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USDA Issues Final GMO Food Labeling Rule

February 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
It took nearly three years, but the USDA in December issued the final rule implementing the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The NBFDS pre-empted state and local genetic engineering labeling requirements. The rule takes effect on February 19; implementation will be phased in over the next three years. The NBFDS requires food manufacturers, importers of food labeled for retail sale in the U.S., and some U.S. retailers to disclose foods and ingredients produced from foods that are or may be bioengineered. Disclosure can be through text, a symbol, electronic or digital link, or text message. For example, the text disclosure can say “bioengineered food” or “contains a bioengineered food ingredient” for a multi-ingredient food. [Image Credit: © BryanCave.com]
Bryan Cave , "Bioengineered Food Disclosure Rules Finalized, Require Disclosure of 'Detectable' GMOs", Bryan Cave Law Firm, February 08, 2019, © BryanCave.com | A Global Law Firm
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Panera’s Nine-Year Experiment In Feeding The Hungry Comes To A Close

February 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

The last location of Panera Cares, Panera Bread’s pay-what-you-can non-profit experiment, has closed its doors. The St. Louis, Mo.-based company acknowledged that the concept launched nine years ago in Clayton, Mo., – and since then in other cities around the U.S. – is “no longer viable.” The community cafes posted a suggested donation for customers whose payment would cover the free food given to those unable to pay. The cafes were also supposed to raise awareness of hunger issues in America. The last Panera Cares café was in Boston.[Image Credit: © Panera Bread]
Brenna Houck, "Panera Bread closes last pay-what-you-can restaurant", Nation's Restaurant News, February 07, 2019, © Vox Media, Inc
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German Researchers Develop Infrared Scanner That Senses Food Freshness

February 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Fraunhofer researchers in Germany have developed a mobile food scanner that will allow consumers and supermarket operators to test whether food items have gone bad. The pocket-size device uses infrared measurements to determine the ripeness and shelf life of produce and display the results via an app. The scanner, still in the testing stages, contains data for only two foods so far and permits the shelf life of products to be estimated. The core of the mobile scanner is a near-infrared (NIR) sensor that measures the ripeness of the food and identifies the amount and composition of its contents. Infrared light is beamed with high precision at the food and the scanner measures the spectrum of the reflected light. The absorbed wavelengths permit inferences to be made about the chemical composition of the food.[Image Credit: © Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft]
"Pocket-size food scanner to battle food waste", Fresh Plaza, February 07, 2019, © FreshPlaza.com
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N.C. Bagel Bakery Takes A Fresh Look At An Old Tradition

February 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A bagel bakery in North Carolina is doing its best to shatter the myth that the only good bagels in the world come from the boroughs of New York or from Montreal. The owners of Benchwarmers Bagels are “asking people to try something new,” something that emerged from the joint efforts of a stone mill bakery that provides fresh milled grain and flour, and a craft coffee bar. Benchwarmers boils its bagels in a vat of honey-water before sliding them into a wood-burning oven on long wooden planks. They mix favorites like sesame, poppyseed and everything, with za'atar and sea salt and a Southern-inspired grits bagel. Their bagel sandwich fillings include duck rillette with sour cherries, house-cured lox with deviled eggs spread, and fried bologna with yellow mustard and an egg. The owners say they respect the bagel traditions, but new takes are long overdue. [Image Credit: © Benchwarmers Bagels and Coffee]
Drew Jackson, "Benchwarmers Bagels bakes with fire and challenges the bagel establishment", The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), February 06, 2019, © Raleigh News & Observer
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Canadian Start-Up Gets $1M Investment To Develop An Upcycling Machine

February 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Halifax-based Beyond Food Inc. has raised $1 million from a range of investors – including several NHL players – to develop its first Zero Waste Pod and launch a partnership with a Canadian supermarket chain. The company’s mission is to reduce food waste – $31 billion a year in Canada – by using supermarket produce that is about to be tossed out to make a nutritional food ingredient. The patent-pending Zero Waste Pod is a modular facility about the size of a shipping container that can process aging fruits and vegetables into a fine powder for use as a nutritious ingredient in food manufacturing.[Image Credit: © Beyond Food]
Peter Moreira , "Entrevestor: Beyond Food raises $1 million to launch Zero Waste Pod", Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia), February 06, 2019, © SaltWire Network
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Dangerous Chemicals Found In Foods Produced, Sold By Grocery Chains

February 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Environmental organization network Friends of the Earth said that its testing found store and name-brand foods produced and sold by the top four U.S. food retailers contain residues of toxic pesticides linked to a range of serious health and environmental problems. The foods were purchased in 15 cities across the country by Friends of the Earth and a number of allies, including Environment Texas. Oat cereals, apples, applesauce, spinach and pinto beans from Kroger, Walmart, Costco, and Albertsons stores contained detectable amounts of glyphosate – key ingredient of the herbicide Roundup – organophosphates and neonicotinoids. The average level of glyphosate found in cereal samples (360 parts per billion) was more than twice the level set by scientists at Environmental Working Group for lifetime cancer risk for children. The average level of glyphosate found in pinto beans (509 ppb) was more than 4.5 times the benchmark.[Image Credit: © Friends of the Earth]
"New Study: Multiple Dangerous Pesticides Found in Food Made and Sold by Kroger, Walmart, Costco and Albertsons", Friends of the Earth , February 05, 2019, © Friends of the Earth
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PETA Billboard In Calif. “Debunks Myth” Of Cage-Free Eggs

February 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has erected a billboard in San Diego, Calif., that it claims “debunks the myth of cage-free eggs.” The billboard followed the release of PETA video footage showing a packed chicken shed at Hilliker's Ranch Fresh Eggs, Inc., in Lakeside, Calif. The company had been publicized as a model of the future of cage-free egg farming in the state and touted by its owner as “Chicken Disneyland.” “’Cage-free' means absolutely nothing to the hens stuffed on top of each other in filthy warehouses and made to overproduce eggs until their bodies give out and they're killed,” said PETA Director Danielle Katz. According to PETA, constant exposure to noise and severe crowding in the sheds can lead to distress, excessive adrenal hormone production, and suppression of the immune system. The billboard will remain up for four weeks.[Image Credit: © People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals]
"This Is Cage-Free Billboard Now Up In Wake Of Prop 12 Passage", PETA, February 04, 2019, © People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
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Could A West African Grain Become The New Quinoa?

February 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Senegalese farmer who raises a small, nutty grain known as fonio believes it could someday become a staple across Africa and eventually around the world. A Senegalese chef in New York City also believes fonio has a bright future. Pierre Thiam is on a mission to raise fonio's profile at home and abroad, believing it can generate much-needed income for West African farmers, though they struggle to make money from it now. Cultivated in Senegal, Ghana, Mali, and other parts of the sub-Saharan region, fonio – dubbed "the new quinoa" – is gluten-free, high in protein and amino acids, and easy to cook. The drought-resistant, fast-growing plant also has the potential to help ease hunger linked to the negative impacts of climate change.[Image Credit: © Yolélé Foods Inc]
Emmanuelle Landais, "The world's latest superfood?; Fonio, a gluten-free West African grain, has the potential to become the 'new quinoa'", Thomson Reuters Foundation, February 02, 2019, © Thomson Reuters
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State Bills To Bar Non-Meat Products From Deceptive Labeling Gather Steam

January 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Pew Charitable Trusts reports that several states are considering legislation similar to a recent Missouri law that bars non-meat products, such as those made from tofu or vegetable sources, from being labeled as if they are made from beef. State legislators in Virginia, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Wyoming have introduced bills to stop what they say is deceptive labeling of non-meat products. The Nebraska bill aims to prevent companies from labeling plant-based, insect-based or lab-grown products as "meat." The Wyoming bill would outlaw "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." Under the Virginia bill, a product would be deemed "misbranded" if it "purports to be" meat while containing no meat, unless it contains the word "imitation" on the label. Beef producers generally back the bills, while vegetarians and producers of plant-based food oppose it.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
"'Fake Meat' Battle Spreads to More States", PEW Charitable Trusts, January 26, 2019, © The Pew Charitable Trusts
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Nonprofit Pickup Service Makes It Easy For Restaurants To Compost Food Scraps

January 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The owners of an Ohio eatery have partnered with a local nonprofit “food waste composting courier” whose mission is to address the “logistical problem of collecting food waste separately from traditional waste.” GoZERO Services picks up the Crest Gastropub’s food and kitchen waste and composts it. Restaurants are given a plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid from GoZERO services in which to place food scraps. The scraps are eventually dumped in a bin which is picked up by GoZERO and transported to the composting site. Residents can use the service too for a subscription fee.[Image Credit: © GoZERO Services Ltd.]
Kevin Parks, "Residents can join Crest Gastropub's composting efforts", ThisWeek Community Newspapers (Columbus, OH), January 24, 2019, © GateHouse Media, LLC
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Coke CEO Says Uncertainty, Not Slower Growth, Is Biggest Global Issue

January 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey says he’s more concerned about uncertainty in the global economy than about the possibility of slower growth. However, he and others attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, do expect slower growth this year. One source of uncertainty is the U.S.-China trade war, which could end in a couple of months if the countries negotiate a deal. Quincey said the effect of the trade war on his company is "slightly indirect" because its products for the China market are made there. Coca-Cola, he added, will continue to keep up with consumer tastes and solve problems like the sugar content of its drinks and reducing packaging waste.
Amelia Lucas , "Coca-Cola CEO: More uncertainty is the 'biggest issue'", CNBC.com, January 24, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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Washington State Legislators Introduce Food Waste Bill

January 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Three Washington state Democratic legislators have introduced a bill to fight food waste that has the backing of a broad coalition of food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and food banks. HB 1114 establishes a goal to reduce food waste in the state 50 percent by 2030, compared to levels from 2015. According to the bill, food waste results from the storage, preparation, handling, cooking, selling or serving of food for human consumption. The bill includes a prevention goal that includes strategies to reduce waste, disperse edible food to food banks and other productive uses, including animal feed, compost and energy production. The bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Beth Doglio, Vandana Slatter, and Jake Fey, and discussed at a public hearing on January 17 before the House environment panel.[Image Credit: © PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay]
Madeline Coats, "Lawmakers aim to create plan to cut food waste by 50 percent", Peninsula Daily News, January 23, 2019, © Peninsula Daily News and Sound Publishing, Inc.
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International Bakeries Set Up Shop In New York City

January 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

New York City is not known for being light on homegrown bakeries, but in recent years the Big Apple has attracted an array of international bakers. Among those who have set up shop are bakery chains like Maison Kayser from France, Le Pain Quotidien from Belgium, Breads Bakery from Israel, and a few from Japan and Korea. Now a fresh wave of foreign-born bakeries is arriving from Australia, Italy, and Scandinavia. Among them: Ole & Steen, a chain of more than 90 bakeries and cafes in Denmark and England; Fabrique, which has 19 bakeries in and around Stockholm and five in London; Bourke Street Bakery, launched in 2004 in Sydney, Australia, and specializing in sourdough breads; and Princi, a Milan bakery that is ensconced in a Starbucks Reserve Roastery.[Image Credit: © Eric Kayser]
Florence Fabricant, "New York Gets a Fresh Batch of Bakeries From Abroad", The New York Times , January 22, 2019, © The New York Times Company
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AHA Puts In A Good Word For – Whole Grain – Bread

January 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The American Heart Association has come to the defense of bread, the human diet staple that has been vilified for years because of its carbs, sodium and gluten content. The AHA is sticking up for bread, the whole grain kind anyway, because it is a good source of nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system. It also provides dietary fiber that can help improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. The AHA warns that breads made from refined grains can lead to a surplus of bloodstream sugar, which is stored as fat. Watch out for white bread, French bread, bagels, and pizza crust. And, unless you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, be cautious of gluten-free baked goods. "The gluten craze is something to be wary about," says a nutritionist. "Baked gluten-free foods often do not have optimal nutrient value."[Image Credit: © PhotoMIX-Company @ Pixabay]
"Are some breads getting a bad rap?", HealthDay, January 21, 2019, © HealthDay
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Dave’s Killer Bread Launches First Two English Muffin Products

January 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Dave's Killer Bread (DKB) of Milwaukie, Ore., is entering the breakfast foods arena with the launch of two varieties of English muffins: Killer Classic and Rockin’ Grains. According to  a DKB brand manager, the muffins meet the needs of consumers who are increasingly eating breakfast all day including snack times, lunch, and dinner. The classic version contains 6 g of protein and 8 g of whole grains per muffin, plus five other grains: quinoa, spelt, rye, millet, and barley. The Rockin' Grains variant is made with flax, sunflower, sesame, millet, and quinoa, 20 g of whole grains altogether.[Image Credit: © Dave's Killer Bread]
"Dave's Killer Bread Launches Outta This World English Muffins", Business Wire , January 21, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Clean Label Egg Wash Replacer Now Available To N.A. Commercial Bakeries

January 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
California-based baking ingredients producer Pak Group has developed a product to help commercial bakeries consistently achieve the ideal glaze while still claiming products are clean labels. Bellarise Shine is a gluten- and dairy-free vegan egg wash replacer made from water, sunflower oil, pea proteins, dextrose and modified starch. It is non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, and removes allergens from bread labels. The company says it is suitable for use in a wide range of applications, including croissants, brioche, buns and patisserie. The product will also help bakers avoid the highly variable cost of eggs, the company says. Bellarise Shine, which took the company a year to develop, is available now for customers in North America.[Image Credit: © PAK Group]
Gill Hyslop , "Bellarise develops clean label egg wash replacer for North American bakers", BakeryAndSnacks.com, January 20, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Market For Citrus Essential Oils Expands Rapidly

January 18, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
An analysis by Fact.MR finds that citrus essential oil sales increased by 3,000 tons between 2017 and 2018. The oils are used in industrial and other applications, including aromatherapy, cosmetics, health care, and food and beverages. Citrus essential oils manufactured using grapefruits are expected to witness relatively faster momentum, as chemical constituents of grapefruit are sought by various industries. Grapefruit-derived citrus essential oil sales are expected to grow twice as fast as their counterparts in 2019. Purported health benefits of grapefruit essential oils include weight loss, improved immunity, and alleviation of stress. With the oils approved as safe for consumption by regulatory authorities, food and beverage companies have continued to incorporate them as a “clean label” ingredient into multiple products. Their antimicrobial and antifungal properties have opened up new avenues for citrus essential oils in the packaging industry, and as a natural preservative. [Image Credit: © silviarita]
"Citrus Essential Oil Demand in F&B Growing as Scramble for -Clean-Label' and -Green' Ingredients Intensifies", News release, Fact.MR, January 18, 2019, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Israeli Company Uses Zero-Waste Process To Make Plant-Based Yogurt

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Israel’s Yofix Probiotics Ltd. has launched a dairy-free, soy-free yogurt alternative line using a clean-label formula involving a few natural ingredients. The yogurt is traditionally fermented and contains live probiotic cultures, plus the prebiotic fibers that feed them. The products, available in three fruit flavors, use no cow milk and, unlike almond or cashew, do not require a great amount of water. The production process is carefully designed to ensure zero waste: all raw materials used in production remain in the final product. The company plans to launch globally, and will also debut plant-based dairy substitutes for milk, yogurt drinks, cream cheese, coffee creamers, and ice cream. [Image Credit: © Yofix Probiotics Ltd.]
"Yofix Launches Clean-label, Plant-based Yogurt Alternative", PR Newswire, January 15, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Bagels Can Round Out The In-Store Bakery Business

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Bakeries in supermarkets that offer bagels in different sizes and flavors can become “a destination” for shoppers. Although plain bagels are always fine, the more variety the better. A market in Dayton, Ohio, for example, bakes 16 different varieties of bagels from scratch each day, along with standard flavors like plain, sesame and poppy, the in-store bakery has succeeded with blueberry-cinnamon crunch. Another in-store bakery is known for its unique seasonal bagels, like the gingerbread bagel, made with flour, brown sugar, ginger, and white chocolate. Other seasonal and holiday bagels include heart-shaped pink and red bagels for Valentine’s Day, green bagels for St. Patrick’s Day and pumpkin bagels in the fall. Rainbow bagels are available year-round. In fact, the rainbow food trend has been a boon to the bagel business, according to one baker.[Image Credit: © Andrew Becks from Pixabay]
Carol Angrisani , "Bagels fill a hole in bakery", Supermarket News, January 15, 2019, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Japan Offers Its Own Versions Of Bread

January 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Though Japan is not generally known as a bread-eating country, bread has become more popular, especially among young people, and the country does have its own unique varieties. Introduced in Japan by 16th century Portuguese traders – the Japanese word for bread, "pan," is derived from Portuguese – bread grew rapidly after World War II. The Japanese have adapted foreign bread-making techniques to create their own variations, including curry pan (doughnut-like bread filled with curry), melon pan (fluffy bread covered with a sweet cookie dough crust), anpan (bread filled with sweet bean paste), and katsu-sando (pork cutlet sandwiches). Japanese bakeries in New York City offer wasabi-butter breads, wasabi-sausage items, and pizzas with green shiso leaves.[Image Credit: © fancycrave1 from PIxabay]
Mari Nameshida, "Delicious; You too can cook washoku; 'Melon bread' combines two treats in one", The Japan News, January 15, 2019, © The Yomiuri Shimbun
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Professor’s Research Helps Candy Firm Mars Achieve Its “No Artificial Dyes” Goal

January 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Candy company Mars Inc. has patented an Ohio State professor’s method of extracting the natural pigments – anthocyanins – that give red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables their colors. Three years ago, Mars announced a "five-year effort" to remove all synthetic dyes from its products. Before research by Monica Giusti's lab, there was no method of anthocyanin extraction that produced the specific blue pigment of blueberries. Though anthocyanins are difficult to work with, her research helped the company reach its natural dye goal. Giusti's work is allowing companies such as Mars to incorporate real nutritional value into foods that are typically perceived as unhealthy. "The real beauty is that the pigments that we extract from nature tend to be those phytochemicals that make plants good for us," Giusti said.[Image Credit: © The Lantern: Ohio State University (Columbus)]
Lydia Weyrich , "Ohio State researcher develops natural dye, making M&Ms healthier", The Lantern: Ohio State University (Columbus), January 14, 2019, © The Lantern
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Becht Resigns As Chairman Of JAB Holding Over Disagreements About Company Strategy

January 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
JAB Holding, owner of coffee giant Keurig Dr Pepper, announced the retirement this year of chairman and co-founder Bart Becht, a few months after he stepped down from its Coty cosmetics business. Becht reportedly resigned because of disagreements with his partners about the scale of the company's dealmaking, preferring that JAB focus on improving operations for the companies that JAB already has stakes in. The company has hired three new executives with consumer products backgrounds: Fabien Simon, Ricard Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski. Anheuser Busch InBev veteran Rittes will open a new office in Brazil to head up expansion in emerging markets. JAB, the investing arm of Germany's Riemann family, was run by Becht with partners Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet. Harf will take over as chairman after Becht's departure. CEO Bob Gamgort will replace Becht as chairman of its board.
Amelia Lucas, "Bart Becht, chairman of Keurig Dr Pepper owner JAB, to retire from the company he helped form", CNBC.com, January 14, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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Hydration Drink Liquid I.V. Now Available In All U.S. Costco Stores

January 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
California nutrition company Liquid I.V.’s eponymous hydration beverage has launched nationally in 516 Costco stores after sales success on Costco.com and regional Costco outlets.  Available in packs of as many as 30 “sticks,“ Liquid I.V. contains five essential vitamins and is vegan, as well as gluten-, soy- and dairy-free. The product is now is carried in more than 20,000 stores, including Whole Foods Market, GNC, CVS, Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons, Safeway, and Kroger. The company says the beverage is made using Cellular Transport Technology (CTT), which “delivers hydration and other key nutrients rapidly into the bloodstream.”
"Liquid I.V.'s National Launch at Costco Ushers in a Modern Era of Hydration", PR Newswire , January 11, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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French Patisserie Continues U.S. Expansion Strategy

January 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
French patisserie Le Macron French Pastries plans to establish more than 20 new locations in “targeted” areas in the New York metropolitan area over the next five years. The company has more than 50 locations in the U.S.; it is looking to grow through “smart franchise partnerships and tactical site selection.” The new locations will be in Manhattan, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), and Staten Island. "As a prime state for expansion, especially with our versatile mobile cart franchise opportunity, we look forward to increasing our footprint … with franchise partners to help give all New York residents access to our little bites of heaven known as macarons," said CEO Rosalie Guillem. Franchise opportunities include kiosks, mobile carts, and express locations. [Image Credit: © Le Macaron]
"Le Macaron French Pastries Sets Eyes on New York", PRNewswire, January 11, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Japanese Barley-Based Vegetable Juice Aojiru Continues Global Expansion

January 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Yamamoto Kanpoh Pharmaceutical announced it is expanding its marketing of the functional beverage Aojiru to Korea and Australia. Aojiru (“green vegetable juice”) is made from barley leaves harvested in Kyushu, Japan. The market size of Aojiru in Japan was $485.7 million in 2012, according to the Yano Research Institute. Popular in Japan and China, Aojiru is also exported to the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore. A 2018 Euromonitor showed that Yamamoto Kanpo continued to show strong growth in 2018, due to the success of its Aojiru.
Tingmin Koe , "Japanese Aojiru leader Yamamoto Kanpoh targets Korea and Australia entry for functional beverage", Beverage Daily, January 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Marijuana Compounds – And Zero-Waste Cooking – Loom Large In Eatery Trends

January 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to new research from the National Restaurant Association, plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), and zero-waste cooking will be the hottest overall culinary trends of 2019. Seventy-seven percent of the survey’s 650 professional chef respondents identified cannabis/CBD-infused drinks as the No. 1 trend; 76 percent tapped cannabis/CBD-infused food as the second most popular trend. Association officials, however, stressed that cannabis and CBD are federally controlled substances and laws governing their use vary from state to state. They urged restaurant operators to follow all laws when selling or using those items. By the way, third on the list of overall trends was zero-waste cooking, which calls for chefs and restaurateurs to reduce the amount of food waste created during the preparation of menu items to keep it out of landfills. [Image Credit: © Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay]
"CBD-Infused Food/Drink, Zero-Waste Are Top Trends", National Restaurant Association, January 10, 2019, © National Restaurant Association
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Australia Sees Profit Potential In Legume Known As Lupins

January 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST



A growing number of companies in West Australia are capitalizing on the nutritional benefits of the legume seed of the lupinus genus, the popular flowering plants known as lupins. The seeds are gluten-free, low carb, and rich in protein, amino acids, and prebiotics (i.e., fiber). An example of the phenomenon is a former chef who has been making lupin granola for almost three years. He buys lupin flakes, mixes them with nuts, grains and seeds, and roasts them in a slow oven, creating a nutritious, tasty granola. The lupin granola is used as a base in protein bars and slices, and there's a chia pudding topped with it. Eighty-five percent of the world's lupins are grown in West Australia.[Image Credit: © Coastal Crunch]
Jenne Brammer, "Lupins gain traction as human food", The West Australian (Perth, Australia), January 09, 2019, © The West Australian and Seven West Media (WA)
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C-Stores Add Healthful Snack Options To Their Product Lineups

January 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Saddled for many years with a reputation as purveyors of junk foods, many convenience stores (C-stores) are now offering more healthful food and snack options, including produce, all-natural snacks and organic items. The industry is gradually adapting to a trend toward clean and transparent labeling that reveals where the food came from and tells the story behind it. According to industry observers, C-stores have an array of clean products to choose from (e.g., snacks like KIND bars and RXBARs, and SmartPop! popcorn). Consumers know they can find these options in grocery stores, so they now expect them in C-stores.[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
Tammy Mastroberte, "How C-stores Can Answer the Call for Clean Label Foods & Beverages ", Convenience Store News, January 08, 2019, © EnsembleIQ
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Impossible Foods Tinkers Successfully With Its Plant-Based Meats

January 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Impossible Foods, producer of plant-based meat replacements, including hamburger patties (Beyond Burger), has tinkered with its popular formula, replacing textured wheat protein with soy protein concentrate, reduced salt, substituted sunflower oil for coconut oil to reduce saturated fat, and ditched konjac gum and xanthan gum. According to the company, taste tests determined that the new formula “matches conventional beef burgers when it comes to likeability.” Other new ingredients (not in the original versions) include modified food starch and methylcellulose (which are also used in the plant-based Beyond Burger), the preservative cultured dextrose, vitamin C, and vitamin E.[Image Credit: © Impossible Foods Inc.]
Elaine Watson, "Impossible Foods replaces wheat with soy protein concentrate in its plant-based burger; says color additive petition won’t delay retail launch", FoodNavigator-USA.com, January 08, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Blockchain Technology May Deliver Believability In Food Labeling

January 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Food businesses use a lot of marketing and packaging gimmicks to convince consumers to buy their products. A large majority of Americans say they’ve felt tricked by the gimmickry. So how to build faith in food?  One solution would be to adopt a blockchain-based system that would provide a more accurate and trustworthy version of product labels, especially when it comes to claims about organic or non-GMO. Blockchain technology increases transparency and accountability in food supply chains and sets industry-wide standards. Manufacturers and wholesalers are already using it to track food. In the U.S., Walmart is working with IBM to streamline and improve its food safety system. European retail giant Carrefour is tracking chicken, eggs, and tomatoes from farms to grocery store shelves, and plans to expand that system to all their fresh products.[Image Credit: © felixioncool from Pixabay]
Samantha Radocchia, "Know What's GMO: Why Blockchain Will Build Faith In Food Labels", Forbes, January 08, 2019, © Forbes Media LLC
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“Certified Non-GMO” Seems A Meaningless, Even Fraudulent, Marketing Claim

January 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Because “distrust and fear sell,” marketers are getting away with charging premium prices for grocery items certified as “Non-GMO,” even though most of them never have or ever could contain genetically modified organisms. The “standard bearer” for the movement is the Non-GMO Project, which has stamped more than 50,000 products as GMO-free. But only ten GMO plant types are commercially available: apples, potatoes, corn, canola, alfalfa, soybeans, rainbow papaya, cotton, sugar beets, and summer squash. An egregious example of the marketing silliness is a 10-pound bag of The Good Earth Non-GMO Project Verified clumping cat litter, which sells for $18.99 on Amazon. Ten pounds of standard Arm & Hammer clumping cat litter costs about $5.30 at Walmart. That, according to the Missouri Farm Bureau, is “not just outrageous, it is deliberately misleading and fraudulent.”[Image Credit: © Fancycrave.com from Pexels.com]]
Eric Bohl, "GMO-Free Marketing is Deliberately Misleading Consumers", Missouri Farm Bureau, January 07, 2019, © Missouri Farm Bureau
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Oregon Is Latest State To Legalize Harvesting Of Roadkill For Use As Food

January 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Oregon recently enacted legislation that legalizes the harvesting and use of roadkill as food. The state is the latest of about 20 states that allow people to scoop dead animals off the road and serve them for dinner. One of these is the state of Washington, which issued 1,600 roadkill salvaging permits within one year of legalizing the practice in 2016. The rules vary by state, though most require timely reporting of the collection to authorities, and most absolve the state of responsibility if the meat turns out to be stomach-churning. Oregon allows the salvaging of deer and elk and for human consumption only. People who pick up a carcass must apply online for a free permit within 24 hours, and they must turn over the animal's head and antlers to the state wildlife agency within five business days.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Karin Brulliard , "Roadkill on menu in growing number of U.S. states; Hunters and advocates see dead animals as wasted source of food", Bangor Daily News, January 07, 2019, © Bangor Daily News
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Company Promises New BreadBot Will Boost Baking Profit At Retail Grocers

January 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The family-owned Wilkinson Baking Company unveiled its BreadBot at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month. The machine goes “from flour to loaf all on its own,” according to company, and produces loaves that are “fresher, healthier, preservative free and eco-friendly.” The BreadBot mixes, forms, proofs, bakes, and cools ten loaves of bread per hour. It can make most varieties of bread that require dry ingredients, including white, wheat, whole wheat, nine grain, sourdough, and honey oat. Time to first completed loaf is 90 minutes, with new loaves produced every six minutes, up to a maximum of 235 loaves a day. The company claims that retailers using the BreadBot will realize a 20-fold lift in bottom line profits through cost reductions. [Image Credit: © Wilkinson Baking Company]
"Bread is Back on the Rise: The BreadBot Debuts at the Consumer Electronics Show", PR Newswire, January 06, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Natural Antioxidants May Someday Replace Synthetics As Food Preservatives

January 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers increasingly want clean labels: no synthetic-sounding ingredients, only natural alternatives. Now Penn State scientists have discovered that a natural antioxidant found in grain bran could preserve food longer and replace synthetic antioxidants used by the food industry, once the kinks are worked out. The researchers studied compounds called alkylresorcinols (AR), produced by wheat, rye and barley to prevent mold, bacteria and other organisms from growing on the grain kernels. They extracted and purified ARs from rye bran, then studied how well ARs were able to preserve omega-3-rich oils in emulsions. Though not yet as effective as synthetic antioxidants like butylated hydroxytoluene, the researchers say they worked well enough to provide hope for the future.[Image Credit: © $uraj tripathi from Pixabay]
Carolyn Trietsch, "A 'bran' new way to preserve healthy food with natural ingredients", Penn State University, January 04, 2019, © The Pennsylvania State University
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Missouri Lawmakers Are Considering Bill To Require Food Donations

January 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Lawmakers in Missouri are considering legislation that would require foodservice and other food companies with revenues of $5 million or more to donate ten percent of any excess edible “to needy individuals or to nonprofit organizations that provide food to needy individuals." If passed, the bill would make it a misdemeanor punishable by a $25,000 fine if it is discovered that a business is making their food inedible to avoid the donations.[Image Credit: © filmbetrachterin from Pixabay]
Lexi Spivak, "Pre-filed bill would create the Missouri Food Waste Law and help charities", KY3/KSPR News , January 03, 2019, © ky3.com
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App-Driven SnackBot Matriculates At California University

January 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo has introduced the first snack delivery robots in the U.S. that provide “great-tasting, healthier snacks and beverages” to college students. The new all-wheel drive “snackbots,” with a 20-mile range on a single charge, arrived at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Calif.) stocked with snacks and beverages from PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness line, including Smartfood Delight, Baked Lay's, SunChips, Pure Leaf Tea, bubly, LIFEWTR, and Starbucks Cold Brew. The Hello Goodness vending platform, including the snackbot, will be available at 50,000 touchpoints by the end of the year, according to PepsiCo. Users at University of the Pacific can order food and drinks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., via the snackbot app, to be delivered to more than 50 designated spots across the 175-acre campus.[Image Credit: © Robby Technologies Inc]
"PepsiCo's Hello Goodness snackbot is Off to College", PR Newswire, January 03, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Obsession With Healthful Food Is A Real Eating Disorder

January 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A little-known syndrome discovered two decades ago may win the distinction of becoming the eating disorder of the modern era. Orthorexia nervosa is defined as an unhealthy obsession with healthful eating. It often starts with a desire to eat "clean" whole foods in their natural state, but then hardens into a rigid eating style that can crowd out other activities and relationships. Though not yet recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), that will eventually change because it “is affecting a huge segment of the population,” according to one nutrition expert.[Image Credit: © silviarita from Pixabay]
Jancee Dunn, "Is Orthorexia the Eating Disorder for the Digital Age?", Vogue, January 01, 2019, © Condé Nast
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Gourmet Australian Bakery Arrives In The Big Apple

December 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
After 14 years, Australia’s Bourke Street Bakery (Surry Hills) is expanding beyond Down Under, establishing an outpost in midtown Manhattan. Slated to open in late January, the newest incarnation follows establishment of 12 stores in the Sydney area. The bakery is known for its stretchy sourdough, ginger crème brulee tarts, sandwiches, gourmet sausage rolls, and good coffee. Co-founder and chef Paul Allam says he will tweak the offerings to suit an American market: there will be no meat pies, but there will be pumpkin pies, pecan tarts, peanut butter and jam croissants, along with their famous ginger tarts and sausage rolls. A blackboard will list times that fresh loaves come out of the oven. The Manhattan store will open in the midst of a fortuitous trend: a host of Australian-run cafes, bakeries and coffee shops has opened recently, riding a wave of American interest in Australia's bright, colorful, Instagrammable breakfasts and cafe culture.[Image Credit: © Bourke Street Bakery]
Rachel Olding, "Bourke Street Bakery goes international with New York City cafe", Sydney Morning Herald, December 29, 2018, © The Sydney Morning Herald
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Nestlé R&D Unit Is Developing Beverages Made From Walnuts, Blueberries

December 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé SA hopes to ride the wave of plant-based eating – one of the new so-called “food tribes” that include gluten-free and lactose-free – to a billion-dollar business. In addition to stepping briskly into vegan substitutes for meat, using soy and wheat protein, the company’s research and development center in Switzerland is exploring the potential for a liquid derived from walnuts and blueberries, with a purple hue. There’s also a blue latte featuring spirulina algae in the works. The company says about half of the protein used in its food products, including in pet food, comes from plant rather than animal sources. Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer said, “Vegetarianism has never been this popular before and it’s here to stay, I’m convinced about that.” 
Corinne Gretler, "Nestlé Plans Vegan Push With No-Meat Burger, Purple Walnut Milk", Bloomberg, December 28, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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The Decline Of The Tortilla In Mexico Signifies Broader, Deeper Social Ills

December 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


In a tiny city southeast of Mexico City in the state of Oaxaca, a unionized group of handmade tortilla producers is fighting keep the Millennia-old tradition alive in the face of cheap competition. The inexpensive versions sold in the city’s 25 tortillería shops are made with industrially produced masa harina, or corn flour, like Gruma’s Maseca. The larger problem is that Mexicans in cities and in the countryside are simply eating fewer tortillas, and eating more bread and fast food. Consumption has dropped nearly 45 percent in the last 35 years to 125 pounds per person in 2016 from 225 pounds in 1982. Experts say the perilous state of the tortilla is a red alert for Mexico's wider social ills, including obesity, poverty and emigration.[Image Credit: © RociH from Pixabay]
Shaun Pett, "The Fight to Save the Traditional Tortilla", The New York Times, December 26, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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Midwest Wheat Farmers Hope Pasta resurgence Will Life Durum Sales

December 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Farmers in the Midwest whose livelihood depends on the health of the durum wheat market are hoping for a better year in 2019, thanks to a possible resurgence in the pasta market. Prices have been mostly flat in 2018, but may have finally bottomed out. Some observers expect prices to rise for producers. A year ago in mid-December local cash prices were at $6.25 so there's been a marked sell-off from there down to the $4.50 to $4.75 range. Price problems stem from the world supply and demand balance for durum. Larger domestic crops in North Africa, for example, have tempered demand for the early months of this export year. And there are some new players in the world durum export market, in particular Kazakhstan, which was exporting probably 5-6 million bushels of durum a year in 2015; this year they are projected to hit 25 million bushels in export sales.  On A brighter note, U.S. durum export sales are still 50 percent ahead of last year with current sales totaling 15 million bushels compared to 10 million a year ago.[Image Credit: © Christine DAUTIN from Pixabay]
"Pasta resurgence needed in 2019 to help durum market", Farm & Ranch Guide (Bismarck, ND), December 25, 2018, © NewsChamber
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Maine Lawmaker Knocks USDA’s GMO Labeling Scheme

December 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Maine Democratic congresswoman Chellie Pingree, an organic farmer, says the USDA’s new standard for labeling genetic engineered food is "an insult to consumers." Genetically engineered food is often called genetically modified or "GMO" food by advocacy groups that support mandatory labeling. The USDA said last week that new labeling rules require "food manufacturers, importers, and certain retailers to ensure bioengineered foods are appropriately disclosed." Pingree says use of the unfamiliar term "bioengineered" will confuse consumers, and the USDA is essentially launching "a marketing campaign aimed at putting a positive spin on GMO food." She promises to fight the new standard as a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which oversees USDA funding.[Image Credit: © Congresswoman Chellie Pingree]
Patrick Whittle, "Maine rep says new GMO labels aren't consumer friendly", Bangor Daily News, December 24, 2018, © The Associated Press/Bangor Publishing Co.
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Trends: 2019’s Brave New World Of Eating

December 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food world prognosticators are hard at work at this time of year. Some of the more notable forecasts for 2019 include: the rise of “celtuce,” a lettuce with a leafy, bitter top and a stalk that’s a cross between celery and asparagus; sour and funky flavors arising from the interest in fermentation; cheese tea – green or black tea sipped through a cap of cream cheese blended with cream; more foods with probiotics and prebiotics to improve the bacterial health of the intestinal tract; diets that emphasize fat – read “keto” – over carbohydrates, and “pegan” – a cross between a paleo and a vegan diet; foods containing marijuana compounds like THC and cannabidiol; cooking dinner in foil packets; and, in the spirits world, lighter wines, natural wines and drinks with less or no alcohol.[Image Credit: © Sharon Ang]
Kim Severson, "A Peek at Your New Plate: How You’ll Be Eating in 2019", The New York Times , December 21, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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California Celebrities Into Paleo, Keto, Etc., Have Found The Perfect Source

December 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Los Angeles bakery heartily endorsed by singer/songwriter/actress Mandy Moore has achieved success by catering to her celebrity friends and others who want grain-free, refined sugar-free, and dairy-free baked treats, including wedding cakes. The menu of Sweet Laurel, founded by two Santa Monica natives, is especially sensitive to the paleo, vegan, and keto diets followed by upscale residents of communities like Malibu and Beverly Hills. Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas built their customer base – including, besides Moore, Molly Sims, Haylie Duff, and Lauren Conrad – by hosting private classes based on the recipes in their cookbook. They recently opened a vintage style brick-and-mortar bakery in the Palisades, which is themed to look like an English garden inside a jewel box.[Image Credit: © Sweet Laurel Bakery.]
Lindsay Weinberg, "Meet Mandy Moore's (Grain-Free) Wedding Cake Bakers", hollywoodreporter.com, December 20, 2018, © The Hollywood Reporter
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Sodexo Honored By EPA For Food Waste Prevention Measures

December 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named food services and facilities management company Sodexo as national Endorser of the Year for its commitment to food waste prevention. The company was honored for educating businesses/organizations, including its clients, about the importance of sustainable management of food and the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. In 2018, Sodexo influenced 60 of its sites to join the challenge, including Loyola Marymount University, New Mexico State University, and Kansas State University among others. The company hosted hands-on waste reduction training for Sodexo employees and clients, redeveloped and revamped a waste reduction action plan available to all Sodexo operators, and deployed a technology combining sustainability and efficiency through an automated food waste tracking and analytics platform, at Sodexo sites globally. [Image Credit: © USA.gov]
"EPA Recognizes Sodexo for Food Recovery Achievements", Sodexo , December 20, 2018, © Sodexo
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New Processes Make Eating Bread Less Of A Guilty Pleasure

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Among the predicted trends in Jewish cuisine in 2019 – tahini, faux meat, marijuana-derived compounds, Polish comfort foods like pierogies, etc. – is the declaration that “bread is back.” Facebook research on food trends confirms that bread has returned  and is better than ever. Naturally-fermented breads like sourdough are considered good for your gut and overall health, especially those made with whole grains. Innovative bread making techniques now include “slow carb baking,” or slow natural fermenting, which creates breads with lower glycemic indexes (GI) and with increased bioavailability of nutrients. The result? Less guilt about eating bread every day: “Make an extra challah, or even try making your own rye bread.”[Image Credit: © Monika Baechler from Pixabay]
Shannon Sarna , "The Jewish food trends you’ll be seeing in 2019 ", My Jewish Larning, December 19, 2018, © Jewish Telegraph Agency
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Philadelphia Company Delivers Half-Price “Misfit” Produce Directly To Consumers

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Philadelphia start-up Misfits Market is giving new life to so-called “wonky” or misfit produce – misshapen, small or overabundant but edible – by delivering it directly to customers' doorsteps at a discount from grocery store prices. The idea came to founder Abhi Ramesh when apple-picking with friends. He saw farm workers culling out bruised apples to be used for cider, for feeding pigs, or for the landfill. The company sells the "misfit" produce at half price from grocery stores, making it easier for families to afford fresh food while reducing food waste. The company focused at first on produce from small and medium-size farms near Philadelphia, especially on organic, non-GMO farms already certified. The company idelivers to all parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Delaware.[Image Credit: © Misfits Market]
Rebecca Sodergren, "Would you eat 'misfit' produce? New Pennsylvania company delivers boxes to your home at a discount ", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 19, 2018, © PG Publishing Co
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ShopRite’s Partnership With Perdue Produces Antibiotics-Free Fried Chicken

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
East Coast grocery chain’s partnership with Perdue Farms has led to the introduction of an eight-piece grab-and-go fried chicken item that promises “no antibiotics, ever” (NAE). The relationship with Perdue has also produced rotisserie chicken, roaster breast, and roaster leg quarters. The fried chicken is the company's newest style of NAE poultry that is hand-breaded, raised cage free and made fresh throughout the day. According to ShopRite, the products are priced at or below most conventional rotisserie and fried chicken offerings. ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned cooperative based in New Jersey and the largest supermarket cooperative in the U.S.[Image Credit: © Wakefern Food Corp, Inc.]
Kristen Brissette, "ShopRite Introduces No-Antibiotics-Ever Fried Chicken", The Shelby Report, December 19, 2018, © The Shelby Report
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New Clearer Use-By Labels Now On Nine Of Ten Foods

December 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Grocery Manufacturers Association says ninety percent of food products now have easier-to-understand labels featuring use-by dates. The food industry launched an initiative to streamline labels in February 2017 because of confusion over expiration dates. The adage “when in doubt, throw it out" was causing tremendous food waste – in part due to unclear date labeling. Two labels – Best If Used By and Use By – were created and are now in use by 87 percent of grocery products. The association projects that 98 percent will bear the simplified labeling by the end of 2019; all will carry the labels – along with the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts panel – by January 2020. “Date labeling is a step toward meaningful food waste reduction," a GMA spokesman said,[Image Credit: © monicore fromPixabay]
Russell Redman, "Use-by labels become clearer on groceries", Supermarket News, December 19, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Food Label Transparency Trend To Gather Momentum This Year

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