available nationally at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Central Market, and on Amazon, has expanded distribution to include certain Kroger locations. The company has also debuted its Heirloom Snack Cracker line, made from upcycled corn flour and available in Cheddar, Sea Salt and Everything flavors. The crackers are made sustainably with leftover corn flour from the brand’s Heirloom Cheese Balls. The Heirloom Snack Crackers will be available exclusively at Whole Foods Market nationwide in April and in other retail locations later this year. The company also launched Heirloom Corn Dippers in three flavors, Heirloom Cheese Balls in four flavors and Heirloom Vegan Caramel Popcorn this past year.

"Pipcorn Unveils New Snack Line As It Enters National Retail Locations", March 18, 2020


Flavor And Color Trends That Will Impact The Snack Industry

Industry experts like IRI (Chicago) have found that most snack eaters in the U.S. identify taste/flavor as the top purchase driver for snacks, followed by colors. Pure flavors like cheese and chocolate will always dominate, but snack makers should also be aware that consumers look for combinations and variety, “from sweet all the way to hot.” In fact, over the past few years, there have been 4,160 flavor combinations introduced, more than half of which saw dollar growth in 2018 versus 2017. Future snack flavor stars and trends may include: sweet and sour combos like that found in dragonfruit; tart, sour, and fermented flavors (think yuzu); and savory and sweet applications featuring cardamom. Vibrant and bold colors continue to trend forward in snack and baked goods. These include the tried and true yellows and oranges popular in crackers, and the aqua, blue, and purple colors found in the baked goods category, especially in frosting applications.

"Vibrant colors and bold flavors boost snack and bakery products", March 09, 2020

Key Trends That Are Shaping The Evolution Of The Snack Industry In Asia

Several major trends – urbanization, industrialization, cultural expansion – are changing the way Asian consumers, especially Millennials, view snacking and are, in turn, changing the snacks industry. Rising living standards coupled with premiumization, meanwhile, are pushing younger consumers away from the tradition of three meals a day to the more flexible and accessible on-the-go snacking way of life. Other forces transforming the snacking landscape in Asia include: social media’s role in speeding the evolution and introduction of new snacks and flavors; accelerated food and beverage industry response to the demand for snacks that fit a busy yet simplified lifestyle; the rise of healthful, better-for-you, energizing snacks; and the emergence of “mindful snacking” that emphasizes sustainability, and ethical sourcing and production. 

"Asian Millennials have evolved and so has snacking", March 09, 2020

Developed by Yuri Ingultsov Software Lab.