SKU receives hundreds of applications every track from startups around the country. When taken together, they serve as a powerful barometer of hot CPG trends. Among the hottest trends were seeing are:
Female wellness products: By and For Women
Women entrepreneurs are driving a boom in female wellness products. The category spans a wide range products, from FemTech (software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology often to focus on women’s health) to sexual health products (vibrators and lubricants), athleisure clothing and other products designed to improve their health and wellbeing of women. We had three companies apply with products designed to reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Chickpeas: Beyond Hummus
Chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans, are popping up in a wide range of products – from granolas to pasta. The number of US product launches with chickpeas as an ingredient jumped 74 percent in 2019 when compared to 2018, according to the Mintel Global New Product Database. Chickpeas, part of the legume family, are packed with nutrients. They are rich in protein, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants. Chickpeas “are the new cauliflower,” according to Whole Foods Market.
3) Cricket powder: an Protein-Packed Insect
When it comes to alternative proteins, crickets have gained popularity as a sustainable protein. Cricket powder, also called “cricket flour,” is made from milled crickets (whole crickets are dehydrated or freeze-dried and ground into flour). It can be mixed in soups, shakes and other foods to provide a protein jolt. Crickets are a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Although the thought of eating an insect might be distasteful, cricket flour has a very mild, nutty taste. We expect to see it in a growing number of products.
4) At home cocktail mixers: It’s 5 o’clock some where
Where it’s a trend fueled by quarantining or a cocktail revival, cocktail mixers are hot. We saw an innovative variety of mixers, including kimchi bloody mary mix, artisanal tonics to mixers in a frozen form. According to SPINS, overall cocktail mixer already were seeing a double-digit rise before the pandemic, and that trend has only accelerated – a trend driving entrepreneurs to think about them in new and exciting ways.
5) Ayurvedic recipes: from Food to Personal Care
Ayurveda is an Indian form of holistic medicine that’s focused on promoting balance between your body and mind. It translates to the science of life. Among the more interesting brands to incorporate Ayurvedic recipes is Shaz & Kiks, one of the companies chosen for Track 9. Texas Sisters Kiku Chaudhuri and Shaz Rajashekar spent childhood summers in India watching their grandmother as she mixed natural ingredients from her kitchen and garden to create beauty concoctions rooted in old Indian Ayurvedic practices. Using what they learned, they decided to create their own haircare line last summer.
6) Grain-free, a leap beyond gluten-free
Grain-free foods go a step beyond gluten free. Rather than omitting gluten and wheat, they cut out grains altogether. Grain-free foods opt for ingredients like Coconut flour, cassava flour and almond flour. A grain-free diet may reduce inflammation, aid weight loss and improve digestion. Track 9 company Macro Snacks, for example, uses pea protein Isolate, chickpea flour and brown rice flour in its healthy snacks.