9 Brands Growing Into New Categories


The Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference is an ideal venue for brands to demonstrate to the investor community what the possibilities are for future growth of existing brands and startups.

For more than 50 years, nonprofit CAGNY has connected investors, management teams and media dedicated to the consumer products industry.

During the 2018 event held February in Boca Raton, Fla., Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods outlined an ambitious plan to move beyond traditional categories in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space through the coming 2018 debut of Green Street, a new organic brand that caters to consumers seeking ready-to-eat meals. The manufacturer’s first foray is protein-rich, grab-and-go bowl meals that are 100% plant-based, according to Tyson President and CEO Tom Hayes.

Broadly, Tyson also outlined a plan to make strategic investments through Tyson Ventures, backing talented entrepreneurs who are pioneering breakthroughs in food and food-focused technologies. Its initial investments included Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats and Tovala. Ventures has also launched the Tyson Innovation Lab, which is aimed at exploring new approaches to accelerate the pace of innovation.

Click through to view several other brands carving new inroads by debuting new and organic brands, entering new food or beverage categories via existing brands, or executing further-reaching rollouts.

1. Naked

naked bars

PepsiCo’s Naked Juice is venturing into the snack arena with Naked Fruit, Nut & Veggie Bars, which extend the brand beyond premium juices and smoothies. Packed with premium ingredients, the line of chilled snack bars features real fruits and vegetables in three flavors: Blue Machine, Green Machine and Red Machine. Naked Fruit, Nut & Veggie Bars contain no preservatives and are Non-GMO Project verified and sources of vitamins A, C, E and iron.

2. Conagra

healthy choice power bowl

Conagra Brands aims to expand its frozen-food offerings with multiple new products, including a Healthy Choice Power Bowls line for breakfast in flavors such as Unwrapped Burrito Scramble. The company is also rolling out meatless varieties of Power Bowls, new handheld frozen products such as Banquet Sliders, and additional items in the Marie Callender’s and P.F. Chang's lines.

3. Califia Farms

califia farms

Califia Farms wants to do for drinkable yogurt what it did for almond milk with the launch of a line of dairy-free probiotic yogurt drinks made with the Califia Culture Blend. The drinks contain 10 billion live probiotic colony forming units (CFUs) and are powered by BB-12, one of the most documented bifidobacteria in the world and known for its efficacy in digestive and immune health, according to the company. Flavors available include Strawberry, Super Berry, Mango and Unsweetened Plain.

4. General Mills

oui yogurt

General Mills has been working to turn around its yogurt business, and the effort thus far sees slow signs of improvement with “more work to do,” CEO Jeff Harmening said during the CAGNY conference. The company launched French-style Oui yogurt under the Yoplait brand in July 2017 and the addition is now 10% of its U.S. business.

5. Tyson Foods

green street

Tyson Foods’ Green Street brand consists of protein-rich, grab-and-go bowls that are 100% plant-based. Hitting the aisles later this year, Green Street products will contain ingredients such as quinoa, lentils and chickpeas.

6. McCormick & Co.

franks red hot

McCormick & Co. is leveraging its Frank’s RedHot line into several new products, including chilled prepared dips, recipe mixes and additional sauce varieties, according to CEO Lawrence Kurzius. The company is also growing the French’s mustard line with new products such as a honey mustard dipping sauce and stone-ground Dijon mustard, Kurzius said.

7. Bolthouse Farms

bolthouse farms B strong

Bolthouse Farms is introducing a new lower sugar, superpremium refrigerated beverage platform that includes Bolthouse Farms B Strong protein shakes and Bolthouse Farms B Balanced smoothies. Both deliver taste and texture with nutritional benefits while containing 50% less sugar, according to the company. Bolthouse Farms is also adding more culinary varieties to its existing refrigerated dressing lineup with three new organic and two new conventional dressings.

8. Protes

protes chips

Protein-chip maker Protes unveiled protein popcorn, purported to be “the first ones to bring function to the category,” according to the brand. Protes is looking to bring incremental growth to the category with the launch of the protein popcorn, which contains 10 grams of protein per serving.

9. Folger Coffee

1850 logo

The Folger Coffee Co.’s new line of premium coffees, 1850, draws on the rich heritage of the parent brand, which was founded during the 1850s gold rush in California. 1850 features a bold but smooth taste that appeals not only to traditional Folgers drinkers but to a younger generation that prefers richer coffee blends, said Mark Smucker, president and CEO of parent company The J.M. Smucker Co. “1850 allows us to build on our market-leading position in the at-home coffee category by strengthening our presence in premium, one-cup and ready-to-drink iced coffees, the fastest-growing product segments,” Smucker said.