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Period: July 8, 2018 to July 22, 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

Carrefour Announces 100% Recyclable, Reusable Or Compostable Packaging Goal

French supermarket chain Carrefour is aiming for own-brand packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and to stop using non-recyclable packaging for organic fruit and vegetables by the end of this year, as well as ending the sale of plastic straws. By 2022, it intends to use 50% recycled plastics in bottles for its juice, soda and water products. The announcement coincides with a European Commission announcement to ban single-use plastics like straws and drink stirrers in the European Union. Plans also cover plastic cutlery and cotton buds, and by 2025 EU states will be expected to collect 90% of single-use plastic beverage bottles.

"Carrefour own-brand products to have fully recyclable packaging", FoodBev , May 31, 2018

Indian PM Announces Single-Use Plastic Ban By 2022

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced that the country plans to scrap single-use plastic by 2022, as part of World Environment Day, which India is hosting this year. Modi also announced a scheme to address marine plastic, and agreed to join Clean Seas, a UN campaign.

"India to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2022", FoodBev , June 06, 2018

TIPA Of Israel Develops Biodegradable Plastic Packaging

Israel-based TIPA said it has developed a fully compostable plastic packaging film. While the product has most of the characteristics of plastic packaging, it disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter that can be degraded by bacteria. In 2016, TIPA began selling its packaging film, which the company started developing in 2012. Later, the company secured the required certifications, including for food packaging. TIPA, which now has 30 employees, saw sales of its packaging films grow four times in 2017 from the previous year.Israel-based TIPA said it has developed a fully compostable plastic packaging film. While the product has most of the characteristics of plastic packaging, it disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter that can be degraded by bacteria. In 2016, TIPA began selling its packaging film, which the company started developing in 2012. Later, the company secured the required certifications, including for food packaging. TIPA, which now ...  More

"Israeli Company Invents Plastic Packaging You Can Compost", Haaretz, June 14, 2018

McDonald's In The UK To Phase Out Plastic Straws

McDonald’s in the UK will start using recyclable paper straws later this year, with plastic straws withdrawn completely next year. The company in the UK uses some 1.8 million straws each day, and the move follows a two-month trial at certain UK restaurants. It also follows a similar announcement by UK supermarket chain Waitrose. McDonald’s in other countries, including France, Norway, Sweden and the US, are expected to run trials later this year in their own efforts to find schemes to eliminate plastic straws.

"McDonald's to switch to paper straws in UK after customer campaign", The Guardian, June 15, 2018

Chicago Restaurant Chain Plans To Stop Using Plastic Straws

Chicago-based restaurant chain operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise said it plans to stop using plastic straws by October 1, 2018. With more than 100 local restaurants and bars having committed support for the Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd the Straw” campaign, the company’s support for the movement could speed up the elimination of plastic straws. Popular among restaurants and similar establishments, plastic straws are not easily recycled and usually end up in the ocean. 

"Lettuce Entertain You restaurant empire to phase out plastic straws at its 120 restaurants", Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2018

Cut Back On Plastic Packaging, Leading Manufacturers Hear From As You Sow

As You Sow, a nonprofit group representing 25 investment companies managing more than $1 trillion in assets, has called on Nestle SA, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and Unilever NV, to reduce their use of plastic in packaging of their products. Signed by investment managers, including Hermes Investment Management and Impax Asset Management, the initiative calls plastic packaging damaging to the environment. Companies should reveal their annual use of plastic packaging, establish goals for reducing plastic packaging, and exert efforts to recycle plastic packaging, the group said.

"Investors Demand Nestle, Pepsi and Others Cut Plastic Use", Bloomberg, June 22, 2018

International Companies Urge India’s Maharashtra State To Ease Plastic Ban

Multinational corporations, including Amazon and H&M, are reportedly urging the state of Maharashtra in India to relax its recently approved ban on single-use plastic. Coming after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign for an end to the use of single-use plastic in the country by 2022, the state’s move is expected to raise operating costs for companies. Retailers and beverage manufactures are among companies that use plastic packaging. Business groups, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, have called on the government to soften its anti-plastic policies.

"Amazon, H&M Pressing to Soften India's Plastic Ban", The Business of Fashion, June 29, 2018

Company Expands Production Facilities As Demand For Plant-Based Meats Soars

Responding to what it calls “surging demand for its meat-free burgers,” California’s Beyond Meat, which produces Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage, is opening a second factory in Columbia, Mo., that will add 250 jobs to its operations in the state. The new plant will expand production capacity from 30,000 sq. ft. to 100,000. Beyond Burger, launched in 2016, is made entirely from plants without GMOs, soy, or gluten. The Beyond Sausage line was launched late in 2017. The company has customers in Europe, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Israel, UAE, South Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. 

"Beyond Meat opens second factory, creates 250 jobs, as demand for meat-free burgers soars", just-food global news, July 01, 2018

Half Of Americans Worry About Health Impact Of GMO Ingredients

Research from the International Food Information Council shows that labels proposed by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to disclose “bioengineered” (BE) foods “dramatically increase a wide variety of consumer concerns.” The IFIC Foundation tested reactions to the three BE labeling symbols and two variations of text disclosures. Consumers were shown bottles of canola oil without any BE logo or text, with symbols (like a “plant”), with a symbol plus “bioengineered” in text, and with a symbol plus “may be bioengineered” in text. Half of the consumers had “human health concerns” when shown the BE “plant” symbol. The number rose to 51 percent when text was added to indicate that the product was “bioengineered,” and to 57 percent when “may be bioengineered” was added to the “plant” symbol.

"Survey: Nearly Half of U.S. Consumers Avoid GMO Foods; Large Majority Primarily Concerned About Human Health Impact ", Food Insight, July 02, 2018

Donut Monster Entrepreneur Puts Experience As A Chef To Work

An alumnus chef from Milwaukee’s Ardent restaurant has built a business by building a better doughnut to please his – at the time – eight-months pregnant wife. Former chef de cuisine at Ardent, Jackie Lee Woods applies his knowledge, experience and good taste to his doughnut business, dubbed Donut Monster. Woods looks for ingredients (many of them organic) that meet his standards, then tests and retests recipes. The business sells three basic styles of doughnut: old-fashioned, cake, and yeast, with a richer brioche-like dough. The rest of the product line is built on those basics. Current flavors include cherry cheesecake, lemon-butter glaze, and peanut butter and jelly with a Concord grape glaze and peanut butter buttercream filling. ]

"Donut Monster: Building a better doughnut", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , July 03, 2018

Israeli Firm Develops Flavor Agent To Replace MSG

Israeli food company Salt of the Earth has replaced flavoring ingredient monosodium glutamate (MSG) in its ranch dressing with an all-natural sodium-reduction ingredient based on vegetable extracts and sea salt. Mediterranean Umami was tested in many ranch dressing formulations. The tests resulted in a compound that maintained the true flavor of Ranch dressing, but with 30 percent less sodium, and no MSG or yeast extracts. According to the company, MSG leads to “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” a group of symptoms now known as MSG Symptom Complex. They can include headache, skin flushing, and sweating. Mediterranean Umami does not trigger side-effects and is a clean-label product evoking no negative consumer health reactions, the company says.

"Healthier Savory Dishes With All-natural Mediterranean Umami; Replacing MSG in Ranch Dressing--Naturally", PR Newswire, July 05, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

GacLife Functional Water Based On Southeast Asian Fruit Debuts Soon In U.S. Fitness Market

California start-up GacLife next month will introduce its eponymous functional still and sparkling water infused with  Southeast Asian gac, an orange fruit rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and lycopene. The “rare superfruit” was created by entrepreneur Yin Zou as “a response to severe skin irritants and eye troubles we experience daily due to digital burnout.” The product is available in 12-oz bottles, each containing 20 milligrams of carotenoids, “the equivalent of one head of cabbage, five large tomatoes, 15 large carrots and 30 bunches of spinach.” The drink has 15 calories per bottle, no added or artificial sugars, and is available in lemon, pineapple, peach, sparkling mango, sparkling lemon, and sparkling passion fruit flavors.

"Rare Asian ‘superfruit’ shines in new line of functional, flavored water", Beverage Daily, July 05, 2018

Innovation & New Ideas  

Coca-Cola Readies Seed-Based Breakfast Drink For Belgian Consumers

A Belgian newspaper reports that Coca-Cola has developed a plant-based, lactose-free breakfast drink at a lab in Brussels. AdeZ is a reworking of the brand name Ades – short for Alimentos de Semilla (“foods based on seeds”) – a popular South American line acquired last year. The product being developed for the Belgian market comprises six flavors formulated with seeds, nuts, and fruit. It will debut in August.

"Coke lab in Anderlecht working on breakfast soft drink", The Brussels Times, July 04, 2018

Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

Europe’s Food Safety Agency Agrees With Unilever: Black Tea Improves Attention

Unilever announced that it is the first company to earn a positive scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that validates the claim that black tea improves attention – “the ability to concentrate on, filter, and utilize incoming sensory information,” according to Unilever scientist Amelia Jarman. The company conducted three studies with volunteers who drank either black tea, tea-flavored water or colored water. After drinking black tea, attention scores were higher. One of the company’s studies showed that the stronger the tea, the higher the attention scores. The European Commission will review the EFSA opinion to determine whether Unilever will be granted exclusive rights to use the health claim for five years.

"Unilever receives positive opinion on health claim for tea from the EFSA", Unilever, June 26, 2018

Market News  

Danone Introduces Fermented Milks, Yogurts Inspired By International Recipes

Danone has launched a range of fermented milks and yogurts in the U.K. that it says are “inspired by authentic recipes” from around the world. The two fermented milks (250 g, $1.95) in the Danone of the World lineup include an Indian-style Lassi drink and a Turkish-inspired Ayran drink. Among the yogurts are a Greek-style Straggisto yogurt (140 g, $1.30), a fat-free, high protein Icelandic-inspired Skyr yogurt (140g, RRP $1.30), and a Lebanese-style Laban yogurt, (250g, $1.95). A Danone spokesperson said the new products represent “a real market growth opportunity for retailers.”

"The Danone of the World yogurts launched", Retail Times, July 16, 2018

Products & Brands  

Coca-Cola Introduces Functional Probiotic Soft Drink To Japanese Market

Coca-Cola Japan has introduced its third product in the “Fanta Double Plus” line of functional soft drinks that contain "vitamins and seasonal ingredients". Limited edition Fanta Yogurtropical, containing vitamin B and “lactic acid bacteria” debuted in July at $1.26 per 16-ounce bottle, and 49 calories per 3.4-ounce serving. The range also includes Fanta Pineapple GABA, containing gamma-aminobutyric acid and vitamin B.

"Coca-Cola Japan's Fanta Yogurtropical - Product Launch", just-drinks.com, July 10, 2018


Coffee Company Uses Blockchain Technology To Return Some Of The Purchase Price To Farmers

According to fledgling coffee brand Token, the majority of the world’s 25 million smallholder coffee farmers have a tough time covering the cost of production, let alone accounting for social and environmental costs. Token hopes to remedy that problem by using blockchain (distributed ledger) technology to connect coffee drinkers in the West with the communities that produce the coffee. Each package of Token coffee contains a token worth $0.59 – an amount the company says it is willing to spend on marketing. Buyers can take the money to blockchain-based platform KrypC Technologies to use as a discount on coffee, or as an investment in Token or the farmers that produce their coffee. The Token initiative is a partnership with the FairChain Foundation and the FairChain roaster Moyee Coffee.

"Blockchain coffee: Token builds a “community-owned” coffee brand", Food Ingredients 1st, July 03, 2018

Today’s Energy Drinks Contain Exotic Energizing Ingredients

According to a recent food and health survey, energy is one of the three main health benefits consumers desire. A major trend in the beverage industry is drinks that provide energy from sources of caffeine, vitamins, and an array of natural energizers. Campbell Soups V8 +Energy, for example, combines fruit and vegetable juices with green tea (with 80 mg of caffeine) and B vitamins, delivering wakefulness rather than a wired feeling. Synapse optimizes brain function using “nootropics:” vitamins, minerals, herbs, and organic compounds that enhance cognition without negative side effects. The key ingredient in Synapse is acetylcholine, a molecule used by the brain for maintaining attention and focus. Among other innovative ingredients in the new generation of energy drinks are: caffeine from brewed coffee and green tea; coffee fruit; guarana extract; guayusa extract; caffeine-free Korean ginseng; and coenzyme Q10.

"Alternative forms of energy beverages", Food Business News, July 12, 2018

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