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Clean-Label Yogurt Drink Will Soon Be Available Across U.S.

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Plant-based yogurt brand Hälsa, founded by a Scandinavian entrepreneurial duo, has launched a dairy-free drinkable yogurt made with whole grain oats, and organic berries and fruits. Oatgurt is 100 percent clean label, according to the company, whose name means “health” in Swedish. It contains no dairy, no soy, and no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, but does contain natural fruit sugars, organic whole grain oats, prebiotics, and probiotics (Bifidus), and is certified organic and kosher. The drink is available in four fruit flavors: organic strawberry, organic blueberry, organic mango pear and organic apple chai. Hälsa retails at $2.49 for an 8 fl oz. bottle and will soon be found at leading healthy food stores and retailers nationwide, the company said.
"Hälsa Debuts 100% Clean Label Oat Yogurt Drink", BevNET, March 02, 2018, © BevNET.com
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N.Y. Breweries Send Spent Grain To Flour Company Instead Of Landfill

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Several breweries in the New York City area are sending their spent grain to a local flour company instead of the landfill. Rise Flour turns the grain into a “super flour” that contains 12 times the fiber, twice the protein, and a third of the carbs of standard all-purpose flour. The breweries are not only reducing their operational costs, they are also becoming zero waste businesses. [Image Credit: © Rise Flour]
"New York Flour Company Turns Breweries' Waste into Nutrition", Specialty Food News, March 02, 2018, © Specialty Food Association, Inc.
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Mutual Fund Company Hopes To Force Amazon To Issue A Food Waste Report

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A mutual fund company with an environmental conscience has petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to compel Amazon.com’s shareholders to vote on a proposed food waste report. Boston-based Green Century Capital Management says it has worked with Kroger, Costco and other retailers on food waste; Safeway, Publix, Ahold USA, and Target have all addressed the issue. According to the company, which had begun talking about the issue with Whole Foods Market management before last year, it sent a letter to Amazon’s management and board outlining its concerns. But when Amazon said it did not want to issue a food waste report, Green Century filed a shareholder resolution asking that the proposal be voted on by shareholders. Amazon has challenged the shareholder request to the SEC. [Image Credit: ©   Green Century]
Richard Turcsik, "Amazon Latest Retailer Being Prodded on Food Waste", Supermarket News, March 02, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Bimbo Selfies Contest Ties Its Bread Brands To Anti-Hunger Campaign

March 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Bimbo Bakeries USA has launched a selfies-based contest to promote several of its bread brands while providing “nutritious meals to kids who need it most.” Through March 31, participants who submit selfies on Instagram showing their love of sandwiches and bread (viz., Arnold, Brownberry or Oroweat bread) will be entered in a contest. Three #BreadSelfieChallenge winners will be selected to receive a $10,000 grand prize, each representing one of the Bimbo bread brands. Winners will be announced on April 24, 2018. In addition, for each selfie submitted, the brands will donate enough to the No Kid Hungry program to provide 20 meals, up to 150,000 meals in total to needy children. [Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries]
"Arnold, Brownberry And Oroweat Bread Toast To The Launch Of America's #BreadSelfieChallenge With No Kid Hungry", News release, Bimbo Bakeries USA, March 01, 2018, © Bimbo Bakeries USA
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Walmart Unveils High-Tech Produce Spoilage Initiative At Distribution Centers

March 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has introduced an “Intelligent Food” initiative to improve perishable food quality and eliminate waste from the produce supply chain. Dubbed “Eden,” the initiative has been implemented company-wide in 43 grocery distribution centers and other facilities over the last 12 months. The company says Eden has already reduced spoilage by “tens of millions of dollars” in fiscal 2018 (since January 27, 2018), and will eliminate $2 billion in spoilage over the next five years. Under the program, visual inspection of fresh produce at distribution centers is being automated and digitized. Algorithms and other advanced technologies monitor the temperature and freshness of produce and perishable foods from farm to supplier to warehouse to Walmart’s shelves. [Image Credit: ©   Walmart]
Michael Browne, "Walmart Introduces Eden, its High-Tech Fresh-Food Initiative", Supermarket News, March 01, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Quick Breads Have Several Advantages Over The Yeast-Based Stuff

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Quick breads have remained popular over the years because they are easy to make, economical – they make use of ingredients often past their prime – and can be whipped up in far less time than yeast-based breads. Cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum says making quick breads – e.g., zucchini bread, apple bread, banana bread, etc. – is “comfortable baking” that is “no fail.” They owe their continued success to the introduction of two leavening agents that offer an alternative to yeast: baking soda and baking powder.
Jennifer Graue, "Whether Banana, Cheese or Soda, Baking These Loaves Takes Hardly Any Time (and no Yeast)", LowellSun.com, February 28, 2018, © Digital First Media
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Strict Clean Label Grocery Chain Introduces Thousand Hills Grazed Beef In Stores

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colorado-based Natural Grocers is introducing the “exceptional quality” Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed beef, raised on family-owned U.S. farms, in its grocery stores in 19 states. Natural Grocers maintains strict clean label standards – stricter than USDA standards – for its beef suppliers, requiring all unprocessed, fresh and frozen meat to be humanely-raised without hormones, growth-promoting drugs, antibiotics or animal by-products. The company also “prefers” non-genetically modified feed. According to the company, the USDA allows meat to be labeled as 100-percent grass fed even if cattle are confined in feed lots and fed distillers’ grains, GMO alfalfa, and antibiotics. [Image Credit: © Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed]
Alissa Marchat, "Natural Grocers Adds Thousand Hills Grass-Fed Beef To All Stores", The Shelby Report, February 28, 2018, © The Shelby Report
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Lazy Bear Tea Keeps Environmental Impact In Mind As It Builds RTD Tea Business

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Three young entrepreneurs, including a woman who grew up in a coffee-growing region of Colombia, are working to build a business based on leftover coffee cherry husks (cascara) from Nicaragua. Their product is Lazy Bear Tea, a family of RTD teas currently distributed in the New England region, but looking to expand. Co-founder Daniela Uribe saw a market opportunity – and a partial solution to food waste – in the discarded coffee cherry husks when she first tasted the tea made from the dried husks. The company has been selling three SKUs of RTD tea (natural, lemon agave, and mint); a fourth flavor, cascara chai, with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, and agave syrup, is being introduced this month. Uribe’s mission is to be successful with a value-added product that combines the social impact of Honest Tea with the mainstream appeal and distribution strength of Snapple.
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Lazy Bear Tea brews Up New Use for Discarded Coffee Cherry Husks with RTD Teas", BeverageDaily.com, February 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pulse-Based Mac And Cheese Now Available In U.S.

February 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Already available in Canadian grocery stores, Chickapea has launched its organic chickpea and lentil mac and cheese in the U.S. Using a sauce made from real organic cheese, the product is non-GMO, kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free, contains 19 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and less than 500mg of sodium per serving. Launched in July 2016, Chickapea mac and cheese is available in three varieties – mac with classic cheddar, mini spirals with classic cheddar, and shells with white cheddar – in 2,000 stores in North America as well as online at choosechickapea.com and on Amazon.  [Image Credit: © Chickapea]
"Chickapea Launches the Only Organic, Pulse-Based Mac and Cheese", News release, Chickapea, February 27, 2018, © Chickapea
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Inno-Bev, A New Player In Energy Drinks Market, Awarded A U.S. Patent

February 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The energy drinks market is vibrant, with major players like Red Bull, Monster and Rock Star battling for a spot at the top. But energy drinks are being scrutinized more closely these days because of concerns over negative health effects, ads that target younger consumers, and the use of artificial ingredients. Into this environment jumps an Israeli company that has just been awarded a U.S. patent for a plant-based alertness formula called WakeUp, sold as a liquid supplement shot and as an RTD beverage. The formula is based on guarana, ginkgo biloba, and elderberry, sweetened with a low glycemic fruit extract. Inno-Bev Ltd. says randomized clinical trials showed several benefits: it overcomes the post-lunch dip/morning inertia; improves vigilance, focus, and work performance without side effects; and, when used over a 30-day period, helps improve brain function.
Hank Schultz, "Inno-Bev Gets U.S. Patent on Botanical Formula for Alertness", BeverageDaily.com, February 27, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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W.V. Legislature Considers Bill To Cut School Food Waste, Ease Hunger

February 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A bill wending its way through the West Virginia legislative process will allow distribution of unused school food to students. The bill, which just passed the House of Delegates, is modeled after a nationwide initiative known as Share Table that has the approval of the USDA as a tool to reduce food waste. If enacted, the measure would allow schools to work with county health departments and the USDA to come up with guidelines to distribute unused food to students or have it collected and donated to charitable organizations. More than 79,000 children in the state lived with food insecurity in 2017. The measure now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
Taylor Stuck, "Bill Would Allow Schools to Pass Out Unused Food", The Herald Dispatch, February 24, 2018, © HD Media Company, LLC
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French Law Has Made It Much Easier For Grocers To Donate Food

February 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
France’s two-year-old food waste law bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food. Stores that violate the law can be fined $4,500 for each infraction. But the law has affected much more than grocery stores. A whole subculture of food donation, collection, and distribution has sprung up across the country. Five thousand charities depend on the food bank network, which now gets nearly half of its donations from grocery stores. The new law has increased the quantity and quality of donations, with more fresh foods and products available farther from their expiration date. The law has also cut back on food waste by eliminating certain constraining contracts between supermarkets and food manufacturers. [Image Credit: © Politico Europe ]
Eleanor Beardsley, "French Food Waste Law Changing How Grocery Stores Approach Excess Food", National Public Radio, February 24, 2018, © npr
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Brewery/Bakery Partnership Recycles Surplus Bread Into Brewskis

February 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A New York City bakery is collaborating with a brewery in a project whose overall mission is to cut food – especially bread – waste. Startup brewer Toast Ale uses unsold, but still fresh, bread donated by artisanal bakery Bread Alone, which also donates much of its surplus to churches, food pantries, and other charities. Toast Ale, like all brewers, needs food starch to make its product. The company gets at least some of its food starch from bread donated by Bread Alone Bakery. The starch forms sugars, that are eventually fermented to make beer. According to Toast Ale, it has brewed more than 5,000 gallons of beer in New York, and “saved more than 2,200 pounds of bread." [Image Credit: © ToastAle.com]
James Ford, "Drink Beer to Help Save the Planet? It’s happening in NYC", PIX11, February 24, 2018, © Tribune Broadcasting Company
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Bakery Succeeds With Variations Of One Core Product: The Pretzel Bun

February 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Miller Baking Company owner Brian Miller is both pleased and surprised that the company’s flagship product is suddenly garnering a lot of positive publicity. The eight-year-old pretzel bun brand known as Pretzilla was featured in several New York City publications when chef Masa Takayama used it to wrap beef and lamb burgers at his newly-launched Tetsu restaurant. The original baking company that Miller’s family purchased in 1970 used to sell 175 different baked goods in Milwaukee. But it now concentrates on only four core pretzel bread variations sold nationwide: burger buns, mini buns, pretzel bites, and sausage buns. [Image Credit: © Miller Baking Company]
Maggie Overfelt, "Whole Foods, Costco Success Story: 95-Year-Old Business bets it all on the Pretzel Bun", CNBC, February 23, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Tyson Foods Turns Its Attention To Protein Snacks, While Tackling Food Waste

February 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Giant U.S. meat producer Tysons Foods has set its strategic sights on the snack business in a way that will put some of its scraps to good use. A company R&D team was given six months to figure out a way make protein-based snacks from materials that would otherwise go to the landfill. As consumers turn away from sugary snacks, they are buying more protein snacks, creating a $2.9 billion market in 2017. Tyson thinks it can take ingredients like poultry scraps, spent grain from brewers, and vegetable pulp from juicers to create high-protein snacks. Tyson has already begun to branch out from poultry into snacks: its acquisition of Hillshire Brands in 2014 brought with it the jerky brand Golden Island, and Tyson has used the Hillshire name to launch a line of meat snacks. [Image Credit: © Tyson Foods]
Megan Durisin et al., "Tyson Innovation Lab Aims to Turn Scraps Into Snacks", Bloomberg, February 21, 2018, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Despite Hiccup In 4th Q Online Sales, Analysts Don’t See Walmart Losing To Amazon

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Investors are nervous that a dip in Walmart’s 4th quarter e-commerce sales – the announcement triggered a nine percent stock price drop – could portend an online future in which the mega-retailer plays second fiddle to Amazon. Online sales grew only 23 percent during the holiday quarter. Yet the company continues to forecast 40 percent growth for the current fiscal year, and analysts and industry experts seem to be on board with that. The company’s investments in its website and overall e-commerce operations will begin to pay off later in the year. Walmart also has a substantial brick-and-mortar retail base, something Amazon lacks. A Cowen & Co. analyst said “the future of e-commerce is physical + digital,” a strategy that “will drive a 'productivity loop.'" [Image Credit: © Walmart ]
Lauren Thomas, "Walmart Has Big Year of E-Commerce Investments Planned to Bring Growth Back to 40 Percent", CNBC, February 20, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Conagra Sells Canadian Del Monte Processed Fruits/Vegetables Unit

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Conagra Brands announced it is selling its Canadian Del Monte canned fruit and vegetable business to Canada’s Bonduelle Group in a deal worth about US$34 million. A spokesman for Bonduelle said all three of the company's canning facilities in Canada will be “positively impacted” by the acquisition in terms of added jobs. The deal is subject to closing conditions but is expected to be completed before the end of May.  [Image Credit: © Conagra Brands ]
"Conagra Brands Enters Into Definitive Agreement With Bonduelle Group To Sell Its Canadian Del Monte Processed Fruit And Vegetable Business", News release, Conagra Brands, February 20, 2018, © Conagra Brands, Inc.
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Ardent Mills Names New CIO

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Ardent Mills LLC has named Chris Meyerpeter chief information officer and a member of the company’s senior leadership team. As CIO, Meyerpeter will oversee IT and will be responsible for driving the company’s IT strategy, objectives and goals as well as providing innovative enterprise solutions. A 21-year veteran of Monsanto, Meyerpeter most recently was senior director of information technology-customer digital experience at the St. Louis company. [Image Credit: © Ardent Mills ]
Josh Sosland, "Chris Meyerpeter Named C.I.O. at Ardent Mills", Food Business News, February 20, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Amazon Rewards Whole Foods Shoppers With Access To Prime Visa Benefits

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Amazon has extended the benefits of Amazon Prime membership to shoppers at Whole Foods Market, its newly-acquired grocery retail chain. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Cardmembers who shop at Whole Foods Market and use the card to purchase animal welfare-rated meat, sustainably caught wild and responsibly farmed seafood, or any local, Whole Trade, or organic produce will earn five percent bac. The discount is in addition to any other rewards they receive, including five percent back on Amazon.com purchases, two percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and one percent back on all other purchases. The rewards never expire and are redeemable, as long as the account is open, on millions of products at Amazon.com. [Image Credit: ©   Amazon.com]

"Prime Members Now Earn 5% Back When Shopping at Whole Foods Market Using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card", News release, Amazon, February 20, 2018, © Amazon.com
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DuPont Enzyme Range Gives Manufacturers New Options For Baked Goods

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont Nutrition & Health has introduced a baking enzyme that acts as a strengthening solution to add tolerance and consistency to bread and buns. The DuPont Danisco POWERBake 6000 Dough Strengthener enzyme range was developed to enhance dough strength, but they also offer versatility. Used in combination with other enzymes and ingredients, the products can provide food manufacturers with a variety of new options and capabilities for baked goods. The products enhance the emulsification process; create a synergistic dough strengthening effect; improve tolerance to processing variations and raw materials; increase the volume of the final product; and improve crumb structure and whiteness. [Image Credit: © DuPont Danisco ]
Kevin Kuzma, "DuPont Nutrition & Health Debuts New POWERBake 6000 Product Range at ASB Baking Tech 2018", News release, DuPont, February 20, 2018, © DuPont Nutrition & Health
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Coca-Cola’s CFO Talks About The Company’s New Directions

February 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Chief Financial Officer Kathy Waller says the company is responding to health-conscious consumers these days with an expanded product line – “offering beverages for all types of people at all stages of their lives and for a variety of purposes” – and soft drink varieties reformulated with less or no sugar. The expanded product line includes more waters, teas, and juices. Waller says these new options have been in place for a while, though the company was “late” in getting the word out to consumers. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Waller also described the company’s approach to acquiring or developing new products; discussed how to make a 130-year-old company more of a risk-taker and innovator acknowledged that cost-cutting tactics like standardized beverage formulas don’t always work globally; and predicted what the prospects might be for smaller-sized, higher-priced beverage packages.
Jennifer Maloney, "Coca-Cola’s Game Plan: Reformulate and Expand", The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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German Food Ingredients Company Develops Gluten-Based Protein Additives

February 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food companies in Europe will be able to formulate both meat substitutes and meat-based products with a new range of gluten-derived proteins from German food ingredient maker Kröner-Stärke. The company says the wheat proteins were developed specifically to enable food manufacturers to diversify into high-quality meat substitutes and bring added functionality and nutritional value to traditional favorites. The company’s Glutex B, made from wheat gluten, is used to provide a meat-like texture to products such as vegetarian meatballs, and burgers. It can also be used in meat products such as minced meat to lower overall fat content and reduce cholesterol while keeping protein levels high. [Image Credit: ©  Kröner-Stärke]
"Kroner-Starke Unveils New Range of Clean Label Wheat Proteins", FoodBev, February 17, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Surprises Wall Street With Better-Than-Expected 3rd Q Financials

February 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola posted healthy third-quarter profits, revenue, and sales growth, beating Wall Street forecasts on all three fronts. The company is betting it can offset a shrinking market and sagging sales in its core soft drink products with surging revenue from new products, like Coke Zero Sugar. The strongest performing beverages were sports drinks and water, which grew two percent in the quarter, as did coffee and tea beverages, such as Honest Tea. Carbonated soft drinks were stagnant, while juice, dairy, and plant-based beverages slid two percent. Net revenue dropped 20 percent for the quarter thanks to headwinds from the bottler refranchising program. Earnings were dented by a $3.6 billion one-time charge related to new U.S. tax laws. The adjusted EPS was $0.39, beating the analyst forecast of $0.38. Revenue total was $7.51 billion (forecast: $7.37 billion); organic sales growth was six percent (forecast: 3.65 percent).
Lauren Hirsch, "Coca-Cola Beats Earnings, as Coke Zero and other New Drinks Offset Flat Volume", CNBC, February 16, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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N.D. Lawmakers Hurry To Amend Old Law Banning Booze In Baked Goods

February 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The popularity of a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, bakery’s alcohol-soaked cupcakes has sparked a movement to change the state’s hundred-year-old law banning booze in confectionery treats. Online bakery Intoxibakes had to shut down operations to comply with the law before several city councilors began lobbying state lawmakers to make a change. They came up with a proposal to limit alcohol content in food to 0.5 percent. However, because legislative deadlines for introducing bills have passed, the proposal will need to be tacked on to another unrelated measure, and may not be acted on in this session. The legislation is similar to laws in at least a dozen other states, including Iowa and Minnesota. [Image Credit: © Intoxibakes]
"Boozy Cupcake-Maker Sparks Rush to Modify South Dakota Laws", U.S. News & World Report, February 16, 2018, © U.S. News & World Report L.P.
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Danone Posts Strong Earnings Growth For 2017, Helped By Waters, Nutrition

February 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone reported a 14.2 percent rise in earnings per share (EPS) in 2017, in line with its guidance, and said it expects to continue the double-digit growth in EPS in 2018. That profit performance was tied to strong growth in its waters and specialized nutrition divisions. The waters division grew by more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter on a like-for-like basis; the specialized nutrition division rose 8.4 percent, with strong performance in China. The company said its food group would focus on accelerating sales growth this year and delivering a further rise in profits, thanks to cost cutting and the acquisition of U.S. organic company WhiteWave. Like-for-like sales in 2017 rose 2.5 percent to $30.95 billion, slightly higher than analysts' expectations of 2.4 percent growth.
Anthony Shevlin, "Danone Tops Profit Views as Water Sales Surge", MarketWatch, February 16, 2018, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Nestlé Launches Dairy Milk/Coconut Beverage For Sri Lankan Children

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a Nespray milk variation in Sri Lanka that features dairy milk and coconut flavor targeted at children. Coco-Up Ready-to-Drink, made with Sri Lankan milk and coconut, contains no artificial colors or preservatives. Nestlé buys milk from close to 20,000 Sri Lankan farmers every day, making it the market leader for local milk-based beverages. It has been manufacturing dairy products in Sri Lanka since 1984. The company is also one of the world’s largest exporters of coconut milk powder, supporting more than 6,000 local coconut growers through its business. Chilled Nespray Coco-Up, priced at $0.92, joins Nespray Fortigrow, Everyday and Nutri-Up products made with local milk.
"Nestle Launches Nespray Coco-Up: Sri Lanka’s First Dairy Milk Beverage with Coconut", News release, Nestlé, February 15, 2018, © Nestlé
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How “Value-Adding” Unsold Vegetables Solves Two Problems

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Rather than discard the 40 percent of his cauliflower crop that doesn’t pass the grocer’s cosmetics test, an Australian farmer figured out a way to turn a loss into profit. In a process known as “value-adding,” he took the slightly damaged part of the crop and turned it into the fast-cooking and nutritious “cauli-rice” that is sold in grocery stores. It’s been a complicated venture, because he decided to handle the processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution himself. But sales have been good and are getting better. And there are a lot fewer tons of unsold cauliflowers in the landfill.
Tyne Logan, "Farmer Turns Food Waste into Healthy Cauliflower Rice Convenience Product", ABC, February 15, 2018, © ABC
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New Plant-Based Burger’s Veggie Fats Sizzle On The Grill

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Don Lee Farms has begun distributing nationally its Organic Plant-Based Raw Burgers, made with beans and seeds, and certified organic, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. The burger is free from artificial ingredients or preservatives. According to the company, the burger “bleeds” organic beet juice and sizzles on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. “It’s a burger made with plants, not with science,” said a Don Lee Farms spokesman. [Image Credit: © Don Lee Farms]
"Don Lee Farms Introduces First Organic Raw Plant-Based Burger — Made With Plants, Not With Science", News release, Don Lee Farms, February 15, 2018, © Don Lee Farms
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Healthy Growth In Demand For Wheat Protein Forecast Through 2022

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The growing U.S. baking industry and an increasing consumer preference for meat substitutes are contributing to healthy demand for plant-based protein, especially wheat protein, according to a market research report. Despite concerns about gluten intolerance, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 percent to reach $2.58 billion in the next five years. Other factors driving demand for wheat protein include the nutritional benefits for lactose intolerant and health- and fitness-conscious consumers, and increasing applications of wheat protein in varied end-user industries such as pet food and cosmetics.
"The Wheat Protein Market is projected to Grow at a CAGR of 4.8%", PR Newswire, February 15, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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iFresh Adopts Alipay Mobile Payment Platform For Online, Store Purchases

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Asian-American supermarket chain and online grocer iFresh announced it is partnering with Alipay and CITCON to provide customers with access to the Alipay mobile wallet function to make purchases at stores and online. Digital payment platform Alipay, operated by Ant Financial, is popular among Chinese consumers.  iFresh will provide Alipay services online and in stores in the U.S. through CITCON, a cross-border mobile payment and marketing solutions provider that helps connect merchants with Chinese mobile wallet users. [Image Credit: © iFresh ]
"iFresh Announces the Acceptance of Alipay Online and in Stores Nationwide", News release, iFresh, February 15, 2018, © iFresh
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N.Y. City Tightens Food Waste Rules For Restaurants, Grocery Stores

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In an effort to divert 50,000 tons of food waste from landfills, the New York City sanitation department is implementing new rules for restaurants and grocery stores on handling food waste. Businesses covered by the rules may: hire a private carter, self-transport, or process their food scraps on site for beneficial use, such as for compost; donate unsold food to a charity or food bank; sell or donate the food to a farmer for feedstock; and sell or donate meat by-products to a rendering company. Covered establishments include restaurants with at least 15,000 square feet of floor area, chain restaurants with 100 or more locations in the city, and grocery stores with at least 25,000 square feet of space. [Image Credit: © NY City Dept. of Sanitation]
"New York to Require More Restaurants, Grocery Stores to Put Food Waste to Good Use", NBC Universal, February 15, 2018, © NBC Universal Media, LLC
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Danone Trims Stake In Yakult, But Expands Collaboration

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
French food and beverage giant Danone said it is extending its collaborative relationship with Japanese probiotic beverage company Yakult Honsha Co. to “promote probiotics as part of a balanced diet.” Danone also disclosed that it has agreed to trim its 21.29 percent stake in Yakult to seven percent “in line with capital allocation priorities.” The companies said they would step up efforts to promote probiotics through their Global Probiotics Council, and will expand the Ishoku Dogen program focusing on the link between diet and health. Potential new collaboration projects include testing distribution of Yakult's products by Danone in European markets, starting with Spain.
"Danone Enters a New Phase in its Strategic Partnership with Yakult", News release, Danone, February 14, 2018, © Danone
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Food Spoilage – Not Plate Waste – Is More Of A Problem In The Home

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at Ohio State University have determined that people who on average left just three percent of their food on their plates when choosing their own meals left almost 40 percent behind when given a standard boxed-lunch type of meal. Plate waste at home was 3.5 percent higher when diners went for seconds or thirds. But the study’s lead author also noted that efforts to reduce food waste at home would be better directed toward other conservation tactics, like using up food before it spoils. Plate waste is a more serious problem at school cafeterias and event buffets. [Image Credit: © Portland State University]
Misti Crane, "Clean Plates Much More Common When We Eat at Home", News release, Ohio State University, February 14, 2018, © The Ohio State University
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Specialty Bakery Market To Grow At Healthy Pace Over Next Five Years

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new research report forecasts the global specialty bakery market to grow at a CAGR of five percent through 2022, thanks to growing consumer concerns about health and wellness. Those concerns have driven bakery manufacturers to include functional ingredients – e.g., oats, legumes, nuts, probiotics, cereals, and fortified margarine – that promote health and boost energy while enhancing the nutritional value of bakery products. The specialty bakery market includes specialty breads, cookies, doughnuts, cakes and pastries, and specialty crackers and pretzels. [Image Credit: © Oteri's Italian Bakery]
"Global Specialty Bakery Market - Emergence of Hybrid Bakery Products to Boost Growth", News release, Technavio, February 14, 2018, © Technavio
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McDonald’s Sees Better Quality Chicken As Vehicle For Extending Growth Curve

February 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s, which is in the midst of a three-year growth period, is betting that offering “Better Chicken” will keep that growth bubbling along. The company’s plan is to upgrade the chicken items on its menu to achieve a premium status similar to Chik-fil-A. It has already implemented some customer-pleasing changes to its McNuggets and sandwich lines: it has promised to stop serving poultry with antibiotics; removed artificial preservatives from McNuggets; and launched Southern-style sandwiches and tenders coated in a crispy buttermilk breading. It’s a major shift for the decades-old burgers-and-fries company, whose customers see chicken as a healthier protein. "It's definitely a transformational era for McDonald's," said an analyst at Motley Fool. "Chicken is part of that." [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
 
Leslie Patton, "McDonald's Bets that 'Better Chicken' can Keep Growth Run Going", Chicago Tribune, February 13, 2018, © Chicago Tribune
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Company’s Edible Produce Spray Extends Shelf Life

February 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Apeel Sciences has developed a plant-based edible skin – dubbed “Edipeel” – that quadruples the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, and reduces need for fungicides and refrigerated produce transport. Edipeel creates an “idealized little micro-climate inside of each piece of produce” that retards spoilage, according to the company founder, who has convinced investors to pump $40 million into the venture since 2012. The company uses materials extracted from plants, usually agricultural by-products such as tomato skins, combines them, then processes them into a water-soluble powder. When mixed with water, the material can be sprayed on produce or the produce can be dipped in it. [Image Credit: © Apeel Sciences]
Elaine Watson, "Apeel Sciences Seeks to Slash Fresh Produce Waste with Plant-Based Edible Skin: 'We've created this Idealized Little Micro-Climate Inside of Each Piece of Produce'", FOODnavigator-USA.com, February 12, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Natural/Organic Is Increasingly Attractive To Hispanic Grocery Shoppers

February 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The organic and clean label foods and beverages movement is permeating nearly every segment of the American consumer population, and especially Hispanics, whose buying power has reached $1 trillion annually. A new Packaged Facts report finds that more than half of Hispanic shoppers routinely buy natural/organic groceries, and 60 percent say they are buying more natural/organic foods than ever. Forty percent of Hispanic adults say a store's organic vegetable and fruit selection is an especially important factor when choosing where to shop for groceries, while 33 percent say the store's selection of organic packaged foods and beverages is important. In each of these cases, Hispanics are 15 percent or more above the average for all adults.  [Image Credit: © Sustainable Brands ]
"Hispanics Creating New Retail Opportunities in Organic and Clean Label Food Market", News release, Packaged Facts, February 08, 2018, © Packaged Facts
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Companies Introduce Better-Tasting Chickpea Flour For Gluten-Free Formulations

February 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nutriati and PLT Health Solutions have introduced a premium quality chickpea flour solution to the North American food market. Artesa Chickpea Flour features a taste profile similar to premium wheat flours, along with similar mouthfeel and texture characteristics, according to the companies. The manufacturing process removes much of the bad-tasting pulse oil from the finished product, producing a clean, neutral flavor and a white color. Food manufacturers will be able to use the ingredient in gluten-free food products such as breads, baked goods, and pasta. The flour contains a minimum of 12 percent protein, is a source of resistant starch, and has a lower glycemic index compared to wheat and other pulse flours. [Image Credit: © PLT Health Solutions ]
"Nutriati and PLT Health Solutions Introduce Artesa Chickpea Flour in North America", News release, PLT Health Solutions, February 08, 2018, © PLT Health Solutions
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DoorDash, Feeding America Partner To Deliver Surplus Food To Charities

February 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Meal delivery company DoorDash has partnered with Feeding America to tackle two daunting problems at the same time: food waste and hunger. The fundamental problem for foodservice companies who want to donate surplus food to food banks and shelters is logistics. San Francisco-based DoorDash works with local and national restaurants in more than 600 cities across the U.S. and Canada. It has been running a pilot program using their drivers to deliver donated meals to recipient agencies, but had trouble identifying those agencies. Feeding America provided the answer: the partnership gives DoorDash access to the hunger-relief organization’s network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. [Image Credit: © DoorDash]
 
Megan Greenwalt, "Feeding America Teams with DoorDash to Combat Food Waste", Waste360, February 07, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Hain Celestial’s 2nd Quarter Sales, Profits Increase, But Miss Forecasts

February 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Natural and organic food marketer Hain Celestial (Lake Success, N.Y.) posted second quarter profit of $47.1 million on sales of $775.2 million, a five percent increase over the same period last year. Second quarter profit was up 73 percent over the prior year period. But the results missed Wall Street estimates, sending shares on a downward slide, dropping 6.3 percent in morning trading. Nevertheless, CEO Irwin D. Simon said he was pleased with the financial performance and noted that the company continues to look for ways to simplify its brand portfolio and “reduce complexities.” Though net sales for Hain Pure Protein increased four percent to $159 million over the prior year period, the company said it is exploring the divestiture of the business. [Image Credit: © Hain Celestial ]
"Hain Celestial Reports Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Results", Earnings release, Hain Celestial, February 07, 2018, © Hain Celestial
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Steam Oven/Meal Kit Start-Up Gets Cash Infusion From Tyson Foods

February 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Tyson Foods investment unit has purchased a stake in a start-up subscription meal kit company that also sells an steam-based "smart" oven. Tyson Ventures will also collaborate with Chicago-based Tovala on Tyson-branded meals. Tovala began three-and-a-half years ago when the founder connected with an engineer with an idea for a modern version of the steam oven that looks like a microwave oven. The concept attracted the attention of Origin Ventures, which led the company’s $9.2 million round late last year, along with the Chicago-based Pritzker Group Venture Capital; Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto; restaurant and real estate entrepreneur Larry Levy; and Y Combinator. Tovala’s oven retails for $399, but the price drops when customers subscribe to the meal kits service.. [Image Credit: © Kickstarter.com ]
Jonathan Shieber, "Tyson Foods Invests in Tovala’s New Oven and Meal Kit Business", TechCrunch, February 07, 2018, © Oath Tech Network
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New Choline Gummie Supplements Meet An Important Need In Young Children

February 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Research over the years has shown that the brains of infants and young children are healthier when their moms supplement their pregnancy diets with larger doses of the vitamin-like essential nutrient choline. But choline – found in beef liver and eggs and in supplements – is also essential as children grow, though it can be difficult to get kids to ingest adequate amounts. An entrepreneur is trying to solve that problem with the launch of a gummie supplement that makes that task easier. Sarah Kline, founder of Austin, Texas-based BestCholine, begins shipping her choline supplement this month in 500mg capsules, the amount recommended by the American Medical Association. Her marketing challenge is twofold: spreading the word about her product while educating parents about the need for adequate amounts of choline in developing brains.. [Image Credit: © BestCholine ]

Adi Menayang, "Kids Need Choline Too: Supplement Start-Up BestCholine Launches Choline Gummies", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, February 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Spain Joins With Food Companies To Make Foods More Healthful

February 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

In a comprehensive initiative to make the country’s foods and beverages more healthful, the Spanish health ministry is working with food manufacturers, foodservice companies, and vending machine firms to cut levels of salt, sugar, and fat in more than 3,500 products within two years. The Spanish health minister called the move “a pioneering plan to improve the composition of food, promote the health of Spaniards and prevent chronic diseases.” [Image Credit: © CasualSpain.com ]

"Spain to Reduce Sugar, Salt and Fat Levels in 3,500 Products", FoodBev, February 06, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Start-Up Bakery Makes Its Sandwich Waffles Using Dough

February 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A N.C.-based start-up that launched in 2016 as a waffle delivery service and has since opened two waffle shops is pushing the idea that “waffles are the new bread,” i.e., eatable all-day long. The founders of the Smashed Waffle Company have even created sandwiches that use waffles instead of bread. “Smashedwiches” come in pastry (ice cream) and savory versions. Because a batter-based waffle might turn soggy carrying ice cream, the company uses a scratch-made dough base that is pressed into heavy-duty cast iron waffle "smashers." The result? A crisp outer shell with a soft, airy center that “pairs perfectly with sweet and savory items.”  [Image Credit: © Smashed Wafffle Company ]
"Waffles Are the New Bread", News release, Smashed Waffle Company, February 06, 2018, © Smashed Waffle Company
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Calif. Dairy Introduces Non-GMO, Lactose-Free Milk Products

February 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A family-owned California dairy says it has developed a non-GMO Project verified lactose-free milk for consumers who are lactose-intolerant and hoping to avoid genetically modified organisms in their food and beverages. According to Clover Sonoma, the product is available in whole milk, two percent reduced fat, one percent low fat and fat free, as well as a chocolate whole milk option. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population has a reduced ability to digest lactose, a condition caused by the body’s inability to produce enough of the lactase enzyme to fully break down the natural sugar lactose found in milk.  [Image Credit: © Clover Sonoma ]
"Clover Sonoma Announces First and Only Non-GMO Project Verified Lactose Free Milk", News release, Clover Sonoma, February 06, 2018, © Clover Sonoma
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Coca-Cola CEO Promises Further Innovation, Hints At Further Acquisitions

February 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey continues to call attention to his company’s need for ongoing innovation – even if there are some flops along the way – that will bring more consumer beverage choices not involving traditional soft drinks. “We need to learn, move on, and reinvent,” he said, noting that the company accepts the fact that beverages like water, juices, and tea may comprise the portfolio of the future, alongside traditional, and innovative, Coca-Cola soda brands. Quincey realizes that investors are looking for some excitement to rev up the company’s stock price, and even let on that further acquisitions are a possibility. And, significantly, he did not nix the possibility of entering the food or alcoholic beverage markets. “Never say never,” he told a CNN interviewer.
Paul R. La Monica, "Coca-Cola's New CEO: 'We've got to Experiment'", CNN Money, February 05, 2018, © Cable News Network
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Phivida Steps Up Production Of Functional Hemp Oil-Based Drinks In California

February 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Canada’s Phivida Holdings Inc. has ramped up production of its “Nano-CBD Infused” functional foods, beverages and natural health products as it gets ready for statewide distribution in California. The company’s 15 products are infused with a proprietary hemp oil containing neutraceuticals using a nanoencapsulation technology that converts phytocannabinoids into water soluble delivery format, enhancing bioavailability, and timed released. The product portfolio includes three flavors of iced teas, vitamin juices (viz., Focus, Protect, Relax) and vitamin shots. Phivida Enhanced products include clinical grade sublinguals, as well as specialty muscle and bone joint hard-cap pills sold under the Vida+ label.
"Phivida Begins Mass Production for California Retail Market", News release, Phivida, February 05, 2018, via BevNET.com, © Phiivida
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Israel May Ease Tax Burden To Lure Walmart, Other Retailers

February 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed that Israel is leaning toward loosening the tax structure that makes foreign investment more difficult. Netanyahu economic adviser Avi Simhon said “some drastic changes” – including tax cuts – are needed to lure foreign retailers like Walmart to Israel to help lower the cost of living. Netanyahu spoke with John Furner, a senior Walmart executive, at the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. According to Simhon, the two discussed the idea of Walmart’s opening a retail branch and investing in Israeli technologies after the country eased some regulatory burdens. “The door to Netanyahu’s office is open,” Simhon said. Walmart did not comment on the discussions. [Image Credit: ©   Benjamin Netanyahu via Twitter ]
David Wainer et al., "Is Walmart Coming to Israel? Netanyahu Says the Door Is Open", Bloomberg, February 04, 2018, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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New Croissant Hybrid Lights Up Instagram

February 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Two foodie favorites – the taco and the croissant – have been hybridized and Instagrammed by a San Francisco bakery to make the $12 “tacro” and, according to a British newspaper food writer, “it looks delicious.” The bakers at Vive La Tarte slice the crispy croissant down the middle and fill it with any one of three taco fillings: pulled pork, chili chicken with avocado, or barbecued jackfruit. They top the treat with sliced radishes, chopped pickled onions, green avocado salsa and red salsa. The bakery is now toying with the idea of a breakfast version. [Image Credit: ©  Vive La Tarte ]
Alice Howarth, "Would You Try the Tacro?", Evening Standard (U.K.), February 02, 2018, © Evening Standard Limited
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Hostess Builds Breakfast Brand Portfolio With Aryzta Acquisitions

February 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hostess Brands said it is completing the acquisition of certain U.S. breakfast assets of Aryzta LLC, including a Chicago Cloverhill bakery, and the Big Texas and Cloverhill brands. Hostess said the addition of the brands to its business portfolio will “add significant strength to our growing breakfast business.” Specifically, Hostess: will gain greater access to the club, vending, cash and carry, and independent convenience stores sales channels; will have an expanded range of offerings in the breakfast category of sweet baked goods, including HoneyBuns, Danish Pastries and Cinnamon Rolls; and will have a 137,000 square-foot bakery facility that makes individually-wrapped Danish pastry. The company expects EBITBA losses in 2018 and 2019 as a result of the acquisition, but EBITBA contributions of $20 million to $25 million by 2020.  [Image Credit: ©   Aryzta]
"Hostess Brands, Inc. Acquires Breakfast Brands and Expands Product Range", News release, Hostess Brands, February 01, 2018, © Hostess Brands
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