Healthier Choices: Better-for-you candy, functional beverage growth, brown rice confectionery and more feature in our round-up
Better-for-you candy: Australia’s Funday outlines domestic and international expansion strategy
Australia start-up Funday Natural Sweets is on a mission to increase its presence from 1,000 outlets to 3,000 next year, in addition to unveiling plans to expand internationally.
The brand first launched in March 2020 manufacturing prebiotic lollies, and the products are now available at Woolworths, Chemist Warehouse, health food stores and online in Australia.
According to the founder Daniel Kitay, the firm is in discussions with other independent supermarket chains, petrol and convenience outlets to grow its presence in Australia.
“We have had a huge amount of interest from distribution channels that traditionally stocked confectionery and or health food products.”
Functional beverage opportunities: Drink Dry seeks brands to help fill gaps in UAE market
UAE non-alcoholic drink online marketplace and distributor Drink Dry says that functional beverages are an emerging trend in the region and is looking to list more of such products on its platform.
Launched earlier this year, Drink Dry primarily stocks and distributes non-alcoholic beer, sparkling wine, spirits, and is now selling Red Bull’s energy drinks.
Founder Erika Doyle said: “In the last year, we have seen a slight shift from the typical non-alcoholic beer or wine to a beverage with added benefits.
Promoting diversity: FANCL subsidiary begins confectionery business using germinated brown rice
A new subsidiary from FANCL Group in Japan has begun manufacturing confectionery and selling them under the Smile Sweets Factory brand.
FANCL Smile primarily produces cookies, which contain FANCL’s germinated brown rice in place of wheat and is gluten free.
Sprouted or germinated rice is rice that is unpolished and allowed to germinate to improve flavour, texture as well as increase its natural nutrients such as y-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Sprouting makes nutrients more bioavailable.
This ingredient is used in FANCL’s sprouted rice range including rice cake, rice porridge, and its food with function claim (FFC) recognised retort rice.
MSG for plant-based products? Ajinomoto touts salt reduction and flavour enhancing abilities
Japan flavouring giant Ajinomoto believes that major growth opportunities lie ahead for the firm within the plant-based meat alternatives and ready-to-eat product sectors, where it believes MSG and other glutamate solutions can provide the required flavours while reducing salt levels.
Ajinomoto is best known for its seasoning product monosodium glutamate (MSG), which has faced a good deal of scepticism from consumers over the years, but the firm believes it is starting to lose some its stigma.
“Numerous public health agencies and organizations around the world have validated the use of MSG – It is made up of sodium which is found in salt, and glutamate, which is the predominant amino acid found in nature and is synthesized by our bodies [as well as] found naturally in foods people eat everyday like mushrooms, corn, cured meats, egg yolks, and green tea,” Ajinomoto Global Communications Department Manager Manasi Deodhar told FoodNavigator-Asia.
‘Exciting formats, high margins’: Australia’s Wellnex Life on retail strategies for nutrition and supplement portfolios
Novel formats and high profit margins are some of the key areas that Wellnex Life will focus on as it expands the presence of its nutrition and supplement products across major retailers in Australia.
The ASX-listed company earlier on announced that its supplement brands ‘Wakey Wakey’ and ‘The Iron Company’ were stocked in Chemist Warehouse – Australia’s largest pharmacy retail chain.
In addition, products from the two brands are available in national supermarket chains such as Coles, Woolworths, as well as Terry White Chemmart, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), and Symbion.
This is considered no small achievement given that the two brands are new to the market.