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Subject:
FOOD BUSINESS NEWS
Period: March 10, 2019 to March 24, 2019
Geographies:
Worldwide
Categories:
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
Contents
 

Milk Producers Urge FDA To Enforce Legal Definition Of “Milk”

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) has filed a citizen petition with the FDA proposing that plant-based brands that do not match dairy counterparts nutritionally should use the term imitation (e.g., imitation milk); while those that do match dairy nutritionally should use terms such as substitute or alternative (e.g., yogurt alternative). The NMPF said dairy milk is a key source of nutrients, including vitamin D, a nutrient in milk that has virtually eliminated the disease known as rickets. The Federation says the FDA’s decades lack of enforcement of laws that limit the term milk to the lacteal secretions of cows has allowed marketplace chaos to grow exponentially. The Plant Based Foods Association, however, argues that requiring a disparaging word such as imitation on labels would violate the First Amendment. Moreover, the NMPF is trying to solve a problem that does not exist: consumers are not confused, and they are not being misled.

"Plant-based 'milks' should be labeled as 'imitation,' 'alternative,' or 'substitute' products, says NMPF petition", FoodNavigator-USA.com, March 22, 2019

USDA, FDA To Jointly Regulate Cultured Meat Products

Federal agencies USDA and FDA will share regulatory oversight duties for culture meat production to ensure food safety and correct labeling practices. The FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. During the harvest stage, regulation will shift to the USDA’s FSIS, which will oversee the production and labeling of human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. The USDA said consumers trust the USDA mark of inspection to ensure safe, wholesome and accurately labeled products. The U.S. Cattlemen s Association (USCA) said it was encouraged by the joint regulatory oversight of cell-based meats, and pleased that FSIS will have pre-market labeling authority. The association, however, reiterated its stance that the term meat, and more specifically beef, refers to products derived exclusively from the flesh of a bovine animal harvested in the traditional manner. 

"USDA and FDA agree joint regulatory oversight of cultured meat", GlobalMeatNews.com, March 21, 2019

North Carolina Baker Seeks To Revive The Community Bakery Tradition

A North Carolina baker has launched a Community Supported Bakery (CSB) at a location in a small town that has housed several start-up bakeries over the years. The idea is based on a European tradition that arose at a time when many individual homes lacked ovens; outdoor ovens became community gathering places. The space in Marshall does not have a retail facility, but has been used for baking workshops, a tradition Brennan Johnson and his Walnut Schoolhouse bakery plans to continue and grow. Johnson says he will sell sourdough breads at local farmers markets, and his workshops will focus on Scandinavian baking. Other bakers will teach cakes, croissants, bagels and other subjects. Johnson has been baking since high school. He travelled to Europe with his parents in ninth grade to research old community ovens to learn how they became community-gathering places.

"Young baker brings fresh baked breads to community", The Asheville Citizen-Times (North Carolina), March 13, 2019

Wyoming Project Plans To Build An Industry Around Two Ancient Grains

The goal of the First-Grains Project at the University of Wyoming is to diversify the state’s agricultural sector – and hopefully build a profitable industry – by growing some ancient wheat strains and encouraging Wyoming brewers and bakers to use them in their products. The focus is on spelt and emmer, two wheat varieties that have been cultivated by humans for more than 12,000 years. It’s been a complicated endeavor because the grains still have their hull when threshed, so they have to be dehulled by a special machine before processing. They had to get one of the rare machines from Europe, and they had to find an appropriate pesticide. But the First-Grains project is rolling along. It recently trademarked the name "Neolithic Brand" to highlight the history of its product. The project plans to build a mill in Powell, Wyoming, where the labor and technical expertise to process it are available.

"Project reintroduces ancient grains", The Branding Iron: University of Wyoming, March 07, 2019

New Term For Restaurants To Digest: “Flexitarian”

Food and beverage tracker Technomic reports that specialty diets are getting more diverse and restaurants need to begin thinking of ways to serve, not only vegans and vegetarians, but “flexitarians.” Also known as “semi-vegetarians,” flexitarians eat mostly plant-based diets, but also mix in occasional dairy foods and meats. The eating style works for those who want to eat healthier but are willing to leave room for a feast including meat or seafood once in a while.  "This desire for flexibility highlights the fact that dietary lifestyle choices are often not all-or-nothing decisions for consumers," a Technomic analysts says, adding that accommodating flexitarian customers by carrying a range of protein options or allowing them to build their own dishes is “a good start” for restaurants. Of 1,700 consumers surveyed, Technomic found that half eat a vegetarian or vegan dish at least once a month. 

"Report: It's time for restaurants to add 'flexitarian' to their lexicon", Baltimore Business Journal (Maryland), March 05, 2019

Carb-Conscious Inventor Tired Of Scooping Out Buns Develops Alternative

A California-based inventor who routinely scooped out the insides of hot dog buns and bagels to lower her carbohydrate intake has designed a bun that sidesteps the problem. Dubbed “Hollows,” the gluten-free buns – a bagel/pretzel hybrid – retain the texture and taste of bread but with far fewer carbs. The “guilt-free” concoctions can be eaten plain or topped with anything from sea salt to poppy seeds to crushed pistachios, and more. According to InventHelp, the recipe is available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers.

"InventHelp Inventor Develops Hot-Dog/Hamburger Bun for Carb-Conscious Consumers (SDB-1354)", PR Newswire, March 04, 2019

Retail Food Outlets Are Riding The Breakfast-On-The-Go Wave

Market researcher NPD Group reports that the on-the-go breakfast trend is benefiting restaurants and other retail food establishment in the U.S. that cater to the growing number of busy commuters who can’t pass up the morning repast. The AM meal, whether snacks or breakfast, has been the only foodservice segment with year-over-year growth, according to NPD Group. Eating breakfast out can be both affordable and convenient, especially when it involves the top seller in the category, the very portable breakfast sandwich. The morning meal “represents a significant growth opportunity for retailers, especially with Millennials.”

"Convenience Takes Over Breakfast", NACS, March 02, 2019

Foodservice Companies Adjust To Consumer Demands For “Clean Label’



Foodservice operators, including restaurants, retailers, and suppliers, say they are working hard to meet emerging consumer demands for “clean label” foods that feature simpler ingredient lists. Health-conscious consumers have become wary of foods containing artificial flavors or preservatives and “processed" or “chemical-sounding" ingredients. They also have grown to conflate the terms “natural," “healthful" and “wholesome." But no single “natural" term has emerged as the one Americans most associate with health, says researcher Technomic. Terms now found on menus and food products include: “preservative-free," “no artificial sweeteners," “unprocessed," “antibiotic-free,” “hormone-free," “organic," “clean," “GMO-free," “grass-fed," and “real." 

"Keeping it 'real' with clean labels", Restaurant Hospitality (Penton), March 01, 2019

Miss. Law Bars Cultured Protein From Being Labeled Meat

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed into law a bill prohibiting the labeling of animal cultures, plants, and insects as meat. The Senate bill passed unanimously in the state House of Representatives on February 28. The representative who handled the bill in the House said the legislation won't prohibit anyone from producing the products, but will prohibit labeling it as meat in Mississippi. A state senator said: "If it's not meat, it can't be labeled as such." Engineered animal protein and plant-based protein products, such as the Impossible Burger, are a growing trend in the U.S., raising concerns among lawmakers about accurate labeling. Other states that have either passed, or are considering, similar legislation include Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Virginia. The Mississippi bill will take effect July 1.

"Dems, GOP agree: If it's not meat, don't call it meat in Mississippi", Mississippi Clarion Ledger, March 01, 2019

Still No “Singular Definition” Of “Clean Label”

The Hartman Group, a food and beverage industry trends analyst, says there really isn’t “any one singular definition” of the term “clean label”, but a handy rule of thumb might be: foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Essentially that means foods that are “fresh, real, and less processed,” said a Hartman Group analyst. An Ingredion study found that consumers value ingredient lists almost as much as price as they look for products free-from additives and artificial ingredients. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. consumers find it important to recognize the ingredients used in the products they buy (up from 66 percent in 2011). Other considerations becoming important in food choice and clean label include specific health claims, the manufacturer/brand, and country/region of origin. Consumers’ most accepted ingredients include natural flavors, natural colors, flour, vegetable oil, and sugar.

"How to define clean label? 'There isn’t any one singular definition,' says Hartman Group", FoodNavigator-USA.com, February 28, 2019

Legalized Marketing Of Homemade Baked Goods Is Boon For Cottage Bakers

In the 48 states that permit the it, sale of homemade baked goods is improving lives in big and little ways, according to a public-interest law firm that represents the interests of home bakers in several states. Median monthly sales are a modest $200, but to many home bakers the money “makes a big difference to their financial well-being," the Virginia-based Institute for Justice states in a report drawn from a survey of 79 home-based bakers in Wisconsin, where a circuit court judge ruled in 2017 that laws against selling homemade baked goods are unconstitutional. Only New Jersey still bans the sale of bakery items made in a home oven. Wisconsin still bans the sale of homemade chocolate candy, cheesecake, cream pies or no-bake desserts. 

"Home bakers in Wisconsin are happily selling their treats, now that it's legal — you could too", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 26, 2019

EPA Plans To Regulate Toxic Chemicals Found In Drinking Water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month announced plans to set a maximum drinking water contaminant level for polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a man-made substance found in food packaging, cleaners, water-repellent fabrics, Teflon-coated cookware, and cleaning products. The contaminants are also found in firefighting foams, which have seeped into groundwater sources that reach millions of drinking taps. The process could take months at least, and critics say the move is a stalling tactic to protect industry interests, given the health risks known. The chemicals have been linked to reproductive and developmental conditions, as well as liver and kidney, and immunological effects. They also contribute to low infant birth weights, thyroid problems, and some cancers. By the end of the year, the agency will propose a regulatory determination, which is the next step legally required under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

"Critics scoff at EPA plan to regulate tap water toxins", USA TODAY , February 15, 2019

Pulse-Based Peatos Snack Beards The Lion – Er, Cheetah – In Its Den

A Los Angeles-based start-up believes it is offering a more healthful alternative to the current orange-colored puffy snacks – read Frito-Lay Cheetos – that Americans love so much.  Peatos from World Peas Brand have replaced the traditional corn or potato base with a pulse (peas) base and have “cleaned up” the seasonings – all while maintaining “the explosive flavor and vibrant colors.” Peatos are a crunchy puffed snack that contain twice the protein (four grams) and three times the fiber (three grams) of competitor Cheetos. They are made with non-GMO ingredients, have no artificial flavors, no synthetic colors, and no added MSG. PepsiCo, parent company of Frito-Lay's Cheetos, last May sent a cease-and-desist letter to World Peas after Peatos began hitting store shelves. According to reports, PepsiCo said Peatos (tiger image) "is confusingly similar to and dilutes the Cheetos (cheetah image) brand." 

"Junk Food Gets a Makeover as Consumers Nationwide Embrace World Peas Brand Peatos' “Better Than Junk Food” Crunchy Puffs", Business Wire, February 13, 2019

 
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