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Snack Company Toosum Introduces Protein Cookies With No Added Sugar

May 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Snack brand Toosum launched its Protein Cookies product at the recent Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. The 180-200-calorie cookies contain no added sugar, contain ten grams of protein along with oat fiber, and are gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO. They will be available in oatmeal peanut butter, oatmeal chocolate chip, and oatmeal double chocolate fudge. "Time continues to show that people are tired of eating dried up protein bars or processed junk food with high sugar and calorie counts," said Toosum founder Peter Guyer.[Image Credit: © Toosum]

"Toosum's Newest "Bites with Benefits" to Debut at Sweets & Snacks Expo", Chicago Business Journal, May 21, 2018, © PRNewswire
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Food, Beverage Companies Wrestle With New Economic, Competitive Monsters

May 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Investors are not yet convinced that America’s cereal, soda, and soup companies know how to adapt to the changing food and beverage preferences of today’s consumers. The consumer staples segment of the S&P 500 has slid 13 percent this year, the worst performance in 10 years. Small consumer goods companies grabbed market share from large brands between 2011 to 2016, the first time in 50 years. Sales growth is slowing while oil, freight, raw material, steel, and aluminum costs climb. The pricing power of the big companies is disintegrating as consolidation takes over in the retail and grocery industries, consumer allegiances fade, and cheaper digital advertising lure shoppers. Companies are turning to acquisitions to stem the tide, but acquisitions tend to raise corporate debt and dent profits. And all of this is happening as higher interest rates loom on the horizon.

Nathaniel Meyersohn, "Trouble in Big Food: America's cereal, soda and soup companies are in turmoil", CNN Wire/CNNMoney, May 21, 2018, © Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company
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Coke Unveils Lower-Sugar Variants In Its Simply Juice Line

May 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola’s Simply Beverages unit announced expansion of its juice product line with the addition of more healthful, lower-sugar varieties of orange juice and lemonade. The new orange juice variants – Simply Light Orange Pulp Free and Simply Light Orange with Calcium & Vitamin D – have about half of the sugar and calories of the original Simply Orange. Simply Light Lemonade and Simply Light Lemonade with Raspberry have 75 percent less sugar and less calories than Simply Lemonade. The move represents another step toward the goal of marketing more healthful beverages outlined in Coca-Cola’s 2017 Sustainability Report, which revealed a commitment to reduce sugar in more than 400 drinks.

Collin Huguley, "Coca-Cola continues low-sugar push with new healthier line of juices", Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 21, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Americans Are Getting A Taste Of Canada’s Gooey Butter Tart Pastry

May 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Canadian visitors to, or expats living in, the New York City area can now feast on one of their country’s most beloved pastries, a delicacy known as the butter tart. Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Btarts Sweet Canadian Treats company is working hard to make the butter tart as mainstream in the U.S. as it is in Canada. Founded by transplanted Canadians, Btart’s gooey treats are made with all-natural ingredients, including maple and pure syrup for the filling, but no shortening, lard, or corn syrup. The owners and their wares have been featured on national TV, and in various American food publications. Available online, they are shipped anywhere in the U.S., but not, unfortunately, into Canada.[Image Credit: © Btarts/Smorgasburg Brooklyn]

Rita DeMontis, "Are butter tarts only for Canadians?", Toronto Sun, May 20, 2018, © Sun Media Corporation
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The Royal Wedding Has Sparked A Lemon-Elderflower Flavor Trend

May 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The American baker who created the cake for the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has probably touched off a significant trend. Claire Ptak’s lemon-elderflower cake “has already spawned a flood of variations by bakeries in both Britain and the United States,” according to Forbes.com contributing editor Micheline Maynard. Lemon-elderflower (or plain elderflower) flavoring has also arrived on dessert and drinks menus, a trend not likely to fade very soon, thanks to the royal wedding. Expect lemon-elderflower to join lavender, turmeric and other garden-inspired flavors “at your coffee bar, bakery or café,” Maynard writes.[Image Credit: © Kensington Palace, www.Royal.uk]

Micheline Maynard, "The Cake Flavor You'll Be Seeing Everywhere, And More From The Royal Wedding Menu", Forbes.com, May 20, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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RTE Bakery Partners With Hershey’s On Snack-Size Cheesecake Bites

May 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Café Valley Bakery of Phoenix, Ariz., a global manufacturer of RTE baked goods, has introduced chocolate cheesecake brownie bites made with Hershey’s chocolate – “a flavor profile that speaks to most Americans.”  Though Café Valley has partnered with other food and beverage companies – it recently introduced soda cakes featuring 7UP, Orange Crush, and A&W Root Beer – this is its first partnership with Hershey’s. The new brownie bites are available in 11.6-ounce packages, 12 bites to a package, for $4. Other snack-size coffee cake bites include lemon curd, cinnamon, raspberry, pumpkin, and red velvet flavors.[Image Credit: © Café Valley Bakery]

Grace Palmieri, "Phoenix bakery, Hershey Co. debut chocolate treat", The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), May 19, 2018, © www.azcentral.com
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Nestlé Waters Debuts RTD Sparkling Tea Products Under Sanpellegrino Brand

May 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Nestlé Waters believes it can make the most of its Sanpellegrino customer base while expanding to new audiences with the launch of an RTD subcategory comprising a “flavor-packed, premium sparkling tea experience," dubbed Sanpellegrino + Tea. The range of organic, low-calorie sparkling teas includes Limone + Tea and Pesca + Tea flavors. The brand was launched in Canada in March and recently in the U.K. as a component of a brand awareness campaign this year featuring digital engagement, experiential and sampling activities, in-store merchandising, and print ads.

Lucy Britner, "Nestlé Waters' Sanpellegrino + Tea - Product Launch", Just-drinks.com, May 18, 2018, © Just-drinks.com
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Sales Of Protein Beverages, Including Waters, Are On The Rise

May 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

RTD beverages that contain protein are seeing sales increase to meet demand from health-conscious consumers seeking to conveniently boost intake of the nutrient. Different brands of protein-rich drinks offer various functional benefits, including energy, refueling, rehydration, satiation, sports nutrition, and meal replacement. A growing subcategory of protein drinks is protein water, including those containing WPI, a concentrated clear protein source. Protein water is represented by several brands and companies: BiPro Protein Water from BiPro U.S.A;  Chicago-based Protein2O, with two product lines; Bolthouse Farms (Campbell Soup Co.) B Strong and B Balanced beverages;  Gatorade protein shakes (PepsiCo); and JoeFroyo Functional Cold Brew coffee with caffeine, probiotics, and protein. Protein sources include milk protein isolate, whey, pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and collagen peptides.

Donna Berry, "Beverage makers capitalizing on the power of protein", Food Business News, May 17, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Polish Student Invents Edible Vegetarian Packaging Made From Kombucha

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Edible packaging is becoming a reality with the creation of Scoby, the brainchild of Polish design student, Roza Janusz. With the potential to help reduce the use of plastic in packaging, Scoby is a vegetarian wrapping material made by mixing sugars and other organic substances with kombucha, a fermented drink produced with yeast, bacteria, and tea. During the process, the biocellulose membrane forms on the surface of the mixture and layers into a sheet-like material, similar to how an onion grows. With its long shelf life, Scoby can be used to wrap farmers' produce including vegetables, fruits, herbs, and seeds. It can also be used to pack instant meals. Given Scoby's acidic PH level and mineral compounds, it can also be used by farmers as a natural fertilizer. While Scoby is not yet available in the market yet, Janusz said plans are in the pipeline to make this alternative packaging commercially available soon.  [Image Credit: © Growing Pakaging]

Jesus Diaz, "This new edible packaging is grown from kombucha", Fast Company Design, May 16, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Successful Australian Start-Up Sells Snap Frozen Unwanted Berries

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

An Australian couple committed to reducing food waste in their region have created a company that puts so-called “wonky” (i.e., miscolored, misshapen, or otherwise unsold) fruits rejected by supermarket chains to good use. They maintain a warehouse where they and their small staff snap freeze raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants. Stuart and Allison McGruddy say they wanted to help berry growers manage any oversupply and reduce the waste. In 2016 found a niche market for safe and quality frozen berries, restoring public faith in the product after food scares associated with imported berries. The berries are carefully hand-picked, washed and frozen on the same day before being packaged into transparent zip-locked pouches. The berries arrive at the buyer’s door packed in dry ice.[Image Credit: © myberries.com.au]

"Couple put the freeze on berry growing waste", Moreton Life, May 16, 2018, © Moreton Life
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Singapore’s New Food Waste Standard: 70 Percent Recycled By 2030

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

After Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) reported that the country generated more than 800,000 tons of food waste in 2017 – 140 kg per person – the Food Standards Committee and chief science agency issued a standard for food manufacturers to limit food waste. Singapore recycles about 16 percent of food waste now, according to the government; an NEA official said the new national target is 70 percent by 2030, requiring industry-wide cooperation between stakeholders, manufacturers, and processors. The new standard is expected to help reduce food waste and improve manufacturing practices through the more efficient use of food resources at all levels of the supply chain. It will consider food loss, waste, overproduction, expiration, spoilage, overcooked items, and contaminated foods.[Image Credit: © Singapore NEA]

Talal Husseini, "Singapore unveils first standard for food waste reduction", Food Processing Technology, May 16, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Companies Start To Adopt World’s First Plastic-Free Packaging Mark

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A ‘plastic-free’ Trust Mark has been launched to advise shoppers on the material used to package food and drink, as part of initiatives to cut the use of plastic in packaging. It was created by environmental group A Plastic Planet. Iceland is the first British retailer to adopt it, and it plans to use on its own-label products as part of its pledge to stamp out single-use plastic packaging by 2023. Beverage brand Teapigs will also display the Trust Mark on its packaging, and Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza is another early-adopter. It is the first retailer to build plastic-free aisles in its supermarkets. [Image Credit: © A PLASTIC PLANET]

Sarah Knapton, "World’s first plastic-free mark will help shoppers choose eco-friendly products", The Telegraph, May 16, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Coca-Cola Weathers Several Storms Since 2013 To Find Smoother Sailing

May 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A number of “qualifications” – particularly restructuring costs, currency ups and downs, and ongoing bottler refranchising – make Coca-Cola’s five-year financial performance a little cloudy. But an analysis by just-drinks reveals “modest, if not spectacular, growth” globally. Among the highlights: a gradual shift in emphasis in global product mix due to evolving consumer trends; the success of RTD tea and coffee, packaged water, and sports drinks; overall market share gains in major regions, fueled by a rising global middle class, increased urbanization, and higher spending on personal consumption; an increase in billion-dollar brands to 20; and a reduction to three percent of volume from company-owned bottlers thanks to refranchising in China and the U.S. through 2016 and 2017 that led to lower sales (down 15 percent) but higher margins in a brand-led but less capital-intensive operation. 

Nigel Huddleston, "The Coca-Cola Co Performance Trends 2013-2017 - results data", just-drinks.com, May 15, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Eat17 Escalates The Fight Against Single-Use Plastic

May 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Eat17, the eco-friendly retail and restaurant chain, is joining the battle against single-use plastic, introducing paper straws and bamboo cups in its restaurants. It is also bringing in refillable stations in its Bishop’s Stortford store for a range of products, including organic milk, wine, nuts, cereals and grains, and also washing up liquid and laundry detergent. It expects to roll the stations out to other stores during the year. Eat17 said the moves align with customers looking to become more eco-friendly and cut down on single-use plastics and pre-packaged food.[Image Credit: © EAT17]

Liz Wells, "Eat17 introduces initiatives to cut plastic waste", Talking Retail, May 15, 2018, © Independent Retail News
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Heirloom Grains Are Reviving Interest In Eating Bread

May 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to the head baker and co-founder of Illinois-based artisan bread specialist  Hewn Bakery, bread is making a comeback because more consumers are paying attention to the ingredients used in baking. They are particularly interested in the flour, says Ellen King, and that heritage and ancient grains that are processed in ways that reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions to gluten. King is working with local farmers who are growing some unusual, even unheard of, grain and wheat varieties. Among these is the Einkorn, which she blends with other heritage wheats to make “an amazing, nutty and rich bread with little flecks of gold inside." Other varieties include Rouge de Bordeaux, a French wheat used to make all of their whole wheat bread, and Marquis, a nearly extinct variety revived by Hazzard Free Farm of Pecatonica, Ill. [Image Credit: © Hewn Bakery]

Megy Karydes, "Heritage Grains Are Making a Comeback And Contributing to Bread's Resurgence", Forbes.com, May 14, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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WHO Asks World’s Governments To Ban Trans Fats By 2023

May 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants the world’s governments to eliminate trans fats – partially hydrogenated vegetable oil – associated with margarine, Crisco and other low-price, long shelf products linked to countless premature deaths. WHO’s guidelines suggest eliminating trans fats from global food supplies within five years, a move that would save as many as 10 million lives. WHO’s campaign was developed with the help of Vital Strategies, a global health group backed by Michael Bloomberg, who as mayor of New York City, introduced the first municipal ban on trans fats in 2006. Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Britain, and the United States have all moved to restrict or ban trans fats.

Andrew Jacobs, "Trans Fats Should be Eliminated Worldwide by 2023, WHO Says", The New York Times, May 14, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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Start-Up Cookie Company Offers “Great Treat Without The Cheat”

May 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A start-up bakery is targeting the low-sugar, low-carb market with snacks once known as Keto Cookies. Nui Foods LLC offers a variety of cookies that are low-carb, gluten free, and contain only two grams of sugar per serving. The company says their new cookie line offer a delicious way to resist sweet cravings on-the-go, “a great treat without the cheat.” Founded in 2016 in Southern California, Nui has expanded its reach and offers four flavors: peanut butter, chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and double chocolate. Key ingredients include: erythritol and Monk fruit extract, grass-fed butter, coconut oil and MCT oil, almond and coconut flavors, and six grams of protein.[Image Credit: © Nui Foods LLC]

"Nui Foods Offers a Keto Friendly Cookie With No Added Sugar ", Business Wire, May 14, 2018, © Business Wire Inc
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Coca-Cola HBC Posts Healthy 1st Q Results, Notably In Energy Segment

May 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) posted a 4.5 percent increase (FX neutral) in first quarter sales to $1.6 billion along with a 2.3 percent increase in volume. The company is looking forward to a healthy second quarter as Russia hosts the two weeks-long FIFA World Cup matches beginning on June 14. The first quarter rise in sales came despite continued economic weakness in Nigeria and Russia, which are both likely to improve in 2018. Volumes of the company’s carbonated soft drink portfolio increased by 2.8 percent year-on-year, water grew 0.9 percent, but juices slid two percent. The energy drinks segment soared nearly 27.8 percent in volume, with continued strong performance from Monster.

Olly Wehring, "Coca-Cola HBC upbeat on 2018 - Q1 2018 results", just-drinks.com, May 11, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Tinkering With Sourdough Process To Improve Digestion

May 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Canadian and U.S. wheat-promoting agencies are funding research into whether the fermentation process used to create sourdough bread could be tweaked to make it “a more easily digested food option” for people with wheat allergies. The sourdough fermentation process breaks down proteins and carbohydrates in wheat flour that are known to cause wheat sensitivity. Canadian food microbiologist Michael Gänzle's project aims to better understand whether this fermentation process is sufficient in reducing adverse effects and hopes to define the best practices for making easily-digestible bread. Funding for the three-year project will total $147,250. "This is a unique project that has exciting potential for the baking industry," said Laura Reiter of the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission.

"Sourdough bread research aims to improve prospects for wheat sensitive individuals", Prairie Post, May 11, 2018, © Alberta Wheat Commission
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Coca-Cola CEO: Innovation Is The Key To Becoming A “Total Beverage Company”

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey is a strong advocate of innovation and experimentation to quickly take advantage of market opportunities. Creating new products, and pushing existing products into new markets, are the underlying concepts behind the “total beverage company” slogan. It’s the reason why the company has tinkered with its line of traditional cola beverages as it expands into dairy, juice, and plant-based drinks, energy drinks, water and sports drinks; and RTD tea and coffee. But this is not just innovation for the sake of innovation, Quincey recently noted, but “in the service of the consumer, in the service of wondering what will connect and engage with the consumer.” The flip side of experimentation, of course, is acknowledging failure and being willing to “kill the zombies.”

Rachel Arthur, "Coca-Cola on innovation: ‘We’ve got to be willing to kill the zombies’", Beverage Daily, May 10, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Keeping Coke Relevant In Nepal

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola’s country director for Nepal Ambuj Deo Singh says Coke has remained pretty much the same during its 132-year history but has also managed to be relevant in his country, and in many others. Relevance, he notes, comes from talking to consumers about their needs “in the language that they want us to speak.” An example is the recent ad campaign (“Coke Kham Russia Jam”), which “relates to everyone here in Nepal” because it is associated with momo (a type of dumpling). Coca-Cola is also associated with the festival of Dashain, celebrating human relationships. Singh says the company is planning to introduce new products, such as juices, in the near future. Plans also include making Kinley available nationwide and expanding the distribution base.

"‘Staying locally relevant under global vision is Coca-Cola’s mantra for success’", Onlinekhabar, May 10, 2018, © Onlinekhabar.com
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Sen. Casey‘s Bill Would Reimburse Farmers For Food Donation Costs

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the Farm to Food Bank Act of 2018 (S. 2824) to establish food recovery networks in each state that would incentivize farmers to donate their produce directly to food banks to be distributed to the needy. The bill would authorize assistance to farmers and ranchers by reimbursing them for the costs to produce, harvest, pack, process, store, or transport to foodbanks food that is safe for consumption but lacks access to a retail market or supply chain. The bill is a response to the fact that food is often discarded on the farm if considered "ugly," overproduced, market conditions are unfavorable, or if an existing contract or retail market is lost. According to Feeding Pennsylvania, the commonwealth produces an abundance of fresh and nutritious food, yet 1.7 million residents struggle with hunger every day, 500,000 of whom are children.[Image Credit: © Sen. Bob Casey]

Sen. Bob Casey, "Casey Looks to Fight Hunger, Address Food Waste", Sen. Bob Casey, May 10, 2018, © Sen. Bob Casey
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NutraBolt’s Cellucor C4: A Hybrid Energy And Sports Performance Drink

May 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Texas-based fitness nutrition company NutraBolt is positioning its Cellucor C4 On The Go Carbonated beverages as healthier functional alternatives to conventional energy drinks. The company hopes to exploit the continuing rebound in the energy drinks market, especially among products with reduced sugar. Sugar- and calorie-free Cullucor C4 Carbonated, sold in 16-ounce cans, is positioned as a convenient extension to Cellucor’s C4 pre-workout powder, and somewhere between a sports performance and energy beverage. The company emphasizes the product’s hydrating and energizing effects – supported by clinical research – thanks to ingredients like 200 mg of caffeine anhydrous, CarnoSyn beta-alanine, BetaPower betaine, citrulline malate, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, vitamins B6 and B12. The beverage is available nationwide for $29.99 per 12-pack at GNC and Vitamin Shoppe locations, gyms, convenience and grocery stores, and online.

Mary Ellen Shoup, "Cellucor C4 On The Go Carbonated aims for positioning between sports performance and energy drink segments", Beverage Daily, May 09, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Mobile Trailer Bakery Specializes In Huge Cookies

May 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

One would think that housing a bakery in a mobile trailer is unique enough. Not so for Serious Cookie Co., which turns out hefty half-pound cookies in a variety of flavors, including chocolate chip, Macadamia nut, creamy peanut butter or pecan, all  topped with ice cream, whipped cream, or ribbons of chocolate and caramel sauce. The family-owned business – three generations participate – sells about 50 cookies a week, shrink-wrapped and boxed with a handwritten note. The cookie trailer appears at many Southwest Florida festivals, fairs and events, and can be booked for birthday parties, weddings and other private happenings. The company’s top seller? “Plain ol' chocolate chip.”

"Seriously huge; cookies made at Serious Cookie Co.", Naples Daily News (Florida), May 09, 2018, © USA Today Network
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Cone-Shaped Pizza Chain Expands To Northern California

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

An Italian company that makes cone-shaped pizza is opening latest U.S. location near the University of California-Berkeley campus. The menu of Kono Pizza, which has 12 other locations around the U.S., features Classic Kones (cheese, meat, sausage, pepperoni and vegetable), Dessert Kones (tiramisu, nutella, cannoli, etc.), and smaller Kids Kones in cheese or peanut butter and jelly. The dough and sauces are imported from Italy and the cones are made to order using a low-skim, low-moisture cheese. They are layered with sauce, cheese and toppings in a vertical fashion before being baked in a special oven. Baking takes only three minutes, making it a perfect on-the-go option, the company says.

"Italy's pizza in a cone is coming to Berkeley this month", The East Bay Times (California), May 08, 2018, © Digital First Media
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Panera Rolls Out Delivery Program Nationwide

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Panera Bread is expanding its food delivery service nationally to 897 cities and 43 states via the Panera app or website. The company said its products will be available for lunch and dinner to officers, hospitals, college campuses and, in participating markets, to homes.According to CEO Blaine Hurst, "Delivery is fueling our next phase of growth.”Panera is using its own delivery drivers in the expansion – it has hired 10,000 so far – and says it has already created 13,000 jobs. Digital sales at Panera comprise online, app and kiosk orders and represent 30 percent of total company sales. Deliveries are possible with orders as small as $5 menu purchase plus tax and a $3 delivery fee in most markets. The company operates 2,076 bakery-cafes in 46 states and in Ontario, Canada.
"Panera Bread Unveils National Delivery Service", GlobeNewswire, May 08, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Cannabis Company Harvest One Acquires Dream Water

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Canadian cannabis company Harvest One has acquired the natural sleep aid Dream Water (Miami, Fla.) for $27 million. According to Dream Water executives the deal will allow the company to exploit “synergies in the commercial cannabis and sleep aid markets.” The company expects to develop product lines that include the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD), found in the cannabis plant, that purportedly has several health benefits, including as pain and anxiety relief. After closing the deal, Dream Water USA and Dream Water Canada will be consolidated and become a subsidiary of Harvest One called Dream Water Global.

Martín Caballero, "Dream Water Acquired by Canadian Cannabis Co. Harvest One", Bevnet.com, May 08, 2018, © Bevnet.com
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USDA Secretary Perdue Commits To Raising Food Waste Awareness

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

At a recent roundtable discussion, U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue discussed food waste with legislators, food industry leaders, and non-profit groups to raise awareness while discussing solutions with leaders throughout the food supply chain. Perdue later issued a statement saying that America’s food supply should “nourish those in need, not fill the trash.” He said groups and companies should cooperate with each other on finding “holistic” solutions to the food waste problems. USDA remains committed to helping reduce food waste, Perdue said, and “excited to work with all stakeholders from farm to fork.” Food loss and waste eats up nearly 40 percent of the food supply in the U.S., while millions of Americans need access to safe, wholesome, affordable food, the USDA said. [Image Credit: © USDA]

"Washington: Secretary Perdue Commits to Prioritizing Food Waste Solutions", USDA, May 08, 2018, © USDA.gov
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FDA Menu Labeling Rules Take Effect, But Restaurants Should Do More

May 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The FDA’s new menu labeling requirements, which went into effect on May 7, apply to restaurant chains with 20 or more locations. They must disclose the number of calories contained in standard menu items, and provide nutrition information, including total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, etc. A Virginia Tech food and nutrition policy expert called the FDA’s rules “an important first step.” But the restaurant industry, which has contributed to “poor diet quality, obesity and related chronic diseases," should voluntarily implement strategies to promote healthy foods and beverages. Specifically, the industry should improve the nutritional profiles of products to reduce calories, sodium and fat; and standardize and limit portion sizes to 600 calories for kids' meals and 700 calories for adult meals.

"Mandatory National Menu Labeling Underway. While It Is A Good Start, Restaurants Could Voluntarily Do Much More, According To Virginia Tech Expert", Virginia Tech, May 07, 2018, © Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Coca-Cola Packaging In Japan Boasts Uniquely Japanese Styles

May 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s packaging in Japan always features the characteristic logo and red color, but in recent years has also been distinguished by “bits of distinctively Japanese flair.” Collectible beverage bottles often salute popular tourist attractions (e.g., Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Shinto shrines, cherry blossoms, etc.). But a newly-released batch features characters and scenes from the world of anime, the country’s unique style of hand-drawn and computer animated cartoons. The new 250 ml bottles, available in stores ($1.14), vending machines ($1.37) and other locations only on the island of Shikoku, are decorated with images of Megumi, Chiwa, and Mao, all characters from the anime television series “Ohenro” (“pilgrims”).
Casey Baseel, "Coca-Cola releases special anime-design bottle just for Japan", SoraNews24, May 07, 2018
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Dutch Restaurants Thrive on Sustainability, Re-Purposing, Zero-Waste

May 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Restaurants in The Netherlands, particularly in the capital Amsterdam, are showcasing innovative and accessible sustainability projects that focus on zero-waste practices and creative reuse of buildings and materials. Moer Restaurant, for example, is housed in a former Michelin tire shop; its serving pans are made from old train tracks. It has replaced the traditional buffet table piled high with bound-for-the-bin meats, cheeses, and pastries with a buffet of all-organic offerings, including juices from Dutch orchards, dairy and egg products from a local farm, and homemade granola and breads made with grain and beer waste from brewery Gulpener. The Instock restaurant uses only surplus food for ingredients and wastes nothing. It gets unused food from Albert Heijn, the country's largest supermarket chain. There is so much discarded but edible food that the restaurant has set up a wholesale distribution center to serve other restaurants.[Image Credit: © Moer Restaurant]

Diane Daniel, "Doing good, deliciously: Sustainable dining in Amsterdam", The Washington Post (published in the Toronto Star), May 05, 2018, © Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd
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Japanese Entrepreneurs Tackle Food Waste Problem With Smartphone Apps

May 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to Japan’s agriculture ministry, 6.46 million tons of untouched food were discarded in 2015. Japanese entrepreneurs, however, are making progress using technology to tackle this crticial food waste issue. Among the advanced solutions are online services that link restaurants with consumers wishing to buy food at lower prices that would otherwise be discarded. An example is Shifft Inc., which launched the Reduce Go smartphone app service last month to offer registered users economic benefits by allowing them to pick up food directly twice a day from restaurants and food outlets for $18 (¥1,980) a month. About 25,000 users have signed up for the free version of the app, while 32 restaurants, bars, and shops in Tokyo and its environs have signed on to the food giveaway.

Sakura Murakami, "Tokyo-based startups look to link consumers with restaurants to curb food waste", The Japan Times, May 05, 2018, © The Japan Times Ltd
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E-Coli Outbreak Underlines Key Blockchain Benefits For Agricultural Sector, Industry Regulators

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Rapid and accurate tracking of food would help regulators better manage food contamination outbreaks, says SupplyBloc Inc. CEO Robert McNulty. McNulty used the April 2018 E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce to illustrate how blockchain would have helped the FDA and CDC identify the cause and minimize collateral costs. According to McNulty, the blockchain technology’s decentralized ledger and smart contracts would ensure better business dealings among supply chain parties and improved tracking of the supply chain process, without room for data manipulation. All food products would be registered into the decentralized ledger, which would track the products’ movement along the entire supply chain process. This ledger, accessible to all supply chain participants, would be able to pinpoint any point of contamination or corruption, improving the sector’s transparency. [Image Credit: © U.S. Department of Health & Human Services]
Robert McNulty, "Opinion: Blockchain technology can help both agricultural professionals and industry regulators", Food Engineering, May 04, 2018, © BNP Media
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FDA Extends Nutrition Facts Label Compliance By 18 Months

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The FDA has extended the compliance date for the rules regarding the Nutrition Facts, Supplement Facts, and Serving Size labels, from July 26, 2018 to January 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales. The American Heart Association lamented the extension, calling it a “disappointment.” CEO Nancy Brown was encouraged, however, by the fact that several major food manufacturers decided to stick to the original July 2018 and 2019 deadlines. She noted that 29,000 foods on the market now have the revised Nutrition Facts labels containing “critical” information for consumers. She urged other food manufacturers to follow that example because “Americans should not only enjoy the food they are eating, they deserve to know what’s in it.” [Image Credit: © Oregon State University]

"Delay of revised nutrition facts labels disappointing, but companies should still comply promptly, says American Heart Association", American Heart Association, May 04, 2018, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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USDA Issues Proposed GMO Food Labeling Rules For Public Comment

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The USDA has issued proposed rules on the labeling of foods that contain “bioengineered” ingredients, a more neutral term than “genetically modified organisms” (GMO). The rules implement a federal law enacted in 2016 (National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, PL 114-216) that was a victory for backers of federal mandatory labeling, but also for opponents because it did not require all food companies to put readable information on packages. The law also barred states from writing their own mandatory labeling laws. The proposed rules allow small food manufacturers to inform consumers via websites or telephone numbers. Larger companies can use a label on packages, a symbol to be developed by USDA or bar codes, or other digital means scannable with smartphones. Public comment on the proposal is open until July 3; the final rules will be issued July 29.

Cathy Siegner , "GMO labeling moves one step closer to reality, but what will it look like?", Food Dive, May 04, 2018, © Industry Dive
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Coca-Cola India Launches Fortified Drink Powder At Reduced Price Point

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India has introduced an affordable water-soluble beverage powder in a bid to attract consumers to the company’s products. At 7¢ a packet, the price of Minute Maid Vitingo harkens back to the days when the company sold bottles of Coca-Cola at 7¢ apiece. The price was discontinued in 2004. Coca-Cola President T. Krishnakumar said the low price of the orange-flavored beverage fortified with micronutrients would expand the market “to the segment which cannot afford most of the packaged beverages.” Vitingo was launched at 4¢ a packet in 2010 with the help of non-governmental organizations and self-help groups and targeted consumers in rural areas of the country. Vitingo’s main competitors are Glucon-D from Kraft Heinz, and Glucose-D from Dabur India.
Sounak Mitra, "Coca-Cola unveils Vitingo at Rs5 in bid to boost reach", Livemint, May 03, 2018
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Nutrient-Dense Grain Foods Are Ideal For Older Americans

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A new study has found that regularly eating a variety of grain foods, along with fruits and vegetables, contributes to the nutrient density needed by Americans over age 50. This age group is not getting those nutrients in their diets, according to the study published in the journal Nutrients and presented at a recent scientific meeting. The trade group Grain Foods Foundation said older people should think twice before giving up bread and other grain foods because they are nutrient-dense. They contain dietary fiber, folate, magnesium, calcium and iron, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, niacin, and thiamin. Breads, rolls, and tortillas contain thiamin, niacin, dietary fiber, folate, and iron. These foods “can play a key role in helping older Americans meet recommendations for under-consumed nutrients and nutrients of public health concern," said one of the study’s authors.

"New Study Shows Breads And Cereals Contribute Many Nutrients Older Americans Are Missing For Healthy Aging; Data Presented at American Geriatrics Society Annual Scientific Meeting", PR Newswire, May 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Detroit Area Benefits From Tyson Foods, Flashfood Food Waste Initiative

May 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Tyson Foods has partnered with Toronto, Ont.-based Flashfood Inc. in a Detroit area pilot program that lets shoppers buy quality surplus food items at a discount rate. The Flashfoodbox program involves other services – nonprofit Forgotten Harvest, Michigan Farm to Freezer for processing and packaging, and AxleHire Inc. for shipping – but the core is the Flashfoodbox. The boxes are ordered online or via the Flashfood app and are delivered directly to customer homes. Weekly, biweekly, or monthly subscriptions come with a 10 percent discount. At $44.99 a box, customers get about five pounds of protein, including meat, and nearly 10 pounds of rescued vegetables and fruits, enough to prepare 14 meals at less than $4 per plate. [Image Credit: © Flashfood Inc.]

Tyler Clifford, "Companies partner to reduce food waste in Detroit", Crain’s Detroit Business, May 02, 2018, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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Coca-Cola’s 1st Quarter Revenues Flat Year-Over-Year

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) posted a first-quarter profit of $1.8 billion on revenue of $2.9 billion, flat versus the prior year’s first quarter, or up one percent on a comparable and currency-neutral basis. earnings per share were $0.30 on a reported basis, or $0.40 on a comparable basis. Volume was down 2.5 percent on a comparable basis. The cost of sales rose $1.8 billion and operating profit decreased 12.5 percent to $224 million. Volumes for sparkling brands decreased one percent, Coca-Cola trademark brands decreased two percent, but Coca-Cola Zero Sugar reported a growth of 8.5 percent. Sparkling flavors and energy brands increased by one percent. CEO Damian Gammell said the results reflected a “continued focus on improving our in-market execution” but were adversely affected by “unfavorable weather, customer challenges, and the effect of some of our brand realignment decisions.”
"Coca-Cola European Partners reports flat revenues in Q1 2018", Cost Sector Catering, May 01, 2018, © Cost Sector Catering
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Israel’s Coca-Cola Bottler Targets Online Retailer Selling Lookalike Cola

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Super-Sol, Israel’s biggest supermarket chain, has been selling a cheaper private-label brand of cola whose packaging resembles Coca-Cola’s. To counter that tactic, Coke’s bottler in the country, Central Bottling Company, has acquired a 25 percent stake in BringBring, a new online food retailer. Though the founders and majority owners of BringBring say Coca-Cola’s investment does not amount to a declaration of war against Super-Sol, it does represent a major challenge to Super-Sol, which controls 70 percent of the online grocery market. BringBring promises grocery deliveries within four hours of ordering with no charge for orders over $56. It’s a big improvement over Super-Sol’s service, which promises only same-day service and charges $8 for orders less than $207.
Gabriela Davidovich-Weisberg , "Coca Cola Israel to Battle With Israel's Largest Supermarket Chain With New Online Retailer", Haaretz, May 01, 2018, © Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd
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Fast-Growing Danish Bakery Alights In Manhattan This Year

April 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A 20-year-old Danish bakery chain has expanded to the U.K. and will soon open its first store in the U.S. Founded in Christianshavn Denmark, the Lagkagehuset chain is majority-owned by the Norwegian capital fund FSN, whose cash infusion – and an 18 percent increase in sales in 2017 – is making the international expansion possible. CEO Jesper Friis said Lagkagehuset is looking forward to “exporting a small piece of Danish cultural history” when its Manhattan location opens this year.

"Well-known Danish bakery opening in the U.S.", CPH Post Online, April 30, 2018, © Online Post
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Alibaba Deploys Blockchain Pilot To Ensure Food Authenticity

April 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Alibaba is testing blockchain technology to track products and ensure food authenticity. It is working with two food products, one from Australia and one from New Zealand – and giving consumers the ability to scan a QR code to verify product authenticity. Fake food has long been a problem in China and Michigan State University estimates it costs the global food industry $40 billion per year.  First announced in March 2017, the goal of this blockchain integration is to “achieve end-to-end supply chain traceability and transparency to enhance consumer confidence and build a trusted environment for cross-border trade,” said Alibaba.  Investment in blockchain technology has doubled to $2.1 billion and industry projections see that expenditure reaching $9.7 billion in 2021, according to reports from IDC. Numerous firms, such as Alibaba’s industry rival JD, are also delving into blockchain tech to streamline the supply chain, auditing, and compliance processes.[Image Credit: © congerdesign from Pixabay]
Steven Millward, "Alibaba rolls out blockchain pilot to tackle fake food products", Tech in Asia, April 30, 2018, © Tech in Asia
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Kroger Provides Update On Its Zero Hunger-Zero Waste Program

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Kroger Co. says that since it launched the Zero Hunger-Zero Waste food rescue initiative last September it has provided 325 million meals for “food-insecure” families across America. The company directed a total of $181 million in food and funds to end hunger in local communities and rescued 91.2 million pounds of unsold safe, nutritious food from its retail stores, or shipped from its distribution centers and manufacturing plants. The food was donated to Feeding America food banks in 2017. The program was originally launched 10 years ago as the Perishable Donation Partnership. Kroger said it is also working with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on a company-wide food waste analysis to identify where the company stands today in its journey to zero food waste. The company said it will donate $5 to WWF for each customer who shares a food waste reduction idea or photo on Kroger’s Facebook page.[Image Credit: © Kroger Co.]

"Kroger Celebrates Zero Hunger-Zero Waste Progress", Kroger Co., April 27, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Starbucks Hopes To Trim $75M In Food Waste by 2020

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Starbucks Corp. is losing $500 million a year on waste in its more than 8,000 company-operated U.S. stores, but hopes to cut that by 15 percent ($75 million)over the next year-and-a-half through greater efficiency. The company says its business model – “strict product quality requirements” plus “product availability” – always results in some waste. Food discarded because after the expiration date, and lost sales associated with a lack of inventory, are part of the costs. During Starbucks' fiscal second quarter, it cut waste costs by focusing on “outlier stores” that had high waste as a percentage of sales. It also improved training on the process of pulling .

Coral Garnick, "Wasted food, other items cost Starbucks $500 million a year", Puget Sound Business Journal, April 27, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Coke’s Strategy In India Is Paying Dividends

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey’s strategy in India – focus on its product portfolio, bottling operations, distribution, and sales and communication – is paying off after years of sluggish sales. Popular drinks like Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Thums Up all experienced torpid sales, a situation worsened by demonetization. By September 2017, the company began to see a turnaround as volumes grew six percent during the quarter. By March 2018, the company had posted three consecutive quarters of growth. Portfolio changes eliminated gaps for competitors at critical price points: smaller packs of juices, new fizzy drinks, expansion of the premium drinks line, and a stronger mid-range line were all implemented. Lastly, to boost distribution, bottling unit Hindustan Coca-Cola merged two sales forces that were selling popular and juice-based drinks.
Arnab Dutta, "Worst over for Coca-Cola? Multi-front strategy boosts sales in India", Business Standard , April 27, 2018
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Nestlé Waters NA Beverage Delivery Service Reaches Gettysburg, Pa.

April 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters North America announced it has acquired the Roaring Spring Water company’s customer list and storefront in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, allowing it to expand ReadyRefresh beverage delivery service to eastern Pennsylvania and eastern Maryland. The ReadyRefresh service delivers Nestlé Waters beverages to homes and business offices. This is the first time ReadyFresh will operatea a storefront where shoppers can purchase Nestlé Waters products, including Deer Park spring water, Pure Life purified water, Perrier, and S. Pellegrino sparkling mineral water.
"Nestlé Waters North America Expands ReadyRefresh Beverage Delivery Service to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania", News release, Nestlé Waters NA, April 27, 2018, © Nestlé Waters NA
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Canada’s Lassonde Industries Acquires Michigan’s Old Orchard Brands

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Quebec-based Lassonde Industries Inc. announced the acquisition of Old Orchard Brands, a family-owned juice and beverage company for $146 million in cash plus possible milestone payments of $10 million over the next two years. Lassonde will also buy the Sparta, Mich.-based company’s plant and land for $4 million. Lassonde said the acquisition will improve its manufacturing footprint in the midwestern U.S. and provide access to a production line for frozen concentrated products. Old Orchard’s product portfolio includes 100 juices, juice blends, reduced-sugar juice cocktails, seasonal lemonades, and flavored teas. Sales in 2017 were $103.3 million. Lassonde sells RTD fruit and vegetable juices and drinks under brands such as Apple & Eve, Everfresh, Fairlee, Fruité, Graves, Oasis and Rougemont.
"Lassonde Industries announces an agreement to acquire U.S.-Based Old Orchard Brands", News release, Lassonde Industries Inc., April 26, 2018, © Lassonde Industries Inc.
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Scary Food Warning Labels Not The Answer To Obesity Problem

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Chicago Tribune editorial board is warning readers that the scary food labeling policy in Chile could happen in the U.S., thanks to possible revisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Because of a growing obesity problem, Chile requires food companies to label high-calorie or high-fat treats with black stop-sign-shaped warning labels. As part of the NAFTA negotiations, officials are discussing similar warning labels, though the Trump administration is opposed to them on American foods. The Trib editors, while acknowledging the obesity crisis, argue that food labels shouldn’t be a part of trade negotiations in the first place, and “scare tactics like warning labels are a huge Super-Nanny-State overreach.” They also argue that obesity is not caused by eating fatty or sugary foods. “It is caused by people eating too much of those foods.”

"Scare us thin? NAFTA doesn’t hafta", Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2018, © Chicago Tribune
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Coca-Cola Turns To Alcoholic Drinks In Japan, As Nonalcoholic Segment Stagnates

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Japan this summer will launch Lemon-Dō, an alcoholic beverage that emulates the classic Japanese beverage chu-hai, also called "the lemon sour." The move to alcoholic beverages is based n the company’s reckoning that Japan’s soft drink and nonalcoholic market offers no growth potential. Three varieties Lemon-Dō to be sold include: Teiban Lemon (five percent alcohol/10 percent fruit-juice), Salty Lemon (seven percent alcohol/7 percent fruit juice), and the lightweight, Honey Lemon, only three percent alcohol and sweetened with honey and sugar. All will be sold in 350 ml cans, with retro-styled labels, at $1,50 each. According to the company, the chu-hai and low-alcohol beverage market is valued at more than a billion dollars.
Jake Adelstein, "Coca-Cola Experiments With New Boozy Drinks As Japan's Beverage Market Becomes 'Saturated'", Forbes.com, April 26, 2018, © Forbes.com LLC
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Over 40 Firms Form UK Plastics Pact, Promising To Cut Single-Use Plastic Packaging

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Over 40 firms, responsible for over 80% of plastic packaging on products sold in the United Kingdom, have joined the government and several trade organizations in establishing the UK Plastics Pact, led by sustainability group WRAP. The agreement lays out a set of pledges undertaken by firms to reduce plastic pollution over the next seven years. It promises to eliminate single-use plastic packaging, including 2025 goals to make 100% of packaging recyclable or compostable, to recycle or compost 70%, and to use 30% recycled material in plastic packaging. The pact signatories include Coca-Cola, Asda, Procter & Gamble, and Marks & Spencer. Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Ellen MacArthur Foundation expressed their support. [Image Credit: © The Waste and Resources Action Programme]

David Shukman, "Companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution", BBC, April 26, 2018, © BBC
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