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Weekly Roundup: AAK and BASF exit Russia, Olam strengthens sustainable quinoa and chia – Food Ingredients First

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29 Apr 2022 — In industry news this week, Heinz unveiled its Dip & Crunch sauce range for burgers, BettaF!sh launched plant-based TU-NAH Spreads and Hippeas expanded its business into the Netherlands. Meanwhile, AAK and BASF withdrew their business operations from Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine. Irish lamb will be made available in the US for the first time in export developments.
In brief: Sustainability
Olam Agri has released its Specialty Grains & Seeds, Peru Sustainability Report 2021 that outlines its continued progress toward more sustainable quinoa and chia supply chains, which are delivering positive social and environmental impacts for local quinoa and chia farming communities in Peru. 
Swiss coffee brand Nespresso has joined an international movement of 4,500 purpose-led businesses that meet B Corp's high standards of social and environmental responsibility and transparency. Receiving its global certification as a B Corp is a marker for the positive impact Nespresso has made in the coffee industry. Key contributing elements include its approach to coffee sourcing through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program, designed in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, its strategic alliance with Fairtrade, and the brand's global recycling scheme for its aluminum capsules.
S2G Ventures, a multi-stage investment firm in food, agriculture, ocean and seafood markets, unveiled eight ocean and seafood trends to facilitate a healthy ocean ecosystem abundant with marine life, regulate the climate and provide food for a growing population.
In brief: NPDHeinz’s new sauce range Dip & Crunch is promoted for burger dipping.
Heinz unveiled its Dip & Crunch range for burgers which combines sauce with crisp potato crunchers. The company caters to burger consumers who have demanded a restaurant-style sauce for years. The range comes in Dip & Crunch and Spicy Dip & Crunch, made with tomato puree, molasses, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder, tamarind concentrate, onion powder and spices.
Berlin start-up BettaF!sh launched TU-NAH Spreads in four flavors Olives, Tomato + Chili, Caper + Pepper and Au Naturel for sandwich or wrap fillings, dips and toppings for poke bowls and salads. European seaweed provides the vegan tuna alternative with its fishy flavor.
Whipnotic has created swirled whipped cream using patented technology to dispense an all-natural colored and fruit-infused swirl ice cream. The proprietary technology turns whipped cream into decadent cream for home use. Whipped cream is a rapidly growing industry projected to reach US$10.3 billion by 2025 and expand at a CAGR of 4.2% over the next five years. 
Plant-based food brand, Outstanding Foods has launched its Cheese Balls product line that will be unveiled with an elevated look and feel. The brand is known for the Outstanding Pig Out Crunchies line and Outstanding Puffs, a salty snack with 20 vitamins and minerals.
In brief: Business moves
Lemon Perfect, a hydrating lemon water brand in the enhanced water category, announced today the closing of a US$31 million Series A from an influential network of investors across F&B, media, music, sports and entertainment headlined by international artist and entrepreneur Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
Chickpea puff snacks Hippeas is now available in the Netherlands. Hippeas, chickpea puff snacks, expanded its European footprint into Holland with the first retail launch at Albert Heijn. The launch is part of a bigger shelf overhaul with more room for healthy snacks. Hippeas Chickpea Puffs deliver Nutri-Scores of A and B across the product range. The company teamed up with Global Food Finders and Bickery Food Group as its Dutch partners.
In brief: Business exiting Russia
AAK AB has decided to make a controlled exit from its operations and investments in Russia. In March, the company communicated a temporary halt of deliveries to Russia and sales in the region. Since then, the company has carefully evaluated the situation, resulting in a decision to permanently wind up the business in the country. Russia makes up for some 3% of AAK’s volumes (measured in metric tons).
BASF has not conducted new business in Russia and Belarus since March due to the war against Ukraine. The board of executive directors of BASF SE has now decided to wind down the company’s remaining business activities in Russia and Belarus by the beginning of July 2022. Exempt from this decision is business to support food production. 
In brief: Plant-based focus
Seven international plant-based food associations, including the Plant-Based Food Alliance UK, joined forces to form the International Plant-Based Foods Working Group to support the sector’s development as it grows in popularity worldwide. The group will represent companies and other organizations producing plant-based foods in their respective countries and regions. 
Planet Based Foods, a US-based sustainable food start-up pioneering clean, nutrient-dense, plant-based meat alternatives, has launched on A curated selection of hemp-formulated products are available for purchase on the company’s Amazon store, including The Original Burger, Green Chili Southwest Burger, Breakfast Sausage Patty Hot, The Original Crumble, The Italian Sausage Crumble and Variety Pack. Planet Based Foods partnered with Omni ePartners, as part of its launch strategy.
Laird Superfood launched Bright Cups, a commercially compostable single-serve coffee pod with plant-based materials. Using its Focus Mushroom Coffee blended with available mushroom extracts and botanical adaptogens, this is the first single-serve pod from Laird Superfood. Laird Superfood aims to reduce the amount of single-serve waste in landfills by designing a commercially compostable alternative that’s BPI-certified compatible with most single-serve machines.
In brief: AppointmentsWhipnotic is an indulgent cream for home use.
Lillie Li Valeur, 52, was appointed the new German boss of the European dairy cooperative Arla Foods. As managing director and group VP, she will be responsible for Arla Foods’ entire business in Germany. For the past two years, Lillie Li Valeur has been CEO of Denmark-based Good Food Group. 
In brief: Other highlights
Elanco and DSM created a strategic alliance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming. Elanco secured US licensing rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize Bovaer for beef and dairy cattle. DSM and Elanco intend to provide farmers, dairy and beef companies, and retailers with a solution to lower the carbon footprint of beef and dairy production. 
Irish lamb will be made available in the US following the launch of Bord Bia’s three-year EU campaign promoting beef and lamb in the US. Total Irish food and drink exports to the US were valued at €1.3 billion (US$1.37 billion) in 2021, making the US Ireland’s second-largest export market after the UK. 
UK families lost out on approximately £70 million (US$87 million) on free healthy food in 2021, as cost of living fears grow, according to the latest analysis by Sustain. The poorest tenth percentile of households spend twice the share of their family income on food and energy bills than the wealthiest tenth, so the second inflation spike, anticipated in Autumn 2022, could reach over 10% for these families.
By Inga de Jong
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