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Six Firms Were In The Hunt For Whole Foods Market Last Spring

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon.com wasn’t the only company considering buying Whole Foods Market last April and May, although it did end up the successful suitor. Four private-equity firms and two companies were also in the hunt, including supermarket operator Albertsons, according to financial disclosures Whole Foods made to investors. The companies started contacting Whole Foods in mid-April, shortly after activist investor Jana Partners LLC took an almost nine percent stake in the natural foods grocery chain.
Heather Haddon, "Albertsons Among Six Firms That Vied for Whole Foods", The Wall Street Journal, July 07, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Restaurant Reduces Food Waste Through Efficient Purchase, Preparation

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Brooklyn, N.Y., Japanese restaurant is expert at cutting food waste. Chef and owner Yuji Haraguchi’s Okonomi restaurant is so efficient at buying and using ingredients that he discards only two bags of trash a day. Every effort is made to use all parts of whatever meat and fish are purchased each day. For example, he buys locally caught fish from his own fish shop. The meat of the fish is used to make for Okonomi's Japanese-style breakfast and lunch. The head and bones are simmered for ramen stock that will be served at dinner. On a recent day, Okonomi served 69 breakfast meals and 59 bowls of ramen to 130 diners. Only one bag of garbage was tossed out at the end of the day. [Image Credit: © Okonomi ]
Fred Katayama , "Nothing Goes to Waste at Okonomi", Reuters, July 07, 2017, © Reuters
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Nestle Waters Launches New Perrier Flavors In U.S.

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters has added two new flavors to its U.S. family of Perrier sparkling waters. Watermelon and strawberry flavors will be added to the current line of lime, orange and pink grapefruit. All flavors, which are sugar-free and zero calories, are packaged in 8.45-ounce slim cans and 16.9-ounce PET bottles. The promotional campaign for the new flavors will include a N.Y. tasting studio and events conducted in collaboration with the Live Nation entertainment company. [Image Credit: © Perrier ]
"Nestle Waters' Watermelon and Strawberry Perrier Sparkling Waters - Product Launch - video.", Just-Drinks, July 07, 2017, © Aroq Limited
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Protein Bar Company Unveils Line Of Plant-Based Protein Bars, Powders

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Protein bar company thinkThin has expanded its product line to include a range of plant protein-based nutritional bars and powders. All of the bars and protein and probiotic powder mixes are soy-free, GMO-free, gluten-free and vegan. Products include Sea Salt Almond Chocolate High Protein Bar, Chocolate Mint High Protein Bar, Belgian Chocolate Protein & Probiotics Powder Mix, and Madagascar Vanilla Bean Protein & Probiotics Powder Mix. They will be sold at Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Target and Walmart nationwide. [Image Credit: © thinkThin ]
Michael Johnsen, "thinkThin Launches Line of Plant-Based Protein Products", Drug Store News, July 07, 2017, © Drug Store News
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Woolworths Supermarkets Will Not Range New Coca-Cola No Sugar In Australia

July 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s largest supermarket chain has refused to stock Coca-Cola’s recently introduced Coke No Sugar beverage. Euromonitor says the refusal by Woolworths reflects market saturation of low-calorie cola carbonates and the increasing health consciousness of consumers. Woolworths accounted for 40 percent of sales in the A$85 billion (US$67 billion) supermarkets category. More than two thirds of soft drink sales went through supermarkets last year. Without Woolworths, Coca-Cola No Sugar will have a tough time in Australia.
Sara Agostino, "Coca-Cola No Sugar Faces Setback as Australia’s Largest Supermarket Chooses Not to Range the Product", Blog entry, Euromonitor International, July 06, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Campbell Acquires Oregon-based Natural And Organic Foods Company

July 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company announced it is paying $700 million in cash for Pacific Foods of Oregon, a fast-growing producer of natural and organic broths, soups, and shelf-stable, plant-based beverages and meals. Campbell said the purchase of the “natural foods industry pioneer” fits well with its philosophy of “real foods.” The company reported approximately $218 million in twelve-month net sales as of May 31, 2017. Campbell said it will use its expertise and resources to expand Pacific's distribution, boost marketing support for brand building, and invest in R&D and the supply chain. [Image Credit: © Pacific Foods ]
"Campbell to Acquire Pacific Foods to Expand in Faster-Growing Health and Well-Being Categories", News release, Campbell Soup Company, July 06, 2017, © Campbell Soup Company
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Company Offers Sprayable Herbs, Spices To Food Companies

July 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Red Oak Foods, a manufacturer of spray-on organic herbs, vinegars and spices, is now providing its Simply Beyond line of sprayable liquid herb extracts and additive-free IQF fresh frozen herbs, to food manufacturers. The products provide a solution for food companies looking to provide “natural food with cleaner, clearer labels.” According to the company, its organic and non-GMO products are ready to use, shelf-stable and offer intense flavors and strong herb aromas, without visible specks. They also reduce the need for excessive salt or flavor enhancers in recipes. [Image Credit: © Red Oak Foods ]
Denice Cabel, "Red Oak Foods Unveils Clean-Label Herb Extracts", Asia Food Journal, July 05, 2017, © Contineo Media
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Whole Grain And Sourdough Breads Really Are More Healthful

July 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A recent clinical study concluding that white bread is just as nutritious as whole wheat had some serious flaws. It did not control for other foods eaten by participants. And it was sponsored by a company selling expensive personalized nutrition kits based on analysis of gut microbiomes. But many studies have shown that whole grain and sourdough breads offer a wide range of benefits. Whole grain breads tend to speed up metabolism, for example. Sourdough bread has a gentler effect on blood sugar than yeasted bread and makes nutrients more bioavailable. And thanks to sourdough’s fermentation process, good bacteria break down some grain components, including gluten, making sourdough bread easier to digest.
Kelly Toups, "Which Type of Bread Is Healthiest?", U.S. News & World Report, July 05, 2017, © U.S. News & World Report L.P.
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Lax USDA Enforcement Of Organic Standards Is Hurting Small Organic Dairies

July 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amish farmers in a small town in Iowa have been practicing organic agriculture, including milk production, for nearly 20 years. Their livelihood is being endangered by big dairies that claim to be producing organic milk, but really aren’t. Organic milk is supposed to come from grass-fed cows. But big dairies supplement with grain, which boosts milk production. That in turn lowers the wholesale price of organic milk – by 33 percent over the past year –  which hurts the Amish dairies that follow organic standards strictly. As much as 15 percent of their milk is being sold at the same price as regular milk or just dumped onto the ground. A major part of the problem is lax enforcement of organic standards by the USDA, the small dairies charge. Even when the agency has caught big dairies violating the rules, there have been few if any fines.
Peter Whoriskey, "Amish Farmers Square Off Against Big Organic in Milk Battle", The Washington Post, July 05, 2017, © The Washington Post
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Romanian Coca-Cola Bottler Upgrades To High-Speed Production Equipment

July 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola HBC Romania has spent $8 million to upgrade its bottling line at the Timisoara (Romania) plant. The high-speed production line boasts a maximum production capacity of 90,000 units an hour, amounting to more than two million a day. The bottling plant is also energy-efficient, consuming only 410 kW/h, and 1.1 liter of water per beverage unit. The production line uses an innovative filling system developed by Krones, a European provider of technologies for making beverages and packaging. The company said the investment demonstrates its long-term commitment to the local market. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola HBC Romania ]
"Coca-Cola HBC Romania invests EUR 7 million in the Timisoara factory. The first high-speed dose bottling line in Romania has a capacity of 90,000 doses per hour", Nineoclock.ro, July 05, 2017, © Nineoclock
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U.K. Supermarket Chain Experiments With Smart Food Label

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is testing an advanced labeling technology to help customers avoid tossing edible food in the waste bin before its time. The company sticks a color changing label to packets of its own brand sliced ham. The smart label changes from yellow to purple the longer the packet has been open. It is sensitive to temperature as well, because an open pack of ham has a relatively long fridge life when kept below 5º C (41º F). The new label is being used on ham packages in all 601 stores and will be expanded to other foods if consumers like it. [Image Credit: © Sainsbury's ]
Lauren O'callaghan, "Sainsbury’s Launch Colour Changing LABEL on Ham Packets to Reveal When Meat is OFF", Sunday Express, July 04, 2017, © Express Newspapers
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Pasta Is Not Unhealthful, If Prepared And Eaten Properly

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The 85-year-old owner of an Italian restaurant on California’s coast does not believe pasta is an unhealthy element of the American diet. Its glycemic index is only 25 to 45, much less than bread’s 75 and potatoes’ 80. But she does wish that Americans knew how to cook and eat pasta – real pasta, that is, made from the unleavened dough of durum wheat, not the newfangled gluten-free stuff made from quinoa, chickpeas, brown rice, lentils or edamame. The proper way to cook pasta involves liberal salting and boiling of the cooking water in a large pot (with no oil added); cooking to “al dente” without rinsing; and serving a simple sauce: crushed tomatoes, garlic, herbs, capers, a little olive oil, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Mike Hale, "The Grub Hunter: Rosa Catalano Removing the Stigma of Pasta", Monterey (Calif.) Herald, July 04, 2017, © Monterey County Herald
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British Smoothies Company Sees Sales, Profit Soar

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola-owned smoothies and juice company Innocent Drinks (London, U.K.) has surpassed $387 million in annual sales. The company bounced back from a $902,000 loss in 2016 to an $11 million profit after it redesigned packaging and reformulated its products. More than half of its annual revenue now comes from outside the U.K. Sales in France rose 49 percent, in Germany sales were up 34 percent. CEO Douglas Lamont said further growth beyond the U.K. will make Innocent Drinks Europe's “favorite healthy drinks company.” [Image Credit: © Innocent Drinks ]
"Innocent Drinks breaks £300 million annual sales barrier as taste for super-smoothies grow", Express.co.uk, July 04, 2017, © Express Newspapers
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Customized Dietary Supplements, Thanks To 3D Printing Technology

July 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A company funded by the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund has figured out a way to use 3D printing technology to mix several ingredients and print customized dietary supplements. An example of the ingredient combinations – and one of the more popular among its test customers – is vitamin D, omega-3 and caffeine. The caffeine is released later in the day, “something a mass-produced pill cannot do,” one of the researchers said. The 3D technology permits small batches, which in turn permits personalization of a customer’s order after a dietary nutrient analysis. Other FDA-approved ingredients that the Multiply Labs technology can mix include calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc; vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and folic acid. [Image Credit: © Multiply Labs ]
Stephen Daniells, "MIT Spin-Off Gets Closer to Launch of 3D Printed Supplements", NUTRAingredients-USA.com, July 03, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Pizza Hut’s Japanese Customers To Have A Quick, Secure Ordering Solution

July 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
MasterCard has partnered with Pizza Hut to integrate the Masterpass digital payments technology into the pizza chain’s mobile ordering application. The two companies are launching the initiative in Japan, where time-pressed customers will be able to order pizzas quickly, securely and easily by safely storing credit card information, as well as delivery addresses, in their Masterpass account. Ordering pizzas will require only three clicks on a smartphone, the companies said. [Image Credit: © MasterCard ]
"MasterCard, Pizza Hut Partner on Digital Payments Solution in Japan", Digital Market Asia, July 03, 2017, © DMA
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New York City Expands Organic Waste Collection Program

July 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The N.Y. City Department of Sanitation is expanding its organics program of curbside collection of food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste to more residential areas. The expansion to more neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx means two million residents will be able to participate. The department's goal is to make the program available to all New Yorkers by the end of 2018, through either curbside service or neighborhood drop-off sites. The "organic" waste collected is turned into compost, a soil amendment, or renewable energy. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
"July Update: More than 2 Million New Yorkers Now Have Access to NYC Organics Curbside Program", NYC Department of Sanitation, July 03, 2017, © NYC.gov
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Hain Celestial On The Block?

June 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural foods company Hain Celestial may soon be on the auction block. After successfully steering through an accounting review that worried investors and depressed stock value, top execs disclosed to a Jefferies Group analyst that they are open to takeover offers or other strategic changes. Shortly thereafter, Engaged Capital said it had accumulated a nearly ten percent stake in Hain Celestial and was prepared to jettison most of the board members and push for a sale of the whole company, or of part of it. Though the accounting review ended without any substantial changes being made, the Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing its own probe. Hain stock is down about 30 percent since the SEC investigation began. [Image Credit: © Hain Celestial ]
Tara Lachapelle, "Organic Foodmaker Hain Looks Appetizing", Bloomberg Gadfly, June 30, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Coke’s Summer Ads Feature Youth-Oriented Labels

June 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new summer “Share a Coke” ad campaign in China features bottles designed to attract the country's youth. Decorated with symbols and phrases used routinely by young people, the bottles are known as “code bottles.” Campaign unveils 37 distinct labels that show emoticons, numbers, characters and graphics. One code is the number 521, used by Chinese youth to say “I Love You.” Two films featuring the special bottles will be shown on social media platforms and TV. One stars celebrity Lu Han, who has 32 million social media followers. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Co. ]
Lucy Britner, "The Coca-Cola Co lines up "Share a Coke" push in China", just-drinks global news, June 30, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Sales Of Sustainable Cocoa-Based Confectionery Products To Reach $9 Billion

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of cocoa-based products that feature labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest alliance will reach $8.9 billion in 2017, according to Euromonitor, and are expected to grow 1.3 percent through 2020 because certification schemes build consumer confidence in cocoa-related products. Chocolate confectionery products make up the bulk of total sales of cocoa products that carry sustainable trade and farming labels. “Without investment in sustainable production, the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain,” a Euromonitor analyst said.
Douglas Yu, "Chocolate Confectionery Contributes Most to Value Sales of Sustainable Cocoa Products: Euromonitor", ConfectioneryNews.com, June 29, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Big Companies Ponder How To Evaluate Nonfinancial Assets

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The nonprofit Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism is leading an effort to establish a consistent framework for informing investors about nonfinancial activities that also give companies value. These may include such things as workforce training, environmental impact, and creation of intellectual property. Chief executives of more than 20 companies and investment funds, including PepsiCo and Nestlé, and asset managers Vanguard, Fidelity and Schroders, are involved in the project.  [Image Credit: © Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism]
Chloe Cornish, "Global groups join forces to prove value beyond financial results", The Financial Times, June 28, 2017, © The Financial Times Limited
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Lawmaker Attacks GMO Food Labeling Law Because Of “Massive Loophole”

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) issued a statement sharply criticizing recently passed federal legislation purportedly designed to make it easier for consumers to determine if their foods contain GMOs. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard has a “massive loophole,” the congressman wrote, because it allows food companies to use an electronic label – a “QR code” – to disclose GMOs. Blumenauer said that means only people with “ample time” and smartphones that can read the codes can tell if there are GMOs in their food products. The USDA has asked for public comment on how to implement the law. [Image Credit: © Office of Rep. Earl Bluenauer ]
Earl Blumenauer, "You Deserve To Know What’s In Your Food", News release, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, June 28, 2017, © Rep. Earl Blumenauer
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Advanced Card Technology Ensures Food Safety, Prevents Waste

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, getting food to the table devours 10 percent of the U.S. energy budget, half of U.S. land, and 80 percent of fresh water. But 40 percent of the food in the U.S. – $150 billion a year – is never eaten. Natures Frequencies is well aware that the biggest concern of U.S. consumers who ponder whether – and when – to throw out food is safety.  With that in mind, the company developed the Food Freshness Card, a laboratory- and commercially-tested technology to keep food fresher longer. The card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs, encoding information on a substrate. It helps assist with freshness all along the food chain, from farm to retailer to the home. The card recently won the United Fresh Innovation Award for the best new food safety solution. [Image Credit: © Food Logistics ]
"The Food Freshness Card: The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2017 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", News release, Nature's Frequencies, June 28, 2017, © Nature's Frequencies
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Coca-Cola’s Analytics Center In Pune, India, To Shut Down

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As part of Coca-Cola’s global streamlining and belt-tightening mission, the company is closing a seven-year-old analytical services facility in Pirangut, Pune, India. The facility supported operations in India, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Eurasia and the Middle East. It was one of six such centers around the world. The work done at the center will be shifted to its bottling companies and to third-party analytics centers in India. [Image source: Coca-Cola Company]
Ratna Bhushan, "Coca-Cola to shut down Pune analytics centre", The Economic Times, June 28, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Nestle Reviews Its Market Categories, Growth Opportunities, Acquisition Approach

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a review of its capital structure and priorities as it seeks to put in place a value creation model based on profitable growth, margin improvement and capital efficiency. It will emphasize high-growth food and beverage segments – i.e., coffee, pet care, infant nutrition and bottled water – and high-growth geographic markets. As part of its review, the company is taking a close look at its U.S. confectionery business, and at growth opportunities in consumer healthcare. It will also take “a more disciplined approach to acquisitions.” [Image Credit: © Nestlé]
Amie Tsang, "Morning Agenda: Nestlé Plots a New Course", The New York Times, June 28, 2017, © The New York Times Company
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Companies Test New Ride-Share Marketing Program

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Customers of ride-share companies like Uber will now be able to purchase, or sample for free, an array of products – snacks, electronics, health and beauty items, etc. – available through the Cargo Systems mobile website. Cargo provides a box to ride-share drivers that can be installed in their cars. Customers order products on Cargo’s website, the products are delivered to the driver, and the driver hands the products to the customers in transit. Brands like Mars, Kellogg's, Michel et Augustin, Emergency Stain Rescue and Leaders Cosmetics USA have products in the boxes. Cargo says drivers can earn an extra $1,500 a year in tips and review-based bonuses by selling products or distributing free items. [Image Credit: © Uber ]
Robert Williams, "Mars, Kellogg's Test Drive Cargo's Ride-Share Product Box", Mobile Marketer, June 28, 2017, © Industry Dive
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Nestlé To Focus More On High-Growth Businesses, Less On Packaged Foods

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé SA this week sketched out a strategic future that seems to veer away from packaged foods. After investor Daniel Loeb, who has a 1.25 percent stake in the company, asked for some big changes, Nestlé said it would spend more on its high-growth businesses, including bottled water, coffee, infant nutrition and pet care, and would consider consumer healthcare acquisitions. Industry analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy predicted that Nestlé would divest its frozen foods, ice cream and pizza businesses over the next three to four years. [Image Credit: © Nestlé SA]
Brian Blackstone, "Is Food Giant Nestlé Turning Away From Food?", The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Coca-Cola’s “Bridge” Program Seeks To Commercialize Promising Technologies

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola shut down its Founder’s Program of investing in innovative start-ups earlier this year. Instead, the company is now focusing on The Bridge, a technology “commercialization” program launched three years ago by innovation chief Alan Boehme and program general manager Gabby Czertok. The initiative has looked at 30 start-ups, many of them based in Israel, has approved 90 pilot projects and 27 licensing agreements. It has partnered with Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting and will soon add Mercedes-Benz. The Bridge technology portfolio includes Byond, a content management system for virtual reality; and Curiyo, an in-app content delivery search service for users.
Jonathan Shieber , "Coca-Cola has built a commercialization ‘Bridge’ to startups worldwide", Tech Crunch, June 28, 2017, © Oath Inc
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Pressure Builds In EU To Stop Marketing Sugary Drinks To Kids

June 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer advocate Foodwatch France is urging Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) to stop marketing the Capri-Sun juice beverage to children because of its high sugar content. The organization is opposed to the use of cartoon characters to advertise foods and beverages that are “too sweet or contain added sugar.” Capri-Sun contains only “12 percent fruit juice concentrate” and “19 grams of sugar” per serving. CCEP says it does not market to children under 12 years of age. [Image source: Capri-Sun]
David Burrows, "Coca Cola partners urged to stop marketing Capri-Sun drink to kids", Food Navigator, June 27, 2017, © William Reed Business Media
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Hangzhou Wahaha Group Buys Smart Beverage Vending Machines From DeepBlue

June 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest beverage vendor is taking a step beyond FMCG toward automated retail with the signing of a 10-year contract with DeepBlue Technology to buy a million TakeGo smart vending machines. The machines use DeepBlue’s quiXmart payment system, as well as machine vision, biometric identification, and deep learning. The machines automatically assign items picked up by customers to a digital shopping cart. Customers are charged using Alipay when they exit. [Image Credit: © DeepBlue Technology / People's Daily Online]
Du Xiaofei , "Wahaha Group eyes next-generation vending machines", People's Daily Online, June 27, 2017, © People's Daily Online
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Arthritis Patients Who Frequently Eat Fish Experience Reduced Symptoms

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. clinical study involving 176 rheumatoid arthritis patients who completed food frequency questionnaires found that those who ate fish at least twice a week had lower disease activity, including fewer swollen or tender joints. In fact, the more fish patients ate, the lower the levels of disease activity were. The researchers believe fish consumption lowers levels of inflammation that lead to arthritis symptoms.
Sara K. Tedeschi et al., "The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis", Arthritis Care & Research, June 26, 2017, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Nestlé Waters Expands Home Delivery Capabilities

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters North America is taking advantage of the growth in “consumer engagement” with its digital channels by expanding its ReadyRefresh online beverage shopping and delivery service. The company’s new 10,000-square-foot branch in Denver, Colo., will make it easier to fulfill water and tea orders submitted on its mobile-friendly website. The company expects to grow its two-truck fleet in the Denver area to 30 to serve customers within a radius of 50 miles. The service operates a fleet of 2,100 Nestlé-branded trucks, and is available to homes and businesses in 23 states. [Image Credit: © Nestlé Waters North America ]
Mary Ellen Shoup , "Nestlé Waters North America sees increased demand for ReadyRefresh online delivery service", Beverage Daily, June 26, 2017, © William Reed Business Media
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Olive Oil Protects Memory, Learning Ability

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. and Italian researchers have determined in an animal study that extra virgin olive oil, a major component of the Mediterranean diet, protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil reduces brain inflammation but most importantly activates a process known as autophagy, the process by which cells break down and clear out intracellular debris and toxins. The researchers now plan to see whether olive oil added to the diet after the onset of brain disease will stop or reverse it.
Elisabetta Lauretti et al., "Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy", Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, June 26, 2017, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Thomas’ Unveils Blueberry Swirl Bread

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Thomas’ baked goods brand has added a new variety to its Swirl Bread line. The limited edition – through September – Blueberry Pancake Swirl Bread has a suggested retail price of $3.99 and will be available in select regions of the U.S. at grocery stores and other food retailers. Thomas’ is owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA. [Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries ]
"Thomas' Launches Limited Edition Blueberry Pancake Swirl Bread", News release, Bimbo Bakeries USA, June 26, 2017, © Bimbo Bakeries USA
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Bakeshop Attracts National Attention With Its Zany Products

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A four-year-old bakery in Rockland County, N.Y., has built a following among locals, celebrities and professional athletes with its “wildly flavored” cupcakes and personalized celebration cakes. Denise Byrnes’ Caked Up bakeshop has created a national business specializing in over-the-top, delicious, concoctions like maple bacon cupcakes and French toast-flavored cupcakes. The shop has baked celebration cakes for Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rihanna. It attracted the attention of Dunkin' Donuts – and major social media exposure and national orders – when it created an homage to the chain's doughnuts. To what does the shop owe its success? Byrnes says the staff is “just a bunch of fatties thinking of fun things to put out there." [Image Credit: © Caked Up Cafe ]
Joanna Prisco, "Rockland Bakery a Favorite of Celebs Rihanna, Kevin Durant, OBJ", USA Today, June 23, 2017, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC
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Sprite Unveils Music Video Featuring Celebrity Hip-Hop Endorser

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola brand Sprite has debuted its inaugural music video featuring Vince Staples’ recording of “Rain Come Down,” his second single, as Staples (left) launches the new album Big Fish Theory. Sprite endorser Staples also stars in a new television commercial for the Summer Sprite Cold Lyrics Series featuring several hip-hop artists. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Company ]
"Sprite Drops Its First-Ever Music Video for Vince Staples’ New Single “Rain Come Down”", News release, Coca-Cola Company, June 23, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Chefs Show That So-Called Ugly Produce Is More Than Just Edible

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thirteen chefs from around the U.S. recently tackled a food waste-related challenge: how to transform 300 pounds of wonky or ugly produce – otherwise bound for the landfill – into enticing and delicious appetizers, salads, main dishes, sides and desserts. Their cache of dreadful edibles included purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots, all salvaged from local farms. The dinner the chef teams prepared was the highpoint of a three-day sustainability "boot camp" run by the James Beard Foundation.  The organization is on a mission to cut the estimated 571,000 tons of food waste generated annually by U.S. restaurants and food service providers by one third. [Image Credit: © USAF ]
Lela Nargi, "Is It Really So Offal? 'Ugly Food' Boot Camp Entices Chefs and Diners", National Public Radio, June 23, 2017, © npr
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Danone’s “Manifesto Brands” Show Commitment To Healthy, Sustainable Eating

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
French dairy company Danone wants to convey its “One Planet, One Health” commitment to a positive food future through all of its brands. The company’s “manifesto brands” – from yogurt to mineral water – will reflect its alliance with consumers who want to re-establish a connection to their food, creating “food sovereignty,” in the words of CEO Emmanuel Faber. He says the idea is “a pretty radical new approach to support people in their choice for healthier and more sustainable eating." [Image credit: Danone]
Charlotte Rogers , "Danone on why it’s repositioning as a ‘manifesto brand’", Marketing Week, June 23, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Coca-Cola Brasil Debuts New Versions Of Fruit Juice With Less Sugar

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Brazilian subsidiary has unveiled newly reformulated versions of the Del Valle Frut fruit juice. The new versions contain added vitamin C, and 40 percent less sugar. Available in the Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Rio Grande do Sul markets, the brand is now sold only in 450 ml packaging. [Image credit: The Coca-Cola Company]
"Brazil: Coca-Cola Brasil launches new formula Del Valle Frut juice", Esmerk, June 22, 2017, © Esmerk Oy
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Burger King: No More Human Antibiotics Use In Chicken Supply By 2019

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Restaurant Brands International, parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, announced that it will end the use of antibiotics important to human medicine in its chicken supply by the end of 2018. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 11 of the top 15 U.S. restaurant chains have now committed to some level of “responsible antibiotics use” for their chicken supplies. Nearly half of the U.S. chicken industry has either made a no-antibiotics commitment or is already using responsible practices, NRDC said. [Image Credit: © NRDC ]
Kate Slusark Kiely, "Burger King to Clean Up Antibiotics Practices in Chicken Supply by 2018", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council, June 22, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Large Firms Tell How They Eradicated Forced Labor In Supply Lines

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has published a report containing case studies from 12 member companies describing how they got rid of forced labor in their supply chains. CGF says forced labor is an endemic social problem in global supply chains and cannot be solved by one company alone. The Cola-Cola Company, Unilever, Nestlé S.A. and Tesco all shared their experiences in dealing with the global $150 billion problem. [Image Credit: ©   CGF]
Emma Jane Cash, "Industry giants unite to eradicate forced labour in global supply chains", Food Navigator, June 22, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Hain Celestial Reports Healthy Financial Numbers

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products company Hain Celestial posted an adjusted profit of $192.9 million on net sales of $2.9 billion for fiscal 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2015, and 13 percent on a constant currency basis, compared to fiscal 2015 sales of $2.6 billion. Sales figures were buffeted by $69.2 million in foreign exchange fluctuations over the prior year. For the first nine months of fiscal 2017, the company reported flat net sales of $2.1 billion over the prior year, but a four percent increase on a constant currency basis. Sales were affected by $96.2 million from foreign exchange rate movements over the prior year. CEO Irwin Simon said the company accomplished “substantial cost-savings, enhancing customer-centric, go-to market initiatives and fueling innovation.” [Image Credit: © Hain Celestial]
"Hain Celestial Announces Financial Results and Expands Strategic Plan to Deliver Enhanced Shareholder Value", Earnings release, Hain Celestial, June 22, 2017, © Hain Celestial
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DPS’s Lain Hancock Replaces Bai Founder Ben Weiss

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dr Pepper Snapple Group has promoted human resources head Lain Hancock to CEO of Bai Brands. Bai founder and CEO Ben Weiss has left the business. Hancock has held several management jobs with the company's supply chain organization, including continuous improvement, manufacturing and procurement. Weiss started Bai in 2009 in the basement of his Princeton, N.J., home. [Image Credit: © Dr Pepper Snapple Group ]
"Dr Pepper Snapple Group Names Lain Hancock CEO Of Bai Brands", News release, Dr Pepper Snapple Group , June 22, 2017, © Dr Pepper Snapple Group
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Langrock Named CFO At Hain Celestial

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products company Hain Celestial has named James M. Langrock as executive vice president and chief financial officer to succeed Pasquale Conte, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Langrock, who joined the company in November 2015 as senior vice president, finance and treasurer, has more than 25 years’ experience at companies like Monster Worldwide, Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Division, Symbol Technologies, and Citibank. [Image Credit: © Linked In ]
"Hain Celestial Appoints James M. Langrock Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer", News release, Hain Celestial, June 22, 2017, © Hain Celestial
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Greenpeace Targets Coca-Cola – And Plastic Bottles – In Social Media Campaign

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Greenpeace has launched a Twitter initiative that turns Coca-Cola’s summer marketing campaign into an anti-plastic bottle promotion. The organization blames Coca-Cola, among other plastic bottle users, for clogging the waterways and shores of the world.  Coke’s summer campaign puts exotic beach locations on its bottles – the very same containers “that are polluting the beaches and rivers of many of these holiday hotspots.” Greenpeace is asking followers to photograph Coke bottles found on shores or in the water and Tweet the images using two special hashtags as a way to get Coke “to stop choking our oceans.” [Image Credit: © Pixabay ]
Louisa Casson, "Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy = a gift for the End Ocean Plastics campaign", Greenpeace.org UK, June 22, 2017, © Greenpeace
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General Mills Hires Ivan Pollard To Manage Marketing, Media Planning

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola marketing veteran Ivan Pollard was named chief marketing officer by General Mills, effective in July. Pollard will head up the company’s global marketing and media planning operations, responsible for marketing strategies, connection planning, and building organizational capabilities globally. As senior vice president of Coca-Cola strategic marketing in North America, Pollard developed strategies to effectively spend the company’s $2 billion media budget. Pollard has also worked for Naked Communications, BMP (now DDB Needham), and Wieden+Kennedy.
"Veteran Marketer Ivan Pollard Joins General Mills as Global Chief Marketing Officer", News release, General Mills, June 21, 2017, © General Mills Inc.
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Tesco Merges Two Customer Services Offices

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British grocery chain Tesco is consolidating its Customer Engagement Centers (CEC) into one office located in Dundee. As part of the consolidation, it is closing the CEC in Cardiff by February 2018. The company said it expects the move to simplify customer service while maintaining quality through phone, email, and social media operations. Closing the Cardiff CEC will affect 1,100 workers, but Tesco expects to create 250 new positions at the Dundee office. [Image Credit: © Tesco ]
"Tesco simplifies customer service operations", News release, Tesco, June 21, 2017, © Tescoplc.com
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Unilever Continues To Realign Agency And Ad Tech Relationships

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever and British advertising/PR firm WPP announced they are investing in mobile creative management platform Celtra. The move furthers Unilever’s goal of boosting and applying creative technology innovation while reducing associations with ad agencies. As Unilever gets more involved in data and ad tech it has cut the costs and complexities of advertising across its 400+ brands. Celtra has been providing top brands with the ability to connect operational data, creative, advertising and analytics. The company has worked for several years with Unilever and with WPP’s Mindshare. [Image Credit: © Celtra ]
Alison Weissbrot , "Unilever And WPP Stake A $15 Million Claim In Celtra – A Clear Sign Of The Agency/Client Relationship In Flux", AdExchanger, June 21, 2017, © AdExchanger.com
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3M Assay For Detection Of Foodborne Pathogen Approved By Health Canada

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canada’s public health agency has approved an advanced system for fast detection of the dangerous foodborne bacteria Listeria in a broad range of foods. The system, developed by the 3M Food Safety division, meets Health Canada’s requirements for detection of Listeria in environmental samples, dairy products, ready-to-eat and raw meats, fish and seafood, and fruits and vegetables. Using standard enrichment medium, the next generation assays for Listeria and Listeria monocytogenes provide a time-to-result after 24 hours of enrichment. The molecular detection assays are now included on Health Canada’s guide of official methods used to determine compliance with government standards and guidelines.
"3M's Next Generation Molecular Detection Assay for Listeria Approved and Published by Health Canada", News release, 3M, June 21, 2017, © 3M Canada Company
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Marks & Spencer Experiments With Laser-Coded Fruits, Vegetables

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British retailer Marks & Spencer has begun selling avocados labeled with lasers. The idea is to eliminate the need for paper stickers, and save 10 tons of paper and glue annually. M&S hopes other retailers will adopt the technology, not only for labeling avocados, but other fruits and vegetables. The lasered label includes the shop logo, best before date, country of origin and barcode entered at checkout. The intense light of the laser discolors only the top layer of the fruit, and does not affect the fruit itself. 
Katie Morley, "Avocados with Laser-Printed Labels Go On Sale at M&S in Bid to Cut Paper Waste", The Telegraph, June 20, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Nestle Takes Part In Freshly’s New Expansion Funding Round

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé USA announced it is taking a big step into the burgeoning, $10 billion direct-to-consumer ready meals business in the U.S. with the investment in one of its leading companies. New York-based Freshly operates in 28 states, delivering meals to homes weekly. Nestlé is the lead investor in Freshly’s new $77 million funding round that will help pay for the company’s construction of an East Coast kitchen and distribution center in 2018, as it prepares to expand to nationwide service. [Image Credit: © Freshly ]
"Nestlé USA Acquires Minority Interest in Freshly", News release, Nestlé, June 20, 2017, © Nestlé USA
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