The food industry is bursting with innovation, and it will be noticeable on the packed showroom floor at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland, this week.
From spiced dry fruit to frozen protein waffles, here are six new products that are making their debut at the show.
Kodiak Cakes Moves to Frozen with Waffles
Kodiak Cakes is mixing up its portfolio of protein-added pancake and waffle mixes by bringing on a new line of frozen waffles.
CEO and founder Joel Clark told NOSH that his team saw a demand for a more convenient offering for the on-the-go consumer. While Kodiak Cakes’ frozen waffles, which retail for $4.99, have slowly been hitting shelves since July, this will be the line’s first show debut and its official kickoff. Currently, the waffles are available nationally through Target, while the mixes are sold regionally with retailers including Fresh Market, Harris Teeter, HEB, Meijer, Price Chopper, Safeway and Shaws.
Clark noted that he doesn’t foresee Kodiak Cakes’ reach ending in the freezer aisle. He said the company is planning to further expand into new areas of the grocery store in the future.
Snackaroon Maker Looks Beyond Cookies with New Dried Fruit Line
Laughing Giraffe is expanding their product portfolio from macaroon style “Snackaroon” cookies and granola into globally-inspired dried fruit.
Maintaining its focus on organic, non-GMO, raw, plant based ingredients, the brand’s first two flavors of dried fruit snacks are Kicking Mango and Kick’n Pineapple. Both will be available in three-ounce pouches for $4.70. The line launched on the brand’s website this month and is currently not on other retailers shelves. However, Laughing Giraffe’s other lines can be found nationwide in Whole Foods and Sprouts.
“Our R&D is directed at the development of plant-based, clean ingredient snack food that will meet the demands of the health conscious consumers and channel partners,” Emy Gilmour, VP of Sales, told NOSH. “The new Spiced Dried Fruit line helps to broaden our brand as a quality organic snack food company.”
While the line is technically just launching, many attendees may find it familiar. Laughing Giraffe sampled the mango line at Expo West in March, but ultimately decided to hold on going into full production in order to seek out a higher quality mango supplier.
“Quality is always important enough to us,” Gilmour said. “We liked the texture of the mango cheeks over the strips… The cheeks are also much more uniform, which makes production and packaging significantly easier and less costly.”
Gilmour added that the company is working to expand into other snack categories as well in the years to come.
Kuli Kuli Sees Green in Protein
Oakland-based moringa maker Kuli Kuli is bulking up its portfolio with a new organic moringa greens and protein powder.
The new plant-based protein mix comes in three flavors — Natural Greens, Vanilla, and Dark Chocolate — and is available in Sprouts nationwide in 7.6 oz pouches for $29.99 and single serving packets for $3.99.
“This is the protein powder for people who don’t like protein powder,” Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “It’s incredibly tasty, smooth and uses only simple, organic and Fair Trade Certified plant-based ingredients. Plus, every pouch we sell supports women farmers and helps to plant moringa trees around the world.”
The brand’s mission and superfood power has proven to be attractive to more than just consumers since its launch in July 2016. Eighteen94 capital, the venture arm of CPG giant Kellogg Company, announced the brand would be its first investment earlier this year.
Wild Friends Get Nutty with Oat Cups
Consumers now have a way to make nut butter brand Wild Friends even more part of their daily lifestyle as the brand makes a move into the cereal aisle.
The Oregon-based brand announced this week that it’s launching a line of nut butter oat cups, which will begin hitting shelves this October at regional Sprouts locations. The cups are filled with rolled oats, chia and flax plus the addition of a single serve nut butter packet: Almond Cashew Super Butter or Peanut Cashew Super Butter.
“For years, we’ve seen our consumers add spoonfuls of our nut butters to their oatmeal, but that can be a hard breakfast to pack along with you,” co-founder Keeley Tillotson said in a statement. “So we created a simple, healthy and portable version of this delicious breakfast to match the busy lives of our consumers.”
The innovation comes as a result of Wild Friends most recent $1.4 million fundraising round that closed earlier this year. John Foraker, former president at General Mills and former CEO of Annie’s, was the lead investor in the round.
Alter Eco Enters the Snacking Space
Fair trade focused chocolate brand Alter Eco is breaking out of bars and into the snacking space with its newest innovation, coconut clusters.
The sustainably-driven food maker is combining baked coconut pieces, coconut oil and organic dark chocolate for the clusters, which will be available in 3.2-ounce resealable pouches at Natural Grocers to start.
“Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters mark an exciting milestone for Alter Eco as we enter this new space ,” Edouard Rollet, co-CEO and co-founder at Alter Eco, said in a statement. “But beyond expansion, our goal is to redefine the snacking space and create a future-forward category – one that is filled with next-level indulgences crafted with sustainable, superior ingredients and mind-blowingly delicious flavor.”
The clusters are launching with three flavors — original, seeds and salt, and cherry almond butter — and will hit shelves in December with a retail price of $4.79.
Smashmallow Launches Crispy Cereal Treats
In an effort to further position all-natural marshmallows as a snack, Smashmallow is broadening its portfolio with the debut of its better-for-you rice crispy treat, Smashcrispy.
The gluten-free treats are sold in packs of six for $4.99, and come in flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberries & Cream and Cinnamon Churro. Just recently launched, Smashcrispy has already been picked up by retailers including Kings, Ahold, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Safeway NorCal, Fred Meyer, Frys, and Kings Soopers.
Backed by Sonoma Brands, the incubator and investment group from KRAVE founder Jon Sebastiani, the line follows the launch of the group’s marshmallow product, Smashcrispy, and is the company’s first move into marshmallow-added products.
Sonoma Brands is also bringing its marshmallow innovation to the seasonal candy aisle. After a successful Easter campaign taking on Peeps, the company announced that it will also be debuting at the show its newest holiday flavor: Candy Cane.