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Period: June 3, 2018 to June 17, 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

WHO Asks World’s Governments To Ban Trans Fats By 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants the world’s governments to eliminate trans fats – partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – associated with margarine, Crisco and other low-price, long shelf products linked to countless premature deaths. WHO’s guidelines suggest eliminating trans fats from global food supplies within five years, a move that would save as many as 10 million lives. WHO’s campaign was developed with the help of Vital Strategies, a global health group backed by Michael Bloomberg, who as mayor of New York City, introduced the first municipal ban on trans fats in 2006. Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Britain, and the United States have all moved to restrict or ban trans fats.

"Trans Fats Should be Eliminated Worldwide by 2023, WHO Says", The New York Times, May 14, 2018

Clean Label “Total Beverage Solution” Debuts

Global beverage supplier Arcadia Beverage has launched what it calls “a total beverage solution for foodservice and retail operations.” The Zumora beverage line is “high in flavors, low in calories, and contains no preservatives or additives. Available in 12 oz. ready-to-drink bottles and 50 and 128 oz. beverage base, is a ready-to-use 3:1 concentrate mix available in lemon, strawberry lime, cucumber mint, mango, pineapple coconut, and other flavors. "Developing beverages with a clean label is at the core of our formulation,” an Arcadia spokesman said.

"Arcadia Beverage Launches Clean Label Beverage Line, Zumora", PR Newswire, May 22, 2018

Clean Label Seaweed-Based Pig Feed Debuts In America

Ireland’s Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd. announced it is introducing in the U.S. pork products from swine raised on its Oceanfeed Swine seaweed-based feed ingredient formulated for pork. Farmers supplying poultry and livestock producer Heritage Foods are feeding their pigs with the feed made from a proprietary blend of red, brown, and green seaweed species. Brooklyn-based Heritage Farms is committed to providing heritage breed poultry and livestock raised on pasture without antibiotic growth promoters to American consumers. Customers who have tried Oceanfeed, a natural prebiotic, see enhanced animal health, more efficient nutrient uptake, and reduced mortality rates.

"Ocean Harvest Technology Introduces North American Heritage Breed Pork Products Enhanced With Seaweed-Based Feed Ingredients", Business Wire, June 05, 2018

New FDA Menu Labeling Regulations Now In Effect

With no plans by the Trump administration to interfere, FDA menu nutrition labeling took effect last month over the objections of major grocers and retailers. Meanwhile, the House passed legislation (H.R. 772) that would ease compliance, but the Senate hasn’t yet acted on the bill. The new FDA rules apply to all restaurants and similar retail food establishments nationwide with 20 or more locations; do business under the same name; and offer substantially the same menu items. Among other requirements, all menu boards must conspicuously mention that nutrition information is based on a 2,000 calories-a-day diet, and that more written information is available. Menu boards are defined as all primary writings – in-store, Internet, and take-home – from which the consumer orders food. Calorie information must be conspicuously displayed next to the name or price of "standard menu items."

"United States: FDA Menu Labeling Rules Unfreeze", Mondaq Business Briefing, June 06, 2018

Elimination of “Country-Of-Origin” Labeling On Meat Sold Here Upheld By Court

Although federal judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson agreed with domestic livestock producers that the lack of country-of-origin labelling on beef and pork products sold here was harmful to business, she ultimately sided with the USDA and dismissed their lawsuit asking that such labeling be required. Meat producers filed suit in Spokane in June 2017 after U.S. legislation called for the USDA to remove the country-of-origin labeling requirements following sanctions imposed by the World Trade Organization. Peterson said that unfortunately the legal clock had run out for any challenge to the underlying 1989 federal law, and that the U.S. Congress had clearly intended to have the labeling end. The livestock producers vowed to continue the fight. 

"Federal judge in Spokane dismisses suit seeking to reinstate country-of-origin labels on imported meat", The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), June 07, 2018

Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Protect U.S. Consumers From Inaccurate Food Labels

Eight Republican and Democratic congressmen joined to introduce a bill that would provide American consumers with “clear, accurate, meaningful” nutrition information on food products and prevent inaccurate and misleading labels that drive up prices. According to lead sponsor of the bill Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), the Accurate Labels Act (H.R. 6022) would establish science-based criteria for labeling requirements and ensure that “legitimate risks” are taken seriously. The bill would allow state-mandated product information to be provided through smartphone-enabled "smart labels" and on websites and ensure that covered product information is risk-based. It has the support of the American Chemistry Council, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and others.

"Congressmen Kinzinger And Schrader Join Senator Moran To Introduce Accurate Labels Act", News release, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), June 07, 2018

Lawmakers Ask Exemption For Maple Syrup, Honey From “Added Sugars” Labeling

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress asked FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb urging an exemption for pure maple syrup and honey from new “added sugars” disclosure requirements in any rewrite of the Nutrition Facts box on food labels. The FDA has proposed changes that would require an added sugar disclosure for most products. An added sugars declaration on pure maple syrup or honey products, the lawmakers wrote in their letter, “may signal to consumers that these pure products … actually contain added sweeteners such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This is patently false." The FDA's March 2, 2018, Draft Guidance allows manufacturers to add a symbol after the added sugars daily value pointing consumers to clearer language on the label, but that “seems unlikely to reduce consumer confusion.” ]



Innovation & New Ideas  

Advanced Store-Shelf Audit Technology Gives Coca-Cola Speedy Competitive Intelligence

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest CPG companies that is replacing “old school and time-consuming” manual store shelf audits with advanced digital tools. The company is using technology from start-up Trax that merges image recognition, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze smartphone images of store shelves to provide timely insight into fast-changing consumer buying patterns. According to Coca-Cola, it used to take a month to collect shelf data manually, and another three months to organize it – way too much time to react to competitive challenges. Using the new technology cuts time and costs, allowing store shelf audits to be conducted every two months instead of twice a year. The company is testing the technology in three of its nearly 70 North American bottlers/distributors that “serve as its regular eye on the ground.”

"CPG Brands Are Leveling The Playing Field By Bringing This Digital Tool Into Brick-And-Mortar Retail", Forbes.com, May 31, 2018

Marketing & Advertising  

Coca-Cola’s E-Commerce Chief Sees Synergy Between Sales Reps, E-Tail

Sales reps at many companies see e-commerce as a threat to their sales and commissions But Coca-Cola’s system of training and customer segmentation makes e-commerce an asset to sales reps, according to Marta Dalton. For low-volume customers, online buying makes good sense because it only costs $3 to acquire a customer (compared to $50 to $80 to bring in a new customer through a sales call). The real value of e-commerce to a sales rep is the reduction in time wasted on grunt work, freeing the rep to focus on selling, rather than paperwork. E-commerce helps sales reps in areas such as: scheduling appointments; accessing support before, during and after sales calls; and tapping into communication channels that provide B2B services like print, e-mail, search, and social.

"Coca-Cola makes e-commerce work for sales reps", Digital Commerce 360, June 08, 2018


Polish Student Invents Edible Vegetarian Packaging Made From Kombucha

Edible packaging is becoming a reality with the creation of Scoby, the brainchild of Polish design student, Roza Janusz. With the potential to help reduce the use of plastic in packaging, Scoby is a vegetarian wrapping material made by mixing sugars and other organic substances with kombucha, a fermented drink produced with yeast, bacteria, and tea. During the process, the biocellulose membrane forms on the surface of the mixture and layers into a sheet-like material, similar to how an onion grows. With its long shelf life, Scoby can be used to wrap farmers' produce including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and seeds. It can also be used to pack instant meals. Given Scoby's acidic PH level and mineral compounds, it can also be used by farmers as a natural fertilizer. While Scoby is not yet available in the market yet, Janusz said plans are in the pipeline to make this alternative packaging commercially available soon.  

"This new edible packaging is grown from kombucha", Fast Company Design, May 16, 2018

Press Release  

Nestlé Waters Acquires Majority Stake In Welsh Bottled Water Company

The founders of Wales-based bottled water company Princes Gate Spring Water Ltd. believe they have found “the best partner in Nestlé Waters” to grow their 27-year-old business. Nestlé Waters has acquired a majority stake in the company, hoping to further exploit growing demand for bottled water in the U.K. Founded by two brothers on land farmed by generations of their family, the company sells Princes Gate spring water in the retail and out of home (OOH) channels and under other brand names.  It is one of the few U.K. bottling facilities that are 100 percent self-sufficient, thanks to renewable energy from an onsite wind turbine.

"Nestlé Waters acquires majority share in Princes Gate Spring Water Ltd", Nestle, May 31, 2018

Products & Brands  

Sales Of Soymilk, Rice Milk, Are Weakest Among The Non-Dairy Offerings

New SPINS data show that sales of refrigerated and shelf-stable soymilk slid 10.5 percent and 9.6 percent respectively in the year that ended April 22, while sales of refrigerated almondmilk rose 9.8 percent and shelf-stable almond milk rose four percent. Sales of refrigerated coconut milk were up 5.2 percent, shelf-stable varieties were up 3.3 percent, refrigerated rice milk slid 5.6 percent, and shelf-stable dropped 3.7 percent. However, the “other” category of plant-based milks (i.e., cashew, walnut, pea, hemp, quinoa, oat, and flaxmilk) and “blends” experienced the most robust growth. A Mintel analyst said innovation in the non-dairy milk category would drive it forward this year “as both mainstream bases like almond and alternative plant bases offer added functional benefits and unique flavors.”

"SPINS data: Who are the winners and losers in the plant-based milk category? ", Food Navigator USA, June 04, 2018

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