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Period: November 12, 2011 to November 19, 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  

Restructuring At Unilever Ireland Results In €9.8 Million Loss In 2010

Unilever’s Ireland unit lost €9.8 million in 2010, mainly because of restructuring costs totaling €7.1 million, which included severance payments, according to a report filed with the Irish Companies Office. The report noted that sales in the country dipped slightly in 2010 to €247.7 million from €248.4 million in 2009. The company’s pre-tax loss of €9.8 million was slightly better than the €10.6 million figure recorded in 2009. According to company directors, Unilever Ireland “saw decline in underlying turnover for the third consecutive year” and “In order to ensure the future success of the business, we announced a significant restructure.” The number of employees dropped to 210 from 238, and staff costs decreased by 10 percent, after “significant redundancies across all functions” were found.

"Restructuring played part in Unilever's €9.8m loss-report", The Irish Times, November 16, 2011

NPA To Take The Lead In Providing Concrete Definitions Of “Natural” Food Products

Unlike the term “organic,” “natural” foods lack an authoritative definition that consumers, retailers and manufacturers can look to when applying that term to products. Stepping in to fill the void is the Natural Products Association, which is expected to begin unveiling more tangible definitions of natural food products sometime in 2012. The NPA issued such a definition and seal for natural home care products in 2008. Six food categories have been targeted by the organization, and two – snacks and cereals, meat and poultry – will have definitions and seals next year, according to reports. Some observers feel the FDA should take the lead in the call for a definition of natural, but the agency hasn’t shown any indication it will.

"NPA to define 'natural' food with certification", Newhope360, November 09, 2011

Americans Love Their Snacks – Survey

Forty percent of Americans say they prefer to curb their hunger with snack foods throughout the day rather than by eating the traditional three square meals, according to a survey by Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps brand. More than three fourths (78 percent) said they eat snack foods for lunch and 55 percent eat snacks for dinner. The trend toward substituting snacks for full-course meals is greater among younger people – ages 18 to 49 years. Only 31 percent of people age 50 or older skip meals for snacks. But the survey found that  whatever the age, “more and more people are relying on snacks to get them through the day.”

"A Little Bite Goes a Long Way: The Growing Role of Snacks in America", News release, Snack Factory, November 08, 2011


New App For Mobile Devices Tells Consumers Which Eco-Labels Are Truthful

Consumer Reports has introduced an app for smartphones and other mobile devices that tells consumers which green product labels are verifiably meaningful and truthful. The new Eco-Label app, available on iTunes, provides reviews of label terms like “hypoallergenic,” “natural,” and “organic”. The Eco-Label App lets consumers search for information by alphabetical label index or by product, including foods, cleaners, and personal care products. The app also provides a label "report card," which offers clear guidance on which labels make truthful and meaningful claims, and which do not. The app costs $.99 and is located under the Utilities category in the App Store, according to Consumer Reports.

"New Eco-Label mobile app for iPhone and iPad decodes green product labels and claims", News report, Consumer Reports.org, November 15, 2011

U.K. Foodservice Operators Should Keep An Eye On Several Significant Trends

Six key trends will play major roles in U.K. foodservice in 2012, according to Technomic. “New British” gastronomy, for example, is emerging as leading chefs strive to change the world’s perception of British cuisine by incorporating global culinary influences. Use of locally-produced foods is picking up steam as British chefs include local foraged items and fruits and vegetables they have grown themselves. Other key trends: British interest in foreign flavors and ingredients is on the rise; foodservice operators who incorporate technologies into their service model – such as replacing waiters with electronic ordering devices – will propel themselves ahead of competitors; take-home meals from chain and independent restaurants will appear in more retail establishments; and booming global economies offer U.K. operators compelling expansion opportunities.

"Technomic identifies six U.K. foodservice trends for 2012", Press release, Technomic, November 10, 2011

2011 market trends- Mapping the road ahead

Functional Ingredients, October 31, 2011


What Types Of Products Are “Necessities” Among Today’s Consumers – And Why

Despite the fact that jobless rates are still high, housing prices and demand are still low, and world financial markets are wobbly, consumers still purchase products they feel are a necessity, rather than just a want or a “can live without,” Advertising Age reports. But purchasing a necessity – an iPhone, for example, among some people, or Internet connectivity – means that other products are not purchased. Consumers are rethinking spending, they are reprioritizing. And that presents both challenges and opportunities for marketers: how do you move a product from a "want" to a "need" and keep it from becoming a "can live without"? Ad Age presents the results of a survey it conducted among 1,000 Americans, asking them what products or services they absolutely can’t live without – and which ones they can.

"The New Necessities: What Products and Services Can Consumers Not Live Without?", Advertising Age, November 14, 2011

Hispanics Who Dine Out Like To Have The Kids Along

About 40 percent of restaurant visits by Hispanics include children, according to a market study by The NPD Group. In fact, Hispanics who like to dine out say they would do it more often if more restaurants made children feel welcome. In contrast, only 30 percent of non-Hispanic restaurant visits include children. Forty-five percent of Hispanic restaurant visits are in groups of three or more compared to 32 percent for non-Hispanics. NPD’s Michele Schmal said that “restaurant operators and food manufacturers would do well to focus marketing to Hispanics around the family and children.”

"U.S. Hispanics Consider Restaurant Dining a Family Affair, Reports NPD", Market report, NPD, November 09, 2011

What we like now—best ideas of 2011

Functional Ingredients, November 08, 2011

Sainsbury's study reveals Brits bin 10% of weekly food shop

Environmental Data Interactive Exchange (Eddiewaste), November 07, 2011

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