Edible Cogitations: Let's Patch Up
much needed compilation
A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.
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Let’s Catch Up
It’s been almost two years of Snaxshot visiting your inboxes with many edible cogitations, the news never stops, and neither do our snax takes, depending on when you first subscribed, you may have missed some valuable deep dives that have become increasingly relevant today. Take advantage of this rewind, because these will only be available behind a paywall soon…
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Back in 2020, we deep dived into cereal bowls to explore how a stagnant industry was being revived, not only due to pandemic, but also as cereal aisles went from IRL (in real life) to URL, why is this relevant? SnaxDaddy Kellogg’s recently announced its splitting into three different entities, spinning off its cereal ops, looking for a potential buyer for its plant based biz and focusing on snacks. If you’ve been paying attention, then you know we’ve been keeping track of how SnaxDaddy (our vernacular for BigFood) has been trying to keep up with the times, from bloated giants to slashing and restructuring their portfolios to focus on their core competencies, Mondelez is also a clear example of this, because too big CAN fail.
Why would Kellogg’s look to spin off their North American cereal division, it’s core, to double down on snacks? Because in case you haven’t heard snack is back baby! No for real, snacking has replaced Millennials “3 meals at the table” not that it should come at a surprise considering we are the generation of Lunchables afterall. The snackification of cereal replaced “part of a complete breakfast” —there’s a reason why you see Frosted Flake bars and things like Fruity Pebble’s crisps. Why at the peak of plant based boom is it looking to have a potential buyer for this division? Because plant based has become an increasingly competitive market, there’s a reason why BYND has been struggling since their IPO, would be wise to find a way to cash out on momentum and offload what is not really their focus. Enter Global Snacking Co, genius when it comes to branding, strait to the point, and thankfully we were able to snag SnaxCorp, before they did. Would or just catering to the wind change? They aren’t alone, with brands like Coca-Cola also ridding themselves of half their portfolio to refocus, at a time where their core product is becoming passe, growing so big removes you from pulse, and change isn’t easy to implement when you’re a multi-billion $ conglomerate who has so much at stake. Does cereal have a future in our dining tables?
Brands like Off Limits, Three Wishes, and Magic Spoon be on it. Speaking of Magic Spoon, if Kellogg’s is an example of “too big can fail” what does it mean that they are seemingly taking a page out of Snaxdaddy handbook —retail expansion (recently in Target) and moving beyond the bowl (recently launched a snack bar line) and have been open about their vision of taking up more space at your table. Is Magic Spoon, the new Kellogg’s, one built by Millennials that actually is an improvement upon legacy brands, think less employee strikes and gimmicky marketing. Their latest injection of $85 million in venture funding seems to be hinting at that, we seem to be eager to fill our tummies with spoonfuls of nostalgia.
A few weeks ago, we went semi viral by sharing an 80s McDonald catalogue for … employee merch, touting McDonalds for having some serious drip, and asking them unapologetically to bring it back! (fucking cowards) In our usual prophetic manner, a week later McDonald’s dropped their latest McDrip, a collaboration between Free and Easy, CAMP, alongsider a virtual experience that includes perks, artists, merch drops and more. One of my favorite retail conosseurs, Kaleigh Moore, asked a pertinent question, on noticing the rise of restaurant/fast food branded clothing making a comeback, which of course we’ve written about before in “American snaxboi” on how snax have become signalers in the same way fashion items have been.
McDonald’s has been doing an incredible job at catering to upcoming generations, learning to speak their language, and wielding the internet as utility in the same way GenZ is so good at, with CAMP and their McDrip, McDonalds is helping cement their stature amongst GenZ and Alpha (can you believe the oldest of this cohort will be 15 in 2 years?!) important to note. Something Burger King has flopped on, however Popeyes has similarly been able to tap into culture as a jumping point into relevancy amongst the youth (think of their artist sauce drops) —these newer generations expect more reciprocal outcome when interacting with a brand, as opposed to the more extractive relationships older generations have embraced (between brand and consumer) and the McDonald’s perks app offering may have a chance of becoming as succesful as Starbucks’ —what say you? Did you cop anything from McDrip drop? Let a snaxer know.
Speaking of brand merch and fashion intertwining, none have done a better job than Off Limits, particularly their iconic and infamous drop with brand Tomme, conceiving what I can boldly call the most fire cross handbag in the snax space, like FUCKING for real, this shit is insanely good! (now sold out, but Emily, if you’re reading this, maybe we can have a part2?) Most recent examples includ Panache x Challah Dolly, the iconic drop sold out by the end of the day and seriously with good reason, it’s fucking sick! Personally I’m a huge fan of Friday’s bread fusion, order their dip + bread combo here this weekend, JUST FUCKING DO IT, TRUST ME. But wait, why is this relevant?
One of the things this also brings about is the carb renaissance that has been the last few years, after decades of shunning butter, pasta and bread—specially in the 90s, where it became sort of taboo or seen as some form of “porn” to enjoy something that’s so inherent and staples in many cultures. From butter sculptures to bread as an accessory, carbs are having their vindication in the best of ways. L’isolina Pasta and Montes are perfect examples of editorialization and culture meets snax, their latest Hamptoms popup and Monte’s latest merch drop proves it so.
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Speaking of things that were taboo, we know that sugary soda has become the new pariah in the space, and after the functional boom stemming from the “better-for-you chasm” we have now reached a middle ground, that is we’ve welcomed new brands, whether its hibiscus water (now touted as ingredient of the year) or agua frescas or Aura Bora, which I believe sits on a whole category in itself, flavored waters have come of age in a way that feels elevated as opposed to the mainstreamness of things like LaCroix and Bubly.
From Agua Bonita raising from the likes of Pernod Ricard, to getting into the coveted program that is Target’s food and beverage accelerator program (which Sanzo is a former graduate of) to Bawi getting into Foxtrot as a very new brand and Ruby and Aura Bora becoming sensations across the border (Canada) — Liquid Water has also contributed in this space with their recent releases of their flavored water, sans function, that is of course unless you subscribe to the idea, like me, that beverages are inherently functional in the form of… hydration!?
We’ve done a deep dive on the new wave of spirits tha are holding vodka by the neck, and its all within the agave family—tequila and its cousin mezcal. Why is this relevant? Drizly’s latest report highlights how not only tequila has reached mass adoption, but we are also witnessing a younger generation’s interest in cleaner and more premium versions of it, which is seemed as a “perception” of health within alcohol, something to be very careful with, considering alcohol industry is highly regulated, UK has even doubled down on legislation that prevents alcohol brands to make any kind of health claim, even if its adjacent to it.
Speaking of health, the rise of low abv and non-alcoholic continue to manifest, just like we predicted back in 2020 —in Europe I’ve been noticing an influx of brands rising in UK and Germany which is very telling considering just how embedded drinking is part of these cultures, in the UK the low abv/NA industry is estimated to grow to half a billion by 2024, it’s no wonder as well that we have UK brands leading the movement in the US, take Three Spirits and their recent raise to further expand their retail footprint in the US as a foreign brand and Boisson who pioneered NA alcohol bottle shops in NYC looking to expand nationwide.
NYC may now be home to several NA bars from Minus Moonshine to Spirited Away and most famously Boisson, LA is also expanding further into this concept with Soft Spirits and now The New Bar opening this weekend in Venice, curating a variety of non-alcoholic brands while doubling as a NA actual bar where you can get drinks served in an equally aesthetically pleasing manner.
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Last week’s brands:
Like if LimitedToo launched a tea brand, kind of obsessed?
An upcoming beverage brand that doesn’t tout function *hooray* only hydration!
Another example of going beyong “better-for-you” chasm.
We did a deep dive into the ramen noodles last year, a movement that has reached Germany.
Non-alcoholic drinks rising in Deutschland.
Tweeted about this a few weeks ago and dubbed it, DTC, direct-to-charcuterie, and if you don’t follow me on Twitter yet, you’re missing out on some good scoops!
Love to see spreads and dips getting their own limelight.
A cooler version of spiked lemonade.
This week’s curation:
Here for the poorly drawn aesthetic vibes always!
Few olive oils can make me feel *things*
Plant based mylks keep rising in South America…
An upgraded look for Omega oil capsules.
Ok, so I’m not mad at this notebook aesthetic?
Feels like a functional water mad libs, but very pretty.
Huge fan of this aesthetic but also, YOGURT FLAVORED?!
Spoonful of News 🥄
Our friends at The New Bar are offering our community 10% SNAX10 off on their newly launched NA website, and also invite us to join them for the opening of their IRL location in Venice (see Geneva for details)
Last Crumb raised a “seed” round of $3M… and I’m not sure why.
THIS announced their expansion of plant based go-to foods.
Scifi foods (cultivated) has achieved price parity with meat?!
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