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Aldi Customers Using The Venmo Payment App Can Donate Meals To Needy

November 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Discount grocery chain Aldi has partnered with the PayPal Venmo payment app to donate Thanksgiving meals to Feeding America. The meals are automatically donated every time a Venmo user adds a Turkey Hand Thanksgiving emoji on the payment screen. Feeding America annually provides meals to more than 46 million people through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Germany-based Aldi operates 1,700 stores in 35 U.S. states. [Image Credit: ©   Aldi]
Chantal Tode, Robert Williams, "Aldi Partners with Venmo for Emoji-Based Holiday Giving Campaign", Mobile Marketer, November 07, 2017, © Industry Dive
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New Packaging Technology Extends Shelf Life Of Baked Goods

November 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new packaging technology is now being used by a German baking company to provide ready-to-serve cakes without the need for cold chain, freezers, or defrosting by the consumers. The technology, developed by Constantia Flexible, comprises a sealed aluminum container that keeps the cakes at ambient temperature for a full year without artificial preservatives. Bäckerei Stiebling, which is bringing its Cakees business to the U.S., says the alufoil containers are resistant to the baking process and can be sealed airtight instantly after the baking process. 
Jenny Eagle, "Cakees Sees Geographic Expansion Thanks to Ready-To-Serve Cake Container", BakeryAndSnacks.com, November 07, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola EP Says Quarterly Revenue Drop Was Anticipated

November 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The CEO of Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) said the company had expected the 1.5 percent drop in third quarter revenue year-over-year, noting that operating profit still rose 2.5 percent. Total revenue in the quarter was $3.5 billion (€3 billion) with operating profit reaching $547 million (€470 million). Damian Gammell said the company remains focused on driving profitable revenue growth, expanding its portfolio, and continuing to invest in the business by improving sales force capabilities, evolving routes-to-market, reducing low-value promotions, and leveraging digital caabilities. For the full 2017 financial year, the company sees diluted earnings per share in the range of $2.44 (€2.10) to $2.48 (€2.13).
"Coca-Cola European Partners Sees Revenue Drop 1.5% in Q3", European Supermarket Magazine, November 07, 2017, © European Supermarket Magazine
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Whole Foods’ Top Trends In Beverage Ingredients And Formats

November 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Floral-flavored beverages are among the top food trends for 2018 spotlighted by the global buyers at Whole Foods Market. Whole flowers and petals like lavender, rose, hibiscus, and elderflower have made their way into lattés, cocktails, and sparkling waters. Powders like matcha, maca root and cacao offer an alternative to coffee. Functional mushrooms, including reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane star, are showing up in bottled drinks, coffees, smoothies, and teas. Plant-based ingredients and proteins (e.g., pili nuts, peas, bananas, macadamia nuts, pecans) are being used in nut milks and yogurts. Last but not least: flavored sparkling waters include plant-derived options from Sap! (made with maple and birch) and sparkling cold brew from Stumptown. “Mocktails” are being made with Topo Chico and Whole Foods fizzy waters.
"Whole Foods Market Reveals Top Food Trends for 2018", News release, Whole Foods Market, November 06, 2017, © Whole Foods Market
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Amazon Closes Two Whole Foods Stores In UK

November 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon said it plans to close two Whole Foods stores in the UK. Included in the shutdown list are the stores in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and in Giffnock, East Renfrewshire, cutting the number of Whole Foods store in the country down to seven. About 150 people work at the two stores.
Ashley Armstrong, "Amazon closes two UK Whole Foods stores just two months after completing its £10.7bn takeover", Telegraph, November 06, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Calif. Dairy Industry Says Non-GMO Milk Is Really A “Non-Issue”

November 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite criticism that smacks of mockery, a San Francisco Bay-area dairy is now selling milk labeled “non-GMO,” claiming that cows producing it had never eaten grains containing genetically modified organisms. Clover Sonoma dairy has been in the vanguard of the movement to purify dairy products by removing or keeping out troubling additives like growth hormones. Its cattle feed has been organic for two decades. But organic milk is expensive. So it devised a cheaper way to ease consumer concerns by adopting the non-GMO labeling. Industry experts, however, say it’s a non-issue. "It's really trying to market a distinction without a difference," said the president of the National Milk Producers Federation, whose "peel back the label" campaign is trying to shed some light on the topic. A UC-Davis animal genomics scientist said, “It's like unicorn-free milk. There aren't any GMOs in milk anyway."
Geoffrey Mohan, "Labeling Milk Non-GMO Baffles Experts", Arkansas Online, November 05, 2017, © Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
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British Chefs Donate Waste For Composting, Then Growing Produce For Restaurants

November 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A self-styled “food waste farmer” is teaching British chefs to rent plots of land, donate their waste food for composting, then grow crops for use by their restaurants. About ten London chefs are renting 1,100-square-foot gardens owned by Indie Ecology, which are worked by farmers to organically grow whatever fruits, vegetables, and flowers the chefs want. The goal of former chef Igor Vaintraub is to help transform the way chefs think and act about their impact on nature and the environment.  [Image Credit: © Vermont Compost Company ]
"Plotting to convert waste into taste", The Sunday Telegraph (London), November 05, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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An Expanding Global Population Requires Smarter Agriculture, Food Engineering

November 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As world population grows by 83 million people annually, by 2030 there will be a billion more people to feed on planet Earth. That can’t be accomplished without some serious innovation in food production and agriculture. The solution entails advanced technology and "precision agriculture" – digital solutions and advanced data analytics – that would boost crop production efficiency and improve yields, cuts costs, and increase crop resilience. Use of drones and robotics would reduce labor and energy intensity with remote, automated crop monitoring. Another way to expand the food base is by engineering meat protein that tastes like the real thing but requires much less land to produce than beef.  [Image Credit: © Whole Foods Market ]
Alison Coleman, "From Plantburgers to Cutting Food Waste: How to Feed the Next Billion", Raconteur, November 05, 2017, © Raconteur Media Ltd.
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Food Donations Up 20 Percent In Italy Since 2016 Food Waste Law

November 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Italians are donating 20 percent more food to charities since the enactment of a law designed to curb food waste, a politician says. The law, which went into effect in September 2016, expanded the types of foods that could be donated beyond products with a long shelf life. Cooked food, fruits and vegetables, much of it sourced from produce markets, cruise ships, and sporting events. can now be donated to the needy, said Maria Chiara Gadda.  [Image Credit: © Forgotten Harvest ]
"Donations Up 20% after Food-Waste Law", ANSA, November 03, 2017, © ANSA
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Not Clear If “Pimple Cupcakes” Video Boosted Bakery’s Business

November 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A video made by an Oklahoma baker and shared on Facebook has garnered 42 million views. The video shows one of her “pimple cupcakes” being squeezed and “popped,” as yellow pus-like filling squirts out the top. The video has been called disgusting and hilarious, but no matter what, it is always fascinating. The popularity of the footage – 300,000 shares on Facebook – has led to requests from around the world for orders. But the baker has balked at global shipping, and has apologized to potential customers. She said it would be “reckless” to try shipping cupcakes without knowing how to protect them from being “mushed.” Really? Noted Kansas City Star food writer Lisa Gutierrez: “Like that’s the worst thing she’s ever done to a cupcake.” 
Lisa Gutierrez, "Eeeew! Millions are Fascinated by this Popping Pimple Cupcake Video", The Kansas City Star, November 03, 2017, © The Kansas City Star
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Italian Fashion Company Adopts Food Theme As It Partners With Pasta Maker

November 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana has partnered with Italian pasta maker Pastificio di Martino to produce a limited-edition tin of pastas accompanied by a D&G-designed apron. Just 5,000 of the tins will be available worldwide, only a fifth of which will be sold in the U.S. Pastificio di Martino, based in Naples, produces more than 9,000 tons of pasta a day from 100 percent Italian durum wheat. Dolce & Gabbana has designed the packaging for three of Pastaficio’s 125 shapes: spaghetti, the tubular paccheri, and penne mezzani rigate. In September, D&G’s line of food-oriented outfits walked the runway at the Paris show for its spring 2018 collection.  [Image Credit: © Pastificio di Martino]
Kate Krader, "Dolce & Gabbana Is Now in the Pasta Business", Bloomberg Pursuits, November 03, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Dietary Supplement/Ingredient Maker’s Products Certified Glyphosate-Free

November 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An independent research organization has certified dietary supplement and ingredient maker MegaFood’s entire product line glyphosate residue free. Glyphosate is the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, and is used as a weed killer in commercial agriculture and in home gardens, public parks and schools. Natural foods company MegaFoods produces its line of 44 FoodState vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements from farm-fresh whole foods. The glyphosate-free certification was granted by the Detox Project. [Image Credit: © Roundup ]
"MegaFood Becomes First Supplement Brand to Have Its Entire Line of Products Certified Glyphosate Residue Free", MegaFoods, November 02, 2017, © MegaFoods
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It’s Official: Hydroponic Cultivation Is Organic

November 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic farmers are hopping mad over a recent 8-7 decision – a final ruling, in fact – by the National Organic Standards board that vegetables grown hydroponically do not violate the principles of organic farming. The farmers argue that organic farming is all about “soil health, regenerating the soil,” and not about growing vegetables in nutrient-filled fluids. Hydroponic farmers, however, say their methods are more environmentally sound. Tomatoes, for example, can be grown with three to five gallons of water per pound of production. Growing tomatoes in open fields can use up to 37 gallons of water. Open field cultivation "uses more water, more land, destroys more natural habitat. I mean, what is the true essence of organic?" The government-appointed board advises the USDA on rules for the organic industry.  [Image Credit: © NDSU ]
Dan Charles, "Hydroponic Veggies Are Taking Over Organic, And A Move To Ban Them Fails", National Public Radio, November 02, 2017, © npr
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VCs In India Continue To Target Beverage Firms

November 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Venture capital firms in India continue to invest heavily in food and beverage companies because they’ve had good results backing, developing and selling off their projects. Recent activity has included a $6 million investment by Sequoia Capital, Saama Capital, and DSG Consumer Partners in Rakyan Beverages, which produces organic cold-pressed juices under the RAW Pressery brand. A prime example of successful beverage company investment is Verlinvest, which backed Glaceau Smartwater, selling it to Coca-Cola for $4.2 billion, and the $300 million Vita Coco coconut drinks company.
Ranju Sarkar, "RAW Pressery to Beer Cafe: VCs are Betting on Consumer Food", Business Standard, November 02, 2017, © Business Standard Private Limited
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Stagnant Indonesia Economy Could Drive Unilever To Tinker With Product Portfolio

November 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A PT Unilever Indonesia executive said a stagnant business environment tends to increase the cost of living and push middle-class consumers toward smaller, cheaper products. More affluent consumers, however, continue to buy premium-priced goods. Consumer research in Indonesia shows that the composition of high-income, middle-income, and low-income consumers is now 10 percent-40 percent-50 percent, respectively. The middle-income segment could decline, however, if the stagnant environment persisted. Anticipating that, Unilever would “need to change our portfolio."  [Image Credit: © Unilever Indonesia  ]
Anton Hermansyah, "Middle consumer segment shifts to lower-value goods", The Jakarta Post, November 02, 2017, © PT. Niskala Media Tenggara
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Danone Russia Tests Selling Dairy Products Online

November 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s Russian division has launched a test website to sell dairy and baby food products online. The Tema, Prostokvashino, Activia, and Actimel (drinkable yogurt) brands will be offered on milkdirect.ru with a minimum purchase of $8.68, and free delivery within 30 km of the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (MKAD). Industry experts say at least a thousand orders a day are required for profitability. Danone plans similar projects in the U.S. and France.
"Russia: Danone launches online store", Esmerk, November 01, 2017, © Esmerk Oy
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Australian Scientists Create Machine That Turns Unsold Produce Into Healthy Snacks

October 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at Australia’s national science agency CSIRO have developed an extrusion machine that can turn agricultural food waste into healthy snacks, cooking ingredients, soup premixes, etc. Powders produced [left] can be used in smoothies, dips, sauces, spreads, pasta, noodles, or bakery items. Growers could use the machine to generate a secondary income line by turning unharvested produce – e.g., broccoli or carrots – that might otherwise be left on the field into high-value food ingredients or healthy snack products, scientists said. According to CSIRO, the machine is ready for commercialization; the agency is demonstrating it to growers to determine the level of interest.
Lyndal Reading, "Food Waste: Excess Crops Become Base for Healthy Snacks", The Weekly Times, October 31, 2017, © The Herald & Weekly Times Pty Limited
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U.S. Consumers Need To Know About Benefits Of Unrefined Whole Grains

October 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s Freedom Foods Group is on a mission to educate American consumers about the benefits of unrefined whole grains, the kind it uses to make its range of Barley+ breakfast muesli products and snack bars. According to the company, the highly refined carbohydrates in the American diet not only do not deliver nutritional benefits like a healthier gut, they increase the risk of disease. Kroger Supermarkets in the U.S. is selling the Barley+ range, with distribution expanding in both the U.S. and Australia. The toasted muesli collection is available in three flavors: cranberry and nuts, pink lady and macadamia muesli, and maple and nut. They retail for $6.49.  [Image Credit: © Freedom Foods ]
"Carbs are Not the Enemy: Natural Foods Company Believes They Are The Secret to Gut Well-Being", News release, Freedom Foods Group, October 31, 2017, © Freedom Foods Group
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Australian-Made Beauty, Personal Care Products Attract Chinese Consumers

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Chinese consumer demand for Australian-made beauty and personal care products is strong, thanks to the country’s clean and green reputations, strict regulations, and quarantine control. Demand for Australian products will remain strong, according to Euromonitor, because they are more trusted and perceived as higher quality, with consumers willing to pay a premium. Australian companies can expect increasing sales, including via direct-to-consumer channels like Chinese e-commerce sites Tmall and JD.com. Australian companies and retailers have opened their own sites through these channels as well.  [Image Credit: © A'kin Australia  ]
Tim Foulds, "Beauty and Personal Care in Australia Sees Strong Demand from Chinese Consumers", Blog entry, Euromonitor, October 30, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Food Retailer Partners With Iowa Farmers To Obtain GMO-Free Pork

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
California food retailer Raley's has launched a program to offer non-GMO and antibiotics-free pork in its stores. The company has partnered with supplier American Homestead Pork, a group of 35 family farms in Iowa whose animals have never been given antibiotics or growth-promoting chemicals, and have never been caged. Family-owned Raley’s says it now offers more than 15,000 natural and organic foods. [Image Credit: © Raley's ]
Alissa Marchat, "Raley’s Partners With American Homestead To Offer GMO-Free Pork", The Shelby Report, October 30, 2017, © The Shelby Report
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Re-Used Bread Offers Many Benefits, Including Waste Reduction

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Disturbed by the amount of bread wasted around the world every year – about 1.2 million tons – a New Zealand university professor figured out a way to take unsold bread from supermarkets and make new loaves. Collaborating with food company Goodman Fielder, Aydin Berenjian [left] developed a day-long process that produces one ton of fermented bread that has a high profile of essential amino acids, high resistance starch, and a higher shelf life – up to seven days. It tastes like a cross between white bread and sourdough, and because the microbes used in the fermentation system are all probiotics, the bread benefits the digestive and immune systems.  [Image Credit: © University of Waikato ]
Caitlin Moorby, "Researcher Recycles Stale Bread Into New Loaves", Stuff, October 30, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Data Analytics Platform Helps Tesco India Detect, Prevent Shopping Fraud

October 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Indian technology center for supermarket chain Tesco has created a platform and team that detects online and offline fraud involving its massive amounts of collected customer data. The 18-member staff is focused on combating fraud for online businesses (food and non-food), buyer-supplier collusion fraud, and employee fraud at checkout counters. The platform is programmed to detect anomalies in purchasing patterns that might indicate fraud, such as bulk purchases of products like alcohol and cigarettes. 
"Tesco unit builds anti-fraud platform for online businesses", Economic Times, October 27, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Danone Expands Plant-Based Beverage Factory Acquired In WhiteWave Deal

October 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone announced it will spend $60 million to expand production and warehouse capacity at its plant-based beverage factory in Rockingham County, Virginia. The company acquired the factory, located in Mount Crawford, in the $12.5 billion purchase of WhiteWave Foods, now known as DanoneWave. The 500-employee unit’s plant-based portfolio includes brands such as Silk, So Delicious Dairy Free, and Vega. The company said the plant expansion will add 49 new jobs.
"Danone to Invest $60m in Plant-Based Beverage Operation in US", FoodBev, October 26, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Big Food Agrees To Clarify Food Expiration Labels

October 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fifty of the biggest players in the food industry, led by Campbell, Walmart, Kellogg, and Nestlé, are changing their expiration labels exclusively to “Use By” over the next three years. That means that by 2020, consumers will not have to deal with confusing labels that say “Sell By,” “Display Until,” or “Best Before.” The companies, all members of the Consumer Goods Forum Board, unanimously approved the change after concluding that confusing labeling that leads to premature disposal is one of the leading causes of food waste around the world. About 40 percent of food that is bought in the U.S. is thrown out often unnecessarily. About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually around the world, contributing to eight percent of greenhouse gases. [Image Credit: © General Mills ]
Leanna Garfield, "Walmart and Nestlé are spearheading a Massive Change in Food Expiration Dates", Business Insider, October 26, 2017, © Business Insider Inc.
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Coke CEO Quincey Says Continued Downturn In Revenues Is Due To Refranchising

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola revenues slid 15 percent in the third quarter, while organic revenues were up four percent. CEO James Quincey said revenue has been down recently because of the bottler refranchising program. The company is selling off its bottler operations, so it no longer has income from that source. This decline in revenues will continue for several quarters into the future because of this. “To put it simply,” Quincey said during an internal interview, “we’re transforming into an organization that is smaller in revenue, but larger in terms of profit margin and more acutely focused on innovation, brand-building and creating a stronger, even more consumer-centric portfolio.”
"Q&A: Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey on Q3 2017 Results", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, October 25, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Revenue Sags In 3rd Quarter, But Still Beats Wall Street Forecasts

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola beat Wall Street estimates for third quarter revenue and profit, turning in an EPS of $0.50 (expected $0.49) on revenue of $9.08 billion ($8.72 billion expected). CNBC noted that the surprising numbers showed the company’s ability to buck negative trends, especially the consumer shift away from sugary soft drinks toward more healthful beverages. The company accomplished this by focusing on price hikes, selling more expensive products, and pushing newer products, like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Net revenue was $9.08 billion, 15 percent less than a year ago, and reflected its ongoing refranchising efforts. Net income grew to $1.45 billion from $1.05 billion a year ago.
Lauren Hirsch , "Coca-Cola tops estimates, backs full-year outlook", CNBC.com, October 25, 2017, © CNBC LLC
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NRDC Pinpoints Sources, Amounts Of Food Waste In Three U.S. Cities

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) research explores how much food is being wasted in Denver, Nashville, and New York City, as well as where and why food is discarded, what types of food are wasted, and how much of that food was potentially edible. NRDC says food is the largest component of waste sent landfills in the U.S. –  nearly 22 percent. Organic solid waste in landfills generates the global warming pollutant methane. But it also indicates how much water, land, energy, money, labor, and other resources are being wasted in growing, processing, distributing, and storing that food. For the study, NRDC collected data from each city’s restaurants, food wholesalers, food manufacturers, grocers, and hotels. Six hundred households kept track of discarded food for a week.
Darby Hoover, "What, Where and How Much Food Is Wasted in Cities", Blog entry and report, Natural Resources Defense Council, October 25, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Buckwheat Rebounds In The Gluten-Free Age

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dubious old recipes for buckwheat pancakes are the probable reason buckwheat, even with its many virtues, never caught on in the U.S. like corn and wheat. Recipes used more of the buckwheat husk, which accounted for the dark color and nutty flavor of the pancakes. Nevertheless, because buckwheat is a hearty, easy-to-grow grain, that doesn’t require herbicides or pesticides, it never fell completely out of favor. As the gluten-free trend caught on, interest in naturally gluten-free, nterest in whole grain buckwheat has grown. Millers eliminate more of the husk when making flour, which is used to make pancakes, crepes, muffins, and quick breads. The whole, intact seeds without the husk are known as groats. Toasted they become kasha. Processed they make a hot cereal called "cream of buckwheat."
Gretchen McKay, "Buckwheat is Making a Comeback, and Not Just in Pancakes", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 25, 2017, © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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San Francisco Requires Reporting Of Antibiotics Contained In Grocery Store Meat

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The San Francisco board of supervisors has passed a law requiring larger grocery retailers in the city report the type of antibiotics used in raw meat products they sell. Grocery stores with 25 locations or more will have to report antibiotic use by their suppliers to the city Department of the Environment. The department’s website would make the information available to consumers. Meat and grocery industry representatives have panned the law as costly, unnecessary, and potentially confusing to consumers. Last month, in a victory for the meat industry, the U.S. Congress repealed a law requiring that packages of pork and beef sold in grocery stores be labeled with country of origin. 
"San Francisco to Require Stores to Report Meat Antibiotics", SF Gate, October 25, 2017, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

October 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [Image Credit: © Hershey's ]
Douglas Yu, "Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts", ConfectioneryNews.com, October 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bakery’s New Owners Replace Breads With Outrageous Cakes, Desserts

October 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The new owners of a traditional Southern California bakery stopped selling breads, but continued to sell Taiwanese-style buns while expanding their line of cakes and desserts. The new emphasis is also reflected in the name change, from Kelley’s Bakery to Caked LA. In the process, and thanks to publicity generated by photos of wild-looking cakes and desserts on social media, the bakery has become a foodie’s paradise, and a popular destination for both local college students and families with kids. Among the favorites are candy-adorned milkshakes, tea with a halo of cotton candy atop the rim, and lemonade with a slice of rainbow cake on top, anchored by a straw. Older customers miss the breads, but still come by with kids and grandkids in tow, asking for the strawberry Unicorn Milkshake topped with candies and whipped cream. [Image Credit: © Caked LA ]
Christopher Yee, "This Monterey Park bakery has the Perfect Desserts for Your Instagram Feed", Pasadena Star News, October 23, 2017, © Pasadena Star News
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Sandy Douglas To Leave Coca-Cola NA After Three Decades

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
James L. Dinkins will take over the helm at Coca-Cola North America on January 1, 2018, replacing Sandy Douglas, who announced his retirement as of March 1, 2018, after 30 years at the company. Dinkins now serves as head of the Minute Maid Business Unit and chief retail sales officer. In an internal interview, Douglas said he was especially proud of the company’s nearly-completed refranchising campaign, calling it “an enormous project.” Dinkins said his mission will be to continue “following the consumer” by accelerating innovation, expanding the product portfolio, fostering an entrepreneurial culture, and building capabilities, especially in the digital area, to better serve consumers.
"New Leadership for Coca-Cola North America: A Conversation with Sandy Douglas and Jim Dinkins", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, October 22, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Milk Producer Group Adds Examples Of “Fear-Based” Labeling To Its List

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA., has added more items to its list of foods found to be misleadingly labeled “non-GMO,” “no added hormones,” etc. The organization has launched a “Peel Back the Label” campaign targeting “fear-based” labeling such as non-GMO on foods or products that contain no DNA to modify – e.g., table salt – and “no added hormone” labels on poultry products that are already barred from adding hormones by federal law. New examples of deceptive labeling include canned sliced carrots with "non-GMO" labels, a "GMO-free" label on lettuce, and mandarin oranges. None of these foods have ever been genetically modified, the group says. [Image Credit: © non-GMO Project ]
"Dairy Industry Group Decries 'Fear-Based' Labeling", Rapid City Journal Media Group, October 22, 2017, © Rapid City Journal Media Group
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Company Unveils Pasta That Is Rich In Fiber, Protein

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
FiberPasta has launched a low-carb, high-protein, whole wheat pasta for athletes, vegans, and other health-conscious consumers. PastaPro is also non-GMO and organic. It delivers roughly three times the amount of protein and much more fiber per serving than regular pasta via a combination of durum whole wheat semolina, pea protein, and inulin fiber. Founded in Italy, FiberPasta U.S. has offices in Southern California, and sells pasta, cookies, bread, flour, and pizza crust/dough balls. [Image Credit: ©   FiberPasta]
"Pastapro Changes the Way You Think About Pasta for Fitness", News release, FiberPasta, October 20, 2017, © FiberPasta
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New York Doughnut Shop Sticks To Savory Flavors

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A pop-up doughnut shop in Manhattan no longer serves traditional treats, opting instead to produce savory flavors like smoked salmon, foie gras, lobster roll, and caviar. Forbidden Doughnuts, launched by French chef Richard Farnabe and open only on weekends at the Bowery kitchen supplies firm, sells its wares for $5 to $18 each. Other ingredients in the unusual doughnuts include cauliflower, sweet peas, artichokes, kimchi, garlic, broccoli, tomato, olive tapenade, carrots, peppercorns, and crab. The specialty of the house is the caviar doughnut [left] with an oscetra caviar cream filling, cream fraiche glaze, and vodka gelee topping ($18).. [Image Credit: ©   Forbidden Doughnuts ]
Carly Stern, "Nobody's Dunkin' These! New York City chef Ditches Traditional Glazed and Chocolate Doughnuts", Daily Mail, October 20, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Former Chef With A Passion For Paleo Launches Successful Baked Goods Company

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An entrepreneur who grew up dreaming of becoming a chef – he actually worked as one in California and New York – eventually lost interest in that career and launched a bakery in Arizona that specializes in paleo and gluten-, grain-, soy- and dairy-free bread products. Michael Tierney’s company (“Mikey’s Muffins”) launched in 2014 with one product, an English muffin, and has expanded since then to ten, including muffin tops, sandwich bread, and tortillas, with more on the way. Company growth has been “exponential,” and his products can be found in 8,000 retail locations in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Bashas', and Walmart. The mission is to use premium, recognizable ingredients to create nutritionally-dense baked goods following paleo diet principles.. [Image Credit: ©   Mikey's Muffins ]
Georgann Yara, "Paleo, Grain-Free Bread Products Yield Serious Dough for Scottsdale-Based Mikey’s", AZcentral.com, October 19, 2017, © www.azcentral.com
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Grupo Bimbo Buys Baked Goods Supplier To U.S. Fast-Food Industry

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo says it has completed the integration of Chicago’s East Balt Bakeries, purchased for $650 million in July, into its operations. East Balt produces buns, English muffins, rolls, tortillas, bagels, artisanal bread, and other baked foods for fast-food companies. The acquisition of the American firm brings to 32 the number of countries Grupo Bimbo is operating in and advances its mission of “transforming the baking industry and expanding our global leadership,” CEO Daniel Servitje said. The company operates 21 bakeries in 11 countries in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. [Image Credit: ©   East Balt Bakeries ]
Gill Hyslop, "Grupo Bimbo Finalizes East Balt Deal to Form Bimbo QSR", BakeryAndSnacks.com, October 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kraft Heinz Acquires Suntory’s Cerebos Food And Instant Coffee Business

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. (SBF) announced it has agreed to sell its Cerebos food and instant coffee business in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian Home Gourmet Singapore, to Kraft Heinz for $223 million. The sale, expected to close in early 2018, does not include Suntory’s fresh coffee business. Cerebos’ food and instant coffee business includes food brands such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro, and Asian Home Gourmet.  Product categories include sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts, and cooking ingredients.
"Suntory Sells Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee Australia/NZ Business to Kraft Heinz", News release, Cerebos, October 19, 2017, via Medianet, © Cerebos
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EU Guidelines Set Priorities For Preventing, Eliminating Food Waste

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The European Union’s new food waste guidelines target food donation to reduce spoilage and help poor people gain greater access. Nearly one-quarter of Europeans – 119.1 million people – in 2015 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 42.5 million of these were not able to afford a quality meal every second day. The idea behind the guidelines is to limit the generation of surplus food at each stage in the food supply chain (i.e., production, processing, distribution, and consumption). If this cannot be accomplished, the guidelines suggest, then edible food surplus should be redistributed for human consumption “where safe to do so.” [Image Credit: © European Union  ]
Katy Askew, "Europe Puts Food Waste in the Spotlight", FOODnavigator.com, October 18, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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There’s Only One Food Item On The Menu Of This Coffee Shop

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hundreds of miles west of the Manhattan birthplace of the doughnut-croissant mashup known as the cronut, a café in Akron, Ohio, has created another hybrid treat. The shop offers a variety of fair trade and organic coffees, including drip, French press, pour-over, lattes, espresso, mocha, and more. The only food it sells, however, is the cretzel, a cross between a soft pretzel and a croissant available in two flavors: cinnamon sugar and chocolate-filled. Unlike other pretzel-croissant hybrids, however, the cretzel at Sure House Coffee Roasting Co. – the term “sure house” is mentioned in the Old Testament – is shaped like a croissant, not like a pretzel. [Image Credit: © Sure House Coffee Roasting ]
"Akron Dish: Northside Marketplace Downtown is Percolating; West Point Open House; Kenyan Food at Fundraiser and More", The Akron Beacon Journal, October 18, 2017, © The Akron Beacon Journal
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Danone Posts Solid Sales Growth In 3rd Quarter

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consolidated sales rose 16.6 percent in Danone’s third fiscal quarter to $7.64 billion, with especially strong performance in Specialized Nutrition and Early Life Nutrition China. New Danone like-for-like sales growth was 4.7 percent in the quarter, which reflects a 0.4 percent increase in volume and a 4.3 percent rise in value. As to guidance, the company still expects to deliver double-digit recurring earnings per share growth of more than 12 percent. It is also looking for overall like-for-like sales growth between four and five percent by 2020, including healthy like-for-like sales growth above five percent for EDP NORAM, Specialized Nutrition, and Waters, and a like-for-like sales growth of between three and four percent for EDP International.
"Danone Q3 Sales Climb, Backs FY17 View; Sets 2020 Objectives - Quick Facts", Nasdaq, October 17, 2017, © The NASDAQ, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Debuts New Line Of Vitaminwater Drinks

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new range of Vitaminwater performance drinks for athletes contain electrolytes from natural sources, including coconut water and sea salt, and are sweetened with cane sugar. Vitaminwater Active drinks also contain the antioxidants vitamins C and E, as well as vitamins B5, B6, and B12. The new line will be available in a limited number of convenience and grocery stores – including 7-Eleven, Target, and HEB – through the end of the year. A national rollout will begin in 2018.
"Vitaminwater Active: Coca-Cola launches range of sports drinks", FoodBev , October 17, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Many British Shoppers Would Choose Supermarkets Based On Food Waste Practices

October 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by British charity Tearfund found that three quarters of consumers said they would be more likely to shop at supermarkets if they knew the stores reducing food waste, and a third said they definitely would. In fact, eighty percent said they would consider changing where they shopped for food if their store wasn’t doing enough to curb waste. As part of the organization’s Renew Our World campaign, thousands of people have taken an online pledge to waste less food at home and urge their supermarket to play their part too.
"Four Out Of Five People Would Consider Changing Supermarkets over Food Waste", News release, Tearfund, October 16, 2017, © Tearfund
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Coke Exec: The Online Shopper Today Expects A Lot More

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Coca-Cola executive says online customers have grown impatient, demanding, and bored, as their expectations become “higher and higher” when it comes to service. Coke’s global customer director Simon Miles told a recent grocery industry meeting that companies need to up their game to meet shopper expectations, which can be summed up in one word: “free” (or close to it). That presents a lot of challenges in terms of logistics, supply chain, and products. Online grocery selling will evolve into two streams: auto-replenishment of boring but essential basics, and service-orientated ways to lure shoppers into buying products they may not have previously considered.
Victoria Craw, "Coca-Cola Global Customer Director Says Online Shopping Has Failed to Inspire Consumers", News.com.au, October 15, 2017, © News Limited
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Nestlé Deletes Image Of Cross From Greek Yogurt Packages

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Breitbart news website reports that both Nestlé and German supermarket chain Lidl have removed a tiny cross from a Greek church image that appeared on Greek yogurt packaging so as “not to hurt sensibility of other religions.” The cross appeared in a representation of the Greek Orthodox church on the island of Santorini. German supermarket chain Lidl also edited out the cross on images of the same church used on packages of its Eridanous brand Greek-style yogurt. In both images, the cross was removed from the blue dome of the old church.
Thomas D. Williams, "Nestlé Removes Christian Cross from Greek Yogurt Packaging", Breitbart, October 15, 2017, © Breitbart
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FMCG Start-Ups In India Rely On Innovation, Pluck

October 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The biggest hurdles for India’s start-up FMCG companies as they battle industry giants for market share are capital, retail shelf space, distribution, and marketing. They sometimes make strides through pure luck, but innovation and persistence are the most reliable vehicles to success. In its early days RAW Pressery, for example, an online marketer of cold-pressed juices, adapted Mumbai’s dabbawala hot-lunch delivery system based on bicycles and rail transport to deliver its juice products. Dabbawalas were able to deliver 50,000 purchases in three hours. Four years later, the company’s fleet of 25 refrigerated vehicles delivers its own juices as well as products for other brands. The end result is that RAW Pressery and other aggressive start-ups are able to peel off market share from bigwigs like Unilever, Nestlé, and others.
Supraja Srinivasan, "Battleground FMCG: How Consumer Product Startups are Battling Roadblocks to Stand Out Amid Giants", The Economic Times, October 13, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Nestle To Build Infant Formula Factory In Russia

October 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced it is spending $31 million to build an infant formula plant at its 14-year-old Vologda facility in Russia. The new factory, operational by 2019, will help strengthen the company’s position in Russia’s infant formula market, while supporting exports to neighboring countries. Nestlé’s overall strategy is to invest in high-growth food and beverage categories such as coffee, pet care, infant nutrition, and bottled water. It operates eight factories in Russia.
"Nestlé Invests CHF 30 Million in Infant Formula Plant in Russia", News release, Nestlé, October 12, 2017, © Nestlé
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Negative Short-term Factors Depress ThaBev’s Nine-Month Financials

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A number of trends and events have combined to depress both alcoholic and nonalcoholic product sales of Thailand-based food and beverage company ThaiBev. Nine-month sales slid six percent to $4.3 billion, thanks to sluggish economic growth; a year-long mourning period that depressed beer sales after the death of King Bhumibol last October; a new alcohol excise tax; and a sugar tax on sweetened drinks. Company execs are optimistic about the coming year because of strong fundamentals and growth from neighboring countries. The company hopes to further growth by expansion into the food business.
"ThaiBev Looks to Food and Abroad for Growth after Sales Dip", Reuters, October 11, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Vegan Grain Bowls Are A Hit Among Non-Vegan Foodies

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bowls of green veggies served on a bed of healthful grains are catching on among diners looking for a healthful lunch or dinner. Known as vegan grain bowls, the meals offer light but filling and healthful fare that appeals to vegans and non-vegans alike, if reports from Maine eateries are any indication. Variations include: green bamboo rice, French green lentils, green zebra tomatoes, and zucchini; wheat berries, seared tempeh, red cabbage and pumpkin broth; or rice and quinoa topped with greens, seaweed, avocado, pickles, and tofu finished with a carrot-ginger dressing. 
Avery Yale Kamila, "Vegan Grain Bowls Gain Popularity in Maine", Press Herald, October 11, 2017, © Press Herald
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [Image Credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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