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Food Label Transparency Trend To Gather Momentum This Year

December 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A report from Label Insight and the Food Marketing Institute finds that a majority of shoppers have transparency on their minds when grocery shopping: 86 percent would feel a higher sense of trust for food manufacturers and retailers that provided access to complete, “easy to understand” ingredient information. One solution is to use new methods like Smart Label, from Label Insight, to provide that information. According to Label Insight, transparency initiatives led by retailers will continue to spread in 2019. “Retailers will move beyond health and wellness as brand positioning by leveraging new approaches to data and omnichannel integration,” the data insight company said.[Image Credit: © Label Insight, Inc.]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Label Insight: Transparency trends to gain steam in 2019", FoodNavigator-USA.com, December 18, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Antibiotic Use Declining In Meat Industry, But Still Dangerously High

December 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Though use of antibiotics important to human medicine is dropping in the livestock industry it is still dangerously high, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The FDA reported recently that such sales dropped 28 percent between 2009 and 2017. But the latest numbers also show the beef and pork industries remain high users of these drugs at 5.1 million pounds and 4.5 million pounds in sales respectively in 2017, compared to 590,000 pounds in the chicken industry. The NRDC called the downward trend “real progress,” but warned that “the American meat industry continues to have a drug problem.” A positive sign is that major beef buyer McDonald's announced it will reduce use of the drugs across its global beef supply chain, offering hope it will spark a wave of change.[Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
"Antibiotic Sales For U.S. Meat Production Drop, But Use Remains High ", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), December 18, 2018, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Wayback Burgers To Offer Coke Products In U.S. And International Locations

December 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Wayback Burgers has switched to Coca-Cola products for the drink fountains in its 161 restaurants in the U.S. and overseas. Wayback has locations in 30 states and in Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, and The Netherlands. The company will now sell Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Powerade Mountain Berry Blast, Minute Maid Lemonade, Barrilitos Aguas Frescas, Gold Peak Tea, as well as specialty craft beverages. In 2018, 14 of the top 50 quick-serve restaurant concepts were burger brands, and of those 14, 13 of them serve Coca-Cola.
"Wayback Makes the Switch to Coca-Cola Products", QSR Magazine, December 18, 2018, © Journalistic, Inc
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Weekend Baking Rises As An Antidote To Rising Anxiety Levels

December 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Time-strapped Millennials are known somewhat infamously for a lack of interest in “things kitchen.” Meaning, of course, that they’re “less likely to come home every night in time to roast a chicken instead of ordering takeout.” But that trend has given rise to another phenomenon: an upsurge in weekend baking. Many hard-working Millennials have turned to weekend baking as “a salve for the ambient anxiety of being alive in 2018,” because baking actually can be really relaxing. Forty percent of Americans report feeling more anxious in 2018 than they did in 2017.  Baking is a particularly effective activity for those whose professional lives exist mostly in the abstract. Baking forces a person to put down the phone, get your hands dirty, and pay close attention to what you're doing – activities that directly affect mood, like meditation and breathing exercises.[Image Credit: © David Greenwood-Haigh from Pixabay]
Amanda Mull, "The Rise of Anxiety Baking", Atlantic Online, December 18, 2018, © The Atlantic Monthly Group
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Report: The Emergence Of “Clean Packaging”

December 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A report based on an online survey on packaging trends finds that “clean packaging” is the next step following clean label and clean processing. Evergreen Packaging says need to make their packaging protect taste, freshness, and nutrients; align with ingredients; be responsible; and share values. Consumers felt that packaging should protect flavor: packaging like steel cans, aluminium cans, and plastic bottles were most cited as altering product flavor. In terms of consumer values, the environmental responsibility interests of many grocery shoppers go much deeper than the package itself and the label information. In addition to environmentally-friendly products and packaging, many shoppers expect brands and retailers to demonstrate social responsibility as a company.[Image Credit: © Daniel Albany from Pixabay]
Carol Wiley, "2019 Food Packaging Trends: Clean Packaging", Food Industry Executive, December 18, 2018, © Food Industry Executive
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Coca-Cola Closes Aggressive Acquisition Year With Series A Investment In POS Connectivity Firm

December 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola took the lead in a $10 million Series A investment round in Hayward, Calif.-based restaurant tech company Omnivore, developer of a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform. Other investors were Performance Food Group and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. Omnivore promotes an "end-to-end suite of solutions" to help optimize the digital restaurant experience, such as online ordering, paying at the table, third-party delivery, kiosk/digital menus and analytics. The financing will be used to accelerate current development and growth of proprietary Omnivore products that minimize friction for restaurant brands, third-party technologies, and POS companies, according to a news release.
Eric Mandel, "Coca-Cola backs restaurant tech company", Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 17, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Ioniqa’s Process For Hard-To-Recycle PET Materials Is Gaining Attention From Large CPGs

December 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is supporting Dutch firm Ioniqa Technologies with a loan, to help it develop the technology for producing recycled PET content from PET waste that is typically difficult to recycle. The move is a part of  Coca-Cola’s target of using packaging containing 50 percent or more recycled content by 2030. The  technology allows recycling of colored PET bottles, typically excluded from some recycling processes, to be used in food-grade PET. Unilever announced earlier this year its collaboration with Ioniqa.[Image Credit: © Ioniqa Technologies]
"Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa in its efforts to develop recycled PET", Foodbev.com, December 14, 2018, © Foodbev.com
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Aldi To Replace Polystyrene Pizza Discs With Recyclable Discs

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Aldi supermarket chain in the UK is introducing 100 percent recyclable pizza discs to replace the Polystyrene discs. Earlier this year, Aldi in the US said it would roll out How2Recycle labels across its own brand products over the next two years, and in March the company committed to using 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for own-label products by 2022. In the UK, it has also stopped offering customers 5p plastic bags, only 9p reusable bags made from plastic waste.[Image Credit: © Lutz Peter from Pixabay]
"Aldi introduces 100% recyclable pizza discs in UK", Packaging Gateway, December 13, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Koia Targets Keto Dieters With High-Fat Coconut Cream-Based Beverage

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California RTD smoothie company Koia plans to launch a high-fat, low-carb beverage for the keto diet market in 2019. Koia Keto is targeted at those who adhere to a ketogenic diet or those looking for a healthfuly, sweet-flavored RTD option. Available flavors will be chocolate brownie, cake batter, and caramel crème. Koia’s beverages, including three fruit infusions, are sold in Whole Foods nationwide, and in Publix, Wegmans, and other regional retailers now carry the original collection of five drinks, as well as its recent line of three fruit infusions. Koia Keto is primarily coconut cream with 14 g of MCT oil, 22 g of fat, 12 g of plant-based protein (pea, rice and chickpea), with a total of five net carbs. It contains no added sugar and reaches a ratio of 74 percent fat, 18 percent protein and eight percent carbs.
Beth Newhart , "Koia launches keto-friendly drinks", Beverage Daily, December 13, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Carcinogenic Synthetic Flavors Ordered Removed From Food Products

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has ordered the removal of six artificial flavors from food products because they cause cancer in animals at doses far higher than what a person would consume. The six flavoring substances include synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. The substances are being removed under the Delaney Clause of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The food industry has two years to comply, though the FDA believes the ingredients are safe in the trace amounts they are used. Neither the FDA nor the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association responded when asked for examples of products the six ingredients are used in. But they noted that the compounds have natural counterparts in foods like basil, coffee, grapes and peppermint, and that the action does not affect the naturally derived versions.[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
"Artificial flavors are mystery ingredients", Chicago Sun-Times, December 13, 2018, via The Associated Press, © The Associated Press
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Nestlé Acts To Increase Redistribution Of Its Surplus Food In U.K.

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has partnered with a British anti-food waste charity and a surplus food redistributor in a program to curb food waste by ensuring that more of its surplus food is available for both charitable and commercial use. The company says its arrangement with WRAP and Company Shop will mean that more of its part-processed products can be redistributed instead of being used for animal feed or anaerobic digestion. The approach will increase the levels of charitable redistribution from Nestlé’s U.K. operations by the equivalent of two million meals a year, on top of the products that already go to another redistribution organization, Fareshare. [Image Credit: © Nestle ]
Andy Coyne, "Nestle Launches New Food Waste Initiative in the UK", Just-Food, December 12, 2018, © just-food.com
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KFC To Use Plastic-Free Food Buckets At Australia’s Upcoming Big Bash Cricket League

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


KFC, in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, is supplying half a million food buckets using sustainable materials for the Big Bash League 2018, a cricket event in Australia. The move is aligned with the Government’s commitment to ensure all packaging in the country will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The plastic-free buckets will be made at Graphic Packaging’s plant in the UK and will have a grease-resistant lining. [Image Credit: © KFC Corporation]
Ojaswita Kutepatil , "KFC to launch recyclable buckets for Australia’s Big Bash League 2018", Sharp Reports, December 12, 2018, © Sharp Reports
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Consumers Expect Colors – Artificial Or Not – In Their Foods

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colors are important to food companies because, apparently, they’re important to consumers. Though big food companies like McDonald’s and Kellogg have promised to get rid of artificial dyes, they continue to use – or have reinstated – colorings because consumers want them. General Mills, for example, eliminated artificial colors from Trix, it added them back in last year after consumers demanded a return to the “classic” look. The cheddar cheeses sold by Boar’s Head, Cabot, Kraft, and Tillamook contain annatto, a plant extract commonly used for color.  Because salmon buyers expect salmon to be pink, farmed salmon is often fed synthetic astaxanthin, a version of a naturally occurring compound. It makes economic sense: darker salmon commands an extra 50 cents to $1 per pound when offered next to lighter salmon.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
Candice Choi , "Artificial dyes fading, but food will still get color boosts", Associated Press, December 11, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Coca-Cola CEO Tells Investors Not To Expect Brisk Acquisition Pace To Continue In 2019

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
After initiating six acquisitions in 2018, including the $5.1 billion purchase of U.K. coffee chain Costa Coffee, Coca-Cola will tap the brakes in 2019, according to CEO James Quincey, who said the plan is to spend time absorbing what it bought. Shares of the company are up more than seven percent so far this year, standing relatively strong against broader market volatility, an indication that investors are happy with the aggressive growth plan. Coke now has a market value of $209.8 billion. And while the beverage industry has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks as an avenue for growth, Quincey said Coca-Cola will hold off from including cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound, in any of its products until it is "legal, safe and consumable."
Amelia Lucas , "Coca-Cola CEO: Deal Making in 2019 will likely slow down as company integrates recent acquisitions", CNBC.com , December 11, 2018, © CNBC
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McDonald’s In The Vanguard Of Movement To Reduce Antibiotics In Beef

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
With a nudge from the Natural Resources Defense Council, McDonald's announced it has told its beef suppliers around the world to cut back on the use of antibiotics beginning in 2019. Implementation will begin with pilot projects in ten markets around the world, including in the U.S. McDonald’s is the first big burger chain to launch such a policy, though other fast food leaders – Chipotle, Panera, Subway – have either cut antibiotic use in their beef supplies or have committed to do so. A spokesman for the NRDC said: “Nobody in the world sells more burgers than McDonald's, and their actions can shape the future of the industry.” Forty-three percent of medically important antibiotics sold to the U.S. livestock industry go to the beef sector, compared to only six percent for chicken.[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
"McDonald’s Commits To Reducing Antibiotic Use In Its Global Beef Supply", Natural Resources Defense Council , December 11, 2018, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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NRDC Study Sheds Light On How Cities Might Prevent Food Waste

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council summarizes a food waste baseline assessment study in three U.S. cities – Denver, Nashville, and New York City – for residential and non-residential sectors, including the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sectors. The study characterizes the amount of food wasted in the cities and identifies reasons why the food is wasted. For example, six of the top 10 most commonly wasted edible foods in households were the same in all three cities: coffee, milk, apples, bread, potatoes and pasta. Accumulated data was used to help inform and inspire municipal initiatives to prevent food waste, to rescue surplus food to benefit people in need, and to recycle food scraps. The study also offers templates and descriptions of the methodologies to help other cities perform similar assessments. [Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
Willona Sloan, "Analyzing Food Waste at the City Level", waste360.com, December 10, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Hospitality Industry Can Play A Major Role In Reducing Food Waste

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers looking to escape the bad news that bombards them daily are visiting hotels and restaurants and supporting CPG brands that are doing the right thing. Hospitality industry trend-watcher Andrew Freedman notes that the hospitality industry should be supporting good causes, like reducing food waste. Freedman says the movement to reduce food waste will continue to gain traction in 2019 as local governments start to restrict restaurants from disposing of food waste in landfills, prompting them to look for new solutions. Some hotels and restaurants are teaming with nonprofits and companies like Goodr Co. to redirect leftovers to those who are food insecure. Others are using food in unexpected ways to reduce waste, such as the Amazing Pasta Straw, which makes straws out of pasta.[Image Credit: © The Amazing Pasta Straw, LLC]
Elizabeth Crawford , "Consumers will embrace brands that do the right thing, AF & Co. trendologists predict", FoodNavigator-USA.com, December 10, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pladis UK & Ireland Steps Up Its Plastics Commitments

December 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Another company announcing its intention to make all plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 is Pladis UK & Ireland, which makes biscuits and confectionery. It has joined the UK Plastics Pact, is joining the On-Pack Recycling Label scheme, and has extended its partnership with Terracycle to make its packaging recyclable. [Image Credit: © pladis global]
"Pladis UK & Ireland pledges to reduce plastic waste by 2025", Foodbev.com, December 10, 2018, © Foodbev.com
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New Program From L.A. Food Delivery Company Cuts Food Waste, Feeds The Homeless

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California food delivery service Postmates has launched a new endeavor: rescuing food before it is sent to landfills and taking it to where it will do the most good. The company’s drivers in Los Angeles are picking up leftover foodstuffs from local restaurants and delivering it to local homeless shelters. The FoodFight! program was incubated in the company’s social impact arm, Civic Labs, and launched in October.  Participating restaurants simply touch a button to coordinate food pickup at the close of business. Four hundred restaurants in the L.A. area are eligible to make surplus food donations. The biggest problem for the program is a logistical one: shelter hours. Many shelters close for donations earlier than restaurants are finished serving, so the Civic Labs team is working on creative solutions, including additional funding for staffing.[Image Credit: © POSTMATES INC]
Hannah Sentenac , "Postmates is Starting a FoodFight in L.A.", LA Weekly (CA), December 07, 2018, © LA Weekly, LP.
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Irish Food Ingredient Company Licenses Enzyme That Reduces Acrylamide

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The chemical compound acrylamide, a cumulative neurotoxin formed in brewed coffee and in starchy foods heated to high temperatures, such as chips and French fries, is being targeted by governments with regulations limiting its use and adding warning labels on foods and beverages. In the meantime, Irish food ingredient  company Kerry has signed a licensing agreement with Renaissance BioScience Corp. to manufacture the company’s non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme, Acryleast. The enzyme reduces acrylamide by up to 90 percent across food and beverage products, including biscuits, crackers, French fries, crisps, coffee, and instant food. According to Kerry, it is a clean label solution that requires minimal changes to the manufacturing process and has no impact on taste, aroma, or texture.[Image Credit: © Kerry Inc]
Katy Askew, "We anticipate great demand : Kerry and Renaissance BioSciences ink partnership on acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme", FoodNavigator.com, December 07, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Coke’s Brand Incubator To Undergo Major Restructuring

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Scott Uzzell, president of Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) business, outlined in a December 4 memo several organizational changes to take effect in January. The changes, including some staff shifts, will “sharpen our focus” related to the current marketing strategy and accelerate the growth of its beverage portfolio. VEB’s role – “futurist, investor, incubator and integrator“ – is to spot the right trends, invest in them, incubate them “and, finally, help integrate them into our broad business system.” With that in mind, VEB will create several new business units that will nurture acquired brands: imported mineral water brand Topo Chico and coconut water maker Zico will move into the Still Business Unit; Hansen’s and Blue Sky Beverage Company will move to the Sparkling Business Unit; and Hubert’s Lemonade and VEB’s Natural Channel Sales Team will be folded into the Minute Maid Business Unit based in Texas. Other brands – Fairlife, Suja, and BodyArmor – will not be affected.
Martín Caballero, "Coca-Cola VEB Set to ‘Sharpen Focus’ on Incubation in 2019", BevNET.com, December 07, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Retiring Coke Chairman Kent Lists Challenges For Global CEOs

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Outgoing Coca-Cola Chairman Muhtar Kent – he’s retiring in April 2019 – says running a global business is tougher than ever because of the competition, of course, but also because of “sociopolitical dynamics,” more unknowns – like Brexit, U.S. trade wars, and currency fluctuations – and “more volatility, constant volatility." But that’s not all that gives CEOs anxiety. Also at work are a “global war for talent” and “digitization," he told CNBC. Kent, a 40-year veteran of Coca-Cola, will be replaced as chairman by CEO James Quincey.
Amelia Lucas , "Coca-Cola chairman: 'More unknowns, more volatility' are making running a global business tougher", CNBC.com , December 07, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Corn Flakes To Beer: Kellogg U.K. Program Cuts Food Waste 12.5 Percent

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K. unit of breakfast food company Kellogg is brewing a new business: beer. The company has launched a program, “Throw Away IPA,” that turns rejected corn flakes – too small, too big, undercooked – into beer, the revenues from which are partially donated to Fareshare, a food poverty charity. The English beer, made by Seven Bro7hers Brewery, tastes sweeter than the usual IPA, and has the iconic golden color of its breakfast cereal ingredients. Each Throw Away IPA brew uses roughly 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of rejected cornflakes. Since the program was launched, Kellogg says it has reduced its U.K.-based food waste by 12.5 percent.[Image Credit: © Seven Bro7hers Brewery]
McKinley Corbley, "In Bid to Cut Food Waste, Kellogg’s is Using Their Rejected Cornflakes to Make Beer ", Good News Network, December 07, 2018, © GNN, LLC
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Unilever Invests €100,000 To Solve Single-Use Plastic Sachet Problem

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has set its sights on eliminating single-use plastic sachets for laundry products, piloting a technology in which it is investing €100,000. The crowd-sourced plastic-free tablet, which uses a plant-based coating, emerged from the company’s “Rethink Plastic” Hackathon. Other ideas from the event included a subscription model for detergent in ceramic or glass bottles, and soluble sheets of detergent, or ‘Laundry on a roll’. Teams from Unilever will look at some of these other ideas. [Image Credit: © Unilever]
"Unilever to invest €100,000 in a crowdsourced solution as part of its drive to rethink plastic packaging", Unilever, December 06, 2018, © Unilever
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Major Drinks Companies, Retailers And Green Groups Seek To Improve Plastic Recycling In Hong Kong

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage companies, green campaigners and others are joining forces to tackle the issue of poor recycling rates in Hong Kong. The voluntary Drink Without Waste initiative was announced by the Single-use Beverage Packaging Working Group, a coalition of charities, drink producers and bottlers, recycling companies, environmental groups and retailers. They are looking at a range of possible initiatives, including installing water dispensers around the city and a “cash on return” scheme for plastic bottles. Manufacturers are also encouraged to look at their packaging to improve recycling rates. In 2017, Hong Kong dumped some 1.7 billion empty drinks containers in landfill or as litter. Two-thirds were plastic bottles. Less than 10 percent of the single-use plastic bottles sent to rubbish tips are recovered and recycled. [Image Credit: © Drink Without Waste]
Ernest Kao, "Major Hong Kong drinks manufacturers join forces with green groups for initiative aimed at increasing city’s dismal recycling rate", South China Morning Post, December 06, 2018, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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Starbucks Says Plastic-Lined Coffee Cups Can Be Converted Into New Cups

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffee chain Starbucks says it has converted 25 million of its coffee cups into new cups as part of a pilot scheme introduced earlier in 2018, overturning conventional wisdom that the plastic lining means they couldn’t be recycled. Mike Mueller of WestRock, the company that recycled the cups, said the company is aiming to raise awareness about how it can be achieved and scaled. Other initiatives used by Starbucks include charging a small fee to its London customers for single-use cups, and it is working on a cup that can be easily recycled and composted. Customers in most stores can expect a discount if they bring their own reusable cup.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
Kat Smith, "Starbucks Proves That Single-Use Coffee Cups Can Be Recycled", LIVEKINDLY , December 06, 2018, © LIVEKINDLY Media Inc.
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Sale Of Cannery SPC Would Free Coca-Cola Amatil To Focus On Beverage Growth

December 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has decided to divest the loss-making SPC fruit and vegetable cannery it purchased in 2005 after years of struggling to make it profitable. Analysts believe the sale would give CCA the cash it needs to invest in new business areas, such as acquisition of some parts of Lion Dairy & Drinks, and right itself after some setbacks. Earnings for 2018 are likely to be hurt by weaker beverage sales in Australia, soft demand in Indonesia, and the impact of container deposit schemes that have forced the price hikes in several states and Canberra. The company is expected to concentrate on growing categories like energy drinks and flavored milk and smoothies, increasing marketing efforts for what he called “sleeping beauties and blockbuster” lines, and introducing more enhanced and premium options.
Richard Whitehead , "SPC sale could provide much-needed impetus for Coca-Cola Amatil", Beverage Daily, December 05, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Gluten-Free Fans Should Consider Flours Made With Cassava, Teff

December 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers with celiac disease who need to avoid gluten and others who are trying to eliminate gluten from their diet should look into using flour made from the root vegetable cassava or the African grain teff.  As consumers explore regional African and Latin American cuisines in the upcoming year, they may begin experimenting with cassava and teff flours.  A gluten-free eatery in Chicago bakes cheese into cassava flour, a staple in Ecuador, to make a cheese bread that is served at the restaurant. And the owner of an Ethiopian restaurant in Falls Church, Va., says that naturally gluten-free teff is a staple in her country. Meaza Zemedu says that in Ethiopia, they use teff to bake muffins, cakes, and bread.[Image Credit: © Brett Hondow from Pixabay]
Rasha Ali, "African, S. American foods go against grain", USA TODAY, December 05, 2018, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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Kellogg Europe Executive Outlines Bio-Based Cereal Pouches Goal

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Kellogg Europe’s senior director of sustainability and corporate communications, the company is working towards its pledge to ensure 100 percent of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. An interim goal is to develop bio-based cereal pouches, recyclable in all Kellogg’s markets, to replace oil-based pouches by the end of next year. Although it’s up to consumers to contribute to the recycling process, he says, food companies must work with stakeholders, including suppliers and waste management companies, to design packaging that can be recycled and to improve the infrastructure. Kellogg Europe has started an audit of recycling structures in its largest 25 markets. Kellogg is one of the 250-plus signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to eliminate single-use plastic. Maitland-Titterton believes this scale of collaboration is crucial and that the food industry can’t solve it alone.[Image Credit: © KELLOGG Company]
"How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging", edie.net, December 04, 2018, © edie.net
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Supermarkets In Australia Seeing Up To 90 Percent Reduction In Single-Use Plastic Bag Use

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Since July, 1.5 billion fewer single-use plastic bags have been used by large Australian supermarkets. A ban by Coles and Woolworths were added to a total ban across the state of Queensland. Reusable options have helped bring about an 80 percent drop in plastic bag use, and some retailers have reported a 90 percent reduction. The supermarkets have donated profits from the sale of reusable bags to community organizations, including Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia and Guide Dog.[Image Credit: © Woolworths Group Limited]
"Australian supermarkets eliminate 1.5 billion single-use plastic bags", Packaging Gateway, December 04, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Food Companies Finding Ways To Upcycle, Recycle For Profits, Sustainability

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The packaged-food industry, both CPG giants and start-ups concerned about sustainability, along with foodservice chains and providers of plastic packaging, are seeing the benefits of the so-called “circular economy.” By recycling and upcycling as much as they can, they are benefiting their bottom line and helping preserve the planet. Many companies are engaged in efforts to try to reduce food waste. About two dozen CPG manufacturers and food retailers are working with the EPA as U.S. Food and Waste 2030 Champions, setting a target to cut food waste in half by 2030. An increasing number of start-up manufacturers are using food-waste reduction as a primary platform. Barnanas, for example, has become a $15 million company in six years, selling banana “bites” in several varieties made from bananas that were a bit ripe.[Image Credit: © Barnana]
Dale Buss, "Food Waste Has Manufacturers Engaging The Circular Economy", Chief Executive , December 04, 2018, © Chief Executive Group, LLC
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Collaboration Results In Creation Of “Solid Beer”

December 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Both beer and bread rely on similar grains – barley, rye, wheat – along with yeast to come up with related flavors. A California bakery is now ratcheting up the relationship with the help of a brewery to create bread that could be called “solid beer.” Butcher’s Daughter bread and pastry chef Perry Ledesma worked with Lars Larson, brewmaster at Berkeley brewery Trumer Pils, to come up with a bread that even includes a hint of hops, the aromatic flower that gives beer its distinctive bitterness but can overwhelm a loaf of bread. Trial and error, however, led to the successful creation of Toasted Barley Honey, along with sourdough with Hops Fleur (brushed with toasted barley brown butter), and a whole wheat with Hops Levain. The brewmaster and the baker expect this marriage baked in heaven to someday become a national phenomenon.[Image Credit: © The Butcher’s Daughter]
Brad Japhe, "This California Bakery Is Making Bread Out Of Beer", Forbes, December 03, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Campbell To Sell Bolthouse Farms, Continue Exit From Fresh Foods Business

December 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup is casting its net wide for potential buyers of its money-losing carrot, smoothie and fruit beverage company Bolthouse Farms, continuing its withdrawal from the fresh food industry that proved to be a poor fit.  The company distributed the financial books for Bolthouse, and has begun the process of divesting its Garden Fresh Gourmet business, purchased in 2015 for $231 million. Among the potential buyers for Bolthouse is former Bolthouse CEO Jeffrey Dunn, who has talked to private equity funds to help raise money to fund a bid. Campbell paid $1.55 billion for Bolthouse Farms in 2012, when the brand had more than $100 million in earnings before interest depreciation and amortization.
Lauren Hirsch , "Campbell launches sale of Bolthouse Farms business", CNBC.com, December 03, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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House Lawmakers Urge FDA To Clearly Label Foods Containing Allergen Sesame

December 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) has sent a letter signed by a bipartisan group of colleagues to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb urging the agency to require the clear labeling of sesame products because of the prevalence and severity of sesame allergies, and the risk of accidental exposure and allergic reactions under current regulations. According to Shea-Porter, sesame is the ninth most common food allergy among American adults and children, ranking just behind milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. However, allergic reactions to sesame can be even more severe than reactions to these eight allergens, the letter stated. Shea-Porter is the founder of the House of Representatives Asthma and Allergy Caucus.[Image Credit: © US Govt.]
"Shea-Porter Urges FDA to Label Sesame Products", Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), December 03, 2018, © US Govt.
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N.J. Lawmakers Tackle Food Waste Problem With Package Of Bills

November 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A N.J. Assembly committee has approved a package of bills aimed at reducing hunger statewide. Assembly Bill 4705 would create a 12-member New Jersey Food Waste Task Force whose purpose would be to devise ways to reduce wasteful food consumption in the state 50 percent by 2030. Assembly Joint Resolution 174, meanwhile, would urge retailers and consumers to find and adopt ways to reduce food waste. Suggestions outlined in the legislation for retailers include lowering “unreasonably high cosmetic standards” for their products, urging food manufacturers to drop “best by” labels and establishing systems for donating surplus foods to charities. To curb food waste among consumers, the resolution suggests retailers could provide food reduction tips and recipes to use leftovers and organize “waste less” campaigns.[Image Credit: © Community FoodBank of New Jersey]
Daniel J. Munoz, "Lawmakers eye ways to reduce food waste among restaurants, stores", NJBIZ, November 30, 2018, © BridgeTower Media
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Once Considered Only Fit For Animals, Sorghum Makes Its Way Into The U.S. Diet

November 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Gluten-free fans take note: sorghum, a whole grain commonly used for animal feed and ethanol production, is starting to make its way into the human diet.  An abundant crop in the U.S. – the largest producer in the world – sorghum is known for its natural drought tolerance and versatility but is also nutritious and gluten-free. It has been introduced into a variety of popular American foods, including Kind bars, Kellogg's cereals, and Ronzoni pastas as an “ancient grain.” Research has shown that some types of sorghum are rich in antioxidants that may help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and some neurological diseases.[Image Credit: © Vijaya narasimha from Pixabay]
Kristen Hicks-Roof and Diannette Osorio, "Sorghum finding its way into U.S. diet", Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), November 29, 2018, © GateHouse Media, LLC
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USDA Awards Grant To Fund Development Of a Kelp Additive For Bread

November 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The USDA has awarded $600,000 to Maine-based company VitaminSea to help develop a kelp-based additive for bread. The company received a grant last year to prove the feasibility of adding kelp to bread; the new funding will finance development of a prototype through partnerships with bakeries that will develop recipes and work on market testing. According to a project summary, commercialization of the kelp additive has the potential to "provide the nutritional benefits of consuming seaweed to a large population." [Image Credit: © VitaminSea Seaweed]
"Want some kelp with your bread? Seaweed firm says you might", Associated Press State & Local, November 29, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Lawsuits Claim AriZona Ice Tea Misleads Consumers About Ingredients, Labeling

November 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
AriZona Ice Tea’s parent company is being challenged in two federal lawsuits filed in New York courts that could achieve class-action status over issues related to ingredients and labeling. One suit accuses the company of “deceptively” labeling its drinks as having no preservative, despite containing the preservatives citric or ascorbic acids. The second suit accuses AriZona Beverages USA LLC and affiliate Beverage Marketing USA Inc. of misleading consumers about the amount of sugar and number of calories in their beverages by using a serving size of eight fluid ounces on its labels instead of the actual 16-ounce container size. Both lawsuits seek jury trials, unspecified monetary damages, legal costs, and court orders demanding that the company change its practices. AriZona Beverages did not respond to requests for comment.[Image Credit: © AriZona Beverages USA LLC]
Ken Schachter, "2 lawsuits over labels; AriZona Beverages is being challenged on 'no preservatives' and serving size", Newsday (New York), November 29, 2018, © Newsday
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Pakistan Expects Another $1.4 Billion In investment From PepsiCo, Coca-Cola

November 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The office of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement saying that PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have committed to investing an additional $1.4 billion in the coming years. The country is beset with economic and financial problems, especially a swelling current account deficit that has pushed it to seek loans from China and Saudi Arabia and a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. According to the prime minister’s office, PepsiCo will invest another $1.2 billion over the next five years, while Coca-Cola will invest $200 million on top of the current $500 million. Despite Pakistan’s economic woes, consumer goods companies see the world’s sixth most populous country (208 million people) as a promising market.
Asif Shahzad, "Pepsi and Coca Cola pouring $1.4 bln into Pakistan - government", Reuters, November 28, 2018, © The Thomson Reuters
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Bakeries See Upsurge In Instagram-Ready, Alcohol-Infused Desserts

November 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Millennial fondness for unusual flavors and exotic cocktails – coupled with Instagram mania – have produced a wave of new and photogenic baked goods laced with alcohol. A baking industry website says bakeries are seeing increased demand for premium desserts “inspired by alcoholic beverages.” Cakes may be drizzled with sweet liqueurs and their fillings spiked with alcoholic beverages. Manhattan’s Doughnut Project sells handcrafted doughnuts infused with booze. Another spiked treat is the “Instagram-ready” Chandonut Rosé, featuring a Chandon sparkling rosé glaze covering a Bourbon Eggnog doughnut.[Image Credit: © The Doughnut Project]
Sarah Berger , "People are going crazy for these boozy baked goods", CNBC, November 24, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Nashville Mayor Challenges Local Businesses To Cut Holiday Season Food Waste

November 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The mayor of Nashville, Tenn., has partnered with local organizations to challenge restaurants, hotels, and event venues to slash food waste. According to Mayor David Brinley, as many as 100,000 Davidson County residents, including more than 25,000 children, are food-insecure. By responding to the challenge, businesses could have a “meaningful impact” on the lives of many of our residents during the holiday season. Businesses that participate are being asked to select and implement practices from a menu of options to prevent food waste, to donate food and recycle food scraps, and to report on their progress. Organizations joing in the challenge include the Nashville Food Waste Initiative, the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association, and Nashville Originals.[Image Credit: © Natural Resources Defense Council]
"Mayor David Briley issues food saver challenge to prevent food waste this holiday season", Nashville Pride (Tennessee) | Black Press USA, November 23, 2018, © National Newspaper Publishers Association
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Protein-Based Beverages From Foundation Fitness Now On Walmart Store Shelves

November 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Foundation Fitness’s four newly-launched brands of canned protein beverages are now available in 2,500 Walmart stores. Each line – protein water, protein nutritional shake (made of whey), plant protein shake, and coldbrew with collagen – comes in a variety of flavors. Minimum amount of protein is 20 g per serving (in the collagen coldbrew), with the highest at 30 g per serving (the nutritional shake). The company debuted the brands earlier this month at the National Association of Convenience Stores (or NACS) show, an indication of its strategy to focus on convenience stores and gas station retailers as well as mass grocery retailers.
Adi Menayang , "Protein drink newcomer Foundation Fitness launches at Walmart nationwide", Beverage Daily, November 22, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pastry Chefs, A Dying Breed, Battle Headwinds With Creativity, Innovation

November 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A post-recession return to homier desserts coupled with rising restaurant labor and operating costs have been rough on the nation’s pastry chefs. In fact, pastry chefs appear to be a dying breed at today’s upscale restaurants. To fight the trend, survivors have re-imagined old-fashioned, all-American pies and layer cakes, using alternative grains and sweeteners, imported herbs, and forms that give the desserts a new look. To save money, however, today’s desserts tend to be large-format and therefore more economical than complexly plated individual ones. Today’s dwindling community of pastry chefs knows that they have to make dessert seem essential by rethinking comfort and indulgence while still offering a taste of nostalgia.[Image Credit: © Milktooth]
"As Pastry Chefs Decline in Ranks, a Revolution in Cakes and Pies", The New York Times , November 22, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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Scientists Develop Probiotic Drink By Fermenting Coconut Water

November 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at universities in India and South Korea have developed a functional fermented coconut water beverage with probiotic benefits. The beverage was produced using the bacterial strain Lactobacillus casei L4. The scientists reported that the fermentation of coconut water with probiotic lactobacilli increased the cell viability count, with vitamin B12 production being the highest in the extracellular environment after 48 hours. The total phenolic content was also much higher than at other time points, and the fermented materials demonstrated the most prominent radical-scavenging activities. Twenty taste testers tried three recipes for the beverage, showing preference for fermented coconut water with 15 percent honey and artificial coconut flavor, probably because of the decreased acidity and increased sweetness and aroma of the beverage.
Cheryl Tay , "Indian and Korean researchers develop functional probiotic beverage from fermented coconut water", Nutraingredients USA, November 20, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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International Distributors Show Interest In Detox Beverage Company

November 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
London-based Sober Up, an alcohol detoxification drink company, says it has received international distribution interest from 17 countries due to the online awareness and success of their current Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. A resurgence of backers has led to the extension of the campaign through November 27, after which Sober Up will be available on their new website for retail purchase with various retail location announcements coming as each location is finalized. According to the company, Sober Up is a detox shot made from naturally sourced ingredients that detoxes the body, supports liver health and helps prevent hangovers.
"Sober Up Detox Shot Set For International Market Distribution", BevNET.com, November 20, 2018, © BevNET.com®, Inc.
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82 Labs Expands To Store Shelves While Extending Product Focus Beyond Hangover Recovery

November 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based start-up 82 Labs is preparing to rebrand itself as a functional beverage platform in December with the launch of a holistic suite of products aimed at promoting productivity. The company, which works closely with a research team at USC, closed an $8 million funding round six months ago and launched Morning Recovery, a 3.4 oz. shot designed to ease the effects of alcohol consumption. Consumer research, however, has convinced the company to expand its horizons. Morning Recovery will be one of a variety of products aimed at providing different functional benefits, including anxiety relief, improved sleep quality, optimal hydration, and mental acuity. It will debut new flavors and packaging next month while transitioning from online-only sales to brick-and-mortar retail. Its products are being tested at 7-Eleven locations in Chicago, and in stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The company plans to expand eventually to mass and conventional grocery channels. 
Martín Caballero, "The Morning After: 82 Labs Evolves Amid Retail Push", BevNET.com, November 19, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Coca-Cola Drops Out Of Competition For GlaxoSmithKline’s Nutrition Business

November 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé India and Unilever are the only companies vying for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business in India now that Coca-Cola is said to have backed out of the lengthy due diligence process. Bids for GSK’s Indian nutrition business, which includes the popular Horlicks malted milk beverage, are believed to be in the $3.1-3.5 billion range. Earlier this year, GSK launched a strategic review of its nutrition business globally. The review is expected to be concluded in December.
Ratna Bhushan, Arijit Barman, "Nestlé seeks to pip Unilever to grab GSK’s consumer nutrition business as Coca-Cola opts out", The Economic Times, November 19, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Report Covers Novel Food And Beverage Packaging Solutions That Cut Food Waste

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A report by Chicago-based research company PreScouter covering food and beverage packaging innovations highlights nine shelf-life extension solutions that could go a long way toward reducing the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted globally each year. The solutions, in various stages of development, include the move toward more natural food- and plant-based additives and packaging. Other solutions feature superior coating materials, novel additives, and putting a new spin on older technologies. Six of the nine solutions have been approved for food use[Image Credit: © PreScouter]
"Extending the Shelf Life of Food and Beverages", PreScouter, November 18, 2018, © PreScouter
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Dietitians Help Company Educate Consumers On Benefits Of Prebiotic Foods

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Freedom Foods has boosted the marketing of its nutritional bars and cereals by working with registered dietitians in retail stores and in communities. Freedom’s products, sold in more than 2,000 U.S., feature BarleyMax. a grain packed with prebiotic-resistant starch and fiber. The company realized early that selling a prebiotic food requires consumer education. Working with dietitians, Freedom Food is spreading the word about the benefits of Barley+ products through 28-day gut reboot camps, first tested at 12 ShopRite stores in New Jersey. The camps are basically health and lifestyle programs that advocate consumption of Barley+ products as a way to eat more whole grains. The company says RDs are also “relatable and approachable practitioners,” have strong relationships with local television news and talk shows, and contribute to the company’s social media programs.[Image Credit: © https://freedomfoodsus.com/]
"Freedom Foods taps RDs to spread the word about prebiotics", FoodNavigator-USA.com, November 18, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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The Science Of Tasty Whole Wheat Bread Marches On

November 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The mission of wheat geneticists and other grain professionals at the Washington State University Bread Lab is to breed wheat for whole wheat flour that actually tastes good and that people would actually want to eat, not just satisfy a dietary recommendation. Breeding wheat for flavor is something of a new concept. Wheat breeders usually aim for traits like right height for mechanized harvesting, right texture for mechanized baking, and high yield. In their search for flavor, the Bread Lab researchers have identified one new wheat – Skagit 1109 – that makes a reliably tasty whole wheat bread called the “Approachable Loaf.” A group of 40 bakers, millers, breeders, and others met this summer to test-bake the loaf they've been discussing and fine-tuning for the last two years – with satisfying results.[Image Credit: © Pezibear from Pixabay]
Veronique Greenwood, "Science Makes Bread Taste Better", The Boston Globe, November 18, 2018, © skagit1109
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