Food and beverage industry news.
After spending almost a quarter of a century at General Mills, Pete Speranza wants to “change the food system.” The former business development principal at 301 Inc, General Mills’ venture arm, left the company on August 14 and will join venture firm Unovis as an operating partner.
Frozen plant-based chicken brand Daring Foods this week announced the close of an $8 million round of funding led by venture capital firm Maveron, with participation from GoodFriends, Stray Dog Capital and Palm Tree Crew Investments. Stitch Fix CFO Mike Smith and Sweet Earth president Brian Swette, who previously sold his plant-based company to Nestle, also took part in the round as private investors.
Natural meat snack brand Vermont Smoke & Cure has been sold to sausage company Johnsonville LLC and will operate as a subsidiary, the company announced last week.
Attempting to create parity around professional opportunity in the food and beverage industry, three CPG executives announced today the launch of Project Potluck. The organization will start with three initiatives: a mentorship program, monthly community building events and a digital community on LinkedIn.
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BevNET and NOSH have deepened their coverage of fast-evolving food and beverage categories with the premiere of Category Close-Up, a new, two-part video offering this month. To kick off the series on NOSH, Editor Carol Ortenberg will be joined by a panel to examine the plant-based protein space — a rapidly growing category that has kept brands, consumers and retailers across channels on their toes.
Whether it’s in the form of a powder, beverage or snack bar, “Huel is food,” according to founder Julian Hearn. The meal replacement product brand, which seeks to be “lifestyle” oriented rather than just a quick bite, is now expanding beyond sweet offerings into its first savory item, Huel Hot & Savory.
Over his career, Fred Haberman has founded a PR firm, an aquaponic farm, and even the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. Now he’s setting his sights on grocery store shelves with the launch of Freak Flag Organics. In this video, Haberman details why he wanted to take on the project of “manifesting vision into products,” and the lessons he’s learned in the process.
In this week’s Checkout, GFI studies plant-based retail trends, Kraft Heinz sells its natural cheese business and aims to focus its portfolio, and Beyond Meat rolls out meatballs while Impossible Foods grows further into retail.
Raaka is looking for the right ingredients to reach its next stage. The company, known for single-origin, Fair Trade chocolate bars, this week released a line of baking chocolate, cacao powder and nibs. Looking ahead, the company is hiring a new CEO to lead the charge of growing the brand’s retail footprint.
Citing ongoing growth in the natural CPG market, asset-based lending company Gerber Finance this week announced it would launch a dedicated natural food and beverage products division.