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Nestle Launches Two Nitrogen-Infused Nescafé Coffee Beverages

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a coffee drink in two flavors infused with nitrogen in the U.K. and Ireland. The nitrogen infusion gives Nescafé Azera Nitro’s flavors a smoother taste, according to the company. The Nitro Latte is a creamier version of the drink, made with coffee sourced through the Nescafé Plan, a responsible coffee production and sustainability initiative. Nestlé Professional will offer chilled Nescafé Azera Nitro Americano on tap in British and Irish bars, pubs, restaurants, and across the hospitality sector.
"Nestle Brings Innovative Nitrogen Infused Coffee to the UK – Introducing ‘Nescafé Azera Nitro' Americano and Latte", News release, Nestlé, March 20, 2018, © Nestlé
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New Healthful Doughnuts Feature Protein, Much Less Sugar, Much More Fiber

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Texas-based start-up thinks it has an answer for health-conscious doughnut lovers. Elite Sweets has debuted a more healthful, protein-based alternative to the calorie-packed breakfast pastry. The company says its "protein doughnuts" are the perfect post-workout snack for athletes. Each contains16 grams of protein, a significant contribution to the 56 grams recommended daily for the average sedentary man. Conventional doughnuts contain about 300 calories, 20 to 30 grams of sugar, and no protein. The Elite Sweets cinnamon sugar version, sweetened with stevia, contains about 200 calories, two grams of sugar, and 15 grams of fat, mainly from the almond flour used, and 12 grams of dietary fiber. The protein doughnuts also come in peanut butter, birthday cake, and chocolate chip flavors..[Image Credit: © Elite Sweets ]
Pam LeBlanc, "Can Doughnuts be Healthy? Elite Sweets Thinks they can", Austin360, March 20, 2018, © Cox Media Group
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U.S. NAFTA Negotiators Want To Limit Ability To Mandate Junk Food Warning Labels

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to confidential documents obtained by The New York Times, the Trump administration – spurred on by U.S. food and soft drink manufacturers – is using trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico to limit governmental power to mandate food labels that warn of the dangers of eating junk food. U.S. trade negotiators want to bar the use of any warning symbol, shape or color that "inappropriately denotes that a hazard exists from consumption of the food or non-alcoholic beverages." Health officials and advocates are concerned that eliminating such warnings would harm international efforts to contain the growing obesity crisis.
AZAM AHMED, MATT RICHTEL and ANDREW JACOBS, "In Nafta Talks, U.S. Tries to Limit Junk Food Warning Labels", The New York Times, March 20, 2018, © The New York Times
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Company’s AI Technology May Provide Answer To Food Industry Supply Chain Waste

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A high-tech home food delivery start-up that is using artificial intelligence technologies to modernize the grocery supply chain has launched a B2B platform targeting food industry companies. Farmstead’s FreshAI model would benefit supermarkets, cafeterias, food production facilities, restaurants, quick service food chains, and convenience stores that need to reduce food waste and improve profit margins. Current methods of supplying stores cause supermarkets to discard 35-40 percent of all perishable foods, the company said. FreshAI, however, allows food businesses to upload operations data securely. The platform then provides daily and weekly recommendations on exactly how much to order of each SKU based on historical sales and consumer tastes.. [Image Credit: © Farmsted   ]
"Farmstead Launches New 'Fresh AI' Platform That Applies Artificial Intelligence To Help Food Companies Reduce Waste And Improve Margins", News release, Farmstead, March 20, 2018, © Farmstead
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Tingyi Reports Rising Revenues, Profit In 2017

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Instant noodle maker Tingyi (Cayman Islands) posted a fiscal year profit of $287.74 million, a 57 percent increase from a restated $184.5 profit a year earlier. The performance was just beat the Thomson Reuters analyst consensus forecast of $275.5 million. The results ended of four years of sliding growth. Revenue was up 6.1 percent at the same time that distribution, advertising, and promotion expenses fell. But the company, a Chinese partner of Starbucks and PepsiCo, warned of financial headwinds from a volatile global economy, rising raw material costs and growing consumer preferences for more healthful foods. The company said it will further reduce capital expenditure, upgrade products, and promote national food safety standards.
 
"China's Tingyi 2017 Profit Soars 57%, Raw Material Costs Pose Challenge", Star Online, March 20, 2018, © Star Media Group Berhad
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Technology Duplicates Local Water Formula For Authentic Local Baked Goods

March 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Water, water everywhere, but only New York City water makes genuine New York pizzas. At least that’s the theory behind a patent-pending technology developed by a Big Apple start-up. New York WaterMaker, whose product duplicates the molecular structure of local water, says it is drawing interest from foodservice companies around the world. The “water replication system” allows restaurants, pizzerias, bakeries, bagel stores, etc., to replicate the specific type of water used in a specific geographic location, such as New York City or San Francisco. According to the company, restaurants around the world have wasted millions of dollars trying to copy New York City food taste and quality. Now, using the WaterMaker system, “recipes will be tastier, bread will be crispier, and pizza and bagels will be authentic New York City style, not an imitation.” [Image Credit: © New York Watermaker   ]
"New York WaterMaker to Enable Restaurateurs to Serve Genuine New York City Pizza and Bagels Anywhere", News release, New York WaterMaker, March 19, 2018, © New York WaterMaker
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High-Tech “Bumpy” Labels May Extend Shelf Life Of Perishable Foods

March 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British dairy products maker Arla is testing high-tech food labels that gain a “bumpy” texture as food goes bad. When products like milk, cheese, and cream reach the end of their shelf life, gelatin in the label reacts to changes in the packaged food and temperature outside. The resulting molecular breakdown causes the packaging to develop bumps that consumers can see and feel. They no longer need to sniff the product to determine whether it is still safe to eat or drink. Arla teamed up with food technology company Mimica Touch to create the technology that could give suppliers the confidence to offer longer shelf-lives by calculating expire dates based on a best-case scenario. [Image Credit: ©   Mimica Touch]
Adam Bennett, "Bumpy Labels that Signal When Food Has Gone off Are Set to be introduced for Dairy Products", The Telegraph, March 18, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Food/Beverage Companies Using Texture To Elevate Flavor

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Texture is increasingly important in the world of food and beverages, according to Mintel, which has been following texture trends in new product launches.  Several have used texture in novel, interesting ways, including jam with nuts for an extra crunch to drinks with basil seeds. Nature Valley granola-type bars, for example, feature a chocolate base, a nutty center, and a creamy nut butter topping. A German “superfood drink” (Friya Rose Blossom & Sour Cherry) contains water-soaked basil seeds rich in iron and magnesium, as well as polyphenols. Fanta Jelly Fizz is an Australia-launched soft drink that contains liquid jelly pieces “activated” after shaking the can. Other examples of new textured products include: Muso From Japan’s Sansho Pepper Furikake, Arteta’s DayUp Pearls, and Mindfuel Cacao & Cayenne Pepper Posh Teff Porridge. [Image Credit: © Fanta]
Katya Witham, "Innovative Product Launches Utilising Texture", Blog entry, Mintel, March 16, 2018, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Voracious Fly Larvae Offer An Interesting Food Waste Solution

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
For a long time, composters the world over have known about the amazing ability of ravenous black soldier fly larvae [left] to break down food waste and create rich plant fertilizer. Now scientists at the National University of Singapore – which has an abundance of the species – are working to breed the fittest, hungriest flies. At the same time, Singapore's first insect farm, Insectta, is turning about 500 kg of food waste from food suppliers, stalls, and homes into fertilizer every day by 100 kg of black soldier fly larvae. The fertilizer is then used to grow kale, lettuce, and other vegetables. Researchers at Insectta are also studying how the larvae can be turned into other products, like pet food.. [Image Credit: ©  Blacksoldierflyblog.com ]
Samantha Boh, "Using Insect Army to Fight Food Waste", The Straitstimes, March 16, 2018, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.
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Kraft Heinz Gearing Up To Enter Healthful Snack Arena With Nut-Based Treats

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The burgeoning health and wellness trend in snacks has caught the attention of one of the major players. Kraft Heinz plans to launch healthful snacks that feature nuts as their main ingredient, mainly almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pecans. The planned launches were showcased at the recent Snaxpo meeting in Atlanta, Ga. Prototypes included Korean gochujang-spiced nuts, maple bacon-flavored roasted pecan clusters, and energy balls. In preparation for the entry into healthful snacks, the Kraft Heinz Ingredients business unit has been processing nuts for several years at its plants in the southeastern and southcentral U.S. It will use proprietary salting and roasting techniques to create the snacks. [Image Credit: © Kraft Heinz]
Douglas Yu, "Kraft Heinz Ingredients Eyes Nuts as Snacks to Deliver Health", BakeryAndSnacks.com, March 16, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Jennie-O Cleans Up Its Processed Turkey Line

March 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel Foods subsidiary Jennie-O has debuted 17 “on-trend turkey products,” including flavored turkey bacon, taco-seasoned turkey sausage, and uncured turkey breast franks. The franks are made with premium turkey breast and have half the fat of beef franks. They contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no added nitrites or nitrates, and are gluten free. The company’s other new products also boast of less fat and no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. [Image Credit: © Jennie-O]
"Frankly Delicious: Jennie-O Unveils New Product Innovations, Including First-In-Category Uncured Turkey Breast Franks ", News release, Jennie-O Turkey Store, via PR Newswire, March 15, 2018, © Jennie-O
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Booming Healthful Snack Industry Is Roiling With Innovation, Acquisition Fever

March 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers – Millennials especially – love healthful snacks. Ninety percent admit to snacking multiple times a day, a fact that underpins the burgeoning growth of the sector to more than $100 billion a year. Lots of healthful snack start-ups have entered the industry, and some have already gotten successful enough to attract the interest of larger players, like Snyder's-Lance, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, and Conagra Brands. There have been several acquisitions (viz., Kellogg’s purchase of healthful snack producer "RX Bar" brand). In the coming years, according to Mintel market research, a major trend will be "functional nighttime snacks." Companies offering this category of snacks could be prime acquisition targets of the big players. Microcapspeculators.com offers thumbnail sketches of recent events involving those players..[Image Credit: © RXBAR]
"Healthy Snacking Companies that are Poised for a Bigger Piece of the Pie", News release, Microcap Speculators, March 15, 2018, © Microcap Speculators
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Freezing Bread At Home Would Help Cut Down On Food Waste

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
More than 24 million slices of bread are tossed into the trash every day in the U.K. because it has not been consumed in time. It’s a huge food waste problem that has some simple solutions. Fifty-six percent of Britons aged 18 to 34 eat bread at least four days a week, a poll found, and 31 percent eat it every day. Sixty-nine percent throw bread away every week and 26 percent know they can make toast straight from frozen bread, but don’t do it. A representative of food waste group Love Food Hate Waste said if everyone stored their bread in the freezer it would keep fresh longer and reduce food waste. “You can even use bread straight from the freezer to make toast without needing to defrost it first," said Sarah Clayton.. [Image Credit: ©  LivingWellSpendingLess.com ]
James Andrews, "Simple Mistake Most Young Brits are Making with their Bread - and It's Costing Them", Mirror, March 14, 2018, © MGN Limited
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STōK Debuts New Cold-Brewed Coffee, Tea Lines

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Cold brew beverage company STōK has added two cold brew drinks, including a high-protein coffee, and a range of teas. The new cold brewed teas, dubbed STōK Yerba Mate Cold Brew Teas, will be available in two flavors, Slightly Sweet and Peach. The drinks contain 75 percent more caffeine than standard RTD iced teas. The STōK Protein Cold Brew Coffee contains 16g of protein per serving, the equivalent of “two large eggs and a slice of bacon,” according to the company, which is owned by DanoneWave. The new lines will be available in the U.S. in 48 oz bottles beginning this month.
"Danone-Owned Stok Releases Two New Cold Brew Drinks in the US", FoodBev, March 14, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Company’s Non-GMO Wheat Varieties Contain 94% Amylose, Resistant Starch

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agricultural technology company Arcadia Biosciences of Davis, Calif., announced advancements in its high-fiber resistant starch development program. Its non-transgenic (non-GMO) wheat varieties contain as much as 94 percent amylose and resistant starch. It used advanced screening and traditional breeding techniques to accomplish this. The company also said these wheat varieties deliver enough dietary fiber to qualify for the FDA’s “Good Source” of fiber or “High in Fiber” designation on consumer packaging. Arcadia said the new wheat varieties will provide the health benefits of resistant starch and dietary fiber, “while satisfying consumer demand for clean-label, natural foods.” The company is working with a few CPG companies to develop more healthful formulations of existing products, using both enriched and whole wheat RS Wheat flour. [Image Credit: © Arcadia Biosciences ]
"Arcadia Biosciences Achieves Key Resistant Starch Wheat Technology Milestones, Prepares for Commercial Launch", News release, Arcadia Biosciences, March 14, 2018, © Arcadia Biosciences
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U.K. Snackers Are Getting More Adventurous

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Snack companies have detected that consumers in the U.K. are looking for more exotic, adventurous, bold flavors in their chips. So product launches there have included smoked salmon glitter chips, prawn cocktail chips, green lemon & pink peppercorn and serrano chili & Yucatan honey tortilla chips, beef barbacoa & dill pickle, Manomasa chargrilled pineapple & arbol, lime & coriander chutney poppadoms, and wasabi & ginger. Market data support the trend. The Grocer polled 1,185 Brits found 20 percent regularly sample new chips. Thirty-nine percent regularly or always experiment with new and exciting flavors, Harris Interactive found. Sixty percent of 25- to 34-year-olds experiment with snacks. [Image Credit: ©   Manomasa]
Ash O’Mahony, "Snacking Gets Exotic: on the Hunt for Unusual Flavours", The Grocer, March 14, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bolthouse Expands Organic Portfolio With Plant-Protein, Cold-Pressed Drinks

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms is expanding its 1915 Organic beverage portfolio with several plant-based and cold-pressed products. The protein drinks contain 12 grams of pea-protein, nine grams of sugar, have no more than 160 calories, and come in four flavors. The two new sugar-free cold-pressed juices are available in cucumber a green (leafy green vegetables, ginger, moringa), and watermelon and lemon. The USDA-certified organic beverages are vegan, non-GMO, and packaged in 12-oz. bottles ($3.99). The company has begun packaging its beverages in sustainable, eco-friendly bottles that use 25 percent less plastic.
Gisselle Gaitan, "Bolthouse Farms Goes Plant-Based with 1915 Organic Juices", Drug Store News, March 13, 2018, © Drug Store News
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Retail Grocer Private-Label Brands Are An Evolving Threat To Major CPG Brands

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Big CPG companies in the U.S. are beset on all sides by competition – from fast-moving start-ups exploiting evolving consumer eating trends, and also from private-label or retail store brands. Industry expert Victor Martino says the threat from grocery chain private-label is serious. It represents a paradigm shift in consumer attitudes about products and brands. Martino says U.S. consumers are getting more like Europeans who generally view private brands as simply brands. Private brand penetration there is approaching a 40 percent share of branded CPG sales. In the U.S., store-brand innovators like Trader Joe's, Kroger, Albertsons, Costco and Whole Foods – and now Walmart and German grocery chains Aldi and Lidl – are offering something beyond private label: they are quality, lower-price products that compete seriously with the big brands. Martino offers some insights for the name brand players on how to compete effectively. [Image Credit: ©   Kroger]
Victor Martino, "Why Private-Label has Reached Tipping Point in US - and What to Do", Just-Food, March 13, 2018, © just-food.com
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Smoothie Chain Reformulates To Offer Clean Label Menu

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Smoothie King has added two whole organic spinach variants to its menu, which already includes carrot and kale smoothie offerings. Vegan pineapple spinach smoothie and lemon ginger spinach smoothies contain fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The company has launched a Cleaner Blending initiative to remove added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, added hormones in dairy, and GMO fruits and veggies from its offerings. In addition, the company has added in more whole fruits and vegetables. The company says it is on track to achieve its Cleaner Blending goals in more than 50 blends by the end of 2018. [Image Credit: © Smoothie King]
"Smoothie King Adds Organic Spinach To The Mix As Part Of Its 'Cleaner Blending' Initiative", News release, Smoothie King, via PR Newswire, March 13, 2018
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Cattle Growers Ask USDA To Clarify Labeling Of “Meat Products”

March 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), arguing that consumers need to be better informed about beef and alternative synthetic meat products, in February petitioned the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service for a change in the country’s food labeling system. Labels need to clearly distinguish between real beef and products formulated from plants or insects, as well as laboratory-grown products derived from animal cells, the USCA said. Products not derived from animals that are born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner, should not be permitted to be marketed as beef or meat products, the association said. [Image Credit: © USCA]
Simon Harvey, "US body calls for labeling distinctions for 'real meat' products", just-food, March 12, 2018, © just-food.com
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Artisanal Bakeries Thrive On Long Island

March 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The term “artisanal” has become a handy marketing claim these days, but when applied correctly it means handmade using traditional production methods. Several bakeries on Long Island can now make that claim because they are baking hand-formed loaves of artisanal bread – baguette, batard, boule, ciabatta, Pugliese, sesame-seeded semolina or caraway-seeded rye — using techniques that originated in France, Italy, and Germany. The trend began nearly 20 years ago with the opening of Blue Duck Bakery in Southampton and has since spread to other counties. Five genuinely artisanal bakeries now flourish in a region once known as “a dead zone for great bread.” [Image Credit: © Blue Duck Bakery]
Erica Marcus, "Long Island Bakeries Making Amazing Artisanal Breads", Newsday, March 12, 2018, © Newsday
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Further Localization Of Beverage Portfolio Is Coca-Cola’s Plan For Indian Market

March 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola India confirms that the company plans to introduce domestic  ethnic drinks and fruit juices with a goal of localizing two-thirds of the product line in the country. About half of the portfolio today comprises local brands like ThumsUp, Limca, Maaza, and RimZim that are formulated, produced, and sold in in India. T Krishnakumar said the goal is to have about a third of Coca-Cola’s product in India remain “basically global.” Its plans for juice are based on the realization that Indians “have a huge love for fruits,” he noted. The company’s “Ras Ras Mein India” program involves selecting a fruit in each state and converting it into juice.
"Coca-Cola Plans to Localise 2/3rd of Its Products Portfolio in India", The Economic Times, March 11, 2018, via PTI, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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South Dakota Governor Signs Bill Allowing Alcohol Use In Baked Goods

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A small family-owned cupcake bakery in South Dakota is back in business now that Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed legislation allowing the use of alcohol in baked goods and candy. Holly Jorgenson closed her Intoxibakes business when she found out that alcohol was an illegal ingredient, but local lawmakers rallied to her defense. The bipartisan legislation sailed through the state legislature. The new law allows mixing alcohol into confectionery and candy, as long as the alcohol volume is no more than .5 percent by weight. Businesses with a liquor license may use more if desired. [Image Credit: © Intoxibakes]
Patrick Anderson, "Governor Dennis Daugaard Signs Boozy Cupcake Bill", Argus Leader, March 09, 2018, © www.argusleader.com
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N.Z. Okays Merger Of Kraft-Heinz And Cerebos Gregg’s Food, Instant Coffee

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As long as Kraft-Heinz divests licenses for some sauce brands owned by Cerebos Gregg’s, the company can acquire the food and instant coffee businesses of the Suntory-owned business, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has ruled. Under the ruling, Kraft Heinz would have to divest the licenses for the Gregg’s brand of tomato ketchup, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, and the F. Whitlock Worcestershire sauce brand. Cerebos Gregg’s will become part of the Heinz Wattie division. The commission said that without the divestitures the acquisition would “result in a substantial lessening of competition in each of these markets.”
"Kraft Heinz Cleared to Purchase Cerebos Gregg’s from Suntory", FoodBev, March 09, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Fortifies Its Coconut Water Beachhead With New Zico Flavors

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is laying the groundwork to be a major player in the soon-to-be $7 billion global coconut water market, adding new flavors to its Zico brand family and building its portfolio of healthful, better-for-you beverages.  The company expects coconut water to be a $1.5 billion market domestically by 2020, though the climb will be a steep one, requiring lots of new customers who may have a tough time getting used to the flavor of coconut water. The solution to the problem is new flavors: it recently added chocolate, watermelon-raspberry, and jalapeño-mango to the line. In addition, newly-announced organic veggie juice-coconut water blends (ZICOCocoLixir) fuse two health-centric drinks: coconut water and cold-press juice. It may seem odd for sugary soda company Coca-Cola, but it says it is simply pursuing the new mission of becoming a “total beverage company” globally.
Kate Taylor, "Coca-Cola Wants to Dominate a $7 Billion Industry with a New Type of Beverage that's Taking Over the World", Business Insider, March 09, 2018, © Business Insider Inc
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Automated “Mini Bakery” Using AI, Data Analytics Technology, Targets Grocers

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Washington State-based baking company working with a marketing firm recently debuted a product that promises to “create fresh bread right in front of your eyes.” BreadBot is a mini-bakery targeted at retailers looking for a “local bakery feel” while reducing carbon footprint, eliminating preservatives, and reducing waste. The smart bread robot or "Mini Bakery", from Wilkinson Baking Company and Bonin Ventures, is fully automated, produces 10 loaves an hour, and uses smart technology like AI, big data analytics and facial recognition. It customizes each purchase experience, providing real-time insights into customer purchasing behavior for retailers. The product debuted early in March at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.  [Image Credit: © Wilkinson Baking Co.]
"Food for Thought - Bonin Ventures Backed #BreadBot Feeds SXSW's Hungry", News release, Wilkinson Baking Co., March 09, 2018, © Wilkinson Baking Co.
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Unilever Saves 30% With Its In-House Creative Content Production Agency

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever, the world's second largest advertiser is reducing the number of its advertising agencies from 3,000 to 1,500, by handling content production with U-Studios, its in-house creative agency. The 17 U-Studios in 12 countries now creates content for some of its brands. Savings are reinvested in marketing and in-store spend. And with online sales increasing by 80% last year, Unilever is also investing heavily in digital, leveraging its in-house People Data Centers for real-time analytics of consumer relationships.
Gideon Spanier, "Unilever claims 30% saving from handling content production in-house", Campaign Live, March 08, 2018, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Hain Celestial Debuts 75+ New Products At Trade Show

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hain Celestial Group said it is unveiling more than 75 new products at Natural Products Expo West, natural, organic and healthy products industry trade show. Among the new products to be featured are Arrowhead Mills Protein Flour and Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix; Bearitos snacks brand’s non-GMO Baked Veggie and Cheddar Baked Corn Puffs; Celestial Seasonings’ Vermont Maple Ginger Herbal Tea and Lemon Lavender Lane Herbal Tea; and Earth's Best Organic brand’s Gentle Infant Formula and Non-GMO Plant-Based Infant Formula. [Image Credit: © Hain Celestial]
"Hain Celestial Features 75 Exciting New Products at Expo West 2018", News release, Hain Celestial, March 08, 2018, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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From Pizza Crust To Baking Mixes, Company Shows Versatility Of Cauliflour

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Caulipower, which launched a line of frozen pizzas with cauliflower-based crusts last year, has now expanded into cauliflower-based baking mixes. Cauli-Flour “Make Whatever You Want” mixes are available in original and paleo versions that can be used to make, cup-for-cup, brownies, muffins, pretzels, cookies, gluten-free-breading, and vegan or paleo pizza. Both mixes use cauliflower as the first ingredient, are a good source of Vitamin C, have fewer calories, carbs, fat, and sodium, and are higher in fiber than other baking mixes, according to the company. [Image Credit: © Caulipower]
"Caulipower Launches First-Ever Vegetable-Based Baking Mixes: Cauli-Flour by Caulipower aka The Make Whatever You Want Mix - Original and Paleo", News release, Caulipower, March 08, 2018, © Caulipower
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Restaurants Catering To Surge In Demand For Protein, Even The Plant-Based Variety

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Restaurant chefs and food companies are responding to the increasing interest in plant-based protein as an alternative to pork, poultry, and beef. Though the Mayo Clinic says Americans already eat way too much protein, almost 40 percent of Americans are trying to increase their consumption of protein; 23 percent are turning to plant protein. An example of how restaurants are catering to the trend is the 28-location vegan chain Veggie Grill based in Santa Monica, Calif. It offers a wide variety of plant-based proteins, including several with a similar taste and texture as meat, such as a new Meatballs & Polenta Bowl made from pea, wheat, and soy proteins. It recently introduced a Wunderbrat made with producer Beyond Meat’s protein formulated with peas, fava beans, and rice.
Bret Thorn, "Demand for Plant-Based Protein Beefs Up", Restaurant News, March 08, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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The Ginger People Adds Turmeric-Infused Beverages To Product Portfolio

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Ginger People has launched several turmeric-infused ginger drinks at Natural Products Expo West. Each is made with either Javanese turmeric or aromatica turmeric from Fiji, both “arguably more effective than the common turmeric” as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients, according to the company. The new products include a Turmeric Latte Mix, a turmeric-based version of The Ginger People’s Ginger Soother elixir beverage, and a Wild Turmeric Ginger Rescue Shot.
"The Ginger People Releases 3 Turmeric-Infused Drinks", News release, The Ginger People, March 08, 2018, © The Ginger People / BevNET.com
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Holding Company JAB Is Betting On A Caffeine-Based Corporate Strategy

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Interviews with executives of JAB, a privately-held German holding company that owns a variety of seemingly unrelated companies, including recently purchased Dr Pepper Snapple Group, reveal that the company intends to build a “caffeine-fueled global powerhouse.” JAB began decades ago selling pool chemicals, but is now acquiring companies – i.e., Peet’s, Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme, Dr Pepper and Stumptown – because it believes America’s beverage industry is about to undergo a huge reorganization. Hot drinks will no longer just compete with hot drinks; cold drinks will no longer just compete with cold drinks.  As Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz put it: “JAB wants to become the largest coffee company in the world.” Its likely next target? Industry leader Nestlé SA.
Zeke Turner et al., "The Secretive Company That Pours America’s Coffee", The Wall Street Journal, March 07, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Colorado Issues Guidelines For Schools That Offer A Food Share Program

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Schools in Colorado are now allowed to share unwanted school-sponsored lunch items by placing them on a “share table” rather than tossing them in the trash. Shareable items include unopened milk or juice, whole fruits, or packaged items. Hungry students, especially low-income ones, can grab the food for free. Food left over at the end of the day is checked to make sure it’s still safe to eat, then is put back into circulation the next day. The Colorado Department of Education recently released rules that school districts follow, after many districts implemented their own programs. The state also has promotional materials, guidelines, and signs. [Image Credit: ©  WBUR.org ]
Andrea Tritschler, "Waste Less, Eat More: 27J’s Food Share Program Cuts down Cafeteria Waste at Schools", The Standard Blade, March 07, 2018, © The Standard Blade
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Listening To Confused Consumers, Steaz Renames Flagship Cactus Water Product

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
After sampling its flagship Cactus Water product this past summer among “no less than one million” confused consumers, green tea beverage company Steaz has relaunched the drinks as Steaz Prickly Pear Water with new packaging. The main ingredients remain the pink fruit of the prickly pear cactus and green tea. The company says its beverage line is the only green tea-based certified organic prickly pear water product on the market. The drink is sweetened with organic stevia and organic fair trade cane sugar.
"Consumers Have Spoken: Steaz Cactus Water now Steaz Prickly Pear Water", News release, Steaz, March 07, 2018, © Steaz
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Cocktail Mixer Company Adds “Hard” Seltzer To Portfolio

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based producer of “all-natural” cocktail mixers Ficks & Co. unveiled a line of RTD hard seltzers at the Natural Products Expo recently. The seltzers, targeting the surging wellness food and beverage market, and specifically Millennials, blend fruit alcohol, fruit juice (not from concentrate), and sparkling water. Available in grapefruit, lime, blackberry, and cranberry flavors, Ficks Hard Seltzers contain no added sugar and are five percent ABV.  [Image Credit: © Ficks & Co.]
"Ficks & Co Launches Line of All Natural Hard Seltzers at Expo West", News release, Fisk & Co., March 07, 2018, © Fisk & Co.
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If Customers Want Fresh Beef, McDonald’s Will Serve It

March 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beginning in May, McDonald’s will make its quarter-pound hamburgers from fresh beef in a move to satisfy customers who have gotten picky about eating processed food. The move will make logistics more complicated for the company and its 14,000 restaurants who have positioned themselves as the place to go for reliable, fast, cheap and delicious food. The company is convinced its basic business is selling burgers, and if consumers want the better quality – and pricier – offerings at fast-casual chains, McDonald’s will offer that. So, franchisees are installing new refrigerators and containers to store the fresh meat. It’s worth the effort, the company feels, to serve burgers that compete well with fast-casual offerings “without sacrificing the consistency and speed McDonald’s customers expect.” [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Patrick McGroarty, "McDonald’s Puts Fresh Beef on the Menu", The Wall Street Journal, March 06, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Fairlife Resurrects Coffee-Flavored, Milk-Based Shake With More Protein

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Milk beverage producer fairlife announced that it is rereleasing a coffee-flavored version of its Core Power sports nutrition protein shakes. It was previously marketed as a "light" drink with 20 grams of protein per serving. The new version contains 26 grams of protein. The company said that its whole line of high-protein recovery shakes will have new packaging. Chicago-based fairlife produces nutrient-dense milk beverages made using a cold filtration process to remove the lactose and sugars, while maximizing the natural proteins, nutrients, and minerals found in cow's milk.
"Core Power Coffee Stages A Comeback, Re-Joins Collection Of High Protein Milkshakes", News release, fairlife, March 05, 2018, © fairlife, LLC
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Raw Pressery Juice Relies On Ethics, Innovation, Technology In Fast-Growing Market

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In a recent interview, Sreejit Nair, sales director of India’s Rakyan Beverages, said its Raw Pressery juice brand is applying advanced technologies to maintain market leadership in clean-label, cold-pressed juices. The fruit-based beverage category has grown at a CAGR of more than 30 percent over the past decade, thanks to the rise of health-conscious beverage consumers looking to avoid preservatives, chemicals, sugar, and artificial colors. The company uses HPP (high pressure processing) technology to pasteurize its juices, made with fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from farmers across India and abroad. The pasteurization method extends the shelf life of the juices to 21 days. Robotics and inventory automation ensure proper warehousing. The supply chain is using digitization to control costs, quality, temperature, and time. The company is also working with technology developers to create heat sensing devices that help maintain chiller temperature. In terms of innovation, the company recently launched a cold-pressed almond milk in coffee, cacao, and turmeric flavors. This year it expects to introduce a grapefruit-flavored juice, and to extend its product line to both chilled and ambient retail shelves.
""We Look to be Asia’s Largest Clean-Label Beverage Co"", Food And Beverage News, March 05, 2018, © Food And Beverage News
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Company Transforms Food Manufacturing Waste Into Versatile Flour

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A company that turns food processing byproducts into a versatile and nutritious flour has release the SuperGrain+ line of snack bars. The 160-calories bars are non-GMO, made with organic ingredients, and come in Honey Cinnamon IPA, Chocolate Coffee Stout, and Blueberry Sunflower Saison. Each bar contains four grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and eight grams of sugar. Functional ingredients include manuka honey, ginseng, and coffee fruit. ReGrained’s patented technology rescues, processes, and stabilizes food manufacturing byproducts to create the fiber- and protein-rich SuperGrain+ flour usable in all commercial applications, from savory to sweet.. [Image Credit: © ReGrained]
"ReGrained Shifts the Paradigm on Upcycled Ingredients Launching an Irresistibly Delicious and Sustainable SuperGrain+™ Bar Line", News release, ReGrained, March 05, 2018, © ReGrained
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Sonic’s New Mushroom-Beef Burger Has Flavor, Fewer Calories, And Eco-Benefits

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new-product test at a few Sonic Drive-In locations found that an experimental burger made with a mixture of 30 percent mushrooms and beef was a hit. It not only tastes good, it has fewer calories and is better for the environment. The burger is now being offered at all 3,500 Sonic eateries. Although a burger with less beef has a smaller environmental footprint – the company didn’t advertise that – consumers were impressed that Sonic’s offering starts at around 350 calories. An environmental advocacy group said that if all 10 billion burgers eaten in the U.S. each year used blended patties, 10.5 million tons of annual CO2 emissions would be eliminated, 83 billion gallons of water a year would be saved, and the amount of global farmland needed would be reduced by more than 12,000 square miles. [Image Credit: © Sonic Drive-In]
Adele Peters, "Now You Can Get Sonic’s Part-Mushroom Part-Meat Burger Everywhere", Fast Company, March 05, 2018, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Hemp-Based Beverage Company Tinley Expands Product Line, Distribution

March 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Tinley Beverage Company, maker of the Hemplify line of hemp extract drinks, announced new flavors and packaging, as well as expanded distribution. The drinks are sold in more than 100 stores in Southern California. The company said the Hemplify products will soon be available at the region’s large cannabis dispensary, 420 Central, greatly increasing distribution and expanding the cross-branding, merchandising and natural lifestyle synergies between the Hemplify Hemp Extract products and its cannabis-infused drinks. The company has also reopened its online store, which accepts Bitcoin. Consumers can order the Hemplify for shipment throughout the U.S.
"Tinley Completes Production of New Hemplify Beverages", News release, Tinley Beverage Company Inc., March 05, 2018, via BevNET, © BevNET.com
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Hostess Succeeds With A Blend Of Traditional, And Innovative, Snacks

March 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hostess Brands, which filed for bankruptcy six years ago and emerged a leaner entity under new ownership, posted strong fourth quarter earnings, thanks to the enduring popularity of its old favorite snacks and the success of some new ones. The maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Ho-Hos credits its revenue growth, profit, and newly healthy stock price to the rollout of the Hostess Bakery Petites line, and to new versions of its traditional products. The Petites products have no artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup, come in resealable bags, and are made with "real" chocolate and vanilla. Hostess earnings were $0.17 a share on revenue of $196.2 million, an increase of 9.7 percent. Bakery Petites accounted for 3.1 percent of the increase. The new products come in resealable bags and are made with "real" chocolate and vanilla. [Image Credit: © Hostess Brands]
Nick Turner, "Upscale Snacks? With Earning Report, Hostess Get the Last Ho-Ho", Sentinel & Enterprise News, March 04, 2018, © Digital First Media
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Will Big Food Get Ahead Of The Niche Curve At Natural Expo?

March 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Vexed by consumer preferences evolving toward more-healthful, less-refined foods, and other threats, big manufacturers, retailers and investors have flocked to the Natural Products Expo West – a gathering place for natural, organic, and niche food and ingredient purveyors – to gather hints of what might be the next game-changing food trends. It’s bad enough that Big Food has to deal with rising retailer fees and trucking costs, competition from deep discount food retailers and now even Amazon. There’s also the fact that sales of food made with less-processed ingredients have risen 15 percent since 2014. The top 25 food and beverage companies in the U.S. collectively lost $5 billion in market share to smaller brands from 2012 to 2016. “It’s not a niche thing anymore. It’s mainstream,” said a Kroger exec. “That’s where the customer is going.”. [Image Credit: © Natural Products Expo West]
Heather Haddon et al., "At Food Expo, Companies Jockey for the Next Big Thing", The Wall Street Journal, March 03, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Hydrosol Unveils Powdered Flavor Compounds As Alternatives To Fruit Concentrates

March 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
German food ingredients company Hydrosol has launched the Stabifruit line of functional powders offering major advantages for fruit juice companies over the use of fruit concentrates. The powdered compounds have a much longer shelf life, are cheaper to transport (i.e., no water weight), have no expiration date issues, and are microbiologically safer than juices or concentrates. The compounds provide fruit drinks with better mouthfeel, color, taste, and viscosity. Available flavors include orange, peach, mango, raspberry, banana, and currant. Hydrosol specializes in stabilizing and emulsifying systems for a wide variety of food products.
"Hydrosol Launches Stabifruit Functional System Range for Fruit Drinks", Food And Beverage News, March 03, 2018, © Food And Beverage News
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Courts Continue To Refine Laws Dealing With GMO Ingredients, Animal Feed

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Courts in New York (federal) and Massachusetts (state) have ruled that foods made from genetically modified ingredients or fed to animals that provide “end product” foods do not violate federal “all natural” food labeling policies. In a case against Dannon, the court dismissed a complaint that the company’s yogurt labels claiming to be “all natural” were deceptive because federal law does not require that foods from animals fed with GMO feeds be labeled “GMO.” In the Massachusetts case against ConAgra, the court dismissed the case because the plaintiff failed to allege that Wesson oil contains added color, synthetic substances or flavors, or contains anything that would not normally be expected to be in vegetable oil, whether or not the oil was extracted from corn, soybean, or rapeseed grown from genetically modified stock. [Image Credit: © ConAgra]
Nathan A. Adams IV, "United States: Claims That "All Natural" Label Was Misleading Due To GMOs Dismissed", Mondaq, March 02, 2018, © Mondaq® Ltd
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Meat Cultured In A Dish Could Reach Restaurants By The End Of The Year

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
“Clean” meat manufacturer JUST says it will bring meat products grown from cells in a Petri dish to restaurants by the end of this year. Lab-grown or “in vitro” meat is cultured from stem cells harvested from livestock. Some environmentalists say lab-grown meat could be the answer to the global need for protein while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cattle herds. The CEO of JUST says chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras created using the technique could be served in restaurants in the U.S. and Asia "before the end of 2018." Whether consumers will accept dish-grown meat remains to be seen. [Image Credit: © Phys.org]
Pasha-Robinson, "Lab-Grown 'Clean' Meat could be on Sale by End of 2018, Says Producer", Independent, March 02, 2018, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd.
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Clean-Label Yogurt Drink Will Soon Be Available Across U.S.

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Plant-based yogurt brand Hälsa, founded by a Scandinavian entrepreneurial duo, has launched a dairy-free drinkable yogurt made with whole grain oats, and organic berries and fruits. Oatgurt is 100 percent clean label, according to the company, whose name means “health” in Swedish. It contains no dairy, no soy, and no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, but does contain natural fruit sugars, organic whole grain oats, prebiotics, and probiotics (Bifidus), and is certified organic and kosher. The drink is available in four fruit flavors: organic strawberry, organic blueberry, organic mango pear and organic apple chai. Hälsa retails at $2.49 for an 8 fl oz. bottle and will soon be found at leading healthy food stores and retailers nationwide, the company said.
"Hälsa Debuts 100% Clean Label Oat Yogurt Drink", BevNET, March 02, 2018, © BevNET.com
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N.Y. Breweries Send Spent Grain To Flour Company Instead Of Landfill

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Several breweries in the New York City area are sending their spent grain to a local flour company instead of the landfill. Rise Flour turns the grain into a “super flour” that contains 12 times the fiber, twice the protein, and a third of the carbs of standard all-purpose flour. The breweries are not only reducing their operational costs, they are also becoming zero waste businesses. [Image Credit: © Rise Flour]
"New York Flour Company Turns Breweries' Waste into Nutrition", Specialty Food News, March 02, 2018, © Specialty Food Association, Inc.
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Mutual Fund Company Hopes To Force Amazon To Issue A Food Waste Report

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A mutual fund company with an environmental conscience has petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to compel Amazon.com’s shareholders to vote on a proposed food waste report. Boston-based Green Century Capital Management says it has worked with Kroger, Costco and other retailers on food waste; Safeway, Publix, Ahold USA, and Target have all addressed the issue. According to the company, which had begun talking about the issue with Whole Foods Market management before last year, it sent a letter to Amazon’s management and board outlining its concerns. But when Amazon said it did not want to issue a food waste report, Green Century filed a shareholder resolution asking that the proposal be voted on by shareholders. Amazon has challenged the shareholder request to the SEC. [Image Credit: ©   Green Century]
Richard Turcsik, "Amazon Latest Retailer Being Prodded on Food Waste", Supermarket News, March 02, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Bimbo Selfies Contest Ties Its Bread Brands To Anti-Hunger Campaign

March 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Bimbo Bakeries USA has launched a selfies-based contest to promote several of its bread brands while providing “nutritious meals to kids who need it most.” Through March 31, participants who submit selfies on Instagram showing their love of sandwiches and bread (viz., Arnold, Brownberry or Oroweat bread) will be entered in a contest. Three #BreadSelfieChallenge winners will be selected to receive a $10,000 grand prize, each representing one of the Bimbo bread brands. Winners will be announced on April 24, 2018. In addition, for each selfie submitted, the brands will donate enough to the No Kid Hungry program to provide 20 meals, up to 150,000 meals in total to needy children. [Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries]
"Arnold, Brownberry And Oroweat Bread Toast To The Launch Of America's #BreadSelfieChallenge With No Kid Hungry", News release, Bimbo Bakeries USA, March 01, 2018, © Bimbo Bakeries USA
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