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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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Brands Lose “Loyalists” as Consumers Seek to Cut Costs

June 22, 2009: 02:34 AM EST
Most brands lost more “loyalists” than they gained last year, because of the recession, says a study from Catalina Marketing and the CMO Council. More than half of consumers switched brands from 2007 to 2008, the study shows. Several factors seemed to influence people to stay loyal. Brands with strong advertising and marketing support; brands that contribute to home-prepared meals; brands that dominate their categories, and superpremium brands held on to more customers than others. The cost of defections can be high: Coke Classic revenue dropped 6 percent because of defections, while P&G's Cheer detergent dropped 19 percent. The study did not show if people were switching to rival brands or to private labels.
Jack Neff , "Package-Goods Brands Lose Loyalists in Recession", AdAge.com, June 22, 2009, © Crain Communications
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Food Scientists Set Out to Make Us Eat More

June 22, 2009: 10:01 AM EST
A former FDA chief who tackled big tobacco has turned his attention to how the food industry manipulates us to eat more. His new book, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite” (Rodale), describes how food manufacturers create foods in a way that “taps into our brain circuitry and stimulates our desire for more”. Food scientists “work hard to reach the precise point at which we derive the greatest pleasure from fat, sugar and salt,” he says. But he “isn’t convinced that food makers fully understand the neuroscience of the forces they have unleashed”. His book offers practical advice for combating the desire to eat more.
TARA PARKER-POPE, "How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains ", NY Times, June 22, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Stevia Wars Heat Up as Cumberland Enters National Arena

June 19, 2009: 11:34 AM EST
Stevia Extract In The Raw is ramping up marketing for its stevia sweetener as the major players, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, roll out new products in the wake of FDA approval of the natural product as a sweetener for health reasons. In a $2 million advertising campaign in women’s magazines, Stevia Extract In The Raw’s parent, Cumberland Packaging Corp, is pushing its product as “the purest national” brand in a veiled swipe at its key competitors, Truvia and Purevia. The campaign is the company’s first major launch since achieving nationwide distribution for its product.
Elaine Wong, "Sweetener Competition Heats Up", Brandweek, June 19, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media
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Corn Flakes with Honey Aimed at Hispanics and 55-Plus

June 18, 2009: 09:38 AM EST
Kellogg has added 100-percent natural honey to its 100-year-old Corn Flakes cereal product to attract the over-55 market and Hispanics. The market for honey-sweetened products grew by 7.5 percent last year, according to Mintel. The 55 and up age group and Hispanics are “loyal consumers” says Susanne Norwitz, director of brand PR at Kellogg. The new packaging “evokes the familiar original Corn Flakes brand” with the added line “With a Touch of Honey" printed in both English and Spanish. The launch will be backed by an ad campaign. It is five years since Kellogg put significant dollars into marketing the brand.
Lindsay Gordon, "Kellogg Adds Honey to Target Hispanics", Brandweek, June 18, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media
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PepsiCo Plans Aggressive Push for Lifewater Range

June 18, 2009: 10:29 AM EST
PepsiCo is launching an aggressive marketing campaign for the two new zero-calorie flavors in its SoBe Lifewater range. Lifewater is sweetened with PureVia, a stevia extract, and contains antioxidant vitamins C & E, essential B vitamins and herbal ingredients. The two new flavors are Acai Fruit Punch and Mango Melon, adding to the three already in the range. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook will be used in the marketing campaign, as well as more conventional tools such as sampling, advertising and events.
"PepsiCo's SoBe Lifewater to Introduce Two New Zero-Calorie Flavors ", Reuters, June 18, 2009, © PRNewswire
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Teens, Young Adults Short on Calcium, Study Finds

June 18, 2009: 04:26 AM EST
Teens and young adults need to be drinking more milk to boost their calcium intake, according to researchers from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The researchers found that young people cut down on dairy consumption as they enter their 20s, when they need calcium the most. More than half the men and two-thirds of the women in the age group consumed less than the daily recommended level of calcium in high school and the years immediately after. Calcium, protein and vitamin D are considered to be essential to reducing the risk of osteoporosis and other conditions later in life.
Kevin McKeever , "Teens, Young Adults Need More Milk", HealthDay News, June 18, 2009, © U.S.News & World Report LP
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Consumer Acceptance Key to Stevia Success, says Industry Expert

June 17, 2009: 10:40 AM EST
Consumer perception is the biggest obstacle to market growth for stevia, says Simon Bentley, a consultant with UK consultancy LMC International. It is still largely unproven in the market place, although big players such as Coca Cola, Pepsi and Cargill are now using it. Stevia has a low caloric value, and is suitable for diabetics because it does not raise blood sugar levels. But less refined products can have off tastes. Bentley said that refining production capacity was still only a few thousand tonnes a year.
David Brough, "Challenge for stevia sweetener is to woo consumers", Reuters, June 17, 2009, © Thomson Reuters
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Weight Watchers Releases New Chocolate Dessert

June 18, 2009: 09:20 AM EST
Weight Watchers is appealing to chocolate lovers who also have an eye on their waistlines by releasing a new Rich Chocolate Dessert that costs only one Weight Watchers’ point. Made under license by Yoplait, the dessert contains dark Belgian chocolate and has a rich, creamy texture. The weight-loss company’s chilled yogurts and desserts are growing at 2.2 percent a year, are worth £54 million and have 21 percent value share in the sector in the UK market.
"Weight Watchers Launches Rich Chocolate Dessert ", Food Ingredients First, June 18, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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Trends Point to Convergence of Conventional and Natural

June 16, 2009: 11:30 AM EST
The conventional food and beverage market may be going natural, if recent signals add up to a trend. In early June, USDA deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced that “organic” would be integrated across all agencies within the department. This was followed by a media release after the Institute of Food Technologists show in Anaheim stating that "nutrition, environmental health and food safety" are coupled in consumer's minds, namely through the word sustainability. Lynn Dornblaser of Mintel International Group in Chicago, says that 40 percent more people say they are more concerned about the environment than they were a year ago. Food is almost now “a political button” says Sylvia B Rowe, president of SR Strategy LLC in Washington, DC.
Kimberly Lord Stewart, "Is the conventional food and beverage market going natural?", Functional Ingredients, June 16, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc
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Calcium Might Not Be a Help in Weight Loss

June 16, 2009: 04:37 AM EST
Doubts have been raised over calcium supplements for weight loss, following a recent study by the National Institute of Health, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Overweight subjects who took supplements over two years showed no appreciable weight loss. One limitation of the study was the absence of a high-dairy calcium diet – some research has indicated that such a regime helps weight loss – and most of the subjects were women.
Kristina Fiore, "Calcium Not Helpful for Weight Loss", MedPage Today, June 16, 2009, © MedPage Today, LLC
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Price Stops Americans Buying Healthier Foods

June 16, 2009: 10:45 AM EST
Almost half of American consumers don't want to spend more on healthy foods, largely because of the cost, according to a survey by the United Soybean Board. However, nine out of 10 say nutrition is important when buying food. Packaged Facts says retail sales for functional foods totaled $31 billion in 2008, up from $27 billion in 2006. The soybean survey found that more than 80 percent of Americans see soy as being healthy, with soymilk the most popular form.
"Cost Cuts into Sale of Healthy Foods but Soy Stays Strong", Nutraceuticals World, June 16, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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Tropicana Gives to Kids’ Food Program to Boost Fruit Consumption

June 16, 2009: 11:28 AM EST
Tropicana is playing its part in June’s National Fruit and Vegetable Month by donating up to 250,000 servings of Tropicana Pure Premium 100 percent orange juice to the USDA to be distributed in the national Summer Food Service Program for kids and the School Breakfast Program. Andy Horrow, chief marketing officer for Tropicana Products Inc, a division of PepsiCo Inc, said that a majority of orange juice drinkers “are unaware that 100 percent orange juice contributes to their daily fruit intake”. Most children consume only half or less of the recommended fruit servings, according to a 2006 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
"Tropicana Launches 'Get Your Fruit On!' Campaign to Help Narrow the Gap in the Nation's Fruit Consumption", PR Newswire, June 16, 2009, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Red Yeast Rice Supplement Cuts Cholesterol

June 15, 2009: 09:48 AM EST
Red yeast rice may help to lower bad cholesterol. In a controlled study, participants who took 1,800mg of red yeast rice supplements daily for 12 weeks showed a 27 percent drop in LDL cholesterol. Only two patients on the trial reported muscle pains associated with pharmaceutical statins. Dr. Daniel Rader, a lipid specialist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an author of the study, said he was surprised at the result. Dr. Christopher Cannon a cardiologist at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, said the supplement works in the same way as statins, by lowering the amount of cholesterol made by the liver, but in a gentler way.
JOHN MCKENZIE, "Red Yeast Rice Helps Reduce Cholesterol", ABC News, June 15, 2009, © ABC News Internet Ventures
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Italian Study Backs Heart Benefits of Whole Grains

June 15, 2009: 05:01 AM EST
An Italian study has added weight to the claim that wholemeal wheat foods help to control cholesterol levels. People who consumed wholemeal wheat products for three weeks reduced both total and “bad” cholesterol levels compared with a group eating refined grains, according to research team leader Rosalba Giacco. Eating whole grains could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes, the researchers said. The research team came from Italy’s National Research Council (CNR), Federico II University (Naples), Barilla G&R F.lli. SpA (Parma), and the University of Parma.
Stephen Daniells, "More support for heart healthy wholegrains", Bakery and Snacks, June 15, 2009, © Decision News Media
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Vitamin D Increase Related to Increased Weight Loss

June 15, 2009: 12:47 PM EST
A small study has shown a link between vitamin D levels and losing weight. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people who showed incremental increases in both a precursor form of vitamin D and an active form lost more weight. Lead author Dr. Shalamar Sibley, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, said that “a more controlled trial” is needed to determine if vitamin D supplementation would have similar effects. The report does not say how or why vitamin D levels increased in the study subjects, but 750 calories were deducted from their diet each day.
Jeannine Stein, "Could vitamin D be a key to successful dieting?", LA Times, June 15, 2009, © Los Angeles Times
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US Food Industry Gets Creative over Snack Options

June 15, 2009: 10:22 AM EST
With snacking an established part of American life, the types of foods offered are changing. Consumers want to add healthier ingredients, according to a report from The NPD Group. Among their demands are fruit and vegetables, but manufacturers have to be more creative because these are perishable. Freeze-drying is making a comeback, while more attention is being paid to healthy snacks for children. Seasonings are being used on nuts and seeds while dips and sauces are being expanded. Different types of grain are also being offered.
Donna Berry, "The New Age of Healthy Snacking ", Food Product Design, June 15, 2009, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Snacking Undergoes Revival as Consumers Seek Healthy Options

June 15, 2009: 11:13 AM EST
Snacking is here to stay, says Harry Balzer, vice president, The NPD Group, publisher of the “Snacking in America 2008” report. Snacks account for 21 percent of all meals, the report says, making them the “fourth meal of the day”. But there have been changes in the type of foods being marketed as snacks. Snackers are looking for “added fiber, vitamin and mineral fortification, heart-healthy and digestive-health formulas” as part of their drive to eat healthier foods. Freeze-dried fruit snacks are making a comeback, with added nuts, seeds and whole grains. More products are also being developed to appeal to children.
Donna Berry, "The New Age of Healthy Snacking", Food Product Design, June 15, 2009, © Virgo Publishing, LLC.
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Fortified Foods May Not Deliver Full Benefit

June 15, 2009: 10:24 AM EST
Fortified foods are increasingly popular, and they’ve been on the scene since at least 1924. But do they deliver on their promises? "Nutritionally enhanced foods are essentially just a different way of getting some of the benefits of a vitamin supplement. Studies show both do the job," says Sheldon Hendler, M.D., Ph.D, co-author of "The Physician's Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements." Marion Nestle, author and professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, says "Processing destroys nutrients, and the more processing there is, the more destruction you get. Fortification adds back some nutrients, so overall you're better off with a processed fortified food than a processed unfortified one. But a whole food is always going to be superior." Many fortified foods actually deliver very small amounts of the nutrients, and Ms. Nestle recommends taking a multivitamin instead.
Sara Reistad-Long, "Fortified Foods: How Healthy Are They? ", Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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More Americans Grow Their Own Food in the Recession

June 15, 2009: 09:59 AM EST
More Americans are growing their own vegetables and other food as the recession bites and they have to cut down on food bills. Seed nurseries across the nation report a huge rise in sales of up to 75 percent over 2008. Part of the increase is due to disease outbreaks such as E.coli and salmonella. Many of the customers are in their 20s and 30s and almost all are men. Wal-Mart Stores reports an increase in seed sales of up to 30 percent, matched by rises in seed-starting supplies and herbs.
Adrian Higgins, "Demand For Vegetable Seed On The Rise", Washingtonpost.com , June 15, 2009, © The Washington Post Company
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New Distillates Add Honey Flavor without Calories

June 15, 2009: 05:45 AM EST
Treatt has launched two new honey flavors for use in beverages, dairy and other applications. Honey Treattarome 9802 has a mild flavor and “dark smoky back-end notes”, and 9804 is “light and floral with delicate top notes”. The flavor and fragrance ingredient supplier has two other honey distillates on the market, as well as peppers, tamarind, fruit and sugar flavors. The water distillates are made from fresh US honey and can be added directly at the bottling plant. They have no calories or nutritional value.
Jess Halliday, "Treatt launches honey distillates for low-cal treats", Food Navigator, June 15, 2009, © Decision News Media
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Cinnamon Under Scrutiny for Digestion and Arthritis

June 12, 2009: 11:00 AM EST
Cinnamon is coming under scrutiny as researchers probe its historic reputation as a spice that confers health benefits on consumers. Researchers led by Joanna Hlebowicz at Malmo University Hospital in Sweden say that cinnamon may slow down the digestion process, allowing the body more time to break up carbohydrates, with a beneficial effect on blood-glucose concentration. Another study conducted in Copenhagen suggests that cinnamon mixed with honey can reduce arthritis pain. Neither study is conclusive, but the results are such that the medical community is calling for more work to be done.
Sheryl Walters, "Cinnamon is the Wonder Spice for Health and Wellbeing ", NaturalNews , June 12, 2009, © Natural News Network
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Sodium May Be Bad, But Are The Alternatives Better?

June 12, 2009: 09:41 AM EST
Excessive salt intake is generally regarded as undesirable, given its links to cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death worldwide. Raised blood pressure accounts for about 49 percent of all CVD cases, and 30 to 50 percent of people with high blood pressure are known to be salt-sensitive. Table salt (sodium chloride) is the most common source of salt in the human diet, but a large number of common food ingredients also contain salt. Research suggests that a balance of salt and potassium in the diet is beneficial, and many salt substitutes are based on this. However, some people, particularly those with kidney disease, should avoid these substitutes. There are also potential health issues with other alternatives, such as magnesium, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and L-lysine.
Christina Fitzgerald, "Shaking Out Sodium Replacement Facts ", Food Product Design, June 12, 2009, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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