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Mesquite Flour, And A Good Mood, Are Keys To Successful Tortilla Business

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An innovative recipe using mesquite flour, suggested by a University of Arizona professor, is the key to the successful tortilla business – “our little gold mine” – launched somewhat lukewarmly by Esperanza Arevalo. She had started making tortillas as a child, and was never a big fan of it. Then she began helping her father in his business, Tortilleria Arevalo. Prof. Gary Nabhan asked the two to develop a tortilla recipe using Peruvian mesquite flour, which is high in fiber and protein and thus more healthful than regular flour tortillas. The recipe comprises, besides mesquite flour, whole wheat flour, amaranth flour, olive oil, water, a tap of salt and baking powder. A less tangible but essential ingredient in the labor-intensive process is a good mood. Esperanza says, “If you're actually in the mood to make them, they'll come out perfect.”  [Image Credit: © Tortilleria Arevalo]
Gloria Knott, "Tortilleria Arevalo's Secret to a Healthier Tortilla is Peruvian Mesquite Flour", Tucson.com, October 03, 2017, © Arizona Daily Star
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Coca-Cola Launches “New Beginning” Campaign For Schweppes

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Schweppes brand of mixers led the U.K. market with a 32.6 percent share in 2016, but is feeling competitive pressure from Fever-Tree and private label products. To grow market share Coca-Cola is pulling out all the stops in a 15-month campaign to reinvigorate Schweppes with a “new beginning.” Campaign features a re-design of the bottle and a nearly $9 million ad effort targeting U.K. TV, movie theaters, special events, digital, and sponsorship of a TV talk show. The company is also launching premium mixers (Schweppes 1783), mainly in pubs and bars, with flavors like golden ginger ale, salty lemon tonic water, cucumber tonic water, and floral tonic water.
Leonie Roderick , "Coca-Cola overhauls Schweppes in bid to ‘future proof’ the business", Marketing Week, October 02, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Coke Acquires U.S. Rights To Mexican Sparkling Water Brand

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexico-based Arca Continental, one of the biggest of Coca-Cola’s Latin American bottlers, confirms that it has purchased the U.S. rights to mineral water brand Topo Chico for $220 million. The deal was forged by Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit that focuses on “smaller, high-value brands” that don’t make soda, such as Honest Tea and ZICO coconut water. Most of Topo Chico’s U.S. sales – about 70 percent – are in Texas. Coca-Cola continues to expand its non-soda product lines as consumers seek more healthful beverage options, including sparkling waters, which is a $2.3 billion market in the U.S.
Jill Cowan, "Coca-Cola buys Texas cult favorite sparkling water brand Topo Chico for $220 million", Dallas News, October 02, 2017, © The Dallas Morning News Inc
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Advanced Technologies Could Fuel Expansion Of Sugarcane Juice Market In India

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canned sugarcane juice is a popular and healthy but fragile beverage treat in India. A number of companies supply the juice, but its short shelf-life – it stays fresh only a few hours before fermentation sets in, thanks to the presence of yeast – makes it a frustrating commodity. Haphazard sugar cane sourcing worsens the problem. Various research organizations are working to solve the shelf-life issue. One example is the Central Food Technological Research Institute, which will soon file a patent application for preservation and packaging technologies for sugarcane juice. The addition of certain chemicals would preserve potability for six to eight months after bottling.
Arachika Kapoor , "Trials and Tribulations of Canning Sugarcane Juice", Media India, October 01, 2017, © Media India Group
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Ex-Microsoft Tech Guru Explores Nexus Of Tradition, Innovation In Making Bread

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold, who has written a 2,642-page book on bread making, says the craft is ancient, but it’s golden age is now. Myhrvold collaborated not only with co-author Francisco Migoya, but also with an army of chefs, scientists, writers, and researchers over four years to create the five-volume opus, “Modernist Bread.” It is partly a cookbook, once you get past the first three volumes. But the real focus is the intersection of tradition and innovation in making bread. An example is the debunking of the traditional technique of kneading dough. It’s just simply not necessary: “… to a large extent kneading is a fraud,” he says. “Kneading does not do what most baking books say it does.”
Michael Floreak, "Ex-Microsoft Tech Leader Knows the Science of Baking Bread", PageSuite, October 01, 2017, © PageSuite Limited
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Handmade Tortillas Deliver Real Taco Flavor In Seattle’s Mexican Eateries

September 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A slew of Mexican restaurants in the Seattle area have spurned tortillas torn from plastic bags, turning instead to hand-made tortillas, both corn and wheat. Many eateries now employ a tortilla maker who makes them from balled up masa that is flattened and griddled. In addition to being made fresh, the tortillas contain no artificial preservatives that turn the packaged variety into “the equivalent of eating cardboard pizza.” Local foodies lament the fact that it’s still nearly impossible to find anything that resembles a freshly-made corn tortilla – redolent of corn aroma and lacking any hint of the lime used  as a preservative – in grocery stores. 
Tan Vinh, "The magic of fresh tortillas", The Seattle Times, September 29, 2017, © The Seattle Times Company
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Wal-Mart Aims For High-End Market With Jet.com

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is repositioning its Jet ecommerce unit toward the high-end market, as part of the retailer's efforts to compete with online rival Amazon. Acquired by Wal-Mart for $3.3 billion in 2016, Jet plans to sell apparel from online retailers bought by the retail giant in the previous year. Also, Jet plans to introduce a new line of private-label food and grocery items.
Sarah Nassauer, "Wal-Mart Tries to Take Jet.com Upscale", The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Nestle: Detailed Knowledge Of Consumers Makes Digital Marketing Very Precise

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider told investors recently that digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. In fact, it involves developing and using region- or even country-specific Internet marketing tools. As an example, the company’s cross-matching of its own Nescafe customer data with China’s Alibaba consumer data – a 460 million-record database – has made targeting in that country “three times more effective.” The personalization encompasses ad banners on computer screens and delivery of free nutritional product samples. As the “push” model of marketing fades, Schneider said, all you need now is a consumer's phone number or e-mail address to “really target specifically to the needs of that person.”
Jeff Gelski , "Nestle taking country-specific digital approach", Foods Business News, September 28, 2017, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Judge Okays Agreement That Frees FDA To Enforce Menu Calorie Count Rules

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA will begin enforcing in May 2018 long-delayed regulations that require chain restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores to include calorie counts on menus. A federal judge in Chicago approved an agreement reached by the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, and the Dept. of Justice, to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Earthjustice targeting the FDA’s delays in enforcing rules finalized in 2014. The agreement was reached after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on August issued a statement assuring the litigants that there will be no further delays or changes to the menu labeling rules.  [Image Credit: © Earthjustice ]
"FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018", Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 27, 2017, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Discount Retailers Aldi And Lidl Have US Retailers Against The Ropes

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi are expected to grow faster than their local competitors in the US market. By offering limited variety of products at very low prices, Lidl and Aldi are winning a price war and expanding their shares of the retail market. Operating in the US since the 1970s, Aldi has 1,700 stores across the country, while Lidl began its expansion in the East Coast in June, and opened its 30th store in September 2017. Also, by offering private-brand products, the German retailers can offer discounts ranging from 35 percent to 40 percent, compared with their rivals.
Alina Selyukh, "Discount Grocers Aldi And Lidl Give U.S. Stores A Run For Their Money", National Public Radio, September 27, 2017, © npr
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Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [Image Credit: © Agricultured ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Califia Farms Expands Production Capacity With Venture Capital Help

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Venture capital firm CapX Partners helped fast-growing beverage company Califia Farms negotiate a lease on expanded production facilities at its bottling plant in Bakersfield, Calif. The true lease structure facilitated the procurement of two new bottling and pasteurization lines. Flexible financing of the investment resulted in tripling output capacity at the plant. CapX said it was happy to “help the company keep up with demand and continue their global expansion.”
Richard C. Bollinger, "Califia Farms Grows with $15 Million Lease from CapX", News release, CapX Partners, September 26, 2017, © CapX Partners
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Unilever Joins Better Than Cash Alliance's Push For Digital Finance

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced a collaboration with the UN-based group Better Than Cash Alliance, which promotes digital payment as a means of supporting women and smallholder farmers. Part of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan, the consumer goods company's deal with the organization signals its commitment to move away from cash as a payment platform for its value chain. According to Better Than Cash Alliance, digital modes of repaying loans have enabled farmers to reduce payment losses and collections costs, as well as “improved transparency and efficiency.”
"Unilever Joins Better Than Cash Alliance, Embraces Digital Finance Across Value Chain", Sustainable Brands, September 26, 2017, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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Smart-Label Technology Could Generate Millions In Sales Soon

September 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A smart-label developed by a University of Strathclyde business spin-out helps consumers track the freshness of purchased foods. Insignia Technologies is seeking funding to fast-track the commercialization of the technology, which was tested on a popular Sainsbury's cooked ham product in 1,100 shops in the U.K. The labels monitor time and temperature using a color-changing smart plastic that alerts consumers when food is nearing the end of its edible life. Executives at Insignia believe the business could generate £10 million ($13.3 million) in sales within the next three years. [Image Credit: © Insignia Technologies ]
Kevin Scott, "Smart Label to Cut Food Waste could Save Shoppers £150m", The Herald, September 25, 2017, © The Herald
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La Colombe CEO Says The “Mobile Experience” Is The Next Big Thing

September 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coffee roaster and retailer La Colombe’s socially-conscious CEO Todd Carmichael
believes his product’s ability to saturate roughly 37 percent of the grocery market in seven months is a sign that the coffee industry is ready for “the next big thing” – a mobile experience he wants to lead – involving the ability to have a crafted coffee drink anywhere using self-heating cans, or recyclable aluminum single-serve pods that make café-quality hot lattes at home. The company’s ready-to-drink Draft Latte will surpass its hospitality and café revenues this quarter. “The RTD thing is a monster,” he said, a $3 billion market, “and it’s growing fast.”
Dinah Wisenberg Brin, "Backed By Chobani Founder, A Local Coffee Chain Pushes A Revolution", Forbes.com, September 25, 2017, © Forbes.com LLC
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L’Oreal And Nestle To Face Ownership Options For French Cosmetics Group

September 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The death of heiress Liliane Bettencourt, whose family owns 33 percent of L’Oréal, will likely force key investors to address the company’s ownership structure. Nestlé SA, which owns 23 percent, agreed with the Bettencourts not to increase stakes in L’Oréal, but this agreement expires in six months.  Nestlé could then purchase a controlling share in L’Oréal but is more likely to sell its stake, a move that would force L’Oréal to accept wider (and potentially hostile) ownership or opt to invest further funds in the company, boosting earnings per share but reducing funds available for acquisitions.  For Nestlé, the resulting 24 billion euro windfall brings a dilemma. It could payout funds to appease shareholders and especially its activist investor, Third Point, or use the funds to double down on its currently lackluster food and nutrition business.
Andrea Felsted et al., "A Historic Moment for L'Oreal... and Nestle", Bloomberg Gadfly, September 22, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Vision Goes Global

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As Coca-Cola continues its rebranding efforts in the U.S., expanding the corporate mission and product line beyond Coke, the company is also reminding itself and its stakeholders (i.e., Wall Street investors) of the value it has built among communities across the country over the decades. It is now extending this new vision beyond U.S. borders. Its similar “We are more than the Coke you know” campaign has started running in the Coca-Cola FEMSA division, the Latin American bottling arm based in Mexico City that reaches other markets, including the Philippines.
Dale Buss, "Coca-Cola Renew: “We Are Coca-Cola—And So Much More”", Brandchannel, September 21, 2017, © Interbrand
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Lithuania Reports Big Differences In Major Food Brands Sold there

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A study by tiny Baltic country Lithuania shows that the foods sold by major brands there are very different from those sold in Western and Eastern Europe, and more expensive. A government agency sampled 33 food products: 23 differed in composition, taste, color, and consistency. For example, the Nestlé ice tea brand Nestea sold in Lithuanian grocery stores contains more additives than the Nestea sold in Dutch supermarkets, the State Food and Veterinary service (VMVT) reported. Activia yogurts in Lithuania have fewer strawberries than those sold in Germany. A similar study by the Slovak government found significant quality differences in the same products sold in Slovakia and Austria. A spokesman for Coca-Cola Baltics, which makes Nestea, said the company changes product recipes to fit local tastes.
"Lithuania sets off alarm bells over quality of international brands' foods", BNN, September 21, 2017, © BNN-NEWS.COM
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Nestlé’s Deals With U.S. Communities Result In Mostly Free Water Worth Billions

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is the biggest bottled water supplier globally in terms of sales, ahead of Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo. In 2016, U.S. bottled water sales reached $16 billion, up nearly 10 percent from 2015, outpacing soda sales as consumers increasingly seek convenience and healthful options, and worry about tap water safety. Nestlé dominates by accessing U.S. water sources spring by spring – at very low cost – promising communities jobs and new infrastructure in exchange for tax breaks and access to the scarce resource. The company pays a municipal rate for the water, or a nominal extraction fee. ($200 in Michigan.) Nestlé battles grass-roots resistance – “it rankles many because the natural resource gets hauled out of local watersheds for private profit” – with legal action.
Caroline Winter, "Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 21, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Tesco Own-Label Suppliers Commit To Food Waste Transparency

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Major own-label food suppliers to British supermarket chain Tesco have agreed to start publishing their food waste data within the next year. CEO Dave Lewis called the commitment by 24 of the company’s biggest suppliers “pivotal.” Lewis said he believed that many other suppliers and retailers would follow suit in the next weeks and months. Suppliers were apparently influenced by a WRAP organization report in March that showed investments in curbing food waste earned positive returns. For every £1 invested in reducing food waste, WRAP reported, half the business sites had at least a £14 return. WRAP is a nonprofit organization whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. [Image Credit: © Tesco ]
Ian Quinn, "Tesco CEO Hails Waste Agreement with Two Dozen Suppliers a 'Pivotal Moment'", The Grocer, September 21, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Vegan Doughnut Shop’s Menu Is Inspired By Pop Culture

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A vegan doughnut shop in Rochester, N.Y., bases the names of its menu items on movie characters, bands, politics, and art. Misfit Doughnuts & Treats, which opened five months ago, changes its fare every day, offering at least six different flavor profiles featuring one fruit, one chocolate, one citrus, one sweet and savory. Cartoon character Homer Simpson is the inspiration for the “Homer,” a strawberry glazed doughnut with sprinkles a doughnut filled with peaches and topped with a spray of mint is called, simply, “Impeachment.” [Image Credit: © Rochester VegFest ]
Robin L. Flanigan, "Monroe Avenue Doughnut Shop Creates Crazy Flavors that Work", Democrat & Chronicle, September 20, 2017, © www.democratandchronicle.com
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No Evidence Linking Whole Grains To Lower Heart Disease Mortality

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A review of previous studies found that none tested whether eating whole grains influences the risk of death from heart disease, or the risk of a heart attack or a stroke. They did assess the impact of whole grains on risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol. But none found any differences based on the types of grains people ate. A large, undisputed body of evidence associates whole grains with other health benefits, however, including lower weight gain, better cholesterol, glucose and insulin levels, which are risk factors for heart disease. They are also a source of cereal fiber that has been linked to lower risk for heart disease, obesity and cancer.
Lisa Rapaport, "What Can Studies Tell Us About Whole Grains and the Heart?", Reuters, September 20, 2017, © Reuters
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USDA Says Its Organic Police Are Slacking Off

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The inspector general of the USDA has found that agency officials tasked with monitoring imported foods labeled “USDA Organic” have been sleeping on the job, allowing, for example, millions of pounds of imported conventional soybeans and corn to reach U.S. grocery stores with bogus certified-organic labels. The audit of the Agricultural Marketing Service determined that the agency could not “provide reasonable assurance” that those items from abroad are actually “from certified organic foreign farms and business.” The inspector general suggested that the USDA needs to find a way to get the organic food-monitoring staff to do its job properly. [Image Credit: © USDA ]
Clint Rainey, "USDA Warns That Millions of Pounds of Fake ‘Organic’ Imports Are Pouring Into U.S.", Grub Street, September 20, 2017, © New York Media LLC
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FIFA Video Game Star Endorses Coke In New Video Ad

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has landed an endorsement from Electronic Arts virtual soccer star Alex Hunter, who is making a comeback with Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy after a lackluster stint with the English Premier League. A FIFA video goes behind the scenes when the spot – based loosely on the iconic Mean Joe Greene Coke ad of the late 1970s – is filmed with some digital age updates. The company will place the video in social media using paid ad support and show it on Coke's Times Square billboard.
E.J. Schultz, "Coke Inks Endorsement Deal With Fictional 'Virtual Athlete' From FIFA Video Game", Advertising Age, September 20, 2017, © Crain Communications
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Food Industry Giants Seek Label Standardization Within Three Years

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An organization that represents 400 consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in 70 countries has proposed that food date (viz., "sell by," use by," etc.) labels be standardized and streamlined globally within three years to help customers reduce the amount of edible food thrown out by households. The “Call to Action” from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a Paris-based group with offices in Tokyo and Washington, D.C., requires retailers and food producers to focus on numbers of labels, inclusion of expiration dates for perishable items and food quality indicators for non-perishable items, and educating consumers on what date labels mean. The CGF includes companies like Tesco, Kellogg, Walmart, Campbell Soup, Bimbo, Pick n Pay, Nestlé, Carrefour, and Unilever. [Image Credit: © Consumer Goods Forum ]
"Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste", The Consumer Goods Forum, September 20, 2017, © The Consumer Goods Forum
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Bread Trends Affecting American Diets

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Our shrinking world – fueled by international travel and near-universal access to the Internet – has meant increased sharing of information on a huge array of topics, including bread and other baked goods. Witness the U.S.-originated gourmet burger and upgraded bun that took off in Europe. Or the artisan bread trend that spread from Europe to the U.S. Other ideas that have emigrated include the interest in quality ingredients and clean label, and in unpackaged fresh bread products. Other ideas about bread and grain products that are being shared globally include interest in tortillas, flatbreads, matcha buns, Japanese milk bread, and classic European pastries like croissants and Danish. Keywords in the U.S.: healthful and flavorful.
Charlotte Atchley, "Three Bread Trends Shaping American Diets", Baking Business, September 19, 2017, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Kroger’s New Mission: No Food Waste, No Hunger

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Kroger Co. has embarked on a new corporate mission to reduce food waste and hunger in the communities where its stores operate by 2025. CEO Rodney McMullen noted that 42 million Americans struggle with hunger while 72 billion pounds of food end up in landfills every year. Kroger's Zero Hunger-Zero Waste plan includes commitments to: establish a $10 million innovation fund to address hunger and food waste; speed up food donations to provide three billion meals by 2025; donate not just food, but also balanced meals; and advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and shorten lines at food banks, and lobby governments on programs for recycling, composting and sustainability. [Image Credit: © Kroger ]
"Kroger Announces Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan", News release, Kroger Co., September 19, 2017, © Kroger Co.
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Revamped Headquarters Reflect Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Mores

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has worked with international architect Gensler to renovate its 60-year-old headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The idea was to provide workspaces that promote creativity, productivity, and engagement for the 13,000 employees who work there, and to visually represent the company’s transformation to a “true total beverage company.” Gensler and the company came up with a “Mainstreet Experience,” creating communal space out of the ground floors of six buildings and physically linking the buildings into a network. The 350,000 square feet of office space now features conference rooms, cafes, lounges, treadmill desks, sit-stand workstations in communal areas, soft seating, and two acres of outdoor space with patios and courtyards.
Diana Budds, "Coca-Cola’s Headquarters Have A Refreshing New Look", Fast Company Design, September 18, 2017, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Grocery Chain Tackles Food Waste With End-Of-Day Half-Price Bread

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Norwegian grocery chain SPAR’s goal is to cut food waste by 270 tons a year. One of the tactics for achieving this is to offer unsold freshly-baked bread at half off an hour before closing. The company tested the idea in a few stores, without any advertising or marketing. Bread waste dropped by 16 percent, which adds to 270 tons a year. Trial participants noted a boost in foot traffic in the last hour of business in addition to positive comments from customers. Any unsold bread is given to pig farmers. The company is also spreading the word among its 259 other stores using in-store posters and shelf markers. [Image Credit: © SPAR Norway ]
"SPAR Norway’s Food Waste Reduction Scheme", SPAR International, September 18, 2017, © SPAR International
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Company Launches Premium Protein Powder Based On Water Lentils

September 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Plant-based nutrition company Clean Machine has launched what it calls a “new superfood” protein powder based on protein-rich water lentils. Dubbed Clean Green Protein, the product contains Lentein and is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber. A 1.6-pound tub with 20 servings and a vanilla chai flavor has an MSRP of $59.99 and is third-party certified vegan, non-GMO, dairy free, and gluten free.  [Image Credit: © Clean Machine ]
"Clean Machine Celebrates the Exclusive Launch Of Lentein, Higher In Nutrients And Protein Than Any Plant Ever Discovered", News release, Clean Machine, September 17, 2017, © Clean Machine
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Time For Coca-Cola To Spread The Word About Its Product Line, Community Roots

September 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola recently took its rebranding and refranchising campaign to national TV with an ad on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast billing itself as the “total beverage company” with local community roots and an ever-expanding array of beverages. The new ad talks about a revamped Coca-Cola company whose 68 independent U.S. bottlers have deep connections in local communities. The TV ad will be bolstered by print ads in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Partners & Spade is doing the creative work, joined by Perfect Sense Digital on digital and UM for media buying.
E.J. Schultz, "Coca-Cola's Corporate Brand Campaign Moves Beyond Soda", Advertising Age, September 17, 2017, © Crain Communications
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Company Debuts Ancient Grain-Based Bar Line

September 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Free-from food specialist Enjoy Life Foods, a Mondelez company, has introduced a line of grain and seed snack bars that combine three types of the ancient grain sorghum in four flavors. The company also unveiled new packaging that features the “unofficial shade of food allergy awareness,” teal – “a comforting color to those with food allergies.” The bars are high in protein, and made with popped-sorghum and gluten-free rolled oats. They are also palm oil-free and free from 14 allergens. They are available in 50-gram and 28-gram sizes, in banana caramel, cranberry orange, chocolate marshmallow and maple sweet potato flavors. [Image Credit: © Enjoy Life Foods ]
"Enjoy Life Foods Debuts New Packaging, Grain & Seed Bars at Natural Products Expo East 2017", News release, Enjoy Life Foods, September 14, 2017, © Enjoy Life Foods
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Carlo's Bakery Expands To Minnesota’s Mall of America

September 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hoboken, N.J.-based Carlo’s Bakery is bringing its brand of Italian baking to the Midwest, opening its twenty-first location at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Mall shoppers will now be able to sample the brand's cannoli, lobster tail, cupcakes, and custom cakes that made the family-run brand famous. Carlo’s first became famous showing its over-the-top cakes produced by master baker Buddy Valastro on TLC's series Cake Boss and a spinoff Next Great Baker. The cakes have also been featured in Bride’s magazine and Huffington Post, and on the Rachael Ray Show and Good Morning America. [Image Credit: © Carlo's Bakery Hoboken ]
"Carlo's Bakery Marches Into Minnesota", News release, Carlo's Bakery, September 14, 2017, © Carlo's Bakery
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Nestlé Buys Majority Stake In High-End Coffee Roaster, Retailer Blue Bottle Coffee

September 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Global coffee producer Nestlé has purchased a majority stake in Oakland, Calif.-based Blue Bottle Coffee. The high-end specialty coffee roaster and retailer operates coffee shops – 55 by the end of the year – in major U.S. cities and in Japan, and has launched super-premium RTD and roast and ground products, sold online and in retail stores. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Nestlé coffee brands include Nescafé and Nespresso.
"Nestlé acquires majority interest in Blue Bottle Coffee", News release, Nestlé , September 14, 2017, © Nestlé
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Frozen Cheesy Bread Offers New Takes On “Soft Middle” Baked Goods

September 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Frozen garlic bread pioneer Cole's Quality Foods has introduced a stuffed bread inspired by popular bread and cheese combination snacks. Middles are baked goods in the tradition of “soft middle” items like bagels, Italian breads, and pretzel breads, stuffed with savory and sweet centers, including cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and beer cheese. The heat-and-serve snacks are available in the freezer sections of grocery, club, supermarkets, and convenience stores for an SRP of $3.99 for a 10-ounce box of eight bites. [Image Credit: ©   Cole's Quality Foods]
"Cole’s Quality Foods Introduces Innovative Stuffed Bread Snack Called Middles, Taking Cheesy Bread to New, Inspired Heights", MultiVu, September 13, 2017, © MultiVu, a Cision company
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Cookie Industry Thrives As Consumers Look For Healthful, Artisanal Offerings

September 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The cookie segment of the retail snacks and baked goods industry is offering strong differentiation that riffs on traditional recipes, adding innovative, crafted, more healthful options. Handheld treats are doing quite well overall, with cookie sales reaching $8.2 billion in the year that ended in March, an increase of 1.76 percent. The main drivers in the field include a consumer preference for artisanal or craft cookies that are less uniform in appearance and have a “homemade” appeal. Homemade suggests the use of familiar, healthful ingredients, including coconut oil, dark chocolate, whole grains, natural sweeteners (viz., honey and maple syrup), oats, peanut butter, nuts, raisins, and chocolate chips. Bottom line: consumers want to "eat less, but eat better."
Melissa Kvidahl, "Creative Cookies Get Thinner, Healthier and Offer Innovative Flavors", Snack & Bakery, September 13, 2017, © BNP Media
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Start-Up Hopes To Shake Up The Dairy Industry With Pea-Based Milk

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dairy is the largest contributor to carbon emissions by volume in food production. That fact inspired two entrepreneurs to launch a venture capital-backed Silicon Valley company, dubbed Ripple, to produce dairy alternatives that taste better and have the same amount of protein as dairy and soy milks, and much more than almond or rice products. Made from yellow peas, which are inexpensive to grow, their products aren’t strongly flavored but deliver the same amount of protein as milk from cows. The growing popularity of milk alternatives comes at the expense of the real thing, of course: sales of dairy milk declined seven percent in 2015 and are projected to fall another 11 percent through 2020.
Kate Krader, "For One Silicon Valley Startup, This Vegetable Is the Future of Milk", Bloomberg , September 12, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Danone Spends Millions To Prepare Evian Bottling Plant For Growth

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a move to facilitate increased production capacity and product growth, Danone is spending €280 million ($335 million) to modernize the Evian bottled water plant in Evian-les-Bains, France, by 2020. CEO Emmanuel Faber said the company, pressured by investors to produce better returns, expects sales to continue double-digit growth rates in the U.S. as consumers spurn sugary soft drinks and governments use taxation to discourage sugar consumption. Euromonitor forecasts a global bottled water market of $230 billion by 2021, an increase of 16 percent. Modernization of the Evian plant is expected to boost annual output capacity to two billion bottles, from current 1.5 billion.
Dominique Vidalon, Pascale Denis, "Danone eyeing solid Evian sales thanks to modernized plant", Reuters, September 12, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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New Generation Of Sports Drinks Isn’t Afraid Of Trying Avant Garde Ingredients

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade account for about 94 percent of the $8 billion U.S. sports drink market. But, like their cousins in the soft drink market, these and other brands are grappling with the consumer trend away from sugary beverages. The sports drink giants are also battling pesky upstarts in tune with modern science, offering a new generation of high-tech, all-natural hydration solutions that actually taste good without the sugar. The basic mission of sports drinks is to replace electrolytes – sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc. – lost in exercise. But they also need to taste good. To accomplish that, some new generation brands are experimenting with ingredients like vegan cane sugar, monk fruit extract, stevia, and dextrose.
Larissa Zimberoff, "Sports Drinks Makers Are Waging an $8 Billion Thirst War", Bloomberg, September 12, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Evian Certified As Carbon Neutral In U.S., Canada

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s bottled water brand Evian, sourced from a French Alpine spring, announced it has been audited and certified by the nonprofit Carbon Trust in the U.S. and Canada as a carbon neutral product. The certification marks a major step toward a goal of reaching worldwide carbon neutrality by 2020. To help reduce its carbon footprint, the brand uses environmentally friendly trains and ships to deliver product to North America. In addition, all Evian bottles and caps are fully recyclable; the company expects all packaging to have an average of 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by the end of 2017 in North America.
"Evian Achieves Carbon Neutrality in the U.S. and Canada", News release, Danone, September 12, 2017, © Danone
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Danone Product Strategy For India Includes Dairy, Protein, And Baby Food

September 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone, which launched operations in India in 2010, has been successful using a process called “Indovation” to introduce products, especially dairy, suitable to Indian tastes, including Mishti Doi yogurt, and Chaas and Lassi yogurt-based beverages. According to General Manager Rodrigo Lima, the company plans ten new products in 2017-2018, including recent launches Protinex Grow, Protinex Tasty chocolate, Greek yogurt, and global baby food brands Aptamil and Neocate. The educational ad campaign for protein supplement Protinex was based on the finding that protein is mainly “missing” in the daily diets of Indians. The campaign used TV, print, radio, and social media to get the message across to Indian consumers.
Dolly Mahayan, "Danone's big India bet: 10 new products lined-up: Rodrigo Lima, MD", exchange4media.com, September 11, 2017, © exchange4media.com
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Particle Accelerator Technology Leads To Food Waste Savings

September 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Technology used in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator is being used by supermarkets like the U.K.’s Morrisons chain, to curtail food waste. An algorithm developed by Michael Feindt of the AI firm Blue Yonder not only predicts the activity of quarks, it accurately predicts supermarket stock needs so they can reduce the amount of unsold food that ends up in landfills. The Blue Yonder system’s efficiency savings come close to 30 percent, Feindt says, a considerable achievement considering that British supermarkets tossed 235,000 tons of food into the waste bins in 2015. [Image Credit: ©   Blue Yonder]
Ben Chapman, "How Supermarkets Use Particle Physics to Save Thousands of Tonnes of Food Waste", Independent, September 11, 2017, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Stevia Increasingly Finds Its Way Into Big Food’s Reformulations

September 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers concerned about obesity and diabetes are more attentive to healthful dietary and fitness regimens. The trend, along with a spate of governmental levies on sugar, has inspired food and beverage companies to reformulate products. Among the new ingredients being used is the natural low-calorie sweetener stevia. Since 2012, new food with stevia has increased 57 percent; drinks are up 161 percent. In the second quarter of 2017, new product launches using stevia rose 13 percent year on year, researcher Mintel found. It was widely used in new carbonated soft drinks and juices, which represented nine percent of worldwide launches containing stevia in that period. Big suppliers using the ingredient include Coca-Cola, Danone, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever.
Daniel Selwood, "War on sugar drives continuing growth for stevia lines", The Grocer, September 09, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Despite A History Of Flops, Starbucks Continues To Tinker With Food

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coffee shop chain Starbucks hasn’t had much luck selling food – cake pops, truffle mac and cheese, avocado toast, etc. – along with its ever-popular coffees. It’s been a bit of a logistical problem – stores don’t have kitchens – but also a cultural one: customers are conditioned run in grab a cup of joe, and leave. But now it is testing, at a few stores in Chicago and home base Seattle, what it calls a sushi burrito, though it doesn’t contain raw fish. The chicken maki roll comprises cooked chicken, pickled cabbage, and avocado, rolled in sushi rice and wrapped with seaweed. The biggest hurdle? The so-called “classic California burrito with a twist” just isn’t a hot meal.  [Image Credit: ©   Starbucks]
Abha Bhattarai, "Starbucks Wants To Sell You a Sushi Burrito with Your Frappuccino", The Washington Post, September 08, 2017, © The Washington Post
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Edible Cookie Dough Maker Sets Up Shop In New York City

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
World’s Best Cookie Dough announced plans to open a raw edible cookie dough store on Bleecker Street in New York City. Eating raw cookie dough without the right ingredients can be harmful, so the company makes its dough with pasteurized eggs and heat-treated flour to ensure safety. The dough is available in a wide range of flavors. The company also sells cookie dough “freakshakes,” as well as cheesecake, fried ice cream, pudding, and cookies, all made with cookie dough. 
"World’s Best Cookie Dough comes to New York City", Digital Journal, September 08, 2017, © digitaljournal.com
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Battling Hotel Food Waste Starts With Event Buffets

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Experts from a global design firm analyzed each facet of a Florida hotel’s buffet operations – it handles more than 5,000 event buffets a year – finding to everyone’s surprise that half of the food put out for guests was left uneaten. Only 10 to 15 percent of the leftovers could be donated or repurposed because of food safety regulations: the rest ended up in the garbage. More waste was generated by coffee, juices, and other liquids. The executive chef at Orlando’s Hyatt Regency says some changes being tested include: sample plates of meats and cheese instead of large platters; single servings of yogurt instead of big bowls; smaller amounts of bread and butter instead of big baskets; and substituting finger pastries for whole cakes and pies. The changes have already cut food waste by ten percent without guest complaints.
Linda Himelstein, "Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized", The New York Times, September 08, 2017, © The New York Times Company
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E-Commerce Start-Up LifeAid’s Brands Appearing In Stores In Western U.S.

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fast-growing LifeAid Beverage Co. says it will use the cash it raised in two recent funding rounds to help it expand further from e-commerce into traditional retail. The company’s products are now being sold in the natural and conventional grocery channel, including Safeway stores in the Southwest U.S., and in stores in its Southern, Houston, Portland, Denver and NorCal divisions. The company’s 2016 revenue was $12.8 million; the three-year growth rate was 1,903 percent. The company’s line of "better-for-you" supplement blends include FitAid, FocusAid, PartyAid, TravelAid, GolferAid, FitAid Fuel Pouch, and a limited channel distribution product FitAid Rx.
Martín Caballero , "LifeAid Making Gains In Transition to Retail", BevNET.com, September 08, 2017, © BevNET.com
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Attitudes Toward Natural, Organic Foods Drive Industry Evolution

September 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
At least half of American adults – and three-fourths of natural food shoppers – believe that organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious, healthier, and better tasting than conventional produce, according to Packaged Facts. These attitudes are the key reason that retail sales of natural and organic foods in the U.S. grew at a CAGR of seven percent from 2012 to 2016. Growth should reach double digits over the next four years, “far outpacing sales growth for groceries and consumables overall.” The demand for organic and natural foods has caused a shift in the industry. They are now found in most supermarkets, making them major competitors of natural food stores and chains. [Image Credit: ©   Hawaii Aloha Travel]
"Organic Food Trends Broadening the Competitive Fray for Natural Grocers", PR Newswire, September 07, 2017, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Non-GMO Certification Is Mostly Meaningless, But Could Harm Farmers Globally

September 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International, whose Nabisco unit produces Triscuit snack crackers, is so far unfazed by the huge social media backlash that greeted its announcement regarding certification by the Non-GMO project. Applied across the entire line of Triscuit products, the certification was termed “pandering to ignorance and fear” by critics. A Forbes contributor took the criticism further, panning the Non-GMO Project itself for failure to say anything meaningful about a product or its ingredients on their labels, including whether it is healthful, environmentally sound, or whether the workers and farmers who produced it had good working conditions. “Slapping a no-GMOs claim on a product might be an easy way to capitalize on a popular trend,” she says, but it could lead to consumer rejection of genetically engineered farming, which would adversely affect farmers across the globe. [Image Credit: © Triscuit.com ]
Kavin Senapathy, "Stop 'Pandering To Ignorance And Fear': Consumers Speak Out Against Triscuit's Non-GMO Label", Forbes, September 06, 2017, © Forbes Media LLC
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Pumpkin Products Are Booming, But Growth Is Slowing Down

September 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite an explosion in pumpkin-based products, market data from Nielsen shows that pumpkin product growth has slowed to six percent from last year’s ten percent, and 20 percent in 2013. A Nielsen analyst said it is highly likely that “we’ve hit pumpkin peak, though every year brings a new crop – an “almost endless assortment” – of pumpkin flavored foods. General Mills, for example, sells more than a dozen pumpkin products, including yogurts, granola bars, baking mixes – even pumpkin spice Cheerios. According to Nielsen, sales in the category reached a record high of $414 million last year; fresh pumpkin sales reached $121 million, a five percent increase from the year before.  [Image Credit: © General Mills ]
Angelica LaVito, "Pumpkin Season is Officially Here, But Excitement May Be Slowing", CNBC, September 05, 2017, © CNBC LLC
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