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Mexico's Bajio region is a lush propagator of tasty kale
Kale sourced from the lush Bajio region of Mexico makes a pretty and pretty tasty chip and it’s accessible year round. Rhythm Superfoods selects its seed varietals and growers plant in a variety of elevations and locations. It’s triple washed and shipped to the plant a couple of times a week. The entire supply chain has a unified focus on HAACP and SQF Level 2 food safety,” said Scott Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Rhythm Superfoods. “There were much larger pioneers than Rhythm that paved the way for the incredible produce story growing in Mexico right now.”
Bajio has perfect climate for kale
Most of their fresh produce is procured from Bajio in Central Mexico, which is best known for its temperate climate and fertile soil. “It’s the United States’ second market basket,” said Jensen. “We found that the supply of organic kale was more reliable from there month to month, week to week, so we leaned in with our suppliers to increase our plantings there. We’ve not been let down since.” Their kale chips are all organic and Non GMO and come in seven different flavors to help attract new consumers. “We also offer dehydrated beet chips (no others out there) and our new Roasted Kale line which has no competitors – it’s more like what you get directly from your own oven.”
Freshest produce performs best during dehydration
Managing the supply chain for kale can be challenging. “We’re continually planting seeds in geographically diverse areas to mitigate weather risks every couple of months in order to keep weekly deliveries of kale arriving at the dehydration facility,” he said. “The fresher and curlier the kale, the better it performs in the mixing and dehydration process.” With the expectation it's processed within seven days of harvesting requires lots of attention to field operations. “The North South bi-annual migration of the California growers caught us short several times in the past, so we needed to diversify the supply chain with more redundancy.”
Pricing is slightly down this year within the same grower/processors Jensen has been using for three years and he says growth helps to nudge that down and they’ll continue to look for better yields in the field to bring costs down significantly in the future.
Healthy snacking on the rise
Snacking is an ever-increasing trend; the shelf stable veggie & fruit snacks category, (as defined by SPINS) is out-pacing general snacking. “Our category is up 12% versus a year ago. More and more people are turning to nutrient dense snacks either as meal-substitutes or to tide them over between meals. And, they’re definitely eating far fewer sit down meals today than 10 years ago, so snacking is here to stay and growing.” Jensen adds that consumers are declining to engage in mindless eating and instead seek out nutrient-dense snacks that are loaded with healthier benefits such as protein, fiber and vitamins. “We’re right in the bulls eye of that movement and working hard to create more delicious snackable products.” Jensen said the company is on a mission to make these snacks more accessible price-wise to a broader community, “so we work hard every day to take cost out of the supply chain. We’ll pass that downstream to our customers to get further lower costs for these nutritious snacks.”
Partnership with General Mills
On January 17, 2017 the company announced that it closed a $6 million Series D financing round with a lead investment from 301 INC, the new business development and venturing unit of General Mills. This is the second round of funding Rhythm Superfoods has received from the unit since the start of 2016. During that time they expanded distribution into new markets and channels, added a line of dehydrated Beet Chips. “We’re super excited to continue our partnership with the 301 Inc. division of General Mills,” he said. “They will help support us in Sales, Marketing, New Product Development, R&D, Quality and Operations.”
For more information:
Scott Jensen, Co-Founder and CEO
Ph: (512) 441-5667
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