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Mondelez Reportedly Seeking To Acquire Hershey Co.

June 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International Inc., the snack foods spinoff from Kraft, is angling to acquire Hershey Co., but needs approval from Hershey’s largest stockholder (eight percent), the Hershey Trust. The news of a possible merger sent Hershey’s stock up 20 percent. Both companies would benefit from a deal: Mondelez would immediately have an expanded confections product line, while Hershey would have access to the marketing infrastructure it needs to expand abroad. According to The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the story, Mondelez promised to rename the company Hershey, headquarter its global chocolate business in Hershey, Pa., and protect jobs.
Jessica Wohl, "Mondelez Reportedly Wants to Buy Hershey", Advertising Age, June 30, 2016, © Crain Communications
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PepsiCo Exhumes Crystal Pepsi For Another Try At Soda Success

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo announced that it is reanimating Crystal Pepsi, a clear cola introduced in 1992 and terminated a year later, for a limited time in the U.S. and Canada. The move, “inspired by overwhelming fan demand,” will be supported by an ad campaign that includes the revival of another ‘90s artifact, an online version of The Oregon Trail computer game. Crystal Pepsi test-marketed the reintroduction in the U.S. last December using a sweepstakes on the Pepsi Pass app. The new campaign will begin July 11 in Canada and August 8 in the U.S., with 20-ounce bottles available at major retailers for $1.79.
"Celebrate the 90s with Crystal Pepsi -- Iconic Clear Cola to Hit Shelves This Summer", News release, PepsiCo, June 29, 2016, © PepsiCo
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Poll Finds Online Food Shopping Has Become Fairly Routine For Certain Americans

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Though Americans still make frequent trips to grocery stores, they’re also increasingly likely to buy food online, according to a Harris Poll of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults 18 or over. Thirty-one percent – 45 percent of all online shoppers – said they buy food online for convenience, to save money, or to find items they can’t find anywhere else. Most likely to buy online are Millennials (36 percent vs. 31 percent generally), college grads (35 percent vs. 26 percent with high school or less), parents and city dwellers. Most popular items purchased are snacks (20 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (17 percent), while baking products and frozen foods are least popular (12 percent each). The best foods for online purchasing are non-perishable or have a long shelf life (49 percent), or are difficult to find in stores (48 percent).
Allyssa Birth, "Purchasing Food Online: The New Normal?", News release, The Harris Poll, June 29, 2016, © The Nielsen Company
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Nestlé Hopes New “Outsider” CEO Can Keep It Afloat In Choppy Waters Ahead

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé recently hired an outsider to take over as CEO because it faces serious disruption in its basic business strategy. Ulf Mark Schneider is the former chief executive of Frisenius SE, a healthcare company specializing in kidney disease. Nestlé, like other global companies, has faced numerous challenges, but its fundamental problem has to do with its future in a world where consumers are increasingly skeptical of packaged, processed foods. Consumers blame the food industry – and its fatty, salty, and sugary products – for the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Food companies are scrambling to change their product and marketing strategies, and their business models. One way to accomplish that quickly, as Nestlé seems to have done, is to add outsiders to the management mix.
Michelle Gerdes, "Why Nestlé Was So Quick to Hire an Outsider CEO", Strategy+Business, June 29, 2016, © PwC
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Former Ogilvy Ad Exec To Manage McDonald’s Global Brand

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald's has named Colin Mitchell, former worldwide head of strategic planning at ad firm Ogilvy & Mather, to the new position of global vice president of the McDonald’s brand. His new boss will be Silvia Lagnado, global chief marketing officer. Mitchell joined Ogilvy in 1999 and has worked on brands such as IBM, Coca-Cola, Cisco and BlackRock. As brand manager at McDonald’s, Mitchell will be responsible for “articulating the McDonald's brand vision and positioning,” and for coordinating advertising, visual identity and packaging.
Jessica Wohl, "McDonald's Names Ogilvy's Colin Mitchell as Global Brand VP", Advertising Age, June 29, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Common Chemical Found In Cosmetics May Inhibit The Will To Exercise

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study in mice suggests the possibility that exposure to a common chemical family used to make cosmetics and personal care products significantly reduces the urge to exercise. The findings may help to explain why people who know they should be physically active nevertheless avoid exercising. The researchers looked at the impact of a class of chemicals called phthalates that are found in many everyday products, including food containers, shampoos and perfumes. For the study, some mice fetuses were exposed to benzyl butyl phthalate (BPP) and monitored as pups and beyond. By young adulthood, the exposed animals were not moving much. In fact, the male mice that had been exposed to BPP in utero ran about 20 percent less during adulthood.
Gretchen Reynolds, "Could Environmental Chemicals Shape Our Exercise Habits?", The New York Times, June 29, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Scientists Seek A Way To Use Nutrient-Rich Berry Pomace In Bread

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The British government has awarded $291,000 to food scientists at the University of Huddersfield to work with a blackcurrant juice maker to come up with a way to turn the leftover pomace into food. Scientists believe the pomace – pulp, seeds, and stems – can be turned into an edible substance that can enrich the polyphenol and fiber content of bread, muffins, biscuits and breakfast foods. The Huddersfield scientists are working with British company Lucozade Ribena Suntory, maker of the Ribena blackcurrant drink brand. The company normally discards the pomace after making the juice.
Chloe Glover, "University of Huddersfield Take on Government Project to Turn Blackcurrant Pomace Into Food", The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, June 29, 2016, © Trinity Mirror North West
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General Mills Puts Its Ad Bucks Where They’ll Get The Biggest Bang

June 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills says its U.S. consumer and trade ad spending will be lower this fiscal year, especially on disappointing products like yogurt, though it will increase spending on priorities – products with “the highest returns and the highest possibilities for growth” – like cereal. Ad spend declined 13.4 percent in 2015, according to Ad Age, which noted that spending cuts affected Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Nature Valley and Progresso. But media spending on Yoplait increased by 8.9 percent. This year, spending on cereal will get a mid-single-digits boost, while spending on yogurt ads will be trimmed.
Jessica Wohl, "General Mills Plans Further U.S. Ad Spending Cuts", Advertising Age, June 29, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Walmart Promises That All Suppliers Of U.S.-Made Goods Will Get A Shot On Its Website

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart execs recently met with 800 suppliers to hear pitches on potential Walmart.com products that are made exclusively in the U.S. The company said a third of the companies at the U.S. Manufacturing Summit were minority- or women-owned. A Walmart merchandising executive promised that all of the products – except those that can’t be shipped because they contain hazardous materials – would be automatically approved for sale on Walmart.com. The Summit is part of the company’s initiative, launched in 2013, to spend $250 billion on American-made goods for its stores, Sam’s Club, and website.
Marty Cook, "At Latest Summit, Walmart Seeks More American-Made Goods", Arkansas Business, June 28, 2016, © Arkansas Business Limited Partnership
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SnackWell’s Introduces Biscuit Thins With All-Natural Flavors

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Low-fat snack maker SnackWell’s, once owned by Nabisco and Mondelez, said it has expanded into the breakfast product category with the launch of biscuit thins made with 100 percent whole grains. In addition to being a source of protein and fiber, the cookies contain no high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated oils. Natural flavors include: caramel macchiato, dark chocolate mocha; and French vanilla latte, all made with real coffee.
"New Snackwell Biscuit Thins Mark Expansion To Breakfast Segment", FoodBev Media, June 28, 2016, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Troubled U.K. Online Grocer Ocado May Benefit From Brexit Fallout

June 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
O woe is online grocer Ocado. British supermarket chain Morrison is complaining that its deal with Ocado has been profitable for Ocado only, and signals it may back out. The company faces competition on its own turf from Amazon Fresh, which has made a supply deal with Morrison. And Waitrose, whose products Ocado sells, may pull out of its arrangement. These and other problems – it has failed to attract any European or U.S. partners – have depressed Ocado’s stock values by 25 percent since April. However, Ocado may benefit in several ways from the fallout of the recent Brexit referendum. The British pound is taking a beating versus the dollar, so an overseas supermarket will pay less to have Ocado manage its online grocery business. It also means that a potential buyer would pay less to buy Ocado outright.
Andrea Felsted, "Ocado's Found a Silver Lining in Brexit", Bloomberg Gadfly, June 28, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Investors Needed To Help Build World’s First Pulse Waste Processing Plant

June 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s Wimmera Development Association is looking for investors in a project to build a processing plant in Victoria that would convert pulse grain waste into protein powder. Besides creating jobs and providing a market for farmers’ leftover grain husk, the plant would help reduce food waste. The project received some funding from the state to look into the potential of such a plant, but is now seeking investors to carry the project forward. The powder made from pulse grain waste is 85 percent protein and could be used to make breakfast cereal, muesli bars, health foods, consumable protein powders and ready-made meals, according to project promoters.
Erin McFadden, "Pulse Protein Powder Plant: Wimmera Development Association Seeks Investors", Stock And Land, June 27, 2016, © Fairfax Media
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Indian Cookie Makers Create Products That Fight Obesity In Young People

June 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Indian diet now contains significantly more fat and sugar, which contributes to an obesity problem that is especially severe within the growing population of teenagers and other young people. Mintel says food and drink manufacturers that target the young market need to take into account diet-related conditions like obesity and diabetes when crafting and marketing products. Indian biscuit and cookie makers are doing just that. An example is Millet Might Finger Millet Cookies, made with traditional grains that are rich in resistant starch, a source of calcium, iron and thiamine. According to Mintel, marketing products like that to teenagers “would help the demographic choose products which are better for them.”
Neha Nayak, "Indian Biscuit Brands Crack Down On Teenage Obesity In India", Blog, Mintel, June 27, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Japanese Baker Creates Bread With Whimsical Designs, Including Cartoon Characters

June 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Tokyo-based baker is producing bread with patterns of flowers, cartoon characters and exotic prints. The loaves baked by Konel Bread use natural colors and flavors, including spinach, cocoa and beetroot. The bakery uses ropes of dough layered together to make the quirky designs, some with animal, insect and fruit patterns.
Andrea Smith , "The Japanese bakery cooking up a storm with its colourful bread", Lonely Planet, June 27, 2016, © Lonely Planet
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French Yogurt Buyers Now Have Varieties Made With Sheep Milk, Goat Milk

June 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills is introducing goat and sheep milk versions of Yoplait yogurt in France, following a strategic plan to bring greater diversity to its yogurt products. In fact, the products have that theme in their French name – Yoplait C’est bon de varier (variety is good). A significant trend in yogurt sales in France is the growing interest in products made from non-dairy ingredients. The alternative dairy segment, which includes products made with organic and soy ingredients, and with goat and sheep milk, accounts for about eight percent of the fresh dairy products sold in that country. According to General Mills, goat milk yogurt has a “strong taste” reminiscent of cheese, while sheep milk yogurt tastes sweeter and milder.
Monte Olmsted, "Got goat milk? Yoplait France does.", Blog, Taste of General Mills, June 27, 2016, © General Mills Inc.
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PepsiCo Reverses Course On Aspartame Sweetener As Diet Pepsi Sales Continue To Slide

June 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The artificially-sweetened soda market is in the doldrums, but PepsiCo’s aspartame blunder didn’t help matters. So, to reverse steadily declining Diet Pepsi sales the company is bringing back the aspartame-sweetened version it torpedoed nearly a year ago in favor of a sucralose-sweetened version. The aspartame product will hit store shelves in September, and will be sold alongside its sucralose sister. PepsiCo says it is reacting to loud protests from the diet soda’s die-hard fans who claimed to hate the taste of sucralose. But the reformulation last August worsened Diet Pepsi’s soda market share: from 4.5 percent to 4.1 percent as sales fell 10.6 percent in 1Q 2016. Diet Coke, with a 7.4 percent soda market share, saw sales slip 5.7 percent in the same period.
Mike Esterl, "PepsiCo to Reintroduce Aspartame-Sweetened Diet Pepsi", The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Walmart Hopes Its New Date Labeling Scheme Will Help Reduce Wasted Food

June 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart is changing the date labeling scheme on its food products to avoid consumer confusion over safe-to-eat dates. That confusion has led Americans to toss $29 billion worth of edible food into the trash every year. Walmart’s fix is to require suppliers of its own label Great Value products to use the same standardized date – “best if used by” – for non-perishable foods. The change began last year, and the company says 70 percent of its private label suppliers have already complied. The rest have until next month to comply. The Food Marketing Institute says most date labels aren’t meant to indicate safety, only when manufacturers believe products will go beyond peak quality.
Twilight Greenaway, "Can Walmart's food labels make a dent in America's $29bn food waste problem?", The Guardian, June 26, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Food Waste Has Become A “Platform For Commerce”

June 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A growing number of entrepreneurs in the U.S. see profit opportunities in the 40 percent of the food supply that ends up in the trash. “Food waste,” says The New York Times, “is now a platform for commerce.” Among the latest ventures: Back to the Roots (sells mushroom- growing kits using coffee grounds}; EcoScraps (turns food waste into gardening products); Cerplus (links farms with waste produce to wholesalers); Harvest Power (processes organic waste into mulch and fertilizer); Food Cowboy (app connects rejected truckloads of fresh foods to charities}; and Liquid Environmental Solutions (processes waste water and used cooking oil). Some of these companies have been able to bootstrap their enterprises, but others have garnered millions in venture capital cash to get their businesses up and running.
Stephanie Strom, "New Crop of Companies Reaping Profits From Wasted Food", The New York Times, June 24, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Food Industry Scrambles To Remove Artificial Colors From Products

June 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The food industry is working hard to remove artificial colors from its products, not because of a government mandate – the feds say the colors are safe – but because of a consumer mandate. Buyers of candy, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and other products no longer want to see the words Yellow 5, Blue 1, or Red 40 on food ingredient labels. The new concerns are traceable to studies that link artificial colors – dubbed “neurotoxins” – to childhood hyperactivity disorders. So food and beverage companies and restaurant chains – Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, General Mills, Kellogg's, Nestlé, Mars, ConAgra, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, etc. – are phasing out fake colors, replacing them with real colors. It’s a tricky process that hopes to satisfy the clean label trend while preserving the original look and flavor.
Greg Trotter, "Food Companies Are Phasing Out Artificial Dyes, But Not Fast Enough For Some", Chicago Tribune, June 24, 2016, © Chicago Tribune
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Smartphone App That Tracks Food Shelf Life Wins Sustainability Contest

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A smartphone app designed to reduce global food waste and improve how people consume food has won a contest whose goal is to help launch a new sustainable product or service in the food and beverage industry. According to its creators, the Foodfully app could save consumers as much as $600 a year on groceries by keeping track (from shopping receipts) of food purchases, especially shelf life and spoilage dates. The competition, which received 140 applicants, was sponsored by Net Impact, a global network of “aspiring change agents,” and supported by Campbell Soup Company and General Mills.
Catherine Muriel, "Food Waste App Takes Top Prize in the Forward Food Competition", 3BL Media, June 22, 2016, © 3BL Media, LLC
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Ingredients Company Offers Clean-Label Cake Inclusions

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Baked foods ingredients make Parker is now selling a line of clean-label cake inclusions that are shelf-stable and enhance flavor, but are free of artificial flavors and colors, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, preservatives and allergens (including dairy, soy, and nuts). The inclusions are produced using a hot-panning process that leaves lower moisture content in the final product. This allows for a longer shelf life – up to 12 months. Traditional baked goods often have a shelf life of weeks. The inclusions have a crunchy texture when dry, and absorb fat and moisture in ice cream to create a dense mouthfeel similar to real cake.
"Parker to Showcase New Clean Label Cake Inclusions at IFT16", Business Wire, June 22, 2016, © Business Wire
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Private Label's Share Of FMCG Market In Western Economies Falls

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In 2015, private-label products’ share of the FMCG market in Europe in terms of value dropped by 0.6 points to 38.3 percent, compared with the previous year, according to IRI Worldwide. Data from the report “Private Label in Western Economies” revealed private-label unit market share also dropped by 0.5 points to 47.4 percent during the period. These numbers prove that the segment’s downward trend, which started in 2014, has continued, as well as focus on the challenges faced by private-label retailers and manufacturers across Europe. Among the eight countries covered by the study, France showed the highest decrease in private label’s market share, although it has a high share at 34.1 percent compared with Italy’s 17.2 percent value share and Australia’s 13.9 percent value share. Private label’s promotion market share in the US was 37.7 percent, the highest among the countries covered by the report.
"Private Label in Western Economies", IRI, June 22, 2016, © IRI Worldwide
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Irish Firm Gets FDA Okay To Sell Store Brand Non-GMO Baby Formula

June 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has cleared Ireland-based baby formula supplier Perrigo to launch three milk-based, non-GMO products. The store-brand infant formulas are meant to save consumers as much as 45 percent over branded versions, such as the ten varieties marketed by Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories. Sales of non-GMO infant formula in the U.S. already exceed $45 million a year.
Dean Best, "Perrigo Gets US FDA Clearance For Own-Label Non-GMO Formula", Just-Food, June 21, 2016, © just-food.com
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Britain’s “Eatwell Guide” Is Skewed Toward A Debunked, Industry-Driven Diet Scheme

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.’s “Eatwell Guide” was introduced by the Department of Health in 1994 as a graphic showing a segmented plate indicating the daily proportions of food groups needed for a healthy diet. A revision of the Guide – with mainly “cosmetic” changes – has now been lambasted by a British scientist for being out of step with scientific evidence that has discredited the Guide’s commercially-driven high-carb, low-fat diet scheme. That scheme was formulated with the input of too many people with food industry ties and too few independent nutrition experts. As a sign of the Guide’s failure, rates of obesity and diabetes in Great Britain have soared since the 1970s.
Zoe Harcombe, "Designed by the food industry for wealth, not health: the ‘Eatwell Guide’. ", British Journal of Sports Medicine, June 20, 2016, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
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Study Finds That Most Infants Fed Peanut Products Escape Peanut Allergies

June 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Introducing peanuts into the diet of infants at risk for peanut allergy not only significantly reduces the risk of developing the allergy later, it also does not compromise breastfeeding or affect growth or nutrition intake, according to a U.S.-funded study conducted in the U.K. Researchers found that feeding peanut products to high-risk British infants (aged four to eleven months) led to an 81 percent drop in development of the allergy through age five. They also noted that peanut consumption did not shorten the duration of breastfeeding or adversely affect height, weight or body mass index.
Mary Feeney et al. , "Impact of peanut consumption in the LEAP study: feasibility, growth and nutrition. ", Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, June 20, 2016, © American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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Sugar Replacements Help Control Glycemic Response In Baked Goods

June 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
New Zealand scientists have determined that the plant-based sweeteners stevianna and inulin can help cut sugar content – and lower glycemic response – when used in baking. The researchers replaced half of the sugar in a recipe for muffins with low-calorie stevianna without damaging the texture or flavor of the muffins. Individuals who ate the muffins experienced a lower glycemic response. The discovery of the benefits of sugar replacers could lead to better ways of controlling glucose metabolism, weight gain, and diabetes.
Jingrong Gao et al., "Effect of sugar replacement with stevianna and inulin on the texture and predictive glycaemic response of muffins. ", International Journal of Food Science & Technology, June 19, 2016, © Gao et al.
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Lack Of Dietary Zinc Disrupts Digestion, Metabolism

June 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A German study finds that the trace element zinc is essential for metabolic health and digestion. There is a direct correlation between the level of digestive enzymes in the pancreas and zinc levels, and even short-term zinc deficiency in the diet should be avoided. Zinc deficiency can lead to the accumulation of undigested food inside the gastrointestinal tract and results in feeling less hungry. This in turn reduces the intake of essential nutrients, leading to any number of harmful conditions.
Daniel Brugger & Wilhelm M. Windisch, "Subclinical zinc deficiency impairs pancreatic digestive enzyme activity and digestive capacity of weaned piglets. ", British Journal of Nutrition, June 19, 2016, © Cambridge University Press
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Safe New Compound Destroys E. Coli Quickly

June 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Singapore researchers have developed a safe antimicrobial material that could be used in consumer and personal care products to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The material kills harmful E. coli bacteria by penetrating cell membranes in less than a minute. A major reason for the spread of antibiotics-resistant bacteria is triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient found in toothpastes and other products. To find a suitable replacement for triclosan, the researchers synthesized a chemical compound using imidazolium oligomers that can kill 99.7 percent of E. coli within 30 seconds of contact. The material is safe for human use because it “carries a positive charge that targets the more negatively charged bacteria, without destroying red blood cells," the researchers said. The material could be used in alcoholic sprays for sterilization in hospitals or homes.
Siti Nurhanna Riduan et al., "Ultrafast Killing and Self-Gelling Antimicrobial Imidazolium Oligomers. ", Small, June 19, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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New Version Of Hostess Twinkies Is Deep-Fried, Frozen, And Reheated At Home

June 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Snack cakes maker Hostess rebounded from bankruptcy in 2012 with robust sales. But lately it has struggled to boost performance, even as it reformulated some of its products to include more healthful ingredients like whole grains while eliminating high fructose corn syrup. So its more health-conscious customers may be surprised to hear about its latest product: deep-fried Twinkies. The cream-filled snacks – they are battered and fried before being boxed – can be found exclusively in the frozen foods section at Walmart. Heating in the oven creates a crunchy exterior and a warm, gooey filling. The chocolate versions actually have less fat, cholesterol, and sodium than the original.
Venessa Wong, "Strangely, You Bake The New Deep Fried Twinkies", BuzzFeed News, June 18, 2016, © BuzzFeed, Inc
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Pillsbury Unveils Girl Scout Cookie Baking Mixes

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
J. M. Smucker’s Pillsbury brand has signed a licensing agreement with the Girl Scouts to make and market two of the organization’s iconic cookie flavors as non-cookie baking mixes. Under the agreement, Pillsbury is brining to market Girl Scouts Thin Mints and Caramel & Coconut flavored mixes for brownies, blondies and cupcakes. The new mixes are available at grocery stores nationwide at a suggested retail price of $3.29.
"New Pillsbury Girl Scout Cookie Inspired Baking Mixes Brings the Fun and Flavor of Girl Scout Cookies to Snack Time", News release, J. M. Smucker, June 16, 2016, © J.M. Smucker Company
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British Research Project To Develop New Gels From Surplus Potatoes

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Several British universities and research institutes will benefit from a $3.7 million grant supporting development of personal care gels, creams and other products from discarded starchy vegetables like potatoes. The food industry throws away millions of tons of vegetables that are unsold for one reason or another each year. Also contributing to the problem are surplus supply and processing waste. The researchers will investigate how nature’s catalysts –  enzymes – can be used to make starch-based gels using nanoscale fibers. The new gels could be used across the pharmaceutical, beauty, home product and food industries. Participating in the research are the University of East Anglia, the John Innes Center, the University of Bath, and the University of Exeter. 
"£2.8 million project to make new types of gel from waste food", News release, University of East Anglia, June 16, 2016, © University of East Anglia
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Panera To Get Rid Of All Artificial Additives In Bakery And At-Home Products

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Further applying its Panera 2.0 program, Panera Bread says it will remove all artificial ingredients from its range of 50 Panera at Home products by the end of the year. It has also said it will eliminate all artificial ingredients from its food in all 2,000 bakeries and cafes by the end of 2016. The company has already removed ingredients like artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, from 90 percent of its food items. Panera at Home sells Panera branded products to other retailers, including refrigerated soup, mac and cheese, pasta, and salad dressings, as well as artisan frozen bread, sliced sandwich bread and coffee.
"Panera to Remove Artificial Ingredients from At-Home Products", Zacks, June 16, 2016, © Zacks Investment Research
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Chickpea Pasta May Someday Displace Wheat Pasta On Dinner Menus

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Chickpeas are an ancient pulse and a culinary staple of Middle Eastern, African and Indian dishes. But even as recently as 20 years ago, Americans weren’t eating very many of them: about three ounces a year per person. But that’s all changed now. In 2013, Americans consumed more than 269 million pounds of chickpeas. One entrepreneur who has benefited from the new-found interest in chickpea cookery is a kitchen tinker who in 2013 invented a recipe for chickpea pasta (marketed as Banza Pasta). Usually made with semolina flour, conventional pasta is high in protein, low in fat, and rich in vitamins and minerals. But chickpea pasta beats semolina pasta hands down in the nutrition department. It has four times the fiber, no cholesterol, and lots of vitamins, minerals, and protein. One cup of chickpeas contains 40 grams of protein.
David Murray, "Chickpeas take on pasta; Good news for Montana pulse crops", Great Falls Tribune, June 16, 2016, © Great Falls Tribune, a division of Gannett Company, Inc.
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Unilever Will Expand Marketing Efforts In Indonesia During Ramadan, Company President Says

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Indonesia plans to increase its marketing efforts during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in the country. According to company president Hermant Bakshi, consumer sentiment has improved after a slump in 2015. Unilever's net profit dropped 1 percent in 2015, its first drop in 10 years. Indonesia's economic slowdown adversely affected consumer spending during the year.
Wataru Suzuki, "Unilever Indonesia sees 'stabilized' sentiment", Nikkei Asian Review, June 15, 2016, © Nikkei Inc.
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Unilever Indonesia Announces Bigger Capex Plans And Proposed New Headquarters

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Indonesia raised its capital expenditure from the previously planned Rp 1.4 trillion to Rp 2 trillion, or $149 million, in 2016. According to the company, the bigger capex will cover the cost of the proposed Rp 600 billion new headquarters. Unilever Indonesia finance director Yudhistira Rusli said the company will fund most of the capital spending, with bank loans accounting for 15 to 20 percent of the needed money.
"Unilever Indonesia Builds New HQ, Set to Pay Rp3.23 Trillion in Dividends", Jakarta Globe, June 15, 2016, © Jakarta Globe
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Will Long-Awaited Vegan “Impossible Burger” Supplant The Ground Beef Patty?

June 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The first product of a well-funded Silicon Valley food start-up is about to debut in local restaurants, the first salvo in a so-far secret war against the beef industry. After six years of research, Impossible Foods has created an expensive – $20 a serving – vegan version of the ground beef patty. The product is the result of reverse engineering and analysis of beef to create a mixture of proteins, fats, vitamins and amino acids from plant sources, the only one sold raw for cooking. It contains more sodium and saturated fat than ground beef, but no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics. It will hit grocers’ shelves in a few years, once the price problem is solved. And the taste? Food writer Kurt Soller says it is “complex: fruitier, funkier and more barnyardy” than conventional veggie burgers. And it smells just like cooked beef.
Kurt Soller, "The Impossible Burger is Ready for Its (Meatless) Close-Up", The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Recipe For A Longer Life: Eat Whole Grain Foods

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An exhaustive review of published research and individuals’ health data finds that eating whole grain foods can extend lifespan. The Harvard study shows that people who ate 70 grams of whole grains a day lowered their risk of premature death, cancer and cardiovascular diseases, as long as a healthy lifestyle was followed. Refined grains stripped of their bran and germ during the milling process have a longer shelf life, but lack key nutrients unless they are “enriched.” U.S. dietary guidelines that recommend at least three daily servings — or 48 grams — of whole grains to "improve long-term health and prevent premature death." Researchers based their findings on the results from 12 published studies and health information from more than 786,000 participants.
Greg Trotter, "Whole grains can help you live longer, Harvard study finds", Chicago Tribune, June 13, 2016, © Chicago Tribune
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Home System Turns Organic Waste Into Useable Biogas

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An Israeli company is marketing a device that turns food and organic waste – meat, fish, fats, oils, dairy, used kitty litter, etc. – into clean cooking gas. The easily assembled HomeBiogas sells for less than a thousand dollars, runs without electricity, and creates a byproduct that can be used as fertilizer. The daily gas output from the bacteria-driven digester is equivalent to about six kilowatt-hours of energy – enough gas for about three hours of cooking. It can also be used for lighting, or for heating water using devices that work with low-pressure biogas.
Elyse Wanshel, "This Machine Turns Your Food Waste Into Gas For Cooking", The Huffington Post, June 13, 2016, © TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
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Alexia Says Non-GMO Project Verification Will Finish Within 12 Months

June 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A ConAgra food subsidiary that makes frozen French fries and other potato side dishes says it will phase out GMO ingredients over the next 12 months. Alexia Foods says the project, which entails Non-GMO Project verification, is 90 percent complete. The company also announced two new side dishes – flavored sweet potato fries and truffle fries – made with organic potatoes Alexia products are available at natural, gourmet, club, grocery and mass retail stores.
"Alexia Announces Non-GMO Commitment And New Innovations", News release, Alexia Foods, June 11, 2016, © Alexia Foods
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Candy Is Dandy Among Americans, Especially Families With Kids

June 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Despite America’s growing interest in eating more healthful foods, the country still has a healthy sweet tooth. Candy sales are surging: during the 52 weeks ended April 30, sales topped $21.5 billion, reflecting a yearly growth rate of two to four percent since 2011 and putting candy third in growth behind new age beverages and salty snacks. Major candy holidays – Easter, Halloween, etc. – account for a lot of those sales (i.e., $3.5 billion). But everyday candy sales hit $18 billion, proving that Americans, especially families with kids, are indeed candy lovers. The biggest buyers are parents of 3-7 year olds (63 percent) and 8-12 year olds (65 percent). Sales drop to 54 percent among teens (13-17).
"America's Sweetest Treat Is Delivering Candy Crushing Growth", Market report, Nielsen, June 10, 2016, © The Nielsen Company
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Using Rye Flour To Make Pastry? It’s A Happening Thing

June 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Pastry bakers are discovering the benefits of whole grain rye flour, long considered hard to work with because of its low gluten content. The rediscovery of rye could be due to interest in Scandinavian baking, or to the burgeoning movement supported by bakers, millers and farmers who promote the benefits of whole grain and heirloom grains and flours. Pastry chefs are now using the malty, nutty, slightly milky-flavored rye flour to make cookies, pastries, even brownies. According to the owner of a California stone mill, freshly ground rye flour are “rich and fragrant, with a sweet, tangy flavor that pairs well with cherries, rhubarb, dairy and chocolate.
Amy Scattergood, "Rye is Finally Having a Moment. Taste Why in These Brownie, Cookie and Hand Pie Recipes.", Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2016, © Los Angeles Times
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HUL Receives Top FMCG Company Award In India

June 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever Limited was recognized as the top FMCG company in India by Dun & Bradstreet. HUL was included on India's Top 500 Companies list and was honored at the Dun & Bradstreet Corporate Awards 2016 event in Mumbai. HUL also received the award in 2014 and 2015.
"HUL recognised as top FMCG Company in India by Dun & Bradstreet", Unilever, June 10, 2016, © Unilever
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Dirty Words Used To Expand The Conversation About Organic Seed

June 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Five agrichemical companies control most of the seeds that are used to grow our crops, according to the Clif Bar Family Foundation, which recently launched the Seed Matters initiative to tout the benefits of high-yielding organic seed as opposed to the nutrient-poor GMO seeds developed by industrial agriculture. The problem is, consumers aren’t really aware of the importance of the seeds used in farming. To rectify that, Seed Matters hired an ad agency to develop Mr. Seed, a foul-mouthed animated organic seed character, to get its point across. That point is that “public funding is at stake” and seed is rapidly becoming consolidated and privatized. There has to be a broader conversation – even if it’s laced with obscenities – about the future of seed.
Jeff Beer, "Why This Animated, Foul-Mouthed Organic Seed Is Talking Dirty About Your Food", Fast Company, June 09, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Brands Need To Figure Out How To Deal With FDA’s New Label Rule On Added Sugar

June 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA’s recently updated Nutrition Facts food label now contains an entry for “added sugars.” As scientific evidence mounts showing the link between sugar consumption and conditions like obesity and diabetes, consumers will have information on both the amount and recommended daily value of added sugars. Food industry analysts say the increased visibility could lead to a consumer shift away from sugars in the same way they shifted away from trans fats in the mid-2000s. Food formulators are already taking note of changing consumer attitudes. But the new FDA requirement takes effect in 2018, so brands have time to figure out how “to meet the needs of the sugar-conscious consumers of the future.”
Shepherd Laughlin , "Sugar transparency", News release, J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, June 09, 2016, © J. Walter Thompson Intelligence
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Unilever CEO Supports UK Remaining An EU Member

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever CEO Paul Polman said the UK should stay in the European Union. During an interview with TV Channel 4, Polman said leaving the EU would harm the country's economy and put jobs at risk. Asked whether Unilever would relocate its headquarters if the UK left the EU, Polman said the company was dually listed; however, Unilever would seriously consider at its business structure. Also, Polman said leaving the EU could lead to higher food prices, citing ice cream as an example.
Dean Best, "Unilever's Paul Polman on the prospect of Brexit", Just-Food, June 08, 2016, © just-food.com
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USDA-Developed Rice Flours Are “Superior To” Wheat-Based Equivalents

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service have developed – and patented – a special blend of rice flours that reduces oil absorption during cooking and are nutritionally and functionally “equal or superior to their wheat-based counterparts.” Maryland’s CrispTek LLC is now marketing rice flour-based brownie, cookie and muffin mixes under the brand name Choice Batter. The scientists who developed the technology that led to the rice flour blend – which can be used for grilling, baking and frying – say rice-based batters absorb 50 percent less oil than traditional wheat batters. In addition, they are naturally gluten-free, and free from common food allergens such as peanuts, dairy foods, soy, and from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
"New Rice Flour Mixes Available To Make Yummy Treats", News release, USDA, June 08, 2016, © USDA
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Dietary Supplement Formula Reverses Brain Cell Loss, Cognitive Decline

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A research team in Canada has created a dietary supplement from commonly available nutrients that reverses brain cell loss and cognitive decline. The team has been testing the concoction since 2000 in both normal and rapidly aging mice bred to experience severe declines in cognitive and motor function in only a few months. The mice lose more than half of their brain cells by one year of age, the human equivalent of severe Alzheimer's disease. The formula of 30 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and nutraceuticals includes vitamins B, C and D, folic acid, green tea extract, and cod liver oil. It was fed to the mice daily over several months and completely eliminated the severe brain cell loss and cognitive decline.
J.A. Lemon et al., "A multi-ingredient dietary supplement abolishes large-scale brain cell loss, improves sensory function, and prevents neuronal atrophy in aging mice.", Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, June 08, 2016, © Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Euromonitor Starts Tracking Ethical Food Labeling, A Nearly $1 Trillion Industry

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Euromonitor has responded to the social media-driven trend toward ethical consumerism by creating a 26-market database, Passport Ethical Labels, that quantifies packaged food and beverage product labels by three categories: people/values, the environment and sustainability, and animal welfare. Consumers, of course, have no intention of stopping consuming because of concerns about the Indonesian rainforest, slaughter houses, chicken sheds, pig farms, dubious food additives, etc. They still want convenience, but also a less guilty conscience. The newest data show that the global market for ethical labels on branded packaged foods, soft drinks and hot drinks totaled $794 billion in 2015, three-quarters of which comprised environment- and /sustainability-related labels having mostly to do with recycling.
Simone Baroke , "Passport Ethical Labels – Key Findings", Blog, Euromonitor , June 08, 2016, © Euromonitor International
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New Partnership Will Help Determine Levels Of Food Waste In Countries

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Though 800 million people globally are malnourished, about a third of all food – approximately $940 billion worth each year – is lost as it moves from farm (or factory) to table. To help end this trend, a group of international organizations has partnered to launch a Food Loss and Waste Standard that will help businesses, governments, and other organizations to measure the problem. Organizations involved in the initiative include the World Resources Institute, the Consumer Goods Forum, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and others. The basic goal of the program is to help companies and countries find out how much food is lost or wasted, and where it occurs within their borders, operations or supply chains.
"First-Ever Global Standard to Measure Food Loss and Waste Introduced by International Partnership", News release, World Resources Institute, June 06, 2016, © World Resources Institute
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Unilever Works With Instacart To Promote Brands Online To U.S. Consumers

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is working with grocery-delivery service Instacart to help promote its brands to online consumers in the US. Launched in 2015, Unilever's strategic partnership with Instacart has included experimenting with different types of digital promotions linked to online purchases and deliveries. Promotions include free-shipping offers, sampling, and Instacart Deals that offer customers instant redemption of digital coupons. Instacart has run more than 30 free-delivery campaigns for Unilever brands since summer 2015.
Dale Buss, "Unilever Leverages Participation in Online Grocery Shopping", CPG Matters, June 06, 2016, © CPG Matters
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