Natural Sweeteners & Vegan Orange Chicken: CPG News, Weeks of July 5 & 12

by Sophie Guimaraes

5 minutes


Unioncrate's curated biweekly round-up of CPG & supply chain news. This week's news features funding rounds for Nature's Fynd and X2, rebrands for ROAR and ChocXO, and the "scan-and-ship" retail experience.


Investments & Acquisitions

Layn Natural Ingredients is investing $148M to expand its production of plant-based sweeteners. Food Dive

TurtleTree Labs, a producer of cell-based milk, has raised an $80M Series A. Forbes

Chicago-based Nature’s Fynd, a producer of fungus-based meat alternatives, has raised a $158M funding round in part from Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Al Gore. Tech Register

Meati, another fungus-based meat alternative—this time specializing in whole cuts of meat—has raised $50M in a recent funding round. Food Dive

Online membership-based Thrive Market is looking into going public, possibly at a valuation of $2B. Bloomberg

Sports performance brand X2 has closed a $16M Series D, with backing from NFL player Saquon Barkley. BevNET

Glossier is gunning for international expansion with $80M from its Series E. Retail Dive

Israeli cultured meat company Aleph Farms has raised a $105M Series B. Food Dive

Canadian bar maker Buddha Brands has raised $3M in funding and has launched in the US. NOSH

The Single Origin Food Co., a producer of vegan honey, has raised a $1.1M seed round. Green Queen

Juice brand Suja Life has been acquired by PE firm Paine Schwartz Partners for an undisclosed sum. BevNET


New Products & Partnerships

Beyond Meat’s latest partnership is at Panda Express, who now features the brand in its orange chicken at select locations. CNBC

In more Beyond news: Beyond Chicken Tenders have launched in food service outlets across the country. Food Dive

Catalina Crunch is branching out into savory snack territory, with some new branding coming along for the ride. NOSH

ROAR has rebranded too, shifting its messaging from sports hydration to all-day hydration. Food Navigator

In other rebrand news: ChocXO now touts its products as keto-friendly. ChocXO

The Coke Zero recipe got a makeover—and now, the zero-sugar version should taste more like the full-sugar version. Food Dive

Yoplait has launched a line of Skittles-inspired yogurt. Food Dive


Supply Chain News

Kroger is leveraging automation for its Great Lakes distribution center from logistics tech company Knapp. Supermarket News

Heinz is introducing 100% recyclable ketchup bottle caps into its supply chain. The Shelby Report

SpartanNash has opened its first micro-fulfillment center near its Grand Rapids, MI headquarters. Progressive Grocer

Walmart has partnered with robotics company Symbiotic to automate 25 of its regional distribution centers. MarketWatch

The price of shipping continues to increase as global supply chain jams persist. The Wall Street Journal

United Sodas of America is expanding into retail. BevNET

Poppilu has also gained nationwide retail distribution. BevNET

Consumers can now find Better Booch kombucha at Walmart. BevNET

Brazilian meat alternative brand Future Farm is expanding into the US. Food Dive

BlueTriton Brands, owner of Poland Springs and Pure Life, has appointed former Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble exec Jorge Mesquita as its CEO. Food Dive

Instacart has appointed former Facebook exec Fidja Simo as its new CEO come August. Supermarket News

Sam’s Club is test-driving a “scan-and-ship” retail experience where customers can scan items in-store for later delivery. CNBC

Know Brainer’s Max Mallow has gained distribution at Walmart, while Undercover Snacks has expanded to 5,000 new stores. NOSH


Good Reads

Despite the pandemic-driven spike in e-commerce, most of PepsiCo’s sales are actually coming from in-store retail. Modern Retail

CPG brands have found a new favorite retailer: Urban Outfitters. Modern Retail

As we venture out into the world more and more, fresh breath is becoming a forgotten priority: chewing gum sales are climbing. Food Dive

Something that isn’t unique to Covid, though? Consumers’ interest in immunity-boosting products. Food Business News

About Unioncrate

Unioncrate is an AI-powered Supply Chain Planning Platform that gives CPG brands the technology they need to compete and win in a rapidly changing consumer landscape. Our automated demand and supply forecasts deliver unmatched accuracy, collaborative visibility, and actionable intelligence, simplifying a manual-heavy process and slashing hours from your week.

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