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Wahaha To Introduce Functional Probiotic Beverages For Women, Children, Elderly

August 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
China’s Hangzhou Wahaha Group is targeting women, children, and the elderly with three new functional probiotic beverages packaged in sachets. The products contain several probiotic strains, including several Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. The children’s and women’s products contain five types of probiotics and three types of prebiotics (fiber). The product for the elderly claims to help to reduce blood sugar level and promote the absorption of calcium, while the product for women is said to aid detoxification. China accounts for almost half of all probiotic sales in the Asia Pacific region, at $8.3 billion. The Asia Pacific probiotics market is forecast to grow by a CAGR of 8.3 percent over the next seven years, but China will continue to track higher than the average.
Tingmin Koe , "China beverage firm Wahaha to launch new probiotic range as it ramps up health focus ", Nutra-Ingredients, August 02, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Following String Of Acquisition Flops, Starbucks Tries Again With Italian Bakery

August 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks hasn’t had much success in buying and locating companies either within its stores or as stand-alones. One memorable flop was the bakery Boulange. But Starbucks is trying again, and with another bakery: Princi, a small but high-end chain launched in 1968 in Italy that has no U.S. locations yet. Starbucks has committed to making the brand the exclusive food partner at its global Reserve and Roastery locations. A Princi has opened inside the Shanghai Roastery and in the first Reserve store at the Seattle headquarters. Princi will also be included in upcoming Roastery locations in Milan and New York. Starbucks plans only a few Roastery locations around the world, but possibly 1,000 Reserve stores. Stand-alone Princi locations will also open in two major markets: New York and Chicago, where there are Roastery locations. [Image Credit: © Princi.com | Starbucks]
Daniel B. Kline , "As Starbucks Ramps Up A New Bakery Line, It's Hard To Forget Its String Of Second-Brand Failures", Motley Fool, August 02, 2018, © The Motley Fool
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The Romaine Lettuce E-Coli Outbreak Highlighted Blockchain Potential For Food Sector

August 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Although Blockchain technology is penetrating the supply chains of many industries, the food sector has some catching up to do. The romaine lettuce e-coli outbreak in the U.S. earlier this year highlighted the need for the food industry to improve transparency in supply. Despite efforts from some companies, such as Walmart, to improve food safety procedures, much of the industry remains reliant on paper-based systems. There are a number of hurdles to overcome in switching to digital systems, including the cost, but new technologies like blockchain have the potential to improve safety for businesses and consumers. [Image Credit: © BlackRiv from Pixabay]
Aaron Cohen, "Romaine, Blockchain, and the Future of Food Safety", Food Newsfeed, August 01, 2018, © Journalistic Inc.
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AgTech Firm Sues Walmart, Alleging Illegal Use Of Food Waste Technology

August 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agricultural tech company Zest Labs and its parent company Ecoark Holdings are suing Walmart in federal court for $2 billion, alleging violations of the Arkansas Trade Secrets Act and other offenses. Data created and insights created by Zest Labs’ Zest Fresh technology reduces field to shelf food waste and improves delivered freshness, helping food distributors and retailers reduce the $85 billion problem of fresh food waste. Zest Labs in 2015 helped Walmart adopt the technology, in the process sharing trade secrets. In March 2018, Walmart announced Eden, a technology to keep track of food freshness from farms to stores. Zest Labs says it was “surprised and concerned by how similar Walmart’s Eden description was to Zest Fresh,” triggering the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. [Image Credit: © Zest Labs]
"Ecoark Holdings and Zest Labs File $2 Billion Complaint Against Walmart", Globe Newswire, August 01, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc
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Kraft Heinz Commits To Environmentally-Friendlier Packaging By 2025

August 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Kraft Heinz Company has committed to making its packaging 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and it will also work towards reducing the amount of packaging. The CEO, Bernardo Hees, said that the company needs to look at how its greenhouse emissions are generated throughout the supply chain, and not just from direct operations. The initiatives are a part of its ‘Growing a Better World’ program it announced in 2017.[Image Credit: © The Kraft Heinz Company]
Alexandra Deabler, "Kraft Heinz announces 100 percent of packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025", Fox News, August 01, 2018, © FOX News Network, LLC.
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New Marketing Chief Takes Over At Nestlé Waters NA

July 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA marketing head Antonio Sciuto, credited with transforming the company’s digital strategy, has resigned and will be replaced by Yumi Clevenger-Lee. The change in leadership comes in the midst of a mushrooming sparkling water marketing war among Nestlé, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and smaller marketers such as La Croix. Nestlé is the market leader, after private label brands, commanding a 13.3 percent share in the U.S. Private labels have 31.2 percent of the market. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have 3.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, but have been spending heavily on marketing and have been gaining. Nestlé's share fell by 1.3 points in the year-to-date period through mid-June. Clevenger-Lee had been marketing director for the Latin American division of Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture between Nestlé and General Mills.
E.J. Schultz, "Nestle Waters taps new CMO amid sparkling water ad war", Advertising Age, July 31, 2018, © Crain Communications
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New FreshCloud Platform Monitors Produce Quality Through The Supply Chain

July 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food preservation company AgroFresh Solutions announced the launch of its FreshCloud platform, a data- and insights-driven solution for monitoring produce quality through the supply chain. The company also announced the acquisition of Verigo, an “Internet of Things” (IoT) company offering end-to-end visibility and management of cold-chain logistics. FreshCloud offers real-time predictive data insights that improve efficiency in the delivery of produce to global consumers.  Verigo's technology is the foundation of FreshCloud Transit Insights, and triggered a revamp of AgroFresh's AdvanStore offering, now called FreshCloud Storage Insights. FreshCloud Predictive Screening, also a component of the FreshCloud platform, predicts the risk of disorder development during storage by analyzing gene expression at commercial harvest, resulting in more informed storage management decisions. [Image Credit: © AgroFresh]
"AgroFresh Launches FreshCloud Platform", PRNewswire, July 31, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Sales Of Plant-Based Food Substitutes Continue To Soar

July 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nielsen data published by the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) show that plant-based foods that directly substitute for animal products grew ten times faster than those animal-derived counterparts. Sales of plant-based food substitutes for seafood, meat, eggs, and dairy products jumped 20 percent last year, compared to two percent in these same categories. The plant-based substitutes market is still dwarfed by the real products: the entire meat market is $85 billion, while the plant-based substitutes market is $670 million. Nevertheless, improvements in taste, variety, and competition have all led to sales growth and mainstreaming of plant-based foods, according to the PBFA. [Image Credit: © Beyond Meat]
"2018 Retail Sales Data for Plant-Based Foods", Plant Based Foods Association, July 30, 2018, © Plant Based Foods Association
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NRDC: Beef, Pork Producers, Fast-Food Chains, Should Reduce Antibiotics Use

July 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Natural Resources Defense Council is happy that poultry producers and fast-food chains are weaning themselves from chickens raised with human antibiotics, but wonder why beef and pork are ”another story.” Progress in the chicken industry is “in stark contrast” to what’s happening with pigs and cattle. In fact, according to the NRDC, pretty much the same amount of medically important antibiotics is sold for use in pigs as for use in treating sick people in the U.S. But pork producers in many countries raise pigs without routine use of antibiotics. Beef producers represented by the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) – which also includes fast-food chains – are also falling short when it comes to antibiotics use. “It is time to clean up antibiotic use practices behind the beef and pork served on [fast-food] menus,” the Council said. [Image Credit: © Stephen Fulljames | Wikimedia Commons]
Lena Brook, "More Chicken Antibiotics Pledges; Where's the Beef & Pork?", Natural Resources Defense Council , July 30, 2018, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Bakey's Sells Eco-Friendly Edible Spoons And Forks To India And The World

July 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
India-based Bakey's developed and sells environment-friendly, edible spoons and forks. Developed in 2010, Bakey's cutlery is the first of its kind and is made from millet, rice, and wheat flours. According to company founder and directing manager, Narayana Peesapaty, Bakey's cutlery was developed in response to pollution caused by plastic spoons and forks. Peesapaty said he was also concerned with the health effects of plastic utensils, with research showing chemical components in plastic products can leach into food. Some environmentalists, however, have expressed doubts about the product's environment-friendly features. [Image Credit: © Bakeys Foods Private Limited]
Lavaniya Rajah, "Cutlery you can eat: One company's approach to the plastic pollution problem", CBC News, July 29, 2018, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Danone Launches Organic Fruit Juices In Spain

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
With demand for organic products in Spain growing by double digits, Danone has launched an organic fruit drink line there that contains no artificial ingredients, and was made using fruits grown without pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Danone’s Font Vella Organic brand is made with mineral water, fruit juice and a range of natural ingredients, and is available in orangeade with oregano and lemonade with basil from Spanish retailers in 40 cl bottles, with a suggested retail price of $1.69 a bottle.
Martin White, "Danone’s Font Vella releases new organic drink line in Spain", Foodbev.com, July 26, 2018
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Hormel Removes Carrageenan From Line Of Natural, Organic Deli Meats

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel’s Applegate brand of natural and organic meats announced it has eliminated the controversial ingredient carrageenan from its deli meat products after consumers complained about it.  Carrageenan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from seaweed that is used as a thickener and stabilizer in foods. The USDA now allows the use of carrageenan in natural and organic foods. Hormel also requires a no-antibiotics policy on the farms that produce meats for its Applegate products. [Image Credit: © Hormel]
"Applegate Does Deli Better with Ingredient and Packaging Updates ", Hormel Foods Corporation, July 26, 2018, © Hormel Foods Corporation
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Dunkin Donuts Is Way Smaller Than Starbucks, But Better Loved By Customers

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts is doing a lot of things right, a fact reflected in its most recent quarterly financial report showing higher-than-expected earnings and revenues. Starbucks, however, with 25 times the revenue of Dunkin’, “has lost its mojo” and Wall Street “is losing faith” in its management team, according to Forbes. At least part of the problem is the fact, confirmed by data from LikeFolio's consumer insights, that for the first time Dunkin’ Donuts happiness levels are higher than Starbucks. Other key factors at play: Dunkin' Donuts is growing its customer base and adding stores, while Starbucks is closing locations; purchase intent mentions for Dunkin’ Donuts are at multi-year highs; Starbucks has a serious employee morale problem; Dunkin’ is more inclined to give customers – rather than environmental activists – what they want; and Dunkin’ Donuts has delicious donuts, rather than pastries. [Image Credit: © Starbucks]
Andy Swan, "5 Reasons Dunkin' Donuts is Dominating Starbucks", Forbes.com, July 26, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Students Turn Food Processing Waste Into Profit Center

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danish technology students who were asked to find a sustainable process to recycle carrot peels and pulp have come up with a way to turn to it into flour. Vegetable supplier Greens Wholesale generates 100 tons of biological waste every month as it produces fresh juices and produce. Much of the waste is converted to biogas or fertilizer, but the company wanted to optimize its production process to reduce costs and perhaps turn a profit. Turning carrot waste into flour was the winning idea: it can replace up to half of the wheat flour in a recipe. The company and the Technical University of Denmark students hope to commercialize the idea within a year. [Image Credit: © Cokolatetnica | Pixabay]
Miriam Meister, "Technical University Of Denmark: Out-of-the-box thinking transforms carrot peel into carrot flour", Technical University of Denmark , July 25, 2018, © Technical University of Denmark
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Court Squashes Suits Seeking Human Rights Disclosure Labels On Foods

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A federal appeals court has ruled that California consumer laws do not require food companies to put disclaimer labels about supply-chain issues on their products. The 9th circuit court’s decision ends class action suits that have sought to force companies to disclose possible human rights violations within the supply chain. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that forced child labor occurs in the harvesting of cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast and the collection of fish and shrimp in Thailand. Companies such as Mars and Nestlé have acknowledged that such abuses occur, but plaintiffs in the class action suits say such efforts do not go far enough.
Glenn G. Lammi, "Demands For On-Label Disclosure Of Possible Supply-Chain Abuses Fail In Ninth Circuit", Forbes.com, July 25, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Coca-Cola Profit Soars 64 Percent In Quarter; Plans Tariff-Induced Price Hikes

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola reported a second quarter profit of $2.3 billion – a 64 percent increase from a year ago – on an organic revenue increase of five percent (excluding currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures), helped by growth in sales of concentrates and higher prices for products. Overall sales slid eight percent from last year to $8.9 billion, thanks to divestiture of bottling operations. The company said it is raising prices on carbonated drinks in North America in response to rising freight rates and metal prices – “some broad-based push on input costs,” said CEO James Quincey – spurred by tariffs on Chinese imports. Drink volumes rose two percent, driven by double-digit growth in Coca-Cola-branded products. Volumes were up two percent in carbonated soft drinks and four percent for water, enhanced water and sports drinks.
Jennifer Maloney, "Coke Raising U.S. Soda Prices, Citing Tariffs", Wall Street Journal , July 25, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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U.K. Start-Up Recognized For Low-Carb Bread Dough

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST



A British food technology start-up that invented a low-carb bread alternative was recently certified as “reduced carb” by Sugarwise, an international certification authority for sugar claims on food and drink. Manchester-based Lo-Dough was awarded the certification because its products have no more than 10 percent of calories coming from free sugars, and no more than five grams of free sugars per 100 grams. Lo-Dough has recipes for low-carb pizzas, pies, desserts and pastries.[Image Credit: © Sugarwise]

"Food Tech Startup Lo-Dough Becomes First Ever Reduced Carb Certified Company With Sugarwise", PR Newswire , July 24, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Just Eat Tests Seaweed-Based Sachets Developed With Skipping Rocks Lab

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Online food-ordering company Just Eat has partnered with packaging technology firm Skipping Rocks Lab to develop a sachet made from seaweed. Part of the company's efforts to cut the volume of plastics used by its restaurant partners in the UK, the seaweed-based sachets can be composted and are environment-friendly. According to Just Eat, the company will test the sachet for six weeks with The Fat Pizza in Southend, and determine the possibility of introducing the packaging to its 29,000 partner restaurants. [Image Credit: © Just Eat Holding Limited]
"Just Eat trials seaweed sachets as alternative to single-use plastics", edie.net, July 24, 2018, © edie.net
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Aramark Aims To Reduce Or Remove Plastic Straws From Facilities It Serves

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food service company Aramark said it plans to reduce the use of plastic straws and plastic stirrers and provide environment-friendly alternatives at food and dining facilities it serves. Aramark, which manages food service operations for various locations, including schools, convention centers, and arenas, across the US, said the reduction will depend on the location. According to the company, it plans to have 100-percent removal of plastic straws from parks and residential dining halls of colleges and universities.[Image Credit: © Aramark]
Chris Morris , "Food Service Giant Aramark Is Phasing Out Plastic Straws", Fortune.com, July 24, 2018, © Time Inc.
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Next Major Food Trend Could Be “Allergen-Free”

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Companies that sell foods that claim to not only be gluten-free but free of other ingredients that trigger allergic reactions expect solid growth over the coming years. Chicago’s Enjoy Life Foods, for example, saw an opportunity when the U.S. FDA designated eight common food allergens, including peanuts and gluten. The company has seen double-digit growth every year since 2011. No one is really tracking the allergen-free market yet, so there are no reliable measures of it. But the rate of anaphylactic reactions to food increased 377 percent between 2007 and 2016. Another company, Safe + Fair, says its chocolate chip cookie is free of nuts, but does contain wheat, egg and soy. The company, which recently completed a $10 million Series C funding round, is developing a line of nut-free cookies and crackers called Skeeter Snacks. [Image Credit: © Aney | Wikimedia Commons]
"Allergy-Free: The Next Gluten-Free?", NACS, July 24, 2018, © NACS
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Restaurant Bases Expansion Plans On Success Of Its “Doughboys”

July 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) restaurant Esperanto has signed wholesale distribution deals to bring its popular “doughboy” cheese-and-chicken-stuffed pockets to convenience stores, entertainment venues, and college campuses. The restaurant says it already sells hundreds of thousands of doughboys a year and is planning to acquire more space so it can ramp up production to more than a million. Expansion began when convenience store chain Stewart’s Shops started carrying the product in 12 of its stores. Doughboys contain sautéed diced chicken breast, cheeses, and scallions baked in pizza dough. Gluten-free and vegetarian versions are available as well. Says owner William Pouch: “People are going nuts over the product."[Image Credit: © Esperanto Restaurant]

Chelsea Diana, "Esperanto owners opening commercial bakery to bring its infamous doughboys to bigger market", Albany Business Review, July 23, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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British Company To Open Waste Food Catering Business

July 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A British non-profit company is planning to use unused food to offer catering and meal services to people, businesses and organizations, beginning in September. Real Junk Food Manchester’s program will focus on commercial outside catering services such as buffets and hot meals. The venture will be housed in a large commercial kitchen in partnership with a local social housing provider and will collaborate with local charity and public-sector groups to supply meals to vulnerable people across the city. RJFM opened its first waste food pay-as-you-feel restaurant concept last year as a short-term pop-up concept and doubled in size. [Image Credit: © Real Junk Food Manchester]

"British firm Real Junk Food Manchester to open waste food catering business", MarketLine NewsWire , July 23, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Tomatoes With Longer Shelf Life Will Soon Reach Market

July 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, tomato food waste costs American households $2.3 billion annually. But California-based food technology company Arcadia Biosciences and hybrid seed developer Shriram Bioseed may have come up with a solution. They announced development of extended shelf life (ESL) tomatoes with improved yield and fruit quality. The new hybrids are in the pre-commercial, wide-area field testing stage with anticipated launch in 2019. Arcadia used a non-GM advanced screening and breeding technique called TILLING to screen genetic variations that allow tomatoes to fully ripen on the vine yet remain durable enough to survive the packing and shipping process.

"Arcadia Biosciences and Shriram Bioseed Reach Milestone in Developing Extended Shelf Life Tomatoes", Plus Company Updates (PCU), July 20, 2018, © Arcadia Biosciences
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Which? Study Shows A Third Of Plastic Packaging Used By UK Retailers Hard To Recycle

July 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Results of an analysis by Which?, a consumer group, revealed that as much as 29 percent of plastic packaging used by UK retailers is non-recyclable through the usual collection schemes or hard to recycle. Results of the study of packaging used for 27 everyday private-label products sold by 10 leading retail chains showed Lidl had the lowest percentage of easily recyclable packaging at 71 percent. Morrisons topped the results with 81 percent of tested products with packaging considered widely recyclable.[Image Credit: © Anja Osenberg]
Rebecca Smithers , "One-third of UK supermarket plastic is not easily recyclable, analysis shows", The Guardian, July 19, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Calif. Court Rules Acrylamide Warning On Breakfast Cereals Not Necessary

July 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A California appeals court has ruled that healthful whole grains trump potential cancer-causing chemicals when it comes to food labeling. The court said breakfast cereals like Cheerios and Grape-Nuts Flakes do not have to put a warning label about a chemical ingredient that may cause cancer under the state's Proposition 65, because the labels could discourage consumers from buying healthful foods. The cereals contain the chemical acrylamide, but so do other foods, the court said, including peanut butter, rye and whole wheat bread, sunflower seeds, and prune juice. [Image Credit: © Amin | Wikimedia Commons]
Bob Egelko, "Cancer labels on cereal ruled unnecessary; Breakfast cereals don't need cancer warnings, California court rules", The San Francisco Chronicle (California), July 18, 2018, © Hearst
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Food Freshness Card Honored As Best New Food Safety Solution

July 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Food Freshness Card developed by Natures Natural Solutions was recently named the Best New Safety Solution by United Fresh. The card is laboratory and commercially tested to keep food fresher longer, according to the company, whose mission is to address the global problem of food waste and spoilage, “inside and outside of a refrigerator.” The Food Freshness Card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs and encodes information on a substrate enabling it to extend shelf life. It can prolong freshness at any point in the food chain: from the farm to packaging, pallet, container, distributor and retailer. The company says supermarkets that use the card average an instant 20 percent decrease in shrink/spoilage and prevent more than $3,000 a month per store in waste. [Image Credit: © FoodFreshnessCard.com]
"The Food Freshness Card; The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2018 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", PR Newswire, July 16, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Danone Introduces Fermented Milks, Yogurts Inspired By International Recipes

July 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone has launched a range of fermented milks and yogurts in the U.K. that it says are “inspired by authentic recipes” from around the world. The two fermented milks (250 g, $1.95) in the Danone of the World lineup include an Indian-style Lassi drink and a Turkish-inspired Ayran drink. Among the yogurts are a Greek-style Straggisto yogurt (140 g, $1.30), a fat-free, high protein Icelandic-inspired Skyr yogurt (140g, RRP $1.30), and a Lebanese-style Laban yogurt, (250g, $1.95). A Danone spokesperson said the new products represent “a real market growth opportunity for retailers.”
Andrew Sykes , "The Danone of the World yogurts launched", Retail Times, July 16, 2018, © RetailTimes.co.U.K.
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Indiana Bakery Chain Debuts Vegetable Breads

July 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) restaurant Esperanto has signed wholesale distribution deals to bring its popular “doughboy” cheese-and-chicken-stuffed pockets to convenience stores, entertainment venues, and college campuses. The restaurant says it already sells hundreds of thousands of doughboys a year and is planning to acquire more space so it can ramp up production to more than a million. Expansion began when convenience store chain Stewart’s Shops started carrying the product in 12 of its stores. Doughboys contain sautéed diced chicken breast, cheeses, and scallions baked in pizza dough. Gluten-free and vegetarian versions are available as well. Says owner William Pouch: “People are going nuts over the product."[Image Credit: © Esperanto Restaurant]

Sherry Slater, "Bread gaining vegetables Aunt Millie's new brands appeal to diet-conscious", Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, July 15, 2018, © www.journalgazette.net
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Morrisons Rewards Shoppers For Returning Plastic Bottles

July 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Supermarket company Morrisons has started a deposit return schemes by placing vending machines for plastic bottles at its stores in North Yorkshire and Scotland. Part of the company’s efforts to promote recycling of plastics, the program will reward shoppers for every plastic bottle they return with coupon for 100 Morrisons More points or let customers donate 10p to charity organization CLIC Sargent, which helps children and young people who have cancer.[Image Credit: © Morrisons Ltd]

Michael Holder, "Morrisons trials plastic bottle return machines with offer of reward points or charity donation", Business Green, July 13, 2018, © Incisive Business Media (IP) Limited
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US Foods Cleans Up Four Of Its Product Lines

July 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. Foods Holding Corp. announced that four of its product lines will be produced with clean label profiles. The Metro Deli, Rykoff Sexton, Chefs Line, and Stock Yards Exclusive Brand products will be made with simple, more recognizable ingredients by avoiding, removing or replacing ingredients and food additives found on the company’s new “Unpronounceables List.” The list comprises more than 80 ingredients the company will avoid using in more than 1,000 of its Exclusive Brand products. Product ingredient labels across the four best-quality Exclusive Brands will now be free of ingredients such as artificial flavors, artificial (FD&C) colors, high-fructose corn syrup, disodium guanylate, sodium benzoate, and monosodium glutamate. [Image Credit: © US Foods]
"United States : U.S. Foods Introduces Clean Labels Across Four of the Company’s Exclusive Brands", Business Wire , July 13, 2018, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Today’s Energy Drinks Contain Exotic Energizing Ingredients

July 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to a recent food and health survey, energy is one of the three main health benefits consumers desire. A major trend in the beverage industry is drinks that provide energy from sources of caffeine, vitamins, and an array of natural energizers. Campbell Soups V8 +Energy, for example, combines fruit and vegetable juices with green tea (with 80 mg of caffeine) and B vitamins, delivering wakefulness rather than a wired feeling. Synapse optimizes brain function using “nootropics:” vitamins, minerals, herbs, and organic compounds that enhance cognition without negative side effects. The key ingredient in Synapse is acetylcholine, a molecule used by the brain for maintaining attention and focus. Among other innovative ingredients in the new generation of energy drinks are: caffeine from brewed coffee and green tea; coffee fruit; guarana extract; guayusa extract; caffeine-free Korean ginseng; and coenzyme Q10.
Donna Berry, "Alternative forms of energy beverages", Food Business News, July 12, 2018, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Albertsons Extends Organic And Natural Foods Lines To Online Market

July 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Privately-owned grocery chain Albertsons has launched an Instacart-powered virtual store offering organic and natural foods and beverages. According to the Idaho-based company, the O Organics Market will be available at first in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Calif., but will expand to other locations in the future. The online market will carry more than 3,800 items from the O Organics, Open Nature, and other organic and natural brands available in its stores, which include Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, and United Supermarkets, among others. [Image Credit: © Albertsons Companies]
"Albertsons Companies launches O Organics Market in San Francisco and Washington D.C.", GlobeNewswire , July 12, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Technological Advances Disrupt Meat Industry, Prompt Industry Leaders To Adapt

July 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Digital disruption, the process by which technological changes are forcing businesses worldwide to re-invent their operations and products, is also affecting the meat industry. Recent steps taken by industry leaders Cargill and Tyson Foods, Inc., are providing a clear insight on how digital innovations are upending the market. For example, Cargill has disposed of its 153-year-old business model to become a “modern, flexible, integrated food company.” For its part, Tyson launched its Tyson Ventures investment arm, which has invested in laboratory-grown meat startups Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats. Also, technology is transforming the industry’s supply chain into a “shortened, more transparent, completely disrupted” model. 

Greg Henderson, "Digital Disruption: Technology is Transforming the Meat Business", Drovers.com, July 12, 2018, © Farm Journal, Inc.
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Leading Brands Employ Blockchain To Get Most Value From Online Advertising

July 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Leading brands, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, AT&T Inc., and Kellogg Co., are adopting blockchain technology to ensure that their online advertising is viewed by real people and not by computer-generated bots. Also, these major brands seek to use the technology to determine how much of their ad spending goes to middlemen. Designed as a “secure digital database” that can host a “record book” of transactions, blockchain lets business partners to maintain a record of their dealings and transactions. These data cannot be edited. 

Lara O’Reilly, "Big Advertisers Embrace Blockchain to Root Out Digital Spending Waste", Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc
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Companies, Cities Announce Anti-Plastic Straws Plans And Policies

July 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Several companies have announced their plans to stop using plastic straws, while a number of towns and cities have revealed proposals to ban single-use plastics and fine firms and organizations that will not comply. Starbucks said it plans to remove all plastic straws from its stores by 2020 and replace them with recyclable plastic lids for cold beverages. Starting September 1, 2018, plastic straws would only be available by request at its hotels, Hyatt said. For its part, Hilton Hotels said it plans to remove plastic straws from 650 locations in 2018.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures]

Erin Corbett , "These 8 Companies Are Ditching Plastic Straws. Here’s How They Are Replacing Them", Fortune.com, July 11, 2018, © Time Inc.
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Carrefour Expands Blockchain-Enabled Supply Chain Testing To Include Tomatoes

July 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Carrefour is expanding its blockchain trial to include Filiere Qualite-branded Cauralina coer de boeuf tomatoes. According to the French retailer, the move is aimed at ensuring the transparency and traceability of its food supply chain. Carrefour has partnered with tomato supplier Les Paysans de Rougeline to support what it describes as “local, innovative and sustainable agriculture.” Blockchain technology allows the creation of a secure digital database, ensuring the integrity of information submitted or changed by users.[Image Credit: © Carrefour]

Mike Knowles, "Carrefour rolls out tomato blockchain trial", Eurofruit, July 11, 2018, © Market Intelligence Ltd - Fruitnet.com
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Specialty Breads Eyes 50-Percent Cut In Plastics Use By 2020

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Specialty Breads, a company that supplies frozen bread and dough to restaurants, hotels, pubs, cafés and caterers, has announced its plan to reduce by 50 percent its use of single-use plastics by 2020. Also, the company said it aims to use recyclable or recycled packaging, use solar cooling to enhance efficiency of refrigerators, provide sales staff with low emission or hybrid cars, and achieve zero-landfill status for its bakery operations.[Image Credit: © Specialty Breads Ltd]

Vince Bamford, "Speciality Breads aiming to halve single-use plastics", Bakery Info UK, July 10, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Introduces Functional Probiotic Soft Drink To Japanese Market

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola Japan has introduced its third product in the “Fanta Double Plus” line of functional soft drinks that contain "vitamins and seasonal ingredients". Limited edition Fanta Yogurtropical, containing vitamin B and “lactic acid bacteria” debuted in July at $1.26 per 16-ounce bottle, and 49 calories per 3.4-ounce serving. The range also includes Fanta Pineapple GABA, containing gamma-aminobutyric acid and vitamin B.

"Coca-Cola Japan's Fanta Yogurtropical - Product Launch", just-drinks.com, July 10, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Company’s Advanced Monitoring Technology Ensures Food Freshness

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Zest Labs, a specialist in food monitoring technologies, is marketing its Zest Fresh solution using analytics and data to determine the remaining freshness of transported food and to enable proactive decision-making throughout the supply chain. Zest Fresh reduces or eliminate waste at its source by harnessing the right data at the right time – in the field at harvest, for example, in the case of fresh produce. The technology uses a “freshness metric" dubbed the Zest Intelligent Pallet Routing (ZIPR) Code to provide growers, shippers and retailers with the actual remaining shelf life of food products, including meat, poultry, and fish. This enables intelligent routing that ensures each pallet meets the retailer’s freshness requirements. [Image Credit: © Zest Labs]
"Zest Labs Seeks to Prevent Food Waste at Harvest Level by Using IoT Technology", waste360.com, July 09, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Company’s Advanced Monitoring Technology Ensures Food Freshness

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Zest Labs, a specialist in food monitoring technologies, is marketing its Zest Fresh solution using analytics and data to determine the remaining freshness of transported food and to enable proactive decision-making throughout the supply chain. Zest Fresh reduces or eliminate waste at its source by harnessing the right data at the right time – in the field at harvest, for example, in the case of fresh produce. The technology uses a “freshness metric" dubbed the Zest Intelligent Pallet Routing (ZIPR) Code to provide growers, shippers and retailers with the actual remaining shelf life of food products, including meat, poultry, and fish. This enables intelligent routing that ensures each pallet meets the retailer’s freshness requirements. [Image Credit: © Zest Labs]
"Zest Labs Seeks to Prevent Food Waste at Harvest Level by Using IoT Technology", waste360.com, July 09, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Mock-Meats Maker Says Its Products Are Strictly Clean Label

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Ashville, N.C.-based start-up No Evil Foods hopes to differentiate itself from makers of “mock-meats” that use highly-processed ingredients and protein isolates. The company has applied clean label principles to the production of plant-based meat products that are small batch and sustainable. Instead of isolated proteins, the company uses a chickpea and European wheat flour base that is texturized and seasoned to make four products. The portfolio includes Comrade Cluck vegan chicken, a chorizo sausage, an Italian sausage that comes in links, and smoked pulled pork barbeque. The mock-meats are very low fat – they contain no added fats or oils – are cholesterol free, and protein-rich. [Image Credit: © No Evil Foods]

"No Evil Foods' mock meats marry plant-based and clean-label trends", FoodNavigator-USA.com, July 09, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Starbucks Says Goodbye To Plastic Straws, Says Hello To Earth-Friendly Lids

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffeeshop chain Starbucks has announced plans to stop using plastic straws at its more than 28,000 locations worldwide by 2020. Part of the company’s efforts to reduce waste and protect the environment, the move will also see Starbucks replacing plastic straws with the recyclable lid developed by Emily Alexander, an engineer at the chain’s Global Research and Development. At present, the recyclable lids are used for some drinks, including Draft Nitro and Cold Foam in more than 8,000 locations in the US and Canada. These lids will be used for all iced drinks, the company said, except Frappuccino, which will have a straw made from paper or compostable plastic made from fermented plant starch or other environment-friendly material.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]

Bonnie Rochman , "Straws are out, lids are in: Starbucks announces environmental milestone", Starbucks Newsroom, July 09, 2018, © Starbucks Corporation
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US Foods Reformulates Product Lines With Clean Label In Mind

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Foodservice distributor US Foods Holding Corp. has reformulated its entire line of Metro Deli, Rykoff Sexton, Chef's Line, and Stock Yards Exclusive Brand products to create “clean label” profiles for its restaurant and foodservice customers. The move, a part of its “Unpronounceable List” initiative, was designed to offer products with simple recognizable ingredients by avoiding, removing or replacing more than 80 listed ingredients from 1,000 Exclusive Brand products. These ingredients include artificial flavors, artificial (FD&C) colors, high-fructose corn syrup, disodium guanylate, sodium benzoate, and monosodium glutamate. According to the company’s data, 46 percent of Millennials would be more likely to buy a product with no artificial ingredients. [Image Credit: © US Foods]

"US Foods Introduces Clean Labels Across Four of the Company's Exclusive Brands; More than 1,000 Products Now Include Simple, More Recognizable Ingredients", Business Wire, July 09, 2018, © Business Wire, Inc
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India’s Kerala State Taps Blockchain, IoT To Upgrade Food Supply Chain

July 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

In India, the state of Kerala is planning to use a combination of blockchain technology and the Internet of Things to improve its food supply, including milk, vegetable, and fish. Being implemented through the state’s Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council, the program aims to use separate ID tags for each food shipment to keep track of food products across the supply chain. To ensure fast and reliable delivery and prevent food waste, each part of the supply chain will include radio frequency identification or RFID tags integrated with mobile apps. 

Toshendra Kumar Sharma , "Kerala to use Blockchain Technology for Food Supply", Blockchain Council, July 08, 2018, © Blockchain Council
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Expenditures On Food Waste Reduction Significantly Reduce Operating Costs

July 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Champions 12.3 organization has determined that every dollar food service operators spend on programs to curb food waste results in a six-dollar reduction in operating costs. Researchers looked at financial cost and benefit data for 86 sites – including hospitals, schools, sports arenas, and similar facilities – in six countries and found that within one year, the sites had reduced food waste by 36 percent on average, and 64 percent had recouped their investment. The food service operators involved in the study invested in various food waste reduction programs, including purchasing smart scales or similar technology to measure their food waste, training staff in measurement and techniques to reduce waste, and redesigning menus. Seventy-nine percent of sites were able to keep their total investment in food waste reduction below $10,000.
Mike Buzalka, "Report: $1 investment on food waste reduction saves $6", Food Management (Penton), July 06, 2018, © Informa business
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Expenditures On Food Waste Reduction Significantly Reduce Operating Costs

July 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Champions 12.3 organization has determined that every dollar food service operators spend on programs to curb food waste results in a six-dollar reduction in operating costs. Researchers looked at financial cost and benefit data for 86 sites – including hospitals, schools, sports arenas, and similar facilities – in six countries and found that within one year, the sites had reduced food waste by 36 percent on average, and 64 percent had recouped their investment. The food service operators involved in the study invested in various food waste reduction programs, including purchasing smart scales or similar technology to measure their food waste, training staff in measurement and techniques to reduce waste, and redesigning menus. Seventy-nine percent of sites were able to keep their total investment in food waste reduction below $10,000.
Mike Buzalka, "Report: $1 investment on food waste reduction saves $6", Food Management (Penton), July 06, 2018, © Informa business
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Sales Growth Of Natural, Organic Foods Outpaces Industry

July 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The SPINS data service for the organic products industry finds that natural food and beverage sales growth is outpacing growth for conventional foods nationally. Some of the differences in sales growth are “striking,” the company said. For the year ending May 20, sales growth was nine percent, compared to 0.6 percent for the food industry overall. In the Mid-South, overall food product growth was only 1.7 percent, but nine percent for natural food and beverages. Market penetration of natural foods and beverages varies by region: 13.1 percent of the market in California, but only 5.5 percent in the four-state South Central region (Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas). SPINS said the fast-rising consumer demand is prompting major conventional grocery chains to “raise their good food game,” and is putting pressure on other competitors. [Image Credit: © Whole Foods Market]

"Every U.S. region seeing serious growth in natural food and beverage sales", NewHope, July 06, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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GacLife Functional Water Based On Southeast Asian Fruit Debuts Soon In U.S. Fitness Market

July 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California start-up GacLife next month will introduce its eponymous functional still and sparkling water infused with  Southeast Asian gac, an orange fruit rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and lycopene. The “rare superfruit” was created by entrepreneur Yin Zou as “a response to severe skin irritants and eye troubles we experience daily due to digital burnout.” The product is available in 12-oz bottles, each containing 20 milligrams of carotenoids, “the equivalent of one head of cabbage, five large tomatoes, 15 large carrots and 30 bunches of spinach.” The drink has 15 calories per bottle, no added or artificial sugars, and is available in lemon, pineapple, peach, sparkling mango, sparkling lemon, and sparkling passion fruit flavors.
Beth Newhart, "Rare Asian ‘superfruit’ shines in new line of functional, flavored water", Beverage Daily, July 05, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Israeli Firm Develops Flavor Agent To Replace MSG

July 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Israeli food company Salt of the Earth has replaced flavoring ingredient monosodium glutamate (MSG) in its ranch dressing with an all-natural sodium-reduction ingredient based on vegetable extracts and sea salt. Mediterranean Umami was tested in many ranch dressing formulations. The tests resulted in a compound that maintained the true flavor of Ranch dressing, but with 30 percent less sodium, and no MSG or yeast extracts. According to the company, MSG leads to “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” a group of symptoms now known as MSG Symptom Complex. They can include headache, skin flushing, and sweating. Mediterranean Umami does not trigger side-effects and is a clean-label product evoking no negative consumer health reactions, the company says. [Image Credit: © Salt of the Earth]

"Healthier Savory Dishes With All-natural Mediterranean Umami; Replacing MSG in Ranch Dressing--Naturally", PR Newswire, July 05, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola Readies Seed-Based Breakfast Drink For Belgian Consumers

July 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Belgian newspaper reports that Coca-Cola has developed a plant-based, lactose-free breakfast drink at a lab in Brussels. AdeZ is a reworking of the brand name Ades – short for Alimentos de Semilla (“foods based on seeds”) – a popular South American line acquired last year. The product being developed for the Belgian market comprises six flavors formulated with seeds, nuts, and fruit. It will debut in August.
Alan Hope, "Coke lab in Anderlecht working on breakfast soft drink", The Brussels Times, July 04, 2018, © The Brussels Times
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