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Food Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<9101112131415161718>> Total issues:479

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May 06, 2018, to May 13, 2018

Fast-Growing Danish Bakery Alights In Manhattan This Year

A 20-year-old Danish bakery chain has expanded to the U.K. and will soon open its first store in the U.S. Founded in Christianshavn Denmark, the Lagkagehuset chain is majority-owned by the Norwegian capital fund FSN, whose cash infusion – and an 18 percent increase in sales in 2017 – is making the international expansion possible. CEO Jesper Friis said Lagkagehuset is looking forward to “exporting a small piece of Danish cultural history” when its Manhattan location opens this year.

Nutrient-Dense Grain Foods Are Ideal For Older Americans

A new study has found that regularly eating a variety of grain foods, along with fruits and vegetables, contributes to the nutrient density needed by Americans over age 50. This age group is not getting those nutrients in their diets, according to the study published in the journal Nutrients and presented at a recent scientific meeting. The trade group Grain Foods Foundation said older people should think twice before giving up bread and other grain foods because they are nutrient-dense. They contain dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium and iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, niacin, and thiamin. Breads, rolls, and tortillas contain thiamin, niacin, dietary fiber, folate, and iron. These foods “can play a key role in helping older Americans meet recommendations for under-consumed nutrients and nutrients of public health concern," said one of the study’s authors.

Panera Rolls Out Delivery Program Nationwide

Panera Bread is expanding its food delivery service nationally to 897 cities and 43 states via the Panera app or website. The company said its products will be available for lunch and dinner to officers, hospitals, college campuses and, in participating markets, to homes.According to CEO Blaine Hurst, "Delivery is fueling our next phase of growth.”Panera is using its own delivery drivers in the expansion – it has hired 10,000 so far – and says it has already created 13,000 jobs. Digital sales at Panera comprise online, app and kiosk orders and represent 30 percent of total company sales. Deliveries are possible with orders as small as $5 menu purchase plus tax and a $3 delivery fee in most markets. The company operates 2,076 bakery-cafes in 46 states and in Ontario, Canada.

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April 29, 2018, to May 06, 2018

Food Waste Collaboration Connects Farmers And Consumers

A group of organizations and companies concerned about food loss in food production have banded together to create he “No Taste for Waste” campaign. The initiative includes an interactive website, “bookazine,”, and social media resources for farmers and ranchers trying to reduce food loss in the fields and for consumers who want to reduce household food waste. One goal of the campaign is to connect consumers with farmers and ranchers who are using sustainable practices in land stewardship while reducing food waste. Participants in the campaign are the American Farm Bureau Federation, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, Valent BioSciences Corporation, FLM Harvest, the CropLife Foundation, and Meredith Agrimedia. 

U.K. Project Is Studying How Robotics Might Help Reduce Food Waste

Innovate U.K. has awarded $1.2 million to an industrial R&D project that will study the food waste problem to determine how robotics might reduce the inefficiencies that cause it. Roboticists engineers, computer scientists, and food specialists will work together to figure out how to eliminate the 51 percent of food waste that is avoidable. The goal of the two-year project is to remove the human error from the crucial early stages of handling, preparing and weighing raw ingredients. The project is led by Olympus Automation (OA), which will collaborate with the University of Lincoln's National Center for Food Manufacturing and supplier English Provender. 

Hotels Benefit Financially From Spending On Food Waste Solutions

A review of 42 hotels in 15 countries by Champions 12.3 has found that on average facilities achieved a 21 percent reduction of kitchen food waste by weight in just one year. Within the first year, more than 70 percent recouped their investment. The average hotel saved $7 for every $1 invested in reducing kitchen food waste. Within two years, 95 percent had recouped their investment. Nine out of ten sites kept their total investment in food waste solutions below $20,000, less than one percent of sales on average. The data came from budget, mid-range, casino resort, and luxury market hotels. Champions 12.3 comprises 40 executives in government, business, and civil society dedicated to achieving Target 12.3 of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

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April 22, 2018, to April 29, 2018

C-Store Poll Shows Modest Rise in Coca-Cola, Monster 1Q Sales

A Wells Fargo Securities poll of 15,000 U.S. convenience stores found that first quarter Coca-Cola sales rose 2.3 percent in the channel, and retailers were pleased with the company’s recent relaunch of Diet Coke. Twenty percent of respondents plan to allocate incremental shelf space to the line. Some respondents complained about the company’s decision to take Smartwater “out of a beautiful sealed box with blue clouds,” a move that hurt stores’ ability to create displays. C-stores also reported that Monster Energy sales increased 5.4 percent in the quarter, and several praised the positive impact of RTD coffee innovations, such as Espresso and Caffe. Fifty-seven percent said Monster did the best job in introducing new innovations in the quarter, and 100 percent said they expected to give Caffe Monster shelf space.

Boxed Water Company Carves A Lucrative Niche In Packaged Water Market

Maryland-based beverage start-up Rethink Brands says it has found a lucrative niche in the $2.5 billion bottled water market by targeting health- and eco-conscious parents with zero-calorie, sugar-free flavored water in recyclable boxes. Co-founder Matthew Swanson says parents who wanted to give their kids water had to give them plastic bottles or sippy cups, but “Rethink Kids Water solves all those problems.” The Rethink Kids Water line provides a more healthful alternative to juices that contain sweeteners and other additives. Swanson says demand for the products has been strong enough for the company to double its offerings with four new flavors. The products are available in more than 10,000 stores, including CVS, Wegmans and Target. 

Fonterra Ups Capacity For Producing Fruit And Dairy Beverages In New Zealand

New Zealand dairy products producer Fonterra Brands has partnered with a local start-up to build a plant in Whakatu to make fruit and dairy beverages for the N.Z. market. Apollo Foods will apply its beverage filling technology in making and filling a range of containers on one production line. The plant will be able to produce millions of liters of beverages each year. The partnership was prompted by the rising global demand for dairy and fruit beverages, according to a Fonterra spokesman. The Apollo Foods plant is currently producing Fonterra’s Mammoth brand of flavored, low-sugar milk, with a shelf life of six months.

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April 15, 2018, to April 22, 2018

Smoothie Chain Reformulates To Offer Clean Label Menu

Smoothie King has added two whole organic spinach variants to its menu, which already includes carrot and kale smoothie offerings. Vegan pineapple spinach smoothie and lemon ginger spinach smoothies contain fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The company has launched a Cleaner Blending initiative to remove added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, added hormones in dairy, and GMO fruits and veggies from its offerings. In addition, the company has added in more whole fruits and vegetables. The company says it is on track to achieve its Cleaner Blending goals in more than 50 blends by the end of 2018.

Jennie-O Cleans Up Its Processed Turkey Line

Hormel Foods subsidiary Jennie-O has debuted 17 “on-trend turkey products,” including flavored turkey bacon, taco-seasoned turkey sausage, and uncured turkey breast franks. The franks are made with premium turkey breast and have half the fat of beef franks. They contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no added nitrites or nitrates, and are gluten free. The company’s other new products also boast of less fat and no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

U.S. NAFTA Negotiators Want To Limit Ability To Mandate Junk Food Warning Labels

According to confidential documents obtained by The New York Times, the Trump administration – spurred on by U.S. food and soft drink manufacturers – is using trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico to limit governmental power to mandate food labels that warn of the dangers of eating junk food. U.S. trade negotiators want to bar the use of any warning symbol, shape or color that "inappropriately denotes that a hazard exists from consumption of the food or non-alcoholic beverages." Health officials and advocates are concerned that eliminating such warnings would harm international efforts to contain the growing obesity crisis.

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April 08, 2018, to April 15, 2018

Time For Healthful, Natural Energy Beverages, Says Mamma Chia

The Mamma Chia beverage company, whose functional product range includes health and energy drinks made with chia seeds, is basing its marketing strategy on the belief that “the traditional energy drink space” – dominated by chemical- and sugar-laden drinks – “is ripe for disruption.” Consumers are demanding more healthful, natural beverages. Its recently-launched “clean energy beverages” combine chia seeds with caffeine from organic yerba mate and organic green coffee beans to deliver 2,500 mg of omega-3 and 90 mg of caffeine per serving. Chia seeds also add fiber, healthy fat, and protein to the beverages. CEO Janie Hoffman sees “endless opportunities” in chia-based drinks, “and we seek to create more.”

Nestlé Waters NA Makes Progress On Factory Sustainability Efforts

Third-party accrediting organization Alliance for Water Stewardship has certified a Nestlé Waters NA factory in Ontario, Calif., along with facilities in Canada, for sustainability achievements. Last week AWS certified Nestlé’s Los Angeles and Cabazon, Calif., factories. AWS is an alliance of businesses, nonprofits, public-sector agencies, and academic institutes. The organization’s audit of the California facilities showed combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017, according to Nestlé Waters. Eight Nestlé Waters facilities worldwide have met the AWS standard; two more plants in North America are expected to be certified by the end of this year.

Coke’s April Fool’s Prank Involves Some Hip New Flavors

Coca-Cola played an April Fool’s prank on the media and consumers with an announcement of new flavors of Coke Zero Sugar for the "brunch-loving, superfood-snacking Millennial" members of the “Instagram generation.” The faux flavors announced were Coke Zero Sugar Avocado (with “creamy undertones of amazing avocado”); Charcoal (“loaded with activated charcoal”); and Sourdough “superbly sour and bursting with fermented flavors.” In a statement, Coca-Cola said the new flavors offer the “perfect tasty, sugar-free refreshment” as well as an ideal accessory for social media photos “guaranteed to see the ‘likes’ rolling in.”

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March 25, 2018, to April 08, 2018

Walmart Unveils High-Tech Produce Spoilage Initiative At Distribution Centers

Walmart has introduced an “Intelligent Food” initiative to improve perishable food quality and eliminate waste from the produce supply chain. Dubbed “Eden,” the initiative has been implemented company-wide in 43 grocery distribution centers and other facilities over the last 12 months. The company says Eden has already reduced spoilage by “tens of millions of dollars” in fiscal 2018 (since January 27, 2018), and will eliminate $2 billion in spoilage over the next five years. Under the program, visual inspection of fresh produce at distribution centers is being automated and digitized. Algorithms and other advanced technologies monitor the temperature and freshness of produce and perishable foods from farm to supplier to warehouse to Walmart’s shelves.

Mutual Fund Company Hopes To Force Amazon To Issue A Food Waste Report

A mutual fund company with an environmental conscience has petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to compel Amazon.com’s shareholders to vote on a proposed food waste report. Boston-based Green Century Capital Management says it has worked with Kroger, Costco and other retailers on food waste; Safeway, Publix, Ahold USA, and Target have all addressed the issue. According to the company, which had begun talking about the issue with Whole Foods Market management before last year, it sent a letter to Amazon’s management and board outlining its concerns. But when Amazon said it did not want to issue a food waste report, Green Century filed a shareholder resolution asking that the proposal be voted on by shareholders. Amazon has challenged the shareholder request to the SEC.

Company Transforms Food Manufacturing Waste Into Versatile Flour

A company that turns food processing byproducts into a versatile and nutritious flour has release the SuperGrain+ line of snack bars. The 160-calories bars are non-GMO, made with organic ingredients, and come in Honey Cinnamon IPA, Chocolate Coffee Stout, and Blueberry Sunflower Saison. Each bar contains four grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and eight grams of sugar. Functional ingredients include manuka honey, ginseng, and coffee fruit. ReGrained’s patented technology rescues, processes, and stabilizes food manufacturing byproducts to create the fiber- and protein-rich SuperGrain+ flour usable in all commercial applications, from savory to sweet..

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March 18, 2018, to March 25, 2018

McDonald’s Sees Better Quality Chicken As Vehicle For Extending Growth Curve

McDonald’s, which is in the midst of a three-year growth period, is betting that offering “Better Chicken” will keep that growth bubbling along. The company’s plan is to upgrade the chicken items on its menu to achieve a premium status similar to Chik-fil-A. It has already implemented some customer-pleasing changes to its McNuggets and sandwich lines: it has promised to stop serving poultry with antibiotics; removed artificial preservatives from McNuggets; and launched Southern-style sandwiches and tenders coated in a crispy buttermilk breading. It’s a major shift for the decades-old burgers-and-fries company, whose customers see chicken as a healthier protein. "It's definitely a transformational era for McDonald's," said an analyst at Motley Fool. "Chicken is part of that."

New Plant-Based Burger’s Veggie Fats Sizzle On The Grill

California-based Don Lee Farms has begun distributing nationally its Organic Plant-Based Raw Burgers, made with beans and seeds, and certified organic, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. The burger is free from artificial ingredients or preservatives. According to the company, the burger “bleeds” organic beet juice and sizzles on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. “It’s a burger made with plants, not with science,” said a Don Lee Farms spokesman.

Strict Clean Label Grocery Chain Introduces Thousand Hills Grazed Beef In Stores

Colorado-based Natural Grocers is introducing the “exceptional quality” Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed beef, raised on family-owned U.S. farms, in its grocery stores in 19 states. Natural Grocers maintains strict clean label standards – stricter than USDA standards – for its beef suppliers, requiring all unprocessed, fresh and frozen meat to be humanely-raised without hormones, growth-promoting drugs, antibiotics or animal by-products. The company also “prefers” non-genetically modified feed. According to the company, the USDA allows meat to be labeled as 100-percent grass fed even if cattle are confined in feed lots and fed distillers’ grains, GMO alfalfa, and antibiotics.

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March 11, 2018, to March 18, 2018

Pulse-Based Mac And Cheese Now Available In U.S.

Already available in Canadian grocery stores, Chickapea has launched its organic chickpea and lentil mac and cheese in the U.S. Using a sauce made from real organic cheese, the product is non-GMO, kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free, contains 19 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and less than 500mg of sodium per serving. Launched in July 2016, Chickapea mac and cheese is available in three varieties – mac with classic cheddar, mini spirals with classic cheddar, and shells with white cheddar – in 2,000 stores in North America as well as online at choosechickapea.com and on Amazon. 

Quick Breads Have Several Advantages Over The Yeast-Based Stuff

Quick breads have remained popular over the years because they are easy to make, economical – they make use of ingredients often past their prime – and can be whipped up in far less time than yeast-based breads. Cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum says making quick breads – e.g., zucchini bread, apple bread, banana bread, etc. – is “comfortable baking” that is “no fail.” They owe their continued success to the introduction of two leavening agents that offer an alternative to yeast: baking soda and baking powder.

N.Y. Breweries Send Spent Grain To Flour Company Instead Of Landfill

Several breweries in the New York City area are sending their spent grain to a local flour company instead of the landfill. Rise Flour turns the grain into a “super flour” that contains 12 times the fiber, twice the protein, and a third of the carbs of standard all-purpose flour. The breweries are not only reducing their operational costs, they are also becoming zero waste businesses.

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March 04, 2018, to March 11, 2018

Will Big Food Get Ahead Of The Niche Curve At Natural Expo?

Vexed by consumer preferences evolving toward more-healthful, less-refined foods, and other threats, big manufacturers, retailers and investors have flocked to the Natural Products Expo West – a gathering place for natural, organic, and niche food and ingredient purveyors – to gather hints of what might be the next game-changing food trends. It’s bad enough that Big Food has to deal with rising retailer fees and trucking costs, competition from deep discount food retailers and now even Amazon. There’s also the fact that sales of food made with less-processed ingredients have risen 15 percent since 2014. The top 25 food and beverage companies in the U.S. collectively lost $5 billion in market share to smaller brands from 2012 to 2016. “It’s not a niche thing anymore. It’s mainstream,” said a Kroger exec. “That’s where the customer is going.”.

Raw Pressery Juice Relies On Ethics, Innovation, Technology In Fast-Growing Market

In a recent interview, Sreejit Nair, sales director of India’s Rakyan Beverages, said its Raw Pressery juice brand is applying advanced technologies to maintain market leadership in clean-label, cold-pressed juices. The fruit-based beverage category has grown at a CAGR of more than 30 percent over the past decade, thanks to the rise of health-conscious beverage consumers looking to avoid preservatives, chemicals, sugar, and artificial colors. The company uses HPP (high pressure processing) technology to pasteurize its juices, made with fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from farmers across India and abroad. The pasteurization method extends the shelf life of the juices to 21 days. Robotics and inventory automation ensure proper warehousing. The supply chain is using digitization to control costs, quality, temperature, and time. The company is also working with technology developers to create heat sensing devices that help maintain chiller temperature. In terms of innovation, the company recently launched a cold-pressed almond milk in coffee, cacao, and turmeric flavors. This year it expects to introduce a grapefruit-flavored juice, and to extend its product line to both chilled and ambient retail shelves.

Sonic’s New Mushroom-Beef Burger Has Flavor, Fewer Calories, And Eco-Benefits

A new-product test at a few Sonic Drive-In locations found that an experimental burger made with a mixture of 30 percent mushrooms and beef was a hit. It not only tastes good, it has fewer calories and is better for the environment. The burger is now being offered at all 3,500 Sonic eateries. Although a burger with less beef has a smaller environmental footprint – the company didn’t advertise that – consumers were impressed that Sonic’s offering starts at around 350 calories. An environmental advocacy group said that if all 10 billion burgers eaten in the U.S. each year used blended patties, 10.5 million tons of annual CO2 emissions would be eliminated, 83 billion gallons of water a year would be saved, and the amount of global farmland needed would be reduced by more than 12,000 square miles.

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February 25, 2018, to March 04, 2018

DoorDash, Feeding America Partner To Deliver Surplus Food To Charities

Meal delivery company DoorDash has partnered with Feeding America to tackle two daunting problems at the same time: food waste and hunger. The fundamental problem for foodservice companies who want to donate surplus food to food banks and shelters is logistics. San Francisco-based DoorDash works with local and national restaurants in more than 600 cities across the U.S. and Canada. It has been running a pilot program using their drivers to deliver donated meals to recipient agencies, but had trouble identifying those agencies. Feeding America provided the answer: the partnership gives DoorDash access to the hunger-relief organization’s network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.

Companies Introduce Better-Tasting Chickpea Flour For Gluten-Free Formulations

Nutriati and PLT Health Solutions have introduced a premium quality chickpea flour solution to the North American food market. Artesa Chickpea Flour features a taste profile similar to premium wheat flours, along with similar mouthfeel and texture characteristics, according to the companies. The manufacturing process removes much of the bad-tasting pulse oil from the finished product, producing a clean, neutral flavor and a white color. Food manufacturers will be able to use the ingredient in gluten-free food products such as breads, baked goods, and pasta. The flour contains a minimum of 12 percent protein, is a source of resistant starch, and has a lower glycemic index compared to wheat and other pulse flours.

Company’s Edible Produce Spray Extends Shelf Life

California-based Apeel Sciences has developed a plant-based edible skin – dubbed “Edipeel” – that quadruples the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, and reduces need for fungicides and refrigerated produce transport. Edipeel creates an “idealized little micro-climate inside of each piece of produce” that retards spoilage, according to the company founder, who has convinced investors to pump $40 million into the venture since 2012. The company uses materials extracted from plants, usually agricultural by-products such as tomato skins, combines them, then processes them into a water-soluble powder. When mixed with water, the material can be sprayed on produce or the produce can be dipped in it.
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