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Sale Of Cannery SPC Would Free Coca-Cola Amatil To Focus On Beverage Growth

December 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has decided to divest the loss-making SPC fruit and vegetable cannery it purchased in 2005 after years of struggling to make it profitable. Analysts believe the sale would give CCA the cash it needs to invest in new business areas, such as acquisition of some parts of Lion Dairy & Drinks, and right itself after some setbacks. Earnings for 2018 are likely to be hurt by weaker beverage sales in Australia, soft demand in Indonesia, and the impact of container deposit schemes that have forced the price hikes in several states and Canberra. The company is expected to concentrate on growing categories like energy drinks and flavored milk and smoothies, increasing marketing efforts for what he called “sleeping beauties and blockbuster” lines, and introducing more enhanced and premium options.
Richard Whitehead , "SPC sale could provide much-needed impetus for Coca-Cola Amatil", Beverage Daily, December 05, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Campbell To Sell Bolthouse Farms, Continue Exit From Fresh Foods Business

December 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup is casting its net wide for potential buyers of its money-losing carrot, smoothie and fruit beverage company Bolthouse Farms, continuing its withdrawal from the fresh food industry that proved to be a poor fit.  The company distributed the financial books for Bolthouse, and has begun the process of divesting its Garden Fresh Gourmet business, purchased in 2015 for $231 million. Among the potential buyers for Bolthouse is former Bolthouse CEO Jeffrey Dunn, who has talked to private equity funds to help raise money to fund a bid. Campbell paid $1.55 billion for Bolthouse Farms in 2012, when the brand had more than $100 million in earnings before interest depreciation and amortization.
Lauren Hirsch , "Campbell launches sale of Bolthouse Farms business", CNBC.com, December 03, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Pakistan Expects Another $1.4 Billion In investment From PepsiCo, Coca-Cola

November 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The office of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement saying that PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have committed to investing an additional $1.4 billion in the coming years. The country is beset with economic and financial problems, especially a swelling current account deficit that has pushed it to seek loans from China and Saudi Arabia and a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. According to the prime minister’s office, PepsiCo will invest another $1.2 billion over the next five years, while Coca-Cola will invest $200 million on top of the current $500 million. Despite Pakistan’s economic woes, consumer goods companies see the world’s sixth most populous country (208 million people) as a promising market.
Asif Shahzad, "Pepsi and Coca Cola pouring $1.4 bln into Pakistan - government", Reuters, November 28, 2018, © The Thomson Reuters
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Bakeries See Upsurge In Instagram-Ready, Alcohol-Infused Desserts

November 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Millennial fondness for unusual flavors and exotic cocktails – coupled with Instagram mania – have produced a wave of new and photogenic baked goods laced with alcohol. A baking industry website says bakeries are seeing increased demand for premium desserts “inspired by alcoholic beverages.” Cakes may be drizzled with sweet liqueurs and their fillings spiked with alcoholic beverages. Manhattan’s Doughnut Project sells handcrafted doughnuts infused with booze. Another spiked treat is the “Instagram-ready” Chandonut Rosé, featuring a Chandon sparkling rosé glaze covering a Bourbon Eggnog doughnut.[Image Credit: © The Doughnut Project]
Sarah Berger , "People are going crazy for these boozy baked goods", CNBC, November 24, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Nashville Mayor Challenges Local Businesses To Cut Holiday Season Food Waste

November 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The mayor of Nashville, Tenn., has partnered with local organizations to challenge restaurants, hotels, and event venues to slash food waste. According to Mayor David Brinley, as many as 100,000 Davidson County residents, including more than 25,000 children, are food-insecure. By responding to the challenge, businesses could have a “meaningful impact” on the lives of many of our residents during the holiday season. Businesses that participate are being asked to select and implement practices from a menu of options to prevent food waste, to donate food and recycle food scraps, and to report on their progress. Organizations joing in the challenge include the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association, and Nashville Originals.[Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
"Mayor David Briley issues food saver challenge to prevent food waste this holiday season", Nashville Pride (Tennessee) | Black Press USA, November 23, 2018, © National Newspaper Publishers Association
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Protein-Based Beverages From Foundation Fitness Now On Walmart Store Shelves

November 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Foundation Fitness’s four newly-launched brands of canned protein beverages are now available in 2,500 Walmart stores. Each line – protein water, protein nutritional shake (made of whey), plant protein shake, and coldbrew with collagen – comes in a variety of flavors. Minimum amount of protein is 20 g per serving (in the collagen coldbrew), with the highest at 30 g per serving (the nutritional shake). The company debuted the brands earlier this month at the National Association of Convenience Stores (or NACS) show, an indication of its strategy to focus on convenience stores and gas station retailers as well as mass grocery retailers.
Adi Menayang , "Protein drink newcomer Foundation Fitness launches at Walmart nationwide", Beverage Daily, November 22, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pastry Chefs, A Dying Breed, Battle Headwinds With Creativity, Innovation

November 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A post-recession return to homier desserts coupled with rising restaurant labor and operating costs have been rough on the nation’s pastry chefs. In fact, pastry chefs appear to be a dying breed at today’s upscale restaurants. To fight the trend, survivors have re-imagined old-fashioned, all-American pies and layer cakes, using alternative grains and sweeteners, imported herbs, and forms that give the desserts a new look. To save money, however, today’s desserts tend to be large-format and therefore more economical than complexly plated individual ones. Today’s dwindling community of pastry chefs knows that they have to make dessert seem essential by rethinking comfort and indulgence while still offering a taste of nostalgia.[Image Credit: © Milktooth]
"As Pastry Chefs Decline in Ranks, a Revolution in Cakes and Pies", The New York Times , November 22, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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Scientists Develop Probiotic Drink By Fermenting Coconut Water

November 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at universities in India and South Korea have developed a functional fermented coconut water beverage with probiotic benefits. The beverage was produced using the bacterial strain Lactobacillus casei L4. The scientists reported that the fermentation of coconut water with probiotic lactobacilli increased the cell viability count, with vitamin B12 production being the highest in the extracellular environment after 48 hours. The total phenolic content was also much higher than at other time points, and the fermented materials demonstrated the most prominent radical-scavenging activities. Twenty taste testers tried three recipes for the beverage, showing preference for fermented coconut water with 15 percent honey and artificial coconut flavor, probably because of the decreased acidity and increased sweetness and aroma of the beverage.
Cheryl Tay , "Indian and Korean researchers develop functional probiotic beverage from fermented coconut water", Nutraingredients USA, November 20, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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International Distributors Show Interest In Detox Beverage Company

November 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
London-based Sober Up, an alcohol detoxification drink company, says it has received international distribution interest from 17 countries due to the online awareness and success of their current Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. A resurgence of backers has led to the extension of the campaign through November 27, after which Sober Up will be available on their new website for retail purchase with various retail location announcements coming as each location is finalized. According to the company, Sober Up is a detox shot made from naturally sourced ingredients that detoxes the body, supports liver health and helps prevent hangovers.
"Sober Up Detox Shot Set For International Market Distribution", BevNET.com, November 20, 2018, © BevNET.com®, Inc.
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82 Labs Expands To Store Shelves While Extending Product Focus Beyond Hangover Recovery

November 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based start-up 82 Labs is preparing to rebrand itself as a functional beverage platform in December with the launch of a holistic suite of products aimed at promoting productivity. The company, which works closely with a research team at USC, closed an $8 million funding round six months ago and launched Morning Recovery, a 3.4 oz. shot designed to ease the effects of alcohol consumption. Consumer research, however, has convinced the company to expand its horizons. Morning Recovery will be one of a variety of products aimed at providing different functional benefits, including anxiety relief, improved sleep quality, optimal hydration, and mental acuity. It will debut new flavors and packaging next month while transitioning from online-only sales to brick-and-mortar retail. Its products are being tested at 7-Eleven locations in Chicago, and in stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The company plans to expand eventually to mass and conventional grocery channels. 
Martín Caballero, "The Morning After: 82 Labs Evolves Amid Retail Push", BevNET.com, November 19, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Coca-Cola Drops Out Of Competition For GlaxoSmithKline’s Nutrition Business

November 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé India and Unilever are the only companies vying for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business in India now that Coca-Cola is said to have backed out of the lengthy due diligence process. Bids for GSK’s Indian nutrition business, which includes the popular Horlicks malted milk beverage, are believed to be in the $3.1-3.5 billion range. Earlier this year, GSK launched a strategic review of its nutrition business globally. The review is expected to be concluded in December.
Ratna Bhushan, Arijit Barman, "Nestlé seeks to pip Unilever to grab GSK’s consumer nutrition business as Coca-Cola opts out", The Economic Times, November 19, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Report Covers Novel Food And Beverage Packaging Solutions That Cut Food Waste

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A report by Chicago-based research company PreScouter covering food and beverage packaging innovations highlights nine shelf-life extension solutions that could go a long way toward reducing the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally each year. The solutions, in various stages of development, include the move toward more natural food- and plant-based additives and packaging. Other solutions feature superior coating materials, novel additives, and putting a new spin on older technologies. Six of the nine solutions have been approved for food use[Image Credit: © PreScouter]
"Extending the Shelf Life of Food and Beverages", PreScouter, November 18, 2018, © PreScouter
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Dietitians Help Company Educate Consumers On Benefits Of Prebiotic Foods

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Freedom Foods has boosted the marketing of its nutritional bars and cereals by working with registered dietitians in retail stores and in communities. Freedom’s products, sold in more than 2,000 U.S., feature BarleyMax. a grain packed with prebiotic-resistant starch and fiber. The company realized early that selling a prebiotic food requires consumer education. Working with dietitians, Freedom Food is spreading the word about the benefits of Barley+ products through 28-day gut reboot camps, first tested at 12 ShopRite stores in New Jersey. The camps are basically health and lifestyle programs that advocate consumption of Barley+ products as a way to eat more whole grains. The company says RDs are also “relatable and approachable practitioners,” have strong relationships with local television news and talk shows, and contribute to the company’s social media programs.[Image Credit: © https://freedomfoodsus.com/]
"Freedom Foods taps RDs to spread the word about prebiotics", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 18, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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The Science Of Tasty Whole Wheat Bread Marches On

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The mission of wheat geneticists and other grain professionals at the Washington State University Bread Lab is to breed wheat for whole wheat flour that actually tastes good and that people would actually want to eat, not just satisfy a dietary recommendation. Breeding wheat for flavor is something of a new concept. Wheat breeders usually aim for traits like right height for mechanized harvesting, right texture for mechanized baking, and high yield. In their search for flavor, the Bread Lab researchers have identified one new wheat – Skagit 1109 – that makes a reliably tasty whole wheat bread called the “Approachable Loaf.” A group of 40 bakers, millers, breeders, and others met this summer to test-bake the loaf they've been discussing and fine-tuning for the last two years – with satisfying results.[Image Credit: © Pezibear from Pixabay]
Veronique Greenwood, "Science Makes Bread Taste Better", The Boston Globe, November 18, 2018, © skagit1109
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As Legality Spreads, Cannabis-Based Cooking, Baking Is On The Rise

November 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to a report from Seattle-based marijuana research firm Headset Inc., one of the fastest-growing ways consumers use marijuana is to infuse into meals and baked goods at home. In Washington and California, as many as 15-25 percent of cannabis users incorporated the plant into home-cooked meals: double the percentage reported in 2015. Cooking with cannabis at home can be fun, but it requires meticulous attention to detail because marijuana can’t be infused into food from its raw, flowery form. The cannabinoids and terpenes must be activated via a heating process called decarboxylation. A key skill for marijuana chefs and bakers to learn is preparation of a key cooking ingredient:  cannabutter, whose butter to decarboxylated cannabis ratio is 16:1. [Image Credit: © Headset Inc. Cannabis Intelligence]
Chris Kudialis, "Cooking with cannabis: Bake, baste and blend your way to marijuana eats", Las Vegas Weekly, November 15, 2018, © Las Vegas Weekly
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Coca-Cola Switches Emphasis From Marketing To “Growth”

November 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s head of creative Rodolfo Echeverria has broadened the vision of the marketing department from product awareness and award-winning advertising to growth – by better satisfying consumer beverage needs. In March 2017 the company replaced the chief marketing officer position with the chief growth officer position to execute the basic strategy of becoming a “total beverage company.” The idea is to launch and acquired beverage products that consumers around the globe really want. Diversification has been a challenge, Echevarria admits, mainly because it is necessary to preserve a strong identity for each product, “an edge, a differentiating point that is relevant to the people or relates to that brand.” Meeting the challenge has benefited marketing, however, by “forcing” employees to be more curious.
Molly Fleming , "How getting rid of the CMO ‘broadened’ Coca-Cola’s marketing approach", Marketing Week, November 14, 2018, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Coca-Cola Resets Social Media Platforms With Happier, More Positive Content

November 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola recently relaunched its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts after deleting all content in favor of a more unified voice, point of view, and attitude – namely, greater optimism. The “holistic reset,” which took place on World Kindness Day (November 18), “an appropriate day and moment to kick off messages of positivity, but also when you look at Coke and what Coke stands for,” according to social media chief Sarah Traverso. For example, the company uploaded 99 posts on Instagram with the intention of flooding people’s feeds with happy, positive messages.
Katie Richards, "Coca-Cola Wiped Its Social Media Accounts, Then Relaunched With a Positive, Happy New Look", Adweek, November 14, 2018, © Adweek
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Start-Ups Targeting Food Waste Get $125M So Far In 2018

November 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
ReFED, a nonprofit organization devoted to solving food waste problems, has issued a report revealing that $125 million has been invested by the private sector in food waste start-ups since the beginning of 2018. Investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz, S2G Ventures, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures, and DBL Partners obviously see great potential in the fact that an estimated $218 billion of food is wasted annually. Apeel Sciences ($70 million) produces a natural second skin to extend the shelf life of produce; Food Maven and Full Harvest ($8.5 million each) create B2B marketplaces for excess or wonky food; Spoiler Alert helps businesses better manage unsold food; ReGrained makes a flour out of spent distiller grains; and Goodr offers an on-demand food rescue service. [Image Credit: © ReFED]
Dana Gunders, "More Than $125 Million Poured Into Food Waste Startups In 2018", Forbes.com, November 14, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Kellogg Plans To Back Out Of The Cookie Business

November 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg Company plans to sell its cookie and snack fruit businesses to concentrate on its core product lines. On the auction block will be Keebler, Famous Amos, and Mother's and Murray cookie brands along with the Stretch Island fruit snack brand. In January 2019, the company will begin to revamp its organizational structure to improve core product market share. Kellogg hopes the move will provide “top-line growth” for the company. The structural changes will include consolidation of its morning foods, snacks, and frozen food businesses – representing about 80 percent of U.S. revenue – into single product categories. The company is also: placing a new emphasis on e-commerce; reorganizing its sales teams and making changes in its supply chain.[Image Credit: © Kellogg NA Co]
Dawn Geske, "Kellogg Company Looks To Sell Keebler, Famous Amos Cookie Brands", International Business Times News, November 13, 2018, © IBT Media Inc.
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Waitrose Has Accelerated Its Work To Eradicate Single-Use Plastic In Own-Label Packaging

November 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Upmarket UK grocery retailer Waitrose has accelerated its commitment to making own-brand packaging more recyclable, reusable or compostable, bringing forward its 100 per cent target from 2015 to 2023. It has hit the 70 per cent level already and expects to reach 80 per cent by 2020. It says it is also close to taking all its own-label fruit, vegetables, meat and fish out of black plastic by the end of 2018, and will stop selling its own-label products in black plastic after the end of next year. [Image Credit: © Waitrose]
Marianne Calnan , "Waitrose brings recyclable packaging commitment forward", The Grocer UK, November 13, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Some Very Popular Breads Feature Candy-Like Levels Of Added Sugar

November 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Added sugars should account for no more than ten percent of the average daily calorie count – about 2,000 – for Americans. It’s easy to consume those 200 sugar calories, however, if you eat bread made by companies like Martin’s, Dave’s Killer Bread, Vermont Bread, Wonder Bread, the Cheesecake Factory, Udi, Pepperidge Farm, Arnold, and others. Two slices of Martin’s Potato Bread, for example, deliver more sugar (six grams versus 4.7 grams) than a Twizzler. A slice of Dave's Killer Bread’s Raisin' the Roof has six grams of sugar. The Cheesecake Factory's "Famous 'Brown Bread” has about the same amount of sugar as a nibble of its cheesecake. A sandwich made with Freihofer's 100 percent Whole Wheat Bread has the same amount of sugar as a Jolly Rancher. And so on. [Image Credit: © Sornram Srithong]
Allie Lembo , "12 breads that have more sugar than candy", Business Insider, November 09, 2018, © Insider Inc.
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Common Farm Insecticides Increase Risk For Neurodevelopment Disorders

November 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A scientific review of earlier studies has found sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Published in the journal PLoS Medicine, the study by public health experts urges governments to ban the chemicals from the food chain. Organophosphates, used to control insects at farms, golf courses, shopping malls, and schools, kill pests by blocking nerve signaling. In addition to recommending that the pesticides be removed from agricultural and non-agricultural uses and products, the researchers urged greater medical and nursing education on organophosphates to improve treatment for and patient education on avoiding exposures.[Image Credit: © Milesl from Pixabay]
Irva Hertz-Picciotto, et al, "Leading researchers call for a ban on widely used insecticides", Science Daily, November 09, 2018, © Irva Hertz-Picciotto, et al
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“Clean Label” Appearing More And More On Foods, Despite Lack Of Standard

November 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Though there is still no firm definition of the term, the “clean label” claim is joining other food marketing words and phrases like “natural” and “artisanal” on packaging. As the phenomenon grows, organizations have appeared claiming to test and certify food products and award a "clean label" seal of approval. The Denver-based Clean Label Project, for example, tests products for 130 harmful environmental and industrial contaminants and toxins, including heavy metals, pesticides, BPA, BPS, acrylamide, and melamine and its analogs. But “clean label” can mean other things as well – no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no preservatives, and no high-fructose corn syrup – depending on the product. What may be needed is for regulators to nail down the definition of clean label so it can have some universal application.[Image Credit: © Clean Label Project]
Khalil Akhtar, "'Clean label' joins 'all natural' and 'artisanal' as the next big food marketing claim", CBC News, November 08, 2018, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Nonprofit Certifies Food Trucks For Green Disposal Practices

November 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
North Carolina-based nonprofit Don’t Waste Durham has developed a green food truck certification program to help vendors – who crank out hundreds to a thousand or so meals a day and mega volumes of wasted food and packaging – reduce their carbon footprint. Businesses are checked on use of reusable service ware or compostable materials, and serving on recyclable supplies when reusable and compostable are not options. Vendors learn of local foodservice suppliers, are hooked up with compost haulers and taught how to cut costs and waste. They get discounts for supplies, affordable pickup service and priority bookings at venues.[Image Credit: © Don't Waste Durham]
Arlene Karidis , "Small Wave of Food Trucks Go Green", Waste360, November 08, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Bunge Debuts High-Protein, Clean Label Lentil Flour As Starch Substitute

November 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food ingredient company Bunge North America (Chesterfield, Mo.) has added a non-GMO lentil flour to its portfolio that manufacturers can use as a functional “clean label” substitute for modified starches in ingredient lists. Bunge’s lentil flour is made using non-GMO lentils, water, and heat. Unlike modified starches, Bunge’s lentil flour boosts protein content. It also offers the nutrition of other pulse-based flours, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, with a more neutral flavor profile suitable for both sweet and savory applications. [Image Credit: © Bunge North America, Inc.]
Mary Ellen Shoup , "Bunge unveils functional lentil flour for clean label formulations", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Lonza Now Offers Clean-Label Colors For Its Vegetarian Supplement Capsules

November 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Greenwood, S.C.-based pharmaceutical and biotech ingredient supplier Lonza is now offering diet supplement manufacturers its plant-based Capsugel Vcaps Plus in a range of clean label colors. The vegetarian capsules have been around for a while, but coloring the shell has previously required an E-number. The new food-colored capsules, labeled as natural colorants in the U.S., allow manufacturers to create bright-colored supplements that also appeal to consumers looking for supply chain transparency and a “natural” claim. The capsule shell is made using plant-based hypromellose (HPMC) and water only, without any preservatives. The first of Lonza’s clean label solutions is the Vcaps Plus Purple Carrot capsule, following the successful introduction of the Vcaps Plus Blue Spirulina capsule in Europe earlier this year. [Image Credit: © Lonza]
"Lonza Adds Color to the Clean-Label Experience ", Lonza, November 07, 2018, © Lonza
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Healthy – And Delicious – Coffee Is Key Marketing Proposition of Pop & Bottle

November 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco’s Pop & Bottle, launched as an organic latte business, capitalizes on three trends: health, convenience, and America’s love of coffee. According to its transplanted Londoner founders, the company helps coffee lovers “replace their dirty coffee habit with a drink that’s healthy, clean, convenient and – most importantly – really delicious.” They realized that drinking coffee and coffee products everyday “wasn’t doing wonders for our health,” thanks mainly to added sugars. They used the $20,000 they raised to pay for use of a commercial kitchen, ingredients, packaging, and a website. Launched with three flavors – cacao, vanilla bean, and classic coffee – the line delivers 120 mg of coffee, and 130 to 150 calories per 11-ounce bottle. Pop & Bottle is now available in 1,000 stores including select Whole Foods and Target stores across the country and on Amazon. The company has seen double digit growth since launch.
Jeanette Settembre, "This plant-based latte is the new frapuccino", Moneyish, November 06, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Blockchain Technology Improves Walmart’s Food Safety, Reduces Food Loss

November 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is using blockchain technology to help track and manage the chaotic and decentralized food supply system comprising producers, suppliers, and intermediaries such as processors that change constantly. Blockchain technology, like the food system, is based on a decentralized and distributed model that fits the modern food system perfectly. Each player in the network can update data, but also stops them from entering false data or making false changes. The speed with which blockchain enables companies to trace products and problems back to the source means improved food safety and less economic loss, and reduced food waste. It quickly and accurately identifies the source of a problem so that only impacted products are recalled or removed, rather than everything in the category.[Image Credit: © Tumisu from Pixabay]
Elizabeth Crawford , "From 7 days to 2 seconds: Blockchain can help speed trace-back, improve food safety & reduce waste", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 06, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Consumer Food Choices Change As Perceptions Of What’s Healthful Change

November 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report finds that consumers are increasingly taking on a more personalized, holistic view of health, making food and beverage choices – e.g., natural, organic, high-protein, functional – based on their personal definition of health. But they may still reconsider restaurant orders if they think an item has too many calories. These views have implications for restaurants, especially as some are now required to post calorie counts and consumers increasingly rely on foodservice for meals. Other key findings: 40 percent of consumers say their definition of health has changed over the past two years; 66 percent look for calorie counts on restaurant menus; and 34 percent are likely to order dishes made with vegetables instead of carb-rich items.[Image Credit: © Winsight, LLC.]
"Consumers increasingly making food choices based on personal definition of health ", PRNewswire, November 01, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Celebrity Chef Teaches Whirlpool Employees How To Cut Down On Food Waste

November 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Joel Gamoran, a national chef with Sur La Table and the host of a cooking show called "Scraps," recently gave a cooking demonstration for employees at the global headquarters of Whirlpool Corp. Michigan. His mission was to show his audience how common household foods normally tossed in a garbage disposal can be used to create nutritious meals. He pointed out that Americans waste $319 billion worth of food every year while one out of eight people go to bed hungry. For his TV shows he partners with food waste champions around the U.S. to celebrate the local cuisine and create a delicious meal with food items many consider to be waste, like banana peels, shrimp shells, chicken bones, and carrot stems. The program is sponsored by Whirlpool’s KitchenAid brand, so he uses the brand's stand mixers, food processors, and blenders throughout his travels.[Image Credit: © Whirlpool Corporation]
Tony Wittkowski , "Eliminating food waste: Whirlpool hosts celebrity chef for cooking demo", The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph, Michigan), November 01, 2018, © The Herald-Palladium
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Does A Sandwich Have To Include Bread? Jimmy Dean Says, “Heck No”

November 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Breakfast sausage and sandwich maker Jimmy Dean (Tyson Foods) is intrigued by America’s growing tendency to eat sandwiches without bread. A third of Americans are swearing off bread in the coming year, and half have eaten breadless sandwiches. To celebrate National Sandwich Day earlier this month, as well as the debut of its Jimmy Dean Delights Egg'wich sandwich, the brand is asking Americans, probably tongue-in-cheek, to sign a petition to change the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of a sandwich to include those made with – and without – bread. Why must a sandwich, the company asks, be defined by bread? So it’s not too surprising that the new Egg’wich is made with sausage and cheese packed between two egg frittatas rather than bread slices. The sandwich contains 13-14 g of protein per serving with no artificial colors or flavors.[Image Credit: © Tyson Foods, Inc.]
"Jimmy Dean Brand Petitions Merriam-Webster To Change The Definition Of Sandwich", PR Newswire, November 01, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola’s Top “People Officer” Dons Global Ventures Hat

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s recent acquisition spree led to the creation last month of the Global Ventures group to make sure acquisitions, investments, and partnerships are connected and globally scaled. Heading up the new unit is Jennifer Mann, the company’s “chief people officer,” who has been vice-president and general manager of Coca-Cola Freestyle and chief of staff. In announcing the change, CEO James Quincey said Mann’s unit “will focus on ensuring we get the maximum value from acquisitions and investments” and will also “partner with colleagues around the world to identify and nurture the next series of fast-growing opportunities.”
Jeff Gelski, "Coke creates Global Ventures group to handle recent acquisitions", Food Business News, October 31, 2018, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Food Distributor’s Program Moves Ugly Produce To Restaurants Rather Than Landfills

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

One of America’s largest fresh food distributors is showing chefs and restaurants that “imperfect” produce – fruits and vegetables that don’t meet aesthetics and size requirements – has real value. Baldor Specialty Foods’ Imperfect Produce program allows farmers sell these commodities to chefs, and directly to the public through community-supported agriculture (CSA) models. An estimated 24.7 percent of on-farm produce waste occurs because of disposal of imperfect produce.[Image Credit: © Baldor Specialty Foods]
Arlene Karidis, "Imperfect Produce Gets a Market Boost", waste360.com, October 31, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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“Certified Transitional” Label Is Slow To Catch On

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The “Certified Transitional” label launched in 2016 through a partnership between Quality Assurance International (QAI) and natural cereal brand Kashi was created to help increase the supply and availability of USDA organic products as would-be organic farmers weathered the 36-month transition from conventional to organic farming methods. However, roadblocks have impeded the success of the label. The USDA, for example, initially approved a National Certified Transitional Program in 2017 that would have set up a national standard but not a label for the end product, as QAI's certification currently does. The USDA withdrew support for the program due to internal roadblocks and disagreement. According to the department, the significant challenges to creating a national standard for transitional production convinced it to not move forward with ongoing certification. [Image Credit: © Kashi Company]
Ariel Knoebel, "Is Certified Transitional The New Organic?", Forbes.com, October 31, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Frozen Meal Maker In The UK Shifts To Cardboard Trays

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Cook, a UK manufacturer of frozen ready meals, is to start transitioning its products away from black plastic and into cardboard-based recyclable trays. Its aim is to use more sustainable packaging for the entire range by end-2020. It is beginning the move with its kids range, because those products are best-suited to the new tray, and because it will be kids that will be most affected by the plastics issue. The board in the new trays comes from sustainable sources.[Image Credit: © COOK Trading Ltd]
Andrew Don , "Cook to switch frozen meal plastic to recyclable trays", The Grocer, October 31, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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PepsiCo Strengthens Its Commitment To Using Recycled Material In Packaging

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo has pledged to use 25 per cent recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025, building on its 2016 ‘Performance with Purpose’ sustainability initiative that aims to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. The company says that its work with partners will ensure PET beverage bottles will incorporate 33 per cent recycled PET material by 2025. In the EU, it is aiming for a 50% target. The new target also builds on its commitment to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s  New Plastic Economy initiative. PepsiCo has also announced it had entered a multi-year supply agreement with Loop Industries, Inc., which develops sustainable plastic. PepsiCo will start to use Loop™ PET plastic, which contains 100 per cent recycled material, in its product packaging by early 2020. [Image Credit: © New Plastics Economy]
Matt Mace, "PepsiCo to use 25% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2025", edie newsroom, October 29, 2018, © Faversham House Ltd
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“Old World” Bread Bakery To Open Retail Shop At New Location In New Orleans

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
New Orleans bakery Bellegarde, known for its in-house stone mill and use of organic grains, has stayed out of the limelight for five years, content to supply the city’s restaurants and markets with “Old World” breads. All that is changing, however, as Bellgarde, plans to leave its home in a shabby strip mall for a new location west of the French Quarter. It will have its own retail bakery for the first time, while also expanding the line of baked goods it produces. The location may be changing, but the bakery’s approach will not. The new facility will be a more accessible space to showcase how Bellegarde works. The stone mill turns organic grains into the fresh flour used for dark-crusted, aromatic baguettes, ciabatta, country loaves and other breads that have won the small bakery a wide following in New Orleans. [Image Credit: © Bellegarde Bakery]
Ian Mcnulty, "Bellegarde, game-changer for New Orleans bread, will expand, open its first retail bakery ", The New Orleans Advocate, October 29, 2018, © The Advocate
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Global Companies Join The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nearly 300 organizations have has joined a global initiative to eliminate plastic waste. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment signatories include recycling companies, packaging producers and  retailers. It was announced at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s 'Our Ocean' conference in Bali, and was launched in collaboration with UN Environment. The initiative has three main aims: eradicate unnecessary plastic and move away from single-use packaging; work towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025; and to circulate plastic by increasing the volume of plastics that can be converted into new products or packaging. CPG companies that have signed up include Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, PepsiCo, Unilever and Coca-Cola. Other signatories include Walmart, Target, Carrefour, Metro AG, Lidl, Ahold Delhaize, H&M, Amcor and Novamont.  [Image Credit: © New Plastics Economy]
Beth Wright , "Inditex, M&S, Target join pledge to end plastic waste ", Just-style.com, October 29, 2018, © Just-style.com
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FDA Ponders Adding Sesame Seeds To List Of Allergens That Need Labeling

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. has yet to add sesame seeds to the list of major food allergens, but is now exploring whether it should require sesame seed warnings on foods.  FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb acknowledged that evidence is mounting that sesame seeds are a major food allergen, and is asking for comments about a possible change. In the U.S., the major allergens are milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. They accounted for 90 percent of the serious food allergic reactions in 2004 when the law was passed. About 300,000 people in the U.S. have sesame seed allergies, nearly as many as those with allergies to soybeans or fish. The European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada already list sesame as a major allergen that requires food labeling.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay]
"FDA mulls requiring sesame seeds be disclosed as food allergy on labels", The Examiner (Washington, DC), October 29, 2018, © Washington Examiner
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Nestlé China Doubles Pace Of New Product Launches

October 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé China has launched several innovation projects this year, twice the number launched in 2017, tailored specifically for Chinese consumers. China’s nutrition, health, and wellness market is Nestlé’s second largest globally. The company’s innovation team is pursuing more than 100 ongoing projects that will deliver “more choices through a variety of healthy products over the next two years.” Nestlé has launched the second generation of its “AI family nutrition assistant” XiaoAi with more than 300,000 pieces of new nutrition, health and wellness interactive content, including personalized recipe recommendations, calorie calculation, and voice ordering. The company also launched its MyNutrition App, Nescafé Shop in Office, and BabyNes’ Smart Milk Powder Leveling Kettle.
"Nestlé China Accelerates Innovation", Nestlé China, October 26, 2018, © Nestlé
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Two Global Companies Partner To Develop Plastics Recycling Technologies

October 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is teaming up with Veolia, a waste management company, to develop technology to increase plastics recycling. The partnership will first focus on India and Indonesia, on collecting and recycling  waste and re-using recycled material. As a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact, Unilever is also working on the Pact’s 2025 targets, such as ensuring 70 per cent of all packaging is either recycled or reprocessed, and that all packaging has 30 per cent recycled content. Veolia, in partnership with RECOUP, a plastics recycler, produced a study that found consumers might pay extra more to increase the amount of their products that contain recycled material. It also found, however, that the infrastructure required to achieve this in the UK needs to be improved considerably. [Image Credit: © tkremmel from Pixabay]
Kate Dickinson, "Veolia and Unilever team up to tackle plastic waste", Resource.co, October 25, 2018, © Resource Media Limited
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Using, Rather Than Tossing, Surplus Foods Saves A Lot Of Money For Family Of Four

October 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Boston globe writer who decided earlier this year to spend more time with her children says she needed to trim grocery costs to make up for lost income.  By cutting food waste – using instead of throwing away things like wilted celery and cherry jar syrup – she got her monthly grocery bill down to about $420. That’s considerably less than a “liberal” grocery budget of $1,016, and $100 less than what the USDA calls a “thrifty” plan of $520 for a four-person family with young kids. At a time when the average American family wastes about $1,600 in food a year, Elspeth Hay says preventing food waste wasn’t really a chore this summer: “frugality tasted more like freedom.”[Image Credit: © Esther Merbt from Pixabay]
Elspeth Hay, "How to reduce food waste and live frugally", The Boston Globe, October 24, 2018, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Snap Kitchen Shifts To Eco-Friendly Food Trays

October 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


US fresh food retailer Snap Kitchen has introduced compostable packaging materials in 35 locations. It expects to cut its use of plastic by 227 tonnes annually. It has partnered with World Centric, which manufactures compostable products. Snap Kitchen said that the eco-friendly packaging uses much less energy: five of the new trays can be produced using the same amount of energy as one petroleum-based plastic tray. The packaging is microwave- and oven-safe.[Image Credit: © Snap Kitchen, LLC.]
Ben Messenger, "Snap Kitchen Moves to Compostable Plant Based Packaging", Waste Management World, October 24, 2018, © WEKA Industrie Medien GmbH
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No Longer Discarded, Experimental Spuds Head To Oregon’s Food Banks

October 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Until recently, the batches of experimental potato varieties grown at an Oregon agricultural research facility were deemed unsuitable for commercial sale and carted off to landfills. But thanks to a partnership between the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the Walchli Farms potato processors, most of the potatoes will go now to the Oregon Food Bank to be distributed to community food pantries across the state. The endeavor involves many hands: donated labor and equipment to harvest the potatoes; trucks provided by a trucking company; donated processing, washing, and packaging; and storage provided by a local farmer. The total haul surpassed 100,000 pounds of potatoes.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
"Local partnership sends surplus potatoes to food banks", Capital Press, October 23, 2018, © Capital Press
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German Airport Foodservice Company Tests Surplus Food Distribution App

October 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The foodservice subsidiary of Munich Airport is testing an app that lets airport visitors, passengers, and employees order surplus food from the airport’s eateries at discount prices. The food is available for pickup between 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm every day. The first restaurant at Munich Airport to join the Allresto pilot project is Surf & Turf in the Munich Airport Center (MAC). A Danish start-up created the "Too Good To Go" app – its goal is to avoid food waste, save money, and foster sustainability – which is now running in nine European countries.[Image Credit: © Too Good To Go]
Tatiana Rokou, "Munich Airport announces partnership with "Too Good To Go"", Travel Daily News, October 22, 2018, © TravelDailyNews Media Network
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Large 4-Year Study Finds Reduced Risk Of Cancer Among Eaters Of Organic Foods

October 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
French government scientists have published a study demonstrating that the risk of cancer declines significantly when people eat organic foods, especially those free from pesticides. The scientists tracked the diets of nearly 69,000 people over four years. Those who consumed the most organic foods were 25 percent less likely to develop cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, all lymphomas, and postmenopausal breast cancer. Pesticides linked to cancer include the weed killer glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, and the organophosphate pesticides malathion and diazinon. The scientists focused on 16 organic food and beverage products, including fruits and vegetables, soy-based foods, eggs, dairy, grains, meat and fish, among others. The study was published in a journal of the American Medical Association.[Image Credit: © Environmental Working Group]
"Massive Study Finds Eating Organic Slashes Cancer Risks", Environmental Working Group, October 22, 2018, © Environmental Working Group
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Third Starbucks Princi Bakery Opens In Manhattan

October 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks opened its version of the Milan-based bakery created by famed Italian baker Rocco Princi this month in New York City. The location provides consumers with a boutique bakery and café. It is the third bakery in the United States, following openings in Seattle and Chicago. The Starbucks Princi resembles Princis original Milan bakery, with natural materials, earth-colored stone, hand-blown glass and a 20-foot wall of curated ingredients to create a feast for the senses. The store is located in 40-story skyscraper in the city’s Theater District, not far from Times Square. [Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation DBA Princi]
"N.Y. Starbucks Princi Opens This Week", QSR Magazine, October 22, 2018, © NACS
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Big Food Adjusts The Portfolio To Lure Big Spending Millennials, Gen Z-ers

October 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Big food makers, including J.M. Smucker, General Mills, and ConAgra Brands, are looking to shed low- or no-growth businesses and refocus toward foods that will increase revenue among high-spending Millennials and Gen Z-ers. Smucker is selling its U.S. baking unit, including Pillsbury, to boost innovation in coffee, peanut butter, and snacks that can be touted as healthful. General Mills wants to divest five percent of its portfolio to pursue growth in cereals and yogurt with less sugar, among other things. Young execs at Mondelez International and Hershey realize that they need to market to younger consumers who have no loyalty to established brands. With Millennials embracing cheaper and more convenient frozen meals, ConAgra, which in June agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods to expand in the freezer aisle with brands such as Birds Eye and the Gardein line of vegetarian products. But it is likely to jettison some Pinnacle brands that don’t fit the strategy.[Image Credit: © The J.M. Smucker Company]
Shruti Singh , Kiel Porter , and Leslie Patton, "Selling a Legacy: Food Companies Seek to Boot Their Dated Brands", Bloomberg, October 22, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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Target Is Testing App That Highlights Foods Nearing “Best Used By” Dates That Sell At A Discount

October 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian start-up that developed a food waste app is being tested at select Target stores in the Midwest and with the Loblaw (Canada) grocery chain. The Flashfood app pinpoints food close to the "best used by" or expiration dates so that users can pay via the app and then pick up the deeply discounted food at the store. Flashfood takes a cut of each sale. Stores benefit by selling food that would otherwise be tossed into the dumpster, and consumers benefit by getting lower-priced food that is still perfectly edible. Target’s goal is to reduce overall retail waste by 70 percent by 2020, and is moving forward with strategies that include waste-stream audits and an in-store tracking program to prevent wasted food at some of their stores,[Image Credit: © flashfood]
Catherine Roberts, "App aimed at cutting food waste wins pilot at select Target stores", Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 21, 2018, © StarTribune
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Sodexo’s North American Unit Is To Cut Single-Use Plastic Dramatically

October 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Sodexo North America plans to significantly reduce single-use plastics. The food service company’s North American Single-Use Plastics Reduction Plan targets the end of 2019 to stop using single-use plastic bags and stirrers, with 2025 the cut-off date for expanded polystyrene packaging. The company has stopped short of committing to complete elimination of single-use plastic. It will adopt a "by request" policy for plastic drinking straws, for example. John Hocevar, Greenpeace Oceans Campaign Director, applauded Sodexo's initiative but urged other food service companies, such as Sysco and Compass Group, to act on reducing single-use plastics. [Image Credit: © Sodexo 2016]
Jim Johnson, "Sodexo to reduce single-use plastics in food service", Plastics News, October 20, 2018, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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