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Period: October 22, 2011 to November 5, 2011
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Companies, Organizations  

USDA, Other Groups, Provide Farmers With Info On Walmart’s Locally-Grown Food Initiative

Farmers in southwest Georgia (U.S.) are looking for more information about how to participate in, and benefit from,  Walmart’s new Heritage Agricultural Program, an initiative supporting consumers’ interest in local and sustainable farming. Various organizations, including the USDA, have been meeting with Georgia farmers to tell them what they need to do – like having the proper infrastructure in place – to supply produce to Walmart. The company wants to reduce the number of miles perishable fruits and vegetables travel from farm to market by purchasing locally-grown produce for stores, and is encouraging farmers to grow crops traditionally produced in their regions.

"Walmart wants locally grown foods on your table", WorldNow News, October 26, 2011

Survey Finds That Americans Believe Canned Foods Are Not As Nutritious As Frozen Or Fresh

A survey conducted by a group representing steelmakers and some food processors found that only 46 percent of Americans know that canned foods count toward U.S. government recommended dietary guidelines; 40 percent believe canned foods are less nutritious than frozen foods; and sixty percent believes canned foods are not as nutritious as fresh. But according to the Canned Food Alliance, food packaged in steel cans “can be just as nutritious (and sometimes more nutritious) than fresh and frozen varieties.” CFA Executive Director Rich Tavoletti said canned foods provide affordable, accessible and convenient nutrition.

"Survey: Consumers Underestimate Canned Foods’ Benefits", News release, Mealtime.org, October 25, 2011

Bimbo plans massive US investments

Gulf Today, October 26, 2011

PepsiCo rejigs distribution, targets BPL consumers

Business Standard, October 24, 2011


Consumer Focus On Shedding Pounds Drives Healthy Retail Sales Of Weight Loss Products

Consumers interested in losing weight are responding to marketing promises, driving healthy weight management product sales, according to a Euromonitor report. Weight loss companies have successfully upgraded their meal replacement lines, introducing new flavors for current products, and launching new powders, soups and bars. All have enjoyed success at the retail level. Palatability and texture have improved markedly, thanks to the application of new ingredient technologies. Meal replacement slimming and weight loss supplements posted the highest sales in the U.S., mainly because of strong promotional efforts from direct sellers Amway and Herbalife. “A combination of high overweight/obesity rates, affluence and the desire for a perfect body helped North America dominate retail value sales of weight management products in 2010,” Euromonitor said.

"An overview of weight management results 2009-2010", Euromonitor International, October 29, 2011

Older Baby Boomers, Millennials Like To Dine Out – But They Go About It Differently

A U.S. study of Mature Baby Boomers (MBBs, 55 to 64 years of age) and Mature Millennials (MMs, 25 to 34) finds that the two generations have similarities – and key differences – in their attitudes toward foodservice. A key similarity is an attraction to dining out: the combined 151 million people are responsible for nearly $65 of every $100 spent in restaurants. The two generations view restaurant cleanliness, taste, value, convenience and customer service as the most important qualities of a restaurant. Key differences that the foodservice industry needs to be aware of: 72 percent of MBBs order food by phone compared to 59 percent of MMs; nine percent of MBBs order via the Internet compared to 32 percent of MMs, and 25 percent of MMs use Smartphones to make reservations and check menus, but only 10 percent of MBBs.

"Mature Millennials v. Mature Baby Boomers: Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors – Similarities, Differences, Opportunities", Report, IFDA, October 16, 2011

Earnings Release  

Whole Foods Posts Healthy 4th Quarter And Fiscal Year Sales, Profit

Whole Foods Market reported 4th quarter profit of $75.5 million, an increase of 31 percent over a year ago, on sales of $2.4 billion. Sales for the quarter increased 12 percent, with comparable store sales up 8.7 percent and identical store sales up 8.4 percent. Diluted earnings per share increased 26 percent to $0.42. For the year ended September 25, sales increased 12 percent to $10.1 billion, and earnings per share increased 35 percent to $1.93. Co-CEO John Mackey said the company was continuing to produce “quality results” and he expected “the lessons we learned during the recession will drive even higher levels of operating performance and returns on invested capital over time.” The company finished the year with total cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, and investments of $799.1 million, and total debt of $17.9 million.

"Whole Foods Market Reports Fourth Quarter Results", Whole Foods Market, November 02, 2011

Hain Celestial Reports Healthy First Quarter Financials

Natural and organic products producer Hain Celestial Group reported a 13.3 percent increase over last year’s first quarter net sales to $292.4 million. GAAP net income rose 28.5 percent (11.7 million), compared to $9.1 million in the first quarter last year, with adjusted net income up 19.9 percent. The company reconfirmed its annual guidance for fiscal year 2012, which it raised last month in connection with its recent acquisitions of Daniels Group and the Europe's Best brand. Total net sales are expected to be $1.455 billion to $1.480 billion, and earnings per share will range between $1.63 to $1.73. CEO Irwin D. Simon said consumption trends improved year-over-year “driven by consumers seeking out our natural and organic products.”

"Hain Celestial Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2012 Results", Hain Celestial, November 01, 2011

Products & Brands  

Strategic Relationship Could Expand Company’s Technology Into Food Sciences

Total Nutraceutical Solutions announced a strategic relationship with LifeSpan Biosciences that would apply LifeSpan's immunohistochemistry (IHC) technology platform within the food sciences market. IHC detects the presence of specific antigens (e.g., proteins) in cells and is widely used in drug discovery. LifeSpan will study TNS’s ergothioneine – a highly stable natural antioxidant that mammals must acquire exclusively from food – and its physiologic role in multiple organs and disease states. According to TNS, the relationship will expand LifeSpan's reach into the functional food and food supplementation market. A study with Massachusetts General Hospital is assessing the efficacy of TNS's proprietary ERGO-D2 food supplement, which contains ET, as a potential dietary or palliative therapy for Parkinson's patients.

"Total Nutraceutical Solutions Announces Ergothioneine Transporter Study and Strategic Relationship With LifeSpan Biosciences", News release, Total Nutraceutical Solutions , November 01, 2011

New Abbott Glucerna Shakes, Bars Help Diabetics Manage Hunger, Sugar Spikes

Abbott Nutrition has introduced Glucerna Hunger Smart shakes and bars for diabetics. According to the company, the products are designed as meal replacements that assist in managing hunger and blood sugar spikes while helping diabetics achieve weight management goals. The Glucerna shakes contain a proprietary carbohydrate blend called Carb Steady with both low glycemic and slowly-digestible carbohydrates to help minimize blood sugar spikes. Each 180-calories shake has 15 grams of protein and six grams of sugars, as well as 25 vitamins and minerals. The snack bars are 140-150 calories with 10 grams of protein in addition to Carb Steady.

"Abbott Launches Glucerna Hunger Smart™ Nutrition Products for People with Diabetes", Press release, Abbott Nutrition, October 27, 2011

Kraft Foods Opens Doors To New Biscuit R&D Center In Europe

Kraft Foods press release, October 21, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Higher Obesity Rates Among Poorer People Not Associated With Fast-Food Dining

U.S. and Korean researchers have found that fast-food dining is not the reason for higher rates of obesity among people with lower incomes. In fact, the study found that eating out – either at fast-food or full-services establishments – becomes more common as income rises. Middle income people, who have lower rates of obesity and are attracted to fast-food restaurants for a variety reasons, increased their visits as their annual household income approaches $60,000. When  income increased beyond that level, fast-food visits decreased. Eating at full-service restaurants, where there is a range of food choices and sit-down service, followed a predictable pattern: as income rose, visits increased. The researchers used survey data from nearly 5,000 people in the U.S.

"Are Meals at Full-Service and Fast-Food Restaurants 'Normal' or 'Inferior'?", Population Health Management, November 02, 2011

Extract Of Cranberry Flavonoids Not As Effective At Fighting Infections As The Juice

Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute studying whether a cranberry extract might offer more health benefits than the juice have found that the juice is better at preventing biofilm formation, a precursor of urinary tract infections (UTI). The study tested the group of flavonoids in cranberries known as proanthocyanidins or PACs, the ingredient scientists have assumed gives the juice its infection-fighting properties and therefore could be candidate for creation of an extract deliverable in pill form. The researchers tested the extract and the juice on E. coli bacteria, the primary cause of UTI, finding that the PACs were no “silver bullet,” showing only limited ability to reduce biofilm formation, and only after extended exposure to the E. coli.

"Impact of Cranberry Juice and Proanthocyanidins on the Ability of Escherichia coli to Form Biofilms", Food Science and Biotechnology, October 31, 2011

New Test Can Rapidly Pinpoint Sources Of Food Contamination

U.S. scientists have developed a technology that allows government agencies and food companies to pinpoint the exact nature and origin of food-borne bacteria with unprecedented accuracy. In the standard method of tracing food-borne illness, the DNA of bacteria samples is broken into smaller pieces and the banding patterns are analyzed. The method is flawed because different strains of bacteria have common DNA fingerprints that are genetically similar. The new technology – dubbed the single nucleotide polymorphism test – involves sequencing the genome of the bacteria. The researchers are able to rapidly discriminate between outbreak-related cases and non-outbreak related cases, and can isolate samples connected to contamination.

"A whole genome SNP based approach to trace and identify outbreaks linked to a common Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Montevideo Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis type", Applied and Environmental Microbiology, October 25, 2011

“Magnetic tongue” ready to help produce tastier processed foods

American Chemical Society (ACS), October 26, 2011

Coffee Consumption Associated With Decreased Risk for Basal Cell Carcinoma

American Association for Cancer Research, October 24, 2011

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