High protein pasta made from chickpeas. Let's change pasta forever, for the better.
Mac & Cheese
Frozen PizzaRequest Access to Edit
In the quest for a better-for-you pizza crust, it looks like cauliflower could be facing stiff competition from the chickpea. Yesterday pasta and pizza brand Banza announced its chickpea pizza crusts would be added to the menu at Oath Pizza, replacing the chain’s gluten-free and cauliflower crust options.
As part of its strategy to reframe its frozen meal business to appeal to a wider array of shoppers as well as younger consumers, Nestle this week announced two new offerings in its Life Cuisine line featuring Banza chickpea pasta, part of an 11 SKU launch.
From pho to penne, this month during our Category Closeup: Product Showcase we’re exploring innovation and growth strategies for a group of rising noodle brands. Speaking with executives from brands producing shelf stable, fresh and frozen products, we’ll hear the views of the entrepreneurs who are currently shaping this broad set of categories.
Prelude Growth Partners, a New York City-based fund, announced last week the close of their second fund at $250 million dollars. The majority of the fund’s limited partners also backed Prelude’s first $85 million fund in 2018, co-founder and partner Neda Daneshzadeh said.
What happens after you achieve the goal you’ve spent years chasing? In 2017 Peter Rahal sold his protein bar brand RXBAR. In 2019 he stepped down as CEO to be an advisor to the company and focus on his own projects. Now he’s busy investing in brands under his firm Litani and figuring out what his next play should be.
Pasta brand Banza announced today the close of a $20 million round of funding co-led by Enlightened Hospitality Investments (the growth equity fund associated with restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group) and fund Prelude Growth Partners. When Banza launched in 2014, the concept of bean-based pasta alternatives was new and fairly untapped. Now, with plenty of companies also selling these offerings, Banza feels its time to focus on their brand and enter new channels.
While there were plenty of buzzy, ketogenic, CBD-enhanced, cauliflower-based products lurking in Expo booths, if you looked deeper, several larger themes within the natural food industry emerged — including retail channel strategies, the effects of integrated sets and sleepy categories seeing new attention.
The rice category is starting to stretch with even more ingredients trying to define the staple. Today Banza, which is known for its chickpea pastas, announced it will expand into the category with its own line of rice — the company’s first major new product since introducing a line of macaroni and cheese in 2016.
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