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Unilever Saves 30% With Its In-House Creative Content Production Agency

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

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

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

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

March 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based producer of “all-natural” cocktail mixers Ficks & Co. unveiled a line of RTD hard seltzers at the Natural Products Expo recently. The seltzers, targeting the surging wellness food and beverage market, and specifically Millennials, blend fruit alcohol, fruit juice (not from concentrate), and sparkling water. Available in grapefruit, lime, blackberry, and cranberry flavors, Ficks Hard Seltzers contain no added sugar and are five percent ABV.  [ Image credit: © Ficks & Co. ]
"Ficks & Co Launches Line of All Natural Hard Seltzers at Expo West", News release, Fisk & Co., March 07, 2018, © Fisk & Co.
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Listening To Confused Consumers, Steaz Renames Flagship Cactus Water Product

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Several breweries in the New York City area are sending their spent grain to a local flour company instead of the landfill. Rise Flour turns the grain into a “super flour” that contains 12 times the fiber, twice the protein, and a third of the carbs of standard all-purpose flour. The breweries are not only reducing their operational costs, they are also becoming zero waste businesses. [ Image credit: © Rise Flour ]
"New York Flour Company Turns Breweries' Waste into Nutrition", Specialty Food News, March 02, 2018, © Specialty Food Association, Inc.
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Clean-Label Yogurt Drink Will Soon Be Available Across U.S.

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

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

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

March 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has introduced an “Intelligent Food” initiative to improve perishable food quality and eliminate waste from the produce supply chain. Dubbed “Eden,” the initiative has been implemented company-wide in 43 grocery distribution centers and other facilities over the last 12 months. The company says Eden has already reduced spoilage by “tens of millions of dollars” in fiscal 2018 (since January 27, 2018), and will eliminate $2 billion in spoilage over the next five years. Under the program, visual inspection of fresh produce at distribution centers is being automated and digitized. Algorithms and other advanced technologies monitor the temperature and freshness of produce and perishable foods from farm to supplier to warehouse to Walmart’s shelves. [ Image credit: ©  Walmart ]
Michael Browne, "Walmart Introduces Eden, its High-Tech Fresh-Food Initiative", Supermarket News, March 01, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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Strict Clean Label Grocery Chain Introduces Thousand Hills Grazed Beef In Stores

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colorado-based Natural Grocers is introducing the “exceptional quality” Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed beef, raised on family-owned U.S. farms, in its grocery stores in 19 states. Natural Grocers maintains strict clean label standards – stricter than USDA standards – for its beef suppliers, requiring all unprocessed, fresh and frozen meat to be humanely-raised without hormones, growth-promoting drugs, antibiotics or animal by-products. The company also “prefers” non-genetically modified feed. According to the company, the USDA allows meat to be labeled as 100-percent grass fed even if cattle are confined in feed lots and fed distillers’ grains, GMO alfalfa, and antibiotics. [ Image credit: © Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed ]
Alissa Marchat, "Natural Grocers Adds Thousand Hills Grass-Fed Beef To All Stores", The Shelby Report, February 28, 2018, © The Shelby Report
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Lazy Bear Tea Keeps Environmental Impact In Mind As It Builds RTD Tea Business

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Three young entrepreneurs, including a woman who grew up in a coffee-growing region of Colombia, are working to build a business based on leftover coffee cherry husks (cascara) from Nicaragua. Their product is Lazy Bear Tea, a family of RTD teas currently distributed in the New England region, but looking to expand. Co-founder Daniela Uribe saw a market opportunity – and a partial solution to food waste – in the discarded coffee cherry husks when she first tasted the tea made from the dried husks. The company has been selling three SKUs of RTD tea (natural, lemon agave, and mint); a fourth flavor, cascara chai, with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, and agave syrup, is being introduced this month. Uribe’s mission is to be successful with a value-added product that combines the social impact of Honest Tea with the mainstream appeal and distribution strength of Snapple.
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Lazy Bear Tea brews Up New Use for Discarded Coffee Cherry Husks with RTD Teas", BeverageDaily.com, February 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Quick Breads Have Several Advantages Over The Yeast-Based Stuff

February 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Quick breads have remained popular over the years because they are easy to make, economical – they make use of ingredients often past their prime – and can be whipped up in far less time than yeast-based breads. Cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum says making quick breads – e.g., zucchini bread, apple bread, banana bread, etc. – is “comfortable baking” that is “no fail.” They owe their continued success to the introduction of two leavening agents that offer an alternative to yeast: baking soda and baking powder. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
Jennifer Graue, "Whether Banana, Cheese or Soda, Baking These Loaves Takes Hardly Any Time (and no Yeast)", LowellSun.com, February 28, 2018, © Digital First Media
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Inno-Bev, A New Player In Energy Drinks Market, Awarded A U.S. Patent

February 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The energy drinks market is vibrant, with major players like Red Bull, Monster and Rock Star battling for a spot at the top. But energy drinks are being scrutinized more closely these days because of concerns over negative health effects, ads that target younger consumers, and the use of artificial ingredients. Into this environment jumps an Israeli company that has just been awarded a U.S. patent for a plant-based alertness formula called WakeUp, sold as a liquid supplement shot and as an RTD beverage. The formula is based on guarana, ginkgo biloba, and elderberry, sweetened with a low glycemic fruit extract. Inno-Bev Ltd. says randomized clinical trials showed several benefits: it overcomes the post-lunch dip/morning inertia; improves vigilance, focus, and work performance without side effects; and, when used over a 30-day period, helps improve brain function.
Hank Schultz, "Inno-Bev Gets U.S. Patent on Botanical Formula for Alertness", BeverageDaily.com, February 27, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pulse-Based Mac And Cheese Now Available In U.S.

February 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Already available in Canadian grocery stores, Chickapea has launched its organic chickpea and lentil mac and cheese in the U.S. Using a sauce made from real organic cheese, the product is non-GMO, kosher, vegetarian, and gluten-free, contains 19 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and less than 500mg of sodium per serving. Launched in July 2016, Chickapea mac and cheese is available in three varieties – mac with classic cheddar, mini spirals with classic cheddar, and shells with white cheddar – in 2,000 stores in North America as well as online at choosechickapea.com and on Amazon.  [ Image credit: © Chickapea ]
"Chickapea Launches the Only Organic, Pulse-Based Mac and Cheese", News release, Chickapea, February 27, 2018, © Chickapea
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Brewery/Bakery Partnership Recycles Surplus Bread Into Brewskis

February 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A New York City bakery is collaborating with a brewery in a project whose overall mission is to cut food – especially bread – waste. Startup brewer Toast Ale uses unsold, but still fresh, bread donated by artisanal bakery Bread Alone, which also donates much of its surplus to churches, food pantries, and other charities. Toast Ale, like all brewers, needs food starch to make its product. The company gets at least some of its food starch from bread donated by Bread Alone Bakery. The starch forms sugars, that are eventually fermented to make beer. According to Toast Ale, it has brewed more than 5,000 gallons of beer in New York, and “saved more than 2,200 pounds of bread." [ Image credit: © ToastAle.com ]
James Ford, "Drink Beer to Help Save the Planet? It’s happening in NYC", PIX11, February 24, 2018, © Tribune Broadcasting Company
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French Law Has Made It Much Easier For Grocers To Donate Food

February 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
France’s two-year-old food waste law bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food. Stores that violate the law can be fined $4,500 for each infraction. But the law has affected much more than grocery stores. A whole subculture of food donation, collection, and distribution has sprung up across the country. Five thousand charities depend on the food bank network, which now gets nearly half of its donations from grocery stores. The new law has increased the quantity and quality of donations, with more fresh foods and products available farther from their expiration date. The law has also cut back on food waste by eliminating certain constraining contracts between supermarkets and food manufacturers. [ Image credit: © Politico Europe  ]
Eleanor Beardsley, "French Food Waste Law Changing How Grocery Stores Approach Excess Food", National Public Radio, February 24, 2018, © npr
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W.V. Legislature Considers Bill To Cut School Food Waste, Ease Hunger

February 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A bill wending its way through the West Virginia legislative process will allow distribution of unused school food to students. The bill, which just passed the House of Delegates, is modeled after a nationwide initiative known as Share Table that has the approval of the USDA as a tool to reduce food waste. If enacted, the measure would allow schools to work with county health departments and the USDA to come up with guidelines to distribute unused food to students or have it collected and donated to charitable organizations. More than 79,000 children in the state lived with food insecurity in 2017. The measure now goes to the state Senate for consideration. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia ]
Taylor Stuck, "Bill Would Allow Schools to Pass Out Unused Food", The Herald Dispatch, February 24, 2018, © HD Media Company, LLC
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Bakery Succeeds With Variations Of One Core Product: The Pretzel Bun

February 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Miller Baking Company owner Brian Miller is both pleased and surprised that the company’s flagship product is suddenly garnering a lot of positive publicity. The eight-year-old pretzel bun brand known as Pretzilla was featured in several New York City publications when chef Masa Takayama used it to wrap beef and lamb burgers at his newly-launched Tetsu restaurant. The original baking company that Miller’s family purchased in 1970 used to sell 175 different baked goods in Milwaukee. But it now concentrates on only four core pretzel bread variations sold nationwide: burger buns, mini buns, pretzel bites, and sausage buns. [Image credit: © Miller Baking Company ]
Maggie Overfelt, "Whole Foods, Costco Success Story: 95-Year-Old Business bets it all on the Pretzel Bun", CNBC, February 23, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Tyson Foods Turns Its Attention To Protein Snacks, While Tackling Food Waste

February 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Giant U.S. meat producer Tysons Foods has set its strategic sights on the snack business in a way that will put some of its scraps to good use. A company R&D team was given six months to figure out a way make protein-based snacks from materials that would otherwise go to the landfill. As consumers turn away from sugary snacks, they are buying more protein snacks, creating a $2.9 billion market in 2017. Tyson thinks it can take ingredients like poultry scraps, spent grain from brewers, and vegetable pulp from juicers to create high-protein snacks. Tyson has already begun to branch out from poultry into snacks: its acquisition of Hillshire Brands in 2014 brought with it the jerky brand Golden Island, and Tyson has used the Hillshire name to launch a line of meat snacks. [ Image credit: © Tyson Foods ]
Megan Durisin et al., "Tyson Innovation Lab Aims to Turn Scraps Into Snacks", Bloomberg, February 21, 2018, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Conagra Sells Canadian Del Monte Processed Fruits/Vegetables Unit

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Conagra Brands announced it is selling its Canadian Del Monte canned fruit and vegetable business to Canada’s Bonduelle Group in a deal worth about US$34 million. A spokesman for Bonduelle said all three of the company's canning facilities in Canada will be “positively impacted” by the acquisition in terms of added jobs. The deal is subject to closing conditions but is expected to be completed before the end of May.  [ Image credit: © Conagra Brands  ]
"Conagra Brands Enters Into Definitive Agreement With Bonduelle Group To Sell Its Canadian Del Monte Processed Fruit And Vegetable Business", News release, Conagra Brands, February 20, 2018, © Conagra Brands, Inc.
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DuPont Enzyme Range Gives Manufacturers New Options For Baked Goods

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont Nutrition & Health has introduced a baking enzyme that acts as a strengthening solution to add tolerance and consistency to bread and buns. The DuPont Danisco POWERBake 6000 Dough Strengthener enzyme range was developed to enhance dough strength, but they also offer versatility. Used in combination with other enzymes and ingredients, the products can provide food manufacturers with a variety of new options and capabilities for baked goods. The products enhance the emulsification process; create a synergistic dough strengthening effect; improve tolerance to processing variations and raw materials; increase the volume of the final product; and improve crumb structure and whiteness. [ Image credit: © DuPont Danisco  ]
Kevin Kuzma, "DuPont Nutrition & Health Debuts New POWERBake 6000 Product Range at ASB Baking Tech 2018", News release, DuPont, February 20, 2018, © DuPont Nutrition & Health
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Ardent Mills Names New CIO

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Ardent Mills LLC has named Chris Meyerpeter chief information officer and a member of the company’s senior leadership team. As CIO, Meyerpeter will oversee IT and will be responsible for driving the company’s IT strategy, objectives and goals as well as providing innovative enterprise solutions. A 21-year veteran of Monsanto, Meyerpeter most recently was senior director of information technology-customer digital experience at the St. Louis company. [ Image credit: © Ardent Mills  ]
Josh Sosland, "Chris Meyerpeter Named C.I.O. at Ardent Mills", Food Business News, February 20, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Despite Hiccup In 4th Q Online Sales, Analysts Don’t See Walmart Losing To Amazon

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Investors are nervous that a dip in Walmart’s 4th quarter e-commerce sales – the announcement triggered a nine percent stock price drop – could portend an online future in which the mega-retailer plays second fiddle to Amazon. Online sales grew only 23 percent during the holiday quarter. Yet the company continues to forecast 40 percent growth for the current fiscal year, and analysts and industry experts seem to be on board with that. The company’s investments in its website and overall e-commerce operations will begin to pay off later in the year. Walmart also has a substantial brick-and-mortar retail base, something Amazon lacks. A Cowen & Co. analyst said “the future of e-commerce is physical + digital,” a strategy that “will drive a 'productivity loop.'" [ Image credit: © Walmart  ]
Lauren Thomas, "Walmart Has Big Year of E-Commerce Investments Planned to Bring Growth Back to 40 Percent", CNBC, February 20, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Amazon Rewards Whole Foods Shoppers With Access To Prime Visa Benefits

February 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Amazon has extended the benefits of Amazon Prime membership to shoppers at Whole Foods Market, its newly-acquired grocery retail chain. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Cardmembers who shop at Whole Foods Market and use the card to purchase animal welfare-rated meat, sustainably caught wild and responsibly farmed seafood, or any local, Whole Trade, or organic produce will earn five percent bac. The discount is in addition to any other rewards they receive, including five percent back on Amazon.com purchases, two percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and one percent back on all other purchases. The rewards never expire and are redeemable, as long as the account is open, on millions of products at Amazon.com. [ Image credit: ©  Amazon.com ]

"Prime Members Now Earn 5% Back When Shopping at Whole Foods Market Using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card", News release, Amazon, February 20, 2018, © Amazon.com
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Coca-Cola’s CFO Talks About The Company’s New Directions

February 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Chief Financial Officer Kathy Waller says the company is responding to health-conscious consumers these days with an expanded product line – “offering beverages for all types of people at all stages of their lives and for a variety of purposes” – and soft drink varieties reformulated with less or no sugar. The expanded product line includes more waters, teas, and juices. Waller says these new options have been in place for a while, though the company was “late” in getting the word out to consumers. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Waller also described the company’s approach to acquiring or developing new products; discussed how to make a 130-year-old company more of a risk-taker and innovator acknowledged that cost-cutting tactics like standardized beverage formulas don’t always work globally; and predicted what the prospects might be for smaller-sized, higher-priced beverage packages.
Jennifer Maloney, "Coca-Cola’s Game Plan: Reformulate and Expand", The Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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German Food Ingredients Company Develops Gluten-Based Protein Additives

February 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food companies in Europe will be able to formulate both meat substitutes and meat-based products with a new range of gluten-derived proteins from German food ingredient maker Kröner-Stärke. The company says the wheat proteins were developed specifically to enable food manufacturers to diversify into high-quality meat substitutes and bring added functionality and nutritional value to traditional favorites. The company’s Glutex B, made from wheat gluten, is used to provide a meat-like texture to products such as vegetarian meatballs, and burgers. It can also be used in meat products such as minced meat to lower overall fat content and reduce cholesterol while keeping protein levels high. [ Image credit: © Kröner-Stärke ]
"Kroner-Starke Unveils New Range of Clean Label Wheat Proteins", FoodBev, February 17, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Surprises Wall Street With Better-Than-Expected 3rd Q Financials

February 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola posted healthy third-quarter profits, revenue, and sales growth, beating Wall Street forecasts on all three fronts. The company is betting it can offset a shrinking market and sagging sales in its core soft drink products with surging revenue from new products, like Coke Zero Sugar. The strongest performing beverages were sports drinks and water, which grew two percent in the quarter, as did coffee and tea beverages, such as Honest Tea. Carbonated soft drinks were stagnant, while juice, dairy, and plant-based beverages slid two percent. Net revenue dropped 20 percent for the quarter thanks to headwinds from the bottler refranchising program. Earnings were dented by a $3.6 billion one-time charge related to new U.S. tax laws. The adjusted EPS was $0.39, beating the analyst forecast of $0.38. Revenue total was $7.51 billion (forecast: $7.37 billion); organic sales growth was six percent (forecast: 3.65 percent).
Lauren Hirsch, "Coca-Cola Beats Earnings, as Coke Zero and other New Drinks Offset Flat Volume", CNBC, February 16, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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N.D. Lawmakers Hurry To Amend Old Law Banning Booze In Baked Goods

February 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The popularity of a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, bakery’s alcohol-soaked cupcakes has sparked a movement to change the state’s hundred-year-old law banning booze in confectionery treats. Online bakery Intoxibakes had to shut down operations to comply with the law before several city councilors began lobbying state lawmakers to make a change. They came up with a proposal to limit alcohol content in food to 0.5 percent. However, because legislative deadlines for introducing bills have passed, the proposal will need to be tacked on to another unrelated measure, and may not be acted on in this session. The legislation is similar to laws in at least a dozen other states, including Iowa and Minnesota. [ Image credit: © Intoxibakes ]
"Boozy Cupcake-Maker Sparks Rush to Modify South Dakota Laws", U.S. News & World Report, February 16, 2018, © U.S. News & World Report L.P.
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Danone Posts Strong Earnings Growth For 2017, Helped By Waters, Nutrition

February 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone reported a 14.2 percent rise in earnings per share (EPS) in 2017, in line with its guidance, and said it expects to continue the double-digit growth in EPS in 2018. That profit performance was tied to strong growth in its waters and specialized nutrition divisions. The waters division grew by more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter on a like-for-like basis; the specialized nutrition division rose 8.4 percent, with strong performance in China. The company said its food group would focus on accelerating sales growth this year and delivering a further rise in profits, thanks to cost cutting and the acquisition of U.S. organic company WhiteWave. Like-for-like sales in 2017 rose 2.5 percent to $30.95 billion, slightly higher than analysts' expectations of 2.4 percent growth.
Anthony Shevlin, "Danone Tops Profit Views as Water Sales Surge", MarketWatch, February 16, 2018, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Nestlé Launches Dairy Milk/Coconut Beverage For Sri Lankan Children

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a Nespray milk variation in Sri Lanka that features dairy milk and coconut flavor targeted at children. Coco-Up Ready-to-Drink, made with Sri Lankan milk and coconut, contains no artificial colors or preservatives. Nestlé buys milk from close to 20,000 Sri Lankan farmers every day, making it the market leader for local milk-based beverages. It has been manufacturing dairy products in Sri Lanka since 1984. The company is also one of the world’s largest exporters of coconut milk powder, supporting more than 6,000 local coconut growers through its business. Chilled Nespray Coco-Up, priced at $0.92, joins Nespray Fortigrow, Everyday and Nutri-Up products made with local milk.
"Nestle Launches Nespray Coco-Up: Sri Lanka’s First Dairy Milk Beverage with Coconut", News release, Nestlé, February 15, 2018, © Nestlé
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New Plant-Based Burger’s Veggie Fats Sizzle On The Grill

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Don Lee Farms has begun distributing nationally its Organic Plant-Based Raw Burgers, made with beans and seeds, and certified organic, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. The burger is free from artificial ingredients or preservatives. According to the company, the burger “bleeds” organic beet juice and sizzles on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. “It’s a burger made with plants, not with science,” said a Don Lee Farms spokesman. [ Image credit: © Don Lee Farms ]
"Don Lee Farms Introduces First Organic Raw Plant-Based Burger — Made With Plants, Not With Science", News release, Don Lee Farms, February 15, 2018, © Don Lee Farms
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N.Y. City Tightens Food Waste Rules For Restaurants, Grocery Stores

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In an effort to divert 50,000 tons of food waste from landfills, the New York City sanitation department is implementing new rules for restaurants and grocery stores on handling food waste. Businesses covered by the rules may: hire a private carter, self-transport, or process their food scraps on site for beneficial use, such as for compost; donate unsold food to a charity or food bank; sell or donate the food to a farmer for feedstock; and sell or donate meat by-products to a rendering company. Covered establishments include restaurants with at least 15,000 square feet of floor area, chain restaurants with 100 or more locations in the city, and grocery stores with at least 25,000 square feet of space. [ Image credit: © NY City Dept. of Sanitation ]
"New York to Require More Restaurants, Grocery Stores to Put Food Waste to Good Use", NBC Universal, February 15, 2018, © NBC Universal Media, LLC
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iFresh Adopts Alipay Mobile Payment Platform For Online, Store Purchases

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Asian-American supermarket chain and online grocer iFresh announced it is partnering with Alipay and CITCON to provide customers with access to the Alipay mobile wallet function to make purchases at stores and online. Digital payment platform Alipay, operated by Ant Financial, is popular among Chinese consumers.  iFresh will provide Alipay services online and in stores in the U.S. through CITCON, a cross-border mobile payment and marketing solutions provider that helps connect merchants with Chinese mobile wallet users. [ Image credit: © iFresh  ]
"iFresh Announces the Acceptance of Alipay Online and in Stores Nationwide", News release, iFresh, February 15, 2018, © iFresh
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Healthy Growth In Demand For Wheat Protein Forecast Through 2022

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The growing U.S. baking industry and an increasing consumer preference for meat substitutes are contributing to healthy demand for plant-based protein, especially wheat protein, according to a market research report. Despite concerns about gluten intolerance, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 percent to reach $2.58 billion in the next five years. Other factors driving demand for wheat protein include the nutritional benefits for lactose intolerant and health- and fitness-conscious consumers, and increasing applications of wheat protein in varied end-user industries such as pet food and cosmetics. [ Image credit: ©  Wikipedia ]
"The Wheat Protein Market is projected to Grow at a CAGR of 4.8%", PR Newswire, February 15, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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How “Value-Adding” Unsold Vegetables Solves Two Problems

February 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Rather than discard the 40 percent of his cauliflower crop that doesn’t pass the grocer’s cosmetics test, an Australian farmer figured out a way to turn a loss into profit. In a process known as “value-adding,” he took the slightly damaged part of the crop and turned it into the fast-cooking and nutritious “cauli-rice” that is sold in grocery stores. It’s been a complicated venture, because he decided to handle the processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution himself. But sales have been good and are getting better. And there are a lot fewer tons of unsold cauliflowers in the landfill. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia ]
Tyne Logan, "Farmer Turns Food Waste into Healthy Cauliflower Rice Convenience Product", ABC, February 15, 2018, © ABC
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Danone Trims Stake In Yakult, But Expands Collaboration

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
French food and beverage giant Danone said it is extending its collaborative relationship with Japanese probiotic beverage company Yakult Honsha Co. to “promote probiotics as part of a balanced diet.” Danone also disclosed that it has agreed to trim its 21.29 percent stake in Yakult to seven percent “in line with capital allocation priorities.” The companies said they would step up efforts to promote probiotics through their Global Probiotics Council, and will expand the Ishoku Dogen program focusing on the link between diet and health. Potential new collaboration projects include testing distribution of Yakult's products by Danone in European markets, starting with Spain.
"Danone Enters a New Phase in its Strategic Partnership with Yakult", News release, Danone, February 14, 2018, © Danone
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Food Spoilage – Not Plate Waste – Is More Of A Problem In The Home

February 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at Ohio State University have determined that people who on average left just three percent of their food on their plates when choosing their own meals left almost 40 percent behind when given a standard boxed-lunch type of meal. Plate waste at home was 3.5 percent higher when diners went for seconds or thirds. But the study’s lead author also noted that efforts to reduce food waste at home would be better directed toward other conservation tactics, like using up food before it spoils. Plate waste is a more serious problem at school cafeterias and event buffets. [ Image credit: © Portland State University ]
Misti Crane, "Clean Plates Much More Common When We Eat at Home", News release, Ohio State University, February 14, 2018, © The Ohio State University
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