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Attitudes Toward Natural, Organic Foods Drive Industry Evolution

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

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

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

September 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation has called for an end to label claims such as “GMO free” because they represent "deceptive labels and fear-based marketing” that damages consumer trust and jeopardizes “safe, sustainable farming practices.” The fear-based label problem encompasses genetically modified organism products, synthetic animal-growth hormones, and high fructose corn syrup, according to the NMPF. The campaign’s website, peelbackthelabel.org, targets yogurt maker Dannon for advertising non-GMO ingredients and Dean Foods for a "No GMOs" label on TruMoo chocolate milk. [Image Credit: © Straus Family Creamery ]
Rick Barrett, "Dairy Farmers Seek End to 'Fear-Based' Food Labeling", Journal Sentinel, September 05, 2017, © jsonline.com
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Coca-Cola CEO Says Focus Is Beverages Now, But Could Be Snacks In Future

September 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In an interview conducted while on a visit to India, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey emphasized the company’s current strategies: further extending the beverage product line beyond the Coke brand; expanding globally but also locally by empowering local managers in, for example, India and Southwest Asia; and fostering growth by giving consumers in every country and region “what they want.” Quincey said Coca-Cola is focusing mainly on beverages for now, but does not rule out other avenues of expansion. That includes “things like food, snacks or whatever” as long as they “create value and help us build a better company.”
Ashish K Tiwari, "Coca-Cola sees India among top three markets: James Quincey", Daily News & Analysis (India), September 04, 2017, © Diligent Media Corporation Ltd
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Brexit Is Making Some EU-Born Food Workers Nervous About Their Jobs

September 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Brexit vote in June has driven some EU workers to think about leaving their jobs, according to a March-May survey. Forty-seven percent of food supply chain companies – viz., farms, food processors, supermarkets, and restaurants – reported that employees were talking of leaving their jobs, and a third said some have already quit. The U.K.’s food industry relies heavily on immigrant workers, though most of the discussion about Brexit has focused on the impact on car production and aerospace. The number of EU-born people working in the U.K. rose just 1.6 percent from a year ago, the weakest increase in seven years.
"Report: EU Worker Exodus Threatens UK Food Industry", Reuters, September 03, 2017, © Reuters
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Australia Grants Coca-Cola A Patent For Can-Molding Technology

September 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia has granted Coca-Cola a patent, applied for five years ago, for a technology that uses blow-molding to form metal beverage cans. The patent – “System and method for forming a metal beverage container using blow molding” – is effective as of December 31, 2012, and is valid until December 31, 2032.
"Australia: The Coca-Cola Receives Patent for 'System and method for forming a metal beverage container using blow molding'", Australian Government News, September 02, 2017, © HT Media Limited
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Spindrift CEO Says Fast-Casuals Should Offer Clean-Label Sparkling Water

September 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a QSR Magazine article sponsored by Spindrift, CEO and founder Bill Creelman says fast-casual eateries do not apply the same health and freshness standards to their beverages as they do to their food. The reason is that health-conscious diners are ordering water instead of the “sugary sodas and juices” sold by fast-casual establishments. But they are also avoiding many brands of sparkling water that contain sugar, aspartame, and other additives, often termed “natural flavors.” The result is that fast-casuals are not investing in “wider varieties of beverage options.” Creelman wants consumers – and restaurants – to know that Spindrift offers sparkling waters that contain only carbonated water and real ingredients, such as fruit.
Peggy Carouthers, "Why Does Fast Casual Settle For Less With Beverages?", QSR Magazine, September 01, 2017, © Journalistic Inc
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Some Wall Street Experts See Coca-Cola Buying Out Monster Beverage

September 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wall Street observers, including experts like The Street founder Jim Cramer, think there’s a very good chance that Coca-Cola will buy energy drink maker Monster Beverage. The company, which already owns 16.7 percent of Monster, could see a buyout as a way to advance its portfolio expansion strategy – including through acquisitions – while gaining a larger share of the U.S. beverage market. It would also like to reverse declines in soda sales – down 16.7 percent year-over-year in the 2nd quarter – and lackluster stock value gains caused in part by the tidal wave of consumer interest in more healthful foods and beverages.
"Is Coca-Cola Mulling Over the Buyout of Monster Beverage?", NASDAQ , September 01, 2017, © The NASDAQ, Inc.
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Metro AG Posts Strong 3Q Sales

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German retail and wholesale company Metro AG (Düsseldorf) reported an increase of 2.6 percent in like-for-like sales in the third quarter, along with an increase of 4.9 percent in overall sales to $11 billion. The company attributed the healthy numbers to “positive currency effects” as well as its acquisition of Pro a Pro, a French foodservice distribution specialist. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached $256 million compared to $81 million in the same period last year. Chief executive Olaf Koch said the financial results, the first since the demerger of Metro Group, indicate that the company has “become more relevant for our customers worldwide.” [Image Credit: © Metro AG ]
"Metro with strong like for like sales growth in Q3", Earnings release, Metro AG, August 31, 2017, © Metro AG
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Grain Foods Contribute Important Nutrients To American Diet

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Though grain-based foods account for only 15 percent of the calories in the American diet, they are nutrient-dense, delivering more than 20 percent of three so-called shortfall nutrients: dietary fiber, folate, and iron. Shortfall nutrients are those that cause serious public health problems when they are under-consumed. The study also found that foods like bread, rolls, tortillas, and ready-to-eat cereals deliver more than ten percent of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin A in the U.S. diet. The findings of the study were based on CDC data collected from more than 10,000 dietary surveys collected from adults over the age of 19. The study was funded by the Grain Foods Foundation.  [Image Credit: ©   Grain Foods Foundation]
"New Study Shows That Americans Are Not Eating Much Bread", Press release, Grain Foods Foundation, August 31, 2017, © Grain Foods Foundation
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Company Extends Its Line Of Antibiotics-Free Deli Meats

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Deli meat producer Columbus Craft Meats has added three new varieties of salami to its line of pre-sliced uncured antibiotics-free lunch meats. The company cited industry data indicating that antibiotics-free pre-packaged deli meat is growing at a rate four times faster than conventional pre-packaged deli meat. New products added to its uncured line include Italian dry salami, genoa salami, and pepperoni. The products also contain no added nitrates or nitrites. [Image Credit: © Columbus Craft Meats ]
"Columbus Craft Meats Builds On Its Momentum With The Launch Of New Uncured, Antibiotic-Free Salami Line", News release, Columbus Craft Meats, August 31, 2017, © Columbus Craft Meats
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PepsiCo Launches Organic Version Of 16-Year-Old Energy Drink Brand

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Launched in 2001, PepsiCo’s AMP Energy brand was due for a reboot. A new version – AMP Energy Organic – was unveiled recently exclusively in U.S. 7-Eleven stores in four fruit flavors. The old version will be available only in the original citrus flavor. The launch campaign – “Organically Unstoppable” – targets adults 18 to 34 with a limited-time free sample offer for 7-Eleven loyalty app users. There will also be in-store promotions, and digital and social media ads that will emphasize geo-targeted mobile and short, shareable video content. The focus on 7-Eleven is an acknowledgement of the chain’s dominance in energy drink sales. [Image Credit: © PepsiCo ]
Karlene Lukovitz, "PepsiCo's Lagging AMP Energy Gets Organic Reboot", MediaPost, August 31, 2017, © MediaPost Communications
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Contrary To Lawsuit Allegations, USDA Is Studying QR Codes As Food Labels

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Center for Food Safety recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging that USDA missed a congressionally-mandated deadline of July 29 to study the “potential technological challenges” facing consumers who have to use electronic or digital disclosure methods, like QR codes, to research food ingredients. However, the agency actually is reviewing a feasibility study on that issue, a USDA spokesman said. The lawsuit says such a study is needed to help draft the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure standard because food companies should label packages with clear ingredient lists, including especially GMO information.
Elizabeth Crawford, "USDA Reviewing Feasibility Study for Using QR Codes to Disclose GMOs Ahead of New Labeling Law", FOODnavigator-USA.com, August 31, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Danish Innovator Is The George Washington Carver Of Hemp

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Danish innovator’s experiments with Finnish hemp – especially the seeds, shelled hearts, oil, and flour – have led to the creation of a growing range of food products, in the same way George Washington Carver made use of the humble peanut. Henrik Rendbøll’s company, Møllerup Gods (i.e., “Estates”), works with farmers who cultivate 500 hectares of hemp annually. By manipulating the hemp components, the company has created bread mixes, pesto sauce, marzipan bread, granola, cereal bars, goat cheese and salami with roasted hemp seeds. A collaboration with a brewery/distillery produces red and black ales brewed with hemp flour, and a craft gin. [Image Credit: © Møllerup Gods ]
Niamh Michail, "Danish Supplier Serves Up a Healthy Dose of Hemp Product Innovation", FOODnavigator.com, August 31, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Not Even A Hurricane Can Keep A Good Baker Down

August 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hurricane Harvey, which devastated southeast Texas in late August, was not tough enough to stop a group of bakers trapped in their bakery.  As the storm raged and rain battered El Bolillo (“the Bobbin”) Bakery in Houston, stranded employees kept baking from Saturday through Monday the 28th, ultimately making thousands of loaves of bolillos bread, kolaches, and pan dulce (sweet bread). The owner had tried to rescue his staff on Sunday, but police had barred the way. The baked goods were delivered to emergency centers across the city and distributed to people affected by the flooding. [Image Credit: © El Bolillo Bakery ]
Nicole Rojas, "Bakers Stranded in Bakery for Two Days Made Thousands of Bread Loaves for Harvey Victims", International Business Times, August 31, 2017, © IBTimes Co., Ltd.
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Canada Dry Successfully Tests Programmatic Audio-Video “Mindset” Campaign On Spotify

August 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canada Dry’s successful recent ad campaign with Spotify and Adobe was based on the assumption that Millennials and young consumers take breaks in the mid- to late-afternoon to listen to streaming audio – “a moment to kick back.” The spring campaign used programmatic voice-over audio spots, in-app display, video, and sponsored sessions aligned to “listening occasions” on Spotify. The Adobe Advertising Cloud’s demand side platform was used to outline the campaign parameters and to place the buy. The campaign was successful enough for Canada Dry to tack on private marketplace (PMP) inventory for other campaigns as well.
Kelly Liyakasa, "Canada Dry Pilots A Converged Programmatic Audio-Video Ad Buy On Spotify", AdExchanger, August 30, 2017, © AdExchanger.com
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Foodservice Baked Goods Supplier Bans 150 Dubious Ingredients

August 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
N.J.-based based foodservice baker Bridor’s new “clean label program” bans 150 ingredients from its European-style croissants, pastries, savory bistro items and breads. The company, which serves the foodservice and retail markets, said the ban covers artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. Bridor said the program affects 200 products and could encompass 300 by the end of the year. [Image Credit: © Bridor ]
Mike Berger, "Bridor Launches Clean Label Program For More Than 200 Items", The Shelby Report, August 30, 2017, © The Shelby Report
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Innocent Rides The “Health And Wellness” Wave To Booming Sales, Profits

August 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British drinks brand Innocent, a unit of Coca-Cola Company, saw sales increase by 23 percent in 2016, its “biggest year ever.” Profit topped $11 million after last year’s loss of $900,000. The company has tripled in size since 2012, with half its revenues derived from international sales. Its success dovetails neatly with the “health and wellness” trend: the company does not add any sugar, and the British public understands that fruit juice and smoothies are “vital for a healthy diet.” The company has capitalized on the demand for more healthful beverages, recently adding coconut water, protein smoothies, and flavored sparkling water.
Leonie Roderick, "Innocent to focus on ‘health and wellness’ as it preps brand refresh", Marketing Week, August 29, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Tesco’s “Turnaround” Fails To Usurp Irish Grocery Chain’s Market Leadership

August 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New market data from Kantar Worldpanel show that the Supervalu grocery chain remained Ireland's largest grocery retailer during the quarter ending in August, despite strong growth by Tesco. Year-on-year sales growth of 0.4 percent kept Supervalu in the top spot, thanks to improvement in the number of items sold per shopping trip at a lower price point. Supervalu has a 22.2 percent share of the grocery market, a slight (0.3 percentage points) drop from last year. Tesco experienced its fourth consecutive period of growth, “a clear indication that it's achieved a turnaround in performance. [Image Credit: © Supervalu ]
David Berry, "SuperValu remain on top despite Tesco turnaround", News release, Kantar Worldpanel, August 29, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Discount Grocer Aldi Gives Big Midwest Competitors A Good Run For Their Money

August 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Data from grocery market researcher Shelby Report show that discount retailer Aldi is making headway in the Midwest against big players like regional retailers and Walmart. Aldi’s market share for its 45 stores in the Kansas/Missouri area was 2.8 percent of total retail sales (all commodity value) of $10.27 billion, compared with 1.5 percent in 2016. Market share in the $13 billion Missouri/Illinois/Indiana/Kentucky market increased from 2.4 percent to 4.4 percent; in the $10.88 billion Minnesota market it grew to 3.2 percent; and in the $18.79 billion Ohio/West Virginia/Kentucky market, it grew to 2.9 percent from 1.6 percent in 2016. [Image Credit: © Aldi ]
Tom Karst, "Aldi Sees Market Share Gain", The Packer, August 28, 2017, © Farm Journal, Inc.
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Coffee/Tea Retailer To Offer Califia Farms Almond Milk Creamer

August 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Privately-held coffee and tea retailer Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf announced it is now selling Califia Farms’ Barista Blend Almondmilk, a non-dairy, plant-based steaming and foaming creamer option, at participating stores. Califia Farms formulated the blend for baristas to integrate with coffees and teas. The creamer is made with whole blanched almonds, rather than almond paste, and contains no carrageenan. It is also non-GMO, kosher, vegan and low in sugar. Califia Farms’ creamers contain no hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial whiteners.
"Califia Farms Teams Witth The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf", QSR Magazine, August 28, 2017, © Journalistic Inc.
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Plant-Based Burger Chain Poised For National Expansion From Pacific Northwest

August 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Next Level Burger has opened a new plant-based burger joint in Seattle, Wash., its fourth after three in Oregon. Other locations are planned, along with an eventual national expansion, thanks to a partnership with Whole Foods Market. The company’s menu features a Signature Burger, Bleu BBQ and Sausage Bacon burgers, as well as “next level” hot dogs and sandwiches, fries, tots, and hand-spun dairy-free milkshakes. Menu item ingredients are “responsibly sourced” and non-GMO; all produce is organic. [Image Credit: © Next Level Burger ]
Daniella Delaosa, "Next Level Burger – America’s First Plant-Based Burger Joint – Officially Opens First Seattle Location", PR Web, August 28, 2017, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC
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Coca-Cola Broadens Product Portfolio In Kenya With Juice Launch

August 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa is applying Coke’s “total beverage company” product diversification strategy on the continent with the launch of the Minute Maid Pulpy Orange brand in Kenya. The company also says it is investing $30 million in Hot Fill technology in its juice production facilities. The Pulpy Orange product contains real juice and pulp, but no added preservatives, Hot Fill technology uses heat to sterilize both the PET bottles and the juice, ensuring high hygiene standards and longer shelf life. The company plans a nationwide ad campaign supporting the product launch.
Victor Amadala , "Coca-Cola to invest Sh3 billion in new juice segment", The Star, Kenya, August 25, 2017, © The Star, Kenya
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Farmer-Owned Dairy Co-op Posts Higher Revenue So Far In 2017

August 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
European dairy cooperative Arla reported a three percent rise in revenue in the first half of 2017, thanks to a long-awaited upturn in prices. The co-op expects to hit full-year targets for profit and a full-year revenue increase of nearly $1.2 billion. Global milk prices recovered in the first half of the year, after nearly three years of low prices. Arla said the higher prices were the result of lower or steady milk production compared to last year in dairy-producing markets, plus improved demand in Europe, the U.S., and emerging markets. Arla is owned by 11.200 farmers in Denmark, Sweden, the U.K., Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. [Image Credit: © Arla ]
"Half Year Results 2017: Higher Returns for Farmer Owners", Earnings release, Arla, August 25, 2017, © Arla Foods
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Baby Foods Company Hopes To Succeed With Freeze-Dried Products

August 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amara Organic Foods is betting that parents will switch to their freeze-dried baby foods when they realize that freeze-drying preserves nutrients in fruits and vegetables just as well as high-pressure processing (HPP) but is a much cheaper process. The company’s products cost less, have a long shelf life, and contain no additives or preservatives. The company acknowledges that the HPP companies did the heavy lifting in getting parents to switch from baby foods in heat-treated jars and pouches. Amara’s products are available in natural food stores in California, Nevada, and Utah, and will roll out nationwide in 2018. [Image Credit: © Amara ]
Elaine Watson, "Amara Organic Foods: We’re Pioneering a New Category in Baby Food", FOODnavigator-USA.com, August 25, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Commercial Success Expected In U.S. For Reformulated Weight Loss Supplement

August 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new dosage version of an herbal weight loss supplement is now on sale in the U.S. Weighlevel is a blend of extracts from the leaves of Lady’s Mantle, olives, mint, and cumin, plus a fiber developed by a Japanese company. Two clinical studies have been conducted in Denmark on the extended release formulation; the first will be submitted for publication this fall. The supplement, developed by a Danish company and researchers at the University of Copenhagen, is taken once daily instead of the three times recommended in an earlier fiber-less version. The once-a-day formulation could make the supplement commercially viable in North America.  [Image Credit: © Sprunk Jansen ]
Hank Schultz, "Extended Release Form of Herbal Weight Loss Ingredient Could Be Winner in US Market, Supplier Says", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, August 25, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Nutrient-Rich Milk Added To Nestle’s Line Of Enhanced Foods In India

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé India is adding another product to its growing line of micronutrient-fortified products, a further step in the strategy of making products sold in the country more healthful. The Nestlé a+ milk brand, expected to hit grocery store shelves “soon,” follows the launch of other fortified foods in India, including noodles and cereals for children. Nestlé recently launched iron-fortified Maggi Noodles, the Nutrilicious range of breakfast Maggi Noodles, the Ceregrow line of junior cereals, Maggi Masala-e-Magic, the RTD beverage Milo, Grekyo yogurt, and a+ Pro-Grow milk. The Indian government has asked food companies to increase the healthfulness of their food offerings.
Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "Fortified milk, the latest offering from Nestle India", The Hindu Business Line, August 24, 2017, © The Hindu Business Line
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Battle Over “Country Of Origin” Meat Labeling Rages On

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A lawsuit filed by groups representing American cattle growers alleges that USDA regulations that allow imported beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products” not only confuses consumers and harms farmers, they violate the Meat Inspection Act. The suit says meat products should be labeled with “country of origin.” American consumers agree: 90 percent in a recent survey said they favored country-of-origin labeling for fresh meat. Such labeling had been required in the U.S. until two years ago, when the World Trade Organization determined that the requirements discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock. [Image Credit: © Temperature Climate Permaculture ]
"Large Majority of Americans Strongly Support Requiring Origin Information on Fresh Meat", Consumer Federation of America, August 24, 2017, © Consumer Federation of America
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Studies Shed Light On Health Benefits Of Eating Red Raspberries

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Eight studies, both preclinical research and human clinical trials, that described the potential of raspberries to boost satiety, control blood sugar, and moderate inflammation, were presented earlier this year at the Experimental Biology conference. Clinical trial participants experienced improvement in glucose control and increased satiety while eating raspberries. Animal subjects in longer-term preclinical studies showed promising effects on the gut microbiota after red raspberry intake. Observations from animal and in vitro studies suggested that future red raspberry research might explore potential good effects on inflammation, obesity, and type 2 diabetes risk.
McKenzie Hall Jones, "Studies Explore the Potential Benefits of Red Raspberries", News release, The FASEB Journal, August 24, 2017, via EurekAlert!, © AAAS
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Consumer Trends, Other Factors, Dampen Coke, Pepsi Production In India

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Citing two “industry insiders,” the Economic Times of India reports that bottling plants associated with Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are producing at only 40 to 50 percent of capacity, as more consumers spurn carbonated soft drinks. Another factor affecting soft drink sales is increased competition from “a proliferation of B-brands.” Sales growth has dipped to low single digits for seven quarters, and is further affected by newly-implemented GST levies of 40 percent on aerated beverages. However, production of juices, juice-based drinks, sports drinks, etc., is running at optimum capacity. Both companies are focusing on producing more non-aerated drinks.
Ratna Bhushan, "Coca-Cola, PepsiCo hit hard by slow growth in soft drinks segment", The Economic Times, August 24, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Campbell Ramps Up Online Delivery Infrastructure For Evolving Retail Environment

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Though the percentage of food sold online today is in the low single digits, by 2021 it will be a $66 billion business. Campbell Soup is determined to part of that phenomenon.

It recently announced the hiring of Amazon (and eBay and Kohl’s) veteran Shakeel Farooque to lead the new e-commerce division. This “revealing” hire, as Quartz put it, underscores the company’s goal of selling more soup online. Campbell says its new distribution centers will operate differently from its warehouses that keep supermarkets stocked. The new distribution centers will focus on e-commerce only, customizing delivery of foods for different channels, whether meal kits or online grocery orders. [Image Credit: © Chef'd ]
Chase Purdy, "Even Campbell Soup is taking a Page from Amazon", Quartz, August 24, 2017, © Quartz
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Helping Needy Families Eat Healthy, Save Money, Cut Food Waste

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A year-old food education program launched in Western Pennsylvania by the group 412 Food Rescue is helping families save precious dollars by giving them access to fresh food and teaching them how to cook it. Since last year, more than a hundred needy mothers have benefited from the training, which also includes nutrition education. By teaching people how to cook, they immediately begin saving money by not eating out, and they eat healthier. One participant said the training also meant that she cut waste of vegetables in half. [Image Credit: © 412 Food Rescue ]
Smitha Rajan, "Don’t Waste that Food — Oops, Dollar!", Post-Gazette, August 23, 2017, © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Coca-Cola Hellenic Outlines Plans For Irish, Other, Markets

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Co.’s “Our Way Forward” report lays out a long-range global business strategy – inside and outside the bottle – with emphasis on plans for Ireland and Northern Ireland. The report reiterates the overall corporate plan to offer a portfolio of beverages that spans the spectrum of consumer desires, including the one for less sugar. Other plans include: greater ingredients transparency on labels; evolving beverage recipes, with a focus on low- or no-sugar; and launching functional drinks offering nutrition and hydration. In Ireland, a continued emphasis on promoting “zero” sugar will increase “Hero Zero” cola sales to 55 percent or greater by 2020.
"The Coca‑Cola System Launches a New Business Strategy across the Island of Ireland", News release, Coca‑Cola HBC, August 23, 2017, © Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland Ltd
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McDonald’s To Work Toward Antibiotics-Free Meat

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald's announced it will phase out use cattle and pigs raised with antibiotics important to human medicine. It has already begun phasing out antibiotics-raised chickens in its 14,000 U.S. restaurants and the 36,000 locations globally. Meat suppliers in the McDonald’s supply chain will still be allowed to use ionophores antibiotics because they are not used to treat humans. [Image Credit: © Union of Concerned Scientists ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "McDonald’s Vows to Serve More Antibiotic-Free Meat, Targeting Beef and Pork", Chicago Tribune, August 23, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Amazon Launches Business Grocery Delivery Service

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online retailer Amazon.com is expanding the coverage of its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service to include business customers. Similar to the company's grocery delivery service for consumers, the Amazon Business service for business customers will feature access to produce and groceries from the company's online store and local shops with same- or next-day delivery.
Taylor Soper, "Amazon Rolls Out AmazonFresh Grocery Delivery Service for Business Customers", GeekWire, August 23, 2017, © GeekWire, LLC
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Coca-Cola To Fund Search For Solutions To Citrus Greening Disease

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
With nearly all commercial orchards in Florida infected with citrus greening, a bacterial plant disease caused by an insect, Coca-Cola company announced it is funding collaborative research between Bayer and a nonprofit citrus research organization to find solutions to the problem. A Bayer crop scientist said unless such a solution is found, the Florida citrus industry could be dead within 10 to 15 years. Researchers will try to identify biological disease control solutions, or compounds that control the plants’ immune defenses. Bayer will have the rights to development and commercialization of any discoveries that result from the research.
Journey Staff, "Coca-Cola Supporting Research Partnership to Combat Citrus Greening", News release, the Coca-Cola Company, August 23, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Plenty Of Demand For Wonky Fruits And Vegetables

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Imperfect Produce, which sells subscriptions for delivery of blemished and misshapen fruits and vegetable, is expanding from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., and eventually to the Seattle, Wash., area. The idea for the company came from the fact that most grocery stores won’t sell scarred plums or odd-shaped eggplants. They are discarded, even though they’re perfectly edible. The company gathers the unmarketable produce from 70 West Coast farms. After just three weeks of marketing in Portland, the service has added 1,500 new subscribers.
Cassandra Profita, "'Ugly' Produce Delivery Service Expands to the Northwest", Oregon Public Broadcasting, August 23, 2017, © Oregon Public Broadcasting
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Teaching Bars To Use Food Waste To Make Creative Cocktails

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian has teamed with a Canadian to teach bars and bartenders how to put cocktail ingredients destined for trash bins to good use. The two, who refer to themselves as “Trash Tiki,” travel the world with a pop-up bar spreading a message of sustainability, one cocktail at a time. The two have taught bartenders and bar owners how to get more use out of lime wedges after spritzing into gin-and-tonics, and how to use ingredients like coffee grounds, avocado pits, almond croissants, and fermented pineapple to make flavorful drinks. [Image Credit: © Trash Tiki ]
Talia Ricci, "From Trash to Tiki Cocktail: How a Travelling Pop-Up is changing the Way Bars Think About Waste", CBC News, August 23, 2017, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Pizza, Bagel Shops Have To Adjust For Higher Ingredient Prices

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The USDA’s food-price inflation forecast for 2018 says the “unprecedented Midwest drought,” combined with higher prices paid to farmers, and lower imports, will probably push restaurant costs for baked goods up as much as four percent next year. But it will especially affect spring wheat-reliant pizza and bagel companies, including mom-and-pop shops, the hardest. To adjust for the higher cost of flour and other ingredients, while maintaining quality levels, they raise prices on certain products, hold the line on others. Inevitably, they lose a few customers, but in the long run they make more money: people are willing to pay more for better-quality baked goods. [Image Credit: © Mystic Pizza ]
"More dough for Pizza?; Rising costs of ingredients could inflate prices", North Port Sun (Florida), August 23, 2017, © Sun Coast Media Group
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Unilever Tests High-Tech Direct-To-Consumer Marketing Scheme

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s Hellman’s mayo brand is working with the Quiqup on-demand delivery app and platform in a direct-to-consumer marketing test. Users will be able to choose a recipe, then have all of the ingredients delivered to their door within an hour. Hellman’s is betting that consumers will appreciate the free time provided by the service. Quiqup, a member of the Unilever Foundry’s network of start-ups, developed the concept that is targeted at Millennial shoppers in London who are likely to make “impulse purchases.” [Image Credit: © Quiqup ]
Jennifer Faull, "Unilever’s Hellmann’s to deliver ‘Impulse’ Groceries in First Direct-To-Consumer Tests", The Drum, August 23, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Kind Expands Into Fruit Bite Market With Premium, All-Fruit Products

August 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Snack bar company Kind LLC is entering the $2.3 billion fruit snacks market with gummy fruit bites containing no added sugar. As established food companies have struggled to grow, Kind has managed to ride the healthful snacks wave using natural ingredients and transparent packaging to $1 billion in annual sales. Kind’s fruit bites are made with real fruit – apples, strawberries, pineapples and mangoes – and only fruit. No other ingredients are listed on the packages. The products will be available nationally in coming weeks at the premium price of $4.99 a box. General Mills is the category leader, controlling about 21 percent of the market. [Image Credit: © Kind ]
Craig Giammona, "Kind Targets Big Food's Sugary Fruit Snacks in New Product Push", Bloomberg, August 22, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Canned Food Takes On A Whole New Meaning In N.Y. Take-Out Eateries

August 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Convenience-loving takeout customers in New York City used to getting meals in paper bags may find a new packaging trend a bit “jarring.” Take-out eateries all over the city are serving layered meals – turmeric quinoa, honey-mustard beets, vegan chia pudding, etc. – in clear, screw-top jars. Lower East Side eatery Fat Radish, for example, offers a Soba jar that stacks pickled cucumbers, tamari-flavored mushrooms and tahini-roasted broccoli on top of protein-packed noodles. The jars provide an eye-catching – check out Instagram for proof – and simple veggie-and-fruit delivery system. "You enjoy the natural beauty of food and benefit from its nutrition," says one food science professor.  [Image Credit: © Tyme Food ]
Hannah Sparks, "Fast Food in Jars is the Latest Lunch Craze", New York Post, August 22, 2017, © NYP HOLDINGS, INC.
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Coca-Cola India’s Frozen Snack Line To Debut In 4th Quarter

August 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India says it has been testing its Beverage Plus range of whipped frozen fruit snacks in select areas of Bengaluru, Karnataka, and will launch them officially by the end of the year. The company says the snacks, made from locally-sourced fruits, are not pure beverages. They will be initially available at institutional locations, including movie theatres and vending carts at shopping malls. A Deloitte India analyst said Coca-Cola’s “interesting play” here signals not only an entry, and perhaps further expansion, into the frozen segment, but also a plan to “bring more fruit-based products, such as fruit nutrition bars" to the market. The country's ice cream and frozen desserts segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent through 2021 to reach $2.65 billion.
Sounak Mitra, "Coca-Cola India Widens Portfolio to Include Whipped Frozen Fruit Snacks", Live Mint, August 21, 2017, © HT Media Ltd.
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Hospital Patients With Diabetes Are More Prone To Complications, Longer Stays

August 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Twenty-two percent of German hospital patients are diabetic, and nearly one in four are prediabetic, according to investigators at two German research centers. For the study, researchers screened 3,733 adult patients in Tübingen University Hospital for diabetes and prediabetes for four weeks. They found that diabetic patients tend to stay in the hospital longer and have a higher risk of complications. They recommended that screening patients older than 50 years for diabetes and treating them for the condition would reduce complications and cut the length of hospital stays. [Image Credit: © EU-Patienten ]
Kufeldt, J. et al., "Prevalence and Distribution of Diabetes Mellitus in a Maximum Care Hospital: Urgent Need for HbA1c-Screening", Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes, August 21, 2017, © Thieme Verlagsgruppe
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Canadian Zero-Waste Grocer Gets High Praise

August 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ottawa, Canada’s first zero-waste grocery store encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers to carry off their purchases. The goal is to eliminate packaging waste while selling dry food, fresh produce, and cleaning and beauty supplies. Nu Grocery store owner Valrie Leloup has not only won praise from Canada’s environment minister – “taking real action to tackle climate change, protect the environment, and employ a bunch of people” – she believes she has changed her customers’ minds about the problem of food and packaging waste. "I think that this store has triggered something," she said. [Image Credit: © Idil Mussa/CBC ]
"Ottawa's First Zero-Waste Grocery Store Officially Opens", CBC News, August 20, 2017, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Walmart Opens New Battlefront In War Against Amazon

August 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has launched something of an air war against arch-rival Amazon. The Arkansas-based retailer has applied for a patent for its version of a floating warehouse – a “gas-filled aerial transport and launch system” – a similar version of which Amazon patented more than a year ago. And like Amazon’s version, Walmart’s could launch sorties of drones to deliver purchases to nearby homes. Walmart’s dirigible airship would hover at up to 1,000 feet in the air, contain multiple drone launching bays, and be computer- or pilot-operated remotely. Proponents of the airborne warehouses say they would cut online order fulfillment costs for “the last mile” to a customer’s house. [Image Credit: © Walmart ]
Matthew Boyle, "Walmart Applies for Patent for Blimp-Style Floating Warehouse", Bloomberg, August 19, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Distillery Based On Discarded Bread Offers Two Key Benefits

August 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A start-up distillery in California has come up with a novel scheme to make money while cutting food waste. The idea is to turn bread products that can no longer be given away into vodka. Misadventure & Co. picks up a thousand pounds of bread from a local food bank each week. The bread is past its expiration date, but still useable. It is combined in a giant blender, and mashed into a sort of sweet porridge. Yeast is added to eat the sugar and create alcohol. This “bread beer” is heated to extract the alcohol that is eventually turned into vodka. The bread products from the food bank are free, so the beverages made can be sold for less. And it’s also keeping tons of food out of landfills.
Greg Bledsoe, "Your Corner: Turning Old Cupcakes and Bread Into Vodka", NBC San Diego, August 18, 2017, © NBCUniversal Media, LLC
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Nuts, Seeds Satisfy Consumer Demand For More Plant Protein In Baked Goods

August 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Makers of snack and baked goods are keenly aware of scientific findings that underpin consumer demand for plant-based protein products. Nuts and seeds especially offer a healthful ingredient profile while enhancing flavor, visual interest, and texture. Snacks are purchased as an indulgence, but health and wellness, along with taste and convenience, are “creating an unstoppable momentum for seeds and nuts." Among the more popular of these ingredients are walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Gluten-free nut and seed flours are also gaining momentum – a good example is smooth-textured almond flour. Wheat flour blended with seed and nut flours delivers healthful multigrain bagels, breads, buns, and pizza crusts. [Image Credit: © MyNewRoots.org ]
Maxine Weber, "Using Nutritious, Delicious Nut and Seed Ingredients in Snacks and Baked Goods", Snack & Bakery, August 17, 2017, © BNP Media
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Health-Conscious Consumers Drive Trends In Bread, Sandwiches, Snacks

August 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Key trends driving snack and bread sales include higher demand for premium artisanal, as well as more healthful, clean-label creations. Include better-for-you ancient grain, multigrain, whole wheat breads, brioche rolls and pretzel buns, flavorful asiago rolls and sriracha buns. Demand also high for international-inspired and ethnic items, like Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich and the Mexican torta. Bakery-café and sandwich shops are offering classic Old-World, rye bread, sourdough, and brioche; popular wrap-style sandwiches are giving way to new flatbread options, such as naan. Health-conscious consumers look for sprouted-grain breads, breads with clean ingredient lists, and breads and snacks made with alternative whole grains, such as buckwheat, oats, rye, and whole-kernel wheat. [Image Credit: © Three Bakers ]
Douglas J. Peckenpaugh, "Key Trends Across Baking Help Increase Foodservice Sales", Snack & Bakery, August 17, 2017, © BNP Media
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