WhiteWave Foods expanding Horizon brand again

by Keith Nunes
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New Horizon macaroni and cheese products include gluten-free and single-serve varieties.

BOCA RATON, FLA. — In 2014, WhiteWave Foods’ Horizon Organic brand added macaroni and cheese, and cracker products to its line of products. This year the company is adding gluten-free and single-serve varieties to the mac and cheese products, as well as fruit snacks and a Horizon Super Squeeze, which is a children’s pouch product that is a combination of organic milk and real fruit, according to the company.

Dried fruit snacks and organic fruit snacks also are set to debut.

“We will enter the fruit snacks category for three differentiated product lines, including organic fruit snacks fortified with DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) as well as a line of dried fruit snacks,” said Blaine McPeak, president of WhiteWave’s America’s Food and Beverage business unit, on Feb. 19 during the company’s presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference. “This is an exciting new category for us that fits perfectly in the bull’s-eye of the mom with younger kids.

Horizon Super Squeeze snacks provide 5 grams of protein.

“We’re also pleased to be launching Horizon Super Squeeze, which jumps this brand into one of the hottest new ways of delivering snacks to kids. and that’s handheld pouches. Each pouch fits perfectly into a lunchbox and provides 5 grams of protein in a new on-the-go product.”

The initial fruit snacks line will come in five varieties, two of which will be fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. Flavors in the line will include strawberry, berry, apple, apple cinnamon and coconut.

Yulu Australian-style yogurt contains 10 grams of protein per serving.

WhiteWave Foods also is adding to its yogurt portfolio with the introduction of Yulu, an Australian yogurt variety that has a rich texture and features 10 grams of protein per serving.

“This brand adds additional scale to our yogurt facility and will have a similar focused roll-out as our Silk yogurt launch,” Mr. McPeak said.

Innovation is also on tap from WhiteWave’s America’s Fresh Foods business unit that now includes Earthbound Farm, which was acquired this past year.

Salad bowls are set to debut from Earthbound Farm.

“Our innovation plans in 2015 include new salad kits for multi-serve options and varieties like kale Caesar and sun-washed Mediterranean,” said Kevin Yost, president of America’s Fresh Foods. “We also continue to expand the organic single-serve ready-to-eat bowls, as consumers are increasingly seeking healthy options for convenient, on-the-go eating occasions.”

Also on the way are new frozen fruit and vegetable products.

In his opening remarks at CAGNY, Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer of WhiteWave Foods, said many of the trends that appear to be growing in the market of consumer packaged goods, most notably natural, organic and free-from applications, fit within his company’s product portfolio.

“The world around us is changing quickly, and consumers’ attitudes continue to evolve,” he said. “We recognize the diverging expectations of the millennial generation and the changing needs of an aging baby boomer population that are both focused on health, convenience, and a simple, wholesome ingredient list, all in support of a longer, healthier lifestyle.

“We see parents concentrating more on what their kids are eating, on understanding nutrition, how their food is made, and where ingredients come from. We see new eating occasions developing for kids, such as healthier snacking, as busy schedules and modern life intrudes on family meal occasions.

“Consumers are also increasingly looking for foods that are free from something: free from dairy, free from gluten, free from G.M.O.s, among other things. All of this is changing how we and our consumers think about food. And as consumers give more thought to the food choices that they make, they search for brands they can trust and that leads them to WhiteWave's products and brands.”
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