By now we are all keenly aware the food and beverage world is changing, for the better! More selection, more personalization, more choice and better for you products. But who are the trailblazers that led the way in different tired old categories? These makers are definitely leading the charge.

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Halo Top Ice Cream – Ice Cream

The pinnacle of a startup taking a droopy category and feeding it new life, reinventing for the millennial market, Halo Top made headlines in 2017 when it surpassed Ben & Jerry’s as the nation’s top-selling ice cream brand. Halo Top read the market, met customers needs with a different product (ice cream with less sugar and more protein), and communicated it quickly with their packaging, both digitally and physically.

Lily’s Sweets – Chocolate Candy

With the uptick in consumers swapping sweets high in sugar (see Halo Top above) for better-for-you alternatives, its no surprise that Lily’s Sweets, a first-to-market, stevia-sweetened chocolate brand, has seen rapid growth in the past few years. Backed by VMG Partners, the brand launched new packaging and new products in 2019.

Oatly – Milk alternative 

The plant-based milk alternative that started out when Swedish food scientists set out to find an alternative way for lactose intolerant folks to enjoy the taste of milk,  took the US  by storm last year, and only continues to grow in popularity (just try to reliably find it at Whole Foods). Oatly is carried in 2,500+ coffee shops and 1,500 grocery stores and counting. In 2019 the brand launched oatmilk-based frozen desserts and a pilot partnership with Starbucks in the Midwest.

Brookyln Biltong – Jerky

Biltong, an air-dried meat snack, is growing in popularity among consumers because of its high protein count, with no added sugars. Brooklyn Biltong is one of the first brands to market, and stands out on shelves with its recently launched, vibrantly-hued packaging overhaul.

Caulipower – Frozen Pizza

Launched just three years ago, Caulipower reinvented the pizza category with its cauliflower crust frozen pizzas. Today the company offers a variety of healthier frozen meals such as tortillas, sweet potato toast, and even chicken tenders. One of the fastest growing natural brands, Caulipower saw $100 million in sales in 2019. Hear more about founder and CEO Gail Becker’s path to entrepreneurship on Taste Radio here.

Slate Milk – Chocolate milk

A fully-backed Kickstarter campaign brought this Boston-based, better-for-you chocolate milk upstart to market. Indulge in a childhood classic without the sugars, and with added protein. Available in three flavors: Classic, Dark Chocolate and Espresso.

Siggi’s – Yogurt

Light on sugar without skimping on taste, Siggi’s reinvented the yogurt category with its line of Icelandic yogurts (skyr). Founded ahead of the Greek yogurt, protein-in-everything trend Siggi’s has used simple, quality ingredients since day one.

Sweet Loren’s – Refrigerated cookie dough

Ranking at #114 on Forbes Magazine’s 2019 list of fastest growing brands in America, Sweet Loren’s offers gluten free and plant-based cookie dough currently available in 10,000 grocery stores and growing. The brand will be launching new packaging and new products in 2020.

Humble Nut Butter – Nut butter

What started as a craving for something savory, sweet and salty, led to John and Jess Waller to starting this savory nut butter brand. While nut butter is nothing new, Humble’s savory offerings stand out in a category crowded with sweet spreads. Read more about this husband-wife story in Foodboro’s Meet a Maker feature!

Siete Foods – Chips

A category leader in the grain free snack market, Siete made headlines in early 2019 when they received a whopping $90 million in funding.  Siete followed the HaloTop example in their own way — anticipated customers changing taste & needs, communicated that differentiation efficiently via packaging and branding, and told a really great, hard to forget origin story!

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