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03/15/2017

EXPO WEST: Mamma Chia Plans Step-up in Innovation behind Bev Lines, Chia Squeeze, but Will Move on from Nutrition Bars; Hain Vet Wienckowski in as R&D Dir

Mamma Chia offered just a smattering of new products at Expo West, but promised far more robust innovation pipeline in near future, even as co has decided to drop Granola Clusters in brutally crowded nutrition bar segment.  At Expo, co showed trio of new entries in core Chia Vitality Beverages line: Lemon Iced Tea, Blueberry Pomegranate and Ginger Lime.  But that’s just tip of iceberg, founders Janie and Lance Hoffman promised, now that cohesive team has been assembled to buttress expertise.  Latest addition is former Hain Celestial food scientist Brenda Wienckowski, in as dir of R&D (tho Janie was quick to stress that longtime collaborator Grace Venus remains critical part of innovation activities).  She joins team that was augmented last fall by Clorox vet Ken Vargha as evp sales & marketing (BBI, Sep 26).  Enhanced team will be focusing on stepping up new items in all 3 remaining lines, including guayusa-based Chia Energy Beverages line and pouched Chia Squeeze line.  Carlsbad, Calif-based co is proceeding, Janie emphasized, from solid financial base, generating positive cash flow and not having had to resort to capital raise for years.

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue #: 39
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