H Mart Turns to Micro-Fulfillment & Plant-Based Prevails (Again): CPG News, Week of Mar 29-Apr 2

by Sophie Guimaraes

5 minutes


Unioncrate's curated weekly round-up of CPG & supply chain news. This week's news features a new supply chain strategy for H Mart, a huge funding round for LIVEKINDLY, and CAULIPOWER’s “forecasting superpower.”


Unioncrate in the News

It’s not every day you’re called a forecasting superpower. Read about how Unioncrate’s been a pivotal asset to CAULIPOWER's massive success. Consumer Goods Technology


Investments & Acquisitions

Riviana Foods is selling the Ronzoni pasta brand to Post Holdings for $95M. FoodBev

Plant-based brand collective LIVEKINDLY has closed a $335M funding round. Food Dive

Pilgrim’s Pride has issued a $1B bond that will accrue 25% interest if the company doesn’t hit its sustainability goals by 2030. Food Dive

Black-led VC firm Harlem Capital has raised a $134M second fund. Forbes

Natural Grocers is reopening a store in the Dallas area with the company’s “new format” and a square footage increase of 40%. Progressive Grocer

H-E-B is opening two stores in Frisco and Plano, two towns in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Winsight Grocery Business

California-based bargain grocer Grocery Outlet is expanding into Pennsylvania. Winsight Grocery Business

Telenutrition platform Foodsmart has raised a $25M Series C. The Spoon

Over across the pond, Nomad Foods has acquired Fortenova Group’s Frozen Food Business Group for €615M to make headway into the Eastern European market. Food Manufacture

You’ve heard of KFC, but soon, you’ll be hearing more and more about VFC; the UK-based vegan fried chicken brand just closed a $3.4M seed round. Green Queen

And across the other (way bigger) pond, Viomix Tech, a South Korean plant-based food tech company, has closed a Series A. Green Queen

Kroger is aiming to double digital sales by the end of 2023. CNBC

Cargill is selling 50% of its stake in Alvean, the company responsible for a fifth of the world’s sugar shipments. Bloomberg

Campbell Soup is selling Plum Organics to Sun-Maid, marking the latter’s move into the baby food space. Food Navigator

Anheuser-Busch is investing $100M to upcycle barley by-product from its beer production. Food Dive

Harry’s has raised $155M in its Series E and is looking to add more brands. Its valuation is now $1.7B. Retail Dive

MeliBio, a bee-free honey producer, has closed a $850K pre-seed round. Green Queen

Georgia-based company Danimer Scientific plans to open a $700M factory to produce biodegradable CPG plastic packaging. The Washington Post


New Products & Partnerships

CAULIPOWER has launched a frozen pasta line. Food Dive

PepsiCo is relaunching Evolve, the plant-based protein drink the company acquired from CytoSport in 2019. Food Business News

Quorn Foods and Roquette are partnering with the Future Food-Tech Summit to launch two Innovation Challenges for plant-based protein brands. Food Business News

Squeaky Bean has launched chargrilled “filets” as an alternative to grilled chicken. FoodBev

Renewal Mill has launched a snickerdoodle cookie mix. Food Business News

Canadian supplement brand Rritual Superfoods is launching in US RiteAids later in the year. The Armchair Trader

Do high-protein chocolate Easter eggs seem like a myth? Not with Cocoa+ they’re not. Stack3d

Sound Nutrition has released a line of wholesome, sweet snacks that are shaped by high-frequency sound waves instead of heat in order to retain nutritional value. Food Dive

Instacart has a new partnership with Michael’s, its latest venture outside of the food and beverage space. Supermarket News


Supply Chain News

As I’m sure you already know: the Suez Canal ship has been freed. The Wall Street Journal

…But they’re still struggling to clear up the resulting logjam, just one of the lasting supply chain disruptions to come from this. The Wall Street Journal

H Mart is deploying an automated, omnichannel micro-fulfillment strategy to help with its online sales. Chain Store Age

China is raising prices on exported goods due to supply chain constraints and high raw material costs. The Suez Canal debacle has only expedited this. The Wall Street Journal

Raley’s is fighting food waste by using a software management system to track expiration dates. Winsight Grocery Business

High commodity costs mean higher COGs: Kimberly-Clark (Huggies), General Mills, and Hormel are raising prices to offset costs. The Wall Street Journal


Good Reads

The supply chain—and the world—is not normal just yet. Read the special report from Consumer Goods Technology.

Move over, Hershey—millennial-founded Mid-Day Squares is the newest disruptor in the chocolate space. Food Business News

Hear what female founders have to say about their experiences starting a brand. Food Dive

Thrive Market’s goal is to be the first climate-positive grocer. Read more about their journey in Progressive Grocer.

Over the course of the pandemic, grocers have experienced higher sales but margins have remained tight. Food Navigator

Hear from the CEO of Mondelez on how he’s navigated the pandemic. Food Safety News

NYC-based spice brand Burlap & Barrel is taking on “big spice.” Business of Business

SaaS companies are trying to take advantage of the recent e-commerce boom. Read about how. Modern Retail

And finally, the pandemic might’ve actually… strengthened the global supply chain? Read more in The Counter.

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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