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Period: May 5, 2019 to May 26, 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

Perdue Expands Processing Operations In S.C. To Meet No-Antibiotics Demand

Privately-owned poultry processor Perdue Farms has spent $25 million on expanding its operations in South Carolina to satisfy consumer demand for antibiotics-free chicken. The company enlarged its portioning and marinating facilities, added a shipping cooler, and added installed automated pallet storage and office space. According to Perdue, all chicken, turkey, pork, and beef are now raised in antibiotics-free environments. It also offers a full range of no-antibiotics-ever products for foodservice operators, including restaurants, schools, colleges and universities, and hospitals. "The expansion will help us meet the growing demand for no-antibiotics-ever chicken products, and maintain the high level of customer service and reliability” expected from Perdue, CEO Randy Day said.

"Perdue Farms invests in antibiotic-free chicken", just-food.com, April 15, 2019

Rebellious Energy Of Teenagers Used To Change Attitudes Toward Junk Food

Research published in the journal Nature Human Behavior urges exposing naturally rebellious teenagers to the food industry’s manipulative marketing techniques to get them to rebel against the devious snack makers contributing to teen obesity. Teenagers can have “powerful feelings of outrage,” one researcher noted, that can be harnessed to promote public health. For the study, researchers designed an intervention in eighth grade classrooms in a Texas middle school, issuing a fact-based, exposé-style article on big food companies to the students. A control group was shown traditional healthy eating education material. The group that read the exposés chose fewer junk food snacks and selected water over sugary sodas the next day. However, the researchers puzzled over why girls who experienced a negative immediate response to junk food after the intervention didn’t really change their daily cafeteria purchases.

"Teens' Appetite for Rebellion Can Counter Their Appetite for Junk Food", The University of Texas News, April 16, 2019

Hormel Launches National Ad Campaign To Inspire People To “Choose Good”

Austin, Minn.-based Hormel, maker of Natural Choice deli meats, has launched the “Good Feeds Us All” national advertising campaign to “inspire people to choose good whether it's in the food they eat or the actions they take.” The brand will incorporate a Good Feeds Us All national tour to spotlight individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to choose good. However, whether Natural Choice meats are really natural or good has spawned litigation. The D.C. Superior Court on April 8 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 antibiotics-treated pigs used to make its Spam meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.”

"The Makers of Hormel Natural Choice Deli Meats Announce New National Ad Campaign Inspiring Others to Choose Good", PR Newswire , April 19, 2019

Naturally Network Spreads Good Food Movement To Chicago

Chicago's Good Food movement is linking with the Naturally Network, a natural and organic foods and economic development initiative, to build a diverse food community “within the Chicago foodshed and beyond.” Naturally Chicago follows the Naturally Boulder initiative in Colorado, which organized in 2005 and now has 1,400 natural product members. An affiliate in the Bay Area in California was launched last year. Naturally Boulder was started to help retain the natural and organic food businesses that had started in the region. Connecting people created a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurs and others in the “good food movement” – local and fresh food produced in a sustainable manner – to come together, organizers said.

"Adding 'naturally' to the Windy City", AgriNews Publications, April 19, 2019

FDA Food Label Changes Could Prevent A Million Cases Of Heart-Related Disease

A modeling study published in the journal Circulation (American Heart Assoc.) reports that pending changes to the FDA’s Nutrition Facts label that will require products to clearly label the grams and percent Daily Value of added sugar could prevent or postpone nearly a million cases of cardiometabolic disease and save billions in healthcare and societal costs over the next 20 years. If manufacturers as expected also reformulate their products to reduce added sugars they would need to label, it would triple the cardiovascular disease and diabetes cases prevented during the same time period. By 2037, the label change alone could prevent 354,400 cardiovascular disease cases and 599,300 cases of diabetes – equal to an additional 727,000 years of life and a savings of $31 billion in healthcare costs or $61.9 billion in societal costs,

"Changes to Nutrition Facts label to call out added sugar could save millions of lives, study suggests", FoodNavigator-USA.com, April 22, 2019

Maker Of Costco-Sold Veggie Burgers Switches To New Plant-Based Formula

California-based Don Lee Farms announced it is switching to a new all plant-based formula in its popular organic veggie burgers and veggie bites sold at Costco. The plant-based ingredients include organic veggies and organic sunflower seeds. The new formula-burgers will be gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, GMO-free, free from artificial ingredients and organic certified, the company said. The plant-based burgers resemble beef patties but "bleed" organic beet juice and sizzle on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. The company recently announced it was   launching its organic plant-based burger in nearly 2,000 Kroger stores, an expansion of its distribution to more than 8,000 retail markets, including Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, and Publix.

"Don Lee Farms replacing formula of veggie burgers sold at Costco", L.A. Biz, April 25, 2019

Calif. Bakery Celebrates Anniversary With New Founders Breads

Los Angeles-based La Brea Bakery, an Aryzta company, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in business by launching a new bread line: La Brea Bakery Founders, in honor of Nancy Silverton and long-time baking partner Jonathan Davis. The two spent months experimenting with recipes and ingredients before finalizing the three breads that will debut this month. The new breads will be made using Silverton’s original sourdough starter and will incorporate contemporary ingredients and flavor profiles, basked using old-world techniques. The Founders portfolio includes Pain Levain, Sprouted Multigrain and Seed, and Country Wheat Batard. They will be sold nationwide at select grocery stores this fall.

"La Brea Bakery Creates Founders Breads For 30th Anniversary Celebration", The Shelby Report, April 30, 2019

Younger Consumers Love Their Baked Goods

Baked goods are a hit with younger consumers – the Millennial and Gen-Z crowd – the American Bakers Association reports. Nearly three-quarters of these consumers admitted to buying bread “within the past few days” of being surveyed; 60 percent said they’d purchased sweet goods in the past week. Half snack on crackers, tortillas and baked bars every week. Seventy percent associate bagels specifically with breakfast, bread with lunch, and crackers with snacking. Sweets and bars were the favorite baked snacks: 90 percent chose these categories as their favorites, followed closely by crackers (84). The data mirrors ABA and GenHQ’s recent discovery that Millennials and Gen Z consumers rank freshly baked, whole grains and natural ingredients as their top three purchasing factors. More than 1,800 Millennials participated in the online survey in February.

"Millennials and Gen Zs buy bread and sweet goods weekly: ABA report", BakeryAndSnacks.com, May 01, 2019

Launch Of German Bakery Will Begin Revitalization Of Wisc. City’s Downtown

A baker who learned his trade in Germany before emigrating to the U.S. in 1988 has opened the Okauchee Baker Meister, an authentic German bakery in Wisconsin. Michael Schuerstedt said Baker Meister will offer strudels, pretzels, kringles, coffee cakes, butter cookies, and cakes. The owner of the building that houses the new bakery said it will help kick off Okauchee’s downtown zoning district revitalization.  Schuerstedt said Wisconsin’s strong German heritage and tradition drew him and his wife back after a stint in Illinois. 

"German couple to open authentic German bakery", GM Today, May 01, 2019

“Natural” Or Not, Use Of Low-Calorie Sweeteners Should Be Limited

As consumers seek to cut down on sugar intake while enjoying a little sweetness, sales of “natural” plant-based sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia are booming, while sales of artificial sweeteners are plummeting. Stevia sales grew 11.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, while artificial sweetener sales slid 6.6 percent. Several studies have highlighted the health benefits – or lack of harmful effects – of using natural sweeteners. But the big question is: Do they help people lose weight? So far, the evidence doesn't support that idea. Are stevia and monk fruit better because they're natural? Remember that "natural" doesn't automatically mean "better." For example, whole stevia leaves and less purified stevia extracts aren't approved for use in food because of concerns related to kidney health. Dietician Christy Brissette says consumers should try to limit the use of low-calorie sweeteners to help taste buds adapt to less sweetness over time. And nutritious foods such as fruit provide ...  More

"As zero-calorie natural sweeteners such as stevia surge in popularity, here’s what you need to know", The Washington Post , May 02, 2019

USDA Relaxes Obama-Era Rules On Whole Grains In School Lunches

Since 2014, U.S. schools have been required to serve only whole grain versions of food as part of the national school lunch program, an important source of free and reduced-price meals for millions of children. But the continuing rollback of Obama-era rules and regulations by the Trump administration has now touched that program, though it appears non-political. After months of complaints about flavor and costs, and lots of uneaten lunches, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the USDA was returning to an old standard: only half of grain foods like pasta and bread must be rich in whole grains. Cafeteria directors who lobbied for the change say they just wanted greater flexibility to serve foods like white bread – more processed and with less fiber – when whole grains don't work. In Vermont, the relaxed rule means white rice will be served with beans again. In Oregon, macaroni and cheese may return. The rollback addresses rules on grains, milk, and salt championed by former first ...  More

"With Trump rollback, school lunch could get more white bread", Associated Press News, May 03, 2019

Suit Alleges “False Advertising” As Panera Launches “Clean Label” Campaign

Panera Bread’s advertising campaign touting the restaurant as a place to “eat clean” is “false advertising,” a new class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court alleges. Panera's new ad campaign – featuring in-store advertisements, bags, signs and labels, and an “earthy” green and brown color scheme – promotes its food as “clean” and “100 percent clean,” but the food actually contains glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Monsanto). The restaurant chain, jumping on the “clean-eating bandwagon,” “is deceiving consumers into believing that [its] products are of a higher quality, free from synthetic chemicals, or free from chemical residues from the production process when they are not.” The suit alleges violations of the state's Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, seeking monetary damages as well as a halt to the allegedly deceptive advertising. 

"Plaintiff Dirties Panera's 'Eat Clean' Claims", Manatt, May 09, 2019

History Of Eating Disorders Predisposes People To "Clean Eating" Obsession

Researchers at York University's Faculty of Health (U.K.) say those who have a history of an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive traits, dieting, poor body image, and a drive for thinness are more likely to develop a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only healthy food, known as orthorexia nervosa (ON). Although eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, for some people this preoccupation with healthy eating can become physically and socially impairing. The researchers reviewed studies published through the end of 2018 in two databases to determine the psychosocial risk factors associated with orthorexia nervosa. "When taken to the extreme, an obsession with clean eating can be a sign that the person is struggling to manage their mental health," they concluded (McComb et al., Appetite 2019)

"When does clean eating become an unhealthy obsession? New findings on who is at risk for orthorexia nervosa", Science Daily, May 14, 2019

U.S. Food Exporter Helps West African Farmers Get The Grain Fonio To Market

Brooklyn’s Yolélé Foods, which imports the sub-Saharan African grain fonio, is working with SOS Sahel to help farmers in the semi-arid region increase their productivity, improve the supply chain, and in turn enhance their livelihood. The farmers cultivate nutritious fonio – gluten-free, high in protein, iron, and fiber – on land that is sandy, rocky, and generally unfriendly to most crops, hard to process  without good equipment, and saddled with a fragmented supply chain. It’s difficult if not impossible to bring substantial quantities to the marketplace. But Yolélé Foods and SOS Sahel have spearheaded the creation of the first industrial scale mill in Dakar (Senegal) to efficiently process the grain and boost supply. "People should expect to find it on store shelves within the year," says a spokesman for Yolélé Foods. 

"Fonio: The most nutritious grain you've probably never heard of", The Boston Globe, May 19, 2019

Company Provides DNA Trace Back System To Assure Origins Of U.S. Food

A 2017 survey by Label Insights found that three-quarters of consumers would exchange their favorite food brands for ones that provide more in-depth product information beyond the physical packaging. With that in mind, Virginia-based Performance Food Group Company (PFG) has been working with European technology innovator IdentiGEN for 10 years to align supply chains, building the first complete DNA trace back system to the farm. The idea is to provide greater accountability, improve sustainability, ensure quality, and prevent fraud. For example, Braveheart Black Angus Beef, a premium Midwest-raised beef that is traceable back to its origins with DNA technology, has been added to the menus of 18,000 U.S. restaurants in 900 U.S. cities since its debut. The fastest growing part of PFG's protein program is fresh meat produced under PFG's proprietary PathProven program, PFG's assurance that the product is traceable, auditable, and meets a specific set of farming and processing standards ...  More

"PathProven from Performance Food Group Providing First-Ever DNA Trace Back System from Farm to Plate in North America", Business Wire, May 20, 2019

Market News  

Coca-Cola To Hold On To Majority Stake In CCBA; Will Incorporate Financials In Its Own Results

Coca-Cola announced it will retain a majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa as “a very important part of the Coca-Cola system” for the foreseeable future. The company said it would begin presenting the financial statements of CCBA within its results from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2019. CCBA has been accounted for as a discontinued operation since Coca-Cola became the controlling shareowner in October 2017. As a result of the reclassification, Coca-Cola expects CCBA will provide reclassified prior year financial information before the second quarter earnings release; and depreciation and amortization will be reinstated. CCBA’s results will be reported as part of the Bottling Investments Group segment.

"Coca-Cola Updates Plans for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Including Intent to Retain Majority Stake in Bottler", Business Wire , May 20, 2019

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