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Subject:
FOOD BUSINESS NEWS
Period: April 7, 2019 to April 28, 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
 

A La Mode Ice Cream Gets Rid Of All Artificial Flavors, Colors

Egg-free ice cream brand A La Mode of New York announced it is transitioning to all-natural ingredients while introducing a packaging update to the current upbeat and playful cartons, most notably including color changing spoons. The nut-, sesame- and egg-free line is being revamped with all-natural coloring and ingredients now available in pints and soon to be offered in cups and bars. The company also noted that its cartons will be fully recyclable in an effort to further A La Mode's mission to be fully sustainable.

"A La Mode Transitions Product to All Natural and Introduces 100 percent Recyclable, Unique Packaging Upgrade Nationwide", PR Newswire, April 26, 2019

Meat Companies May Be Misleading Consumers By Claiming Products Are “Natural”

Although American consumers want “all-natural” meats – with no antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives – the USDA says that in meats and poultry “natural” only means no artificial ingredients and minimal processing. Major meat companies, meanwhile, are catering to consumer desires by claiming or implying in advertising that their products are natural. Those claims are legal, as long as they follow USDA guidelines, even if they mislead shoppers. That was basically the ruling of the D.C. Superior Court when on April 8 it dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. But in statements disclosed in the court filing, a Hormel executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase ...  More

"Hormel lawsuit reveals that 'natural' meat might not be", Law.com, April 11, 2019

Barley: Not Just For The Farm Trough Anymore

A chef in the Pittsburgh area sings the praises of his “favorite grain,” barley – the No. 4 whole grain produced in the world, but the least eaten at the table. Joe Carei acknowledges that barley hasn’t quite made it to the mainstream of home-cooking ingredients – it’s mostly used to feed animals – but home cooks should give it a chance. He suggests, for example, substituting it for side dishes like rice, pasta, and risotto because the healthful grain is inexpensive, filling, a great source of fiber, and easily added to the diet. It can be incorporated into soups, salads or bread. In terms of health, barley can be classified as a superfood: it helps control blood sugar, prevents diabetes, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, prevents gallstones, and helps with prevention of colon cancer. So “if you are tired of rice or potatoes,” Carei says, “give barley a call. It's waiting.”

"Locally Carei: Barley moving closer to mainstream", Herald-Standard, April 10, 2019

Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Take Instagram – And America – By Storm

The Japanese soufflé pancake is a fast-growing trend on Instagram: more than 50,000 photos of the fluffy concoctions appear there. Long lines at cafés here and abroad wait to be served the delicacies made with an airy vanilla batter, toasted lightly on each side in a pan, then topped with match custard sauce, boba pearls, fresh berries, or maple syrup and butter. Though their origin is a subject of debate, soufflé pancakes are fluffier and taller – at least two inches high – than American pancakes because they are made from a meringue-based batter using egg yolks mixed with flour, milk and sometimes baking powder, and with egg whites and sugar beaten into a stiff meringue and folded together. The mixture is scooped into ring molds on a frying pan. They end up with a marshmallow-like texture because they’re cooked at a low temperature for a relatively long amount of time.

"Fluffy Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Have American Fans Waiting in Line", The New York Times , April 09, 2019

In Restaurants, The “Gluten-Free” Claim Is Problematic

Even tiny amounts of gluten in foods are troublesome for people with celiac disease, and restaurants may be the most difficult places to avoid the protein, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. More than half of gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes in restaurants, for example, tested positive for the presence of gluten; a third of supposedly gluten-free foods had detectable gluten. Researcher Benjamin Lebwohl used data uploaded by users of the portable device Nima Gluten Sensor, used by restaurants to test foods. The manufacturer supplied 5,624 food tests by 804 users over 18 months. The research showed 32 percent of tests revealed detectable gluten in dishes that were supposed to be gluten-free. Gluten-free pasta samples were positive in 51 percent of tests; gluten-free pizza contained gluten for 53 percent. 

"Gluten-free labeled food have presence of gluten, says new study", Big News Network, April 06, 2019

Restaurant Industry In Mississippi Keeps Shackles On Home Bakers

Mississippi’s restaurant industry is fighting, successfully so far, attempts to make it easier for home bakers – so-called cottage food operators – to sell their wares online. The state’s lawmakers a few years ago relaxed restrictions on home baking and selling, but left limitations on annual sales ($20,000) and display of images of baked goods on websites and social media. New legislation removing the restrictions passed the House, but died in the Senate, thanks to strong opposition from the Mississippi Restaurant Association, which claimed there was "widespread abuse creating an uneven playing field." Similar battles have been fought in the state, and elsewhere, between established industries and upstarts: food trucks vs. restaurants, small farmers vs. Big Agriculture, Airbnb vs. the hotel industry, Uber vs. taxi companies, etc. “Unfortunately for consumers, too often the response by lawmakers is to agree to protect the established interests rather than letting the market choose the ...  More

"Little appetite for food freedom in Mississippi", Mississippi Center for Public Policy , April 04, 2019

Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins Launches Organic Bakery Inspired By Nuns

Self-help speaker Tony Robbins has announced the creation of Nunbelievable, Inc., a mission-based, direct-to-consumer premium organic baked goods company whose sales will support the work of soup kitchens and food pantries. Nunbelievable was inspired by the handmade cookies and confectionary creations of the friars and nuns of St. Roger Abbey in association with the Chicago-based religious order Fraternité Notre Dame. The nuns’ San Francisco branch – they also work in Chicago, Detroit, and New York City – was operating a soup kitchen in the Tenderloin District, and was in danger of eviction when Robbins stepped in. covering their expenses for six months and donating $1 million to help them open a new facility. Robbins leads Feeding America's 1 Billion Meals Challenge, which has provided 420 million meals in the past four years and is on track to provide a half-billion meals this year.

"Nunbelievable -- The First Nun-Inspired Organic Bakery -- Launches in Partnership with Tony Robbins, Idealab New York, Bonin Ventures, and Loeb.nyc", PR Newswire, March 29, 2019

Student App Could Be The “Bakery Of The Future”

Two Case Western Reserve University students believe they have come up with the “bakery of the future,” essentially an app and website that promises delivery of baked goods produced by local home bakers and small bakeries. Available only on campus now, when the semester ends the service (PastryNow.com) will expand to include the downtown area of the city of Cleveland. Customers can use the app or website to order catering, subscriptions, or individual orders. A Facebook page urges customers to "try out [their] new Breakfast Anywhere subscription available at pastrynow.com for only $5 for the next 2 weeks."

"Student-founded pastry app launched", cleveland.com, March 29, 2019

Slicing A Bagel: When Innovation Sparks A Social Media Controversy

It seems like a tempest in a teapot. But for some, especially devotees of the traditional bagel – sliced traditionally – it’s something of a typhoon. Social media foodies are engaged in an online battle over the advantages and disadvantages – or the virtues and horrors – of the “bread-sliced” bagel. Bread-sliced means sliced vertically instead of horizontally. The method was announced by someone in St. Louis who said he successfully introduced it to co-workers: “It was a hit!” he tweeted. But not for everyone, apparently. One shocked responder called it “an embarrassment to the whole sliced foods community." A bakery worker tweeted: “I have standards and a healthy respect for bagels." Others, however, lauded the slicing technique for creating a convenience: it’s easy to dip the slices in cream cheese “while walking, driving or typing at your desk.” Another said the bread-slicing "maximize[s] your surface area for spreads." And so the hullabaloo rages on.

"The Internet collectively rejects bread-sliced bagels, mocks this well-kept St. Louis 'secret'", San Francisco Chronicle: Web Edition Articles (CA), March 28, 2019

Paris Baguette Plans Aggressive Expansion Over Next Decade

The CEO of fast-casual bakery Paris Baquette, founded in South Korea in 1942, has big plans for expansion of the chain in the U.S. Paris Baguette has only 75 locations here, though there are more than 3,000 in France, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, and China. Jack Moran, a former CEO of international bakery-restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien, plans to open at least 1,000 U.S. cafés by 2030, with 38 opening this year. That includes a 50 percent increase in company-operated cafés and a 120 percent increase in the number of U.S.-franchised cafés. In addition, Moran will introduce U.S. customers to a more upscale version of Paris Baguette – Maison de PB – which will debut Singapore this year, and in Manhattan in 2020. Why the switch from Le Pain Quotidien to Paris Baguette? "I was knocked out by the quality and breadth of the baked goods selection," Moran said.

"How Paris Baguette CEO plans to open 1,000 U.S. locations", Fast Casual, February 28, 2019

 
Companies, Organizations  

Despite Some Blips, Danone Says It’s On Track For Solid Growth In 2019

Despite a couple of disturbing first-quarter setbacks, yogurt giant Danone is sticking to forecasts that call for accelerated sales in the second quarter and three percent like-for-like sales growth for the year. The company faced a consumer boycott in Morocco early in 2018 over its strategy of raising prices to counter falling sales; sales of infant formula in China drooped compared with last year. First-quarter sales rose a modest 0.8 percent to $6.9 billion, compared to 2.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. Nevertheless, the company says it is still on track to achieve three percent like-for-like sales growth for the full year. The major operating divisions – Essential Dairy & Plant-based (EDP), Specialized Nutrition, and Waters – recorded like-for-like sales growth in the quarter. The Waters division grew 3.9 percent, thanks in part to the increased distribution of Evian waters in the U.S.

"Danone maintains full-year profit targets following modest Q1", FoodBev Media , April 17, 2019

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