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Period: January 13, 2019 to January 27, 2019
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

Clean Label Egg Wash Replacer Now Available To N.A. Commercial Bakeries

California-based baking ingredients producer Pak Group has developed a product to help commercial bakeries consistently achieve the ideal glaze while still claiming products are clean labels. Bellarise Shine is a gluten- and dairy-free vegan egg wash replacer made from water, sunflower oil, pea proteins, dextrose and modified starch. It is non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, and removes allergens from bread labels. The company says it is suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including croissants, brioche, buns and patisserie. The product will also help bakers avoid the highly variable cost of eggs, the company says. Bellarise Shine, which took the company a year to develop, is available now for customers in North America.

"Bellarise develops clean label egg wash replacer for North American bakers", BakeryAndSnacks.com, January 20, 2019

French Patisserie Continues U.S. Expansion Strategy

French patisserie Le Macron French Pastries plans to establish more than 20 new locations in “targeted” areas in the New York metropolitan area over the next five years. The company has more than 50 locations in the U.S.; it is looking to grow through “smart franchise partnerships and tactical site selection.” The new locations will be in Manhattan, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), and Staten Island. "As a prime state for expansion, especially with our versatile mobile cart franchise opportunity, we look forward to increasing our footprint … with franchise partners to help give all New York residents access to our little bites of heaven known as macarons," said CEO Rosalie Guillem. Franchise opportunities include kiosks, mobile carts, and express locations. 

"Le Macaron French Pastries Sets Eyes on New York", PRNewswire, January 11, 2019

Marijuana Compounds – And Zero-Waste Cooking – Loom Large In Eatery Trends

According to new research from the National Restaurant Association, plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), and zero-waste cooking will be the hottest overall culinary trends of 2019. Seventy-seven percent of the survey’s 650 professional chef respondents identified cannabis/CBD-infused drinks as the No. 1 trend; 76 percent tapped cannabis/CBD-infused food as the second most popular trend. Association officials, however, stressed that cannabis and CBD are federally controlled substances and laws governing their use vary from state to state. They urged restaurant operators to follow all laws when selling or using those items. By the way, third on the list of overall trends was zero-waste cooking, which calls for chefs and restaurateurs to reduce the amount of food waste created during the preparation of menu items to keep it out of landfills. 

"CBD-Infused Food/Drink, Zero-Waste Are Top Trends", National Restaurant Association, January 10, 2019

Australia Sees Profit Potential In Legume Known As Lupins

A growing number of companies in West Australia are capitalizing on the nutritional benefits of the legume seed of the lupinus genus, the popular flowering plants known as lupins. The seeds are gluten-free, low carb, and rich in protein, amino acids, and prebiotics (i.e., fiber). An example of the phenomenon is a former chef who has been making lupin granola for almost three years. He buys lupin flakes, mixes them with nuts, grains and seeds, and roasts them in a slow oven, creating a nutritious, tasty granola. The lupin granola is used as a base in protein bars and slices, and there's a chia pudding topped with it. Eighty-five percent of the world's lupins are grown in West Australia.

"Lupins gain traction as human food", The West Australian (Perth, Australia), January 09, 2019

Impossible Foods Tinkers Successfully With Its Plant-Based Meats

Impossible Foods, producer of plant-based meat replacements, including hamburger patties (Beyond Burger), has tinkered with its popular formula, replacing textured wheat protein with soy protein concentrate, reduced salt, substituted sunflower oil for coconut oil to reduce saturated fat, and ditched konjac gum and xanthan gum. According to the company, taste tests determined that the new formula “matches conventional beef burgers when it comes to likeability.” Other new ingredients (not in the original versions) include modified food starch and methylcellulose (which are also used in the plant-based Beyond Burger), the preservative cultured dextrose, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

"Impossible Foods replaces wheat with soy protein concentrate in its plant-based burger; says color additive petition won’t delay retail launch", FoodNavigator-USA.com, January 08, 2019

C-Stores Add Healthful Snack Options To Their Product Lineups

Saddled for many years with a reputation as purveyors of junk foods, many convenience stores (C-stores) are now offering more healthful food and snack options, including produce, all-natural snacks and organic items. The industry is gradually adapting to a trend toward clean and transparent labeling that reveals where the food came from and tells the story behind it. According to industry observers, C-stores have an array of clean products to choose from (e.g., snacks like KIND bars and RXBARs, and SmartPop! popcorn). Consumers know they can find these options in grocery stores, so they now expect them in C-stores.

"How C-stores Can Answer the Call for Clean Label Foods & Beverages ", Convenience Store News, January 08, 2019

Blockchain Technology May Deliver Believability In Food Labeling

Food businesses use a lot of marketing and packaging gimmicks to convince consumers to buy their products. A large majority of Americans say they’ve felt tricked by the gimmickry. So how to build faith in food?  One solution would be to adopt a blockchain-based system that would provide a more accurate and trustworthy version of product labels, especially when it comes to claims about organic or non-GMO. Blockchain technology increases transparency and accountability in food supply chains and sets industry-wide standards. Manufacturers and wholesalers are already using it to track food. In the U.S., Walmart is working with IBM to streamline and improve its food safety system. European retail giant Carrefour is tracking chicken, eggs, and tomatoes from farms to grocery store shelves, and plans to expand that system to all their fresh products.

"Know What's GMO: Why Blockchain Will Build Faith In Food Labels", Forbes, January 08, 2019

“Certified Non-GMO” Seems A Meaningless, Even Fraudulent, Marketing Claim

Because “distrust and fear sell,” marketers are getting away with charging premium prices for grocery items certified as “Non-GMO,” even though most of them never have or ever could contain genetically modified organisms. The “standard bearer” for the movement is the Non-GMO Project, which has stamped more than 50,000 products as GMO-free. But only ten GMO plant types are commercially available: apples, potatoes, corn, canola, alfalfa, soybeans, rainbow papaya, cotton, sugar beets, and summer squash. An egregious example of the marketing silliness is a 10-pound bag of The Good Earth Non-GMO Project Verified clumping cat litter, which sells for $18.99 on Amazon. Ten pounds of standard Arm & Hammer clumping cat litter costs about $5.30 at Walmart. That, according to the Missouri Farm Bureau, is “not just outrageous, it is deliberately misleading and fraudulent.”

"GMO-Free Marketing is Deliberately Misleading Consumers", Missouri Farm Bureau, January 07, 2019

Company Promises New BreadBot Will Boost Baking Profit At Retail Grocers

The family-owned Wilkinson Baking Company unveiled its BreadBot at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month. The machine goes “from flour to loaf all on its own,” according to company, and produces loaves that are “fresher, healthier, preservative free and eco-friendly.” The BreadBot mixes, forms, proofs, bakes, and cools ten loaves of bread per hour. It can make most varieties of bread that require dry ingredients, including white, wheat, whole wheat, nine grain, sourdough, and honey oat. Time to first completed loaf is 90 minutes, with new loaves produced every six minutes, up to a maximum of 235 loaves a day. The company claims that retailers using the BreadBot will realize a 20-fold lift in bottom line profits through cost reductions. 

"Bread is Back on the Rise: The BreadBot Debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show", PR Newswire, January 06, 2019

Natural Antioxidants May Someday Replace Synthetics As Food Preservatives

Consumers increasingly want clean labels: no synthetic-sounding ingredients, only natural alternatives. Now Penn State scientists have discovered that a natural antioxidant found in grain bran could preserve food longer and replace synthetic antioxidants used by the food industry, once the kinks are worked out. The researchers studied compounds called alkylresorcinols (AR), produced by wheat, rye and barley to prevent mold, bacteria and other organisms from growing on the grain kernels. They extracted and purified ARs from rye bran, then studied how well ARs were able to preserve omega-3-rich oils in emulsions. Though not yet as effective as synthetic antioxidants like butylated hydroxytoluene, the researchers say they worked well enough to provide hope for the future.

"A 'bran' new way to preserve healthy food with natural ingredients", Penn State University, January 04, 2019

App-Driven SnackBot Matriculates At California University

PepsiCo has introduced the first snack delivery robots in the U.S. that provide “great-tasting, healthier snacks and beverages” to college students. The new all-wheel drive “snackbots,” with a 20-mile range on a single charge, arrived at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Calif.) stocked with snacks and beverages from PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness line, including Smartfood Delight, Baked Lay's, SunChips, Pure Leaf Tea, bubly, LIFEWTR, and Starbucks Cold Brew. The Hello Goodness vending platform, including the snackbot, will be available at 50,000 touchpoints by the end of the year, according to PepsiCo. Users at University of the Pacific can order food and drinks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., via the snackbot app, to be delivered to more than 50 designated spots across the 175-acre campus.

"PepsiCo's Hello Goodness snackbot is Off to College", PR Newswire, January 03, 2019

Obsession With Healthful Food Is A Real Eating Disorder

A little-known syndrome discovered two decades ago may win the distinction of becoming the eating disorder of the modern era. Orthorexia nervosa is defined as an unhealthy obsession with healthful eating. It often starts with a desire to eat "clean" whole foods in their natural state, but then hardens into a rigid eating style that can crowd out other activities and relationships. Though not yet recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), that will eventually change because it “is affecting a huge segment of the population,” according to one nutrition expert.

"Is Orthorexia the Eating Disorder for the Digital Age?", Vogue, January 01, 2019

Gourmet Australian Bakery Arrives In The Big Apple

After 14 years, Australia’s Bourke Street Bakery (Surry Hills) is expanding beyond Down Under, establishing an outpost in midtown Manhattan. Slated to open in late January, the newest incarnation follows establishment of 12 stores in the Sydney area. The bakery is known for its stretchy sourdough, ginger crème brulee tarts, sandwiches, gourmet sausage rolls, and good coffee. Co-founder and chef Paul Allam says he will tweak the offerings to suit an American market: there will be no meat pies, but there will be pumpkin pies, pecan tarts, peanut butter and jam croissants, along with their famous ginger tarts and sausage rolls. A blackboard will list times that fresh loaves come out of the oven. The Manhattan store will open in the midst of a fortuitous trend: a host of Australian-run cafes, bakeries and coffee shops has opened recently, riding a wave of American interest in Australia's bright, colorful, Instagrammable breakfasts and cafe culture.

"Bourke Street Bakery goes international with New York City cafe", Sydney Morning Herald, December 29, 2018

Maine Lawmaker Knocks USDA’s GMO Labeling Scheme

Maine Democratic congresswoman Chellie Pingree, an organic farmer, says the USDA’s new standard for labeling genetic engineered food is "an insult to consumers." Genetically engineered food is often called genetically modified or "GMO" food by advocacy groups that support mandatory labeling. The USDA said last week that new labeling rules require "food manufacturers, importers, and certain retailers to ensure bioengineered foods are appropriately disclosed." Pingree says use of the unfamiliar term "bioengineered" will confuse consumers, and the USDA is essentially launching "a marketing campaign aimed at putting a positive spin on GMO food." She promises to fight the new standard as a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which oversees USDA funding.

"Maine rep says new GMO labels aren't consumer friendly", Bangor Daily News, December 24, 2018

Antibiotic Use Declining In Meat Industry, But Still Dangerously High

Though use of antibiotics important to human medicine is dropping in the livestock industry it is still dangerously high, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The FDA reported recently that such sales dropped 28 percent between 2009 and 2017. But the latest numbers also show the beef and pork industries remain high users of these drugs at 5.1 million pounds and 4.5 million pounds in sales respectively in 2017, compared to 590,000 pounds in the chicken industry. The NRDC called the downward trend “real progress,” but warned that “the American meat industry continues to have a drug problem.” A positive sign is that major beef buyer McDonald's announced it will reduce use of the drugs across its global beef supply chain, offering hope it will spark a wave of change.

"Antibiotic Sales For U.S. Meat Production Drop, But Use Remains High ", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), December 18, 2018

Food Label Transparency Trend To Gather Momentum This Year

A report from Label Insight and the Food Marketing Institute finds that a majority of shoppers have transparency on their minds when grocery shopping: 86 percent would feel a higher sense of trust for food manufacturers and retailers that provided access to complete, “easy to understand” ingredient information. One solution is to use new methods like Smart Label, from Label Insight, to provide that information. According to Label Insight, transparency initiatives led by retailers will continue to spread in 2019. “Retailers will move beyond health and wellness as brand positioning by leveraging new approaches to data and omnichannel integration,” the data insight company said.

"Label Insight: Transparency trends to gain steam in 2019", FoodNavigator-USA.com, December 18, 2018

Report: The Emergence Of “Clean Packaging”

A report based on an online survey on packaging trends finds that “clean packaging” is the next step following clean label and clean processing. Evergreen Packaging says need to make their packaging protect taste, freshness, and nutrients; align with ingredients; be responsible; and share values. Consumers felt that packaging should protect flavor: packaging like steel cans, aluminium cans, and plastic bottles were most cited as altering product flavor. In terms of consumer values, the environmental responsibility interests of many grocery shoppers go much deeper than the package itself and the label information. In addition to environmentally-friendly products and packaging, many shoppers expect brands and retailers to demonstrate social responsibility as a company.

"2019 Food Packaging Trends: Clean Packaging", Food Industry Executive, December 18, 2018

Comment & Opinion  

Coke CEO Says Uncertainty, Not Slower Growth, Is Biggest Global Issue

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey says he’s more concerned about uncertainty in the global economy than about the possibility of slower growth. However, he and others attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, do expect slower growth this year. One source of uncertainty is the U.S.-China trade war, which could end in a couple of months if the countries negotiate a deal. Quincey said the effect of the trade war on his company is "slightly indirect" because its products for the China market are made there. Coca-Cola, he added, will continue to keep up with consumer tastes and solve problems like the sugar content of its drinks and reducing packaging waste.

"Coca-Cola CEO: More uncertainty is the 'biggest issue'", CNBC.com, January 24, 2019

Market News  

Hydration Drink Liquid I.V. Now Available In All U.S. Costco Stores

California nutrition company Liquid I.V.’s eponymous hydration beverage has launched nationally in 516 Costco stores after sales success on Costco.com and regional Costco outlets.  Available in packs of as many as 30 “sticks,“ Liquid I.V. contains five essential vitamins and is vegan, as well as gluten-, soy- and dairy-free. The product is now is carried in more than 20,000 stores, including Whole Foods Market, GNC, CVS, Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, and Kroger. The company says the beverage is made using Cellular Transport Technology (CTT), which “delivers hydration and other key nutrients rapidly into the bloodstream.”

"Liquid I.V.'s National Launch at Costco Ushers in a Modern Era of Hydration", PR Newswire , January 11, 2019

People & Personalities  

Becht Resigns As Chairman Of JAB Holding Over Disagreements About Company Strategy

JAB Holding, owner of coffee giant Keurig Dr Pepper, announced the retirement this year of chairman and co-founder Bart Becht, a few months after he stepped down from its Coty cosmetics business. Becht reportedly resigned because of disagreements with his partners about the scale of the company's dealmaking, preferring that JAB focus on improving operations for the companies that JAB already has stakes in. The company has hired three new executives with consumer products backgrounds: Fabien Simon, Ricard Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski. Anheuser Busch InBev veteran Rittes will open a new office in Brazil to head up expansion in emerging markets. JAB, the investing arm of Germany's Riemann family, was run by Becht with partners Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet. Harf will take over as chairman after Becht's departure. CEO Bob Gamgort will replace Becht as chairman of its board.

"Bart Becht, chairman of Keurig Dr Pepper owner JAB, to retire from the company he helped form", CNBC.com, January 14, 2019

Products & Brands  

Japanese Barley-Based Vegetable Juice Aojiru Continues Global Expansion

Yamamoto Kanpoh Pharmaceutical announced it is expanding its marketing of the functional beverage Aojiru to Korea and Australia. Aojiru (“green vegetable juice”) is made from barley leaves harvested in Kyushu, Japan. The market size of Aojiru in Japan was $485.7 million in 2012, according to the Yano Research Institute. Popular in Japan and China, Aojiru is also exported to the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore. A 2018 Euromonitor showed that Yamamoto Kanpo continued to show strong growth in 2018, due to the success of its Aojiru.

"Japanese Aojiru leader Yamamoto Kanpoh targets Korea and Australia entry for functional beverage", Beverage Daily, January 10, 2019

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