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Survey Data Confirm Huge 30-Year Rise In Snacking Among U.S. Children

March 2, 2010: 08:52 AM EST
An increase in snacking on salty chips, candy and other junk food now accounts for as much as 27 percent of daily caloric intake among children in the U.S., putting them at risk for hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, according to a long-term study of eating patterns. Researchers examined data from national surveys of food intake among 31,000 children from 1977 to 2006. In an early survey (1977 to 1978), 74 percent aged 2 to 18 said they ate snacks. By 2003-2006, that number had soared to 98 percent. Children, including very young ones, still ate three meals a day, researchers found, but also snacked three times a day on “high calorie junk food.” The researchers recommend several remedies for parents, schools and lawmakers concerned about kids’ snacking habits.
Barry Popkin, Ph.D., and Carmen Piernas, "Trends In Snacking Among U.S. Children", Health Affairs, March 02, 2010, © Project HOPE
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Martek Adds F. Rinaldi Sauces To List Of Foods Using Its Omega-3 Ingredient

March 2, 2010: 02:54 AM EST
Four varieties of American Heart Association-certified ToBe Healthy pasta sauces from Francesco Rinaldi are the latest foods – and the first pasta sauces in the U.S. – to contain omega-3 fatty acids from Martek Biosciences. A growing body of scientific evidence supports the view that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (such as DHA) are essential for healthy brain and eye development, as well as cardiovascular health. Although some scientists say the most beneficial omega-3s come from fatty fish, Martek says its product is derived from microalgae, where fish get their omega-3s. life'sDHA is found in a variety of other foods, beverages and supplements, including 95 percent of infant formulas on the U.S. market, Martek says.
"life’sDHA™ Featured in New Francesco Rinaldi ToBe Healthy Pasta Sauces", PRWeb, March 02, 2010, © Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC
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Jury Still Out On Whether Vitamin-Packed Skincare Products Treat Photoaging

March 1, 2010: 06:06 PM EST
Do vitamins really reduce the signs of sun-damaged skin? In a word, yes, but not necessarily when delivered in skincare products. According to a new U.S. study that examined the scientific literature, vitamins A, C, E and B3 prevent or reverse photoaging, the damage to skin caused by the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. But there is no solid evidence that these vitamins have any benefit when delivered in oral or topical skincare products. In skincare cosmeceuticals, vitamin C may actually dissolve when applied to the skin, one researcher noted. And no data support claims that vitamin C in skincare products improves skin wrinkling, discoloration and texture. “Consumers should understand … that skin care products with vitamins may not provide clinically meaningful improvement,” the researchers said.
Jamie Zussman MDa, Jennifer Ahdout MDa and Jenny Kim MD, PhDa, b , "Vitamins and photoaging: Do scientific data support their use? ", Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, March 01, 2010, © American Academy of Dermatology
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PepsiCo Acquires Bottlers And Sees Joint Marketing Opportunities

March 2, 2010: 03:52 AM EST
PepsiCo’s $7.8 million acquisition of its two largest bottlers will not only secure its position as one of the world’s leading food and drink companies. It will also provide opportunities to bundle Pepsi’s soft drinks with its Frito-Lay snack products in joint marketing efforts, according to the company’s CEO. The bottlers also produce soft drinks for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and PepsiCo will need to reassure the Federal Trade Commission that it will not access commercially-sensitive information about its competitor. Coca-Cola Co. has also recently announced its intention to but its largest bottler in North America.
KAREN ROBINSON-JACOBS , "Expect more joint marketing by PepsiCo, FritoLay", The Dallas Morning News , March 02, 2010, © The Dallas Morning News, Inc.
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Cereal Makers Target Health-Conscious Buyers With Nutrient-Packed Products

March 1, 2010: 08:56 PM EST
Cereal manufacturers hoping to attract health-conscious consumers are steadily increasing the nutritive value of their products. Market researcher IRI found that several of the 13 new breakfast cereals introduced in 2009 made grain claims (whole, all-natural, fiber) aimed squarely at the health-conscious, breakfast-at-home bunch. Kellogg’s, for example, boosted the fiber content of several popular children’s cereals with good results: Froot Loops sales soared 60 percent in 2009. The company also added fiber and antioxidants to its snack and breakfast bars and is “actively looking for ways to add more fiber to more products,” according to a spokeswoman. Drug stores are stocking shelves with premium cereals fortified with functional ingredients like antioxidant-rich berries and nuts, fiber, and vitamins because, they realized, a growing number of shoppers are willing to pay more for nutritious foods.
Barbara White-Sax , "Manufacturers milk cereal sales with nutritional boosts", Drug Store News, March 01, 2010, © Drug Store News
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Grocery Retailers Note: Shoppers Who Underestimate Cart Totals Blame Stores

March 1, 2010: 10:09 AM EST
Common sense tells people that in times of economic turmoil it’s important to stick to a budget at the grocery store. But apparently that’s no easy task: shoppers actually do worse when they try to calculate the value of items in their carts, according to a study that retailers should take a close look at. Researchers visited two supermarkets in February 2009 (after the Dow Jones bottomed out) and spoke with 300 shoppers. About three-fifths of those who said they paid attention to prices kept a tally in their head, without using a calculator or shopping list, leading them to overspend. The findings have serious implications for retailers, researchers said, because shoppers who pay more than they expected “hold the retailers responsible and feel dissatisfied with the store."
Koert van Ittersum, Joost M.E. Pennings & Brian Wansink, "Trying Hard and Doing Worse: How Grocery Shoppers Track In-Store Spending ", Journal of Marketing, March 01, 2010, © MarketingPower, Inc.
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No Matter The Strategy, Cutting Sodium Content Would Save Billions In Healthcare Costs

March 1, 2010: 04:20 AM EST
Two strategies could save billions of dollars currently spent on treating heart attacks and strokes in the U.S.: voluntary sodium reductions by food companies and sodium taxation, according to scientists who used a computer simulation based on British data. Adults currently aged 40 to 85 years would suffer 514,000 fewer strokes and 480,000 fewer heart attacks over their lifetimes – saving $32 billion – if voluntary industry efforts reduced sodium intake by 9.5 percent. Sodium taxation itself would cut intake by six percent, saving $22.4 billion. The study also found that reducing salt content and taxing sodium would extend lifespans – by 2.1 million and 1.3 million years, respectively. Researchers cautioned about unintended consequences: “Sodium reductions may lead persons to consume more fats and sugars or simply more calories, leading to other health risks,” they said.
Crystal M. Smith-Spangler, MD, et al, "Population Strategies to Decrease Sodium Intake and the Burden of Cardiovascular Disease A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis", Annals of Internal Medicine, March 01, 2010, © American College of Physicians
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Emerging Markets Will Boost Global Growth Of Sweet And Salty Snacks

March 1, 2010: 04:33 AM EST
The global sweet and savory snacks market will continue to grow, according to market researcher Euromonitor, but at a slower pace through 2014 (two percent a year compounded) than in recent years (three percent). Key trend: health and diet concerns in developed countries are pushing consumers toward snack bars and fresh food. Buoying the market, however, are surging sales in developing economies such as China and India, where consumers are increasingly embracing packaged snacks. Euromonitor spotlights three “hot areas” in the world market for snack makers through 2014: extruded snacks in India, both premium and economy varieties (sales will double); fruit snacks in the U.S. where consumers focus on health and flavor (30 percent hike in sales); and nut-based snacks in Brazil where consumers fret over cardiovascular health (25 percent sales growth).
Francisco Redruello , "Global Sweet and Savory Snacks", Prepared Foods, March 01, 2010, © BNP Media
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Four Keys To Profitable Joint Ventures In China And India

March 1, 2010: 03:53 AM EST

As the economies of China and India continue to grow rapidly, multinationals are forced to navigate a variety of market challenges and government regulatory obstacles. Key problem: complex partnership rules bar controlling ownership of certain entities by foreign companies. So firms seeking to extend and deepen commercial relationships with the two economic giants must find ways to operate joint ventures profitably and maintain adequate strategic control. Drawing from examples of past JVs gone sour, this article tells how to structure and manage partnerships in China and India: separate JV operations into different components, each with a different partner; make sure partners agree with your strategic goals; retain the power to name key managers and to view operational info; and secure control of the “ecosystem:” companies that supply with parts or services.

Anil K. Gupta and Haiyan Wang, "How to Avoid Getting Burned in China and India", Business Week, March 01, 2010, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Garlic Inhibits Transformation Of Nitrates To Carcinogens

March 1, 2010: 04:10 AM EST
A new urine test developed at two U.S. universities has found that compounds in garlic and vitamin C slow a process (nitrosation) that converts nitrates from some processed meats into cancer-causing agents. (Nitrates are also found in vegetables, but previous research revealed that vegetable vitamin C reduces the chance that the nitrates become carcinogenic.) Scientists came up with a way to measure one biomarker in urine linked to cancer risk and another that measures garlic consumption. They then tested urine samples of participants in a small study and found an inverse relationship: people who consumed more garlic showed less nitrosation and were less at risk for cancer. The researchers said three to five grams of garlic worked as well as a 0.5-gram dose of vitamin C or a garlic extract supplement.
Keary Cope, Harold Seifried, et al. , "A gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method for the quantitation of N-nitrosoproline and N-acetyl-S-allylcysteine in human urine: Application to a study of the effects of garlic consumption on nitrosation", Analytical Biochemistry, March 01, 2010, © Elsevier Inc.
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Indian Consumer Goods Companies Plan April Price Rises

March 1, 2010: 01:51 AM EST
Consumer products companies in India expect government budget measures, including reducing its excise duty stimulus measures, to intensify the inflationary environment that already exists for commodities in the country. The measures will put pressure on profit margins, a situation the companies are seeking to ease by keeping the price of entry-level products stable at the same time as reducing their size, and increasing the price of more premium items. Many Indian producers plan to raise their prices from April 1. Some companies are focusing on driving volumes, which they believe will be bolstered by budget measures that have put more money in consumers’ pockets.
Ratna Bhushan , "FMCG cos to hike prices", Economic Times , March 01, 2010, © Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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EU Organic Farming Area Increased By 7% From 2007 To 2008

March 1, 2010: 04:05 AM EST
The most recent figures from Eurostat show the organic farming area in the 27 European Union countries increased 7% from 2007 to 2008, and now stands at 7.8 million hectares. Spain, which has the largest organic land at 1.3 million hectares, also had the highest growth of 33%. Other countries with fast growing organic land are Bulgaria, 22%; Slovakia, 19%; Hungary, 15%; and Greece, 14%. Italy is the only EU27 country where the area dedicated to organic farming fell, by 13%. These recent data confirm a longer term trend; from 2005 to 2008, the total organic area for the EU25 grew 21%. According to the statistics, in 2008 organic land was used mainly for pastures and meadows (44% of fully converted area in the EU27 except Germany), arable crops (37%) and permanent crops (10%).
"Organic area up by 21% in the EU between 2005 and 2008", Eurostat Press Office, March 01, 2010, © Eurostat
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Supplier Diversity Should Not Be Viewed as Mere Altruism

March 1, 2010: 04:54 AM EST
The recent recession highlighted the view that minority firms tend to be more vulnerable to economic headwinds: they typically have more limited access to capital and corporate supply chains, and because they tend to be smaller on average, they generally have a smaller cash buffer. However, supplier diversity isn’t just about altruism; it can be mutually-beneficial. Using minority-owned suppliers helps distribute income to communities of potential customers. It can also provide a platform for innovation, as evidenced by the suggestion from Bromley Communications, a leading Hispanic advertising agency, that the Progresso brand from General Mills should introduce authentic Mexican soups. The use of Hispanic firms remains disproportionately small. One Hispanic business leader said that Hispanics represent some 15 percent of the US population, but less than five percent of contracts are awarded to Hispanic firms.
Rob Kuznia, "The Persistence of Supplier Diversity Partnerships", Hispanic Business Magazine, March 01, 2010, © Hispanic Business, Inc.
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Baking Industry Should Look Closely At Leavening Agents To Reduce Sodium Content

February 28, 2010: 03:25 AM EST
Increasing health awareness and regulatory pressures have led the baking industry to search for cost-effective ways to reduce sodium content in their products. So far, the search has focused on curtailing salt and bicarbonates without sacrificing volume, texture, crumb structure and flavor. But leavening agents can also help decrease sodium content of baked goods while maintaining desirable attributes. New calcium leavening acids, like calcium acid pyrophosphate/monocalcium phosphate (CAPP/MCP), could replace commonly used sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP 28). CAPP/MCP contains no sodium (compared to 21% in SAPP), and exhibits a similar rate of reaction at the same cost. This would result in healthier baked goods with good taste and texture and a boost in calcium content – all with no increase in costs.
John Brodie, "Making cakes worth their salt", Functional Ingredients Magazine, February 28, 2010, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Test Could Predict Whether Milk-Sensitive Kids Will Tolerate Milk In Baked Goods

February 27, 2010: 10:59 AM EST
U.S. researchers are developing a blood test that could tell whether a child known to be allergic to all cow’s milk might nevertheless tolerate milk contained in baked products. An earlier study showed that as many as 75 percent of cow’s milk-sensitive children have no allergic reaction to baked-milk products. But how do you tell ahead of time without risking a severe immune response? In this study of 41 children, the scientists found that antibodies from children hypersensitive to all milk products bound themselves to more milk protein sites (epitopes), causing an immune response. The number of epitopes involved also predicted the severity of the reaction.
"Research gets closer to a test for tolerating milk products", American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), February 27, 2010, © American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
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Regulation Slows Canada’s Vitamin Market; Better Prospects For Nutraceuticals And Functional Foods

February 26, 2010: 10:50 AM EST
Strict vitamin and supplements regulation in Canada has slowed growth and innovation, find Euromonitor International. Vitamin and supplement suppliers are required to obtain a license from Health Canada, a process that requires submitting a range of product information, including the type, source and potency of ingredients, as well as evidence supporting any health claims. These added launch costs have reduced variety and will continue to hamper the market; Euromonitor projects that the vitamins and dietary supplement market will fall over 1 per cent in constant value from 2009-2014. Some bright spots remain; vitamin D sales are rising, as are fish oil sales. Prospects look brighter for functional foods and nutraceuticals. In a separate analysis, The Freedonia Group expects the nutraceutical ingredients market in Canada to increase 5.2 per cent annually to reach $390 million (US) in 2013.
Colin Whittington, "Canada in the Spotlight: Tight regulations, consumer skepticism hamper sales of supplements and fortified/functional foods", Functional Ingredients, February 26, 2010, © Penton Media, Inc
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Dannon Loses $45 M Class Action Suit Over False Health Claims For Two Yogurts

February 26, 2010: 08:13 PM EST
A U.S. judge has ruled in a class action settlement that Dannon’s health claims for two of its premium yogurts were unproven and therefore false and misleading. The judge ordered the French food company to pay consumers $45 million in damages. Labels and ads for DanActive and Activia promised that the products were “clinically and scientifically proven to regulate digestion and boost immune systems.” Based on those claims, Dannon charged 30 percent more for the products. But a disgruntled consumer disagreed, filing a suit that snowballed into class action litigation. The settlement requires Dannon to drop terms like "clinically" and "scientifically proven" and “immunity” from labels and ads, and emphasize that the yogurts are food, not treatments for medical conditions.
Troy McMullen, "Dannon to Pay $45M to Settle Yogurt Lawsuit", ABC News, February 26, 2010, © ABC News Internet Ventures
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Troubled Dutch Retailer, Wessanen, Puts Faith In Long-Term Potential Of Organic Food

February 26, 2010: 11:05 AM EST
Following a difficult 2009 that crimped sales in some of Wessanen’s key markets, notably Germany and the UK, the company indicated it plans to put its efforts behind tapping the European organic market. It has unloaded a series of business in the US to release capital is now focused on pushing its So Good and Kallo brands in the grocery channel and Bonneterre products to dedicated health-food stores. Outgoing CEO Frans Koffrie estimates that organic food sales in Europe currently stand at 3% of all food sales in Europe but that this share will rise, helping the company realize its ambition of becoming the “organic food champion” of Europe. But in an indication of ongoing uncertainty, Koffrie is to step down to allow former P&G and Sara Lee executive, Piet Hein Merckens, to become CEO from June.
"Wessanen talks up potential of organic food", just-food, February 26, 2010, © Australian Food News
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42% of Americans Link Food with Illness: Harris Poll

February 25, 2010: 05:02 AM EST
A new poll by Harris Interactive shows that four in ten Americans believe food caused them to fall sick or ill in the past two years. Sixty-nine percent of these people think they are aware of which food item resulted in illness and just over one fourth of them have eliminated that item from their diet completely. Amplifying the impact, 15% warned friends and family to avoid that food item. Fresh foods are the major cause of concern with 73% of respondents expressing at least some concern about fresh items. The new Nielsen Healthy Eating Index, which scored 402 in 2009, shows Americans are eating healthier and their awareness about food related illness has increased; in 2008 the score was 389.
"Food-borne Illness Poses Consumer Concern", Marketing Charts, February 25, 2010, © Watershed Publishing
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Walmart To Reduce Its GHG Emissions By 20 MN Tons By 2015

February 25, 2010: 01:11 AM EST
In a mark of its commitment to sustainability goals, Walmart announced it is to remove 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its global supply chain by the end of 2015, an amount estimated at 1.5x of the company’s total global carbon footprint over next five years. Walmart will work with a series of external advisors - PricewaterhouseCoopers, ClearCarbon Inc., the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Applied Sustainability Center (ASC) – in a detailed review of its processes and product lines. Part of the effort will involved estimating lifecycle GHC emissions for product categories and targeting the highest emitters. The company says it will work with suppliers to help achieve its goals. Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund said that Walmart’s move “…transform a vast supply chain here at home, and around the world.”
"Walmart Announces Goal to Eliminate 20 Million Metric Tons of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Global Supply Chain", Walmart.com, February 25, 2010, © Walmart Stores
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Consumer Goods Companies and Online Ad Networks Target Green Moms

February 25, 2010: 01:20 AM EST
Consumer goods advertisers and marketers are increasingly targeting “green moms”, a consumer segment that The Social Studies Group has further broken down in to a number of subcategories: “super greens”, “mainstream greens”, “simple lifestyle mamas”, and other subcategories. Brand loyalty remains to some extent, but moms are willing to give up their usual brands to make more eco-friendly purchases. This trend has been picked up by online ad networks, which are creating verticals dedicated to the green sub-market generally and green moms in particular, who are seen as particularly interested in green issues, partly because they want to maintain the health of their children but also because they care about social issues. They are also seen as market influencers. It seems likely that more manufacturers will use these green-focused online ad verticals to communicate the green nature of their products, just like Clorox has for its Green Works natural cleaning products and detergents. It is promoting a "30 Days to Natural" challenge on green moms sites.
Kate Kaye, "Marketers See Green in Growing 'Green Moms' Audience", ClickZ, February 25, 2010, © Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC
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FTC Expected To Control Claims For Dietary Supplements

February 24, 2010: 11:10 AM EST
Todd Harrison, a partner at Venable, a law firm based in Washington D.C., claims that the Federal Trade Commission could soon impose rules aimed at controlling product claims made by marketers of dietary supplements and functional foods. Harrison says that “various marketers” will need to substantiate claims by two human studies, each conforming to a set of “acceptable” protocols and conducted by experts independent of each other. He adds that these consent decrees will likely be extended to the whole dietary supplements industry in time. Harrison argues that the rules mean that even if the studies’ results are positive, the claims still cannot be made if the existing body of evidence indicates the opposite. He describes as “legally dubious” the situation in which although “a company can’t rely on third party studies to back their claims, the FTC can use third party studies to refute a company’s studies”.
"FTC to Require Product-Specific Studies to Back Claims", Nutraceuticals World, February 24, 2010, © Rodman Publishing
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Consumer Goods Companies Invest in Developing Markets To Drive Sales

February 24, 2010: 11:54 PM EST
Slower economic growth and consumer spending in the US has led many consumer packaged goods companies to improve sales and margins by investing in developing countries. US food and beverage companies, for example, recognize the need to drive sales in developing markets by expanding product portfolios, adding production capacity and improving distribution. The growth of the middle class in China is providing the impetus to build scale there, and it’s attracting investment from companies like PepsiCo, Campbell Soup and General Mills, although smaller companies, like Clorox, might need to kick-start growth in these markets through acquisitions or partnerships. Coca-Cola sees a strong opportunity in Latin America, helped by the growth of large retailers there like Wal-Mart. Coke and its bottlers plan to invest over $10 billion in Mexico and Brazil over the next five years, and Kraft Foods believes that joint distribution with its recent acquisition, Cadbury, will give it a significant advantage in the Latin American markets. But there are potential downside risks, not least major exchange rate movements, such as that caused by the recent devaluation of the Bolivar in Venezuela, and building scale in these markets will require heavy investment.
Anjali Cordeiro , "Consumer Goods Makers Ramp Up Asia, LatAm Operations As US Slows", Smart Money, February 24, 2010, via DOW JONES NEWSWIRES , © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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CSPI Criticizes Pumping Poultry With Salt Water; Raises Health Concerns

February 24, 2010: 10:37 AM EST
CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson expressed concerns about dishonest and unsafe practices of some poultry producers who pump chickens with salt water to increase their weight and raise their value. This practice continues without any restraint because of a lack of action from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Aside from the added financial burden to the consumers, this practice also poses a health risk because of the high sodium content found in these chickens. Salt is the number one contributor to diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke which causes about 100,000 deaths every year. The average US adult consumes substantially more than the daily recommended 1,500 milligrams and the CSPI contends that reducing unnecessary salt in poultry is an important starting point.
Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson, "Salt-Water-Soaked Chicken Not at all Natural, Says CSPI", Center for Science in the Public Interest, February 24, 2010, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Unilever To Leverage Social Media To Get Consumer Input On Brand Development, Innovation

February 24, 2010: 03:12 AM EST
Following a trial with Lynx Twist in the UK and the US, Unilever is planning to create a series of social networks across its brands to involve consumers in its product development process. The company hopes the sites will enable it to conduct market research, solicit and test development ideas with target groups. Unilever’s move highlights a broader shift by consumer goods companies to tap into social networks, both for marketing purposes, but increasingly to tap ideas and build bonds. David Cousino, a consumer marketing insights global category director at Unilever, said. “…the consumer has a voice as never before and brands need to listen more. Even if a brand doesn’t want to engage with consumers on that level, it will be forced to.”
Charlotte McEleny, "Unilever to use social media to aid product development", New Media Age, February 24, 2010, © Centaur Communications Ltd.
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BENEO-Orafti Claims Success in Latin America For Its Prebiotic Label Program

February 24, 2010: 11:14 AM EST
The BENEO Label Program, an initiative involving BENEO-Orafti of Belgium and food manufacturers, claims recent success in Latin America. The program aims to highlight the health benefits of Orafti’s prebiotic ingredients (inulin and oligofructose). Products showing the label contain a “sufficient amount of Orafti® inulin or oligofructose to support a scientifically proven health claim”. 380 products with the label have been launched in 33 countries since its introduction in Belgium some nine years ago. 30 new products bearing the label have been launched in Latin America since 2006. BENEO-Orafti has also updated its website to help further promote the program. It’s now available in 25 countries and in 15 different languages. The company is also using social networking sites to communicate the message and raise awareness of the program.
"BENEO™ Label Takes Latin America By Storm", Functional Ingredients, February 24, 2010, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise Goes 100% Cage-Free Eggs

February 24, 2010: 02:01 AM EST
Unilever has indicated that its Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise in the US is going to use 100% certified cage-free eggs, with products now moving into stores. In time, Hellmann’s intends to shift all its mayonnaise products to cage-free eggs as a consistent supply becomes available. Unilever claims its move is the largest such arrangement to date in the package foods industry, representing 3.5 million pounds of eggs annually. All the eggs will be ‘American Humane Certified’ through a program administered by the American Humane Association (see http://thehumanetouch.org/).
Press Release, Unilever, "Hellmann's(R) Launches New Light Recipe With 'Cage-Free' Eggs", PR Newswire, February 24, 2010, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Study Suggests Potential Role For Niacin In Treatment Of Stroke

February 24, 2010: 04:43 AM EST
A new U.S. study has found that vitamin B3 (niacin) given to rats with ischemic stroke increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, leading to development of new blood vessels and nerve cells and improved neurological function. Ischemic stroke – the third leading cause of death in the U.S. – happens when blood vessels clogged by fatty cholesterol deposits block blood flow to the brain. Niacin increases HDL-C levels and helps remove those fatty deposits. The researchers are now conducting clinical studies to determine whether an extended-release form of niacin can improve neurological function in stroke patients. If it works, a researcher said, “we're opening a whole new avenue of treatment for the leading cause of serious long-term disability in adults."
Press Release, Henry Ford Health System, "Vitamin B3 shows early promise in treatment of stroke", Eurekalert!, February 24, 2010, © Eurekalert!
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Bitter Melon Extract Inhibits Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells

February 23, 2010: 08:29 AM EST
In laboratory tests, U.S. scientists used bitter melon extract to trigger a chain of molecular-level events that eventually slowed the spread of breast cancer cells and destroyed them. Bitter melon is a vegetable commonly found in China and India. The extract has been found in earlier studies to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and is used as a folk medicine in Asia to treat diabetes. Although the researchers caution that animal and human testing is necessary to determine the extract’s effectiveness in treating breast cancer, they nevertheless conclude that it “can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer.”
Ratna Ray, Ph.D., Amit Raychoudhuri, et al., "Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation ", Cancer Research, February 23, 2010, © American Association for Cancer Research
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Agriculture Secretary Urges Swift Reauthorization Of U.S. Lunch, Nutrition Programs

February 23, 2010: 10:44 AM EST
Stressing the Obama Administration’s goals of reducing child hunger and “solving childhood obesity in a generation,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters at a press luncheon recently that Congress needs to quickly reauthorize national school lunch and breakfast programs as well as the Child Nutrition Act, the keystone legislation in Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign. Vilsack said the administration’s top priorities in the campaign include: improved nutrition standards, better access to meal programs, more education about healthy eating, enhanced food safety and healthier school food. Other priorities, Vilsack said, focus on standards for competitive foods sold in schools, training of school cooks and better cafeteria equipment.
"Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Presents Obama Administration's Priorities to Improve National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs", USDA, February 23, 2010, © USDA
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Studies Discuss Global Sources, Health Benefits Of Dietary Fiber

February 23, 2010: 09:04 AM EST
In two new review studies published by the Institute of Food Technologists, researchers from India and Columbia delve into the global sources and applications of soluble dietary fiber as well as its many potential health benefits. In the Indian study, researchers discuss major soluble fibers such as oat fiber, barley, wheat, and resistant starch found in whole grains, produce, and beans, most of which can be incorporated into a wide variety of beverages, bakery goods, dairy products, and fruit- and vegetable-based products. The Columbian study discusses fiber as a functional food for reducing cholesterol, achieving gastrointestinal health, improving insulin response for diabetics, etc.
R. Chawla and G.R. Patil; M. Viuda-Martos, M.C. L´opez-Marcos, et al., "Soluble Dietary Fiber; Role of Fiber in Cardiovascular Diseases", Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, February 23, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Meat Producers Land O'Frost And Sara Lee Deli Start To Tap Social Media

February 22, 2010: 01:11 AM EST
Rival meat products Land O'Frost and Sara Lee Deli are both starting to use social media to advance their marketing. Recently launched Land O'Moms, from Land O'Frost, is positioning itself as an online resource for moms with recipes, family-focused articles, downloadable coupons, and more. Although the company also hopes to promote its products, Land O’Frost President David Van Eekeren points out that the aim is not directly to sell but rather “to be a resource” and to “build loyalty from a product perspective.” Sara Lee Deli, a unit of Sara Lee, is building on its initial foray last fall that launched a Facebook fan page, adding humorous video-clips, the chance to interact with food-preparation experts and obtain family advice. These moves are part of a wider trend of companies such as Clorox, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble, that are leveraging social media – YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more – to build communities and enhance their marketing.
STUART ELLIOTT, "Any Way It’s Sliced, Appeal of Social Media Grows", New York Times, February 22, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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Scientists Develop Cheaper, Greener Plastic For Food Packaging, Other Applications

February 18, 2010: 06:57 AM EST
Scientists have long sought a renewable, easily biodegradable plastic that could be produced cheaply and efficiently and used in food packaging, etc. Now scientists in the U.K. have come up with what could be the answer. Biodegradeable plastics do exist – polylactide is the best known – but production and disposal are energy intense and expensive. The new plastic uses a polymer made from sugars known as lignocellulosic biomass, derived from cheap non-food crops such as fast-growing trees and grasses. And, because the sugars are oxygen-rich, the plastic absorbs water and degrades to harmless products: consumers can toss them on a compost heap with other natural waste.
EPSRC Press Office, "Compostable plastics have a sweet ending", Press release, February 18, 2010, via EurekAlert, © U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
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Kellogg’s Increased Ad Budget, Plus Lower Ad Rates, Means Big Hike In Impressions

February 18, 2010: 06:08 AM EST
Taking advantage of what analysts refer to as “media deflation” – basically a drop in advertising rates – Kellogg Co. will continue to increase spending on ads in 2010. The company’s total ad spending in 2009 topped $1.1 billion globally – nine percent of $12.6 billion in sales – and should hit that level this year. The result of the “increased spending/reduced pricing mix,” according to this Media Post article, led to a double-digit increase in ad impressions in 2009 over 2008. The company expects the increase in impressions will be in the high single digits in 2010. Kellogg has also tripled spending in social media.
David Goetzl, "Kellogg Increases 2010 Ad Spend, Triples Social Media", Media Post, February 18, 2010, © MediaPost Communications
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Americans Concerned About Food Safety Want Products Independently Certified

February 18, 2010: 10:09 AM EST
Noting that nearly half of all Americans are changing the way they shop for food because of worry over safety issues, an online survey conducted for Norwegian risk management services provider DNV found that food labels showing government inspection and safety traceability were not enough. Foods need to be tested independently, then certified and labeled as safe. The survey of 400 consumers, the first phase of a two-phase study, also found that a little more than 33% would pay a 30% premium for foods certified as safe. A DNV executive said the findings should prompt the food industry to work harder to adopt independent safety certification. The study’s second phase will ask food industry execs about the “business processes and various auditing schemes” they’re using to ensure food safety.
"DNV and Michigan State University Release Initial Findings of US Food Safety", Det Norske Veritas (DNV), February 18, 2010, © Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
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New Yogurt Brand Fortified With Weight Management Ingredient CLA

February 18, 2010: 07:31 AM EST
Old Home Foods is launching a new yogurt brand in the U.S. that contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for weight management. According to the company, Safflower Power Yogurt with Clarinol CLA (from Lipid Nutrition) offers the benefits of yogurt and CLA "which include reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle.” The yogurt, to be marketed first in Minnesota in early March, will come in eight flavors but contain no gluten or high-fructose corn syrup, at a cost of $0.83 per 6-oz. cup. The company says Clarinol CLA has been scientifically proven to reduce fat mass in the abdomen and thighs.
"Yogurt with CLA for Weight Management Launched in US", Food Ingredients First, February 18, 2010
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Campbell Use 'Neuromarketing' To Boost Emotional Draw Of Its Soups

February 17, 2010: 04:20 PM EST
Following a two-year study of microscopic biometric changes in consumers as they select soups for purchase, such as changes in skin moisture and heart rate, Campbell is set to redesign the labeling and imagery on some of its canned soups. Changes include larger and clearer photos of the soup, with steam rising, a more modern white bowl and the removal of the spoon, and all because the study suggests these changes build consumers' emotional connection to the product. Campbell projects its condensed soup sales will increase 2% over the next two years. The new designs will be available in the fall, but in a note of caution, Campbell indicated labeling on its three biggest sellers - chicken noodle, tomato and cream of mushroom - will not change.
ILAN BRAT, "The Emotional Quotient of Soup Shopping", The Wall Street Journal, February 17, 2010
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Kellogg Predicts Kashi Brand Will Hit Billion-Dollar Sales Mark By 2015

February 17, 2010: 06:27 AM EST
Kellogg Co. said recently that it expects sales of its Kashi brand of health foods to hit the billion-dollar mark over the next five years, putting it in the same sales league as Special K. No longer just a line of breakfast cereals, Kashi includes granola bars, cookies, frozen pizza, waffles and entrees, and is extending its marketing reach beyond moms in their forties to kids. Launched 25 years ago by an entrepreneurial couple and purchased by Kellogg in 2000, the brand has grown 31 percent a year since 2004, according to this Business Week article. That compares to five percent a year for Kellogg as a whole.
Mark Clothier, "Kellogg Says Kashi May Grow to $1 Billion Brand in 5 Years", Business Week, February 17, 2010, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Kit Kat Goes “Japanese” With 19 Novel Flavors

February 17, 2010: 10:46 PM EST
In a bid to tap demand for novelty snacks, Nestle recently made available its Kit-Kat bars in 19 new Japanese-influenced flavors that represent different regions in the country. Some of the flavors are striking: wasabi, miso, chili, green tea, soy sauce, sweet potato and melon. Nestle has not indicated how long the favors will be available but it looks to be a temporary campaign; they hope consumers will keep them as souvenirs or as gifts. The company even worked with Japan Post to produce special boxes to mail the Kit-Kats. Kit-Kat is already the top selling chocolate bar in Japan and Nestle is the third largest confectioners in the country, after local suppliers Meiji and Lotte.
Relax News, "Kit Kat takes on Japanese tastes", Independent.co.uk, February 17, 2010, © independent.co.uk
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Dannon Rolls Out New Dairy Snack Targeted At Preschoolers

February 17, 2010: 07:50 AM EST
Dannon has rolled out its new dairy snack targeted at kids 2-4 years old. Dan-o-nino, test marketed in several U.S. cities, is now available in food stores nationwide. The “creamy and smooth” snack’s 1.76 oz serving contains vitamin D, as well as twice the calcium of milk and three grams of protein (19 percent of the recommended daily value), according to the company. Dan-o-nino, found in the dairy and yogurt section of food stores, is available in three different kinds of six-packs and six flavors. The suggested retail price of a six-pack is $2.29.
Press Release, Dannon Dan-o-nino , "Dannon(R) Dan-o-nino(TM) Packs Calcium and Protein Punch in a Small Package", PR Newswire, February 17, 2010, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Rosemary Significantly Lowers Carcinogens Produced By Cooking Meat

February 16, 2010: 11:09 AM EST
Adding rosemary extract to ground beef decreases carcinogenic compounds caused by cooking, a U.S. study has found. Mutagenic compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) form when meat and fish are grilled, pan-fried, broiled, or barbecued at high temperatures. The U.S. government has classified HCAs as carcinogens that increase the risk of certain types of cancers. Five rosemary extracts in different concentrations of water and ethanol were placed directly on both sides of ground beef patties cooked at different times and temperatures. All of the concentrations significantly decreased the levels of HCAs at both cooking temperatures, the researchers found.
Kanithaporn Puangsombat and J. Scott Smith, "Inhibition of Heterocyclic Amine Formation in Beef Patties by Ethanolic Extracts of Rosemary", Journal of Food Science, February 16, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Hain Celestial Gives Vancouver Olympics Spectators Natural Food And Snack Choices

February 17, 2010: 01:57 AM EST
Hain Celestial Canada said recently that it has exclusive official supplier sponsorship rights in the natural and organic packaged grocery products category for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Maker of a variety of natural foods and snacks, the company is selling what it calls healthy alternatives, including organic soups, natural salty snacks, vegetarian hot dogs and chili at all venue concessions. Hain Celestial’s product line includes Celestial Seasonings, Terra Chips, Garden of Eatin', Health Valley, WestSoy, Earth's Best, Arrowhead Mills, MaraNatha, SunSpire, DeBoles, Gluten Free Café, Hain Pure Foods, Hollywood, Spectrum Naturals, etc.
Press Release, Hain Celestial, Canada, "Hain Celestial's Natural and Organic Foods Fuel the Taste for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games", PR Newswire , February 17, 2010, © Yahoo!
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Scientists Hope Colloids And Emulsions Hold Key To Engineering Healthier Foods

February 17, 2010: 01:50 AM EST
Scientists are getting closer to chemically engineering foods that might help fight diet-related diseases by reducing saturated fat, sugar and salt content without destroying flavor. British scientists, in particular, have been looking into using colloids and emulsions -- mixtures or suspensions of particles of different materials, such as oil and water, stabilized by emulsifiers. Mayonnaise is an emulsion, comprising oil and water stabilized by lecithin. Chemical engineers hope to restructure colloidal foods (e.g., mousses, soufflés, yogurts, etc.) to replace the fat particles with calorie-free substances like water, air or gels “while retaining the indulgent sensory properties.” This article surveys current work in areas like viscosity, “hairy” gel particles that provide a "full" feeling, water-in-oil-in-water emulsions, etc.
"Engineering healthy foods", Institution of Engineering and Technology, February 17, 2010, © The Institution of Engineering and Technology
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Ketogenic Diet Curbs Epileptic Seizures Without Long-Lasting Side Effects

February 16, 2010: 10:49 AM EST
The high-fat ketogenic diet – the basis of the Adkins diet – not only reduced and in many cases eliminated seizures in epileptics, according to new U.S. research, it had no long-term detrimental side effects. The study involved 101 patients ages 2 to 26 years treated for a minimum of 16 months and for up to eight years between 1993 and 2008. The diet of high-fat foods and very few carbohydrates apparently triggers biochemical changes that eliminate seizure-causing short circuits in the brain’s signaling system. The diet is complicated, however, often difficult to maintain, and sometimes has temporary side effects: higher cholesterol, impaired growth and, rarely, kidney stones.
Amisha Patel, Paula L. Pyzik, et al., "Long-term outcomes of children treated with the ketogenic diet", Epilepsia, February 16, 2010, © International League Against Epilepsy
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Georgia Conference Highlights Growth And Challenges Of Organic Farming

February 16, 2010: 07:16 AM EST
A recent conference sponsored by Georgia Organics celebrated the tremendous growth and future opportunities in organic and sustainable farming, but also shed light on some problems that need to be addressed. For example, the number of organic growers in Georgia has more than doubled in recent years, and certified organic acreage has increased 900 percent. But organic farming constitutes only one percent of total vegetable production and 80 percent of what Georgians spend on food every year goes to out-of-state producers. Other problems: getting locally-grown food products to market, complying with costly, burdensome safety regulations, and relying too heavily on nonrenewable energy sources.
Melissa Link, "Conference highlights organic foods", Online Athens Banner-Herald, February 16, 2010, © OnlineAthens • Athens Banner-Herald
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How Lean Fish Is Fried Makes A Difference In Nutrient Intake

February 16, 2010: 10:22 AM EST
Pan frying lean fish like cod with sunflower oil may be more beneficial than using olive oil because it leads to a higher consumption of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, according to new research. Scientists in Spain pan-fried cod and salmon, a fatty fish, using olive oil and sunflower oil. Frying both types of fish in olive oil boosted the fat absorption rate more than frying in sunflower oil. The fat content of the cod increased significantly with both oils, but the salmon was hardly affected by pan-frying. Lastly, no matter what oil was used, the dietary supply of omega-3 in salmon was much higher.
Diana Ansorena, Ainhoa Guembe, et al., "Effect of Fish and Oil Nature on Frying Process and Nutritional Product Quality", Journal of Food Science, February 16, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Colored Chickpeas Could Be The New Super-Legume

February 16, 2010: 11:31 AM EST
Researchers in Israel who studied 17 varieties of chickpeas found that colored chickpeas contain far more antioxidant compounds than the cream and beige varieties usually found on grocery shelves. The high-protein legume is grown in more than 37 countries and can be considered a functional food because of beneficial antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids. The researchers separated chickpeas ranging from black, red, brown, green, rubiginous, gray, yellow, and beige into seed parts and ground them into a fine powder. Colored chickpeas were found to contain 13 times more polyphenols, 11 times more flavonoids and 31 times more antioxidant activity than the beige ones.
Aharon Segev, Hana Badani, et al., "Determination of Polyphenols, Flavonoids, and Antioxidant Capacity in Colored Chickpea", Journal of Food Science, February 16, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Study Determines Consumer Flavor Preferences Among Green Teas

February 16, 2010: 09:45 AM EST
Green tea has experienced an amazing turnaround in popularity among U.S. consumers, thanks to its potential health benefits. In this U.S. study -- designed to provide guidance to green tea importers, tea shops, and beverage companies -- researchers sought to understand which flavor characteristics are preferred by Americans. Consumers, as well as an expert panel, tasted six commonly available loose leaf and bagged green teas from Japan, Korea, and China to determine acceptability. Turns out they liked the green teas with less intense flavor and less bitterness, preferred tea made brewed from tea bags (less bitter), and favored Chinese and Japanese teas.
Jeehyun Lee and Delores H. Chambers, "Descriptive Analysis and U.S. Consumer Acceptability of 6 Green Tea Samples from China, Japan, and Korea", Journal of Food Science, February 16, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Whole Foods COO Discusses Organic Food Market, Sees Continuing Growth

February 16, 2010: 03:13 AM EST

In recent years Whole Foods had double digit growth as consumers looked to healthier and more environmentally friendly options, but the company has since reported lower sales as consumers cut back. Still, Walter Robb, COO and Co-President of the chain, remains upbeat. He points out that the $26 billion organic market is growing 5% to 6%, a figure Whole Food’s numbers support, and that this segment is expected to continue to grow “well ahead” of conventional foods.

Associated Press, "Whole Foods COO and Co-President Walter Robb discusses the organic business", Washington Examiner, February 16, 2010, © The Associated Press
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Multi-Colored Carrot Varieties Are Rich Sources Of Healthful Nutrients

February 16, 2010: 10:45 AM EST
Purple, red and other varieties of carrots provide nutritional benefits equivalent to the more familiar orange variety, new U.S. research has found. The phytochemical and fiber content are the main reasons that carrots are considered a “good for you” functional food. All varieties of carrots, for example, contain color-producing carotenoids, but each color variety offers a different beneficial nutrient. Red carrots contain the antioxidant lycopene, yellow carrots contain lutein, dark orange carrots have more concentrated beta carotene. “Understanding the bioavailability of carrot nutrients will help researchers determine how to best help a population in need,” researchers said.
Sara A. Arscott and Sherry A. Tanumihardjo, "Carrots of Many Colors Provide Basic Nutrition and Bioavailable Phytochemicals Acting as a Functional Food", Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, February 16, 2010, © Institute of Food Technologists
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