Big Food is Fostering Innovation

Big Food is Fostering Innovation

Large corporations have been noticing how consumers have been favoring products made by independent startup food companies, since a good chunk of those provide craft, high-quality, niche, and, a lot of times, healthier products.

Needless to say, big food wants in. Especially, since this specialty food segment has a tremendous growth potential.

So, how is big food seeking innovation?

Companies like Campbell Soup, Chobani, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Tyson are creating innovation centers and/or partnering with existing incubators to help niche brands grow and flourish.

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Beyond Meat Goes Public

Beyond Meat Goes Public

A few weeks ago, there were rumors that the plant-based company Beyond Meat was planning to go public before the end of the year.

Well, these rumors ended up being true because last Friday, Beyond Meat filed an initial public offering for $100 million.

Beyond Meat reported $56.4 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2018, which is a 167 percent spike from last year.

"Going forward, we intend to continue to invest in innovation, supply chain capabilities, manufacturing and marketing initiatives," said the company in the filing.

The plant-based market is growing at a rapid rate as more consumers gravitate to a vegetarian or flexitarian lifestyle.

Plant-based consumption is up over 300 percent over the last year, according to our Foodable Labs data.

The Good Food Institute (GFI) has also released market data from Nielsen showing that the sales of this sector have recently exceeded $3.7 billion and that plant-based meat sales specifically have increased by 23 percent.

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Whether You’re a Foodie or an Aspiring Chef, These Are the Miami Food Halls You Don’t Want to Miss

Whether You’re a Foodie or an Aspiring Chef, These Are the Miami Food Halls You Don’t Want to Miss

In the past few of years, there has been a powerful surge of food hall concepts popping up across the country and in late 2017 the wave finally arrived in Miami, Florida. Since then, many food hall concepts have been opening in the area especially in the first half of this year.

On this episode of On Foodable Side Dish, we meet three food hall operations featuring three very different concepts. First, we get the chance to meet Alex Cuevas, founder of Vshops—the world’s first 100 percent vegan food hall. Then, we sit down with Ruben Paredes, the Director of Operations of Miami’s first food hall—1-800-Lucky—serving up Asian cuisine. Finally, we get to hear from Kenzie Motai, Assistant General Manager of St. Roche Market—a contemporary food hall serving as a platform for up and coming chefs.

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Kimpton Predicts More Plant-Based Dishes and Mocktails on Menus in 2019

Kimpton Predicts More Plant-Based Dishes and Mocktails on Menus in 2019

With only two more months left of 2018, the 2019 food trend predictions are starting to roll out.

Last year, like many forecasts predicted, we saw a spike in vegan dishes.

But this was just the beginning.

Plant-based options have now become mainstream and they aren't only being selected by vegetarians or vegans either.

According to the Kimpton's 2019 Culinary & Cocktails Trend Forecast by Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants group, the plant-based movement is going into overdrive in 2019.

"Expect to see more “whole beast movement” but with a vegetable twist, as more chefs experiment with “whole vegetable” entrées, like a roasted eggplant with eggplant caviar, and crispy eggplant skin chips," writes Kimpton.

The Kimpton 2019 Culinary + Cocktail Trends is based on the feedback received from a survey sent to the leading chefs, sommeliers, general managers, and bartenders at 80+ Kimpton restaurants and bars.

According to Kimpton's data, besides plant-based focused dishes, restaurants are introducing more adventurous protein dishes like fried kidneys and lamb liver. Simple classics are expected to see a revamp like cauliflower gnocchi and Fois Gras fried rice.

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Have Amazon Go and UberEats Become a Threat to Restaurant Operators?

Have Amazon Go and UberEats Become a Threat to Restaurant Operators?

Operators have always had to compete in the market with other concepts, but in today's market, there are a new set of power players ready to steal your customers.

Enter Amazon.

Amazon, like the fast casual segment, is catering to the on-the-go consumer with its cashier-less Amazon Go stores, many of which offer grab-and-go food options. These stores have become the most popular during the workweek, especially at lunchtime.

But there is one advantage that restaurants, namely fast casual restaurants, have over the Amazon Go stores– many have embraced the plant-based movement. According to Foodable Labs data, today's foodies can't get enough of these plant-based menu items.

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PepsiCo to Acquire this Plant-Based Energy Bar Company

PepsiCo to Acquire this Plant-Based Energy Bar Company

The food, snack and beverage corporation PepsiCo is acquiring yet another snack company, Health Warrior Inc.

Health Warrior's has a plant-based portfolio including chia bars, pumpkin seed bars, and superfood protein bars. The company has 12 flavors of health bars available but started offering two new products this year– protein mug muffins and the superfood protein powder.

These products will now be under PepsiCo's umbrella as part of the food and beverage giant's new emerging brands division.

Health Warrior was founded in 2010 by three college friends with the mission to provide the masses with plant-based snacks.

Their bars are now available at 12,000 retailers across the country, but Health Warrior agreed to make the deal with PepsiCo to grow the brand even more.

“The whole reason we started the company was to be able to provide more plant-based superfood options to more Americans,” said Shane Emmett, Health Warrior’s co-founder and CEO. “The ability to build a good consumer brand here and be part of the PepsiCo brand, that is something we are really super excited about with this deal."

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Kellogg's Morningstar Farms Rolls Out New Plant-Based Protein Product for Operators

Kellogg's Morningstar Farms Rolls Out New Plant-Based Protein Product for Operators

The food-manufacturing company Kellogg has launched a brand new plant-based product packed with protein.

The Morningstar Farms® Signature Protein Blend™ is now available in two flavors- Tomato Basil & Mozzarella and Spicy Red Bean.

Morningstar Farms, which is the vegetarian division of Kellogg, created this ready-to-make plant-forward product so operators could serve a meatless protein to their guests quick.

More restaurants are implementing more vegetarian or vegan-friendly options as more consumers change their eating habits to include less meat.

These products especially appeal to eaters looking to make eco-friendly dining choices. Meat has a much bigger water footprint than grains, vegetable or beans. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat, according to PETA.

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Is Beyond Meat Going to Public?

Is Beyond Meat Going to Public?

The vegan company Beyond Meat is expected to go public in the near future, according to a recent report from "CNBC."

It's not surprising considering Beyond Meat has quickly emerged as one of the biggest players in the plant-based protein game.

Besides being the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section at Whole Foods, the company has partnered with restaurants and food distributors across the country to get the Beyond Burger on more menus.

So far, the company was sold over 25 million veggie burgers. Earlier this year, Beyond Meat was given the United Nations “Champion of the Earth” award.

Even the meat protein giant Tyson Foods sees potential in the plant-based burger market and made that clear when the company bought a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat at the end of last year.

The plant-based industry is on the rise and is expected to be worth $5.2 billion in sales by 2020, according to Oregon-based Allied Market Research (AMR.) According to Nielsen, 40 percent of Americans are trying to eat more plant-based foods.

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General Mills Invests Millions in the Vegan Company Kite Hill

General Mills Invests Millions in the Vegan Company Kite Hill

The consumer foods company General Mills is making moves to get into the vegan food market.

General Mills has invested millions into the Kite Hill, a vegan brand known for its plant-based cheese and yogurt. Led by 301 Inc., General Mills' venture capital firm, the vegan company has secured $40 million in funding.

“Kite Hill continues to set itself apart in what is now a mainstream demand for plant-based nutrition," said John Haugen, founder and managing director of 301 Inc. “As more people are making changes in their diet, we see incredible untapped potential in the market for the brand to expand its consumer base and grow.”

The vegan trend continues to spread across the country as more eaters change their lifestyle whether they are vegans, vegetarians or flexitarians. This has cultivated a high-demand for these types of products.

Kite Hill's dairy-free products like its cream cheese, cheese, and almond milk yogurts have become popular.

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How Rich's Helps Define Clean Label and Sustainability

How Rich's Helps Define Clean Label and Sustainability
  • Rich’s vice president of Health and Authenticity, Jen VanDeWater, shares the company’s efforts on clean labeling and authenticity in their products.

On this episode of The Barron Report, Jen VanDewater, Vice President of Health and Authenticity at Rich Products Corporation, sits down with our host Paul Barron to discuss how a large company like Rich’s is addressing concerns over clean labeling and authenticity in their products, among other topics.

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