The week’s stand-out product moves include dairy-free alternatives from Impossible Foods and Chobani, and meat-free pork pies from the UK’s Addo Food.

Impossible Foods developing milk alternative

Impossible Foods, a meat-alternative business in California, is developing dairy-free milk, with further plans to enter the plant-based category in eggs, fish and chicken.

“The demo of our milk prototype is just one example (among many) of the new products we’re working on behind the scenes. We do not yet have a commercialisation date for milk yet, but rather we shared it as an example of the different kinds of stimulating, challenging problems we have for scientists to work on at Impossible Foods,” the company said in a statement.

“Impossible Foods fully intends to eliminate the need for animals in the food chain by 2035. That means we need to make a wide variety of products that we currently get from animals – including ground cuts, whole cuts such as steak, milk, eggs, fish and many more products. 

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“Our work on milk is well under way, but keep in mind that the prototype we showed may not be the final recipe that we produce commercially. As part of company policy, we will not launch it until it is as good as, or ideally better than, the animal-derived version, and will not be announcing any date for the commercialisation of Impossible Milk.”

Impossible Foods is also exploring plant-based options in seafood, chicken and other dairy products.

Chobani takes oat drink blend to Australia

Chobani, the US business that started out in the Greek yogurt category, has taken its dairy-free Oat Drink Barista Blend to Australia.

Oat Drink Barista Blend was initially rolled out in the US last year, Chobani’s first foray outside of yogurt. While the product is currently being exported to Australia there are plans to set up a local manufacturing base. 

Chobani said the oat product is “designed to behave like steamed whole milk in coffee and tea, with the perfect froth and a rich, creamy taste”. It is launching in cafés and coffee shops first, along with other hospitality venues such as hotels, restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and also coffee manufacturers. 

“We are still in the early phases of planning to establish local manufacturing capabilities for oat-based products in Australia. We are focusing on this priority before we start considering plans for further expansion in the category,” Chobani said.

“Our mission has always been to bring better food to more people, so we can’t wait to expand into the retail market next so that our fans can grab Chobani Oat straight from the supermarket shelves.”

Chickpea specialist Banza moves into frozen pizzas

US chickpea pasta start-up Banza has launched better-for-you frozen pizza products.

Banza, which also has chickpea-based rice and mac & cheese lines, has created a pizza made with a chickpea crust.

The company suggests its new pizzas have more protein and fibre, and fewer net carbs and sodium, than the leading traditional (wheat-based) and better-for-you (cauliflower-based) frozen pizzas currently on the market. 

Brian Rudolph, CEO & co-founder of Banz, said: “Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-dense and environmentally-friendly foods available, yet we consume far less of them than we should. At Banza, we’re demonstrating the versatility of the ingredient and increasing consumption by using them to upgrade some of America’s favourite foods – pasta, rice and now, pizza.”

The new pizza range is available in three varieties – Four Cheese, Roasted Veggie and Margherita, and a two-pack, build-your-own Plain crust option. 

Banza Pizza is now available nationwide at Target, Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and Heinen’s, with an RRP of US$8.99.

Laird Superfood enters snacks category

Laird Superfood, a US-based maker of plant-based beverages, has entered the snacks category with the launch of Pili Nuts.

Up until now, Oregon-based Laird, founded in 2015 by surfer Laird Hamilton and Paul Hodge, its chief executive, had been focused on coffee creamers and beverages such as hydration products, drinkable supplements, instant coffee, teas and hot chocolate.

But it has now rolled out Pili Nuts in three flavours: Himalayan salt, matcha and cacao. 

The nuts are grown in the Philippines and are a source of magnesium and vitamin E, containing 18 grams of fat per serving. 

The matcha variety are coated in organic Kyoto matcha sourced from Japan and organic coconut flower sugar, while the cacao version is dusted with a coating of organic Ecuadorian Cacao and organic coconut flower sugar. 

CEO Hodge said: “The introduction of our Pili Nuts in the snack food category demonstrates our strong commitment to building a brand platform and continuing momentum in the natural foods market. We aim to expand into many aisles of the grocery store – and we feel that Pili Nuts is the perfect place to start.”

Pili Nuts are available at select US retailers at US$11.95 for a pack of three.

Graham’s the Family Dairy debuts Squidgies yogurt pouches; launches Scottish sea salt butter

Graham’s the Family Dairy is launching a three-strong range of easy-to-squeeze yogurt pouches for kids named Squidgies, along with a new butter using Scottish sea salt.

Available in three flavours – Strawberry, Peach and Mango, and Blueberry – Squidgies have initially been introduced in Graham’s home market of Scotland, with plans to extend the offering to the rest of the UK.

Squidgies was the idea of managing director Robert Graham’s three children and are made with whole milk and real fruit, providing calcium, vitamin D and live cultures.

MD Graham said: “Innovation and product development are something we at Graham’s pride ourselves on and this new product specifically created for children is a first for our family dairy business. My children have been asking for some time if they could help develop a yogurt product for kids, so as the original inspiration for Squidgies, they got stuck in from the very beginning of the process. They even worked with our product and design team on flavour combinations and packaging.”

The yogurt pouches are now available in SPAR at an RRP of 75 pence (98 US cents), and will hit Tesco stores in Scotland on 26 October, along with the new artisan Scottish sea salt butter.

Graham’s has partnered with the Isle of Skye Sea Salt Co. to use the company’s natural, unrefined sea salt in combination with milk sourced from Graham’s network of Scottish farmers.

Chris and Meena Watts, directors of Isle of Skye Sea Salt, said: “We are thrilled to work with the Graham’s family….to produce Graham’s Scottish Butter with Isle of Skye Sea Salt. Our pure eco-friendly sea salt resonates so well with the natural beauty of Skye as a brand.”

Tony’s Chocolonely makes France breakthrough

The Netherlands-based chocolate maker, which markets itself on ethical credentials, has struck deals to ramp up its presence in France.

Department-store retailer Galerie Lafayette and restaurant operator So Good have been stocking the firm’s chocolate and now Casino’s Monoprix and Franprix chains will list five products across a total of 390 stores. E. Leclerc will also sell the firm’s bars in outlets in the Paris/île de France Nord region.

“In France consumers are becoming more and more aware of what they buy and French retailers have shown interest in our story and our products. We are confident the French market is ready for Tony’s Chocolonely and that our high-quality chocolate in colourful wrappers will appeal to the critical French consumer,” the company told just-food.

Tony’s Chocolonely, which announced from two venture-capital funds earlier in the year, is present in more than 15 markets and is set to add Japan to the roster before the end of the year.

The company’s financial year runs from October to September. The firm said its latest numbers need to be finalised but reported revenue of EUR69.6m (US$81.8m) in its 2018/19 financial year. In 2020/21, Tony’s Chocolonely is targeting revenue of EUR121m.

Perfetti Van Melle emphasises Vitamin C in latest India launch

The Dutch-Italian confectionery giant, which counts India among its largest markets globally, has launched a liquid-filled sweet containing “fruit juice and Vitamin C”.

Alpenliebe JuiCyfills sees Perfetti Van Melle enter India’s market for fruit candies with a product the company has seemingly developed with an eye on Covid-19.

“In these testing times, Vitamin C has increased importance since it helps build immunity,” Rohit Kapoor, marketing director for Perfetti Van Melle’s Indian business, said. “As a brand, Alpenliebe has always focused on bringing hearts together and adding moments of togetherness around everyday gestures among families.”

Available in mango and orange varieties, the sweets will be available in “neighbourhood stores” across India, priced at INR1 (US$0.01). In addition to the one-rupee pack, the product will be sold in an assorted pack at INR50 in “select modern trade stores”.

just-food has asked Perfetti Van Melle for further comment on the level of Vitamin C in each sweet and how the product can help support a consumer’s immunity.

Impossible Foods in retail push in Hong Kong, Singapore

The US alt-meat specialist has launched its Impossible Beef Made From Plants in retail stores in Hong Kong and Singapore. 

ParknShop stores in Hong Kong and NTUC FairPrice outlets in Singapore will stock the product, which has been available in foodservice accounts in Asia. In addition, Singapore online grocer RedMart is also now listing the product.

In Hong Kong, the beef alternative has a suggested retail price of HKD89.90 (US$11.60) for a 340g retail pack. In Singapore, the SRP is SGD16.90 (US$12.45).

Impossible Beef is available in 700 restaurants across Hong Kong and Macau, as well as around 550 restaurants in Singapore.

Addo Food takes Pork Farms brand into plant-based

Savoury snacks maker Addo Food Group in the UK has taken its Pork Farms brand into the meat-less category with the launch of plant-based pork pies.

Porkless Pork Pie, which contain a pea protein filling, has launched in select Asda stores across the UK as Addo seeks to “meet the demand for flexitarianism-friendly options”. 

A pack of two 65-gram pies carries a recommended retail price of GBP1.65 (US$2.13).

Mike Holton, brand manager at Pork Farms, said: “There’s currently a growing demand in the market for meat replacement pastry products and, with flexitarianism continuing to gain popularity, it is clear that the demand for alternative-protein products is not just a passing trend. 

“With consumers more conscious than ever before about their health and the impact their food is having on the environment, we are pleased to be able to introduce a new product that addresses both of these concerns.”