Mondelēz International has made its second investment as part of the SnackFutures programme it launched at the end of last year – this time investing in the company behind snack brand Hu Products.
Hu offers a range of minimally processed snack foods – including grain-free crackers, tea and coffee, dark chocolate and chocolate-covered pieces – under the tagline “get back to human”.
Founded in 2012 as a family business, Hu began as Hu Kitchen in New York City – a high-end kitchen and market focused on paleo-inspired foods – before quickly expanding into the CPG marketplace. Mondelēz’s involvement will be just the latest vote of confidence in its rapidly expanding business.
Mondelēz said that Hu had “developed into a premium, multi-SKU brand portfolio of wellness-focused… snacking products with a devoted following”.
It is Mondelēz’s second venture as part of its SnackFutures programme, the ‘innovation hub’ and venturing arm launched at the end of last year with the aim of capitalising on emerging growth opportunities in the snacking segment. SnackFutures has a goal of contributing $100 million to Mondelēz’s revenue growth by 2022, and kicked off its investments in March with an initial stake in prebiotic food company Uplift.
Speaking about its latest investment in Hu, Mondelēz International chief growth officer Tim Cofer said: “As the global snacking leader, we’re on a mission to lead the future of snacking and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Investing in Hu offers our company an opportunity to do exactly that. The Hu brand sits at the convergence of key growing consumer trends. Building on its initial success in chocolate, we believe there’s an exciting opportunity to continue expanding the Hu proposition into a broad health-focused snacking platform across categories. And, with an in-house test kitchen and insights lab, they have a unique ability to quickly test and learn.”
Mondelēz has previously invested in Uplift, an early-stage prebiotics start-up, as part of the SnackFutures programme.
Hu co-founder Jason Karp said: “Jordan, Jessica and I started Hu because we wanted a place where we could trust and understand every ingredient in our food. We chose Mondelēz International as a minority investor because we believe their resources, strengths and progressive vision of SnackFutures can help us accelerate positive change within snacking. This partnership should allow the Hu platform to grow and reach more people in a better and broader way than on our own.”
And fellow co-founder Jordan Brown added: “Hu is our passion, and we’re thrilled to fuel its growth with Mondelēz International as our partner. Our perpetual goal is to marry great taste with no weird ingredients, and we’re big believers that using these simpler ingredients can make people feel and perform better than they thought possible. Our new partnership will help us advance this ‘Get Back To Human’ concept to a global audience.”
By Alex Clere
Coca-Cola is unveiling a fully plant-based PET (bPET) bottle prototype, excluding the cap and label. The beverage giant has produced a limited run of 900 bottles, confirming the prototypes are recyclable within existing recycling infrastructures, alongside PET from oil-based sources.
McDonald’s and Starbucks are committing an additional US$10 million to the NextGen Consortium, an initiative aiming to improve environmental sustainability standards in the foodservice industry. Founded by investment firm Closed Loop Partners, the Consortium is investigating methods of advancing the design, commercialization and recovery of packaging materials.
Hortifrut is purchasing Atlantic Blue for US$280 million. Atlantic Blue is a key player in the growing and marketing of berries in Europe and Northern Africa, based in Huelva, Spain. The transaction will allow Hortifrut to expand its growing area by about 20% and consolidate its position as the largest fresh blueberry platform in Europe and the UK.