The Campbell Soup Co. will debut a new line featuring ingredients such as kale, quinoa and lean protein early next year, said Americas Simple Meals and Beverages President Mark Alexander. The Well, Yes! brand, which was conceived by a group of women employees, supports the company's goal of adding more vegetables and whole grains to its products, President and CEO Denise Morrison said.
Makers of frozen and prepared meals could take a cue from the increasingly popular meal kit segment, which emphasizes fresh and adventurous options, said Mintel Senior Food and Drink Analyst John Owen. Amy's Kitchen, Evol and Luvo are among the brands reflecting the trend, posting double-digit growth last year, Owen said.
LifeAID will use few funding from private equity firm KarpReilly to expand the distribution of its functional beverages beyond specialty channels, co-founders Aaron Hinde and Orion Melehan said. "This raise will really help bridge the chasm between our niche communities and conventional," Melehan said.
Beverage manufacturers can use hard water as a cost-effective way to reduce the use of sweeteners, according to a Virginia Tech study. Water with a higher concentration of iron "can amplify the sweet perception through taste interaction," said researchers, who also found that the addition of sucrose to very hard water can reduce its metallic taste.
ConAgra has divested its JW Swank ingredient sourcing and distributing and Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings units to Platinum Equity and Givauda, respectively, for a total of $488 million, said CEO Sean Connolly. "The completion of these two divestitures is another step on our journey to becoming a more focused and higher performing company," Connolly said.
Fans who participated in M&M's Flavor Vote to pick the next new flavor for the candy brand in observance of its 75th anniversary have selected Coffee Nut, which will be available in August. The campaign also invited voters to enter their names for an opportunity to win $100,000 and to be named the official M&M's Taste Tester.
Century-old seltzer brand Polar Beverages is enjoying record sales thanks to a loyal regional following and the popularity of its unique blends including "Unicorn Kisses," which became an online sensation. “We’ve never grown so fast, we’ve never been in a better position, and I’ve never been so scared,” said Chief Executive Ralph Crowley, who embraces the company's success while remaining cautiously optimistic that it can retain its momentum.
To help enhance the experience of tea drinkers by eliminating the need to steep, stir and throw away leftover leaves and bags, Pique Tea has developed a crystal format which quickly dissolves in hot or cold water, said founder and CEO Simon Cheng. The format is not only simpler, but its high concentration gives it seven times the antioxidant content than regular tea bags, Cheng said.
Fiber-rich and bitter-tasting ingredients, including psyllium seed husk and ginger, will be rising trends in functional beverages, said BI Nutraceuticals. The company uses a "green steam sterilization" method to protect foods from microbes, as much of their ingredients come directly from nature.
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