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Nestlé To Implement Nutri-Score Labeling In Five European Countries

November 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced that it will use the voluntary front-of-pack scheme that classifies foods and beverages according to their nutritional profile in five European countries beginning next year. The color-coded Nutri-Score nutrition labeling system – the scale ranges from A (healthier choices) to E (less healthy choices) – will be implemented across brands of its wholly-owned businesses over two years. More than 5,000 products in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland will be relabeled. Cereal Partners Worldwide, the international breakfast venture between Nestlé and General Mills, will also implement Nutri-Score on its product packaging in the same countries.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé announces industry-leading push to use Nutri-Score in Europe", Nestlé, November 26, 2019, © Nestlé
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Coca-Cola Honored For Corporate Transparency

October 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola was recently awarded the top honor for overall corporate transparency in the first edition of the U.S. Transparency Awards that recognize publicly traded companies for the effectiveness of corporate disclosures. such as annual proxy statements, form 10-Ks, and investor relations websites of companies on the S&P 250. "It’s a huge honor to be recognized for the transparency of our disclosure, said Tim Leveridge, investor relations officer at Coca-Cola. BlackRock Inc. came in second, while Southern Company was recognized for the best proxy statement award, AIG for best form 10-K, and Altria Group for the best investor relations website.[Image Credit: © Transparency Award]
"Coca-Cola Wins U.S. Corporate Transparency Award", Coca-Cola , October 22, 2019, © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
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Coca-Cola’s 3rd Q Revenue Up 8.3 Percent Over A Year Ago, Driven By Coke Zero Sugar

October 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s third quarter profit of $9.51 billion largely met analyst expectations, but its reported revenues were 8.3 percent higher than in the same quarter a year ago. The revenue increase is attributed to the strong demand for sugar-free drinks like the Coke Zero Sugar line and for smaller (7.5-ounce) cans, but also for Coca-Cola Plus Coffee and core sparkling soft drink brands. Coke Zero Sugar turned in its eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit volume growth globally. The company reported three percent organic sales growth in North America and Asia Pacific, as well as four percent in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The best sales performance was in Latin America, up 14 percent on an organic basis. Healthy performance was reported in Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, launched in more than 20 markets, and in Coke Energy, available in at least 25 countries with a U.S. launch set for January. The company expects “at least five percent growth in organic revenues” for all of 2019.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Emma Upshall, "Coke Zero Sugar driving Coca-Cola revenue growth of 8 percent", FoodBev Media , October 21, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Italy Proposes Discounts On Food And Toiletries With Plastic-Free Packaging

October 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
As part of its efforts to become a sustainable leader, Italy is reviewing proposals that would offer discounts on food and toiletry products that do not have plastic packaging. Some commentators talk of a 20% discount on goods that are plastic-free, which would likely have a significant impact on consumer spending patterns and force suppliers to make changes. The proposals are part of a broader range of measures that include offering public transport season tickets to people who stop using their cars, mopeds or scooters, investment in electric and hybrid school buses and an urban reforestation plan.[Image Credit: © kytrangho from Pixabay]
Jane Dalton, "Italy proposes price cuts on plastic-free food and toiletries", Independent.co.uk, October 11, 2019, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd.
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University Of Surrey Report Questions Companies’ Commitment to Plastic Reduction

October 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new report from researchers at the University of Surrey, UK, looks at the commitments food and beverage companies have been making on reducing single-use plastic. It covers 12 companies that represent some of the most well-known brands in the UK, including manufacturers and supermarket chains. Each claims to be a pioneering force for plastic reduction, but the authors, from the University’s School of Law, say the impact of these efforts remains unclear. One of authors said that they deflect attention from their contribution to the problem by using “optimistic language” that obscures the fact that companies have only scratched the surface of the challenge, and that their initiatives have been motivated by new legislation. The report also argues that strategies to tackle the problem of plastic require “transparent and meaningful evidence-based measurement”, and that’s missing at the moment.[Image Credit: © pasja1000 from Pixabay]
"Are global food packaging brands committed to ditching single-use plastic?", RECycling Of Used Plastics Ltd , October 09, 2019, © RECycling Of Used Plastics Ltd
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Napolina In The UK Is Switching To Cardboard Packaging For Some Dried Pasta SKUs

September 27, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Italian food band Napolina is to switching from plastic to 100% recyclable cardboard packaging for some items it sells in the UK, removing 17.5 million tonnes of plastic. It will start rolling out the new packaging on some dried pasta products from the end of October. The “fully coated folding boxboard” from Tambrite was developed in tandem with Ferrara, its pasta supplier, and adds 15% to costs. In 2018, Napolina introduced 51% rPET bottles for its olive oils. [Image Credit: © Napolina]
Daniel Selwood, "Napolina to replace plastic pasta packs with cardboard alternative", The Grocer UK, September 27, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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PureCycle Technologies Is Recycling Polypropylene At Scale

September 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Only 3% of polypropylene is recycled in the US, but that might soon change. It’s currently difficult to recycle, and its use as recycled content is limited, but John Layman, a Procter & gamble chemist, has been working on a way to purify it at a molecular level. The result, he claims, is clear and nontoxic pellets, with no odor, which can be turned into bottles that use a fraction of the energy needed for virgin polypropylene. P&G has licensed the technology via a startup called PureCycle Technologies, which ran the process at commercial scale in July this year. The company has signed deals with a number of manufacturers, including Nestlé and L’Oréal, as well as P&G, and has presold over 20 years of output from the capacity of its first plant. It aims to rollout the technology elsewhere in the US, and also Europe. The plant has been able to successfully recycle polypropylene used in almost every application, with the focus currently on recycling the polypropylene from old carpets.[Image Credit: © Monfocus from Pixabay]
Emily Chasan, "There’s Finally a Way to Recycle the Plastic in Shampoo and Yogurt Packaging ", MSN, September 26, 2019, © Bloomberg L.P.
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PepsiCo Outlines Progress On Plastics In Its 2018 Sustainability Report

September 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The 2018 Sustainability Report from PepsiCo highlights progress on its sustainability goals, including updates on plastic waste reduction. PepsiCo announced a new target for virgin plastic: “to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content across its beverage portfolio by 2025”. It also aims to use 25% recycled content in plastic packaging in the same timeframe, and 50% in plastic bottles within the European Union by 2030. From 2020, LIFEWTR® will be sold in 100% recycled plastic bottles in the U.S., and bubly™ will be sold in aluminum. PepsiCo also aims to avoid the use of 67 million single-use plastic bottles by 2025 through its "Beyond the Bottle" initiative, and especially the SodaStream® business.[Image Credit: © PepsiCo]
"PepsiCo Releases 2018 Sustainability Report Highlighting Progress and A Renewed Focus To Help Build A More Sustainable Food System", PepsiCo , September 24, 2019, © PepsiCo
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New Institute of Packaging To Lead Nestlé’s Drive To Address Plastic Waste

September 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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.[Image Credit: © Nestle]
"Nestlé inaugurates packaging research institute, first-of-its-kind in the food industry", Nestlé, September 12, 2019, © Nestlé
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Nestlé Introduces Nutritional Beverage For Cancer Patients Dealing With Side Effects Of Treatment

September 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

N.J.-based Nestlé Health Science has launched a nutritional drink targeted at cancer patients. BOOST Soothe clear nutritional drink provides protein and calories as well as “a cooling, soothing effect” to help cancer patients get needed nutrition while dealing with certain side effects of cancer treatment, including oral discomfort and taste changes. Up to 80 percent of patients may experience sore mouth or mucositis during cancer treatment; 46-77 percent of patients receiving chemotherapy report changes in taste. The clear liquid drink contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and provides 300 calories and 10 g of protein per serving.[Image Credit: © PR Newswire]
"Nestlé Health Science Launches Unique Innovation for Oncology Patients", PRNewswire , September 09, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coke Korea Names First Woman As CEO

September 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Korea has named its first female CEO to replace 12-year-veteran Lee Chang-yeob. Choi Su-chong, who is said to have “a proven record of growing businesses and managing large transitions,” will be responsible for managing operations as well as building a brand through competitive differentiation. Choi joined Coca-Cola Korea as a brand manager for Sprite and Fanta in 2006 and was promoted to various positions in marketing soda brands. Most recently she was responsible for the launch of new products such as Seagrams, Georgia Coffee, Toreta, and AdeS.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Kwak Yeon-soo, "Coca-Cola Korea names new CEO", Korea Times, September 02, 2019, © koreatimes.com.kr
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Improved Packaging Sustainability Is A Major Priority Of CCEP

September 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to Joe Franses, VP Sustainability for Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), a major priority for the company is reducing the environmental impact of its packaging. It is working on a number of initiatives to improve the packaging sustainability, including removing unnecessary plastic and developing innovative ways to get its products to consumers. In a recent interview, Franses said the company wants to make sure all packaging is 100 percent recyclable, but the most challenging goal is to “collect a bottle or can for everyone that we sell.”  To achieve these goals Franses said the company is implementing a cross-system working model with Coca-Cola to ensure packaging sustainability. This includes: investing in new manufacturing lines at sites across Europe; increasing capacity for refillable glass bottles and resting new routes to market; and – to encourage use of refillable packaging – looking closely at the different collection and recycling schemes in place in Western Europe – including household collection schemes and deposit return schemes (DRS). [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Liz Gyekye, "5 Minutes With… Joe Franses from Coca-Cola European Partners", Bio Market Insights, September 02, 2019, © Bio-Based World Ltd T/A Bio Market Insights
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Coca-Cola India Is The Innovation Spark Plug Driving Asia-Pacific Region Growth

September 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Asia-Pacific region is a key growth engine for Coca-Cola, but innovation in India is sparking that engine. Coca-Cola India is perceived as “agile and swift when it comes to introducing innovations:” product innovations in India have almost doubled over the last three years.” In a recent interview, Shell Huang, vice-president for R&D, Asia-Pacific, noted that Coca-Cola India has launched nearly 25 new products since 2016, applying an incubation model that cuts development time from the concept stage to the retail shelves to 12 weeks from 2-3 years. Collaborating with the Shanghai R&D Center, Coca-Cola India is currently testing products such as spiced buttermilk fortified with fiber to strengthen its dairy play, a fruit puree product under the Minute Maid brand, and a non-alcoholic malt drink under the Barbican brand. The spiced buttermilk product is likely to be launched nationally in the first quarter of 2020, while the fruit puree product will be launched in select urban markets, Huang said. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "Coca-Cola sees fizz in India’s innovation potential", The Hindu Business Line, September 02, 2019
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Consumers Are At The Heart Of Plastic Reduction Efforts, But Retailers Are Responding

August 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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 use of single-use plastic products from stores and restaurants. Iceland has announced removal of plastic containers from private label products by 2023, using paper trays rather than plastic. [Image Credit: © mohamed Hassan from Pixabay]
Alison Angus and Gina Westbrook , "Un mundo libre de plástico – A world free of plastic", Euromonitor International, August 30, 2019, © Euromonitor
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The Better McDonald’s Berlin Store Gives The Company Food For Thought

August 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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 locations in Germany invite customers to bring their own cups in exchange for a 10 cent discount. Selected restaurants in Germany are running a 1 euro deposit system (ReCup) for reusable carry out cups. In the UK, McDonald’s will no longer sell McFlurry products with plastic lids and it is removing single-use plastic from salads, using 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard containers instead. In Canada, the restaurants are using smaller napkins, made from 100% recycled fiber, and switching McWrap® cartons to McWrap wraps. [Image Credit: © McDonald's Corporation]
"What we learned from Berlin’s plastic-free McDonald’s experiment", McDonald’s, August 28, 2019, © McDonald's Corporation
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Innovators At Coca-Cola Plan For Industry, Societal Change

August 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
In a recent interview, Matt Hughes, Coca-Cola’s vice president for incubation and a founding member of its Venturing and Emerging Brands unit, pointed to “beverages for life,” water usage, women empowerment, and environmental sustainability as top priorities of the company’s “mission approach to things.” As to specific product areas, Hughes said “plant-based is an interesting space … that is an adjacent area to dairy from a protein perspective.” As it thinks about the future and “where consumers are going to be five or 10 years from now,” Coca-Cola invests time, energy and money to gain expertise in new technologies, marketing and digital platforms, and other areas that can help drive growth. Hughes said he expects Coca-Cola to be as “on-trend” 30 years from now as it is today, and he is very enthusiastic about the prospects for sparkling water Topo Chico and sports hydration beverage Body Armor.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Barb Stuckey, "Coke's Venture Group Looks Out 10 Years at Plant Based & Female Empowerment", Forbes Media, August 28, 2019, © Forbes Media LLC
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Arcadia Shares Global Marketing Of Its High-Fiber Resistant Starch Wheat

August 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Arcadia Biosciences, Inc.]
"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, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coke and Pepsi To Leave Plastics Industry Association

August 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have told Greenpeace USA of their decision to withdraw from the Plastics Industry Association. Greenpeace highlights the dichotomy of pledging to end plastic pollution at the same time as supporting bodies that lobby for continued reliance on single-use plastic. Greenpeace says that The Plastics Industry Association uses the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) as a front to advocate against plastic bans in the US. Greenpeace says 15 states have to date passed “pro-pollution preemption laws”. [Image Credit: © Darko Djurin from Pixabay]
Perry Wheeler, "Industry giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo ditching pro-plastics lobbying association", Greenpeace, August 23, 2019, © Greenpeace
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New Spring Wheat Variety Gains Global Attention Because It Makes Great Noodles

August 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Washington State University News and Media Relations]
Seth Truscott, "Meet Ryan, WSU's Elite New Wheat For The Noodle Market", Washington State University, August 22, 2019, © Washington State University News and Media Relations
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Healthy Retail Bread Sales Forecast, But Not Because Of Volume Increases

August 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Daily Kneads Bread, LLC]
Eric Schroeder, "Five areas for future growth in fresh bread", Food Business News, August 22, 2019, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Americans Need To Get More Whole Grain Foods Into Their Diets

August 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © tangyi178 from PIxabay]
Jenna Birch , "A primer on whole grains: What they are, why they’re important and how to find them", The Washington Post , August 21, 2019, © The Washington Post
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Bill That Would Ease N.J. Restrictions On Selling Home Baked Goods Stalls In Committee

August 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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."[Image Credit: © Jan Vašek from Pixabay]
Mike Deak, "Law would let home bakers sell pastries", Bridgewater Courier News , August 21, 2019, © www.mycentraljersey.com
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Brooklyn’s Flour Shop Succeeds With Cakes That Explode With Candy Sprinkles

August 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © Flour Shop by Amirah Kassem]
Alexandra Sternlicht, "How Under 30-Founded Flour Shop Is Turning $150 Exploding Cakes Into A Lifestyle", Forbes Media, August 21, 2019, © Flour Shop by Amirah Kassem
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Coca-Cola Ireland Moves To 50 Percent Recycled Plastic Packaging

August 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Ireland announced that all of its 500 ml and smaller packs are now being made from 50 percent recycled plastic (rPET). “Take-home" packs, which include all bottles larger than 500ml, have moved to 25 percent rPET. The recycled material will be incorporated across Coca-Cola's full portfolio, which includes Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite. The company said the investment in recycled PET, combined with other sustainability measures across its packs, will take approximately 2,000 tons of virgin plastic from circulation in Ireland each year.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
"Coca-Cola Ireland Moves To 50 percent Recycled Plastic In Its "On-The-Go" Packs", Hospitality Ireland, August 20, 2019, © Hospitality Ireland
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Family Bakery In Upper Wisconsin Focuses On Healthful Breads Made From Ancient Grains

August 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

A Michigan couple who started baking bread together for fun and relaxation eventually abandoned their careers and moved away from Detroit, eventually launching a bakery in Egg Harbor, Wis., north of Green Bay on Lake Michigan. Over the years Michael and Jenny MacReady’s bakery has expanded, hiring mostly retirees, but at its core has remained a family business that stresses healthful baked goods. Bread baker Michael makes whole grain breads, turning out loaves made from locally grown emmer (farro), spelt and einkorn, and rye flour. The MacReady Artisan Bread Company is now famous for its bread, which is wholesaled to local restaurants, but also for their sandwiches, soups, pastries, and pies.  [Image Credit: © MacReady Artisan Bread Company]
"Career-minded couple finds new life as bread-makers in Door County", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 19, 2019, © Gannett
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Ackee-Stuffed Patties Form The Core Of Jamaican Baker’s Growing Business

August 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Amazing Ackee]
Shawn Rychling, "Meet The Vendors: Baker combines vegan with Jamaican heritage to create unique food", Journal Inquirer (Manchester, CT), August 15, 2019, © Journal Inquirer
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“Bread Nerd” Uses Yeast Dormant For Eons To Bake “Incredible” Loaves Of Bread

August 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Sabine Schulte from Pixabay]
Jacey Fortin, "Ancient Egyptian Yeast Is This Bread's Secret Ingredient", The New York Times - International Edition, August 10, 2019, © The New York Times Company
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For French-Born Entrepreneur, The American Dream Is Built On Macarons

August 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © https://lemacaron-us.com/oak/files/images/Foto-LM-1.jpg]
Mark Gordon, "Le Big Mac: Mother-daughter duo rapidly grows treat business", Business Observer (Sarasota, Florida), August 09, 2019, © Observer Media Group, Inc
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Unilever’s Magnum Ice Cream Launches Some Plastic Jars Made With Recycled Plastic

August 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Magnum said it would be the first ice cream brand to use recycled polypropylene plastic for its packaging. In a limited trial it will launch 600,000 new Magnum jars in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, then release over 3 million in 2020 as it goes worldwide. Recycled polypropylene (rPP) has been used before for beauty and hygiene care applications but not for food packaging. To develop a solution, Unilever has worked with chemicals company SABIC since early 2018. Unilever did not indicate the percentage of plastic that is recycled, but acknowledged it uses a ‘mass balancing’ approach. It proclaimed the effort as part of its plan to ensure that by 2025 25% of plastic used in its packaging is recycled.[Image Credit: © Unilever]
"Magnum launches the first recycled plastic jars", Unilever France, August 08, 2019, © Unilever
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Lidl Introduces Reusable Bags For Fruit And Vegetables

August 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

To help prevent use of flimsy disposable plastic bags used to hold fruit and vegetables, Lidl has introduced reusable bags that cost 69p (~$1) for two. It claims to be the first supermarket in the UK to introduce such bags. The effort is part of Lidl’s plan to reduce plastic packaging by 20% by 2022. The move follows similar action by other retailers such as Morrisons and Sainsbury’s that have removed plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetables, encouraging consumers to use their own bags.[Image Credit: © Lidl Great Britain Limited]
"Lidl Becomes First Uk Supermarket To Introduce Reusable Fruit And Veg Bags Nationwide ", Lidl , August 08, 2019, © Lidl Great Britain Limited
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Website-Based Baking Business Is Driven To Deliver Big Warm Cookies – Quickly

August 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Crave Cookie is a chocolate chip cookie bake-and-deliver business built on a simple concept: providing fresh-baked treats “that people couldn’t make themselves.” Shandi Scrivner, who started the business with her husband and brother, offers giant chocolate chip cookies – wide and at least two inches tall delivered warm from the oven. The website-based business – a storefront location is in development – will delivery a box of four warm cookies to five zip codes in the Clovis area with the help of seven part-time employees, including four drivers and three bakers. A box of four – they’re equivalent to four traditional-sized cookies – costs $12, plus a $2 delivery fee.[Image Credit: © Crave Cookie]
Bethany Clough, "This Clovis business delivers cookies to your door - but they aren't ordinary cookies", Fresno Bee (California), August 08, 2019, © The Fresno Bee
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Survey Shows UK Consumers Have Poor Understanding Of Film Recycling

August 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A survey of over 1,000 consumers in the UK by bpi protect, a manufacturer of plain and printed flexible packaging, found that just half were aware that plastic film could be recycled. Recycling plastic film is possible but somewhat problematic and needs special processing. Although 47% thought it could be recycled at their council recycling centre, only one in 10 local authorities actually recycle plastic film and only 18% recycle carrier bags. Yet 93% said they would like to be able to recycle plastic films more easily. The survey highlighted general confusion about which plastics can be recycled and how, and which can’t. It also surfaced the importance of packaging in consumer choice, with over half saying they’d prefer to purchase a product with recyclable or with recycled content over one that didn’t.[Image Credit: © RPC bpi group]
"Research shows consumers’ understanding of plastic film recycling has a long way to go", RPC bpi protect, August 05, 2019, © RPC bpi group
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Sainsbury’s To Remove Hard-To-Recycle Black Plastic Trays From The Chiller Cabinets

July 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s said it will be first among retailers to eliminate the black plastic trays often used for chilled ready meals, in favour of a recyclable tray made from natural CPET. Sainsbury’s says the move, to be completed by November 2019, will reduce the volume of hard-to-recycle plastic by over 1,000 metric tonnes a year. Earlier in the same week, the company announced a trial to take away the single use plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetable, and replace them with reusable drawstring bags.[Image Credit: © J Sainsbury plc]
"Sainsbury's becomes first retailer to remove all black plastic from chilled ready meals", Sainsbury’s, July 25, 2019, © J Sainsbury plc
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Coke Turns In Strong 2nd Q Financials, Paints Rosier Growth Picture

July 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola reported healthy second-quarter 2019 results, as earnings and sales beat Wall Street estimates. Shares were up five percent in morning trading after the company raised its revenue forecast; Coke now expects organic revenue growth of five percent rather than four percent. Second-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share beat the Zacks consensus of 62 cents. The bottom line also improved four percent from the year-ago period, driven by a focus on consumer-centric innovation, solid core brand performance, and improved execution in the marketplace. Currency translations negatively impacted earnings by nine percent. Revenues of $9.997 billion also surpassed consensus estimates and increased six percent year over year. Organic revenues grew six percent. The company raised its revenue forecast, after noting that concerns about economic uncertainty had faded. “We saw some clouds on the horizon, too,” CEO James Quincey said. “But the storm never arrived, so by sticking to our plan, by executing against our strategy, we’ve been able to deliver stronger momentum than even we were expecting.”[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Amelia Lucas, "Coca-Cola CEO: ‘The storm never arrived’ as beverage giant raises revenue forecast", CNBC, July 23, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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UK Government Teams Up With Businesses To Seek Alternative Plastic Options

July 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

As part of the UK's Clean Growth Challenge, a joint initiative between the UK government and private business aims to invest some GBP200 million in research into alternative packaging options to help cut single-use plastic packaging. The government’s contribution is GBP60 million. The expectation is that plant-based options will replace oil-based plastics. Companies signed up to the effort include Unilever and Sainsbury’s. [Image Credit: © vedat zorluer from Pixabay]
Simon Harvey, "UK sets out investment project to cut single-use plastics in packaging", just-foods.com, July 22, 2019, © just-foods.com
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Reuse Models Through The New Plastics Economy Lens

July 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative published research it has conducted on how to convert some 20% of global plastic packaging into reuse models, and how this could represent a US$10 billion opportunity for business. The study looked at over 100 initiatives and interviewed more than 50 experts. The report identified six key benefits in reuse models: lower packaging and transportation from using refills in a compact form (e.g. concentrates and solids); more consumer control over the product; brand loyalty and customer retention through deposit and reward schemes; improved user experience; optimized operations, such as economies for scale in standardizing reusable packaging; and opportunities to gather information on consumer preferences by incorporating digital technologies (RFID tags, GPS, and sensors) in reusable packaging. The study also looked at four main reuse models (refill at home; refill on the go; return from home; and return on the go), and presented 69 examples, across a range of categories.[Image Credit: © ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION]
"New Plastics Economy: Reuse book launched", Ellen MacArthur Foundation , July 13, 2019, © Ellen MacArthur Foundation
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Grain, Baking Groups Urge Maintaining Carb Intake Levels

July 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Representatives of the American Bakers Association (ABA) told a U.S. dietary guidelines advisory panel recently that carbohydrate intakes should remain at the 2015 recommended level of between 45-65 percent of daily calories.  Registered dietician Kathy Wiemer also recommended six servings daily of traditional grains with at least half as whole grains, “given that Americans continue to under-consume whole grains.” She also urged American to eat at least three servings of enriched grains. The recommendations in the advisory committee's scientific report, due next year, will form the basis of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). Other organizations testifying before the panel as part of an umbrella group known as the Grain Chain included the Wheat Foods Council, the Independent Bakers Association, the Grain Foods Foundation, the Grain Chain, the North American Millers' Association, the Wheat Foods Council, the USA Rice Federation, and the Retail Bakers of America.[Image Credit: © ABA ]
Hailey Blumenreich, "Grain Chain, led by ABA, testifies on health benefits of increased grain servings", American Bakers Association, July 11, 2019, © American Bakers Association
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Clean-Label Vegan Bakery Rubicon Lands In Target Stores In Northern Calif.

July 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Clean-label bakery chain Rubicon Bakers (Richmond, Calif.) is taking its campaign to “Bake a Better World” to Target Stores in Northern California, which have begun selling Rubicon’s handcrafted cupcakes, including three vegan flavors. The move aligns Target with a major consumer eating trend: plant-based food sales grew by 20 percent in the previous year, topping $3.3 billion and outpacing other foods sales growth by 10 times. Besides its vegan orientation, Rubicon is also committed to societal improvement, particularly the hiring of those with significant barriers to employment. Many employees come to Rubicon from life on the streets, from prison or recently recovered from substance abuse. Rubicon’s products are available in more than 2,500 stores nationwide. [Image Credit: © RUBICON BAKERS]
"Target Stores to Sell Rubicon Bakers Social-Mission Cupcakes", PR Newswire , July 08, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC/RUBICON BAKERS
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Restaurant Sales Growth Ebbs As Delivery Emerges As Growth Area

July 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Sales growth for the top 500 U.S. restaurant companies slid in 2018 to 3.3 percent compared to the average 3.8 percent for the restaurants in the last five-year period, according to Technomic research. And while the fast-casual segment outpaced all other segments, its sales growth slipped to eight percent from an average 9.8 percent gain for the past five-year period signaling a cooling-off period. Meanwhile, delivery has emerged as a major growth area for all restaurants. This has caused companies to explore packaging that allows food quality to sustain itself in transit. It is also causing chains to reconsider their store designs to include a separate entrance for delivery drivers. [Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Elliot Maras, "Is the honeymoon over for the fast casual segment?", FastCasual.com, July 08, 2019, © Networld Media Group, LLC
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Estonian Startup Launches Water-Soluble Plant-Based ‘Honey Balls’

July 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Estonian startup Decomer has developed a plant-based biodegradable packaging material. The company is now incorporated in the US. Decomer’s first product is water-soluble packages for honey, called “honey drops”. They are capsules to be stirred into hot drinks. It will be available at retail and via a dispenser for food service. The company aims to develop a B2B business, selling packaging solutions to manufacturers and is developing packages that can be blended in smoothies, flavour packets that can be dissolved in water, and detergent packs that can be added to laundry. [Image Credit: © Decomer Technology Oü]
Catherine Lamb, "Decomer Makes Plant-based Water-soluble Packaging to Fight Plastic Waste", The Spoon, July 08, 2019, © The Spoon
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Japanese Rice Vermicelli Maker Hopes To Ride Gluten-Free Wave In U.S.

July 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Japanese rice vermicelli maker Kenmin (Kobe) has spent a year modifying its product to comply with U.S. import regulations and is now ready to launch here. The decision to export to the U.S. was based on the continuing popularity of the gluten-free diet craze. The company’s rice vermicelli is produced by steaming and drying mashed rice, and seasoning with pork and chicken extract. The U.S. imposes import restrictions on food containing meat extract, so the firm has not been able to sell the same product there as in Japan. The company plans to sell its Yaki Be-fun brand at supermarkets for about $2 a bag, and aims to sell a million packages in fiscal 2020.[Image Credit: © Picdream from Pixabay]
"Kenmin’s rice vermicelli to enter U.S. market", The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 05, 2019, © The Yomiuri Shimbun
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New Report Highlights The Cost Of Packaging To Scottish Households

July 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new report from Zero Waste Scotland, an organization funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund, says that Scotland’s consumers buy groceries that use over 300,000 tonnes of single-use packaging annually. This represents a cost to the environment, but also to households – an estimated £600 million each year, much of which is hidden in product prices. This implies each household plays £250 (7% of the average grocery bill) a year for 130kg of single-use packaging. They also have to pay some £40 million each year to local authorities for waste management. The study estimates that grocery packaging contributes 13% of all household waste in the country, of which 89,000 tonnes (29% of grocery packaging) is plastic. The report concludes that this situation can be improved by price signalling, making shoppers aware of the price they pay for packaging. [Image Credit: © ZeroWasteScot 6@ZeroWasteScot zerowastescotland.org.uk]
"REPORT: The Hidden Cost of Grocery Packaging", Zero Waste Scotland , July 05, 2019, © ZeroWasteScot 6@ZeroWasteScot zerowastescotland.org.uk
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Dominique Ansel Of Cronut Fame Honors N.Y. With Whimsical Treats

July 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
N.Y.-based French pastry chef Dominique Ansel, creator of the hugely popular cronut six years ago, is celebrating his fifteenth anniversary by honoring the Big Apple with his “New York Collection.” The whimsical assortment comprises nine sweet treats molded to look like classic symbols of the city. Among the creations are a "bagel and cream cheese" graham-cracker meringue, a tiramisu in the shape of a bodega coffee cup, a fluffy street-cart pretzel, a pizza slice, a hot dog with a mustard squiggle, and more. Available until Labor Day, Ansel’s creations were created using a 3-D printer to make the molds. Prices range from $7.25 to $9, only at Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring St. in Manhattan.[Image Credit: © Thomas Schauer >> studio for photography LLC and Dominique Ansel]
Hannah Sparks, "Trending Cronut creator turns NYC icons into pastries", The New York Post, July 03, 2019, © NYP Holdings, Inc.
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ThaiBev Acquires Chinese Coffee Processor Dongguan LiTeng Foods

July 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Singapore-listed Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) has acquired, through its indirect subsidiary Asiaeuro International Beverage (Guangdong), a 100 percent stake in Mainland China coffee processing and trading company Dongguan LiTeng Foods. The $43,571 acquisition marks the company’s first step into China’s coffee business. ThaiBev currently owns only one distillery in China producing Yulinquan Chinese spirits. In Thailand, the company has 173 subsidiaries, including 18 distilleries, 3 breweries and 11 non-alcoholic beverage production facilities. ThaiBev has also recently acquired equity positions in Myanmar whisky maker Grand Royal Group (GRG) and in Vietnamese food and beverage giant Sabeco.
Hock Meng Tay , "ThaiBev acquires China’s coffee company Dongguan LiTeng Foods", Deal Street Asia, July 03, 2019, © DEALSTREETASIA
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Better Ingredients, Better Pizza – For Breakfast?

July 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A recent survey of 9,000 customers commissioned by mobile pizza-ordering and delivery service Slice found that 53 percent preferred cold pizza for breakfast than cereal or eggs. Though it’s a finding that many nutritionists and cereal makers may find indigestible – some consider pizza at any time of the day a no-no – others argue that pizza has more nutrients than cereal or doughnuts. For example, a New York-based nutritionist says a slice of pizza contains more fat and much less sugar than most cold cereals, “so you will not experience a quick sugar crash.” Pizza also has more protein than a bowl of cereal. If the idea of pizza-for-breakfast catches on, “some pizza purveyors may want to think about opening earlier in the day to take advantage of the demand for pizza in the morning.” [Image Credit: © Lutz Peter from Pixabay]
Paul Ausick, "Bacon, Egg, and Cheese? No Thanks, I'd Rather Have Pizza, Say Half of Americans", 24/7 Wall St., July 02, 2019, © 24/7 Wall St.
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Established Foods Are Repositioning As “Real Foods” For The Sports Crowd

July 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Creating new foods, or repositioning established, traditional foods, as sports nutrition products is proving to be a profitable business tactic. As sports nutrition products move into the mainstream, so-called “real foods” – devoid of artificial ingredients – are moving into the world of professional and amateur sports. Example include: Veloforte's sports twist on a traditional Italian treat packed with fruit and nuts; California-based Clif Bar, now firmly tethered to sports and activity;  Soreen, a fruit-based cake from the U.K. repositioned for recreational cyclists; low-sugar protein bar Grenade Carb Killa, marketed as a real food alternative to sports nutrition bars. The trend is powered by sports dietitians whose first principle is that whole foods are the best fuel.[Image Credit: © silviarita from Pixabay]
"Veloforte's sporty twist to Italian treat shows repositioning opportunity", Food & Beverages News, July 01, 2019, © Food And Beverage News
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Rethinking Packaging To Reduce Plastic Use

June 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The author highlights efforts by 16 companies in the US that are attempting to address the need to reduce packaging. Those that will have an impact on plastic use include: A laminated plant-based compostable pouch for Alter Eco’s quinoa products; compostable wrappers for BOSS Food’s vegan bars; aluminum-lined recyclable boxes for water from Boxed Water is Better; GF Harvest’s GoPack recyclable and collapsible oatmeal bowls, which are flat when bought and can popped up to add hot water; compostable trays for the ready-to-cook seafood meals from Love the Wild, with a microwaveable version due later this year; Econic compostable films, using FSC-certified wood pulp and non-GMO corn, used for wrapping Loving Earth chocolate bars and superfood bars; and six-pack rings on Saltwater Brewery’s beers - 100% biodegradable and edible by animals, using Eco Six Pack Rings technology. [Image Credit: © pasja1000 from Pixabay]
"16 Companies Rethinking Packaging", Foodtank, June 30, 2019, © Food Tank
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Bimbo Bakeries Says Downsized Households Deserve A Downsized Loaf Of Bread

June 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


The Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat bread brands of Bimbo Bakeries USA have single-person household in minds with their new Simply Small 10-slice bags. The idea is to provide just the right ammoungt of bread needed by smaller households while avoiding food waste. The single-person household is no small demographic: twenty-eight percent of U.S. households fit the category. And they often skip buying bread because they just don’t eat a regular loaf. Simply Small is available in Honey Oat and White with Whole Milk varieties under all three labels. They have no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no high fructose corn syrup, and no trans fat. Simply Small breads are available at major retailers on the East and West Coasts at about $2.49 a package.[Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc.]
"Bimbo Bakeries Bread Brands Launch Loaf For Single-Person Households", The Shelby Report, June 28, 2019, © The Shelby Report
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DuPont: Plant-Based Nutrition Is Better Served By Combinations Of Synergistic Ingredients

June 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences says plant-based nutrition is moving beyond single-source ingredients to synergistic combinations that strengthen the nutritional and sensorial profile of final products. Providing single ingredients was once the most common way to serve the plant-based diet market. But now DuPont’s application and development teams are increasingly blending plant-based ingredients that include proteins, stabilizers, antimicrobials and antioxidants, among others. The idea is to take the best of each plant ingredient to develop higher-performance formulations, bringing synergy and leverage of one ingredient to another. An example would be combining soy with almond, or soy with pea or rice and pea. The combinations are better than a single source of protein, because one can bring texture and the amino acids, while another can bring a different sensorial aspect or better hydration.[Image Credit: © DuPont de Nemours, Inc]
Kacey Culliney, "Plant-based future is combined vegetable sources 'the golden solution is not a golden ingredient', says DuPont", NutraIngredients.com , June 28, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Hilton Hotel Chain To Send Its Cookie Dough Into Outer Space

June 27, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

U.S. hotel chain DoubleTree by Hilton has partnered with space flight appliance company Zero G Kitchen and NanoRacks, which provides commercial access to space travel, to launch a batch of its DoubleTree Cookie dough and a prototype oven to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a microgravity experiment. With the launch, Hilton becomes the first hospitality company to participate in research aboard the space station. The husband and wife team at Zero G Kitchen responsible for the space oven concept said the DoubleTree Cookie was their first thought when they began creating an oven to make space travel more comfortable.[Image Credit: © DoubleTree by Hilton/The Christie Cookie Company]
"First-Ever Space Oven and Microgravity Baking Experiment", Space Daily, June 27, 2019, © Space Media Network
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