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Period: August 25, 2019 to September 22, 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

For French-Born Entrepreneur, The American Dream Is Built On Macarons

The French patisserie business Rosalie Guillem founded with her daughter Audrey in Sarasota, Fla., is approaching its tenth anniversary and is flush with entrepreneurial success. The company owns a few corporate stores, but also some 50 franchise locations, in Florida, California, New Hampshire, Arizona, and seven other states. Another 30 franchises are in development, all based on the original flagship delicacy, an airy but decadent macaron – not to be confused with an American macaroon. The company did $11 million in sales in 2018, made the Inc. 5,000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies in 2016, and posted 259 percent growth over three years. Guillem’s Le Macaron stores now offer gelato, eclairs, napoleons, pies, cakes, croissants, and fine chocolates – all made with French ingredients. A catering unit handles parties, weddings and other events – all of it a testament to the dogged pursuit of the American dream, French-style.

"Le Big Mac: Mother-daughter duo rapidly grows treat business", Business Observer (Sarasota, Florida), August 09, 2019

“Bread Nerd” Uses Yeast Dormant For Eons To Bake “Incredible” Loaves Of Bread

Self-professed “bread nerd” Seamus Blackley, one of the developers of the Xbox, has created a stir in baking circles by experimenting with yeast extracted from a 4,000-year-old Egyptian loaf and from ancient artefacts. The artefacts, including Egyptian ceramics once used to make or store beer and bread, were found at museums in Boston with the help of an interested archaeologist. Blackley, who also collects wild yeast from medieval forests, created a loaf of sourdough bread with a “light and airy” crumb and an “incredible” flavor and aroma. He shared his results on Twitter, sparking interest among thousands of people. Useable thousand-year-old yeast? Yes, experts say: once yeast spores run out of food they go dormant, rather than simply dying, and stay quietly viable for thousands of years until they are extracted.

"Ancient Egyptian Yeast Is This Bread's Secret Ingredient", The New York Times - International Edition, August 10, 2019

Ackee-Stuffed Patties Form The Core Of Jamaican Baker’s Growing Business

Jamaica native Chantal Thomas is a career baker and pastry chef who also blogs about her country’s national fruit, the avocado-like ackee, which she employs in numerous recipes, including one for a vegan ackee-stuffed patty. In addition to ackee patties, Thomas sells ones filled with eggplant, chickpea and zucchini, and lentil. For the crust, Thomas uses coconut instead of shortening. She formed her company, Amazing Ackee LLC, in 2017 and began baking out of a rented kitchen. She landed a spot at one farmers market last year and expanded to four markets this year. Thomas sells between 20 and 40 dozen patties a week at the farmers markets, the volume matching demand for vegan products.

"Meet The Vendors: Baker combines vegan with Jamaican heritage to create unique food", Journal Inquirer (Manchester, CT), August 15, 2019

Americans Need To Get More Whole Grain Foods Into Their Diets

Though the U.S. government has been pushing whole grains as part of a healthful diet for nearly two decades, Americans actually consume less than half of the recommended amount. A recent Centers for Disease Control report reveals that whole grains are just 15.8 percent of total grain intake for the average American adult, a far cry from the recommended three servings of whole grains daily. Nutrition experts say it’s not that difficult to get more whole grains into the diet. Aim for three servings of whole grains daily and limit the refined grains – white bread, regular pasta, baked goods, etc. – to three servings a day or less. Also, skip foods whose labels have the words "enriched," "degerminated," "wheat flour," "bran" or "wheat germ" on the label. They are not whole grains.

"A primer on whole grains: What they are, why they’re important and how to find them", The Washington Post , August 21, 2019

Bill That Would Ease N.J. Restrictions On Selling Home Baked Goods Stalls In Committee

Thanks to one obdurate New Jersey lawmaker, a bill that would ease state restrictions on the sale of home-baked foods is stalled in a Senate committee. The bill has passed the N.J. Assembly several times but remains blocked by state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D), who won’t allow a vote. The legislation would approve the sale of fresh baked goods from private kitchens at farm stands, farmers' markets, fairs, festivals, and events. It would end New Jersey's status as the only state in the union that doesn't allow the public sale of cookies, cakes, and pastries made by home bakers. Forty-nine other states allow such sales. "I'm just trying to do this the right way," Vitale has told the Associated Press. "If these were individuals who are trying to be entrepreneurial, I'm just trying to make sure the public is protected."

"Law would let home bakers sell pastries", Bridgewater Courier News , August 21, 2019

Brooklyn’s Flour Shop Succeeds With Cakes That Explode With Candy Sprinkles

A Brooklyn-based bakery start-up – the Flour Shop – has built a huge customer base that includes celebrities like the Kardashians and singer Ariana Grande solely by showing off its unusual candy-packed layer cakes on Instagram videos. What makes the cakes unusual is the fact that they are often stuffed with a column of multi-colored candy sprinkles that burst forth when the cake is cut. Ross Harrow and his baker wife Amirah Kassem’s ready-to-eat products include a $150 bagel and lox cake, a $350 doll body with explosive skirt and a $150 gender-reveal cake, which explodes either pink or blue candies. The duo has amassed 70,000 paying customers, 35 employees, and 85 SKUs ranging from $3 to $150. The success is especially impressive because the cakes are only available in New York and must be picked up in person from the company’s downtown Manhattan location. 

"How Under 30-Founded Flour Shop Is Turning $150 Exploding Cakes Into A Lifestyle", Forbes Media, August 21, 2019

Healthy Retail Bread Sales Forecast, But Not Because Of Volume Increases

Researcher Packaged Facts expects increases in retail dollar sales of fresh bread – up from $16.3 billion in 2018 to $16.8 billion in 2023 – are likely to be driven by healthful, more nutritious products with clean labels and natural ingredients. The flip side of this good news is that the premium prices of the more healthful products are driving the increase in dollar sales, rather than volume increases. But the researcher says there are opportunities for growth, especially in five potential areas: local farms and bakeries and the farm-to-table trend; new ways to deliver better health and nutrition claims; growth in the grain-free market; moving packaged bread closer to in-store bakeries or delis; and merchandising in fast-growing perimeter departments such as produce and meat.

"Five areas for future growth in fresh bread", Food Business News, August 22, 2019

New Spring Wheat Variety Gains Global Attention Because It Makes Great Noodles

A wheat breeding expert at Washington State University (Pullman) has developed a variety of spring wheat – dubbed “Ryan” – that he says is growing quickly in popularity among Northwest U.S. farmers and Asian grain buyers because of its surprising ability to create an outstanding fresh noodle, according to Mike Pumphrey. Introduced in 2016 but available in limited quantities until now, Ryan led all public spring wheat varieties for certified seed production in Washington last year. Not only is Ryan expected to dominate spring wheat acreage this year, WSU scientists say it could transform the market for wheat growers and their customers, here and abroad. The wheat industry is already setting Ryan apart, keeping it identity-preserved so dealers can sell it for noodles at a premium. The variety is named for Ryan A. Davis, a WSU alumnus who died of cancer at age 38 in 2016.

"Meet Ryan, WSU's Elite New Wheat For The Noodle Market", Washington State University, August 22, 2019

Arcadia Shares Global Marketing Of Its High-Fiber Resistant Starch Wheat

Food ingredients company Arcadia Biosciences has resolved an intellectual property dispute by partnering with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling to commercialize its high-fiber resistant starch wheat in key wheat markets, including North America, Europe, and parts of Asia. Bay State Milling will will handle marketing in North America under under its HealthSense brand portfolio; Arista will handle marketing in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, and South Korea. Arcadia will continue to market its high-fiber wheat under its GoodWheat portfolio of specialty wheat ingredients in other international markets. The agreement earns Arcadia royalties for sales of its wheat varieties in North America by Bay State Milling. According to Arcadia, its high-fiber wheat delivers multiple times the resistant starch as traditional wheat and significantly higher amounts of dietary fiber than traditional wheat flour. 

"Arcadia Biosciences Enters Global Collaboration with Arista Cereal Technologies and Bay State Milling Company for Commercialization of High-fiber Wheat; –Agreement accelerates global commercialization of Arcadia's high-fiber resistant starch wheat technolo", PR Newswire, August 26, 2019

The Better McDonald’s Berlin Store Gives The Company Food For Thought

In June this year, McDonald’s opened a concept store for 10 days in Berlin aimed at exploring plastic-free options, eliciting customer feedback and starting debate. The Better McDonald’s Store offered paper straws and wooden cutlery, and edible waffle cups for condiments, wrapped sandwiches in grass-based packaging, and presented Chicken McNuggets in paper bags instead of cardboard boxes. The company said that the response was “very positive”, the grass wrapper was a “hit in terms of eco-friendliness and ease of use”, and the waffle cups were seen as a good way of replacing condiment sachets and containers. Customers were happy with the eco-friendliness of the paper straws, but less so about their ease of use and durability, and believed they wouldn’t miss lids on containers. The wooden cutlery experiment wasn’t a hit. 

McDonald’s also said that it is working on other options in its normal restaurants. In Germany, in-house hot drinks are served in porcelain or glass mugs, and McCafé ...  More

"What we learned from Berlin’s plastic-free McDonald’s experiment", McDonald’s, August 28, 2019

Consumers Are At The Heart Of Plastic Reduction Efforts, But Retailers Are Responding

According to Euromonitor, nearly two-thirds (63%) of containers for food, drinks, home, beauty and pet food are plastic, because of its durability, versatility and other characteristics. Recycling or reuse rates, however, are not high enough, partly because of consumer confusion over what can be recycled, perpetuated by a lack of standardization in packaging. Few countries have the recycling infrastructure and rates of Germany, which runs deposit schemes for plastic bottles, but the effort to increase rates is also hampered by consumers being used to disposing of items. Change is afoot. Consumers are more alive to plastic waste issues. Surveys suggest they are more willing today than two years ago to pay more for options that are better for the environment. Retailers like IKEA and UK-based Iceland are reacting to this change. IKEA is stopping the use of oil-based plastics, pledging to manufacture 100% of its products from recycled materials from August next year. It is also ending the ...  More

"Un mundo libre de plástico – A world free of plastic", Euromonitor International, August 30, 2019

New Institute of Packaging To Lead Nestlé’s Drive To Address Plastic Waste

Nestlé has formally inaugurated a new unit, the Institute of Packaging Sciences based in Lausanne, Switzerland, to double down on the development of new environmentally-friendly packaging solutions that address plastic waste. It will have a science and technology focus on a number of packaging areas, such as refillable and reusable options, simplified materials, recycled materials, and materials that are plant-based, compostable or biodegradable. The move was welcomed by Sander Defruyt, the New Plastics Economy Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The new unit also reaffirms Nestlé’s commitment to reinforcing the Swiss innovation ecosystem.

"Nestlé inaugurates packaging research institute, first-of-its-kind in the food industry", Nestlé, September 12, 2019

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