Snack startup targets Combos brand


Rivalz, a snack company started by a group of professionals in the consumer packaged goods sector, has closed a round of angel funding and is getting ready to launch a line of savoury packed bites this spring.

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According to Peter Barrick, CEO, who formerly oversaw operations for Sonoma Brands, “We’re pleased to give the savoury snack sector a little healthy competition with a completely distinct, dual-textured snack that tastes better and does better for consumers.” “Consumers today are forced to choose between ‘healthier’ foods that simply don’t taste as nice and, in reality, are only decreasing part of the bad,” says one expert. With a vegetable-based snack that equals any potato chip in flavour and challenges the way the snacking category will think about nutrition, Rivalz will redefine the snacking game.

The item is marketed as a healthy alternative to Combos, a line of filled snacks owned by Mars, Inc., a McLean, Virginia-based company. According to Mars, Combos were created in the late 1970s and typically have a cracker or pretzel shell and a soft cheese-flavored interior. According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research company, the brand generated $184.6 million in sales in US multi-outlet retailers for the 52 weeks that concluded on January 1. These retailers included grocery, drug, mass market, convenience, military, and certain club and dollar stores.

Along with private investors, the round included The March Group, a venture capital firm with offices in Davis, California, and Hong Kong. The funds will be used to increase the workforce, assist the development of the retail and direct-to-consumer channels, and for digital marketing initiatives.

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