Top 10: Wendy’s offers breakfast for all, Kellogg develops Incogmeato, unicorn cupcakes at Walmart

This week’s top 10 most-clicked food and beverage stories presented a sea of mergers and acquisitions, expansions and new products.

Coming in as the most-clicked story this past week was the announcement of Halo Top ice cream joining a new ice cream family – Wells Enterprises, which owns Blue Bunny, Bomb Pop, Blue Ribbon Classics and Chilly Cow – which will allow a new company headed by Halo Top president, Doug Bouton, to license the brand outside the US and Canada.

Three other stories in the top five highlighted expansions:

Kraft Heinz signed consultancy Brand Central to expand its licensed consumer products with its brands such as Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Heinz condiments, Oscar Mayer and Planters. The deal will include collaborations with lifestyle brands as well as marketing partnerships.

Kroger announced that its Simple Truth brand will expand its portfolio to include more plant-based products. The Simple Truth Plant Based line will introduce new items each month including meatless burgers, pasta sauce and cookie dough.

And coming in at number five was Wendy's news that it will expand its breakfast menu nationally next year from the approximately 300 US units that offer it now. The chain will hire about 20,000 new employees and invest about $20 million to add new breakfast items and extend operating hours at locations around the country.

The second most-read story however, defied the trend, highlighting a company that decided to go against the grain and go it alone, forgoing considerations of a sale of assets, merger, private ownership or outright sale – Dean Foods. "We are also continuing to execute on our cost-savings and supply chain productivity programs, designed to enable Dean Foods to be more agile and cost-efficient in the marketplace," said Jim Turner, nonexecutive chairman of the board.

And, it wouldn’t be a most-read list in this day and age if a meat alternative story didn’t make the cut – coming in at number six was news about Hormel’s launch of its new Happy Little Plants line in select grocery stores, with the plant-based meat alternatives made with non-GMO soy. Kellogg is developing a similar meat substitute line, called Incogmeato, that is expected to roll out in 2020.

The most-colorful widely read story this week? Hostess’s release of Unicorn CupCakes at Walmart stores for a limited time. Teal frosting and a pink swirl top the yellow cakes.

Check out the complete list of this week’s most-read stories:

  1. Halo Top set for sale to Wells Enterprises
  2. Dean Foods announces standalone strategy
  3. Kraft Heinz to tap licensed consumer product offerings
  4. Kroger expands plant-based items under Simple Truth brand
  5. Wendy's aims to grow US sales with nationwide breakfast rollout
  6. Hormel, Kellogg developing alternative meat lines
  7. Target plans new national loyalty program
  8. Blaze Pizza kicks off national ad campaign, promotes large pie
  9. Hostess introduces Unicorn CupCakes at Walmart
  10. Famous Dave's changes company name, plans new concepts

Related stories:

Interested in aligning your brand alongside the hot topics of the year? Check out what SmartBrief's Food & Travel editors have identified as trending content topics for 2019 (download).

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