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Period: May 20, 2018 to June 3, 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

Starbucks Hopes To Trim $75M In Food Waste by 2020

Starbucks Corp. is losing $500 million a year on waste in its more than 8,000 company-operated U.S. stores, but hopes to cut that by 15 percent ($75 million)over the next year-and-a-half through greater efficiency. The company says its business model – “strict product quality requirements” plus “product availability” – always results in some waste. Food discarded because after the expiration date, and lost sales associated with a lack of inventory, are part of the costs. During Starbucks' fiscal second quarter, it cut waste costs by focusing on “outlier stores” that had high waste as a percentage of sales. It also improved training on the process of pulling .

"Wasted food, other items cost Starbucks $500 million a year", Puget Sound Business Journal, April 27, 2018

Dutch Restaurants Thrive on Sustainability, Re-Purposing, Zero-Waste

Restaurants in The Netherlands, particularly in the capital Amsterdam, are showcasing innovative and accessible sustainability projects that focus on zero-waste practices and creative reuse of buildings and materials. Moer Restaurant, for example, is housed in a former Michelin tire shop; its serving pans are made from old train tracks. It has replaced the traditional buffet table piled high with bound-for-the-bin meats, cheeses, and pastries with a buffet of all-organic offerings, including juices from Dutch orchards, dairy and egg products from a local farm, and homemade granola and breads made with grain and beer waste from brewery Gulpener. The Instock restaurant uses only surplus food for ingredients and wastes nothing. It gets unused food from Albert Heijn, the country's largest supermarket chain. There is so much discarded but edible food that the restaurant has set up a wholesale distribution center to serve other restaurants.

"Doing good, deliciously: Sustainable dining in Amsterdam", The Washington Post (published in the Toronto Star), May 05, 2018

Japanese Entrepreneurs Tackle Food Waste Problem With Smartphone Apps

According to Japan’s agriculture ministry, 6.46 million tons of untouched food were discarded in 2015. Japanese entrepreneurs, however, are making progress using technology to tackle this crticial food waste issue. Among the advanced solutions are online services that link restaurants with consumers wishing to buy food at lower prices that would otherwise be discarded. An example is Shifft Inc., which launched the Reduce Go smartphone app service last month to offer registered users economic benefits by allowing them to pick up food directly twice a day from restaurants and food outlets for $18 (¥1,980) a month. About 25,000 users have signed up for the free version of the app, while 32 restaurants, bars, and shops in Tokyo and its environs have signed on to the food giveaway.

"Tokyo-based startups look to link consumers with restaurants to curb food waste", The Japan Times, May 05, 2018

Sen. Casey‘s Bill Would Reimburse Farmers For Food Donation Costs

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the Farm to Food Bank Act of 2018 (S. 2824) to establish food recovery networks in each state that would incentivize farmers to donate their produce directly to food banks to be distributed to the needy. The bill would authorize assistance to farmers and ranchers by reimbursing them for the costs to produce, harvest, pack, process, store, or transport to foodbanks food that is safe for consumption but lacks access to a retail market or supply chain. The bill is a response to the fact that food is often discarded on the farm if considered "ugly," overproduced, market conditions are unfavorable, or if an existing contract or retail market is lost. According to Feeding Pennsylvania, the commonwealth produces an abundance of fresh and nutritious food, yet 1.7 million residents struggle with hunger every day, 500,000 of whom are children.

"Casey Looks to Fight Hunger, Address Food Waste", Sen. Bob Casey, May 10, 2018

Heirloom Grains Are Reviving Interest In Eating Bread

According to the head baker and co-founder of Illinois-based artisan bread specialist  Hewn Bakery, bread is making a comeback because more consumers are paying attention to the ingredients used in baking. They are particularly interested in the flour, says Ellen King, and that heritage and ancient grains that are processed in ways that reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions to gluten. King is working with local farmers who are growing some unusual, even unheard of, grain and wheat varieties. Among these is the Einkorn, which she blends with other heritage wheats to make “an amazing, nutty and rich bread with little flecks of gold inside." Other varieties include Rouge de Bordeaux, a French wheat used to make all of their whole wheat bread, and Marquis, a nearly extinct variety revived by Hazzard Free Farm of Pecatonica, Ill.

"Heritage Grains Are Making a Comeback And Contributing to Bread's Resurgence", Forbes.com, May 14, 2018

Start-Up Cookie Company Offers “Great Treat Without The Cheat”

A start-up bakery is targeting the low-sugar, low-carb market with snacks once known as Keto Cookies. Nui Foods LLC offers a variety of cookies that are low-carb, gluten free, and contain only two grams of sugar per serving. The company says their new cookie line offer a delicious way to resist sweet cravings on-the-go, “a great treat without the cheat.” Founded in 2016 in Southern California, Nui has expanded its reach and offers four flavors: peanut butter, chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and double chocolate. Key ingredients include: erythritol and Monk fruit extract, grass-fed butter, coconut oil and MCT oil, almond and coconut flavors, and six grams of protein.

"Nui Foods Offers a Keto Friendly Cookie With No Added Sugar ", Business Wire, May 14, 2018

Eat17 Escalates The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic

Eat17, the eco-friendly retail and restaurant chain, is joining the battle against single-use plastic, introducing paper straws and bamboo cups in its restaurants. It is also bringing in refillable stations in its Bishop’s Stortford store for a range of products, including organic milk, wine, nuts, cereals and grains, and also washing up liquid and laundry detergent. It expects to roll the stations out to other stores during the year. Eat17 said the moves align with customers looking to become more eco-friendly and cut down on single-use plastics and pre-packaged food.

"Eat17 introduces initiatives to cut plastic waste", Talking Retail, May 15, 2018

Successful Australian Start-Up Sells Snap Frozen Unwanted Berries

An Australian couple committed to reducing food waste in their region have created a company that puts so-called “wonky” (i.e., miscolored, misshapen, or otherwise unsold) fruits rejected by supermarket chains to good use. They maintain a warehouse where they and their small staff snap freeze raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants. Stuart and Allison McGruddy say they wanted to help berry growers manage any oversupply and reduce the waste. In 2016 found a niche market for safe and quality frozen berries, restoring public faith in the product after food scares associated with imported berries. The berries are carefully hand-picked, washed and frozen on the same day before being packaged into transparent zip-locked pouches. The berries arrive at the buyer’s door packed in dry ice.

"Couple put the freeze on berry growing waste", Moreton Life, May 16, 2018

Companies Start To Adopt World’s First Plastic-Free Packaging Mark

A ‘plastic-free’ Trust Mark has been launched to advise shoppers on the material used to package food and drink, as part of initiatives to cut the use of plastic in packaging. It was created by environmental group A Plastic Planet. Iceland is the first British retailer to adopt it, and it plans to use on its own-label products as part of its pledge to stamp out single-use plastic packaging by 2023. Beverage brand Teapigs will also display the Trust Mark on its packaging, and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza is another early-adopter. It is the first retailer to build plastic-free aisles in its supermarkets. 

"World’s first plastic-free mark will help shoppers choose eco-friendly products", The Telegraph, May 16, 2018

Americans Are Getting A Taste Of Canada’s Gooey Butter Tart Pastry

Canadian visitors to, or expats living in, the New York City area can now feast on one of their country’s most beloved pastries, a delicacy known as the butter tart. Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Btarts Sweet Canadian Treats company is working hard to make the butter tart as mainstream in the U.S. as it is in Canada. Founded by transplanted Canadians, Btart’s gooey treats are made with all-natural ingredients, including maple and pure syrup for the filling, but no shortening, lard, or corn syrup. The owners and their wares have been featured on national TV, and in various American food publications. Available online, they are shipped anywhere in the U.S., but not, unfortunately, into Canada.

"Are butter tarts only for Canadians?", Toronto Sun, May 20, 2018

Snack Company Toosum Introduces Protein Cookies With No Added Sugar

Snack brand Toosum launched its Protein Cookies product at the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. The 180-200-calorie cookies contain no added sugar, contain ten grams of protein along with oat fiber, and are gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO. They will be available in oatmeal peanut butter, oatmeal chocolate chip, and oatmeal double chocolate fudge. "Time continues to show that people are tired of eating dried up protein bars or processed junk food with high sugar and calorie counts," said Toosum founder Peter Guyer.

"Toosum's Newest "Bites with Benefits" to Debut at Sweets & Snacks Expo", Chicago Business Journal, May 21, 2018

Food Industry Paper Reports On Progress In Fight Against Waste Since 2016

After the British food waste experts at Wrap reported on the enormity of the problem, trade newspaper The Grocer in 2016 launched an editorial campaign to double the amount of edible food being redistributed, to lobby for governmental fiscal incentives to curb waste, and to encourage greater engagement and cooperation in the food industry. Wrap had reported that 1.9 million tons of edible food was being wasted annually, some by grocery stores, but the most by producers who left ugly but otherwise perfectly good produce in the fields to rot. A lot of edible food – 525 million meals – could have been donated to serve the hungry but wasn’t. Since the launch of the campaign, there have been some major changes in the U.K. food and beverage distribution system, particularly in the areas of redistribution; commitment by retailers, suppliers, trade bodies, and campaigners to waste reduction; and increased transparency about waste policies and practices in the food industry.

"Reversing the rot on food waste: two years of our campaign", The Grocer, May 26, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Nestlé Waters Debuts RTD Sparkling Tea Products Under Sanpellegrino Brand

Nestlé Waters believes it can make the most of its Sanpellegrino customer base while expanding to new audiences with the launch of an RTD subcategory comprising a “flavor-packed, premium sparkling tea experience," dubbed Sanpellegrino + Tea. The range of organic, low-calorie sparkling teas includes Limone + Tea and Pesca + Tea flavors. The brand was launched in Canada in March and recently in the U.K. as a component of a brand awareness campaign this year featuring digital engagement, experiential and sampling activities, in-store merchandising, and print ads.

"Nestlé Waters' Sanpellegrino + Tea - Product Launch", Just-drinks.com, May 18, 2018

Coke Unveils Lower-Sugar Variants In Its Simply Juice Line

Coca-Cola’s Simply Beverages unit announced expansion of its juice product line with the addition of more healthful, lower-sugar varieties of orange juice and lemonade. The new orange juice variants – Simply Light Orange Pulp Free and Simply Light Orange with Calcium & Vitamin D – have about half of the sugar and calories of the original Simply Orange. Simply Light Lemonade and Simply Light Lemonade with Raspberry have 75 percent less sugar and less calories than Simply Lemonade. The move represents another step toward the goal of marketing more healthful beverages outlined in Coca-Cola’s 2017 Sustainability Report, which revealed a commitment to reduce sugar in more than 400 drinks.

"Coca-Cola continues low-sugar push with new healthier line of juices", Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 21, 2018

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Chilean Dairy Company Unveils Children’s Probiotic Drink In Recyclable Box

Chilean dairy producer Soprole has launched a probiotic beverage for children packaged in an 80 ml recyclable Tetra Pak cardboard box. Uno Colación is available in strawberry and multi-fruit flavors in the country’s main supermarkets. The drinks are low in sodium, and sugar- and fat-free. Tetra Pak says this is the first time its container has been used in Chile. The Aseptic 80 ml Slim, designed for children's consumption, is easy to carry and drink from, and is with recyclable cardboard from FSC certified forest sources. Soprole and Nestlé dominate the Chilean dairy market.

"Soprole works with Tetra Pak to launch new probiotic format for children", Beverage Daily, May 24, 2018

Earnings Release  

Coca-Cola Weathers Several Storms Since 2013 To Find Smoother Sailing

A number of “qualifications” – particularly restructuring costs, currency ups and downs, and ongoing bottler refranchising – make Coca-Cola’s five-year financial performance a little cloudy. But an analysis by just-drinks reveals “modest, if not spectacular, growth” globally. Among the highlights: a gradual shift in emphasis in global product mix due to evolving consumer trends; the success of RTD tea and coffee, packaged water, and sports drinks; overall market share gains in major regions, fueled by a rising global middle class, increased urbanization, and higher spending on personal consumption; an increase in billion-dollar brands to 20; and a reduction to three percent of volume from company-owned bottlers thanks to refranchising in China and the U.S. through 2016 and 2017 that led to lower sales (down 15 percent) but higher margins in a brand-led but less capital-intensive operation. 

"The Coca-Cola Co Performance Trends 2013-2017 - results data", just-drinks.com, May 15, 2018

Market News  

JAB Holdings Acquires U.K.-based Sandwich Shop Chain

German family-owned investment group JAB Holdings will acquire the 530-store U.K.-based sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger from private equity group Bridgepoint for $2 billion including debt. Bridgepoint paid $486 million for the chain ten years ago. The purchase price is about 15 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, the people said. Annual sales are about $1.2 billion. 

"Deal-hungry JAB to buy Pret A Manger for £1.5bn", The Financial Times, May 29, 2018

Products & Brands  

Sales Of Protein Beverages, Including Waters, Are On The Rise

RTD beverages that contain protein are seeing sales increase to meet demand from health-conscious consumers seeking to conveniently boost intake of the nutrient. Different brands of protein-rich drinks offer various functional benefits, including energy, refueling, rehydration, satiation, sports nutrition, and meal replacement. A growing subcategory of protein drinks is protein water, including those containing WPI, a concentrated clear protein source. Protein water is represented by several brands and companies: BiPro Protein Water from BiPro U.S.A;  Chicago-based Protein2O, with two product lines; Bolthouse Farms (Campbell Soup Co.) B Strong and B Balanced beverages;  Gatorade protein shakes (PepsiCo); and JoeFroyo Functional Cold Brew coffee with caffeine, probiotics, and protein. Protein sources include milk protein isolate, whey, pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and collagen peptides.

"Beverage makers capitalizing on the power of protein", Food Business News, May 17, 2018


Traditional Dairy Products Have An Image Problem, But It’s Solvable

Alternatives to cow’s milk made from soy, rice, oats, and other plant-based ingredients, are catching on big with consumers, mainly because of smart marketing by producers. The result is that sales of liquid milk slid 3.5 percent in the five years ended in 2017, while dairy alternatives – still a tiny slice of the $600 billion dairy market – grew four percent. The shift is due to a perception by consumers that dairy alternatives are more healthful, and more eco-friendly, than cow’s milk, though experts say there is no evidence of that. But some traditional milk brands have bucked the trend. Coca-Cola’s premium Fairlife milk has grown by touting its ingredients: more protein and calcium, less sugar and lactose. Other dairy companies could follow suit by emphasizing innovation, “premiumization,” new packaging with, label transparency about sourcing, and clear statements about humane treatment of dairy animals.

"Milk may need a makeover: Alternatives to dairy are increasingly winning over consumers", CNBC, May 29, 2018

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