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Business Bites: Baby food packaging redesign, Upcycled baking products, Chickpea in ice cream

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On this week’s plate: Plum Organics’ new baby food packaging; upcycled muffin mix; dairy-free ice cream with chickpea protein; and more to keep you coming back.

New packaging highlights flavor profiles and ingredients

Organic baby food brand Plum Organics revealed new packaging for its baby food pouches and snacks, helping parents easily identify ingredients and going one step further by describing how the products taste. The redesigned packaging features a unique flavor scale—including sweet, sour, savory and texture—as well as a dynamic QR code leading to the Plum website. Not only does the new packaging provide more helpful information for parents seeking healthy products to feed their children, it also may help differentiate the brand from the sea of others on the market.

Renewal Mill and Just Date trailblaze upcycled baking products

Two San Francisco-based, women-owned brands are making waves in the food industry when it comes to baking products. Renewal Mill, an upcycled food company that is helping fight climate change and global food loss, teamed up with Just Date, a company that produces nutrient-dense sweeteners from whole fruit, to launch an upcycled muffin mix. The Chai Oat Muffin Mix, available exclusively online, incorporates Renewal’s upcycled oat milk flour and Just Date’s upcycled organic date sugar to create the next big thing in the upcycled food movement. Like many boxed cake and muffin mixes on the market, the consumer only needs to add oil and water; however, this mix boasts being 100% vegan, gluten free, and high in fiber and antioxidants.

Chickpea protein fuels dairy-free ice cream

Chickpea ice cream? You heard it right. Food technology startup ChickP Protein Ltd. presented a new chickpea protein isolate for plant-based ice cream, which it says provides the same mouthfeel as that of a real dairy product. As nondairy products continue to grow in the food and beverage industry, more plant-based proteins are being utilized in various products—giving flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans alike more alternative meat options to nosh on. The growing popularity of plant-based products comes on the heels of some consumers trying to cut down on animal-derived products.

Hot sauce plunges into beverages

Most coffee shops are used to requests like “light and sweet” and “hot” or “iced,” but most likely they haven’t heard a request for “spicy.” That’s where Ujjo comes in. The brand, which has an entire lineup of hot sauces for drinks, launched with its hot sauce for coffee during the pandemic. Spicy coffee, coming right up. Ujjo’s hot sauces feature subtle sweeteners, cozy spices and zero vinegar to provide a unique kick to any drink. For the upcoming holiday season, Ujjo collaborated with Culture Coffee to offer a limited-edition gift set with four single-serve coffee bags, two travel-size hot sauces and an exclusive recipe book featuring one-of-a-kind concoctions (Dirty Horchata or Spicy Peppermint Mocha, anyone?). Putting a spicy spin on classic holiday flavors follows suit with some of the top food and beverage trends to expect in 2023.

Chinova Bioworks CEO receives Innovation Award

Natasha Dhayagude, CEO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks, received the Innovation Award at the 2022 RBC Canadian Entrepreneur Awards, which recognizes the country’s leading female entrepreneurs. The food technology company upcycles the stems of white button mushrooms to develop its mushroom extract Chiber, a natural, clean label preservation ingredient that the company claims helps improve finished products’ quality, freshness and shelf life. With upcycling on the rise in the food and beverage industry, functional ingredients like Chiber may allow companies to expand their global reach and increase food security, while helping to reduce food waste.

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