Weekly Roundup: AAK accelerates plant-based, Pernod Ricard in peanut butter-flavored whiskey deal
24 Mar 2023 --- This week in industry news, natural ingredients boosted Nexira’s financial results, Kraft Heinz and BEES expanded their partnership in Latin America, while AAK invested in plant-based food developments. Meanwhile, Bay State Milling Company unveils a gut-friendly, multi-purpose flour and Pernod Ricard plans to invest in Skrewball, a premium peanut butter-flavored American whiskey firm.
In brief: Business highlights
Kerry officially opened its Southern Europe Innovation Centre in Barcelona, Spain, as part of the ongoing expansion of its presence in the region serving Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. The new facility will combine Kerry’s current office in Barcelona with a new customer suite and applications labs and will operate in conjunction with technology centers in Vigo and Granada, as well as the global taste centers of excellence in Grasse in France and Mozzo in Italy. It will allow Kerry to work more closely with customers in the South European region to develop solutions across food and beverage categories, including retail manufacturing and foodservice.
Nestlé and UNESCO inked a new partnership to provide young people with the resources and the skills they need to develop solutions to achieve positive social impact in their communities. The project will begin in Latin America with a call for regional applications. The end goal is to scale up the partnership to a global level in the future. The partnership, “Because Youth Matter,” will be carried out by UNESCO in cooperation with Nestlé.Twenty grants of US$10,000 each will be awarded to young leaders, entrepreneurs and youth organizations to help them create and implement solutions for enhanced social impact. Grantees will benefit from training sessions and mentoring throughout the development of their projects from Nestlé’s and UNESCO’s experts.
The Bezos Earth Fund announced US$34.5 million in grants as part of its US$10 billion commitment to fight climate change and protect nature. The grant will support transformative work to improve greenhouse gas accounting and disclosure and advance food systems transformation.
AAK created an Innovation Center of Excellence to develop plant-based foods close to its Zaandijk production facilities in the Netherlands. TThe new center includes culinary, sensory and pilot plant facilities and wills work with customers from across the globe to create innovative plant-based food products and bring them to market faster.
The Kraft Heinz Company and BEES expanded a partnership to propel the B2B marketplace, aiming to “unlock one million potential new points of sale across LATAM for Kraft Heinz,” specifically to enhance its footprint in Mexico, Colombia and Peru. The new LATAM deal is designed to be the catalyst to help Kraft Heinz realize its Emerging Markets strategy by increasing points of distribution and expanding the number of items available to retailers in the region.
Nexira presented its results for the 2021/22 financial year, verifying its solid financial position. These results are primarily driven by a strong diversification and development strategy based on natural ingredients and key resource preservation initiatives. Over the 2021-2022 financial year, Nexira enjoyed “remarkable growth,” with a turnover of €224.3 million (US$244.1 million) aligned with its “Vision 2020” development plan. With the acquisition of Unipektin Ingredients, consolidated total sales increased by 66%. Strong organic growth and recent acquisitions drove the company’s record turnover and strategic partnerships concluded in recent years to provide novel natural ingredients and patented active agents.
In brief: Sustainability efforts
Nestlé in the US is investing in Ganado, a solar project owned and developed by Enel North America in Jackson County, Texas. With Nestlé’s investment, the project, which is the size of just over 600 hectares, will add 208 megawatts of solar electricity to the US power grid. It will help Nestlé advance efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across operations. Nestlé will also purchase 100% of the renewable electricity attributes generated by the project’s energy production.
After two years with its pioneering water recycling system, Carlsberg estimates that the brewery in Fredericia has saved approximately one billion liters of water. The brewery is an example of how broad collaborations can solve one of the world's biggest challenges - water scarcity. This year, World Water Day focuses on global water scarcity and how new technologies can help to address this major challenge. Almost two years ago, Carlsberg Denmark broke grounds on its new water recycling plant. Since then, by recycling 90% of all process water from production, the brewery has saved almost 1 billion litres of water.
In brief: Launches
Kansas Protein Foods launched its Imagic Plant-Based Sausage Products, a flavored ready-to-eat textured vegetable protein made from soy flour formulated to resemble crumbles of cooked sausage in flavor, aroma, texture and color and are suited for a wide range of applications and food systems. The structure of Kansas Protein Foods’ product enables it to hydrate and retain moisture in rigorous processing and cooking environments.
Bay State Milling Company unveiled its Wingold Wellness multi-purpose flour. This better-for-you blend offers three times the gut-healthy fiber of traditional refined wheat flour with the same taste, functionality and quality. Powered by Bay State Milling’s HealthSense High-Fiber Wheat Flour, Wingold Wellness is a 1:1 replacement for traditional refined wheat flour, delivering a good source of fiber across several applications, including pizza, pasta, bread and tortillas without the need for fiber additives. It is made from one ingredient – wheat – this new flour offers retail and wholesale bakeries and manufacturers a drop-in solution that can enhance a product’s nutritional profile without requiring formulation adjustments.
Butter Buds highlighted Milk Buds Plus, a concentrated dairy ingredient solution that helps food and beverage manufacturers mimic the taste of American-style chocolate. Milk Buds Plus serves up rich dairy taste, delivering a fatty mouthfeel and flavor masking, ideal for a variety of confectionery products, beverages and bakery fillings.
In brief: Acquisitions
Pernod Ricard signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Skrewball, a premium peanut butter-flavored American whiskey. The partnership adds a complementary brand to Pernod Ricard’s portfolio of spirits and wine brands and an opportunity to continue building on its premiumization strategy. It comes on the back of the launch of Jameson Orange into the flavored whiskey category last year.
In brief: Miscellaneous highlights
The European Commission has started unannounced inspections at a company’s premises active in the energy drinks sector in various member states. The Commission has concerns that the inspected company may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices (Article 101 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 53 of the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA)). The unnamed company may also have violated EU antitrust rules prohibiting abuses of a dominant position (Article 102 of the TFEU and Article 54 of the EEA). The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the national competition authorities of the Member States, where the inspections were carried out.
The key role forests play in ensuring environmental health and healthy societies came under the spotlight during International Day of Forests 2023 earlier this week. Hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the event also underscored how the protection and sustainable management of the world’s woodland areas needs to be a top priority given their crucial contribution to livelihoods, nutrition, biodiversity and addressing the impacts of the climate crisis.
By Elizabeth Green
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