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Food Business Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

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January 15, 2011, to January 22, 2011

Almond Milk Pushes U.S. Milk Alternatives To Double-Digit Growth In 2010

The emergence of premium-priced almond milk helped boost the growth in the US milk alternatives category by 13 percent in 2010. Blue Diamond Growers’ Almond Breeze and Dean Foods Co.’s Silk Pure Almond brands are battling each other for leadership in the almond milk segment. Milk alternatives, especially soymilk, are becoming more popular as U.S. consumers’ consumption of cows’ milk has declined, partly through vegan lifestyles and some consumers’ intolerance to cows' milk, and almond milk is helping to drive that trend. The National Milk Producers Federation is calling for a ban on using the word “milk” in describing non-dairy milk, although sales of milk alternatives are small compared with regular milk. Silk, known also for soymilk, is extending its range of milk alternatives, with a new coconut milk.

GIA Estimates Global Soy Foods Market Will Reach $42.3 Billion In 2015

Global Industry Analysts forecast continued growth in the world soy food market and expect it to reach US$42.3 billion in 2015. Its report, "Soy Foods: A Global Strategic Business Report," sees key drivers as the increase in consumers' health consciousness, demand for nutritious diets, and knowledge about the health benefits of soy foods, such as protection from cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Manufacturers' innovations in product development, aging population, and increasing popularity of organic soy foods also help boost the market. Soy foods have become mainstream products in both developed and developing markets, and while anti-soy allegations impacted growth recently these worries have faded. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market, followed by the United States and Europe.

California Organic Rice Producer’s Warehouse Is Now 100% Solar Powered

Organic rice and rice products producer Lundberg Family Farms has opened a 37,558-foot warehouse powered completely by solar energy. The warehouse uses 1,690 solar panels at the facility in Richvale, Calif. The company says the panels will produce 500,000 kilowatts of electricity, more than enough to power the building. According to the company, 20 percent of the electricity it consumes comes from solar energy. By purchasing renewable energy credits to offset the rest, the company can claim its energy use is 100 percent green. The warehouse was built to U.S. Green Building Council’s certification standards and is designed to capture and filter storm water runoff. It features high-efficiency water conservation fixtures such as dual flush water closets, waterless urinal and electronic faucets that reduce water by 39 percent, saving 15,625 gallons annually.

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January 08, 2011, to January 15, 2011

Campbell Soup Company And Symington's To Launch Dry Soups And Meals In UK

Campbell Soup Company and dry food manufacturer Symington's have signed a deal to launch in January 2011 “Campbell-branded” dry soups and meals in the UK. UK-based Symington's is responsible for the products’ development, production and distribution, and Campbell will control marketing and retain brand control. The products include 12 varieties of “Cup Soups,” five varieties of “Simmer Soups,” four varieties of “Savoury Rice,” and four varieties of “Savoury Pasta,” all bearing Campbell’s branding. 

Food Industry Experts Discuss Health Claims Labeling Rules In Webcast

In a recent webcast, several food industry experts shared their insights into U.S. regulations governing food and supplement health claims and into consumer purchase preferences. Attorney Anne Maher pointed out that food and supplement ad categories that are the most closely monitored have to do with treatment/cure prevention claims, immunity claims, products for children’s health/performance and weight loss. As to consumer buying trends, food marketing professor Nancy Childs said that nutrition is important to consumers but most important is taste. Citing data from FMI Research, she noted that health claims as a purchasing influence slid from 29 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2009. However, functional foods are still important despite the recession, because they “provide value and justify higher/holding prices to consumers.”

WOW Emulsion Technology Offers Some Intriguing Opportunities For Foods, Beverages

Oil-in-water emulsions (e.g., mayonnaise) and water-in-oil emulsions (e.g., margarine) have been around a long time. But a more recent type of emulsion, a double phase or multiple emulsion  known as water-in-oil-in-water (WOW), is gaining favor in the food and beverage industries because of its potential in fat reduction and other applications. WOW emulsions are difficult to make, requiring processing through a high-pressure homogenizer to create stability. But the possible benefits make the complex process worth undergoing. WOW emulsions are expected to be used as delivery vehicles for flavors and active ingredients, including health-promoting ingredients – water-soluble vitamins, botanicals, polyunsaturated fatty acids and others – in functional foods. Other possible applications include fruit pigment protection and salt reduction. Using WOW technology, for example, a food product could taste saltier to a consumer, but actually contain less salt.

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January 01, 2011, to January 08, 2011

U.K. Smartphone App Helps People Identify Allergenic Food Ingredients

A small British software company has developed an app for the iPhone that makes it easy to determine whether a food or ingredient contains allergenic ingredients. The app – known as IsItInIt – uses barcode-reading technology and the smartphone’s camera to determine the ingredients on more than 85,000 food products. Nutritionists see the advance as a major breakthrough for Britons who suffer from food allergies. To make the technology work, users enter details of their allergic condition, including specific offending foods and ingredients, at a Web site. The site’s database then synchs up with the app on the phone. A red warning signal is transmitted to the user as soon as the bar code is scanned into the phone. About 45 percent of Britons – 25 million people – suffer from food intolerances.

Weight-Loss Center Giants Ring In The New Year With Revamped Ads, Diet Programs

Commercial weight-loss companies are ramping up their advertising campaigns to promote new dieting programs to recapture former clients and win over new ones. Weight Watchers ($1.4 billion in sales in 2010), Nutrisystem ($527 million) and Jenny Craig ($480 million) rule the $3.2 billion commercial weight-loss center category but are not resting on their laurels. All three are rolling out innovations designed to entice dieters who switched to less expensive do-it-yourself dieting schemes during the recession. Nutrisystem’s new ad agency developed a campaign emphasizing real people rather than celebrities. Weight Watchers is pushing its refurbished calorie-counting system (PointsPlus), while Jenny Craig is touting its new Metabolic Max Program that customizes weight-loss programs to clients' "unique metabolism.”

Egypt Tightens Regulatory Control Of Organic Industry

Reacting to complaints that goods being sold in the country as organic were not organic at all, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry announced tighter regulatory control over organic and biodynamic goods. Organic products in Egypt often cost twice as much as conventional goods, because they purportedly contain no chemical additives and have not been genetically modified. However, until now there has been no certification process, consumers could not file a complaint with the government and companies were not required to be accountable. Under the new decree, manufacturers will need to be accredited by auditors registered with the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality (EOSQ), organic companies will have to register and be certified, and EOSQ may inspect facilities and shut them down if they do not meet organic standards.

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