How This Firm Became One of the Biggest VC Funds in Food

As consumer tastes continue to evolve, the more demand there is for high-quality healthier products.

With that in mind, these suburban moms turned venture capitalists are on a mission to bring healthier packaged food brands to the masses.

Both Lauren Jupiter and Jordan Gaspar used to be in grocery aisles as “the people who read the nutrition facts, the people who read the ingredients in the two different products sitting next to each other on the shelf" and decided to launch the investment firm AccelFoods to help grow small packaged food products they believe in.

Found in 2013 with only $4 million, the firm now has three separate funds of $85 million.

The fund and the companies it backs have been a success because consumers have changed the way they shop at grocery stores.

They want “cleaner labels, more transparency, not having ingredient panels that are 60 items long and full of words that you can’t pronounce,” said Jupiter.

Today's buyers are willing to invest in higher quality products that are better for them. Food is now seen as fuel to millennials, the better the fuel or food, the better performance of the engine or body.

"The Baby Boomer generation that’s aging and looking for natural alternatives to traditional medicine...the millennial mom purchasing on behalf of her family and investing in allergen-friendly foods...digital natives who are willing to invest more heavily into the food they put in their bodies than even the house that they sleep in,” said Gaspar.

Read more about the firm and how it's fostering the growth of smaller food product companies at "Forbes' now.

Earlier in the year, we spoke to Gasper about how the firm is disrupting the industry with its companies in its portfolio offering innovative food products.

Listen to this episode of The Barron Report below, where host Paul Barron speaks with Gaspar about trends and what types of companies AccelFoods seeks to invest on.

Are Alcohol-Based Hot Sauces About To Take Menus by Storm?

When creating your menu, the last thing you want is for your dish to be flavorless and bland. In many ways, spicy, heat flavor varietals can elevate your dish. Millennials, in particular, have recently shown to favor hot sauce and many data sets describe the tastes of younger generations as more adventurous with flavor and spice.

Hot sauce sales alone are expected to become a $1.65-billion market in the next five years, according to market research firm IBISWorld.

One spicy innovation previously covered by Foodable, is Mike’s Hot Honey. This chili pepper-infused honey has made a name for itself in pizzerias as the best way to enhance pizza slices with a sweet and spicy kick.

Another hot sauce high in demand is sriracha. According to recent Foodable Labs research, Sriracha is up 21.3% in use by chefs on menus year over year.

The latest trending spicy condiment is alcohol-based hot sauce. This comes as a major contrast to a majority of hot sauces on the market. Most brands use similar ingredients, hot peppers, and white vinegar. Commercial hot sauces use vinegar as a preservative for shelf stability. However, this can overwhelm the taste of the pepper.

“I would spend a couple of days making a beautiful pot of gumbo, and it just seems against the divine plan to dump some vinegar in that just to get some spice,” said Matt Beeson, founder of Swamp Dragon Hot Sauce. “The smell of it clashes. The taste of it doesn’t work with anything.”

With a boozy base in five flavors -- vodka, rum, tequila, ouzo, and bourbon -- your dishes will get a unique kick. Not to worry though, this hot sauce innovation won’t have enough alcohol to get your diners drunk after topping their dishes.

Learn more about this boozy hot sauce taking over stores in the video above and at “Thrillist.”

These Emerging CEOs In Specialty Food Use International Ingredients In a Unique Way

These Emerging CEOs In Specialty Food Use International Ingredients In a Unique Way

This year's Summer Fancy Food Show was full of innovative specialty products helping reimagine the future of food. Foodable welcomed more than 15 innovators to the SFA Live Stage where hot industry topics were discussed and new fascinating products were introduced. The following two Emerging CEOs are introducing flavors from abroad to delight American consumers and foodservice professionals, alike. Scroll below to see the full interviews with each.

Mike Kurtz, Founder of Mike’s Hot Honey

A life-long pizza and spicy food lover, Mike Kurtz found the inspiration for Mike’s Hot Honey from Brazil, out of all places.

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