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Pizza Chain Debuts Cheese-Stuffed “Dough Knots”

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

National pizza chain Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza has introduced what it calls a “modern twist on traditional breadsticks.” Dough Knots are made-to-order and hand-stretched, filled with mozzarella, garlic, and pesto, baked and served with a red sauce. Available at the chain’s 270 locations in the U.S. and Canada, Dough Knots are offered in orders of two or four. They can also be purchased at $1.95 for 2 and $2.95 for 4. To promote the new item, the company is giving away more than two million Dough Knots. Customers enrolled in Blaze's loyalty mobile app or email programs will receive two free Dough Knots with the purchase of any pizza. [Image Credit: © Blaze Pizza LLC]

"Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza Launches House-made Dough Knots", GlobeNewswire , July 02, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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College Friends Create Winning Recipe For Low-Sugar, High-Protein Doughnut

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Doughnut-loving alumni of the University of Texas have launched a company whose mission is to market a delicious but low-sugar, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and protein-rich doughnut. Elite Sweets’ founders were either studying sports management or playing football, and all shared a passion for doughnuts – healthful ones if possible – and a dream of entrepreneurship. They developed the basic recipe in 2017, and since then have come up with four flavors that are sold online and in several Austin shops. All of their offerings are low in sugar: the cinnamon sugar version, said to be the most popular, contains two grams of sugar and 17 grams of protein.[Image Credit: © Elite Sweets]

Meara Isenberg, "Alumni launch protein-packed donut company", The Daily Texan: University of Texas - Austin, July 02, 2018, © Texas Student Media
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Half Of Americans Worry About Health Impact Of GMO Ingredients

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Research from the International Food Information Council shows that labels proposed by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to disclose “bioengineered” (BE) foods “dramatically increase a wide variety of consumer concerns.” The IFIC Foundation tested reactions to the three BE labeling symbols and two variations of text disclosures. Consumers were shown bottles of canola oil without any BE logo or text, with symbols (like a “plant”), with a symbol plus “bioengineered” in text, and with a symbol plus “may be bioengineered” in text. Half of the consumers had “human health concerns” when shown the BE “plant” symbol. The number rose to 51 percent when text was added to indicate that the product was “bioengineered,” and to 57 percent when “may be bioengineered” was added to the “plant” symbol. [Image Credit: © IFIC]

"Survey: Nearly Half of U.S. Consumers Avoid GMO Foods; Large Majority Primarily Concerned About Human Health Impact ", Food Insight, July 02, 2018, © International Food Information Council
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Chipotle Looks At Technology To Revive Sales Hammered By Outbreak

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Chipotle is using technology to recover from a sales slump caused by an E. coli outbreak. One of the restaurant chain’s locations in New York City has functioned as a test site for many of the innovations Chipotle has implemented. According to the company, one of the biggest changes involved the company’s mobile ordering. Previously, customers have complained that its mobile ordering was confusing and came with wait times that could be as long as 45 minutes. Chipotle is using bold signs to help lead customers to mobile pick-up shelves and has reduced wait time to 12 minutes. Mobile orders account for 8.8 percent of sales, an increase of 40 percent from 2016 to 2017.[Image Credit: © Chipotle Mexican Grill ]


Hollis Johnson and Kate Taylor, "We visited the Chipotle of the future. Here's what it's like", Business Insider, July 02, 2018, © Insider Inc.
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FSA Tests Blockchain As Regulatory Tool, Completes Pilot In Slaughterhouse

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

UK’s Food Standard Agency has completed a trial program involving the use of blockchain technology as a regulatory tool in a cattle slaughterhouse. Aimed at improving transparency in the food supply chain, the pilot allowed both FSA staff and the slaughterhouse to access data. According to the FSA, the agency will implement the same program in other food production plants.[Image Credit: © FOOD.GOV.UK]


Ana Alexandre, "UK Food Standard Agency Completes Blockchain Pilot for Food Supply Chain", Cointelegraph, July 02, 2018, © Cointelegraph
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Company Expands Production Facilities As Demand For Plant-Based Meats Soars

July 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Responding to what it calls “surging demand for its meat-free burgers,” California’s Beyond Meat, which produces Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage, is opening a second factory in Columbia, Mo., that will add 250 jobs to its operations in the state. The new plant will expand production capacity from 30,000 sq. ft. to 100,000. Beyond Burger, launched in 2016, is made entirely from plants without GMOs, soy, or gluten. The Beyond Sausage line was launched late in 2017. The company has customers in Europe, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Israel, UAE, South Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa.  [Image Credit: © Beyond Meat]

"Beyond Meat opens second factory, creates 250 jobs, as demand for meat-free burgers soars", just-food global news, July 01, 2018, © just-food.com
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Blockchain’s Innovative Features Whet Restaurants’ Appetite For Safety And Openness

July 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Restaurant companies are trying blockchain applications to manage their various operations, including customer loyalty programs and supply chains. For example, Chanticleer Holdings uses blockchain, which is a digital, peer-to-peer technology designed to store encrypted data and protect it from fraud, to manage its loyalty program. With blockchain, the company is letting customers earn points and rewards across its restaurant brands. Closely linked to the cryptocurrency bitcoin, blockchain lets users share and access data through a decentralized system that is both open and anonymous. However, developers can add safeguards and safety parameters to the technology. 

Kevin Hardy, "Explaining the Rise of Blockchain in Restaurants", QSR Magazine, July 01, 2018, © Journalistic, Inc
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Blockchain Works To Improve Food Safety, Benefits Farmers

June 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Blockchain technology has some positive impact on farming and the food industry. By integrating blockchain into the food industry’s supply chain, food safety scares can be easily detected, and their origin determined. Blockchain can also help prevent food fraud by making it easier to identify ingredients of finished products. Also, by removing paper-based processes and middlemen from the process, bitcoin can help lower food prices while improving farmers’ income.

Connor Blenkinsop, "Blockchain's Impact on Food and Farming, Explained", Cointelegraph, June 30, 2018, © Cointelegraph
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International Companies Urge India’s Maharashtra State To Ease Plastic Ban

June 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Multinational corporations, including Amazon and H&M, are reportedly urging the state of Maharashtra in India to relax its recently approved ban on single-use plastic. Coming after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign for an end to the use of single-use plastic in the country by 2022, the state’s move is expected to raise operating costs for companies. Retailers and beverage manufactures are among companies that use plastic packaging. Business groups, including the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, have called on the government to soften its anti-plastic policies.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier]

"Amazon, H&M Pressing to Soften India's Plastic Ban", The Business of Fashion, June 29, 2018, © The Business of Fashion
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Student’s Invention Helps Fight Food Waste At Home

June 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Eleven-year-old British student Rumaan Malik didn’t like it when apples went bad while sitting in the fruit bowl at home. Concerned about wasted food, she invented what she calls the “Alarm Cup,” in the process winning online supermarket Ocado’s Food Waste Challenge award. The grocer then partnered with design website, Little Inventors, to create a prototype of the cup.  Her invention sounds an alarm before the fruit goes bad, thereby keeping it out of the trash. The cup also has a small touchscreen display with icons for different produce, and recipes such as apple crumble and banana bread that put aging fruits to good use. [Image Credit: © LittleInventors.org]
"Eleven-year-old girl's groundbreaking invention could help reduce food waste; Some £13bn-worth of food is binned annually", The Independent (United Kingdom), June 29, 2018, © Independent Digital News and Media Ltd
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Dairy Farmers Can Turn Waste Products Into Electricity, Methane Gas

June 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A recent podcast sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation presented ideas for recycling inedible products from dairy farms. One farmer in Pennsylvania, for example, who is participating in the No Taste for Waste campaign uses an anaerobic digester – the original purpose was to reduce odor –  to recycle food waste into enough electric power and methane to supply the farm and roughly 100 other homes. It’s a better way to deal with waste than sending it to a landfill. But another solution is to, whenever possible, channel surplus food “to those that are less fortunate” and to animal feed processors. [Image Credit: © Univ. of Minnesota Extension]

Micheal Clements, "Farms Can Help Reduce Food Waste", American Farm Bureau Federation, June 29, 2018, © American Farm Bureau Federation
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High-Tech Indoor Farms Promise Improved, Better-Tasting Produce

June 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Business startups, including Bowery farming, AeroFarms, and Lettuce Networks, are using data and artificial intelligence to operate indoor food farms more efficiently than conventional farms. Also, these companies keep their farms small-scale and locate them near population centers. Described by some experts as distributed farming, these indoor food farms are designed to provide food for more people, while keeping their environmental impact less than those of traditional, large-scale farms. Compared with conventional farms, these “unscaled farms” offer better produce, with food grown and harvested near urban centers. Investors believe indoor farms are the future of farming, with about $2 billion invested in hundreds of farming technology startups since 2013.
Kevin Maney, "Why You Should Hope Your Next Tomato’s Grown Indoors by Robots", Strategy+business, June 28, 2018, © PwC
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“Frankenfoods” Stitch Together Fast Food Items That Customers Already Love

June 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Reporter Paul R. La Monica says the trend toward “Frankenfoods” – “gimmicky culinary concoctions” – began eight years ago (“arguably”) with KFC’s calorie-packed Double Down sandwich comprising bacon, cheese, and sauce held together by two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread. The trend continues today, the latest example being the Dunkin' Donuts contrivance known as donut fries: crispy pieces of doughnut dough dusted with cinnamon sugar and served in a French fries-style box. Other examples include Burger King's Whopperito, Mac and Cheetos, Nacho Fries, Doritos Locos Tacos, bacon shakes, and chicken rings. More are on the way. The idea, La Monica notes, is “to generate buzz with creations that often combine things people already like.”[Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]

Paul R. La Monica, "Why fast food chains sell Frankenfood", CNN Wire, June 28, 2018, © Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company.
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Flourishing Remote Bakeries In Maine Symbolize The State’s “Work Ethic”

June 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
People looking for quality baked goods are not daunted by out-of-the-way bakery locations. Robin Chase of Whitefield, Maine, is a classic example of that truism. After spending 40 years baking and selling her wares at local farmers markets, she opened a retail bakery shop in the old milk room in her barn. A display case there is packed with Danish pastry, bars, cookies, doughnuts, pies and loaves of bread. Customers are more than happy to search out the Chase Farm Bakery. According to a Maine economic development official, it’s something of a tradition in “a small-business state” teeming with “literally tens of thousands of examples” of flourishing home-based enterprises. “It's a sign of a strong economy and a sign of Maine's work ethic," says Douglas Ray. [Image Credit: © Chase Farm Bakery]
Jessica Lowell, "Small bakery businesses on the rise in rural locations around Maine", Portland Press Herald, June 28, 2018, © Press Herald
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Europe’s Food Safety Agency Agrees With Unilever: Black Tea Improves Attention

June 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced that it is the first company to earn a positive scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that validates the claim that black tea improves attention – “the ability to concentrate on, filter, and utilize incoming sensory information,” according to Unilever scientist Amelia Jarman. The company conducted three studies with volunteers who drank either black tea, tea-flavored water or colored water. After drinking black tea, attention scores were higher. One of the company’s studies showed that the stronger the tea, the higher the attention scores. The European Commission will review the EFSA opinion to determine whether Unilever will be granted exclusive rights to use the health claim for five years.
"Unilever receives positive opinion on health claim for tea from the EFSA", Unilever, June 26, 2018, © Unilever
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Whole Grains Make A Healthful Salad Topper

June 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Whole grains – including ancient grains like barley, farro, and quinoa – are not just for baking, according to food writer Diane Peterson. They make healthful additions to salads because they boost fiber and protein in their diet, and help diners feel full longer, lose weight and ward off disease. They are, in fact, “a tasty way to add flavor and a nice chew to summer salads.” The chef at Zoftig restaurant in Santa Rosa, Calif., uses only organic whole grains – brown rice, semi-pearled farro from Italy and white quinoa from Peru – in salads as well as in the popular Korean burrito wrap. A Middle Eastern-style Maccabi Bowl [left] features housemade hummus, smoky baba ganoush, and a beet dip served with whole-wheat chips, olives and tabbouleh made not with bulgur wheat but Italian farro, mixed together with the traditional blend of cucumber, herbs, parsley, green onions, olive oil and vinegar. ][Image Credit: © John Burgess | The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.]
Diane Peterson, "Whole grains add heft to summer salads", The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif., June 26, 2018, © The Press Democrat
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Eco-Friendly And Healthful: Nutrition Bar Dough Is A Product For Our Times

June 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Two twenty-something friends who attended rival colleges in Iowa launched a start-up (in Colorado) that makes bake-your-own nutrition bar dough packaged in eco-friendly recyclable tubs. The tubs are meant to help reduce waste associated with protein and nutrition bar wrappers often made from plastic foil or plastic-infused paper. Customers of Unwrapp’d will eventually be able to return the jars to the company to be refilled instead of recycled. The dough comes in four flavors – cookie dough, peanut butter chocolate chip, mint chocolate, and banana nut muffin – enough in each refrigerated tub for 20 1/2-ounce portions or seven bars for $9.99. Ingredients include dates and nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut flour. The tubs stay fresh for five months in the fridge, but founders Reed McIntyre and Tom Miner say eating it at room temperature is just fine. Register][Image Credit: © Unwrapp'd | Des Moines (Iowa]

Brian Taylor Carlson, "Iowa college rivals unite to unleash eco-conscious energy bars at Ankeny Hy-Vee store", Des Moines Register, June 26, 2018, © www.desmoinesregister.com
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Blockchain-Based App Helps Atlanta Businesses Reduce Food Waste

June 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A technology that allows distribution – but not copying – of digital information, blockchain was originally devised for the digital currency Bitcoin. Now a food waste management company in the Atlanta, Ga., area is using a blockchain-based app to connect businesses with local charities to ease deliveries of leftover food. The idea behind the Goodr app is to reduce food waste by providing data about what types of surplus food app users are producing. The Goodr app keeps a data ledger for clients showing how much food is wasted, and where they might be losing money. Data indicate what food gets wasted the most, what the community connections are, and how the environment is affected. Goodr hopes to expand to Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Miami, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco by the end of 2019.

Gillian Brassil, "Meet Goodr, the company using blockchain technology to reduce food waste", CNBC, June 24, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Cut Back On Plastic Packaging, Leading Manufacturers Hear From As You Sow

June 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

As You Sow, a nonprofit group representing 25 investment companies managing more than $1 trillion in assets, has called on Nestle SA, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and Unilever NV, to reduce their use of plastic in packaging of their products. Signed by investment managers, including Hermes Investment Management and Impax Asset Management, the initiative calls plastic packaging damaging to the environment. Companies should reveal their annual use of plastic packaging, establish goals for reducing plastic packaging, and exert efforts to recycle plastic packaging, the group said.[Image Credit: © Emilian Robert Vicol]

Emily Chasan, "Investors Demand Nestle, Pepsi and Others Cut Plastic Use", Bloomberg, June 22, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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British Meal Powder Import Claims U.S. Market Success

June 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A British company whose mission three years ago was to create a “nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food” with minimum environmental impact, says its plant-based powdered meals are succeeding in the U.S. because they are clean label, healthful, and help eliminate food waste and hunger. Huel claims to have sold more than 17 million meals – $10 million in sales – since its debut here last summer. The company says its product is not a supplement like other powders, but a complete food that contains all the proteins, carbs and fats needed in addition to 100 percent of the FDA's "Daily Values" of all 27 essential vitamins and minerals. Huel blends oats, pea protein, flaxseed, brown rice protein, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut, and other ingredients. The powder sells for $66 for two bags (28 meals total, 14 per bag, only $2.36/meal). [Image Credit: © Huel]

"New Category of Food Cleans Up American Diets", PR Newswire, June 21, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Chicago Restaurant Chain Plans To Stop Using Plastic Straws

June 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Chicago-based restaurant chain operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise said it plans to stop using plastic straws by October 1, 2018. With more than 100 local restaurants and bars having committed support for the Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd the Straw” campaign, the company’s support for the movement could speed up the elimination of plastic straws. Popular among restaurants and similar establishments, plastic straws are not easily recycled and usually end up in the ocean. [Image Credit: © LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU ® ENTERPRISES]
Greg Trotter, "Lettuce Entertain You restaurant empire to phase out plastic straws at its 120 restaurants", Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2018, © tronc
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New App Helps Reduce Food Waste With Smart Shopping, Storage, Cooking

June 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Silicon Valley-based Chefling, Inc., has created a smartphone app that helps consumers minimize daily food waste. Available now on the App Store and Google Play, the app includes food inventory organization, intuitive recipe suggestion, and shopping list management. According to the company, consumers using the app can track and make the most out of recently purchased and existing ingredients in the pantry. The app monitors the freshness of added foods, notifies the consumer when foods are about to expire, and suggests recipes for the foods already purchased. The app also features integration with voice assistant devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home: it will add foods to a shopping list and provide step-by-step cooking instructions. [Image Credit: © Chefling, Inc.]

"Chefling App Provides Consumers with a Simple Way to Minimize Food Waste with Intuitive Recipe Suggestions", PR Newswire, June 20, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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EU Clarifies Rules On Surplus Food Used As Animal Feed

June 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Surplus food cannot be categorized as food waste when it is used as animal feed, according to revised European Union rules known as the Waste Framework Directive. Substances already covered by feed legislation would not be unnecessarily included in the scope of waste legislation, a clarification advocated by the trade group European Former Foodstuff Processors Association (EFFPA), which represents companies that turn foodstuffs into animal feed. According to an EFFPA representative, under the old rules Europe-wide processors of surplus food occasionally would have had their operations interrupted by environmental control authorities who incorrectly interpreted former foodstuffs as a waste. [Image Credit: © Europa.eu]

Jane Byrne, "Legal clarity for surplus food used in feed", FeedNavigator.com, June 19, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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South Indian State Kerala To Improve Food Supply And Distribution Through Blockchain

June 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
South Indian state Kerala is working on a blockchain-based system for food supply and distribution. Led by the Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), it will use blockchain and the network technology to track the harvest and circulation of fish, vegetable, and dairy products. To ensure that each product will be monitored from its source and through its distribution, every section of the supply chain will have an ID number. In addition to improving the supply chain, the state hopes to be able to leverage the technology to make its crop insurance scheme more robust and more efficient, with greater clarity about reasons for crop loss and less need for third-party intermediaries.[Image Credit: © Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC)]
Marie Huillet, "South Indian State of Kerala to Use Blockchain Tech in Food Supply, Distribution", Coin Telegraph, June 18, 2018, © Cointelegraph
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Calif. Bakeries Feature Mexican-American Desserts

June 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Two new California bakeries are offering smaller, single-serve Mexican-American desserts along with their usual wedding and birthday cakes. Fresno’s Callejas Cakes specializes in cakes of all kinds – tres leches, German chocolate, red velvet, champagne, etc. – but also tiramisu, cheesecake slices, Danishes with all kinds of fillings, cannoli, and many different cookies: butter, crunchy pink strawberry, Mexican wedding cookies and rugelach: triangular rolls of cream cheese dough filled with apple or raspberry. Also in Fresno is Mi Panaderia La Michoacana, which sells a variety of Mexican foods and pastries, as well as gelatinas: cakes with multiple layers of gelatine with green and pink Jello-o cubes suspended with fruit. [Image Credit: © The Fresno Bee | Bethany Clough]

Bethany Clough, "Ever try gelatina? How about rugelach? Two new Mexican bakeries making these and more", Fresno Bee (California), June 16, 2018, © The Fresno Bee
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The Power Of Digital Is Driving Coca-Cola’s “Consumer-Centric” Strategy

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

At the Consumer Goods Forum in Singapore recently Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey emphasized his company’s commitment to a digital and ecommerce future when he noted that digital will put Coke products “within a click’s reach of desire.” He cited as evidence what’s happening in China, where there are four times as many mobile users as in the U.S., and “rapid and exponential growth” in digital technologies is driving change in Asia’s beverage industry. Quincey said the strategy of creating a consumer-centric product portfolio is based on making Coke products a part of peoples’ lives by offering the brands they want in the package sizes they prefer. Digital tools will make that happen.

"Coke should be ‘within a click’s reach’ of consumers, CEO says", FoodBev.com, June 15, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Does Adding Fiber To A Brownie Make It More Healthful Than A Peach?

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

As the FDA continues to review health claims related to added fiber, and continues to approve ingredients that boost fiber content, critics wonder whether food companies are distorting notions of what’s really healthful. The founder of the candy company Smart Sweets said its fiber-laden gummy bears are a way for people to "feel good about enjoying candy." The trend got started when the agency ruled in 2016 rule that added fibers need to provide a health benefit beyond just adding a non-digestible carbohydrate. Though the FDA recently rejected two fiber ingredient petitions, it approved eight that can be counted as fiber. The consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest says added fiber creates situations where, for example, a consumer might choose a brownie over a peach because the brownie might have more fiber. [Image Credit: © ESHA.com]

Candice Choi , "Fiber optics? Range of ingredients bulk up food fiber counts", Associated Press International, June 15, 2018, © The Associated Press
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McDonald's In The UK To Phase Out Plastic Straws

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

McDonald’s in the UK will start using recyclable paper straws later this year, with plastic straws withdrawn completely next year. The company in the UK uses some 1.8 million straws each day, and the move follows a two-month trial at certain UK restaurants. It also follows a similar announcement by UK supermarket chain Waitrose. McDonald’s in other countries, including France, Norway, Sweden and the US, are expected to run trials later this year in their own efforts to find schemes to eliminate plastic straws.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter ]

Adam Vaughan, "McDonald's to switch to paper straws in UK after customer campaign", The Guardian, June 15, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Coca-Cola Ponders Bid For GSK’s Horlicks Malted Beverage Brand

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola may be looking to solidify its commitment to India as it contemplates a bid for children’s malted drink brand Horlicks, marketed in India by pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, which has a 72.5 percent stake. Nestlé and Kraft Heinz are also thought to be considering a bid for the 145-year-old $3.3 billion Chicago-based brand. Coca-Cola is committed to offering more healthful beverage options in India beyond soft drinks and expects to invest $1.7 billion there through 2023 developing region-specific juices made from native fruits. 

"Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Kraft Heinz eyeing GSK’s Horlicks – reports", FoodBev.com, June 15, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Bimbo Debuts Organic Varieties Of Top Bread Brands In U.S.

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Bimbo Bakeries USA has introduced organic varieties of its top commercial bread brands – Arnold, Brownberry, and Orowheat – that fulfill emerging clean label standards. The breads are USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, and contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no high fructose corn syrup and zero trans fat. Available nationwide in 27-oz packages, each loaf contains a blend of flaxseed, chia and ancient grains. According to an Organic Trade Association survey, organic bread ranks as the sixth largest organic category; consumer demand for organic options is at an all-time high. [Image Credit: © Bimbo Bakeries USA]

Douglas Yu, "Bimbo Bakeries rolls out organic bread line in US", BakeryandSnacks.com, June 14, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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TIPA Of Israel Develops Biodegradable Plastic Packaging

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Israel-based TIPA said it has developed a fully compostable plastic packaging film. While the product has most of the characteristics of plastic packaging, it disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter that can be degraded by bacteria. In 2016, TIPA began selling its packaging film, which the company started developing in 2012. Later, the company secured the required certifications, including for food packaging. TIPA, which now has 30 employees, saw sales of its packaging films grow four times in 2017 from the previous year.Israel-based TIPA said it has developed a fully compostable plastic packaging film. While the product has most of the characteristics of plastic packaging, it disintegrates into water, carbon dioxide, and organic matter that can be degraded by bacteria. In 2016, TIPA began selling its packaging film, which the company started developing in 2012. Later, the company secured the required certifications, including for food packaging. TIPA, which now has 30 employees, saw sales of its packaging films grow four times in 2017 from the previous year. [Image Credit: © TIPA Corp.]
Ruth Schuster , "Israeli Company Invents Plastic Packaging You Can Compost", Haaretz, June 14, 2018, © Haaretz Newspaper
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Cronut Inventor’s Latest Creation Is Shaped Like A Shot Glass

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Dominique Ansel, N.Y.-based inventor of the croissant-doughnut hybrid known as the cronut, has come up with a new treat that may rival the popularity of that durable dessert. The cookie shot requires two hands: one to pour in the Tahitian vanilla milk and one to hold the palm-size chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass. The milk is cold-infused with vanilla beans for 24 hours; the “shot glass” cookie comes cold, making it easy to eat. A London bakery says it is selling “hundreds” of the treats. It is, according to food writer Morwenna Ferrier, “the cuteification of an adult thing, the shot glass” and “a power move” to make something "bad" into something good. [Image Credit: © Nan Palmero | Flickr]

Morwenna Ferrier, "The cookie shot: sweet, messy and joyous", The Guardian (London), June 14, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Confection Industry Struggles With Snacking Surge Driven By Younger Consumers

June 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Snack industry research finds that younger generations are driving robust sales and innovation in snacking. Big confectionery brands are feeling the impact as consumer tastes shift from conventional snacks toward other newer options, including organic. The big brands are also feeling the heat from private label (store) brands. But a key force operating against Big Confectionery is Amazon – “the endless shelf,” as one industry expert calls it – which caters to the demands of Millennials and Gen Z consumers through its Wickedly Prime and Whole Foods 365 Everyday brands. The online retailer sold $518 million worth of snacks in 2017. Meanwhile, younger consumers are expected to keep up their snacking habits as they age, with per capita snacking at meal times expected to rise by 12 percent. ]

Anthony Myers , "Millennials drive the new surge in snacking with Amazon ready to cater for demand", ConfectioneryNews.com, June 12, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Pizza Goes Ethnic – Beyond Italian, That Is

June 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Trends in pizza making are following trends in ethnic cooking inspired by the increasing popularity of global cuisines. The new varieties inevitably ignite arguments between purists and innovators about what toppings are appropriate. Especially popular among the new experiments – at least in the Fresno, Calif. area –are pizzas inspired by Indian and Mexican cooking, such as carne asada and carnitas pizza drenched in hot sauce. Indian style pies include tandoori chicken masala, curry veggie pies, and butter chicken. The pizzas avoid traditional red sauces, opting instead for curry sauce, butter chicken sauce, pesto sauce and other varieties. Among national pizza chains dabbling in ethnic offerings is Chicago’s Pizza With A Twist with more than 30 locations nationwide. On the menu are 16 traditional pizzas and 18 Indian-style pizzas, including chicken tikka masala and butter chicken, both topped with ginger, garlic, green chillies, and fresh cilantro. ][Image Credit: © Javence Pizza (Fresno, Calif.]

Bethany Clough , "Indian pizza? How about carnitas pizza? Ethnic pizza is latest restaurant trend", Fresno Bee (California), June 12, 2018, © The Fresno Bee
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Tesco Sells Greener Lemons To Help Prevent Food Waste At Home

June 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

British supermarket chain Tesco has relaxed its rules on the color quality of lemons it sells to prevent food waste at home. The company is selling lemons that are slightly green to extend the shelf like by an extra couple of days. According to the company, the lemons are as crisp and zesty as the fully yellow versions. Tesco imports most of its lemons from South Africa, whose lemon harvesting season begins in late June. The company will now take the greener South African lemons earlier than usual to keep supplies going. [Image Credit: © Tesco]

"Tesco to sell perfect 'green' lemons to help customers facing U.K. shortage and cut down on food waste", Fresh Plaza, June 11, 2018, © Fresh Plaza
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Coca-Cola’s E-Commerce Chief Sees Synergy Between Sales Reps, E-Tail

June 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Sales reps at many companies see e-commerce as a threat to their sales and commissions But Coca-Cola’s system of training and customer segmentation makes e-commerce an asset to sales reps, according to Marta Dalton. For low-volume customers, online buying makes good sense because it only costs $3 to acquire a customer (compared to $50 to $80 to bring in a new customer through a sales call). The real value of e-commerce to a sales rep is the reduction in time wasted on grunt work, freeing the rep to focus on selling, rather than paperwork. E-commerce helps sales reps in areas such as: scheduling appointments; accessing support before, during and after sales calls; and tapping into communication channels that provide B2B services like print, e-mail, search, and social.

Mark Brohan , "Coca-Cola makes e-commerce work for sales reps", Digital Commerce 360, June 08, 2018, © Vertical Web Media LLC
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Lawmakers Ask Exemption For Maple Syrup, Honey From “Added Sugars” Labeling

June 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress asked FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb urging an exemption for pure maple syrup and honey from new “added sugars” disclosure requirements in any rewrite of the Nutrition Facts box on food labels. The FDA has proposed changes that would require an added sugar disclosure for most products. An added sugars declaration on pure maple syrup or honey products, the lawmakers wrote in their letter, “may signal to consumers that these pure products … actually contain added sweeteners such as table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This is patently false." The FDA's March 2, 2018, Draft Guidance allows manufacturers to add a symbol after the added sugars daily value pointing consumers to clearer language on the label, but that “seems unlikely to reduce consumer confusion.” ][Image Credit: ©  Wikimedia Commons (GearedBull]

 

"CRAMER, WELCH TO FDA: EXEMPT PURE MAPLE AND HONEY FROM "ADDED SUGAR" LABEL RULE", News release, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), June 08, 2018, © US Federal Government
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Australia’s Science Agency Pulverizes Surplus Broccoli To Make Beverage Powders

June 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Australian vegetable farmers routinely leave 10 to 20 percent of their crop in the field as unsaleable surplus to be ploughed back into the soil. The country’s scientific research agency (CSIRO), however, has been working on ways to transform surplus produce from waste into nutritious, edible vegetable powders to fortify beverages, including coffee. Its latest coffee additive project – it has already tried beetroot, coconut, turmeric, and blue algae – is broccoli, a nutrient-rich vegetable with plenty of fiber, vitamins A, B1 and B6, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and other healthful ingredients. For coffee, the broccoli powder is added to a shot of espresso before the steamed milk is added, then also sprinkled on top. According to one CSIRO scientist, two tablespoons of broccoli powder is equivalent to one serving of vegetables. [Image Credit: © CSIRO]

Clint Jasper, "Broccoli powder: The innovation scientists hope can improve diets, reduce crop waste", The New Daily (Australia), June 08, 2018, © The New Daily
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Alibaba Cloud Creates System For Raising Better Hogs

June 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Alibaba Cloud has developed ET Agricultural Brain, an artificial intelligence-enabled platform for helping agricultural enterprises, including hog farmers, in China. Proprietary in design, the system is aimed at helping farmers to improve their livestock raising and crop production through innovations. With a special focus on hog farming, ET Agricultural Brain uses algorithm-based models to develop an “exercise regimen” for pigs to improve their health, as well as their piglet yields. China is the world’s largest producer of pork, according to data from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. It also accounts for half of the world’s pork consumption, data from Singapore-based DBS showed.[Image Credit: © Alibaba]

Jenny W. Hsu, "That’s Some Pig: How AI’s Serving Up Better Pork in China", Alizila, June 07, 2018, © Alibaba Group Services Limited
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Clean Label Muffin Start-up Secures $2.5M In Seed Funding

June 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

N.Y.-based clean label muffin bakery start-up Soozy’s has snagged $2.5 million in seed funding from two VC companies. The company's products are certified gluten-free, certified paleo, Non-GMO Project Verified, and contain no gums, fillers, refined sugars, grains, dairy, peanuts, soy or additives. Soozy's products can be purchased online or in 500 retail outlets in Texas, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including H-E-B and Wegmans. Investors include BIGR Ventures, a growth equity fund, and AccelFoods, an investment fund that focuses on innovative, high-growth packaged food and beverage companies. [Image Credit: © Soozy’s]

"Soozy's Closes on $2.5 Million in Seed Capital From BIGR Ventures and AccelFoods", PRNewswire, June 07, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Elimination of “Country-Of-Origin” Labeling On Meat Sold Here Upheld By Court

June 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Although federal judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson agreed with domestic livestock producers that the lack of country-of-origin labelling on beef and pork products sold here was harmful to business, she ultimately sided with the USDA and dismissed their lawsuit asking that such labeling be required. Meat producers filed suit in Spokane in June 2017 after U.S. legislation called for the USDA to remove the country-of-origin labeling requirements following sanctions imposed by the World Trade Organization. Peterson said that unfortunately the legal clock had run out for any challenge to the underlying 1989 federal law, and that the U.S. Congress had clearly intended to have the labeling end. The livestock producers vowed to continue the fight.[Image Credit: © Specialty Food Association] 

Thomas Clouse, "Federal judge in Spokane dismisses suit seeking to reinstate country-of-origin labels on imported meat", The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), June 07, 2018, © The Spokesman-Review
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Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Protect U.S. Consumers From Inaccurate Food Labels

June 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Eight Republican and Democratic congressmen joined to introduce a bill that would provide American consumers with “clear, accurate, meaningful” nutrition information on food products and prevent inaccurate and misleading labels that drive up prices. According to lead sponsor of the bill Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), the Accurate Labels Act (H.R. 6022) would establish science-based criteria for labeling requirements and ensure that “legitimate risks” are taken seriously. The bill would allow state-mandated product information to be provided through smartphone-enabled "smart labels" and on websites and ensure that covered product information is risk-based. It has the support of the American Chemistry Council, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and others.[Image Credit: ©  USFDA]

"Congressmen Kinzinger And Schrader Join Senator Moran To Introduce Accurate Labels Act", News release, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), June 07, 2018, © US Federal Government
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USDA Proposal On Disclosure Of Bioengineered Food Ingredients Release

June 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The USDA’s long-awaited proposed rule providing a national standard for disclosure of bioengineered food ingredients was released in May with a public comment period extending to July 3. The proposed rule implements the 2016 National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Act, which pre-empts state GMO labeling schemes, including Vermont’s. The final rule is supposed to take effect on July 29. However, Chicago law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP says it is likely that deadline will be missed because there are several unanswered questions: for example, how will the presence of "bioengineered" ingredients be disclosed?  Which foods and food manufacturers will be exempted from the labeling requirements. These open questions mean food manufacturers, retailers, consumers, industry groups, and other interested parties can shape the final rule, the firm notes. ]

Jay Connolly, Edward F. Maluf, Joseph J. Orzano and Owen Wolfe, "United States: The USDA's Proposed National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard", Mondaq Business Briefing, June 06, 2018, © Mondaq
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Indian PM Announces Single-Use Plastic Ban By 2022

June 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced that the country plans to scrap single-use plastic by 2022, as part of World Environment Day, which India is hosting this year. Modi also announced a scheme to address marine plastic, and agreed to join Clean Seas, a UN campaign.[Image Credit: © United Nations Environment Programme]

"India to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2022", FoodBev , June 06, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd.
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Advanced Technology Is Tackling Waste All Along The Food Chain

June 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in dealing with America’s $218 billion annual food waste problem. It is being gradually implemented upstream to track food as it moves from farm to processor to distributor to store. At the other end of the line, where disposal happens, innovations such as digesters (Waste 2-0 left) provide alternatives to landfill and “waste-to-energy.” A key to wasting less food is understanding how much food is being wasted and what percentage of the available food that represents. Farmers, processors, restaurants, bakeries and others can use this information to better understand the financial costs and implement solutions. Older technology also plays a role: refrigeration, freezing, and drying all extend the shelf life of food to prevent waste. [Image Credit: © Mechline]

Megan Greenwalt, "Industry Experts Weigh In on How Technology Can Help Reduce Food Waste", waste360.com, June 06, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.
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New FDA Menu Labeling Regulations Now In Effect

June 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

With no plans by the Trump administration to interfere, FDA menu nutrition labeling took effect last month over the objections of major grocers and retailers. Meanwhile, the House passed legislation (H.R. 772) that would ease compliance, but the Senate hasn’t yet acted on the bill. The new FDA rules apply to all restaurants and similar retail food establishments nationwide with 20 or more locations; do business under the same name; and offer substantially the same menu items. Among other requirements, all menu boards must conspicuously mention that nutrition information is based on a 2,000 calories-a-day diet, and that more written information is available. Menu boards are defined as all primary writings – in-store, Internet, and take-home – from which the consumer orders food. Calorie information must be conspicuously displayed next to the name or price of "standard menu items."[Image Credit: © CSPI]

Robert B. Milligan and Daniel Joshua Salinas , "United States: FDA Menu Labeling Rules Unfreeze", Mondaq Business Briefing, June 06, 2018, © Mondaq
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FoodLogiQ Plans Blockchain Pilot To Increase Transparency In Food Supply Chains

June 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Working with a series of partners, FoodLogiQ plans to explore ways blockchain can be used to boost supply chain transparency and food traceability. FoodLogiQ CTO, Charles Irizarry, says that blockchain in the food supply chain is still in its “infantile stage” and argues that companies need to better understand the business issues they face before implementing solutions. FoodLogiQ, which recently raised $19.5 million in funding, plans to test its software-as-a-service solution with a range of partners, including AgBiome Innovations, Subway/Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Testo, and Tyson Foods. Its pilot is expected to start in Q3 2018 and the company is seeking additional partners to work with.[Image Credit: © oodLogiQ: Food Safety, Traceability and Sustainability]
Katy Jones , "FoodLogiQ Announces Blockchain Pilot Alongside Industry Leaders", FoodLogiQ , June 05, 2018, © FoodLogiQ: Food safety, traceability and sustainability
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Clean Label Seaweed-Based Pig Feed Debuts In America

June 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Ireland’s Ocean Harvest Technology Ltd. announced it is introducing in the U.S. pork products from swine raised on its Oceanfeed Swine seaweed-based feed ingredient formulated for pork. Farmers supplying poultry and livestock producer Heritage Foods are feeding their pigs with the feed made from a proprietary blend of red, brown, and green seaweed species. Brooklyn-based Heritage Farms is committed to providing heritage breed poultry and livestock raised on pasture without antibiotic growth promoters to American consumers. Customers who have tried Oceanfeed, a natural prebiotic, see enhanced animal health, more efficient nutrient uptake, and reduced mortality rates.[Image Credit: © Ocean Harvest]

"Ocean Harvest Technology Introduces North American Heritage Breed Pork Products Enhanced With Seaweed-Based Feed Ingredients", Business Wire, June 05, 2018, © Business Wire, Inc
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Sales Of Soymilk, Rice Milk, Are Weakest Among The Non-Dairy Offerings

June 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

New SPINS data show that sales of refrigerated and shelf-stable soymilk slid 10.5 percent and 9.6 percent respectively in the year that ended April 22, while sales of refrigerated almondmilk rose 9.8 percent and shelf-stable almond milk rose four percent. Sales of refrigerated coconut milk were up 5.2 percent, shelf-stable varieties were up 3.3 percent, refrigerated rice milk slid 5.6 percent, and shelf-stable dropped 3.7 percent. However, the “other” category of plant-based milks (i.e., cashew, walnut, pea, hemp, quinoa, oat, and flaxmilk) and “blends” experienced the most robust growth. A Mintel analyst said innovation in the non-dairy milk category would drive it forward this year “as both mainstream bases like almond and alternative plant bases offer added functional benefits and unique flavors.”

Elaine Watson , "SPINS data: Who are the winners and losers in the plant-based milk category? ", Food Navigator USA, June 04, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bakery Debuts Line Of Clean Label Minicakes

June 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Family-owned California bakery Sugar Bowl Bakery has launched a line of clean label miniature “Button Cakes” in four flavors. The minicakes are made with butter and eggs, contain real fruit and vanilla bean seeds, but no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The Button Cakes – available in tropical mango, wild blueberry, lemon zest and madagascar vanilla flavors – will be sold in eight- and 16-count packages in retail stores throughout the U.S.  They were introduced at the recent International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show in New Orleans, La. [Image Credit: © Sugar Bowl Bakery]

"Sugar Bowl Bakery Expands Product Line with Launch of its New Button Cakes At The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association Show", Globe Newswire, June 04, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc
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