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Company Unveils Pasta That Is Rich In Fiber, Protein

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
FiberPasta has launched a low-carb, high-protein, whole wheat pasta for athletes, vegans, and other health-conscious consumers. PastaPro is also non-GMO and organic. It delivers roughly three times the amount of protein and much more fiber per serving than regular pasta via a combination of durum whole wheat semolina, pea protein, and inulin fiber. Founded in Italy, FiberPasta U.S. has offices in Southern California, and sells pasta, cookies, bread, flour, and pizza crust/dough balls. [Image Credit: ©   FiberPasta]
"Pastapro Changes the Way You Think About Pasta for Fitness", News release, FiberPasta, October 20, 2017, © FiberPasta
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New York Doughnut Shop Sticks To Savory Flavors

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A pop-up doughnut shop in Manhattan no longer serves traditional treats, opting instead to produce savory flavors like smoked salmon, foie gras, lobster roll, and caviar. Forbidden Doughnuts, launched by French chef Richard Farnabe and open only on weekends at the Bowery kitchen supplies firm, sells its wares for $5 to $18 each. Other ingredients in the unusual doughnuts include cauliflower, sweet peas, artichokes, kimchi, garlic, broccoli, tomato, olive tapenade, carrots, peppercorns, and crab. The specialty of the house is the caviar doughnut [left] with an oscetra caviar cream filling, cream fraiche glaze, and vodka gelee topping ($18).. [Image Credit: ©   Forbidden Doughnuts ]
Carly Stern, "Nobody's Dunkin' These! New York City chef Ditches Traditional Glazed and Chocolate Doughnuts", Daily Mail, October 20, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Former Chef With A Passion For Paleo Launches Successful Baked Goods Company

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An entrepreneur who grew up dreaming of becoming a chef – he actually worked as one in California and New York – eventually lost interest in that career and launched a bakery in Arizona that specializes in paleo and gluten-, grain-, soy- and dairy-free bread products. Michael Tierney’s company (“Mikey’s Muffins”) launched in 2014 with one product, an English muffin, and has expanded since then to ten, including muffin tops, sandwich bread, and tortillas, with more on the way. Company growth has been “exponential,” and his products can be found in 8,000 retail locations in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Bashas', and Walmart. The mission is to use premium, recognizable ingredients to create nutritionally-dense baked goods following paleo diet principles.. [Image Credit: ©   Mikey's Muffins ]
Georgann Yara, "Paleo, Grain-Free Bread Products Yield Serious Dough for Scottsdale-Based Mikey’s", AZcentral.com, October 19, 2017, © www.azcentral.com
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Grupo Bimbo Buys Baked Goods Supplier To U.S. Fast-Food Industry

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo says it has completed the integration of Chicago’s East Balt Bakeries, purchased for $650 million in July, into its operations. East Balt produces buns, English muffins, rolls, tortillas, bagels, artisanal bread, and other baked foods for fast-food companies. The acquisition of the American firm brings to 32 the number of countries Grupo Bimbo is operating in and advances its mission of “transforming the baking industry and expanding our global leadership,” CEO Daniel Servitje said. The company operates 21 bakeries in 11 countries in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. [Image Credit: ©   East Balt Bakeries ]
Gill Hyslop, "Grupo Bimbo Finalizes East Balt Deal to Form Bimbo QSR", BakeryAndSnacks.com, October 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kraft Heinz Acquires Suntory’s Cerebos Food And Instant Coffee Business

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. (SBF) announced it has agreed to sell its Cerebos food and instant coffee business in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian Home Gourmet Singapore, to Kraft Heinz for $223 million. The sale, expected to close in early 2018, does not include Suntory’s fresh coffee business. Cerebos’ food and instant coffee business includes food brands such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro, and Asian Home Gourmet.  Product categories include sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts, and cooking ingredients.
"Suntory Sells Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee Australia/NZ Business to Kraft Heinz", News release, Cerebos, October 19, 2017, via Medianet, © Cerebos
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EU Guidelines Set Priorities For Preventing, Eliminating Food Waste

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The European Union’s new food waste guidelines target food donation to reduce spoilage and help poor people gain greater access. Nearly one-quarter of Europeans – 119.1 million people – in 2015 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 42.5 million of these were not able to afford a quality meal every second day. The idea behind the guidelines is to limit the generation of surplus food at each stage in the food supply chain (i.e., production, processing, distribution, and consumption). If this cannot be accomplished, the guidelines suggest, then edible food surplus should be redistributed for human consumption “where safe to do so.” [Image Credit: © European Union  ]
Katy Askew, "Europe Puts Food Waste in the Spotlight", FOODnavigator.com, October 18, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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There’s Only One Food Item On The Menu Of This Coffee Shop

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hundreds of miles west of the Manhattan birthplace of the doughnut-croissant mashup known as the cronut, a café in Akron, Ohio, has created another hybrid treat. The shop offers a variety of fair trade and organic coffees, including drip, French press, pour-over, lattes, espresso, mocha, and more. The only food it sells, however, is the cretzel, a cross between a soft pretzel and a croissant available in two flavors: cinnamon sugar and chocolate-filled. Unlike other pretzel-croissant hybrids, however, the cretzel at Sure House Coffee Roasting Co. – the term “sure house” is mentioned in the Old Testament – is shaped like a croissant, not like a pretzel. [Image Credit: © Sure House Coffee Roasting ]
"Akron Dish: Northside Marketplace Downtown is Percolating; West Point Open House; Kenyan Food at Fundraiser and More", The Akron Beacon Journal, October 18, 2017, © The Akron Beacon Journal
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Danone Posts Solid Sales Growth In 3rd Quarter

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consolidated sales rose 16.6 percent in Danone’s third fiscal quarter to $7.64 billion, with especially strong performance in Specialized Nutrition and Early Life Nutrition China. New Danone like-for-like sales growth was 4.7 percent in the quarter, which reflects a 0.4 percent increase in volume and a 4.3 percent rise in value. As to guidance, the company still expects to deliver double-digit recurring earnings per share growth of more than 12 percent. It is also looking for overall like-for-like sales growth between four and five percent by 2020, including healthy like-for-like sales growth above five percent for EDP NORAM, Specialized Nutrition, and Waters, and a like-for-like sales growth of between three and four percent for EDP International.
"Danone Q3 Sales Climb, Backs FY17 View; Sets 2020 Objectives - Quick Facts", Nasdaq, October 17, 2017, © The NASDAQ, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Debuts New Line Of Vitaminwater Drinks

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new range of Vitaminwater performance drinks for athletes contain electrolytes from natural sources, including coconut water and sea salt, and are sweetened with cane sugar. Vitaminwater Active drinks also contain the antioxidants vitamins C and E, as well as vitamins B5, B6, and B12. The new line will be available in a limited number of convenience and grocery stores – including 7-Eleven, Target, and HEB – through the end of the year. A national rollout will begin in 2018.
"Vitaminwater Active: Coca-Cola launches range of sports drinks", FoodBev , October 17, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Many British Shoppers Would Choose Supermarkets Based On Food Waste Practices

October 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by British charity Tearfund found that three quarters of consumers said they would be more likely to shop at supermarkets if they knew the stores reducing food waste, and a third said they definitely would. In fact, eighty percent said they would consider changing where they shopped for food if their store wasn’t doing enough to curb waste. As part of the organization’s Renew Our World campaign, thousands of people have taken an online pledge to waste less food at home and urge their supermarket to play their part too.
"Four Out Of Five People Would Consider Changing Supermarkets over Food Waste", News release, Tearfund, October 16, 2017, © Tearfund
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Coke Exec: The Online Shopper Today Expects A Lot More

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Coca-Cola executive says online customers have grown impatient, demanding, and bored, as their expectations become “higher and higher” when it comes to service. Coke’s global customer director Simon Miles told a recent grocery industry meeting that companies need to up their game to meet shopper expectations, which can be summed up in one word: “free” (or close to it). That presents a lot of challenges in terms of logistics, supply chain, and products. Online grocery selling will evolve into two streams: auto-replenishment of boring but essential basics, and service-orientated ways to lure shoppers into buying products they may not have previously considered.
Victoria Craw, "Coca-Cola Global Customer Director Says Online Shopping Has Failed to Inspire Consumers", News.com.au, October 15, 2017, © News Limited
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Nestlé Deletes Image Of Cross From Greek Yogurt Packages

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Breitbart news website reports that both Nestlé and German supermarket chain Lidl have removed a tiny cross from a Greek church image that appeared on Greek yogurt packaging so as “not to hurt sensibility of other religions.” The cross appeared in a representation of the Greek Orthodox church on the island of Santorini. German supermarket chain Lidl also edited out the cross on images of the same church used on packages of its Eridanous brand Greek-style yogurt. In both images, the cross was removed from the blue dome of the old church.
Thomas D. Williams, "Nestlé Removes Christian Cross from Greek Yogurt Packaging", Breitbart, October 15, 2017, © Breitbart
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FMCG Start-Ups In India Rely On Innovation, Pluck

October 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The biggest hurdles for India’s start-up FMCG companies as they battle industry giants for market share are capital, retail shelf space, distribution, and marketing. They sometimes make strides through pure luck, but innovation and persistence are the most reliable vehicles to success. In its early days RAW Pressery, for example, an online marketer of cold-pressed juices, adapted Mumbai’s dabbawala hot-lunch delivery system based on bicycles and rail transport to deliver its juice products. Dabbawalas were able to deliver 50,000 purchases in three hours. Four years later, the company’s fleet of 25 refrigerated vehicles delivers its own juices as well as products for other brands. The end result is that RAW Pressery and other aggressive start-ups are able to peel off market share from bigwigs like Unilever, Nestlé, and others.
Supraja Srinivasan, "Battleground FMCG: How Consumer Product Startups are Battling Roadblocks to Stand Out Amid Giants", The Economic Times, October 13, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Nestle To Build Infant Formula Factory In Russia

October 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced it is spending $31 million to build an infant formula plant at its 14-year-old Vologda facility in Russia. The new factory, operational by 2019, will help strengthen the company’s position in Russia’s infant formula market, while supporting exports to neighboring countries. Nestlé’s overall strategy is to invest in high-growth food and beverage categories such as coffee, pet care, infant nutrition, and bottled water. It operates eight factories in Russia.
"Nestlé Invests CHF 30 Million in Infant Formula Plant in Russia", News release, Nestlé, October 12, 2017, © Nestlé
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Negative Short-term Factors Depress ThaBev’s Nine-Month Financials

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A number of trends and events have combined to depress both alcoholic and nonalcoholic product sales of Thailand-based food and beverage company ThaiBev. Nine-month sales slid six percent to $4.3 billion, thanks to sluggish economic growth; a year-long mourning period that depressed beer sales after the death of King Bhumibol last October; a new alcohol excise tax; and a sugar tax on sweetened drinks. Company execs are optimistic about the coming year because of strong fundamentals and growth from neighboring countries. The company hopes to further growth by expansion into the food business.
"ThaiBev Looks to Food and Abroad for Growth after Sales Dip", Reuters, October 11, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Vegan Grain Bowls Are A Hit Among Non-Vegan Foodies

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bowls of green veggies served on a bed of healthful grains are catching on among diners looking for a healthful lunch or dinner. Known as vegan grain bowls, the meals offer light but filling and healthful fare that appeals to vegans and non-vegans alike, if reports from Maine eateries are any indication. Variations include: green bamboo rice, French green lentils, green zebra tomatoes, and zucchini; wheat berries, seared tempeh, red cabbage and pumpkin broth; or rice and quinoa topped with greens, seaweed, avocado, pickles, and tofu finished with a carrot-ginger dressing. 
Avery Yale Kamila, "Vegan Grain Bowls Gain Popularity in Maine", Press Herald, October 11, 2017, © Press Herald
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [Image Credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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Amazon Angers India’s Big Retailers With Unapproved Gift Coupon Scheme

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Big retail chains in India are crying foul over what they feel was a sneaky tactic by Amazon to steal their customers using gift coupons distributed via ITC, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola products. The tactic – dubbed “below the belt” and “ambush marketing” – infuriated Big Bazaar, Hyper-City, Star Bazaar, Walmart-owned Best Price Modern Wholesale, and others. The brands involved in the Amazon campaign include ITC’s Yippee Noodles, Nestlé’s KitKat chocolate, and Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Fanta soft drinks. The stores have since removed products carrying the coupons. A D-Mart executive criticized the brands for not talking to his company first. Amazon downplayed the ruckus, calling the campaign a normal promotional activity.
Ratna Bhushan et al., "Big Retailers like ITC, Nestle & Coca-Cola Cry Foul over Amazon’s ‘Ambush’", The Economic Times, October 09, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Aldi Plans To Build ₤75-Million Warehouse In UK

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Aldi plans to invest ₤75 million to build a distribution center in Bedford, England, to support the company's growing network in the UK. Aldi said it remains committed to expansion plans in the UK retail market despite reporting its third year of declining profit. By 2022, the retailer expects to have 1,000 stores in the country from its current 726 locations.
Polina Ivanova, "German retailer Aldi to build 75 million pound UK distribution centre", Reuters, October 09, 2017, © Reuters
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Nissin Reformulates Top Ramen Products For Health-Conscious Noodle Buyers

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Instant ramen maker Nissin Foods said consumer demand for simpler, more healthful food products was the force behind its decision to reformulate its Top Ramen product line with less salt, no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and “fewer artificial ingredients.” The company says the reformulation – the initiative is dubbed “Noodle Zen” – means an improved nutritional profile without loss of “great taste” or a price increase. Specifically, the products now have 15 percent less sodium, no added MSG, and no artificial flavors.  [Image Credit: © Nissin ]
"Nissin Foods Top Ramen Finds Noodle Zen with Updated Recipe", News release, Nissin, October 09, 2017, © Nissin Foods
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Lidl Sees Share Of Shopper Traffic Drop In US

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Months after opening its stores in the US in June 2017, German discount retailer Lidl saw its share of store visits declined, according to an analysis by location-based data firm inMarket. Local rivals, including Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart, have recovered much of market share they lost when Lidl after Lidl opened its first nine US stores in June 15. Lidl grabbed 11 percent of customer visits to traditional grocers in nine markets in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, inMarket data revealed. Lidl's share of traffic fell below 8 percent in August, inMarket revealed.
Heather Haddon, "Lidl Stores Gain Little Traction So Far in U.S.", The Wall Street journal, October 08, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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India's Parle Agro Prospers In Fizzy Drinks Despite U.S. Competitors

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
India’s Parle Agro beverage company is doing well in the fizzy drinks segment with its mango brand Frooti Fizz despite strong competition from leader Coca-Cola Maazi and Pepsi’s Slice. CEO Schauna Chauhan Saluja says Frooti Fizz now reaches 320,000 outlets, while Appy, its first fizzy drink launched 12 years ago, has been growing at more than 20 percent annually for the last five years. Parle Agro’s sales rose 16 percent in 2016-2017. "We are a 3,000 crore [about $461 million] company now, and in the next five years we aim to become a 10,000-crore beverages firm," says Saluja.
Nevin John, "Thirsting to Improve", Business Today, October 08, 2017, © Living Media India Limited
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San Francisco Grocery Delivery Service Uses AI To Cut Food Waste

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco Bay Area food delivery service Farmstead, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, sources and delivers exact amounts of food in less than an hour in an effort to cut grocery industry food waste. Farmstead’s AI software helps customers select food items from a “carefully curated array of local farm produce and grocery products.” AI calculates and predicts users' habits to know exactly how much food to order from local sources daily, weekly, seasonally, and annually. Customers can choose one-hour, same-day and weekly services. Customers who are part of a weekly eco-optimized delivery route, their order is delivered for free. Otherwise delivery is $3.99; one-hour delivery is $4.99. [Image Credit: © Farmstead ]
"Farmstead Launches Nation's First Sustainable Digital Grocer in San Francisco", News release, Farmstead, October 05, 2017, © Farmstead
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'Supermarket' Startup Seeks To Go Storeless

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Farmstead believes it can reinvent the supermarket model by eliminating its physical structure altogether. The San Francisco based startup has a series of micro-warehouses stocked with a range of local farm produce and grocery products and uses AI to predict a customer’s future needs based on their initial order. The selection is then delivered to the customer. Farmstead claims to have made over 15,000 deliveries in the Bay Area and has raised $2.8 million from venture funds. [Image Credit: © Farmstead] 
Dan Orlando, "Startup Believes it Can ‘Reinvent’ Supermarket Model", Supermarket News, October 05, 2017, © Penton
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Upcoming GDPR Legislation Set To Have Global Impact

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST

New General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are due to arrive in May 2018. GDPR will create a standardized data privacy law for EU members. It will also affect companies and individuals selling goods or services to EU citizens. The legislation will give individuals more rights to their data, including the “right to be forgotten” and asking consent for data processing. Potential fines for not adhering to the regulations can be up to $24m, or 4% of a company’s annual turnover. A recent PwC survey revealed that GDPR is a top data priority for more than 50 percent of US multinationals.[Image Credit: ©  EDPS] 

Ronan Shields et al., "What Does the EU’s Privacy Reform Mean for US Marketers? And what Should You Do Now?", The Drum, October 05, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Expensive, Well-Crafted Bread Thrives In New York City

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New York City denizens who have discovered artisanal bread makers like She Wolf Bakery are willing to pay premium prices – as much as $12 to $20 a loaf – for quality luxe breads made from locally-farmed organic flour. But it’s not just the flour: the most expensive ingredient is time. Making quality sourdough bread is a long process that involves creating and caring for live starter, then making and fermenting the dough. It can take anywhere from 12 to 68 hours. For those who love the result, though, the higher prices are worth every penny. "It's a treat that we have on the weekends,” says one thirty-something customer. “A nice, bourgeois treat." It’s also an indication that the anti-carb, anti-gluten movements are deflating somewhat.  [Image Credit: © She Wolf Bakery ]
Lauren Steussy, "Would You Pay $20 For This Bread? ", The New York Post, October 04, 2017, © NYP Holdings, Inc.
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Airline Reclassifies Unopened Snacks, Beverages As Safe For Future Use

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a bid to not only save costs but also reduce food waste, Air New Zealand has launched a program to recycle sealed and unopened beverages and snacks. Project Green, a collaboration of the airline, its catering partner, and the Ministry for Primary Industries, allows reclassification of unopened in-flight food and beverage products so they can be redistributed on future flights. So far more than 40 such products are included in the reclassification scheme. In the first month, the airline diverted 266,000 plastic cups, 480 kg of sugar packets, and 3.5 tons of bottled water from landfills – 13 tons total.
"Air New Zealand Recycling Unopened Snacks Instead of Sending Them to the Dump", New Zealand Herald, October 04, 2017, © NZME. Publishing Limited
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ThaiBev Buys Chain Of Ten Restaurants

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and beverage company ThaiBev has purchased a majority interest in Thailand restaurant chain Spice of Asia for $3.5 million. The chain operates 10 restaurants under four brands that serve Thai food and hotpot cuisines. ThaiBev will use its own cash to buy the 76 percent stake, which will be held by a wholly-owned ThaiBev business unit.
Kenneth Lim, "ThaiBev Acquires Thailand Restaurant Chain for 114.5m Baht", Business Times, October 03, 2017, © SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LTD
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Anheuser-Busch InBev Sheds Majority Interest In Coke’s African Bottler, CCBA

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has completed the transfer of its majority interest in Coca Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the largest Coke bottler in Africa, to Coca-Cola Co., which will continue working to refranchise the company. AB InBev had owned 54.5 percent of CCBA, formed in 2016 by combining the African non-alcoholic ready-to-drink bottling interests of SABMiller plc, Coca-Cola, and Gutsche Family Investments. Coca-Cola has a conditional agreement to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador, and Honduras.
"The Coca-Cola Company and AB InBev Complete Transition of Majority Ownership in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa", News release, The Coca-Cola Co., October 04, 2017, © Coca-Cola Co.
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Wal-Mart Buys NYC-based Last-Mile Delivery Service Parcel

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has acquired Parcel, a technology-enabled, last-mile delivery service company specializing in perishable and non-perishable products in New York City. Operating 24/7, Parcel relies on technology, a fleet of leased vehicles, and employee-based workforce to rapidly sort, load, and deliver products to customers. Wal-Mart said it plans to use Parcel to deliver packages to customers in New York City.
"Walmart Announces the Acquisition of Parcel, a Technology-Based, Same-Day and Last-Mile Delivery Company", Walmart, October 03, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Seaweed Slithers Into Natural Foods

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite its somewhat daunting fishy taste, seaweed is gaining popularity among natural food manufacturers because of its green color, umami flavor, healthfulness – it contains high levels of magnesium, folate, calcium, and vitamin K – and “an inspiring sustainability story.” Besides its traditional use as a wrapping for rice and fish, it is being incorporated into snack chips, pasta, purees, and jerky. Blue Evolution Foods is trying to improve seaweed’s status by blending it into pasta sauce and marinara sauce. Another innovator is blending several different seaweeds with mushrooms, herbs and spices and a dehydrator to create a kelp jerky as a stand-in for traditional meat-based jerky. [Image Credit: © California Academy of Sciences ]
Jenna Blumenfeld, "Brands Find New Flavor Opportunities with Seaweed", New Hope Network, October 03, 2017, © Penton
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Mesquite Flour, And A Good Mood, Are Keys To Successful Tortilla Business

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An innovative recipe using mesquite flour, suggested by a University of Arizona professor, is the key to the successful tortilla business – “our little gold mine” – launched somewhat lukewarmly by Esperanza Arevalo. She had started making tortillas as a child, and was never a big fan of it. Then she began helping her father in his business, Tortilleria Arevalo. Prof. Gary Nabhan asked the two to develop a tortilla recipe using Peruvian mesquite flour, which is high in fiber and protein and thus more healthful than regular flour tortillas. The recipe comprises, besides mesquite flour, whole wheat flour, amaranth flour, olive oil, water, a tap of salt and baking powder. A less tangible but essential ingredient in the labor-intensive process is a good mood. Esperanza says, “If you're actually in the mood to make them, they'll come out perfect.”  [Image Credit: © Tortilleria Arevalo]
Gloria Knott, "Tortilleria Arevalo's Secret to a Healthier Tortilla is Peruvian Mesquite Flour", Tucson.com, October 03, 2017, © Arizona Daily Star
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Coca-Cola Launches “New Beginning” Campaign For Schweppes

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Schweppes brand of mixers led the U.K. market with a 32.6 percent share in 2016, but is feeling competitive pressure from Fever-Tree and private label products. To grow market share Coca-Cola is pulling out all the stops in a 15-month campaign to reinvigorate Schweppes with a “new beginning.” Campaign features a re-design of the bottle and a nearly $9 million ad effort targeting U.K. TV, movie theaters, special events, digital, and sponsorship of a TV talk show. The company is also launching premium mixers (Schweppes 1783), mainly in pubs and bars, with flavors like golden ginger ale, salty lemon tonic water, cucumber tonic water, and floral tonic water.
Leonie Roderick , "Coca-Cola overhauls Schweppes in bid to ‘future proof’ the business", Marketing Week, October 02, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Coke Acquires U.S. Rights To Mexican Sparkling Water Brand

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexico-based Arca Continental, one of the biggest of Coca-Cola’s Latin American bottlers, confirms that it has purchased the U.S. rights to mineral water brand Topo Chico for $220 million. The deal was forged by Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit that focuses on “smaller, high-value brands” that don’t make soda, such as Honest Tea and ZICO coconut water. Most of Topo Chico’s U.S. sales – about 70 percent – are in Texas. Coca-Cola continues to expand its non-soda product lines as consumers seek more healthful beverage options, including sparkling waters, which is a $2.3 billion market in the U.S.
Jill Cowan, "Coca-Cola buys Texas cult favorite sparkling water brand Topo Chico for $220 million", Dallas News, October 02, 2017, © The Dallas Morning News Inc
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Advanced Technologies Could Fuel Expansion Of Sugarcane Juice Market In India

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canned sugarcane juice is a popular and healthy but fragile beverage treat in India. A number of companies supply the juice, but its short shelf-life – it stays fresh only a few hours before fermentation sets in, thanks to the presence of yeast – makes it a frustrating commodity. Haphazard sugar cane sourcing worsens the problem. Various research organizations are working to solve the shelf-life issue. One example is the Central Food Technological Research Institute, which will soon file a patent application for preservation and packaging technologies for sugarcane juice. The addition of certain chemicals would preserve potability for six to eight months after bottling.
Arachika Kapoor , "Trials and Tribulations of Canning Sugarcane Juice", Media India, October 01, 2017, © Media India Group
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Ex-Microsoft Tech Guru Explores Nexus Of Tradition, Innovation In Making Bread

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold, who has written a 2,642-page book on bread making, says the craft is ancient, but it’s golden age is now. Myhrvold collaborated not only with co-author Francisco Migoya, but also with an army of chefs, scientists, writers, and researchers over four years to create the five-volume opus, “Modernist Bread.” It is partly a cookbook, once you get past the first three volumes. But the real focus is the intersection of tradition and innovation in making bread. An example is the debunking of the traditional technique of kneading dough. It’s just simply not necessary: “… to a large extent kneading is a fraud,” he says. “Kneading does not do what most baking books say it does.”
Michael Floreak, "Ex-Microsoft Tech Leader Knows the Science of Baking Bread", PageSuite, October 01, 2017, © PageSuite Limited
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Handmade Tortillas Deliver Real Taco Flavor In Seattle’s Mexican Eateries

September 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A slew of Mexican restaurants in the Seattle area have spurned tortillas torn from plastic bags, turning instead to hand-made tortillas, both corn and wheat. Many eateries now employ a tortilla maker who makes them from balled up masa that is flattened and griddled. In addition to being made fresh, the tortillas contain no artificial preservatives that turn the packaged variety into “the equivalent of eating cardboard pizza.” Local foodies lament the fact that it’s still nearly impossible to find anything that resembles a freshly-made corn tortilla – redolent of corn aroma and lacking any hint of the lime used  as a preservative – in grocery stores. 
Tan Vinh, "The magic of fresh tortillas", The Seattle Times, September 29, 2017, © The Seattle Times Company
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Wal-Mart Aims For High-End Market With Jet.com

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is repositioning its Jet ecommerce unit toward the high-end market, as part of the retailer's efforts to compete with online rival Amazon. Acquired by Wal-Mart for $3.3 billion in 2016, Jet plans to sell apparel from online retailers bought by the retail giant in the previous year. Also, Jet plans to introduce a new line of private-label food and grocery items.
Sarah Nassauer, "Wal-Mart Tries to Take Jet.com Upscale", The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Nestle: Detailed Knowledge Of Consumers Makes Digital Marketing Very Precise

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider told investors recently that digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. In fact, it involves developing and using region- or even country-specific Internet marketing tools. As an example, the company’s cross-matching of its own Nescafe customer data with China’s Alibaba consumer data – a 460 million-record database – has made targeting in that country “three times more effective.” The personalization encompasses ad banners on computer screens and delivery of free nutritional product samples. As the “push” model of marketing fades, Schneider said, all you need now is a consumer's phone number or e-mail address to “really target specifically to the needs of that person.”
Jeff Gelski , "Nestle taking country-specific digital approach", Foods Business News, September 28, 2017, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Judge Okays Agreement That Frees FDA To Enforce Menu Calorie Count Rules

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA will begin enforcing in May 2018 long-delayed regulations that require chain restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores to include calorie counts on menus. A federal judge in Chicago approved an agreement reached by the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, and the Dept. of Justice, to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Earthjustice targeting the FDA’s delays in enforcing rules finalized in 2014. The agreement was reached after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on August issued a statement assuring the litigants that there will be no further delays or changes to the menu labeling rules.  [Image Credit: © Earthjustice ]
"FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018", Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 27, 2017, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Discount Retailers Aldi And Lidl Have US Retailers Against The Ropes

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi are expected to grow faster than their local competitors in the US market. By offering limited variety of products at very low prices, Lidl and Aldi are winning a price war and expanding their shares of the retail market. Operating in the US since the 1970s, Aldi has 1,700 stores across the country, while Lidl began its expansion in the East Coast in June, and opened its 30th store in September 2017. Also, by offering private-brand products, the German retailers can offer discounts ranging from 35 percent to 40 percent, compared with their rivals.
Alina Selyukh, "Discount Grocers Aldi And Lidl Give U.S. Stores A Run For Their Money", National Public Radio, September 27, 2017, © npr
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Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [Image Credit: © Agricultured ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Califia Farms Expands Production Capacity With Venture Capital Help

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Venture capital firm CapX Partners helped fast-growing beverage company Califia Farms negotiate a lease on expanded production facilities at its bottling plant in Bakersfield, Calif. The true lease structure facilitated the procurement of two new bottling and pasteurization lines. Flexible financing of the investment resulted in tripling output capacity at the plant. CapX said it was happy to “help the company keep up with demand and continue their global expansion.”
Richard C. Bollinger, "Califia Farms Grows with $15 Million Lease from CapX", News release, CapX Partners, September 26, 2017, © CapX Partners
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Unilever Joins Better Than Cash Alliance's Push For Digital Finance

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced a collaboration with the UN-based group Better Than Cash Alliance, which promotes digital payment as a means of supporting women and smallholder farmers. Part of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan, the consumer goods company's deal with the organization signals its commitment to move away from cash as a payment platform for its value chain. According to Better Than Cash Alliance, digital modes of repaying loans have enabled farmers to reduce payment losses and collections costs, as well as “improved transparency and efficiency.”
"Unilever Joins Better Than Cash Alliance, Embraces Digital Finance Across Value Chain", Sustainable Brands, September 26, 2017, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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Smart-Label Technology Could Generate Millions In Sales Soon

September 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A smart-label developed by a University of Strathclyde business spin-out helps consumers track the freshness of purchased foods. Insignia Technologies is seeking funding to fast-track the commercialization of the technology, which was tested on a popular Sainsbury's cooked ham product in 1,100 shops in the U.K. The labels monitor time and temperature using a color-changing smart plastic that alerts consumers when food is nearing the end of its edible life. Executives at Insignia believe the business could generate £10 million ($13.3 million) in sales within the next three years. [Image Credit: © Insignia Technologies ]
Kevin Scott, "Smart Label to Cut Food Waste could Save Shoppers £150m", The Herald, September 25, 2017, © The Herald
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La Colombe CEO Says The “Mobile Experience” Is The Next Big Thing

September 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coffee roaster and retailer La Colombe’s socially-conscious CEO Todd Carmichael
believes his product’s ability to saturate roughly 37 percent of the grocery market in seven months is a sign that the coffee industry is ready for “the next big thing” – a mobile experience he wants to lead – involving the ability to have a crafted coffee drink anywhere using self-heating cans, or recyclable aluminum single-serve pods that make café-quality hot lattes at home. The company’s ready-to-drink Draft Latte will surpass its hospitality and café revenues this quarter. “The RTD thing is a monster,” he said, a $3 billion market, “and it’s growing fast.”
Dinah Wisenberg Brin, "Backed By Chobani Founder, A Local Coffee Chain Pushes A Revolution", Forbes.com, September 25, 2017, © Forbes.com LLC
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L’Oreal And Nestle To Face Ownership Options For French Cosmetics Group

September 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The death of heiress Liliane Bettencourt, whose family owns 33 percent of L’Oréal, will likely force key investors to address the company’s ownership structure. Nestlé SA, which owns 23 percent, agreed with the Bettencourts not to increase stakes in L’Oréal, but this agreement expires in six months.  Nestlé could then purchase a controlling share in L’Oréal but is more likely to sell its stake, a move that would force L’Oréal to accept wider (and potentially hostile) ownership or opt to invest further funds in the company, boosting earnings per share but reducing funds available for acquisitions.  For Nestlé, the resulting 24 billion euro windfall brings a dilemma. It could payout funds to appease shareholders and especially its activist investor, Third Point, or use the funds to double down on its currently lackluster food and nutrition business.
Andrea Felsted et al., "A Historic Moment for L'Oreal... and Nestle", Bloomberg Gadfly, September 22, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Vision Goes Global

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As Coca-Cola continues its rebranding efforts in the U.S., expanding the corporate mission and product line beyond Coke, the company is also reminding itself and its stakeholders (i.e., Wall Street investors) of the value it has built among communities across the country over the decades. It is now extending this new vision beyond U.S. borders. Its similar “We are more than the Coke you know” campaign has started running in the Coca-Cola FEMSA division, the Latin American bottling arm based in Mexico City that reaches other markets, including the Philippines.
Dale Buss, "Coca-Cola Renew: “We Are Coca-Cola—And So Much More”", Brandchannel, September 21, 2017, © Interbrand
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Lithuania Reports Big Differences In Major Food Brands Sold there

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A study by tiny Baltic country Lithuania shows that the foods sold by major brands there are very different from those sold in Western and Eastern Europe, and more expensive. A government agency sampled 33 food products: 23 differed in composition, taste, color, and consistency. For example, the Nestlé ice tea brand Nestea sold in Lithuanian grocery stores contains more additives than the Nestea sold in Dutch supermarkets, the State Food and Veterinary service (VMVT) reported. Activia yogurts in Lithuania have fewer strawberries than those sold in Germany. A similar study by the Slovak government found significant quality differences in the same products sold in Slovakia and Austria. A spokesman for Coca-Cola Baltics, which makes Nestea, said the company changes product recipes to fit local tastes.
"Lithuania sets off alarm bells over quality of international brands' foods", BNN, September 21, 2017, © BNN-NEWS.COM
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Nestlé’s Deals With U.S. Communities Result In Mostly Free Water Worth Billions

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is the biggest bottled water supplier globally in terms of sales, ahead of Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo. In 2016, U.S. bottled water sales reached $16 billion, up nearly 10 percent from 2015, outpacing soda sales as consumers increasingly seek convenience and healthful options, and worry about tap water safety. Nestlé dominates by accessing U.S. water sources spring by spring – at very low cost – promising communities jobs and new infrastructure in exchange for tax breaks and access to the scarce resource. The company pays a municipal rate for the water, or a nominal extraction fee. ($200 in Michigan.) Nestlé battles grass-roots resistance – “it rankles many because the natural resource gets hauled out of local watersheds for private profit” – with legal action.
Caroline Winter, "Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 21, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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