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NYC’s Chain Restaurants Sue Over Menu Nutrition Labeling Enforcement

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organizations representing New York City chain restaurants, convenience stores, and grocery stores with more than 15 locations nationwide have sued in federal court to stop enforcement of a menu nutrition-labeling law set to begin on August 21. The city decided to proceed with enforcement after the FDA delayed until 2018 implementation of requirements established under the Affordable Care Act. The suit claims its members would “face the risk of irreparable harm” – from fines and other business disruption costs – if the city goes ahead with enforcement.
Elizabeth Crawford, "Trade Groups Sue to Block New York City from Enforcing Menu Labeling Ahead of FDA", FOODnavigator-USA.com, July 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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U.K. Relaxes Overly Cautious “Use By” Dates On Food Packaging

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Calling current rules overly cautious, the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has issued draft guidelines urging supermarkets to scrap “use by” dates on packages of food that wouldn’t cause poisoning in favor of “Best Before” dates. The proposed rules also state that packaging should tell customers how to store food, and should display the snowflake logo to indicate that a product can be frozen. The goal is to reduce the 7.3 million tons of food a year, two million tons of which is due to it “not being used in time.” The guidance is “under consultation” until August. ][Image Credit: © NHS (UK]
Liz Dunphy, "Supermarkets are Told to Stop Telling Shoppers to Throw Away 7.3m Tons of Good Food Every Year by Scrapping 'Use By' Dates", Mail Online, July 17, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Courts Pass “Natural” Food Cases To FDA, Which Dithers About Definition

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food-related class action lawsuits have been rising over the last nine years, but dropped eight percent last year. A law firm that keeps track of the suits said the decline last year could be the result of the FDA grappling with the claim “natural.” There were 145 lawsuits filed in 2016, mostly in California and New York, alleging false labeling related to ingredients or the type of processing used in a product. The decrease in lawsuits seems to be related to the frequent application of the “primary jurisdiction” doctrine in food litigation. A judge can stay or dismiss actions pending an administrative agency’s resolution of a matter, viz., the FDA’s ongoing exploration of the definition of “natural." [Image Credit: © FDA ]
Deanna Pogorelc, "Fewer ‘Natural’ Lawsuits in 2016", New Hope Network, July 17, 2017, © Penton
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Proposed N.Y. City Rules Require Large Retailers To Cull Compostables From Trash

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New York City’s Sanitation Department, unveiling new rules implementing a goal to cut landfill dumping to zero over the next 13 years, is requiring chain restaurants and big retail stores to split waste into compostable materials and just plain garbage. Any restaurant bigger than 7,000 square feet, big box stores with more than 50 locations, and grocery stores bigger than 10,000 square feet, will need to separate out compostables. The fine is $100 per infraction. There is a six-month public comment period for the rules. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
Aaron Holmes, "Large Chain Businesses Must Separate Compost Under New City Rules", New York Daily News, July 17, 2017, © NYDailyNews.com
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Senators Push USDA Secretary To Enforce Organic Certification Law On Imports

July 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Three U.S. senators have urged the USDA to crack down on non-organic foreign goods being imported and sold fraudulently as USDA-certified. The fraud disclosed in various press reports "undermines the National Organic Program's continued success and hurts American farmers,” the letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) were the signatories of the letter, which noted that non-organic grains, particularly corn, were being sold as organic-certified [Image Credit: © USDA ]
"Senators Call on USDA to Combat Fraudulent Organic Imports", News release, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, July 15, 2017, © Sen. Dianne Feinstein, feinstein.senate.gov
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Cauliflower Pizza Crusts Are A Hit At ESPY Party

July 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Cali’flour Foods says its plant-based, vegan cauliflower pizza crusts garnered rave reviews from athletes and celebrities attending the recent pre-ESPYs sports awards party in Beverly Hills, Calif. According to company founder Amy Lacey, current Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay ordered a year's worth of the crusts after sampling. The company offers two gluten-free varieties made with cauliflower, cheese, eggs, and spices. A new variant is the plant-based Italian crust containing no eggs or dairy. Lacey was inspired to create the new pizza crusts after her own lupus diagnosis and her discovery that certain foods triggered inflammation. The crusts are available nationwide and online.
"Cali'Flour Foods Serves Up Their Cauliflower Pizza Crusts to World's Best Athletes and Celebrities at GBK Pre-ESPYS 2017 Party", News release, Cali’flour Foods , July 14, 2017, © Cali’flour Foods
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Iowa Bakery Known The World Over For One Special Pastry

July 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A small-town Iowa bakery sells the usual fare: doughnuts, fritters, cinnamon rolls, etc. But what makes 89-year-old Tiffany’s Tipton Bakery unique is its crescent rolls, crafted from a Dutch recipe. Twenty-three dozen of the treats, filled with homemade cream and topped with powdered sugar, are baked every Saturday. Many are shipped fresh out-of-town and all over the world, including such exotic destinations as Siberia and central China. Nevertheless, the shop maintains a hometown feel, as one employee notes: “We a lot of times know our customers by their order first, and then we learn their name later." [Image Credit: © Tiffany's Tipton Bakery ]
"Our Town Tipton: Bakery Ships Pastries Around the World", KCRG-TV9 (Tipton, Iowa), July 14, 2017, © Gray Television, Inc.
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It Takes A Village To Reduce Food Waste

July 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Composting is crucial to the fight against food waste, says a University of Iowa student and environmentalist. The practice would help cut the 18,000 tons of food waste that annually ends up in the Iowa City landfill. Composting involves different agencies and organizations, from food co-ops to supermarkets to local governments. But the best advice on reducing food waste is fairly simple. It comes from food journalist Michael Pollan who tells people to buy fresh ingredients in smaller quantities more often. It essentially means mindful thriftiness.[Image Credit: © OregonMetro.gov ]
Dot Armstrong, "Armstrong: Local Composting Will Help Reduce Waste", The Daily Iowan, July 13, 2017, © The Daily Iowan
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New Deep-Dish Frozen Pizzas, Pan Included

July 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Frozen pizza company DiGiorno has responded to the survey finding that three-quarters of pizza lovers prefer pan-style – otherwise known as deep-dish or Chicago-style – pizza by introducing DiGiorno Crispy Pan Pizza. Available in four-cheese, pepperoni, three-meat, and supreme varieties, the pizzas are packaged with a steep-sided, single-use baking pan. [Image Credit: © DiGiorno ]
"New DiGiorno Crispy Pan Pizza Is Baked Fresh In A Pan For A Crispy, Caramelized Crust", News release, DiGiorno, July 13, 2017, © DiGiorno
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Enterprise Software Company Tackles Food Waste, Small Farm Management

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Enterprise IT software giant Cisco Systems says its products are being used to solve food waste and farm management problems. A start-up company that helps manufacturers and farms make use of extra food raised $2.5 million to buy Cisco's enterprise software. Boston-based tech start-up Spoiler Alert’s cloud-based software links food producers, food banks, and pantries. The company helps them track food they throw away or donate. In addition, Cisco’s software has helped smaller and rural farms connect their “Farm from a Box” units with Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet of Things (IoT) system to optimize everything from water and energy use to guidance on farm management. [Image Credit: © Spoiler Alert ]
Stephanie Chan, "Technology that Helps Reduce Food Waste", News release, Cisco Systems, July 12, 2017, © Cisco Systems
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Age Of “Clerkless” Shopping Dawns In China

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest companies are promising that “unmanned supermarkets” that apply mobile payment systems technologies are the next big wave in retail shopping. The automated stores use mobile technology to track payments, eliminating the need for cash, checkout lines, checkout counters, and checkout clerks. Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma recently launched the company’s entry into automated stores with the opening of Tao Cafe in Hangzhou. Only three steps are required: scan a QR code to enter; shop (without employee assistance), then take items to exit; lastly, walk through two exit scanners. Payment is automatically deducted from customer's Alipay account. 
Sevan Golnazarian, "Unmanned Stores Emerge in China, Jack Ma Follows Suit", Produce Report, July 12, 2017, © Produce Report
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Coca-Cola Set To Boost Amount Of Recycled Plastic In Its Bottles

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In response to environmental pressures and concerns, Coca-Cola in the UK announced it will increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020, up from a current target of 40% by 2020 for its UK and European operations. Many environmentalists believe the target is inadequate, Greenpeace UK points out that other bottlers are already at 50% and are aiming to be at 100% by 2020. Greenpeace estimates that the top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products, with none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.
"Coca-Cola to increase amount of recycled plastic in its bottles", The Guardian, July 12, 2017, © The Guardian
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Bai Founder Ben Weiss Was Way Ahead Of The Curve On Low-Sugar Drinks

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bai Brands founder Ben Weiss noticed seven years ago that shoppers were carefully examining beverage labels to determine sugar content. “This is the issue that has fueled our growth,” he said in an interview. The company, which was sold to Dr Pepper Snapple Group for $1.8 billion, spent five years handing out samples of Bai, made from normally-discarded coffeefruit, explaining that Bai has only five calories and one gram of sugar. It was a unique claim in the beverage industry at the time -- the beverage caught on and took off when the company signed a distribution deal with Dr Pepper Snapple. [Image Credit: © Bai Brands ]
Will Yakowicz, "How This Founder Built a $1.7 Billion Business Around a Product That's Normally Thrown in the Trash", Inc.com, July 12, 2017, © Sycamore Media Holdings Pte
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French Patisserie Company To Expand Its Franchises Across U.S.

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After establishing 48 successful franchise patisseries in eight U.S. states since 2012, Le Macaron French Pastries is expanding the franchise opportunity to metropolitan areas across the country. The company offers more than 20 flavors of macarons, in addition to seasonal flavors, as well as French pastries, gelato, coffee, cakes, and éclairs. The company says it hopes to sign 70 locations by the end of the year, in cities like Boston, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh and Washington, D.C. Potential franchisees can expect to invest initially $59,900 to $99,000 for a cart, and $126,000 to $353,500 for a traditional café. [Image Credit: © Le Macaron French Pastries ]
"Le Macaron French Pastries Sweetens Up Market with National Franchise Opportunities", News release, Le Macaron, July 11, 2017, © Le Macaron French Pastries
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Catholic Church Reaffirms Its Position On Gluten-Free Communion Wafers

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Gluten-free is a major food trend, and a multi-billion-dollar business. But it hasn’t yet breeched the walls of Vatican City and isn’t likely to anytime soon. The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church recently advised its bishops worldwide that – celiac disease notwithstanding – there will be no messing around with the basic recipe for communion wafers. The reason? Christ ate bread, made with gluten-rich wheat, and drank wine at the Last Supper, declaring that they were his body and blood. The Catholic Church takes those words literally, not symbolically. As one U.S. theologian said, “Christ did not institute the Eucharist as rice and sake, or sweet potatoes and stout."
Sarah Pulliam Bailey, "The Catholic Church Says No to Gluten-Free Communion. Here’s Why.", The Washington Post, July 11, 2017, © The Washington Post
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“Well-being” Snack Biscuits Unveiled By Mondelez

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez has launched a “well-being” snack biscuit brand called Vea. The savory biscuits are made from new recipes and contain no artificial ingredients, colors or flavors, no trans fats, and are non-GMO Project Verified. Flavors include Thai coconut,  Tuscan herbs, Peruvian sweet potato and Greek hummus. Mondelez says the wholesome Vea brand is a key element of its plan to become “the global leader in well-being snacks.” Products are available now in U.S. and Canadian food stores. [Image Credit: © Mondelez International ]
"Mondelez Introduces New Brand of Health Products", News release, NACS, July 11, 2017, © NACS
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Australia’s CSIRO, Veggie Producers Put Wonky Produce To Work

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s national research body hopes to stop the waste of $1.7 billion worth of wonky – i.e., ugly, misshapen – vegetables considered unfit for the supermarket by transforming them into saleable, nutritious food products. CSIRO is working with vegetable growers to grab the culled uglies, initially carrots and broccoli, and turn them into shelf-stable fermented products, nutrient-dense powders, and kids’ snack foods. A commercial participant in the project, Fresh Select, says it want to reduce the 15-20 percent of its produce that is unmarketable to five percent. It’s good for business sustainability and it reduces food waste. [Image Credit: © CSIRO ]
Lucinda Jose, "Ugly Vegetables Get a Fair Go as Food Scientists Strive to Cut Waste", ABC News (Australia), July 11, 2017, © ABC
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New England’s Bakers Love Locally-Grown And Milled Flour

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Boston Globe recently provided a guide to consumers looking for regionally-grown and milled wheat flour, stoneground cornmeal, and gluten-free buckwheat. The increasingly popular products are available at a variety of groceries, specialty stores, and by mail order in the New England region. Northeast grain farming is not on the grand scale of the huge farms in the Midwest and Northwest, of course, but the grain produced, and often milled by the farmers themselves, is meeting a need among home baking and commercial customers who love the flavor of baked goods made with locally-grown and fresh-milled flour. [Image Credit: © Bob's Red Mill ]
Alison Arnett, "A Growing Appetite for Flour from Local Grains", Boston Globe, July 11, 2017, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Coconut-Based Cream Soda Launches In U.K.

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A “grown-up version of cream soda” that debuted successfully in Dubai has launched in the U.K. Big Boss Palm is made from 99.5 percent not-from concentrate coconut water using Thailand-sourced coconuts, and boasts only 50 calories per can. The company says it mixes well with rum, gin, or vodka. Recommended retail price is £1.18 ($1.54) per unit. [Image Credit: © Big Boss Palm ]
"Big Boss Palm Brings World’s First Coconut Water Soda To The UK", KAMCITY – NAMNEWS, July 11, 2017, © EMR-NAMNEWS Ltd.
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Panera Bread Fights Back In Face Of Stiff Starbucks Competition

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Feeling the pressure of increased bakery competition from Starbucks, Panera Bread announced it is beefing up its delivery staff across the country. The St. Louis-based company will hire 118 people to deliver its products in the Seattle, Wash., area, home of Starbucks. The move is part of an overall plan to hire up to 10,000 delivery people. Starbucks became a major competitor of Panera after the purchase of La Boulange Cafe and bakery five years ago. American consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with all types of delivered food.
"Panera gets out ahead of Starbucks in delivery, looks to hire 118 in Seattle area", Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, Washington), July 11, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Coca-Cola India Launches Lower-Priced Brands Of Aerated Drinks

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is launching a line of cheaper aerated beverages in India, dubbed “Kinley Flavors.” The new line includes jeera (cumin), lemon and orange flavors and will compete with the 200+ domestic fizzy drinks – 12 percent of the aerated drinks category in the country – in terms of taste and price: they are 35 to 40 percent cheaper than the company’s Coke, Sprite, and Fanta brands. [Image Credit: ©   Coca-Cola Company]
Sandhya Dangwal, "Coca-Cola To Launch New Indian Flavours Jeera, Lemon And Orange; Priced 35-40% Cheaper Than Coke & Sprite", India.com, July 10, 2017, © India WebPortal Private Limited
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Coca-Cola Redesigns Its Minute Maid Juice Packaging

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has given a new look to its Minute Maid brand of juices with the help of British graphic designer Taxi Studio. The new visual identity features black as the main color, though each category of juice – essentials, refresh, nutri and delight – has its own color. Taxi Studio said the colorful graphics are meant to distinguish Minute Maid products from the “hyper-real” imagery on competing juices. [Image Credit: © Minute Maid / Coca-Cola Company ]
Aimée McLaughlin, "Minute Maid rebrand, by Taxi Studio and Coca-Cola", Design Week, July 10, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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New Green Cola Offers An Alternative To Colas With “Bad Stuff”

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new beverage brand created as a more healthful alternative to cola drinks was launched in the U.K. by Green Room Brands. The drink, which was two years in development, tastes like colas but lacks “all the bad stuff.” Green Cola is sweetened with stevia, caffeinated with green coffee beans, and contains no sugar, preservatives, or aspartame. It is sold in Greece, Romania, Germany, Ireland and Hong Kong, and is available in the U.K. in 330ml cans (70p) and 500ml PET bottles (£1.30). [Image Credit: © Green Cola UK ]
"Stevia-sweetened Green Cola aims to shake up drinks industry", FoodBev Media , July 10, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Thai Beverage Eyes Acquisitions In Vietnam

July 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thai Beverage plans to use food and beverage company Fraser & Neave (F&N) to expand its business beyond Thailand into Vietnam, according to a CIMB bank analyst. Thai Beverage owns a combined 28 percent of Singapore-based F&N and real estate company Frasers Centrepoint. The analyst believes Thai Beverage will sell Frasers Centrepoint and use the proceeds to boost its stake in F&N. It is also expected to bid for Vietnamese beer producer Sabeco, and to increase its stake in dairy company Vinamilk. [Image Credit: © Thai Beverage ]
Jacqueline Woo, "ThaiBev to use F&N to grow non-Thai business: CIMB ", The Straits Times (Singapore), July 08, 2017, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.
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Six Firms Were In The Hunt For Whole Foods Market Last Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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