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Family Bakery In Upper Wisconsin Focuses On Healthful Breads Made From Ancient Grains

August 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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

August 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Jamaica native Chantal Thomas is a career baker and pastry chef who also blogs about her country’s national fruit, the avocado-like ackee, which she employs in numerous recipes, including one for a vegan ackee-stuffed patty. In addition to ackee patties, Thomas sells ones filled with eggplant, chickpea and zucchini, and lentil. For the crust, Thomas uses coconut instead of shortening. She formed her company, Amazing Ackee LLC, in 2017 and began baking out of a rented kitchen. She landed a spot at one farmers market last year and expanded to four markets this year. Thomas sells between 20 and 40 dozen patties a week at the farmers markets, the volume matching demand for vegan products.[Image Credit: © Amazing Ackee]
Shawn Rychling, "Meet The Vendors: Baker combines vegan with Jamaican heritage to create unique food", Journal Inquirer (Manchester, CT), August 15, 2019, © Journal Inquirer
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“Bread Nerd” Uses Yeast Dormant For Eons To Bake “Incredible” Loaves Of Bread

August 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Self-professed “bread nerd” Seamus Blackley, one of the developers of the Xbox, has created a stir in baking circles by experimenting with yeast extracted from a 4,000-year-old Egyptian loaf and from ancient artefacts. The artefacts, including Egyptian ceramics once used to make or store beer and bread, were found at museums in Boston with the help of an interested archaeologist. Blackley, who also collects wild yeast from medieval forests, created a loaf of sourdough bread with a “light and airy” crumb and an “incredible” flavor and aroma. He shared his results on Twitter, sparking interest among thousands of people. Useable thousand-year-old yeast? Yes, experts say: once yeast spores run out of food they go dormant, rather than simply dying, and stay quietly viable for thousands of years until they are extracted.[Image Credit: © Sabine Schulte from Pixabay]
Jacey Fortin, "Ancient Egyptian Yeast Is This Bread's Secret Ingredient", The New York Times - International Edition, August 10, 2019, © The New York Times Company
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For French-Born Entrepreneur, The American Dream Is Built On Macarons

August 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The French patisserie business Rosalie Guillem founded with her daughter Audrey in Sarasota, Fla., is approaching its tenth anniversary and is flush with entrepreneurial success. The company owns a few corporate stores, but also some 50 franchise locations, in Florida, California, New Hampshire, Arizona, and seven other states. Another 30 franchises are in development, all based on the original flagship delicacy, an airy but decadent macaron – not to be confused with an American macaroon. The company did $11 million in sales in 2018, made the Inc. 5,000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies in 2016, and posted 259 percent growth over three years. Guillem’s Le Macaron stores now offer gelato, eclairs, napoleons, pies, cakes, croissants, and fine chocolates – all made with French ingredients. A catering unit handles parties, weddings and other events – all of it a testament to the dogged pursuit of the American dream, French-style.[Image Credit: © https://lemacaron-us.com/oak/files/images/Foto-LM-1.jpg]
Mark Gordon, "Le Big Mac: Mother-daughter duo rapidly grows treat business", Business Observer (Sarasota, Florida), August 09, 2019, © Observer Media Group, Inc
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Unilever’s Magnum Ice Cream Launches Some Plastic Jars Made With Recycled Plastic

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

August 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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

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

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

July 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


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

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

June 27, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

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

June 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The McFlurry’s ice cream range at McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland will be sold without the single-use plastic lids from September this year. McDonald’s will also use 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard packaging for all main meals and side salads, replacing the plastic containers. The cardboard will contain 50% recycled content. The company says that the changes will reduce plastic waste by nearly 500 million tonnes a year. Its global commitment is to use only renewable or recycled packaging by 2025 and it has started replacing plastic straws with paper straws. [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
"McFlurry gets a makeover in McDonald’s UK latest sustainability drive", McDonald’s UK , June 21, 2019, © McDonald's
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Swedish Startup Introduces The Veggio Reusable Bag For Fruit And Veg

June 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Carrinet, a Swedish startup, has developed a machine-washable, reusable drawstring bag, called Veggio, made from 100% recycled PET bottles, for fruit and vegetables. Each bag can hold up to 10kg and the netting design allows the produce to be rinsed while still in the bag. 2Tech is distributing the bags in the UK. It says the bags give consumers an alternative to using the free plastic bags provided in supermarkets, and it aims to persuade supermarkets to stock the Veggio bags.[Image Credit: © Allmänna villkor]
Flora Southey, "Start-up tackles packaging waste with bags made from 100% recycled bottles", Food Navigator , June 21, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Consumer Acceptance Is Key In Raising PCR Levels In Plastic Packaging

June 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Melissa Craig, senior manager of packaging sustainability at Unilever North America, says that the company is working towards 100% packaging recyclability, with the main challenge being “flexibles”. Its Hellmann's mayonnaise containers in US will move to 100% rPET by the end of 2019. However, Craig admitted there must be some degree of compromise, such as slightly tinted plastic, or black specks, and consumer acceptance might be an issue. The company has pledged a global target of 25% post-consumer resin in total packaging by 2025, but the North America business is aiming for 50% by the end of this year. [Image Credit: © Unilever UK]
Jim Johnson, "Sustainability requires at least some compromise, Unilever says", Plastics News, June 13, 2019, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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Coca-Cola In Belgium Asks Consumers Not To Buy Its Products Unless It Plans To Recycle Them

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola in Belgium is trying an ambitious approach to raising awareness of the need to recycle plastic, with a summer campaign that asks consumers not to buy Coke products if they aren’t willing to help the company recycle. Some 85% of Coca-Cola packaging in the country is currently recycled, but the company says this rate is not high enough. The campaign is also being adopted in the Netherlands, on TV ads as well as activations in towns and at festivals. Although the campaign ends in September, it will be incorporated in other advertising.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"‘Don’t buy Coca-Cola if you’re not going to help us recycle!’ Coca-Cola launches recycling campaign", Beverage Daily, June 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Aldi UK Replaces Plastic Checkout Bags With Paper Or Compostable Options

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST



Aldi in the UK will from July this year replace plastic bags in half of its stores with paper bags, and biodegradable bags at the other half. After the trial, Aldo will choose the most popular. The Bioplast 100% compostable bags will cost 6p. Aldo is charging 19p for the paper bags. [Image Credit: © Aldi Stores Limited]
Sarah Young, "Aldi announces plans to reduce traditional plastic bags with paper and compostable versions", Independent UK, June 10, 2019, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Organic Farming Has A Plastics Problem Too

June 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Organic farming, like traditional farming, has hit an obstacle caused by the move to limit single-use plastic, which is used as mulch to suppress weeds, improve irrigation and water conservation, and support plant growth. Plastic film to cover acres of arable land represents miles of film, which is disposed of in landfills after one use. There are as yet no feasible alternatives. Biodegradable plastic, for example, is disallowed under existing organic rules in the US, and natural mulches are expensive and labor-intensive. Manufacturers of biodegradable options, including BASF, have been calling on the USDA's National Organic Program to change the rules, but the long-term impact has yet to be identified. [Image Credit: © Siggy Nowak from Pixabay.com]
"Organic Farming Has A Plastic Problem. One Solution Is Controversial", NPR, June 07, 2019, © NPR
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ProAmpac Develops FDA-Compliant Flexible Pouch With 25% Post-Consumer Recycled Content

June 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
ProAmpac collaborated with purveyor of flavored nut butters, Justin’s, to develop a plastic pouch made of 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) that is FDA-compliant. PCR is used for 40% of the sealant film, which equates to 25% of the total packet. The pouch will be used for a new line of almond butter covered almonds and cashew butter covered cashews. The packaging ensures product freshness with high oxygen- and moisture-barrier properties. ProAmpac overcame hazy printing common with use of high PCR by combining flexographic inks and coating technologies, and changing the lamination processes.[Image Credit: © Business Wire, Inc.]
"JUSTIN’S® and ProAmpac Pioneer Sustainable High-Barrier FDA-Compliant Flexible Pouch Using Post-Consumer Recycled Content ", Business Wire, June 05, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Churros On The March, In San Diego At Least

May 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Food experts may disagree about its origins, but most concede that the deep-fried, cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted churro fritter has been around since the 16th century. A long-time cheap snack in San Diego and Tijuana, the churro has begun popping up in unique ways at local restaurants, bars, and food stands. Among the offerings:  Punta Mita-style churros (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside; the churro doughnut (rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla ice cream); churro bagel (coated in cinnamon sugar and paired with dulce de leche cream cheese); churro waffle sticks ( coated in cinnamon sugar, served with maple cream cheese sauce, jalapeño-blackberry jam and fresh fruit); and churro waffles (fresh-baked Belgian waffles dredged in cinnamon sugar, then paired with ice cream). Also available: churro ice cream sandwiches, pancakes, and French toast.[Image Credit: © Daria-Yakovleva from Pixabay]
"San Diego eateries sweet on churros.", The San Diego Union Tribune, May 23, 2019, © The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Company Provides DNA Trace Back System To Assure Origins Of U.S. Food

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A 2017 survey by Label Insights found that three-quarters of consumers would exchange their favorite food brands for ones that provide more in-depth product information beyond the physical packaging. With that in mind, Virginia-based Performance Food Group Company (PFG) has been working with European technology innovator IdentiGEN for 10 years to align supply chains, building the first complete DNA trace back system to the farm. The idea is to provide greater accountability, improve sustainability, ensure quality, and prevent fraud. For example, Braveheart Black Angus Beef, a premium Midwest-raised beef that is traceable back to its origins with DNA technology, has been added to the menus of 18,000 U.S. restaurants in 900 U.S. cities since its debut. The fastest growing part of PFG's protein program is fresh meat produced under PFG's proprietary PathProven program, PFG's assurance that the product is traceable, auditable, and meets a specific set of farming and processing standards established and controlled by PFG. [Image Credit: © Performance Food Group]
"PathProven from Performance Food Group Providing First-Ever DNA Trace Back System from Farm to Plate in North America", Business Wire, May 20, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Coca-Cola To Hold On To Majority Stake In CCBA; Will Incorporate Financials In Its Own Results

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola announced it will retain a majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa as “a very important part of the Coca-Cola system” for the foreseeable future. The company said it would begin presenting the financial statements of CCBA within its results from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2019. CCBA has been accounted for as a discontinued operation since Coca-Cola became the controlling shareowner in October 2017. As a result of the reclassification, Coca-Cola expects CCBA will provide reclassified prior year financial information before the second quarter earnings release; and depreciation and amortization will be reinstated. CCBA’s results will be reported as part of the Bottling Investments Group segment.
"Coca-Cola Updates Plans for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Including Intent to Retain Majority Stake in Bottler", Business Wire , May 20, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Innovative Ways To Integrate Wheat Products Into Menus

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Can kids be tricked into eating healthful vegetables? One chef’s answer: yes, by creating tortillas made from carrots. Josh Kranz of South Dakota recently participated, along with 12 colleagues, in the Wheat Foods Council’s Wheat Immersion Program, where they brainstormed ways to incorporate more wheat products into menus. The immersion program gave the chefs opportunities to work with wheat in innovative ways. Kranz, for example, used whole kernel grain to blend wheat into a salad much like beans or quinoa are used with leafy greens. He soaked the grain much like you would dry beans, then cooked it, cooled it down, and tossed it with a vinaigrette.[Image Credit: © Pexels from PIxabay]
Janelle Atyeo, "Chefs go against the grain to find new ways to cook with wheat", Tri-State Neighbor (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), May 20, 2019, © AgUpdate
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U.S. Food Exporter Helps West African Farmers Get The Grain Fonio To Market

May 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Brooklyn’s Yolélé Foods, which imports the sub-Saharan African grain fonio, is working with SOS Sahel to help farmers in the semi-arid region increase their productivity, improve the supply chain, and in turn enhance their livelihood. The farmers cultivate nutritious fonio – gluten-free, high in protein, iron, and fiber – on land that is sandy, rocky, and generally unfriendly to most crops, hard to process  without good equipment, and saddled with a fragmented supply chain. It’s difficult if not impossible to bring substantial quantities to the marketplace. But Yolélé Foods and SOS Sahel have spearheaded the creation of the first industrial scale mill in Dakar (Senegal) to efficiently process the grain and boost supply. "People should expect to find it on store shelves within the year," says a spokesman for Yolélé Foods. [Image Credit: © Yolélé Foods Inc.]
"Fonio: The most nutritious grain you've probably never heard of", The Boston Globe, May 19, 2019, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Ardent Mills Shows Pizza Expo Attendees What Authentic Really Means

May 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
As consumer food preferences change, pizza bakers need to adapt to new trends and ingredient choices, including unusual flours like heirloom and ancient grains. The Ardent Mills culinary team recently showcased top flour-and-grain trends at the recent International Pizza Expo, a gathering of pizza-making experts and enthusiasts from the restaurant industry. In the process, the team whipped up a variety of brick-oven style pizzas at the expo, including five that illustrated current ingredient trends (and featured company flours): traditional Neapolitan-style pizza; margarita pizza; farm stand pizza made with whole wheat flour and red quinoa; Mardi Gras pizza with Cajun chicken and andouille sausage; Mediterranean pizza with grilled chicken and roasted peppers; and savory garlic parmesan pizza.[Image Credit: © Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay]
"Ardent Mills Analyzes Latest Pizza Flour and Grain Trends", Ardent Mills, May 17, 2019, © Ardent Mills
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Buttery Brioche Stands Out On Menu Of New California Bakery

May 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Baker Nubchi Thao, who grew up in France, is known, like her new bakery in Fresno, Calif., as The Brioche Lady. The bakery used to be Le Parisien Cafe, and the new owner continues to sell a few treats from the old menu, including colorful macaron sandwich cookies, mini eclairs, and French pastries. But the headliner is really the brioche, a specialty that is not easy to make, what with the rising and fermentation processes that can take 14 to 16 hours. The bakery offers a variety of loaves, including brioches flavored with chocolate, cinnamon, blueberry cream cheese, and strawberry cream cheese. The brioche is used to make: the croque madam ham and cheese sandwich; waffles and traditional brioche French toast; and a brioche bread and ice cream sandwich. [Image Credit: © ptiloup074 from Pixabay]
Bethany Clough, "This new Fresno bakery specializes in something different - and it takes 16 hours to make", Fresno Bee (California), May 15, 2019, © The Fresno Bee
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History Of Eating Disorders Predisposes People To "Clean Eating" Obsession

May 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at York University's Faculty of Health (U.K.) say those who have a history of an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive traits, dieting, poor body image, and a drive for thinness are more likely to develop a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only healthy food, known as orthorexia nervosa (ON). Although eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, for some people this preoccupation with healthy eating can become physically and socially impairing. The researchers reviewed studies published through the end of 2018 in two databases to determine the psychosocial risk factors associated with orthorexia nervosa. "When taken to the extreme, an obsession with clean eating can be a sign that the person is struggling to manage their mental health," they concluded (McComb et al., Appetite 2019)[Image Credit: © RitaE from Pixabay]
"When does clean eating become an unhealthy obsession? New findings on who is at risk for orthorexia nervosa", Science Daily, May 14, 2019, © ScienceDaily
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Whole Grain Reduces Gut Serotonin Levels – And Risk Of Diabetes

May 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new Finnish study finds that adults who eat whole grain rye products have lower plasma serotonin levels than people eating low-fiber wheat bread, and therefore possibly a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Serotonin, best known as a neurotransmitter in the brain, is also produced by the intestines where it remains separated from the brain. In the gut it serves various peripheral functions. including modulation of gut motility, the ability to move food through the digestive tract. Increased blood serotonin is also associated with high blood glucose levels. The researchers noted that whole grain is known to reduce the risk of diabetes. “On the basis of these new results, the effect could at least partly be due to a decrease in serotonin levels," said researcher Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland. (Pekka Keski-Rahkonen et al., The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019.)[Image Credit: © Couleur from Pixabay]
"Whole Grain Can Contribute To Health By Changing Intestinal Serotonin Production", ScienceDaily, May 13, 2019, © ScienceDaily
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Hey America! Chickpea Flour Is Not A U.S. Innovation

May 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Indians, Nepalese, Pakistanis, and others have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. And now that Americans are getting into the ancient ingredient, some Indians wonder whether their culinary heritage might be getting blurred. The popularity of chickpea flour in the U.S. has been traced to 2009, when it began to appear on gluten-free blogs. In a few years, cookbooks appeared with recipes, for example, like chickpea flour pancakes layered with tomatoes and onions. Gluten-free bakeries popped up, offering treats like chickpea chocolate cupcakes. But freelance food writer Priya Krishna, whose family has long cooked with chickpea flour, wishes cooks and bakers in the U.S. were aware of chickpea flour’s deep roots in South Asian cooking. “I'm not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream,” she writes. “But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn't frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.”[Image Credit: © Alex Dante frim Pixabay]
"How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?", NPR The Salt, May 12, 2019, © NPR
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Suit Alleges “False Advertising” As Panera Launches “Clean Label” Campaign

May 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Panera Bread’s advertising campaign touting the restaurant as a place to “eat clean” is “false advertising,” a new class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court alleges. Panera's new ad campaign – featuring in-store advertisements, bags, signs and labels, and an “earthy” green and brown color scheme – promotes its food as “clean” and “100 percent clean,” but the food actually contains glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Monsanto). The restaurant chain, jumping on the “clean-eating bandwagon,” “is deceiving consumers into believing that [its] products are of a higher quality, free from synthetic chemicals, or free from chemical residues from the production process when they are not.” The suit alleges violations of the state's Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, seeking monetary damages as well as a halt to the allegedly deceptive advertising. [Image Credit: © Panera Bread]
Jeffrey S. Edelstein, "Plaintiff Dirties Panera's 'Eat Clean' Claims", Manatt, May 09, 2019, © Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.
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New Data On Bread Wheat May Help Improve Yield, Disease Resistance

May 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
For about 12,000 years, since the dawn of agriculture, humans have been selectively breeding plants with desirable traits, such as high grain yield and disease resistance. Bread wheat (triticum aestivum) during that time emerged as one of the world's most important crops. Together with the growing human population and the changing climate, the demand for wheat with a higher yield and additional resilience is increasing. However, for a few years now the average yield increase of wheat is stagnating. But, according to a new study (Pont et al., Nature Genetics, 2019; 51 (5): 905), high-yielding varieties of triticum aestivum can be found all over the world, each adapted to its growing environment. The study provides a rich genetic data resource that can be used to improve genetic traits in bread wheat, from environmental adaptation to improved yield and disease resistance. [Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
"New Avenues For Improving Modern Wheat", Nature.com, May 08, 2019, © Springer Nature Publishing AG
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USDA Relaxes Obama-Era Rules On Whole Grains In School Lunches

May 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Since 2014, U.S. schools have been required to serve only whole grain versions of food as part of the national school lunch program, an important source of free and reduced-price meals for millions of children. But the continuing rollback of Obama-era rules and regulations by the Trump administration has now touched that program, though it appears non-political. After months of complaints about flavor and costs, and lots of uneaten lunches, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the USDA was returning to an old standard: only half of grain foods like pasta and bread must be rich in whole grains. Cafeteria directors who lobbied for the change say they just wanted greater flexibility to serve foods like white bread – more processed and with less fiber – when whole grains don't work. In Vermont, the relaxed rule means white rice will be served with beans again. In Oregon, macaroni and cheese may return. The rollback addresses rules on grains, milk, and salt championed by former first lady Michelle Obama.[Image Credit: © Sornram Srithong from Pixabay]
"With Trump rollback, school lunch could get more white bread", Associated Press News, May 03, 2019, © The Associated Press
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“Natural” Or Not, Use Of Low-Calorie Sweeteners Should Be Limited

May 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
As consumers seek to cut down on sugar intake while enjoying a little sweetness, sales of “natural” plant-based sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia are booming, while sales of artificial sweeteners are plummeting. Stevia sales grew 11.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, while artificial sweetener sales slid 6.6 percent. Several studies have highlighted the health benefits – or lack of harmful effects – of using natural sweeteners. But the big question is: Do they help people lose weight? So far, the evidence doesn't support that idea. Are stevia and monk fruit better because they're natural? Remember that "natural" doesn't automatically mean "better." For example, whole stevia leaves and less purified stevia extracts aren't approved for use in food because of concerns related to kidney health. Dietician Christy Brissette says consumers should try to limit the use of low-calorie sweeteners to help taste buds adapt to less sweetness over time. And nutritious foods such as fruit provide fiber and nutrients along with natural sugars.[Image Credit: © Tafilah Yusof from Pixabay]
Christy Brissette, "As zero-calorie natural sweeteners such as stevia surge in popularity, here’s what you need to know", The Washington Post , May 02, 2019, © The Washington Post
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Younger Consumers Love Their Baked Goods

May 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Baked goods are a hit with younger consumers – the Millennial and Gen-Z crowd – the American Bakers Association reports. Nearly three-quarters of these consumers admitted to buying bread “within the past few days” of being surveyed; 60 percent said they’d purchased sweet goods in the past week. Half snack on crackers, tortillas and baked bars every week. Seventy percent associate bagels specifically with breakfast, bread with lunch, and crackers with snacking. Sweets and bars were the favorite baked snacks: 90 percent chose these categories as their favorites, followed closely by crackers (84). The data mirrors ABA and GenHQ’s recent discovery that Millennials and Gen Z consumers rank freshly baked, whole grains and natural ingredients as their top three purchasing factors. More than 1,800 Millennials participated in the online survey in February.[Image Credit: © pisandspices from Pixabay]
Kristine Sherred, "Millennials and Gen Zs buy bread and sweet goods weekly: ABA report", BakeryAndSnacks.com, May 01, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Launch Of German Bakery Will Begin Revitalization Of Wisc. City’s Downtown

May 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A baker who learned his trade in Germany before emigrating to the U.S. in 1988 has opened the Okauchee Baker Meister, an authentic German bakery in Wisconsin. Michael Schuerstedt said Baker Meister will offer strudels, pretzels, kringles, coffee cakes, butter cookies, and cakes. The owner of the building that houses the new bakery said it will help kick off Okauchee’s downtown zoning district revitalization.  Schuerstedt said Wisconsin’s strong German heritage and tradition drew him and his wife back after a stint in Illinois. [Image Credit: © teposu20 from Pixabay]
Alex Nemec , "German couple to open authentic German bakery", GM Today, May 01, 2019, © Conley Group, Ltd.
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Calif. Bakery Celebrates Anniversary With New Founders Breads

April 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Los Angeles-based La Brea Bakery, an Aryzta company, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in business by launching a new bread line: La Brea Bakery Founders, in honor of Nancy Silverton and long-time baking partner Jonathan Davis. The two spent months experimenting with recipes and ingredients before finalizing the three breads that will debut this month. The new breads will be made using Silverton’s original sourdough starter and will incorporate contemporary ingredients and flavor profiles, basked using old-world techniques. The Founders portfolio includes Pain Levain, Sprouted Multigrain and Seed, and Country Wheat Batard. They will be sold nationwide at select grocery stores this fall.[Image Credit: © La Brea Bakery]
Renee Sexton, "La Brea Bakery Creates Founders Breads For 30th Anniversary Celebration", The Shelby Report, April 30, 2019, © The Shelby Report
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