A Sweet Acquisition & Stockout Solutions: CPG News, Week of May 17-21

by Sophie Guimaraes

5 minutes


Unioncrate's curated weekly round-up of CPG & supply chain news. This week's news features a big-time chocolate industry acquisition, lots of updates from KIND, and—it's a dream come true—lime-only skittles.


Investments & Acquisitions

Hershey is acquiring low-sugar chocolate brand Lily’s for an undisclosed amount. Food Dive

Oatly, in all of its glory, has officially IPOed at a valuation of $10B. Forbes

Kroger has selected 10 brands for its $2.5M Innovation Fund centering on upcycling and sustainability, including Agua Bonita, Grain4Grain, Husky Beverages, Journey Foods, Matriark Foods, NETZRO, reBLEND, Renewal Mill, Take Two, and The Spare Food Co. Winsight Grocery Business

Eat Just has raised $170M in its newest funding round. Food Dive

Plant-based chicken brand Daring has raised $40M in its Series B. Food Dive

Bagless tea brand Tea Drops has raised $5M in its Series A. Built In LA

Upside Foods, formerly known as Memphis Meats, has received capital from Whole Foods founder John Mackey. Bloomberg

Exponent Private Equity is buying dessert brand Gü Puds from Noble Foods for an undisclosed amount. FoodBev

Cell-cultured meat firm Mosa Meat has decreased the cost of its fat production by 65x. The Spoon 

The American division of Mexican retailer Grupo Comercial Chedraui SA has acquired Smart & Final Stores for $600M+, marking Grupo’s geographic expansion in the States. The Wall Street Journal

The new CEO of Danone, starting in September, will be Antoine de Saint-Affrique, formerly of Barry Callebaut. Food Dive

Iceland Seafood International intends to acquire an 80% stake in Spanish salmon processor Ahumados Dominguez.FoodBev


New Products & Partnerships

KIND has launched a line of plant-based ice creams, marking a pivot away from the bar category. Food Dive

In other KIND news, the supergiant has launched an almond butter breakfast bar. FoodBev

Leading Canadian energy drink brand GURU has launched a Yerba Mate energy drink in the States. BevNet

Gatorade has launched Gatorlyte, a version of the sports drinks with more electrolytes and less sugar. Food Dive

Freee has launched a line of gluten-free breakfast cereals. FoodBev

Trader Joe’s has launched vegan fudge pops. VegNews

You can now find frozen cups of riced cauliflower from CAULIPOWER at Whole Foods. CAULIPOWER

In other CAULIPOWER news, the veggie-powered brand has launched a new version of its pizza crusts, one that’s “artisanal” and “stone-fired.” Self

Instacart and 7-Eleven are expanding their partnership. Grocery Dive

Skittles has launched a limited edition pack of just its lime flavor. Best Products

Sugar Plum Chocolates has launched a line of childhood treat-inspired chocolate bars. Candy Industry

¡CACTUS! Organic Cactus Water has gained distribution with Raley’s Supermarket. BevNet

Chr. Hansen Natural Colors has changed its name to Oterra following its acquisition by investment firm EQT. Food Dive

Switzerland-based flavor company Firmenich has developed a technology, called Dynarome SR, that mimics fat in plant-based foods. Food Dive


Supply Chain News

Yeti’s inventory has been down 9% YoY in the past quarter, prompting the brand to look for solutions to solve stockouts. Supply Chain Dive

Meijer has opened three new supercenters (155,000 ft. sq) in Ohio and Indiana. Progressive Grocer

Kroger is testing its new Ocado ecommerce facilities for retailer and DTC deliveries. Winsight Grocery Business

The effect of high-priced corn is rippling across the rest of the supply chain, particularly in the meat sector. Forbes

Cargo ships are delivering their loads later than ever, putting yet another kink in the global economic recovery. The Wall Street Journal

Whole Foods is looking to make operational pivots after a subpar pandemic performance. Winsight Grocery Business

In-store sales for Target and TJX are soaring thanks to consumers’ general post-pandemic sentiments. The Wall Street Journal

TuSimple says its self-driving trucks shaved off 10 hours from a 24-hour trip. CNBC

Recyclablu is upcycling medical waste into personal protective gear for everyday consumers. Forbes

A year ago, every company in America was rushing to produce personal protective equipment; now that the pandemic is somewhat letting up, there’s a lot—a lot—of excess inventory. Reuters


Good Reads

Online grocery sales are on the decline as more shoppers return to stores. Grocery Dive

Walmart, on the other hand, has its online sales up 37%. Grocery Dive

Ever wondered the percentage of consumers open to eating cultivated meat? It’s 80%. Food Dive

Catch up on the top 10 flavors to watch for 2021. Specialty Food Association

6 trends will shape the future of grocery, according to Instacart. Progressive Grocer

Grocery Outlet in particular has a bold vision for growth—one that it’s on track to execute. Progressive Grocer

“Big money is going vegan,” proclaims The New York Times. Read more; you know where. The New York Times

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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