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Period: February 11, 2018 to February 18, 2018
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

German Food Ingredients Company Develops Gluten-Based Protein Additives

Food companies in Europe will be able to formulate both meat substitutes and meat-based products with a new range of gluten-derived proteins from German food ingredient maker Kröner-Stärke. The company says the wheat proteins were developed specifically to enable food manufacturers to diversify into high-quality meat substitutes and bring added functionality and nutritional value to traditional favorites. The company’s Glutex B, made from wheat gluten, is used to provide a meat-like texture to products such as vegetarian meatballs, and burgers. It can also be used in meat products such as minced meat to lower overall fat content and reduce cholesterol while keeping protein levels high.

"Kroner-Starke Unveils New Range of Clean Label Wheat Proteins", FoodBev, February 17, 2018

Start-Up Bakery Makes Its Sandwich Waffles Using Dough

A N.C.-based start-up that launched in 2016 as a waffle delivery service and has since opened two waffle shops is pushing the idea that “waffles are the new bread,” i.e., eatable all-day long. The founders of the Smashed Waffle Company have even created sandwiches that use waffles instead of bread. “Smashedwiches” come in pastry (ice cream) and savory versions. Because a batter-based waffle might turn soggy carrying ice cream, the company uses a scratch-made dough base that is pressed into heavy-duty cast iron waffle "smashers." The result? A crisp outer shell with a soft, airy center that “pairs perfectly with sweet and savory items.” 

"Waffles Are the New Bread", News release, Smashed Waffle Company, February 06, 2018

New Croissant Hybrid Lights Up Instagram

Two foodie favorites – the taco and the croissant – have been hybridized and Instagrammed by a San Francisco bakery to make the $12 “tacro” and, according to a British newspaper food writer, “it looks delicious.” The bakers at Vive La Tarte slice the crispy croissant down the middle and fill it with any one of three taco fillings: pulled pork, chili chicken with avocado, or barbecued jackfruit. They top the treat with sliced radishes, chopped pickled onions, green avocado salsa and red salsa. The bakery is now toying with the idea of a breakfast version.

"Would You Try the Tacro?", Evening Standard (U.K.), February 02, 2018

Hostess Builds Breakfast Brand Portfolio With Aryzta Acquisitions

Hostess Brands said it is completing the acquisition of certain U.S. breakfast assets of Aryzta LLC, including a Chicago Cloverhill bakery, and the Big Texas and Cloverhill brands. Hostess said the addition of the brands to its business portfolio will “add significant strength to our growing breakfast business.” Specifically, Hostess: will gain greater access to the club, vending, cash and carry, and independent convenience stores sales channels; will have an expanded range of offerings in the breakfast category of sweet baked goods, including HoneyBuns, Danish Pastries and Cinnamon Rolls; and will have a 137,000 square-foot bakery facility that makes individually-wrapped Danish pastry. The company expects EBITBA losses in 2018 and 2019 as a result of the acquisition, but EBITBA contributions of $20 million to $25 million by 2020. 

"Hostess Brands, Inc. Acquires Breakfast Brands and Expands Product Range", News release, Hostess Brands, February 01, 2018

Doughnut Entrepreneurs Succeed With Their Vegan Offerings

A vegan doughnut bakery that began as a wholesale business serving Baltimore restaurants is opening a retail shop after getting its start in the food incubator B-more Kitchen. The move will provide the Doughnut Alliance with more room for creativity as well as partnerships with other local businesses, said co-founder Jeff Arenberg. The shop will serve locally made coffee and kombucha to accompany the doughnuts, which are available in cookies and cream, s'mores, Boston creme, pink lemonade and cinnamon crunch flavors. Arenberg promises that the vegan doughnuts are indistinguishable from the conventional kind. The shop will also sell sandwiches. 

"Donut Alliance Bringing Its Vegan Doughnuts to Brick-And-Mortar Shop in Baltimore", Baltimore Business Journal, February 01, 2018

Organic Grain Breeding Program Endowed At WSU

Organic snack food company Clif Bar has joined with King Arthur Flour to fund a $1.5 million endowment to support organic grain breeding at Washington State University (Pullman, Wash.) that would develop crop varieties adapted to organic farming. An endowed chair totaling $850,000 is being awarded to Stephen Jones (left), director of the WSU Bread Lab. Working with area farmers, the Bread Lab is developing varieties of wheat and barley that provide hardy, nutritionally-dense rotation crops. The new varieties not only enrich the soil, but also produce grains favored by local millers and maltsters who sell to regional bakers and brewers, according to Clif Bar. 

"King Arthur Flour Announce: $1.5 Million Organic Endowment for WSU's Bread Lab", Clif Bar & Company, January 31, 2018

Nutritionist Argues That Pizza Makes A Better Breakfast Than Cereal

A registered dietitian nutritionist has posted a blog entry saying that a slice of pizza makes for a more healthful breakfast than a bowl of cereal. The two contain essentially the same number of calories, argues nutrition blogger Chelsey Amer, but pizza “packs a much larger protein punch, which will keep you full and boost satiety throughout the morning." She acknowledged that pizza isn’t really a health food, but compared to most sugary cereals, it’s more balanced, contains more fat and less sugar. Another nutritionist disagreed, noting that cereal provides important nutrients “to start your day off right." Keri Gans said “the right cereal that’s packed with fiber, may help lower cholesterol and control blood sugar," especially when topped with berries rich in vitamins. 

"Pizza Is Healthier Breakfast Option than Cereal, Dietitian Says", International Business Times, January 31, 2018

Hummus Producer Reformulates Without Artificial Ingredients

National hummus brand Tribe Mediterranean Foods has committed to a clean label policy that is now reflected in its product packaging and formulations. Its hummus products now contain no artificial ingredients, while packaging features more white space, simpler designs and fewer claims. The changes reflect trends in consumer preferences, according to the company, whose own research found that “removing any artificial preservatives from our hummus was a really huge positive from the standpoint of our core consumer.”

"Tribe Seeks to Fill Void in Hummus Category with a “Clean” Reformulation & New Branding", FOODnavigator-USA.com, January 30, 2018

Panera Chides Competitors About Use Of Non-Clean Ingredients In Menu Items

Fast-casual restaurant chain Panera has set up a committee of food experts who can advise competitors on how to start using natural “clean” ingredients in their menu items. The experts who comprise Clean Consultant can also be hired by other restaurant chains to learn how to get more active in food policy issues. The feisty company has also begun marketing a revamped breakfast sandwich; asked the FDA to clearly define the term “egg;” and called out rivals Chick-fil-A and Starbucks for using additives in their egg sandwiches.

"Panera Wants to Help Other Brands Clean Up Their Menus ' and it Shows How the Sandwich Chain is Doubling Down on a Key Strategy in a New Era", Business Insider, January 29, 2018

Chicken Producer Predicts Oversupply Of Expensively-Raised Antibiotic-Free Meat

A major U.S. poultry producer said in a regulatory filing that the supply of antibiotic-free chicken is outstripping the demand. Nearly 41 percent of chickens produced in the U.S. through October 2017 were antibiotic-free, though only 6.4 percent of sales were for products sold as antibiotic-free (ABF). Sanderson Farms said this overproduction could begin to erode processor profits. Sanderson is the only large U.S. chicken producer that has not committed to limit the use of antibiotics. However, it does have a plan to do that if it decides it is in the company’s best interest. A Sanderson spokesman said selling chickens raised using antibiotics allows the company to produce meat more profitably.

"U.S. Faces Oversupply of Antibiotic-Free Chicken: Sanderson Farms", Reuters, January 17, 2018

It’s Not Easy To Find Out Whether Meat Is Ethically Raised

Americans are eating 50 pounds more meat per person than they did in 1960. An increasing number of them want to be certain their meat was ethically raised. But that’s not easy to do. Labels like “all natural” or “free range” on meat packages are no help, and few many consumers are likely to visit farms to observe animal husbandry practices. That’s where independent third-party certification comes in. Whole Foods Market, for example, requires its fresh meat to be certified through the nonprofit Global Animal Partnership, a somewhat expensive procedure that involves regular farm audits. Other third-party organizations that assure customers that the meat they are eating was ethically raised include Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and American Humane Certified, as well as the Non-GMO Project and Where Food Comes From, Inc.

"You Want to Eat Meat That’s Been Ethically Raised. But How Can You Know for Sure?", Bangor Daily News, January 15, 2018

Would Knowing What The USDA Means By “Natural” Make For Smarter Meat Buying?

New research from Arizona State University shows that food shoppers not only misinterpret labels on food products, they’re willing to pay a premium price for a “natural” steak without really knowing the USDA’s explanation of the term: no artificial ingredients or added color and only minimally processed. The online study of 663 beef-eaters tested their willingness to pay for steak labeled with different attributes, such as natural, grass-fed, or raised without growth hormones. Half were given the definition of natural, half were not. Uninformed consumers were willing to pay $1.26 more per pound for the “natural” beef, and $2.43 more for natural beef with no growth hormone. Informed consumers, however, were unwilling to pay a premium for the “natural” claim alone, but were willing to pay $3.07 more per pound for steak labeled as natural with no growth hormones.

"Is 'Natural' Beef Label Misleading?", Arizona State University, January 04, 2018

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