Global snack food major Mondelēz International has made a minority investment in US-based snacking company Hu Master Holdings.

The deal marks the second investment made by the confectionary giant as part of its SnackFutures venture hub, which was launched to explore growth opportunities globally in the snacking business.

SnackFutures is backed by a global ecosystem of internal experts and external partners.

Mondelēz International executive vice-president and chief growth officer Tim Cofer said: “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.

“Building on its initial success in chocolate, we believe there’s an exciting opportunity to continue expanding the Hu proposition.”

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

Established in 2012, Hu Master Holdings operates Hu Products and Hu Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant concept that offers paleo-inspired foods, along with vegan and paleo-friendly chocolate products.

Hu Master Holdings also established its snacking business through Hu Products, which manufactures vegan/paleo-friendly products.

Hu Master Holdings chairman and co-founder Jason Karp said: “We chose Mondelēz International as a minority investor because we believe their resources, strengths and progressive vision of SnackFutures can help us accelerate positive change within snacking.

“This partnership should allow the Hu platform to grow and reach more people in a better and broader way than on our own.”

Last month, Mondelēz acquired a minority stake in the US-based early-stage start-up company Uplift Food, which develops prebiotic functional foods.