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Former Beverage Industry Execs Join Protein2o

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Two former PepsiCo and Gatorade execs have joined the protein-infused water brand Protein2o to help it become a leader in the low-calorie protein beverage market. The company, which recently secured $4 million in venture funding, comprises a five-SKU line of products formulated with whey protein isolate and 60-70 calories per 16 oz. bottle. Sold mainly in grocery, club, drug and convenience stores in the Midwest, the brand is available nationally at Rite-Aid and will soon be sold nationally at CVS stores. CEO Bob Kral said the addition of former PepsiCo executive Andy Horrow (president) and former Gatorade president Sue Wellington (board chairman) to the management team is “an incredible opportunity” for the company.
"Protein2o Adds Gatorade Vets, $4 Million in New Funding", News release, Protein2o, July 27, 2017, © Protein2o
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Coke CEO Quincey Hopes For “Test And Learn Mentality”

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told analysts in a conference call that his company needs “greater curiosity” or it might grow complacent and fall behind the competition. Coca-Cola has “the answer to some things,” but needs curiosity – a “test and learn mentality” – to respond to change. To grow, the company needs “the courage to try new things.” Quincey said he was happy with the latest financials – a “strong performance” – that showed a 16 percent drop in net revenues mainly due to the ongoing overhaul of the bottler network. He said Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has turned in double-digit global volume growth that should continue in the U.S.
Leonie Roderick , "Coca-Cola: We need more courage to become a growth-orientated business", Marketing Week, July 26, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Consumer Watchdog Accuses Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Of “Greenwashing”

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand continues to “greenwash” its products, advertising them as “all natural” though they are contaminated with herbicides. The association recently sent samples of Ben and Jerry’s top-selling ice-cream brands to an independent testing lab for analysis. The lab found that 10 out of 11 samples tested positive for Roundup (glyphosate and AMPA) herbicide contamination. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate or AMPA. Testing of nationally-distributed organic ice cream brands found that three out of four tested negative for Roundup contamination. The Whole Foods' 365 brand was found to be contaminated with glyphosate. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
Ronnie Cummins, "Only One Out of 11 Popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Tested Negative for Cancer-Causing Herbicide Glyphosate", AlterNet, July 26, 2017, © Independent Media Institute
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Wells Fargo Worries About Bai’s Healthy C-Store Growth

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Market data suggest that Bai’s antioxidant infusion beverages are doing well in the C-store channel. But Wells Fargo wonders whether the growth – sales were up 53.8 percent over last year during the four weeks ended July 15 – might come from distribution gains since its acquisition by Dr Pepper Snapple Group. That observation casts a bit of a shadow on the numbers, and leads Wells Fargo to suggest in a note that Bai “may not generate sufficient returns to justify its rich ($1.7 billion) price tag.” [Image Credit: © Bai ]
Elaine Watson, "Was the $1.7bn price tag Dr Pepper paid for Bai justified?", FoodNavigator-USA.com, July 26, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Consumer Shopping: Speed Is Of The Essence

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Now that consumers have the technological capability to shop at the speed of light, they expect instant gratification at online stores. Retailers have put in place a wide array of technologies and practices that speed transactions and fulfillment, from one-day delivery to in-store beacons (left) that communicate with shoppers via smartphones. Other advancements created to satisfy the new “I want what I want when I want it” shopping culture are: experimental delivery drones, same-day doctor appointments,, virtual doctor consultations, one-hour delivery of food and groceries, in-store restaurants and bars, and the “see-now, shop-now” trend that lets consumers order new fashion items seen on Instagram almost immediately. [Image Credit: © Estimote ]
"Faster Shopping: A Top Consumer Trend for 2017", Blog entry, Euromonitor, July 26, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Drought Will Push Up Prices Of Baked Goods In 2018

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The USDA reports that grocery and restaurant costs for baked goods and cereals could jump four percent next year on average, thanks to a drought-induced reduction in wheat production. Farmers will be getting higher prices for their wheat, and imports will decline, driving up prices for baked goods. Some will feel the pinch more than others, depending on the type of wheat used. An agri-economist notes that “not all wheat is created equal,” so the prices of products like pizza dough and bagels will rise more than wheat flour. [Image Credit: © Dunkin' Donuts ]
Alan Bjerga, "Higher Costs Make 2018 a Great Time to Cut Carbs", Bloomberg Markets, July 26, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Coke Zero Sugar Hits Store Shelves This Month With Heavy Promotional Acitivity

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s renamed Coke Zero product, now known as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, has arrived in the U.S. after a year of test marketing. The company says the new version has an improved recipe and flavor, as well as a new package “that looks more like Coca-Cola.” The package features the red Coca-Cola disc against the black background familiar to Coke Zero fans, prominently displays the “zero sugar” claim. The packaging changes also support the “One Brand” single trademark strategy. Coke Zero Sugar will hit stores beginning this month, supported by a marketing campaign involving television, digital, radio, outdoor, social media and retail advertising.
"Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Launches in U.S. with New and Improved Real Coca-Cola Taste", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, July 26, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Restructuring Of Coca-Cola’s Bottling Network Pinches Sales, Profits

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said disappointing sales and profits in the first six months of 2017 were due to ongoing bottler refranchising efforts as the company transitions to a “total beverage company.” Overhaul of the bottler network – including nearly-completed refranchising in North America and divestiture of bottling operations in Germany, China, and South Africa – led to a 37 percent drop in net sales and volumes for the company’s bottling investments. Overall, the company experienced a first half decline in net sales of 14 percent. Net profits slipped 48 percent to $2.6 billion. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Company ]
Andy Morton, "The Coca-Cola Co H1 2017 net sales plunge on bottler overhaul - results", just-drinks.com, July 26, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Functional Snack Bars Target The Human Microbiome With Barley

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australian natural foods company Freedom Foods Group has introduced a range of functional snack bars based on a strain of whole grain, non-GMO barley. The snack bars promote gut wellness, according to the company, because mix of grains, including barley, has more of the three types of important fiber – namely, insoluble fiber (“roughage”), resistant starch that acts like fiber, and soluble fiber. The Barley+ Toasted Muesli and Snack Bar range, featuring the Australian whole grain, BARLEYmax, will be sold by Kroger in the U.S. [Image Credit: © Freedom Foods ]
"Positive Digestive Benefits Linked to New Barley+ Line Featuring Unique Australian Barley Super Grain", News release, Freedom Foods Group, July 25, 2017, © Freedom Foods Group
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British Juice Company Adds Coconut Version To Its Aloe Vera-based Products

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British juice brand Simplee Aloe is adding a coconut version to its line of aloe vera juices. Positioned as an alternative to water, the 25 percent-aloe drink is low in sugar and contains nutrients such as magnesium and potassium. According to the company, aloe vera boosts the body’s ability to absorb vitamins C and E, thus improving gut health and “glowing skin.” The company produces aloe-based juices in white grape, apple and mango, and “superberries” varieties. [Image Credit: © Simplee Aloe ]
"Simplee Aloe introduces aloe vera-infused coconut water", FoodBev Media, July 25, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Nestle Japan: Brand-Boosting Movies Drive Market Penetration For Older Products

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Nestlé Japan marketing chief says the company is welding marketing to entertainment by producing long-form movies that increase brand engagement on older products and “communicate your brand’s values and worldview” in ten or 15 minutes. Since 2010, the company has used the Nestlé Amuse media platform to compile a Theater section for brand videos that has attracted five million registered users. Masafumi Ishibashi says the company will continue to employ traditional TV and other mass media ads for new product introduction. But for brands like Nescafé and Kit Kat that everybody recognizes, the new long-form movie is the best way to deepen market penetration. [Image Credit: © Nestlé Japan ]
Shin Osada, "Nestle Japan CMO Masafumi Ishibashi on brands as publishers", Digiday, July 25, 2017, © Digiday
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Senate Bill Would Ban Use Of Brain Damaging Pesticide

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Seven Democratic senators have introduced legislation to ban the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos, that has been found to cause brain damage in children. The Trump administration’s EPA recently denied a petition to ban the chemical on March 29. A federal appeals court on July 18 denied a petition by green groups to force the agency to reverse its decision and enact the ban. The bill, the “Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017,” was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and six other Democrats. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, attorneys general in seven states have formally objected to the EPA’s refusal to ban the pesticide.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, "This Harmful Pesticide Should Have Been Banned Years Ago. Now It Could Finally Happen.", Natural Resources Defense Council, July 25, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Coca-Cola India Has Adapted To New Retail Landscape - Krishnakumar

July 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s India business says his company, one of the oldest in the world, has been able to overcome the inertia that often accompanies tradition and heritage by changing its business strategy when necessary to connect with consumers. This has meant expanding beyond a one-brand identity. According to T. Krishnakumar, consumer behavior in India has changed along with changes in retail. Mom-and-pop stores have evolved into a complex environment of more organized and larger-format stores. Today’s “hyper-productive” consumers are interested in traditional and local products, as well as new cultures and senses. Technology creates opportunities for companies, but it also heightens consumer expectations of brands. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola India ]
Ruhail Amin, "Coca-Cola's India mission is to grow beyond a single-brand company: T Krishnakumar", exchange4media.com, July 24, 2017, © exchange4media.com
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Tesco Expands Same-Day Delivery Service Across UK

July 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco said it has expanded its same-day online grocery delivery service across the UK. Launched in 2014 in London and the South East, the service is now available for customers of more than 300 stores across the country, the company said. Free for a limited period to members of the Tesco's Delivery Saver online delivery program, the service will cost between ₤3 and ₤8. Customers need to place their order by 1:00pm to have their purchases delivered by 7:00pm or later.
"Tesco becomes first retailer to offer same day grocery delivery nationwide", Tesco, July 24, 2017, © Tescoplc.com
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Coca-Cola To Pack Several Drink Brands Into New Home-Delivered Meal Kits

July 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s vice president for e-commerce John Carroll says his company wants to embrace the fast-growing consumer trend toward convenient meal solutions. The company has partnered with the Chef’d home food-delivery service to include three of its beverages in six meal kit options that serve either two or four people. Coca-Cola, Dasani water, and Gold Peak teas will be paired with six recipe kits: beef short rib tacos, bacon cheeseburger, grilled baby back ribs or chicken mushroom marsala, and roasted quartered chicken and shrimp yakisoba. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Company ]
Pauline Lacsamana, "Coca-Cola Creates Beverage Pairing Meal Kits With Chef’d", The Daily Meal, July 21, 2017, © Tronc, Inc.
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Anheuser Busch Enters Energy Drinks Market With Hiball Acquisition

July 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
With beer sales mostly flat, and craft beers rapidly gaining market share, Anheuser-Busch hatched a plan nearly three years ago to use its extensive nationwide wholesaler network to move beyond beer into nonalcoholic beverages. The idea was welcomed by wholesalers as long as AB stuck to “high-growth, high-margin segments.” A little over a year ago, Starbucks announced it would sell AB’s Teavana bottled teas in its stores. In the latest news, AB announced it is buying San Francisco-based Hiball Energy, which makes organic energy drinks containing guarana, ginseng, caffeine and B vitamins.  It also makes Alta Palla organic low-calorie, low-sugar beverages, sold at about 14,000 U.S. retailers, including CVS, Kroger and Whole Foods Market. [Image Credit: © HiBall Energy ]
Mike Snider, "Anheuser-Busch buys drink maker Hiball Energy", USA Today, July 20, 2017, © USATODAY.com
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Unilever’s Tinkering With Marketing Spending Boosts 2nd Q Profits

July 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s second quarter financials mostly beat Wall Street expectations – sales growth fell three percent short – but the rise in profit came from cuts in marketing expenses. In April the company said about $2.3 billion of its planned three-year $7 billion cost-cutting program would come from marketing and overhead. During the first half of this fiscal year, however, nearly a third of the cuts came only from marketing; half were attributable to both marketing and overhead. The company is cutting ad agency and production spending, but marketing spending overall will rebound in the second half when 60 percent of Unilever's new-product launches for the year will take place. [Image Credit: © Unilever ]
Jack Neff, "Unilever Cuts Agency Fees and Production Costs, but a Media Surge Looms", Advertising Age, July 20, 2017, © Crain Communications
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Unilever Posts Stronger Revenue Performance In 1H 2017

July 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said net profit rose to €3.11 billion, or $3.58 billion, for the six-month period ending June 30, 2017, compared with €2.51 billion in the previous year. According to the company, revenue grew to €27.72 billion from the previous year's €26.28 billion. Gross margin improved by 40bps to 43.1 percent, pushed by margin-accretive innovations and acquisitions, the company said.
"Unilever 2017 First Half Results", Unilever, July 20, 2017, © Unilever
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Guidance On Growing Marketing, Baking, Ancient And Heritage Grains

July 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Cornell University marketing and economic analyses show that the demand for unusual grains – viz., emmer, common wheat, modern soft wheat, soft heritage wheat, hard modern wheat, and hard heritage wheat – outstrips supply. Food lovers are willing to pay more for bread, pasta and baked goods made from them. The problem is that emmer and einkorn have been out of mainstream production for nearly a hundred years, so little is known about how to grow them organically. The Cornell project provides information on which modern, ancient and heritage wheat varieties are most adapted for Northeastern and north-central climates under organic conditions. And it describes best processing practices, avenues for marketing, and how they fare as bread, pasta and baked goods.
Cornell University, "Heritage and Ancient Grain Project Feeds a Growing Demand", News release, Cornell University, July 20, 2017, © Cornell University
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Commercial Compound Boosts Effects Of Caffeine Without Bad Consequences

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Love coffee but hate caffeine jitters? A new study finds that the compound theacrine, found in varieties of tea leaves and coffee, offers some relief. The study looked at the effects of ingesting a commercial, nature-identical version known as TeaCrine, finding that co-administering caffeine with TeaCrine increases its concentration in the blood (bioavailability). It seems to enhance mental clarity, focus, and energy without the caffeine crash. The study was partially funded by Compound Solutions, maker of TeaCrine. [Image Credit: © Compound Solutions ]
Adi Menayang, "New Study on TeaCrine Suggests Co-Administration with Caffeine May Help Prevent the Jitters", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, July 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Company Says Sweet Potato-Based Sweetener Is More Healthful Than HFCS

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A North Carolina food ingredients company that specializes in pioneering applications of sweet potatoes grown in the state has developed a sweetener it says is a more healthful alternative to high-fructose corn syrup and honey. “Carolina Sweet,” developed by Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, is a 75-Brix (a measurement of sweetness), vegetable-based clean label sweetener that is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. CIFI says it naturally adds consistency, allowing for the reduction or elimination of thickening agents.
"Sweetening with Sweet Potatoes: Carolina Sweet Replaces Undesirable Ingredients", News release, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, July 19, 2017, © Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients
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Bakery Adapts Old Portuguese Pastry Recipe To Make “Bagel Doughnuts”

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The recipe for a popular Hawaiian pastry with roots in Portugal is the inspiration for a Leesburg, Va., bakery’s unusual “bagel doughnuts.” The founders decided to bypass traditional custard and jelly doughnut fillings, and model their treats on the malasada –  a yeast-leavened doughnut made with real fruits, premium heavy cream, and custards made from eggs. They are filled with pastry and chantilly cremes, as well as cream cheese. The bagel doughnuts are dipped in ”everything bagel” seasoning, filled with whipped cream cheese, infused with chives or smoked bacon, and can be topped with smoked salmon.  [Image Credit: © B. Doughnuts  ]
Daniel Uria, "Malasadas-Inspired 'bagel Doughnuts' Come to D.C. Pop-Up Bakery", United Press International, July 19, 2017, © UPI
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Company Unveils Fish Oil Supplement Derived From Skate Livers

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
D&H Labs of Alachua, Fla., has launched a fatty acid-rich fish oil product derived from skate livers normally discarded when the catch is processed on New England coast fishing boats. It took two years to set up a small factory in Massachusetts to process the omega-3-rich livers into supplement-grade oil known as MassOMEGA. The ingredient naturally tests at a higher DHA and EPA concentration than the industry standard 18:12 oils. MassOMEGA is sold in several smaller health food stores in New England.
Hank Schultz, "Omega-3 ingredient from Local US Fishery Debuts", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, July 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Reckitt Benckiser Divests Food Business

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group plc announced it is selling its food business (RB Food) to McCormick & Company for $4.2 billion. The RB Food (Chester, N.J.) condiments and toppings line includes French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's brands. The nutrition bar Tiger’s Milk will be included in the cash-free, debt-free deal. Divestiture of its food business marks another step in RB’s transformation into a consumer health and hygiene company. It acquired infant formula firm Mead Johnson Nutrition in February for $16.7 billion.
"Sale of Food Business to McCormick", News release, Reckitt Benckiser, July 19, 2017, © Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
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Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Portends An Accelerated, Automated Grocerants Trend

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
“Supermarket Guru” Phil Lempert says the $13.7 billion Amazon-Whole Foods deal is likely to speed up development of ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat grocery store items known as “grocerants.” Techno-centered Amazon will bring new intelligence from computer wizards, molecular biologists, and sustainability experts into retail grocery. Lempert says the Amazon-Whole Foods store will apply technology to improve efficiencies and reduce in-store labor costs. That means more robotics in the back room and interactive robots all around the store. [Image Credit: © Softbank ]
Kacey Culliney, "The Future Of Grocerants? Deliveries, Humanoids and a Good Dose of Life-Hacking, says Supermarket Guru", FOODnavigator-USA.com, July 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Growth Of In-House Brands Squeezes Big Food

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarket private label brands in the U.S. historically have not been as important as in European countries. Private label accounted for 17 percent of U.S. sales last year, less than half their share in the U.K. and Germany. But supermarket shoppers are increasingly switching to generic brands, and big food companies are beginning to feel the pinch. Retailers like Walmart are already seeing a rise in sales of their own brands. As retailers allot greater shelf space for their own items, traditional manufacturer brands will see sales volumes decline. And retailers in a fierce competitive environment can point to the growth of their in-house brands to coerce suppliers to cut prices. [Image Credit: © Walmart ]
Stephen Wilmot, "Big Food’s Next Big Problem: Supermarket Brands", The Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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NYC’s Chain Restaurants Sue Over Menu Nutrition Labeling Enforcement

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organizations representing New York City chain restaurants, convenience stores, and grocery stores with more than 15 locations nationwide have sued in federal court to stop enforcement of a menu nutrition-labeling law set to begin on August 21. The city decided to proceed with enforcement after the FDA delayed until 2018 implementation of requirements established under the Affordable Care Act. The suit claims its members would “face the risk of irreparable harm” – from fines and other business disruption costs – if the city goes ahead with enforcement.
Elizabeth Crawford, "Trade Groups Sue to Block New York City from Enforcing Menu Labeling Ahead of FDA", FOODnavigator-USA.com, July 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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U.K. Relaxes Overly Cautious “Use By” Dates On Food Packaging

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Calling current rules overly cautious, the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has issued draft guidelines urging supermarkets to scrap “use by” dates on packages of food that wouldn’t cause poisoning in favor of “Best Before” dates. The proposed rules also state that packaging should tell customers how to store food, and should display the snowflake logo to indicate that a product can be frozen. The goal is to reduce the 7.3 million tons of food a year, two million tons of which is due to it “not being used in time.” The guidance is “under consultation” until August. ][Image Credit: © NHS (UK]
Liz Dunphy, "Supermarkets are Told to Stop Telling Shoppers to Throw Away 7.3m Tons of Good Food Every Year by Scrapping 'Use By' Dates", Mail Online, July 17, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Courts Pass “Natural” Food Cases To FDA, Which Dithers About Definition

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food-related class action lawsuits have been rising over the last nine years, but dropped eight percent last year. A law firm that keeps track of the suits said the decline last year could be the result of the FDA grappling with the claim “natural.” There were 145 lawsuits filed in 2016, mostly in California and New York, alleging false labeling related to ingredients or the type of processing used in a product. The decrease in lawsuits seems to be related to the frequent application of the “primary jurisdiction” doctrine in food litigation. A judge can stay or dismiss actions pending an administrative agency’s resolution of a matter, viz., the FDA’s ongoing exploration of the definition of “natural." [Image Credit: © FDA ]
Deanna Pogorelc, "Fewer ‘Natural’ Lawsuits in 2016", New Hope Network, July 17, 2017, © Penton
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Proposed N.Y. City Rules Require Large Retailers To Cull Compostables From Trash

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New York City’s Sanitation Department, unveiling new rules implementing a goal to cut landfill dumping to zero over the next 13 years, is requiring chain restaurants and big retail stores to split waste into compostable materials and just plain garbage. Any restaurant bigger than 7,000 square feet, big box stores with more than 50 locations, and grocery stores bigger than 10,000 square feet, will need to separate out compostables. The fine is $100 per infraction. There is a six-month public comment period for the rules. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
Aaron Holmes, "Large Chain Businesses Must Separate Compost Under New City Rules", New York Daily News, July 17, 2017, © NYDailyNews.com
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Senators Push USDA Secretary To Enforce Organic Certification Law On Imports

July 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Three U.S. senators have urged the USDA to crack down on non-organic foreign goods being imported and sold fraudulently as USDA-certified. The fraud disclosed in various press reports "undermines the National Organic Program's continued success and hurts American farmers,” the letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) were the signatories of the letter, which noted that non-organic grains, particularly corn, were being sold as organic-certified [Image Credit: © USDA ]
"Senators Call on USDA to Combat Fraudulent Organic Imports", News release, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, July 15, 2017, © Sen. Dianne Feinstein, feinstein.senate.gov
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Cauliflower Pizza Crusts Are A Hit At ESPY Party

July 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Cali’flour Foods says its plant-based, vegan cauliflower pizza crusts garnered rave reviews from athletes and celebrities attending the recent pre-ESPYs sports awards party in Beverly Hills, Calif. According to company founder Amy Lacey, current Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay ordered a year's worth of the crusts after sampling. The company offers two gluten-free varieties made with cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and spices. A new variant is the plant-based Italian crust containing no eggs or dairy. Lacey was inspired to create the new pizza crusts after her own lupus diagnosis and her discovery that certain foods triggered inflammation. The crusts are available nationwide and online.
"Cali'Flour Foods Serves Up Their Cauliflower Pizza Crusts to World's Best Athletes and Celebrities at GBK Pre-ESPYS 2017 Party", News release, Cali’flour Foods , July 14, 2017, © Cali’flour Foods
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Iowa Bakery Known The World Over For One Special Pastry

July 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A small-town Iowa bakery sells the usual fare: doughnuts, fritters, cinnamon rolls, etc. But what makes 89-year-old Tiffany’s Tipton Bakery unique is its crescent rolls, crafted from a Dutch recipe. Twenty-three dozen of the treats, filled with homemade cream and topped with powdered sugar, are baked every Saturday. Many are shipped fresh out-of-town and all over the world, including such exotic destinations as Siberia and central China. Nevertheless, the shop maintains a hometown feel, as one employee notes: “We a lot of times know our customers by their order first, and then we learn their name later." [Image Credit: © Tiffany's Tipton Bakery ]
"Our Town Tipton: Bakery Ships Pastries Around the World", KCRG-TV9 (Tipton, Iowa), July 14, 2017, © Gray Television, Inc.
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It Takes A Village To Reduce Food Waste

July 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Composting is crucial to the fight against food waste, says a University of Iowa student and environmentalist. The practice would help cut the 18,000 tons of food waste that annually ends up in the Iowa City landfill. Composting involves different agencies and organizations, from food co-ops to supermarkets to local governments. But the best advice on reducing food waste is fairly simple. It comes from food journalist Michael Pollan who tells people to buy fresh ingredients in smaller quantities more often. It essentially means mindful thriftiness.[Image Credit: © OregonMetro.gov ]
Dot Armstrong, "Armstrong: Local Composting Will Help Reduce Waste", The Daily Iowan, July 13, 2017, © The Daily Iowan
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New Deep-Dish Frozen Pizzas, Pan Included

July 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Frozen pizza company DiGiorno has responded to the survey finding that three-quarters of pizza lovers prefer pan-style – otherwise known as deep-dish or Chicago-style – pizza by introducing DiGiorno Crispy Pan Pizza. Available in four-cheese, pepperoni, three-meat, and supreme varieties, the pizzas are packaged with a steep-sided, single-use baking pan. [Image Credit: © DiGiorno ]
"New DiGiorno Crispy Pan Pizza Is Baked Fresh In A Pan For A Crispy, Caramelized Crust", News release, DiGiorno, July 13, 2017, © DiGiorno
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Enterprise Software Company Tackles Food Waste, Small Farm Management

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Enterprise IT software giant Cisco Systems says its products are being used to solve food waste and farm management problems. A start-up company that helps manufacturers and farms make use of extra food raised $2.5 million to buy Cisco's enterprise software. Boston-based tech start-up Spoiler Alert’s cloud-based software links food producers, food banks, and pantries. The company helps them track food they throw away or donate. In addition, Cisco’s software has helped smaller and rural farms connect their “Farm from a Box” units with Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet of Things (IoT) system to optimize everything from water and energy use to guidance on farm management. [Image Credit: © Spoiler Alert ]
Stephanie Chan, "Technology that Helps Reduce Food Waste", News release, Cisco Systems, July 12, 2017, © Cisco Systems
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Age Of “Clerkless” Shopping Dawns In China

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest companies are promising that “unmanned supermarkets” that apply mobile payment systems technologies are the next big wave in retail shopping. The automated stores use mobile technology to track payments, eliminating the need for cash, checkout lines, checkout counters, and checkout clerks. Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma recently launched the company’s entry into automated stores with the opening of Tao Cafe in Hangzhou. Only three steps are required: scan a QR code to enter; shop (without employee assistance), then take items to exit; lastly, walk through two exit scanners. Payment is automatically deducted from customer's Alipay account. 
Sevan Golnazarian, "Unmanned Stores Emerge in China, Jack Ma Follows Suit", Produce Report, July 12, 2017, © Produce Report
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Coca-Cola Set To Boost Amount Of Recycled Plastic In Its Bottles

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In response to environmental pressures and concerns, Coca-Cola in the UK announced it will increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020, up from a current target of 40% by 2020 for its UK and European operations. Many environmentalists believe the target is inadequate, Greenpeace UK points out that other bottlers are already at 50% and are aiming to be at 100% by 2020. Greenpeace estimates that the top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products, with none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.
"Coca-Cola to increase amount of recycled plastic in its bottles", The Guardian, July 12, 2017, © The Guardian
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Bai Founder Ben Weiss Was Way Ahead Of The Curve On Low-Sugar Drinks

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bai Brands founder Ben Weiss noticed seven years ago that shoppers were carefully examining beverage labels to determine sugar content. “This is the issue that has fueled our growth,” he said in an interview. The company, which was sold to Dr Pepper Snapple Group for $1.8 billion, spent five years handing out samples of Bai, made from normally-discarded coffeefruit, explaining that Bai has only five calories and one gram of sugar. It was a unique claim in the beverage industry at the time -- the beverage caught on and took off when the company signed a distribution deal with Dr Pepper Snapple. [Image Credit: © Bai Brands ]
Will Yakowicz, "How This Founder Built a $1.7 Billion Business Around a Product That's Normally Thrown in the Trash", Inc.com, July 12, 2017, © Sycamore Media Holdings Pte
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French Patisserie Company To Expand Its Franchises Across U.S.

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After establishing 48 successful franchise patisseries in eight U.S. states since 2012, Le Macaron French Pastries is expanding the franchise opportunity to metropolitan areas across the country. The company offers more than 20 flavors of macarons, in addition to seasonal flavors, as well as French pastries, gelato, coffee, cakes, and éclairs. The company says it hopes to sign 70 locations by the end of the year, in cities like Boston, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh and Washington, D.C. Potential franchisees can expect to invest initially $59,900 to $99,000 for a cart, and $126,000 to $353,500 for a traditional café. [Image Credit: © Le Macaron French Pastries ]
"Le Macaron French Pastries Sweetens Up Market with National Franchise Opportunities", News release, Le Macaron, July 11, 2017, © Le Macaron French Pastries
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Catholic Church Reaffirms Its Position On Gluten-Free Communion Wafers

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Gluten-free is a major food trend, and a multi-billion-dollar business. But it hasn’t yet breeched the walls of Vatican City and isn’t likely to anytime soon. The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church recently advised its bishops worldwide that – celiac disease notwithstanding – there will be no messing around with the basic recipe for communion wafers. The reason? Christ ate bread, made with gluten-rich wheat, and drank wine at the Last Supper, declaring that they were his body and blood. The Catholic Church takes those words literally, not symbolically. As one U.S. theologian said, “Christ did not institute the Eucharist as rice and sake, or sweet potatoes and stout."
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, "The Catholic Church Says No to Gluten-Free Communion. Here’s Why.", The Washington Post, July 11, 2017, © The Washington Post
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“Well-being” Snack Biscuits Unveiled By Mondelez

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez has launched a “well-being” snack biscuit brand called Vea. The savory biscuits are made from new recipes and contain no artificial ingredients, colors or flavors, no trans fats, and are non-GMO Project Verified. Flavors include Thai coconut,  Tuscan herbs, Peruvian sweet potato and Greek hummus. Mondelez says the wholesome Vea brand is a key element of its plan to become “the global leader in well-being snacks.” Products are available now in U.S. and Canadian food stores. [Image Credit: © Mondelez International ]
"Mondelez Introduces New Brand of Health Products", News release, NACS, July 11, 2017, © NACS
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Australia’s CSIRO, Veggie Producers Put Wonky Produce To Work

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s national research body hopes to stop the waste of $1.7 billion worth of wonky – i.e., ugly, misshapen – vegetables considered unfit for the supermarket by transforming them into saleable, nutritious food products. CSIRO is working with vegetable growers to grab the culled uglies, initially carrots and broccoli, and turn them into shelf-stable fermented products, nutrient-dense powders, and kids’ snack foods. A commercial participant in the project, Fresh Select, says it want to reduce the 15-20 percent of its produce that is unmarketable to five percent. It’s good for business sustainability and it reduces food waste. [Image Credit: © CSIRO ]
Lucinda Jose, "Ugly Vegetables Get a Fair Go as Food Scientists Strive to Cut Waste", ABC News (Australia), July 11, 2017, © ABC
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New England’s Bakers Love Locally-Grown And Milled Flour

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Boston Globe recently provided a guide to consumers looking for regionally-grown and milled wheat flour, stoneground cornmeal, and gluten-free buckwheat. The increasingly popular products are available at a variety of groceries, specialty stores, and by mail order in the New England region. Northeast grain farming is not on the grand scale of the huge farms in the Midwest and Northwest, of course, but the grain produced, and often milled by the farmers themselves, is meeting a need among home baking and commercial customers who love the flavor of baked goods made with locally-grown and fresh-milled flour. [Image Credit: © Bob's Red Mill ]
Alison Arnett, "A Growing Appetite for Flour from Local Grains", Boston Globe, July 11, 2017, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Coconut-Based Cream Soda Launches In U.K.

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A “grown-up version of cream soda” that debuted successfully in Dubai has launched in the U.K. Big Boss Palm is made from 99.5 percent not-from concentrate coconut water using Thailand-sourced coconuts, and boasts only 50 calories per can. The company says it mixes well with rum, gin, or vodka. Recommended retail price is £1.18 ($1.54) per unit. [Image Credit: © Big Boss Palm ]
"Big Boss Palm Brings World’s First Coconut Water Soda To The UK", KAMCITY – NAMNEWS, July 11, 2017, © EMR-NAMNEWS Ltd.
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Panera Bread Fights Back In Face Of Stiff Starbucks Competition

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Feeling the pressure of increased bakery competition from Starbucks, Panera Bread announced it is beefing up its delivery staff across the country. The St. Louis-based company will hire 118 people to deliver its products in the Seattle, Wash., area, home of Starbucks. The move is part of an overall plan to hire up to 10,000 delivery people. Starbucks became a major competitor of Panera after the purchase of La Boulange Cafe and bakery five years ago. American consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with all types of delivered food.
"Panera gets out ahead of Starbucks in delivery, looks to hire 118 in Seattle area", Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, Washington), July 11, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Coca-Cola India Launches Lower-Priced Brands Of Aerated Drinks

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is launching a line of cheaper aerated beverages in India, dubbed “Kinley Flavors.” The new line includes jeera (cumin), lemon and orange flavors and will compete with the 200+ domestic fizzy drinks – 12 percent of the aerated drinks category in the country – in terms of taste and price: they are 35 to 40 percent cheaper than the company’s Coke, Sprite, and Fanta brands. [Image Credit: ©   Coca-Cola Company]
Sandhya Dangwal, "Coca-Cola To Launch New Indian Flavours Jeera, Lemon And Orange; Priced 35-40% Cheaper Than Coke & Sprite", India.com, July 10, 2017, © India WebPortal Private Limited
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Coca-Cola Redesigns Its Minute Maid Juice Packaging

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has given a new look to its Minute Maid brand of juices with the help of British graphic designer Taxi Studio. The new visual identity features black as the main color, though each category of juice – essentials, refresh, nutri and delight – has its own color. Taxi Studio said the colorful graphics are meant to distinguish Minute Maid products from the “hyper-real” imagery on competing juices. [Image Credit: © Minute Maid / Coca-Cola Company ]
Aimée McLaughlin, "Minute Maid rebrand, by Taxi Studio and Coca-Cola", Design Week, July 10, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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New Green Cola Offers An Alternative To Colas With “Bad Stuff”

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new beverage brand created as a more healthful alternative to cola drinks was launched in the U.K. by Green Room Brands. The drink, which was two years in development, tastes like colas but lacks “all the bad stuff.” Green Cola is sweetened with stevia, caffeinated with green coffee beans, and contains no sugar, preservatives, or aspartame. It is sold in Greece, Romania, Germany, Ireland and Hong Kong, and is available in the U.K. in 330ml cans (70p) and 500ml PET bottles (£1.30). [Image Credit: © Green Cola UK ]
"Stevia-sweetened Green Cola aims to shake up drinks industry", FoodBev Media , July 10, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Thai Beverage Eyes Acquisitions In Vietnam

July 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thai Beverage plans to use food and beverage company Fraser & Neave (F&N) to expand its business beyond Thailand into Vietnam, according to a CIMB bank analyst. Thai Beverage owns a combined 28 percent of Singapore-based F&N and real estate company Frasers Centrepoint. The analyst believes Thai Beverage will sell Frasers Centrepoint and use the proceeds to boost its stake in F&N. It is also expected to bid for Vietnamese beer producer Sabeco, and to increase its stake in dairy company Vinamilk. [Image Credit: © Thai Beverage ]
Jacqueline Woo, "ThaiBev to use F&N to grow non-Thai business: CIMB ", The Straits Times (Singapore), July 08, 2017, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.
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