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Novel Edible Utensils Enhance Customer Experience And Help Eliminate Plastic Waste

September 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Companies are responding to consumer concerns about plastic pollution and regulation restricting the use of plastic straws, with a range of innovative solutions. After announcing it would remove single-use straws globally by 2020, Starbucks introduced a pumpkin spice cookie straw. In the summer Diageo introduced flavored edible straws that supposedly complemented its canned cocktails. Beyond straws, British packaging startup Skipping Rocks Lab partnered with delivery service Just Eat to offer seaweed-based edible sauce sachets. Consumer awareness continues to rise as the scale of the issue becomes clear. One study found that just 9 percent of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced worldwide is recycled, underling the work still to be done.[Image Credit: © Skipping Rocks Lab]
Emily Safian-Demers, "Edible utensils", J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, September 19, 2018, © J. Walter Thompson U.S.A., LLC
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Irish Agricultural Technology Companies See Export Opportunities in the North American Agricultural Market

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Enterprise Ireland sees large opportunities in the US for Irish agricultural technology companies and recently opened a Chicago office to help companies to secure business. It seeks to help companies that offer a range of products, often leveraging digitalization to help farmers optimize efficiency, maximize profitability, and reduce costs. For example, Moocall sells wearable sensors to the bovine industry to improve calving, MooMonitor provides a system to monitor animal health and fertility and MagGrow has technology that improves spraying efficiency and reduces spray drift by up to 70 per cent.[Image Credit: © Enterprise Ireland]
Ryan J Shaughnessy, "US agritech is a new digital frontier for exporters", Farm Ireland, September 17, 2018, © Independent.ie
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Coca-Cola Looks For Opportunities In CBD-Infused Beverage Market

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has issued a statement confirming that it is “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol) as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.” The company is one of many that are monitoring the development of CBD-infused beverages, or have – like Molson Coors Co. and Constellation Brands – invested in the segment. Bloomberg reported that Coca-Cola is discussing the possibility of new products with Aurora Cannabis Inc. of Vancouver, Canada.
Tonya Garcia, "Coca-Cola says it's 'closely watching' the opportunities in CBD-infused beverages", MarketWatch, September 17, 2018, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Premier Nutrition Corporation Partners With Tetra Pak To Launch A New Earth First Packaging Initiative For Its Premier Protein Shakes

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In its commitment to reduce its environmental impact, Premier Nutrition decided to change the packaging for its Premier Protein shakes by using Tetra Pak cartons certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The cap is durable, recyclable, free from genetically modified organisms and made from sugarcane. Company president, Darcy Horn Davenport, claims the growing environmental awareness of consumers prompted them to reevaluate the product line's packaging.[Image Credit: © PREMIER NUTRITION CORPORATION]
"Premier Protein Introduces Sustainable Packaging for its Line of Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes", PR Newswire, September 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Arkansas’ Food Companies Make Progress In Battle To Cut Food Waste

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food waste in manufacturing and packaging costs corporations $2 billion each year – in addition to $15 billion for farmers – while dumping 52 million tons of waste into landfills. In the state of Arkansas, food and beverage industry companies are taking steps to eradicate food waste. Tyson Foods this summer launched bite-sized chicken crisps, dubbed ¡Yappah!, made with upcycled chicken breast, rescued carrots, and celery puree from juicing, or malted barley from beer brewing. Walmart has introduced a technology that focuses on tracking the freshness of produce as it travels from farm to wholesaler to retailer to table. Eden’s sensors measure and report temperature, moisture and metabolite data used to assess carton-level freshness and shelf life based on FDA standards. And ConAgra Brands says it achieved an 81.7 percent landfill diversion rate in 2017 corporate-wide.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"How one state is fighting food waste", Brandpoint Content, September 17, 2018, © Brandpoint
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Resorts, Hotels Adjust To The Evolving Era Of Legalized Pot

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As legalization of cannabis-based foods and beverages for functional and recreational use spreads gradually across the U.S., hotels and resorts have geared up to offer cannabis-based menu items and wellness treatments. The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, for example, serves a mojito ($18) infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a nonintoxicating cannabis compound whose relaxation effect is “even more profound” than a traditional mojito. The Spa Solage resort in Napa Valley offers a massage, facial and body scrub ($160 to $420), all of which feature CBD oil, a purported anti-inflammatory agent that is supposed to help with insomnia, pain relief, anxiety, and eczema. Lastly, The Thompson Seattle hotel sponsored two dinners where different strains of marijuana (this time with psychoactive THC) were paired with beets with herring, scallops with apples and anise, and veal cheeks with cauliflower and pecans.[Image Credit: © maroonedonisland from Pixabay]
Shivani Vora, "Cannabis on the Menu at Your Next Hotel Restaurant or Spa?", The New York Times - International Edition, September 17, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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Soylent Plans U.K. Launch

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based meal replacement company Soylent is expanding to the U.K. after market research found that skipping meals is becoming more commonplace there. Launched in the U.S. in 2014 after a crowdfunding campaign raised $1.5 million, Soylent has developed a significant following for its RTD beverages and powders among athletes and gym rats who use it as a high-protein workout supplement. It was the top grocery product on Amazon in the U.S. beginning in January 2018. The company is planning a soft launch because of the novelty of the meal replacement concept in the U.K. The strategy is to drive word of mouth, awareness and advocacy to educate consumers. Marketing will target gamers, urban Millennial achievers and busy students.
Beth Newhart, "Soylent ‘cult following’ in the U.S. leads to U.K. launch", beveragedaily.com, September 17, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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New Facility In Upstate N.Y. Will Reclaim, Convert Food Scraps Into Energy

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A solid waste manager in the upstate New York city of Utica says about 14 percent of the 169,000 tons of municipal waste that ends up in a local landfill is food scraps. But Bill Rabbia believes there’s a better way to deal with discarded leftover food from restaurants and homes than dumping in the landfill. Construction is scheduled to begin next month on a $3.4 million facility with equipment that can separate food scraps from wrappers, packaging, utensils, etc., then turn it into a “slurry” that will end up in Oneida County’s anaerobic digester. There, in an oxygen-free setting, microorganisms break down biodegradable material and turn it into a gas – such as methane – that can be transformed into energy. [Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Greg Mason, "Project under way to recycle food waste in Oneida, Herkimer counties", Utica Observer-Dispatch (N.Y.), September 16, 2018, © Gatehouse Media LLC
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Bakery Thrives On All Gluten-Free Menu

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The founder of a Wisconsin gluten-free bake shop called The Naked Baker – the name has nothing to do with wardrobe and everything to do with excluded ingredients like corn syrup, GMOs, and artificial anything – started her business as a traditional bakery. She switched when demand for gluten-free became too heavy to ignore. She developed and tested a special flour blend and recipe – “I have a little ratio I keep in my head” – that uses less sugar. When the gluten-free creations started outselling her other items, Sue Knutson decided to focus entirely on gluten-free baked goods, including chocolate chip cookies, brownies, birthday cakes, etc. But whether traditional or gluten-free, she relies on her husband and four teenage sons – none of whom have any gluten-related allergy – to ensure that the quality is high. [Image Credit: © The Naked Baker, LLC.]
Kristine M. Kierzek, "Gluten-free experiment turns into popular business for 'Naked Baker' founder", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 16, 2018, © jsonline.com
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Bakery Draws Inspiration From 1950s-Style Snack Cakes, But That’s All

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California bakery Cake Monkey hopes to please all age groups and generations with its upscale, all-natural takes on the cream-filled snack cakes of past decades. But its creations – e.g., Moguls inspired by Hostess Sno Balls and foil-wrapped Black & White Cakewich modeled after Ding Dongs – are most likely to push the nostalgia buttons of Baby Boomers who grew up in the latter half of the 20th century. The lineup isn’t just inspired by the Hostess product line. Other Cake Monkey creations give a nod to Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls and Drake's brand Ring Dings, Yankee Doodles, and Devil Dogs. But inspiration is where the imitation ends. Cake Monkey never uses candy coating chocolate or shortening in its products. “You can really taste the difference in our buttercream frosting."[Image Credit: © cake monkey bakery]
Sandra Barrera, "These retro snack cakes at Cake Monkey update your childhood favorites ", Redlands Daily Facts (California), September 16, 2018, © South California News Group
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Meal Replacement Beverage Company Gains Venture Capital Infusion

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Austrian food and beverage investor Square One Foods has acquired a seven percent interest in Saturo Foods of Vienna, Austria. Founded in early 2017, Saturo makes a range of RTD meal replacement drinks formulated with proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. The target market is individuals with busy lifestyles. One 500 ml bottle contains up to 25 percent of the daily balanced nutrient intake. Square One’s “six figure round” will be used to finance distribution plans, recruit additional manpower, and expand product lines, the company said. Saturo is discussing a large Series A funding round within 6-9 months. The company says it has “the potential to establish a new category of meal replacement drinks and will soon be an integral part of our beverage range, like Red Bull or Coca-Cola."
Will Chu , "Saturo secures six-figure investment to fund ‘new meal replacement drink category’", Nutraingredients-USA, September 14, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Optimum Nutrition’s New Sports-Energy Line Includes An RTD Sparkling Drink

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Illinois-based protein powder marketer Optimum Nutrition has debuted two formats of its Essential Amin.O.Energy Plus Electrolytes beverage: a powder and an RTD sparkling drink. The new drink contains amino acids to help support muscle recovery and natural caffeine for energy plus electrolytes. Optimum’s Essential Amino.O.Energy line is mainly a variety of sugar-free protein powders in four flavors that contain caffeine (100 mg) derived from green tea and green coffee bean extract. Other ingredients include five grams of amino acids and minerals potassium and sodium.
"Optimum Nutrition Introduces New Essential Amin.O. Energy Plus Electrolytes", PR Newswire, September 14, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestlé removes stabilizers in UHT milks in Brazil

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In an effort to “simplify” the ingredient lists for its products, Nestlé’s Brazilian unit has removed the stabilizers used in the UHT (ultra-high-temperature pasteurization) long-life milks sold in the country under the brand names Ninho and Molico. The company said it is the first country where it has done this. In the U.S., Nestlé has removed GMO ingredients from its Buitoni products, and artificial colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and GMO ingredients from six ice cream brands. It plans to eliminate artificial flavors and reduce the salt levels in pizzas and snacks sold in the U.S. 
Dean Best, "Nestlé removes stabilizers in UHT milks in Brazil", just-food, September 14, 2018
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Hershey’s Expands Into Healthful Cheese Puffs Snack Segment

September 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Like other big food companies, Pennsylvania-based candy and snack company Hershey’s is investing heavily in healthful foods. It recently announced the $420 million acquisition of Pirate Brands, maker of Pirate's Booty, Smart Puffs, and Original Tings. Pirates snacks will help Hershey’s break into the more than $2.5 billion cheese puffs category.  In 2017 the company purchased Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn and Oatmega whey-protein bars, for $1.6 billion. Other companies investing in healthful snacks and foods include ConAgra (Pinnacle Foods) and PepsiCo (SodaStream and Bare Snacks). In 2014, General Mills bought Annie's, which makes organic pasta and snacks, for $820 million in 2014 and Campbell Soup acquired Bolthouse Farms in 2012, thought the company said it plans to sell the Campbell Fresh line, which includes Bolthouse. [Image Credit: © The Hershey Company]
Danielle Wiener-Bronner, "Hershey's buys Pirate's Booty to double down on healthy snacks", CNN Wire, September 13, 2018, © Cable News Network
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Starbucks Establishes Framework For Building, Operating “Greener Stores”

September 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Coffee Company announced a commitment to build and operate 10,000 “Greener Stores” around the world by 2025. The company will follow a “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework of comprehensive performance criteria for the new stores. The company also said it would audit all existing stores in the U.S. and Canada using the framework criteria, which will be shared with other retail businesses. The framework will be co-developed by experts, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, a third-party verification organization that also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices. CEO Kevin Johnson said, “Simply put, sustainable coffee served sustainably is our aspiration."[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
"Starbucks Announces Global Greener Stores Commitment", Starbucks, September 13, 2018, © Starbucks Corporation
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Phivida Launches Line Of Functional Beverages Infused With Hemp Extract

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Vancouver, Canada-based Phivida Holdings Inc. has launched the "Oki" line of functional beverages and supplements infused with active hemp extract that will be sold in 2,400 U.S. natural specialty store locations. Oki beverages are infused with 10 mg of active hemp extract per glass bottle and come in two different formulations: iced teas and flavor-infused water, each ranging in four different 16 oz flavors. Its supplements are available in tinctures or capsules in doses of 600-1800 total mg of active hemp extract. All products are non-GMO, contain natural and organic ingredients, and are plant-based and vegan friendly. Distribution will be handled by Natural Specialty Sales (NSS), a natural/specialty retail network that includes retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and National Co-op Grocers.
"Phivida introduces premium active hemp extract infused functional beverage and supplement line to mainstream retailers in the U.S.", CNW, September 12, 2018, © CNW Group Ltd.
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Bakery Shifts Focus From Healthy Snacks To Low-Carb Bread

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Taking advantage of the growing low-carb and ketogenic lifestyles trend, the Stone Bank Baking Co. has shifted emphasis from healthy snacks to low-carbohydrate bread. The company produces SoLo Carb Bread, sold on Amazon.com and in Midwest retail locations such as Piggly Wiggly, Sentry Foods, Woodman’s, and Sendik's stores. In August, the company started selling the bread on its own website Sales were slow at first, but have grown every day.[Image Credit: © Stone Bank Baking Co]
Sari Lesk, "SoLo Carb Bread sees growth as low-carb diets spread", Milwaukee Business Journal (Wisconsin), September 12, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Protein Powder Pods Deliver Convenience, Cost-Competitiveness

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Michigan-based Vade Nutrition is betting its future on the convenience and cost-competitiveness of its innovative technology for protein shakes. The family-owned company has created dissolvable single-serve protein powder “scoops” encased in edible film that dissolves in water. The concept is similar to dissolvable pods used in household cleaning products. Though sales growth of protein and protein call-outs has tapered off somewhat, both categories continue to grow. Protein powder sales in the U.S. grew 11 percent in 2018, down from 14 percent in 2016. Growth in the RTD segment dropped to 8.3 percent in 2018 from 9.7 percent in 2016. Vade Nutrition’s marketing is apparently paying off: it is one of two top results when searching for “protein pod” on Google, the other being a company called Podz.
Adi Menayang , "As protein category crowds, start-up Vade Nutrition shakes things up with dissolvable scoop ‘pods’", Nutraingredients-USA, September 12, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kruseaz Adds Flapjack Mix That Is High In Protein, Fiber

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Baking mix maker Krusteaz as launched a Buttermilk Protein Flapjack & Waffle Mix that provides 15 grams of protein per serving and four grams of fiber. The mix is made from 100 percent whole grain flour and contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The Krusteaz product line includes pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick breads and flatbreads, cookies, dessert bars, cornbread, crumb cakes and a line of gluten-free products. Krusteaz is a brand of Continental Mills, Inc., is a privately held manufacturer located in Tukwila, Wash.[Image Credit: © Continental Mills, Inc.]
"Hot Off The Griddle: Krusteaz Steps Up Pancake Game With Introduction Of New And Improved Buttermilk Protein Flapjack & Waffle Mix", PR Newswire, September 12, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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AI And Robots Gain Traction In Food Manufacturing

September 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food manufacturers are adopting vision-automation technology by combining advances in laser vision with artificial-intelligence software to carry out more-complex tasks. Process times for some applications can be about 100 times faster than humans, creating the potential of significant efficiency gains. For example, a sausage factory is using vision technology to cut sausage strings at a rate of 200 a minute. Food industry applications include optimal meat cutting, ensuring frozen pizzas have the correct toppings and ultrasonic slicing of cheese. Effective three-dimensional imaging will allow broader applications but costs are currently too high.[Image Credit: © forwimuwi73 from Pixabay]
Natasha Khan, "See Food: Why Robots Are Producing More of What You Eat", The Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Startup Ripe.io Secures Finance For Its Block Chain Platform

September 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agritech startup, Ripe.io, received $2.4 million in financing from investors that include Maersk Growth and food innovation hub Relish Works. Established by two professionals from the finance industry, Phil Harris and Raja Ramachandran, Ripe.io seeks to use blockchain to address several problems that beset the food industry including fraud and food safety. Ripe.io’s first foray into blockchain technology was the Internet of Tomatoes that used sensor machines to collect information related to tomato growing. Harris claims that the food industry needs to undergo a ‘digitization event’ and that Ripe.io, with its blockchain platform, can enhance transparency for consumers by providing details about the food they are about to purchase.[Image Credit: © Ripe Technology, INC]
Jenny Splitter, "Ripe.io And Its 'Blockchain Of Food' Secures $2.4 Million In Funding", Forbes, September 11, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Koios Beverage Will Introduce A Line Of Functional Sodas In January

September 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Canada’s Koios Beverage Corp. said it will begin production of a new line of functional beverages under the brand “Fit Soda” in the first quarter of 2019. The soda will be produced using only organic ingredients and manufacturing methods, without any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, and will focus on physical wellbeing with high levels of nutrients, amino acids, proteins, electrolytes or probiotics. The company said the Fit Soda line is the second phase of a Koios product launch that began in early 2018 with the production of the company's line of nootropic beverages intended to increase mental focus and acuity. The company also expects to introduce a line of THC and CBD infused beverages through its wholly-owned subsidiary Cannavated Beverage Corp.
"Koios to Release New 'Fit Soda' Line of Functional Beverages", CNW , September 11, 2018, © CNW Group Ltd.
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Virginia Company Pervida To Launch Sugar-Control Beverage In 2019

September 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Blacksburg, Va.-based functional beverage company Pervida next spring will debut Pervida Sugar Control, a beverage meant to support the body’s use of glucose, especially when combined with exercise. The drink uses an enriched fig extract to direct glucose from the bloodstream into your muscles, lowering blood sugar levels while boosting the available fuel for muscle endurance. A secondary effect is immunity and gut health, thanks to the addition of pomegranate seed oil. It contains carbonation, vitamins, but no sweeteners or calories, no preservatives, and no artificial ingredients. It is vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Pervida Sugar Control will be available in orange flavor with a “splash of pomegranate.”,
"Pervida Sugar Control – Coming Soon", Pervida, September 10, 2018, © Pervida
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California Bake Mix Company Ventures Into Snack Bars

September 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Baking and cake mix maker Cherryvale Farms of California has launched a line of plant-based, clean-label whole grain snack bars. Love It! Bars, available in three flavors, are made with whole grains and real fruit flavor. They are also Non-GMO Project Verified, egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free and contain no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. The line of snack bars is Cherryvale’s firs step beyond the baking aisle.[Image Credit: © Cherryvale Farms]
"Cherryvale Farms Expands Beyond Baking Aisle", PR Newswire, September 10, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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How Companies Are Working To Meet Demand For “Free From” Foods

September 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As American consumers increasingly seek out foods that are “free from” gluten, antibiotics, pesticides, and genetic modification – sales of which are poised to grow 15 percent by 2022 – food manufacturers are taking extraordinary measures to ensure they are meeting that demand, changing the way they procure, process, and package food. General Mills Inc., for example, which was forced recall gluten-free Cheerios – oats do not naturally contain gluten – because wheat flour got into a facility in California. The company built a special eight-story sorting plant to make sure gluten particles from neighboring fields did not end up in their oat-based cereals.[Image Credit: © General Mills Inc]
Jen Skerritt, Megan Durisin and Craig Giammona, "`Free-From' Foods Are Changing the Way Your Meals Are Produced", Bloomberg News, September 09, 2018, © Bell Media
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Blockchain Vendors IBM And Grainchain Emphasize Benefits In Argentina

September 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
At a farming conference in Argentina two providers of blockchain applications emphasized the benefits to food production. IBM pointed out how traceability and certificate management generate trust through the supply chain, especially when done at speed: in Mexico its system enabled Walmart to determine the origin of each mango in two seconds compared to six days previously. UK-based Grainchain, which offers an "ag-tech" platform for commodities trading, emphasized how blockchain helps both sides have faith in a contract. Each party knows the contract is verified, is unalterable and will be honored. Use of blockchain solutions is at an early stage in Argentina but as processes get standardized and benefits become clear, vendors see large potential in this agriculturally intensive nation.[Image Credit: © GrainChain]
Alidad Vassigh, "Sourcing That Mango: Blockchain Brings Transparency To Food Supplies", Worldcrunch, September 09, 2018, © Worldcrunch - in partnership with CLARIN
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KFC Initiative On Single-Use Plastic in Macau and Hong Kong

September 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
KFC outlets in Hong Kong and Macau will stop automatically giving out plastic straws and lids for customers eating in the store, but will provide them if asked. They will also be added to takeaways and select items. KFC made the decision following a trial in which most customers were happy not to have a plastic straw or lid. Greenpeace has acknowledged the move but added that plastic straws and lids are just a fraction of the plastic disposables used by the chain. The environmental group estimates that KFC uses some 42 million plastic disposable items each year, but even this is less than some local chains, according to Greenpeace.[Image Credit: © Christopher on pexels.com]
Naomi Ng, "KFC to ditch plastic straws and drink lids for dine-in customers in all of its Hong Kong and Macau restaurants", South China Morning Post , September 07, 2018, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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Nestlé Acquires Majority Stake In South America’s Terrafertil Plant-Based Beverages Company

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has acquired a majority stake in Terrafertil, a South American provider of natural, organic, plant-based foods and healthful snacks and a global producer of goldenberries. Terrafertil collaborates with hundreds of small growers and local communities in Colombia and Ecuador to hand pick and carefully dry the goldenberries to ensure quality. The company was founded in 2005 in Ecuador by five entrepreneurs and has expanded to the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and the United Kingdom. It is also present in 17 other markets through third-party alliances. The company continues to operate independently and will be managed by two of its three founding brothers, David and Raul Bermeo.
"The Nestlé Family welcomes Terrafertil", WEBWIRE, September 06, 2018, © WebWire
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N.Y. State Allocates $2M For Pantries, Municipalities To Combat Food Waste

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will award $2 million in grants to food pantries and other emergency food relief organizations as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce food waste and increase food waste recycling. Non-profit emergency food relief organizations are eligible to receive funding to purchase equipment such as refrigerators for fruits and vegetables and staff expenses that result in increased collection and distribution of food. Funds may also be used to promote the reduction of wasted food, increase food donation efforts, and to increase food scraps recycling through the construction of composting facilities or other means. Grant funding totaling $800,000 will be made available for emergency food relief organizations; $1.2 million is slotted for municipalities.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"DEC Announces $2 Million In Grants For Local Food Rescue Organizations And Municipalities To Increase Food Donation And Food Scraps Recycling", New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), September 06, 2018, © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
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Detoxwater Adds Aloe Shot To Its Portfolio

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

New York-based Detoxwater has introduced an aloe supplement shot containing 1.7 fluid ounces of highly-concentrated aloe vera extract. Veralixir is a vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free prebiotic with zero calories. It contains “clinically-proven” ACTIValoe hand-harvested aloe that, the company says, delivers optimal benefits for immune, skin, and digestive health. The company recommends that the beverage be taken once a day before or after a meal “to promote digestive health, skin elasticity, nutrient absorption, and immune health.” In addition to aloe-based probiotic Detoxwater, the company produces Cryptokiwi, a beverage made with kiwi and cucumber.

"Detoxwater Launches Veralixir", PR Newswire, September 06, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola A Major Contender For Kraft Heinz Consumer Products In India

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is competing against Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila Group to purchase the Indian consumer portfolio of Kraft Heinz for approximately $1 billion. The portfolio includes the children’s milk drink Complan. At one time, suitors included Tata Group, Wipro Consumer, Dabur India and Danone, companies that have been shortlisted along with Coca-Cola and Zydus Cadila. Other contenders have included Nestlé, Emami, and ITC. Some potential purchasers have expressed concerns about the future of products like Complan as consumer preferences continue to evolve. Coca-Cola India is also pursuing GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business, which owns malted milk brand Horlicks. The asking price is reportedly $4 billion. Coke’s strategy is to acquire established or high-potential brands in India’s non-soda beverage space, especially health-based hydration that includes glucose and milk-based drinks.
Ratna Bhushan and Arijit Barman, "Coca-Cola, Zydus Cadila battle for Kraft Heinz India brands", The Economic Times, September 06, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Australia To Use AI To Map Its 65 Wine Regions

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

An agreement between Wine Australia and Consilium Technology covers the use of artificial intelligence to accurately map Australia's 65 wine regions. A national census of the country's winegrape area will be conducted in mid-2019 using Consilium Technology's Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture software equipped with high-resolution satellite images and advanced machine learning. The software's accuracy was previously tested in mapping the Margaret River and Tasmania. Information from the scan is expected to enhance Australia's biosecurity activities and wine label integrity.[Image Credit: © Wine Australia]
"Artificial Intelligence helps accurately map Australia’s 65 wine regions", Food Magazine, September 06, 2018, © Prime, Creative Media Pty Ltd
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Rockefeller Grant Funds Baltimore Food Waste Initiative

September 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced that the Rockefeller Foundation has awarded the city $200,000 to launch a long-term plan in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council to reduce food waste over the next 20 years. Baltimore becomes the second city, after Denver, to participate in the pilot initiative. The city’s sustainability agency will hire a full-time director to oversee the program for two years. The agency will award grant money to local organizations already working on food waste and composting. The program will also receive technical assistance form the NRDC. The main goals of the program are: reducing food waste by educating consumers about their role; boosting food recovery by working with grocery stores, hotels, restaurants and farmers markets to gather surplus food and distribute it to communities; and launching composting pilot programs.[Image Credit: © The Rockefeller Foundation]
Carley Milligan , "Baltimore launches plan to reduce food waste with funding from Rockefeller Foundation", Baltimore Business Journal, September 05, 2018, © American City Business Journals.
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Barilla Introduces Four Varieties of Legume-Based Pastas

September 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Acknowledging two key consumer food preference trends – plant-based and high-protein – pasta maker Barilla has launched a line of one-ingredient legume pastas made with chickpeas or red lentils. The products are available in four varieties: red lentil rotini, red lentil penne, chickpea rotini and chickpea casarecce. All are certified gluten free and Non-GMO Project Verified. They retail for $2.99 each and can be found at Amazon.com and select retailers nationwide.[Image Credit: © Barilla G. e R. F.lli S.p.A.]
"Barilla Debuts Latest Innovation with One-Ingredient Legume Pastas", PR Newswire, September 05, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Online Retailer In U.K. Sells Wonky Beef Cuts To Reduce Waste

August 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Selling misshapen or “wonky” fruits and vegetables at a discount is a well-established practice, but now healthy eating firm MuscleFood.com has launched a discounted wonky steaks program, selling odd shapes and sizes of two beef cuts from just $1.30 each to reduce food waste. The British company is selling the imperfect steaks in packs of 10, 20, or 30 that weigh from 3.5 ounces to 6.5 ounces each. A $39 pack of 30 works out to be $1.30 each for rump steaks; a $44 sirloin pack is $1.56 per steak. The company says the meat is free-range and grass-fed and the same quality served in restaurants. Eateries reject the cuts as too big or too small and usually end up grinding them into mincemeat.[Image Credit: © MuscleFood Ltd]
Imogen Blake, "Healthy eating brand launches the U.K.'s first 'wonky' rump and sirloin steaks that are too imperfect for restaurants from just £1 Each", MailOnline, August 31, 2018, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Coca-Cola Acquires U.K. Coffee Shop Chain Costa In Bid For A Share Of The Booming Coffee Market

August 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Gambling on the continued popularity of coffee, and apparently undeterred by the prospect of competing against Starbucks Coca-Cola has acquired British coffee-shop chain and roastery Costa – with its 3,800 cafés – in a deal worth $5.1 billion. A few analysts were skeptical of the deal, noting that 2,500 of Costa’s locations are in the U.K. and wondering why the soft drinks giant would enter the unfamiliar world of bricks-and-mortar retail. But Coke CEO James Quincey said the acquisition amounted to a wager on the burgeoning global coffee business: a “coffee strategy, not a retail strategy.” The company has no current plans to open Costa coffee shops in the U.S., but will bring Costa coffee vending machines and beans to U.S. gas stations, college campuses, and quick-service restaurants. 
Jennifer Maloney in New York and Ian Walker in London, "Coke Adds Coffee to Its Drinks Mix in $5.1 Billion Deal", The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2018, © Dow Jones & Co., Inc
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Arizona Donut Chain Continues Expansion Strategy With Funding Help

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Long-time Arizona donut purveyor BoSa Donuts continues to expand with the help of new investors. The company is adding two new locations in downtown Phoenix, bringing to 24 the number of shops it has in the state. It has also announced plans to open four more in the coming months. The owners say they are not worried about over-saturation, mainly because their menu includes sandwiches and beverages in addition to donuts. Because BoSa is opening in different locations and in different sized spaces, the owners initial opening costs per new shop vary, but can run upwards of $2 million.[Image Credit: © BoSa Donuts]
"Popular donut chain looks to make its mark in downtown Phoenix", Phoenix Business Journal (Arizona), August 30, 2018, © American City Business Journals.
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Missouri Clarifies Restrictions On Labeling Plant-Based Or Lab-Grown Meats

August 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Missouri lawmakers last spring passed a law stating that plant-based and lab-grown meat products cannot be labeled as meat. But on August 30 the state agriculture department issued a reprieve for companies marketing such products, saying they would have until January 1 to comply with the labeling requirements under the law, which took effect on August 28. The law states that products labeled as meat must be derived from an actual cow, chicken, turkey or some other animal with two or four feet. The agriculture department’s advisory said companies would not be prosecuted if labels prominently use words like "plant-based," "veggie," "lab-grown," or "lab-created" near the product name, or if it states the product is "made from plants" or "grown in a lab."[Image Credit: © Impossible Foods Inc.]
"Missouri ag officials offering `fake meat' companies a reprieve on labeling", St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri), August 31, 2018, © STLtoday.com
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Aramark Makes Inroads To Eliminating Single-Use Plastic In Its Operations

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Customer service business, Aramark, which operates in the food and facilities management sectors, announced a commitment to reducing significantly single-use disposable plastics globally by 2022. To date, it has eliminated over 400,000 plastic straws from locations in the UK, with another 418,000 planned in Ireland by the end of the year. It has also replaced with a compostable substitute some five million plastic-lined coffee cups and soup containers. It is now setting its sights on other single-use plastics items, including bags and cutlery.[Image Credit: © Aramark]
Donna Ahern, "Aramark Announces Plans To Phase Out Single-Use Plastic", Checkout Magazine, August 30, 2018, © Checkout Magazine
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Baristas Coffee Enters Functional Beverage Market

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kenmore, Wash.-based Baristas Coffee Company introduced what it calls a “boutique coffee product,” Baristas White Coffee, on Amazon and has begun product and distribution channel development for its expanded line of alternative and functional coffee SKUs. The products contain vitamins, minerals, nutraceuticals, and other additives that are legal in the state where they are distributed. The coffees are targeted at health-conscious consumers, especially Millennials, looking for nutrients such as vitamins, protein, extended energy, and probiotics along with functionality that addresses joint health, heart health, memory support, and diabetes. CEO Barry Henthorn said coffee is “a perfect daily vehicle for the delivery of a variety of healthy supplements, herbs, and vitamins.” Baristas White Coffee single-serve cups are compatible with the Keurig 2.0 brewing system.
"Baristas Coffee Expands Into the Alternative and Functional Beverage Market, Expands Distribution", Globe Newswire, August 30, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Hopes To Make The Most Of Growing Chinese Interest In Functional Drinks

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s China business says “the next big thing” among Chinese consumers – especially the growing class of middle-income consumers – is functional beverages beneficial for health and wellness. With that in mind, the company expects to offer more juice products, beverages containing fiber, and even drinks based on traditional Chinese medicine, according to Curt Ferguson. Coca-Cola began riding the trend when it rolled out new products like sugar-free Sprite with fiber in March, two RTD tea products in North China and South China in the second quarter, and a bottled water range containing fiber in June. A fiber-rich Coca-Cola Plus version for China debuted in August. Bottled water, RTD tea, carbonates, juice drinks, and functional drinks were the biggest sellers in the $84 billion Chinese beverage industry. 
Shi Jing, "Coca-Cola embarks on 'healthy' growth route", China Daily, August 30, 2018, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Hershey Rolls Out New Omnichannel That Blurs Online and Offline

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hershey Co. has a ‘digital’ strategy that is centered on four components, search, content, conversion, and community. It is designed to enhance the company’s competitive advantage and help it succeed in the emerging omnichannel marketplace and holds that there is no offline and online division, but rather a continuum between the two. The initial goal is to convert a purchase, but the long-term goal is repeat purchases and to earn a place on the consumers digital shopping list. Hershey is also experimenting with digital impulse sales.  [Image Credit: © THE HERSHEY COMPANY]
Keith Nunes, "Inside Hershey’s digital strategy", Food Business News, August 30, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Entrepreneurial Couple Succeeds With Mobile Cookie Dough Cart

August 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Wife-and-husband entrepreneurs Katie Pollock and Andy Simms of Ohio are fulfilling their dream of making and selling edible cookie dough in a variety of flavors. But they didn’t open a bakery, restaurant, shop or even a food truck. They operate from a mobile cart that allows them to service weddings, corporate events, bar mitzvahs, family events, graduations, birthday parties, and other Cleveland-area events. They got the idea while on a trip to California where, at Fishermen’s Wharf in San Francisco, they noticed a line snaking around outside a cookie dough eatery. Several bakeries in Northeast Ohio sell edible cookie dough, but the Dough Street mobile cart is the only one selling it exclusively.[Image Credit: © Dough Street USA]
"Couple turn ‘aha!’ moment into a safe way to eat cookie dough Innovations", Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), August 29, 2018, © Advance Local Media LLC
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Non-profit Atlanta Bakery Gives Refugees A Helping Hand – And Baking Skills

August 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A start-up Atlanta bakery is getting a reputation not only for the treats it produces daily, but also for the atmosphere of good cheer and camaraderie. Just Bakery is unique for another reason: it is a non-profit operation housed in a Presbyterian church, and its seven workers are all refugees from other countries – Congo, Bhutan, Central African Republican – who fled their homelands to escape violence. They were selected from a pool developed by the International Refugee Committee. They produce bagels, cinnamon rolls, cookies, rye pretzels sprinkled with Gruyere, breakfast tarts and loaves of multigrain and sourdough bread. The motto of Just Bakery? "Eat well, do good, change lives.”[Image Credit: © Just Bakery of Atlanta]
C. W. Cameron, "Just Bakery of Atlanta’s goal: ‘Eat well, do good, change lives’ ", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 29, 2018, © Cox Media Group
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Perdue To Begin Offering Lower-Priced Organic Chicken Products

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Maryland-based Perdue Farms announced its Simply Smart Organics chicken products – including frozen and refrigerated whole grain, gluten-free, and lightly breaded nuggets, strips and tenders – will be available next month at about half the cost of other organic brands. The company says the new organic products will be more affordable relative to other similar products, without compromising organic standards, convenience or taste. The line of chicken products can already be found in stores, but beginning in October they’ll carry the USDA certified organic seal. U.S. sales of organic broiler chickens were up 78 percent in 2016 from the previous year, totalling $750 million, according to the USDA.[Image Credit: © Perdue and its affiliates or subsidiaries]
Sara Swann, "Perdue organic chicken line targets affordability", Salisbury Daily Times, August 28, 2018, © www.delmarvanow.com
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Start-Up Hopes To Make A Big Splash In U.S. Market With Antioxidant-Rich Aronia Juice

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based beverage start-up Truronia has launched four flavors of antioxidant-rich fruit juice made with 100 percent organic aronia berries. The antioxidant-rich RTD drink can be consumed by itself or mixed into smoothies and recipes. According to the company, aronia berries contain more antioxidants than cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries. The fruit is a common staple in Europe, though it is also native to the United States. Health benefits include improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and a boosted immune system. The company says its goal is to reintroduce the superfruit to the United States, where the berry is still relatively unknown. Truronia juice is stocked in stores like Erewhon and Mother’s Market & Kitchen throughout southern California and Nebraska, with plans to expand into more cities across the U.S. The juices can also be found online in packs of six, or in variety packages that include mango, pineapple, coconut, and original aronia flavors,
"Truronia Releases Ready-To-Drink Aronia Berry Juice", PR Underground, August 28, 2018, © PR Underground
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Methane Producer To Build $120M Food Waste Digester In Philadelphia Area

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Renewable methane producer RNG Energy Solutions has formed a joint venture with Philadelphia Energy Solutions, operator of the huge South Philadelphia refinery complex, to build a $120 million digester to convert more than 1,100 tons of food waste daily into methane gas. To be built on 22 acres of vacant land at the refinery, the Point Breeze Renewable Energy Project would take two to three years to permit and to build. The biogas project would divert food wastes from landfills, reducing the escape of methane from decomposing landfill waste into the atmosphere. The facility would produce three million cubic feet of gas a day. There is a strong market among owners of truck fleets and municipal buses for renewable methane to satisfy green-energy targets.[Image Credit: © RNG Energy Solutions LLC]
Andrew Maykuth, "Philly refiner plans $120M plant to convert food scraps to fuel for trucks and buses", Philadelphia Inquirer, August 28, 2018, © Philadelphia Media Network (Digital), LLC
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Starbucks, Nestlé Join Hands In Major Marketing Alliance

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé and Starbucks have closed a deal that grants Nestlé perpetual worldwide rights to market Starbucks consumer packaged goods and foodservice products outside of the company’s coffee shops. Dubbed a “strategic milestone” for Starbucks by CEO Kevin Johnson, the deal involves the marketing of Starbucks roast and ground coffees, whole beans, instant coffee, portioned coffees, and tea brands, including Teavana. Nestlé’s coffee portfolio in the North American premium roast, ground, and portioned coffee business will be strengthened by the deal, the company aid, and will also lead to global expansion in grocery and foodservice for Starbucks, through Nestlé. About 500 Starbucks employees in the U.S. and Europe will join Nestlé in Seattle and London.
"Nestlé and Starbucks close deal for the perpetual global license of Starbucks Consumer Packaged Goods and Foodservice products", Nestlé, August 28, 2018, © Nestlé
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O2 Natural Recovery Adds New Flavors To Oxygenated Water Line

August 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Columbus, Ohio-based beverage company O2 Natural Recovery has released two new flavors of its oxygenated natural recovery drink. O2 contains seven times the amount of oxygen in typical water, and is believed to give the liver added power to process harmful toxins – released from burning fat during exercise or ethanol from alcohol – 60 percent faster. They also energize without caffeine. The new lemon lime and blackberry currant flavors are caffeine-free and contain 20 calories per 16 oz can. The beverages are sold in the U.S. at retailers such as Kroger and Whole Foods Market at an SRP of $12.99 for a variety four-pack, or $41.99 for a case of 12 drinks.
Martin Whiteon, "O2 Natural Recovery unveils two new oxygenated recovery drinks", Foodbev Media, August 24, 2018, © Foodbev Media Ltd
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General Mills Drops “Natural” Claim For Granola Bars

August 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

General Mills will no longer claim on its Nature Valley granola bars that they are 100 percent natural, according to a news report. The company recently settled a 2016 lawsuit that said that oats used in the bars contained the herbicide glyphostate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto product Roundup that has been connected to cancer. Tests by an independent lab found .45 parts per million glyphosate in the Nature Valley products. The company reportedly settled instead of going through "the cost and distraction of litigation" and instead will focus on making sure products have 100 percent whole grain oats.[Image Credit: © General Mills]
Brett Molina, "General Mills drops '100% Natural' on Nature Valley granola bars after lawsuit", USA Today, August 24, 2018, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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