Entrepreneurs are bringing flavorful and sustainable products to the category.
Fly By Jing is a line of chef-crafted pantry staples and frozen appetizers bringing “uncensored” Chinese flavors to the table. Founder Jing Gao developed the brand’s signature Sichuan chili crisp produced in her native Chengdu and described as a “hot, spicy, crispy, numbing and deliciously savory” condiment.
Omsom, the “proud, loud Asian home cooking” brand created “to reclaim Asian flavors that have been diluted in grocery stores for far too long,” offers a line of meal starters, combining the sauces, aromatics, seasonings and oils needed to cook a specific dish, such as Thai larb, Korean spicy bulgogi or Vietnamese lemongrass barbecue. The products are developed in collaboration with tastemakers (who are equitably compensated) specializing in cuisines spanning Southeast and East Asia.
Good Good debuted its line of jams and spreads in 2015 that are formulated with no added sugar. The brand’s strawberry and raspberry jams, as well as its concord grape jelly and chocolate spread were picked up for distribution at 3,500 Walmart locations.
Good Good recently closed a Series B funding round led by SÍA, a private equity group in Iceland, at $20 million.
Revival Food Co. elevated the almond butter experience by pairing roasted almonds with “superfoods” like hemp and maca.
Revival offers five flavors in addition to the original sea salt vanilla spread. Its hemp super seed variety contains hemp protein powder, ground golden flaxseeds and black chia seeds, and its rosemary maca spread offers hormone-balancing and energy-boosting benefits from maca and lucuma powders. A raw cacao coconut flavor spotlights cacao powder and nibs. A cinnamon chai spice variety features Vietnamese cinnamon, Indian ginger and chai spices. The nut butters contain no added sugar, palm oil or preservatives.
Food technology startup Voyage Foods is focused on recreating pantry staples using sustainable ingredients and sourcing practices. One of its products is a peanut-free spread, which has everything consumers love about peanut butter, just without the nuts. The spread is made from a formulation of sunflower seeds, chickpeas, grapeseed, buckwheat and wild rice.
In early May 2022, the company raised $36 million in Series A financing, which brought its total funding to $41.7 million.
Funky Mello is using aquafaba, the starchy brine of cooked or canned chickpeas, as the lead ingredient of its line of plant-based and allergen-free marshmallow creams.
The versatile fluff is available at specialty retailers across the country and made its debut at Whole Foods Market locations in April 2022. They are available in three varieties, including vanilla, strawberry and chocolate cookie.
Maker of pantry staples Acid League got its start in 2019 and now produces a range of products, including vinegars, vinaigrettes, hot sauces, condiments, dressings, tonics and more.
In April 2022, the company raised $6 million in funding, as well as debuted an exclusive launch of a dozen products at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide.
MeliBio developed a proprietary technology that combines precision fermentation with plant science to make bee-free honey that is molecularly identical to traditional honey.
The company raised $5.7 million in seed funding to scale its production of bee-free honey, which brings its total funding to $7.2 million to date.
Soom Foods offers a range of tahini, a roasted sesame paste pressed from single-sourced Ethiopian White Humera sesame seeds, available in jars and single-serve squeeze packs. The available varieties include original, organic, vanilla bean, chocolate and dark chocolate with sea salt.
The maker of sesame seed spreads received a $250,000 investment from the growth equity firm Clover Vitality.
Fila Manila is working to bring Filipino foods and flavors to grocery store shelves. The startup makes simmer sauces inspired by the Philippines’ most iconic dishes. Fila Manila markets three jarred sauces: Kare-Kare, with roasted peanuts, garlic and spices; Adobo, combining soy and garlic; and Caldereta, a tomato sauce with red bell pepper and spices. Available online and in a handful of specialty retailers, the sauces are gluten-free and vegan, sweetened with dates and formulated with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
The company was named the winner at the Natural Products Expo East Pitch Slam competition on Sept. 23, 2021.
Founded in 2017, New York-based Loisa offers organic seasoning and cooking sauce products developed in collaboration with high-profile chefs in the Hispanic community and sold mostly online.
The company added sofrito in early 2021, which may be used as a cooking base for soups, stews, beans and rice. Created in partnership with Chef Yadira Garcia, who became an owner of the business, the product contains tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, lemon juice, ajicito dulce peppers, olive oil, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, oregano and turmeric.
Healthy snack startup Elavi launched a line of functional spreads formulated with cashew butter, hempseed oil and nutrient-dense powders. Available in single-serve packets, Elavi Superfood Cashew Butter features vibrant hues of pink, blue or brown. Flavors include dark chocolate, pomegranate beet and blue spirulina vanilla.
Ayo Foods, a Chicago-based brand of West African-inspired frozen meals and pantry staples, offers a pair of jarred sauces. The pepper sauce is made with habaneros, onion, tomato and spices, and the shito sauce is described as smoky and savory with caramelized onions, tomato, herbs and a seafood base.
Recent menu additions focus on relaunches of fan favorites.
Seasonal launches lean into sweet and spiced flavors.