USA – Mondelez International has announced it has made a minority investment in US-based snacking company, Hu (Human) Master Holdings as part of the innovation and venture hub, SnackFutures.

This is the second investment under SnackFutures, an initiative meant to unlock snacking growth opportunities around the world.

According to Mondelez, the investment falls into two of SnackFutures’ high-growth strategic priorities: well-being and premium.

Founded in 2012 by Jason H. Karp and siblings Jordan Brown and Jessica (Brown) Karp, Hu offers minimally processed, high-quality snacks including vegan and paleo-friendly chocolate products.

Its products are said to be free of refined sugar, soy, dairy and gluten with a focus on wellness, vegan/paleo-friendly snacking products.

“As the global snacking leader, we’re on a mission to lead the future of snacking and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

“Investing in Hu offers our company an opportunity to do exactly that,” said Tim Cofer, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer of Mondelēz International.

“The Hu brand sits at the convergence of key growing consumer trends.

“Building on its initial success in chocolate, we believe there’s an exciting opportunity to continue expanding the Hu proposition into a broad health-focused snacking platform across categories.

“And, with an in-house test kitchen and insights lab, they have a unique ability to quickly test and learn.”

Mondelez launched the SnackFutures ‘innovation hub’ last year with an aim to capitalise on emerging growth opportunities in the snacking segment.

It first invested in Uplift Food, an early-stage start-up that produces prebiotic functional food supplements.

SnackFutures has a goal of contributing $100 million to Mondelēz’s revenue growth by 2022.

Mondelez has identified functional snacking as a strategic area for SnackFutures as consumers look to discover a healthier way of snacking.

“Hu is our passion, and we’re thrilled to fuel its growth with Mondelēz International as our partner,” said co-founder Jordan Brown.

“Our perpetual goal is to marry great taste with no weird ingredients, and we’re big believers that using these simpler ingredients can make people feel and perform better than they thought possible.

“Our new partnership will help us advance this ‘Get Back To Human’ concept to a global audience.”