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<<175176177178179180181182183184>> Total results:9252 References Per Page:

Probiotics Continue to Sell Despite Lack of Independent Proof of Benefit

July 25, 2009: 09:59 AM EST
“There is no silver bullet food ingredient that will make us feel healthy and well,” concludes Felicity Lawrence in this review of functional foods and the claims made for them. Focusing on probiotics, the review says that the European Food Standards Agency has generally formed a negative view about their claimed benefits. Citing a submission about Danone’s Actimel by its advertising agency to the industry's advertising effectiveness awards in 2006, Lawrence says it offers insights into how consumers were persuaded to buy probiotics despite the absence of confirmation they provided the claimed benefits. Leading manufacturers Danone and Yakult say they are confident that the scientific evidence for their claims is robust and that they will be approved by EFSA.
Felicity Lawrence , "Are probiotics really that good for your health?", The Guardian, July 25, 2009, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Pink Salt Has Taste of Himalayas – And Is Good For You

July 23, 2009: 08:53 AM EST
Whole pink Himalayan salt is now on the market in the UK, courtesy of the “Salt Seller”. Company founder Lenni Smith said the salt is food quality straight out of the earth, and is sold whole, meaning it retains its full range of natural minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. Unlike refined salt, it can help to eliminate toxins, balancing the body’s pH, normalizing blood pressure and increasing circulation and conductivity. Pink Himalayan Salt has a strong taste, so users can use less, Smith said.
"New Himalayan Salt Launched", The Food & Drink Innovation Network, July 23, 2009, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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General Mills Hopes To Give Wheaties A Sales Jolt With “Everyday Athletes” Formulas

July 22, 2009: 10:10 AM EST
Industry researchers have found that today’s health-conscious men are no longer leaving all of the grocery buying decisions to their wives. With that trend in mind, cereals giant General Mills is waging a new marketing campaign to pull its 80-year-old Wheaties brand out of the sales doldrums with a reformulated, higher-calorie product, Wheaties Fuel, targeted at “everyday athletes.” Though earlier attempts to extend the Wheaties brand have flopped, the company is testing three sweeter, folic-acidless prototypes containing either cinnamon-flavored clusters, or berries and nuts – definitely not your grandpa’s Wheaties.
Andrew Adam Newman, "For Those Who Want Their Cereal Extra Manly ", The New York Times, July 22, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Federal Panel Outlines Agency Efforts To Boost Food Safety

July 21, 2009: 09:56 AM EST
A federal panel charged with implementing Pres. Obama’s directive to improve the safety of the US food production system recently provided a status report on progress. The Food Safety Working Group said it had made E. coli and salmonella in eggs and poultry top priorities for the FDA and USDA. Also a priority will be creation of an effective system for tracing foodborne illnesses back to their origins. Meat and grocery industry representatives welcomed the panel’s initiatives.
Jay Sjerven, "Taking steps toward enhancing food safety system", Foodbusinessnews.net, July 21, 2009, © Sosland Publishing Co.
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Fro-Yo the New Buzz Word Across US

July 21, 2009: 09:58 AM EST
The frozen yogurt market is booming, despite the impact that the downturn is having on the retail sector. Frozen yogurt shops, both “pump it yourself” and full service, are “popping up like crazy”, totaling 250 in LA County alone by early 2009, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. Fro-Yo, as it is colloquially known, is a prime mover in the surge in the frozen dessert industry – now a $12 billion business, with 16 percent growth since 2003, according to Market-Research.com.
Katrina Brown Hunt, "It's a hot summer for frozen yogurt", MSNBC, July 21, 2009, © msnbc.com
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Television Food Advertising Increases Snacking in Children and Adults

July 21, 2009: 10:17 AM EST
Two experiments have shown that children and adults watching food advertising on television eat more snack foods. Lead author Jennifer Harris, PhD, Director of Marketing Initiatives at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale and colleagues found that 7-11 year-olds who watched food commercials in a cartoon ate 45 percent more snack food while than children who watched non-food commercials in the same cartoon. This could lead to a weight gain of 10 pounds a year unless offset by physical activity or eating less of other foods, the researchers said. A second experiment showed a similar effect in adults.
"TV Food Advertising Increases Snacking and Potential Weight Gain in Children and Adults", Yale University Office of Public Affairs, July 21, 2009, © Yale
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Fish Really Is Brain Food, And The More The Healthier

July 21, 2009: 10:46 AM EST
An “observational” study of nearly 15,000 elderly people (i.e., 65 and older) in Asia, South Asia and several South American and Caribbean countries found that those who ate a daily diet of oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids were a lot less likely to develop dementia than those who ate fish less frequently. The risk was reduced by 20 percent, scientists found. But woe to those who ate no fish at all. They were 20 percent more likely than irregular fish eaters to develop dementia. The researchers said their findings, gathered through door-to-door interviews, would be bolstered scientifically by controlled clinical trials.
Roni Caryn Rabin, "Large Study Points to the Brain Benefits of Eating Fish", BlueCross BlueShield, July 21, 2009, © Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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Only 2 Percent Fall Short of Trans Fat Ban

July 20, 2009: 10:01 AM EST
Fewer than 2 percent of New York City’s restaurants had not complied with a trans-fat ban by November 2008, according to the city’s health department. The Board of Health began a gradual phase out of the trans fats two years ago. Before the ban in 2006, 50 percent of the city’s restaurants were using trans fats. More than 12 other jurisdictions have adopted similar laws. Dr. Sonia Y. Angell and colleagues at NYC Department of Health say the transition “is now a largely unnoticed part of New York City life”.
"New York restaurants nearly all trans-fat-free", Reuters, July 20, 2009, © Thomson Reuters
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Falling Demand For Hydrogenated Oils Forces Plant Closure

July 20, 2009: 07:23 AM EST
The trend away from eating trans fats by health-conscious consumers has caused a decline in demand for hydrogenated oils. That decline led Cargill Inc. to announce recently that it would stop producing hydrogenated oils at its plant in Kansas. According to a Reuters report, vegetable oils will continue to be manufactured at Cargill’s Wichita facility.
"Cargill to stop making hydrogenated oil at US plant", Reuters, July 20, 2009, © Thomson Reuters
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Most Americans Lack Adequate Levels Of Vitamin D, Study Finds

July 20, 2009: 10:18 AM EST
Examining data on nearly 19,000 Americans compiled from a federal health statistics database, university researchers found that a vast majority had inadequate levels of Vitamin D in their blood. Children with insufficient Vitamin D are at risk of rickets, while deficient adults are at risk of broken bones and osteoporosis. The vitamin is produced by the body upon exposure to sunlight. According to the study, the ethnic groups with the greatest deficiencies were Hispanics (90 percent) and blacks (97 percent). Seventy percent of whites have inadequate levels of Vitamin D in their blood.
David Gutierrez, "Vitamin D Crisis Unfolds as Americans Live Indoors: 97 Percent of African Americans Deficient", Natural News, July 20, 2009, © Natural News Network
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Nestle Australia Cuts Fat, Sugar, Artificial Flavor and Color

July 20, 2009: 09:42 AM EST
Nestle Australia has reformulated several of its popular children’s lines, including Milo and Peters Ice Creams, to make them healthier, in line with nutritional criteria set by the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (AFGC) Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative. The changes include reducing the amounts of fat and sugar, adding real fruit, and removing artificial colors and flavors. Sixteen leading food and beverage manufacturers have signed up to the accord. AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell has applauded Nestle Australia’s move, saying it “highlights the success of the industry’s Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative”.
"Children's snack foods made healthier by Nestle ", Australian Food and Grocery Council, July 20, 2009, © AFCG
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Competitors Keep Close Eye on Deans “Natural” Line

July 19, 2009: 10:14 AM EST
Dean Foods is blurring the line between “organic” and “natural” by releasing a range of yogurts and milk labeled as “natural”. Organic food advocates say the trend “reaps billions from consumers while guaranteeing little or nothing in exchange”. The USDA defines “natural” only for meat and poultry, leaving the meaning for the rest of the food industry up to the producer. A new study also shows that many consumers believe “natural” also means “organic”. The organic market grew by 10 percent from 2007 to 2008, and some observers say that companies will be watching Dean’s move with an eye on shedding “cumbersome and expensive organic standards”. The new line is being launched under the Horizon Organic brand and will be cheaper than organic options.
MONICA ENG, "The Blurred Line Between 'Natural' And Organic", Chicago Tribune, July 19, 2009, © Chicago Tribune
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Chocolate-Covered Cranberries from Nestle

July 16, 2009: 10:28 AM EST
Nestle has added chocolate-covered cranberries to its range, building on the chocolate-covered raisins it has been selling for more than 80 years. Cranberry Raisinets offer the flavanoids and vitamin C of the berries, with 30 percent less fat than other leading chocolate brands and providing half a serving of real fruit in every quarter cup. They come in a single-serve 100 calorie pack as well as a resealable 5-oz bag.
Tricia Bowles, "New NESTLE Cranberry RAISINETS Showers Health-Conscious Consumers with Chocolate Covered Sunshine", Nestle, July 16, 2009, © Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.
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Recession Has Big Impact On Buying Behavior Of Grocery Shoppers

July 16, 2009: 08:14 AM EST
Grocery shoppers have definitely changed their buying habits because of the recession, according to an online survey from Digital Research Inc. and ThinkVyne. Of particular note: shoppers are switching to store brands from name brands, packing the larder with sale items, using coupons, and heading to the store less often. But the desire to eat nutritious food hasn't waned: only 15 percent of the 1,106 survey responders said they would be buying fewer fruits and vegetables. A tiny minority – 3 percent – expects to increase grocery spending this year.
Karlene Lukovitz, "Study Sheds Light On Grocery Behavior Shifts", Media Post , July 16, 2009, © MediaPost Communications
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French Food Ingredient Maker Describes Trial Results For Prebiotic Fiber

July 16, 2009: 11:38 AM EST
Representatives of Roquette Freres (France) told recent probiotics and dietary fiber gatherings in Europe that daily doses of its soluble prebiotic fiber Nutriose decreased body weight, body mass index, and body fat percentage, and provided other benefits, in a clinical trial involving overweight adult males. The company says its product, with 85 percent fiber content, shows promise in battling the global obesity epidemic.
"Further Scientific Support Emerging for Nutriose Soluble Fiber", Food Ingredients First, July 16, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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UK Department Store Giant Wins Legal Battle Over Artificial Sweeteners

July 15, 2009: 10:03 AM EST
A judge has ruled against a Japanese supplier of the artificial sweetener aspartame, saying in effect that UK department store giant Asda was within its rights in calling the artificial sweetener aspartame a “nasty” food additive. Asda says it is simply heeding its customers' wishes in eliminating what it calls unnecessary and potentially harmful additives – including colorings, flavorings, and hydrogenated oils – from its private label foods and drinks. “Put simply, we’ve got the most natural own label products in Britain and today’s ruling means we can carry on telling our customers that,” an Asda spokesman said.
"Sweet Victory As Asda Wins Court Fight Over Sweetener Claim", ASDA.com, July 15, 2009, © ASDA.com
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New Yoplait Yogurt Carries Hungry Girl Endorsement

July 15, 2009: 10:25 AM EST
Yoplait has released Fiber One™ 50-calorie yogurt available in strawberry, vanilla, peach and Key Lime Pie flavors. They contain only 50 calories and 20 percent of the recommended daily value of fiber, and carry the “Hungry Girl Seal of Approval”, the first nationally distributed yogurt to gain this endorsement. Lisa Lillien, author of Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200 and the hungry-girl.com daily newsletter said:"choosing a snack like Yoplait's new 50-calorie Fiber One yogurt can help curb your midday craving without the guilt."
"New Product: Yoplait Fiber One(TM) 50-calorie yogurt by General Mills", PR Newswire, July 15, 2009, © PR Newswire
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Controversy Surrounds Health Benefits Of Potassium Versus Sodium

July 15, 2009: 07:15 PM EST
Is potassium chloride a healthy substitute for salt? The maker of Lo Salt claims in its advertising that it is. A cardiovascular health expert supports the claim wholeheartedly. Unfortunately for Klinge Foods, which owns Lo Salt, however, UK advertising and food standards regulators have backed a doctor who complains that Lo Salt contains way too much potassium chloride for certain at risk consumers. But Prof. Graham MacGregor of London’s St. Georges University says that “the claim that a mineral salt such as Lo Salt is a healthier alternative to salt is entirely justified.”
Elaine Watson , "ASA courts fresh controversy over LoSalt decision", Food Manufacture, July 15, 2009, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Cognitive Ability Best Preserved By Healthy Diet, Moderate Exercise

July 14, 2009: 08:32 AM EST
Moderate exercise coupled with a healthy diet comprising whole grains, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, and nuts not only keep blood pressure under control, it has long-term benefits for cognitive health, scientists report. The key connection is that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is an indicator of potential susceptibility to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Diet and moderate – not strenuous, at least in women – physical activity work to control high blood pressure and therefore the risk of cognitive decline. "We found that older adults who were sedentary throughout the study had the lowest levels of cognitive function,” a researcher said.
"'Heart Healthy' Diet and Ongoing, Moderate Physical Activity May Protect Against Cognitive Decline", Reuters.com, July 14, 2009, via PRNewswire-USNewswire, © PR Newswire
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Recession Has Wealthier Food Buyers Choosing Healthy Foods, Using Coupons

July 14, 2009: 10:11 AM EST
In the stressed US economy, so-called “premium” consumers – basically high-income singles and family heads – are more and more likely to buy healthy and nutritious foods, as well as organic and natural foods. And, thanks to the recession, they are more likely to use the Internet and coupons to make their purchases, according to research from Packaged Facts. “Consumers who have been set back or thrust forward financially are more likely to be rethinking what they need, what they want, and how and where best to find it,” the report’s author says.
"Upscale U.S. Consumers Adjusting Food Demands During Recession", Progressive Grocer, July 14, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media, Inc
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Whole Foods Creates “Non-GMO” Seal For Its Brands

July 13, 2009: 10:32 AM EST
Americans concerned that their food may contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) can rest a little easier, but only if they shop at Whole Foods and purchase its private label products. The company recently announced that it has created a seal that assures customers that products have been tested by the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program. The PVP offers US food buyers something Europeans have had for a while: a standard procedure for verifying GMO content. To qualify for the seal, a product has to have less than 0.9 percent GMO ingredients.
Julie Gallagher, "Whole Foods Will Bear Risks, Rewards With Seal", Supermarket News , July 13, 2009, © Penton Media Inc.
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UK Government, Food Companies Urged To Adopt Sustainability In Food Production

July 13, 2009: 11:05 AM EST
Advocates of a sustainable food supply chain are increasing their pressure on the UK government and the food industry to take more decision action to achieve that end. The pressure seems to be having some impact: a House of Commons committee and a government advisory panel are set to release findings and recommendations. Another commission has already fashioned a seven-point plan for achieving sustainability. The chairman of the advisory panel urged government, industry and consumers to accept “low input, sustainable healthy diets.”
Rick Pendrous , "Pressure mounts for more sustainable food chain", Food Manufacture, July 13, 2009, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Ice Pops For Adults Offer Nutritious – And Therapeutic – Marketing Twists

July 10, 2009: 11:50 AM EST
Two companies, one in the US, the other in Asia, have added flavorful health factors to the traditionally kids-oriented ice pops product, fortifying new offerings with real fruit, natural prebiotics and probiotics, honey and Vitamin C to attract adults. Picolè of the Philippines, for example, adds unheated, vitamin-packed fruit bits to their five multi-flavored product lines, as well as prebiotic fiber. NY-based Integrated Beverage Group offers an ice pop targeted at thirsty athletes and one designed to relieve sore throats. The latter, by the way, is safe for kids, too.
Joanna Cosgrove, "Healthy Ice Pops ", Nutraceuticals World, July 10, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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Tesco Defends Position on Irish Border

July 10, 2009: 03:54 AM EST
Tesco has responded to criticism of its tactics in cutting prices on Irish border stores by saying that no Irish brands have been dropped – provided “Irish Brand” is defined as one made in Ireland rather than one known in Ireland, and that the brand is selling well enough. Rather than dropping Irish brands the retail giant now stocks Irish brands alongside others, which it says gives consumer more choice. It has also used hardball tactics to keep prices down, asking suppliers to cut their prices by 20 percent and, according to some critics, threatening suppliers with “delisting” or asking them to arrange their own deliveries to Tesco stores.
Paul Cullen, "Tesco sets out its stall for keeping prices down_07-10-09", Irishtimes.com, July 10, 2009, © irishtimes.com
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Wal-Mart has Open-Ended Approach to Expansion in India

July 10, 2009: 03:56 AM EST
Wal-Mart has deep pockets for its expansion in India, says the chief executive of its international division, Doug McMillon. The only constraints are the India team’s ability to carry out the expansion project and the availability of real estate. A pool of $4.8 billion to $5.3 billion is available, McMillon said. Wal-Mart values its relationships with local partners, and scales up when “the society and the customer was ready”. He also said that opening the sector up to foreign direct investment (FDI) would accelerate Wal-Mart’s progress.
Sanjeev Choudhary & Chaitali Chakravarty, "Unlimited funds on tap for Wal-Mart India_07-10-09 ", The Economic Times, July 10, 2009, © Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Researchers Provide Further Evidence Of Health Benefits Of Protective Nutrients

July 9, 2009: 10:37 AM EST
Food business experts expect that continued research and information dissemination, like that provided at a recent Harvard Medical School conference, will boost probiotics products in the marketplace. Scientists at the gathering discussed the science and health benefits of probiotics. Conference attendees learned about evaluation of probiotics, how probiotics function, the conditions necessary for probiotics to work, and the health benefits they provide. Probiotics in cultured dairy products like yogurt, for example, bolster the immune system in the intestinal tract.
"Harvard Medical School Continues Education About Benefits of Probiotics", Nutrition Horizon , July 09, 2009, © President and Fellows of Harvard College
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German Wholesaler Opens Ninth Center in Vietnam

July 9, 2009: 03:53 AM EST
Metro Cash and Carry Vietnam has opened its ninth wholesale center in Vietnam. Located in the industrialized southern province of Dong Nai, the Metro Bien Hoa center is about 30km from Ho Chi Minh City on a four-hectare site in the heart of Bien Hoa. It stocks more than 26,000 items, about 90 percent of which are produced or grown in Vietnam. Metro Cash and Carry Vietnam managing director Randy Guttery said the company exported goods worth $100 million in 2008, mostly to Europe. The company was pleased with its performance in Vietnam since entering the market seven years ago, he said. It has no plans to enter the retail sector.
Tuong Thuy, "Metro opens 1st wholesale store in Dong Nai_07-10-09", Saigon-gpdaily, July 09, 2009, © SGGP English edition
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Belgian Chains Aims to Hit Top 3 in Romania, Greece, Bulgaria

July 9, 2009: 03:51 AM EST
Delhaize is considering moving into the Bulgarian market, according to media reports. The Belgian supermarket chain currently operates in Romania and Greece, and reportedly aims to be among the top three chains in all three countries. It is already number two in Greece, oeprating through its Greek subsidiary, Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulo. A Delhaize subsidiary, Mega Image, recently purchased Romanian Prodas Supermarkets, taking its tally to 43 stores in Romania.
Rene Beekman, "Delhaize eyes Bulgarian market_07-10-09", Sofia Echo, July 09, 2009, © Sofia Echo Media Ltd.
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Japanese Shoppers Turn to Old Favorites as Recession Deepens

July 8, 2009: 05:11 AM EST
Old food favorites are holding their own in the recession in Japan, prompting companies to defer new product launches and try to boost sales of the “standby” items. Nostalgia and the sense that standbys represent value for money and safety appear to be behind the trend. A Cabinet Office survey shows that 44 percent of respondents said their household income dropped from the year before, and 55 percent expect their income to decrease further. Norio Tomono, a professor of behavioral economics at Meiji University, said, "At a time when anxiety is rampant due to recession and other reasons, people tend to choose products carefully. In doing so, they mostly buy products whose quality has long been established and which are seen as less risky."
"'Old standby' products defying economic recession in Japan_07-09-09 ", Kyodo News, July 08, 2009, © Kyodo News International
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Whole Foods Markets Joins Non-GMO Project

July 7, 2009: 10:49 AM EST
Whole Foods Market’s private label products will be verified by the Non-GMO Project to show they meet defined standards for the presence of genetically modified organisms. The Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program (PVP) is the first in the US to scientifically test products against the standards. Organic producers are required by law to meet Federal standards, but there are no labeling requirements. The Non-GMO Project is a collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers. The Natural Grocery Company, The Big Carrot Natural Food Market and Good Earth Natural Foods were early partners in the scheme, which now includes Eden Foods, Organic Valley, Lundberg Family Farms, Nature’s Path Organic and United Natural Foods, Inc.
"Whole Foods Market® Partners with Non-GMO Project to Label Company’s Private Label Food Products Using New Third-Party Standard", Whole Foods, July 07, 2009, © Whole Foods Market IP, L.P.
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UN/WHO Panel Issues New Food Safety Standards Covering Carcinogens, Bacteria Contamination

July 7, 2009: 08:56 AM EST
A commission created jointly by the UN and the World Health Organization recently adopted new standards for improving food safety. The 30 standards target carcinogenic ingredients, such as the chemical acrylamide produced in cooking carbohydrate-rich foods, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in food smoking, and Ochratoxin A in coffee. They also cover bacterial contamination in follow-up formulas for older infants and listeria monocytogenes, which can cause a fatal disorder, in ready-to-eat food. “The standards and guidelines … will make a positive impact on the lives of people around the world,” said the panel’s head.
"More Than 30 New Food Safety Standards Adopted", WHO, July 07, 2009, © WHO
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Survey Finds Healthy And Convenient Still Hot Buttons In Food Buying

July 7, 2009: 09:13 AM EST
Though often mutually exclusive, healthy foods and convenient foods are at the top of the list of consumer purchasing priorities, according to a recent NPD Group survey. Sweet and savory snack sales will grow by 16 percent, the group predicts, and take-home meals bought at restaurants will grow 20 percent. Growth in low-calorie foods will be solid, and organic food sales are expected to expand by 41 percent. Data for the survey was collected from about 5,000 consumers
Stacy Straczynski, "Convenience, Health Drive Food Sales", BRANDWEEK, July 07, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media
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Whole Foods Puts Seal of Approval on Foods Containing Non-GMO’s

July 7, 2009: 02:41 AM EST
Whole Foods Market, Inc. is joining several other natural food grocers in partnering with the non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Project. The grocer expects to put the newly certified products on its shelves by the end of the year. The product verification program is the United States’ first scientific testing system that assures food products meet a defined set of standards for GMOs. Federal law requires organic food producers to comply with certain non-GMO standards, though non-organic food producers have no such dictum. As much as 75% of processed food in the US contains GMOs. Approximately 59% of Americans are unfamiliar with the issue.
"Whole Foods adopts new verification standard for private label products_07-08-09", New Mexico Business Weekly, July 07, 2009, © American City Business Journals, Inc.
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Report Highlights Increasing Obesity Rate in US

July 6, 2009: 10:20 AM EST
Adult obesity rates increased in 23 US states and decreased in none over the past year, says the sixth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2009 report, released July 1, by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Thirty percent or more of the children in 30 states are also now obese or overweight. Elizabeth Pivonka, a registered dietitian and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), says that Americans do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, one of the keys to weight loss.
Jeffrey Levi, Serena Vinter, Liz Richardson,Rebecca St. Laurent and Laura M. Segal , "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America, 2009", Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), July 06, 2009, © Trust for America's Health
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New Stats Show Obesity Problem Worsening In U.S.

July 6, 2009: 08:40 AM EST
New data from a health watchdog group show a steady, and alarming, increase in obesity rates in the United States. The Trust for America’s Health found that not a single state could claim a drop in obesity since last year, while 23 saw an increase. Especially disturbing: nearly a third of children in 30 states are obese or overweight, along with two-thirds of adult Americans. The remedy? Eat more fruits and vegetables, TAH says, adding, “All product forms count - fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice."
"Fruits & Vegetables Important to Combating Obesity, American Obesity Rates Climb Again - New Reports", Nutrition Horizon, July 06, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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Xylitol Syrup May Prevent Cavities in Toddlers

July 6, 2009: 09:41 AM EST
Studies show that Xylitol syrup, a naturally occurring sweetener, can restrict the decay of baby teeth. If it occurs early, tooth decay may remain prevalent throughout life. Exposure of 8 grams two to three times daily during tooth eruption could prevent up to 70% of tooth decay. The use of Xylitol is seen to be a cost effective prevention of tooth decay in at-risk populations.
"Sugar substitute may prevent cavities in toddlers", Reuters , July 06, 2009, © American Medical Association
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Caffeine Boosts Memory in Mice with Alzheimer’s

July 5, 2009: 09:36 AM EST
New research from the University of South Florida adds weight to the possibility that caffeine could help improve memory in people “destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease”. The researchers, led by neuroscientist Gary Arendash, found that 500 milligrams of caffeine (equivalent to five 8-oz cups of coffee) “reversed memory issues in mice bred to develop Alzheimer-like symptoms”. In a news release, Arandesh said the findings suggested that caffeine could be a viable treatment for established Alzheimer’s disease. The research was conducted on mice bred to develop the disease, and there was no evidence that caffeine improves memory in normal mice.
Kevin McKeever, "More Evidence That Caffeine Can Jolt Memory", HealthDay News, July 05, 2009, © Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
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Legislators, Advocates Seek Tighter Regulation Of Federal Organics Law

July 3, 2009: 10:21 AM EST
US Department of Agriculture enforcement of the national organics law needs to be tightened or the term “organic” will become meaningless, advocates and legislators argue. According to a Washington Post article, the organics market has grown into a $23 billion giant because of huge demand for organic products coupled with lax USDA enforcement of federal law. Consumers are left wondering whether so-called organic products really are produced in a “green” way and are free of pesticides and other toxic substances. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says he wants control tightened. "That term, 'organic,' needs to be pure," he says.
Kimberly Kindy and Lyndsey Layton, "Purity of Federal 'Organic' Label Is Questioned", Washington Post , July 03, 2009, © The Washington Post Company
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Experts Warn Consumers: “Probiotics” Isn’t A Well-Defined Term Yet

July 3, 2009: 08:42 AM EST
Scientists do agree generally that foods like yogurt containing probiotics – the so-called “good bacteria” – have a beneficial effect on the digestive and immune systems. That has led food makers to begin adding probiotics in a wider array of foods, including granola bars, fruit juices, and baby formula. But food industry and other experts warn that the term “probiotics” is bandied about somewhat carelessly by manufacturers. Consumers need to read labels closely to see what they’re buying. Even a Dannon yogurt spokesman acknowledges: “We see a lot of confusion.”
Julie Deardorff, "Just how friendly are those probiotics in your food?", The Seattle Times, July 03, 2009, via Chicago Tribune, © The Seattle Times Company
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General Mills Responds to Demand for Gluten-Free Mixes

July 2, 2009: 10:57 AM EST
General Mills is developing a “narrow but deep” customer base for its new Betty Crocker gluten-free mixes for brownies, cookies and cakes. President of baking products Ann Simonds said that a $5 million business meeting an “unmet need” can now be successful, whereas previously “you needed a $50 million idea to make the business model work”. The secret is targeted marketing, online and using toll-free numbers, advertising in niche magazines, and taking part in product-related events. For its new gluten-free mixes, General Mills paid Google for product links, and sent samples to bloggers who write about Celiac disease, motherhood and related issues. The company plans to launch more than 50 products in the first half of the current fiscal year.
Ilan Brat , "For General Mills, Wheat-Free Items Are Tricky to Make, Cheap to Market", Wall Street Journal, July 02, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Horizon Drops “Organic” in Favor of “Natural”

July 2, 2009: 10:26 AM EST
Organic milk producer Horizon is launching non-organic products for children with a “natural” label rather than “organic”. This follows a switch by Dean/Whitewave company Silk soybean products to conventional rather than organic beans, again under a “natural” label. The term “natural” has no regulatory meaning, but most consumers assume it means “organic”. Retailers tend to charge the same premium price for both. Article author Marion Nestle says Horizon is now “in essence creating a new product category, 'natural dairy products', that will directly compete with certified organic farmers and the marketers they partner with”.
Marion Nestle, "Largest U.S. Organic Food Brand Abandoning Organic Dairy", The Daily Green , July 02, 2009, © Hearst Communications, Inc
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Dairy Products: Economical And Healthy Food Choice, Nutrition Researchers Say

July 2, 2009: 10:57 AM EST
Eating dairy products is not only a good nutritional dietary choice, it is also an economical one, according to scientists who contributed a supplement on the subject to a nutrition journal. Three to four daily servings of milk, cheese and yogurt deliver nine necessary nutrients in a way that is easy on the pocketbook. Major health benefits of dairy foods include child nutrition, bone and cardiovascular health, and weight maintenance. They are also a good source of calcium, potassium and magnesium, those key minerals Americans never seem to get enough of.
"New Science Review Examines Multiple Health Benefits of Dairy Foods", Nutrition Horizon, July 02, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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Daily Consumption Of Lots Of Whole Grains Wards Off High Blood Pressure, Study Finds

July 1, 2009: 07:38 AM EST
Eating a lot of whole grains daily helps reduce the risk of hypertension, according to a U.S. study. Researchers examined the health histories of 31,684 men ages 40 to 75 without hypertension, cancer, stroke or heart disease beginning in 1986. After 18 years, 9,227 developed high blood pressure. But men in the top fifth of whole grain consumption (averaging 52 grams a day) were 19 percent less likely than the men in the bottom fifth (averaging 3 grams a day) to develop hypertension. “These findings have implications for future dietary guidelines and prevention of hypertension,” the researchers concluded.
Alan J Flint, Frank B Hu, et al., "Whole grains and incident hypertension in men", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 01, 2009, © The American Society for Clinical Nutrition
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Coupon Fraud On The Rise As Recession Continues

July 1, 2009: 03:05 AM EST
Coupon industry watchdog Coupon Information Corp. (CIC) reports coupon fraud has surged from nine cases in 2007 to 93 cases since 2008, a trend expected to rise as the recession continues. Major consumer product manufacturers revealed in a survey that redemption of counterfeit coupons is costing them millions of dollars in losses. A dog food manufacturer alone reported over 2700 coupons redeemed for the 250 coupons it issued for a free bag of dog food. CIC met with manufacturers in Washington, D.C. last week to bolster their efforts to curb coupon fraud. The National Retail Federation, however, said retailers have limited choices in controlling coupon usage.
Kate Zhao , "Retailers and Manufacturers Fight Coupon Fraud_07-01-09 ", Wall Street Journal, July 01, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Industry More Open to Limits on Junk Foods in Schools

June 29, 2009: 09:06 AM EST
There may be a climate change in the food and beverage industries regarding controls over the sale of junk food in school vending machines, according to the Washington Post. The American Beverage Association says the issue is complex, and needs comprehensive solutions, but that it is willing to play its part in attempts to combat childhood obesity. Behind the industry’s shift in attitude is a preference for a single set of national rules rather than a plethora of state regulations; the growing ability of many of the big companies to produce healthier products for vending machines, meaning the products can be switched without necessarily hitting the bottom line; and experience that suggests schools can switch to healthier foods without seeing declines in revenues. Both Houses are considering Bills that would set new standards for foods in schools.
Jacob Goldstein, "Why Industry May Back Limits on Junk Food in Schools", Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Recession-Caused Change In Consumer Attitude Spells Loss For Companies

June 26, 2009: 01:47 AM EST
As the recession drags on, consumers have become more conscientious about their purchases, carefully considering how much they are paying for goods and holding off buying new supplies until their pantry is empty. They are now more receptive to bargains, coupons, and free samples, which translate to savings, and increasingly patronize private labels over more expensive brand names. This has adversely affected sales performance of many companies, forcing them to cut jobs and come up with low-priced goods. With the consumer attitude change, companies are trying to create products that will entice consumers back to spending. William McComb, chief executive officer of Liz Claiborne Inc., calls the phenomenon the “savvy shopper syndrome”.
Paul Waldie, "The pantry recession", The Globe and Mail, June 26, 2009, © CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc
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Nuts Linked to Lower Rates of Heart Problems in Women with Type 2 Diabetes

June 26, 2009: 11:09 AM EST
Frequent nut and peanut butter consumption could help women with type 2 diabetes reduce their risk of heart problems, according to a research study based on the long-running Nurses’ Health Study, carried out by Tricia Li and colleagues of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. The researchers found that eating more nuts was associated with higher levels of physical activity and lower smoking rates, and with higher intakes of polyunsaturated fat, red meat, fruits and vegetables, and total energy. Women who ate five or more servings of nuts a week had a 44 percent decreased risk of a cardiovascular disease event or heart attack compared to women who “almost never” consumed them.
"Peanut butter 'good for the heart'", NHS Choices, June 26, 2009, © American Society for Nutrition
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Less is More, as Retailers Cut Back on Variety

June 26, 2009: 02:40 AM EST
Retailers are cutting back on variety, particularly on the number of different brands of the same item. Walgreen Co, for example, is cutting its range of superglues from 25 to 11,and Wal-Mart has slashed its range of tape measures from 24 to 4. Experts say that, over the next year or so, retailers will cut their ranges by at least 15 percent. This is expected to pose challenges for manufacturers used to constantly making slight changes to their products to keep them in the public eye. Retailers are trying to make shopping simpler for increasingly budget-conscious customers sticking to familiar products. Making more room for house brands is also on their agenda.
ILAN BRAT, ELLEN BYRON and ANN ZIMMERMAN , "Retailers Cut Back on Variety, Once the Spice of Marketing_06-26-09 ", Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Marketers Need to Watch Consumer Strategies

June 25, 2009: 07:12 AM EST
Marketers need to tap into strategies being adopted by consumers if they are to keep their market share, according to UK Media agency Arena BLM. Its second “Crunchonomics” report, released in April, shows that people are beginning to blame the government for the way it is handling the crisis, and renewing trust in institutions, particularly banks. Despite this, 39 percent of the people surveyed said the economy would get worse. Consumer strategies identified in the report include reducing purchases of non-food items, suggesting a reduction in impulse buying. Food sales were up. More than 50 percent are considering own-label food and grocery products, brand loyalty is being questioned, and price is becoming more important.
Joe Fernandez , "Consumers are slowly learning how to cope_06-25-09", Marketingweek.co.uk, June 25, 2009, © Centaur
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Online Marketing Expanding in China to Counter Recession

June 22, 2009: 03:23 AM EST

Online advertising is taking off in China as marketers look for ways to boost the profile of brands and products in a tight economy. China has more than 300 million internet users, 100 million of them online gamers. Online advertising revenue reached $2.5 billion in the past year, according to an iResearch Inc report in February. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Intel and Nike are increasingly associating their products with online games, and taking advantage of new websites that encourage interaction between consumers and producers.

Zhu Shenshen and Ding Yining, "New online tactics target consumers", Shanghai Daily, June 22, 2009, © Shanghai Daily Publishing House
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