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North London Budgens Opens Plastic-Free Zones

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A north London branch of supermarket chain Budgens is introducing plastic-free zones. The Belsize Park outlet, Thornton’s Budgens, offers over 1,700 products in plastic-free packaging, using alternative materials such as beechwood nets, paper and glass to wrap foods. It enlisted the help of A Plastic Planet, a campaign group, and created the zone in 10 weeks. Mr. Thornton claims his store is just the second worldwide to have plastic-free zones, with Dutch supermarket Ekoplaza the first.[Image Credit: © Booker Retail Partners GB Limited]
Sabrina Barr, "Budgens store becomes one of world's first to have plastic-free zones", The Independent, October 08, 2018, © Evening Standard Ltd
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Kroger Fund Food Waste Prevention Curriculum For El-Sec Students

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery chain Kroger has joined a Zero Hunger | Zero Waste partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to prevent and recover food waste in U.S. elementary and secondary schools. WWF, whose WIld Classroom provides an environmental curriculum for teachers and parents, is expanding the curriculum with the help of a $400,000 grant from Kroger’s foundation to focus on promoting food conservation education and best practices. The Food Waste Warrior Toolkit, a classroom-friendly curriculum that aligns with USDA and state educational standards, turns the school cafeteria into a classroom to inspire students to become Zero Heroes by making a lifelong commitment to reduce food waste. The free toolkit was tested in Washington, D.C., using resources from science, math, ecology, conservation, and sustainability.[Image Credit: © The Kroger Co.]
"Kroger Partners with World Wildlife Fund to Educate Students About Responsible Food Practices", PR Newswire, October 08, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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FDA Drops Seven Approved Flavoring Chemicals After Data Prove They Cause Cancer

October 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to two food additive petitions, the Food and Drug Administration has removed seven synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers (adjuvants) from its list of approved ingredients because they have been proven to be carcinogenic. Data presented in one of the petitions submitted to the FDA by Breast Cancer Fund and nine other watchdog groups show that six of the synthetic substances caused cancer in laboratory animals under the conditions of the studies. The seventh synthetic flavor was dropped from the list because it is no longer used by industry. The six flavoring substances include synthetically-derived benzophenone, ethyl acrylate, eugenyl methyl ether (methyl eugenol), myrcene, pulegone, and pyridine. [Image Credit: © Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (Formerly Breast Cancer Fund)]
"FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List", USFDA, October 05, 2018, © U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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Austrian RTD Meal Replacement Company Goes Head-To-Head With Soylent In U.S.

October 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Austrian RTD meal replacement beverage Saturo has launched in the U.S. where the main competitor is Soylent. The company says it is introducing two of its most popular flavors to the American market, , chocolate and vanilla in 330 ml bottles (330 calories per bottle) available as a package of eight on Amazon. Each bottle contains 26 vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. Saturo is entering the competitive market hoping to define themselves by flavors, taste, and being non-GMO. They are targeted at individuals with busy schedules, such as office workers, sports enthusiasts, students or gamers. As the U.S. customer base expands, the company says it will introduce more of its products to the U.S. market.
"European Meal Replacement Brand Saturo Launches in U.S.", BevNET.com, October 04, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Nestlé USA Forms New Partnerships With Innovative Food Start-Ups

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé USA announced three new partnerships with innovative food start-ups as part of the TERRA Food & Agriculture Accelerator founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank. The partnerships are with with Jackson's Honest, Miyoko's and Here, each of which is “creating on-trend foods focused on plant-based nutrition, simple labels and fresh ingredients.” Chicago-based Here Foods turns fresh produce ingredients grown by independent farmers into products like cold-pressed juices, spreads, dips, and salad dressings. Jackson’s Honest sells more than 20 Non-GMO Project verified snacks, including potato chips, tortilla chips, and grain-free puffs cooked “low and slow” in organic coconut oil. Miyoko Creamery makes non-dairy cheese, butter, and other products from organic nuts, legumes, and other plant-based ingredients.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé USA Partners with Start-ups Disrupting the Healthy Snacking and Plant-based Foods Categories", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Belgians Adopt Food Nutrition Labeling Scheme Developed In France

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Belgian government has introduced a voluntary scheme for front-of-pack nutritional labeling that is now being implemented by the country’s grocery retailers. The Nutri-Score scheme was developed by the French government and put in place in France a year ago. The system was designed to inform consumers about the nutritional quality of a product by using color coding associated with letters from A to E. Five levels range from the most nutritionally favorable product (class A) to the least (class E). U.S exporters to Belgium will not have to comply with the scheme if they don’t want to. Two large retail chains, Ahold Delhaize and Colryut, have committed to applying the scheme by the end of 2018.[Image Credit: © Ahold Delhaize]
"Belgium Adopts Nutri-Score for Front of Pack Nutritional Labeling", USDA Foreign Agricultural Service , October 03, 2018, © USA.gov
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USDA Researchers Work To Develop More Nutritious Wheat Varieties

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Lincoln, Neb., are developing experimental biofortified breeding lines of winter wheat, the first step in the long process of creating a new type of nutritious wheat that farmers can grow. The goal of biofortification is to have the wheat used to make bread dough naturally contain more iron – 60 percent of the world's population doesn't get enough of this mineral in their diet– and other nutrients. The team combined low levels of the antinutrient phytate and high grain protein without reducing grain yield, while at the same time increasing levels of zinc, calcium, and manganese. More work needs to be done to get it in wheat that can be planted by farmers, but the genes can be used to develop more nutritious wheat without sacrificing yield.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter]
"Wheat That Pumps Iron, Naturally", Science Daily, October 03, 2018, © Science Daily
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Bioengineering Company’s New Technology Delivers “Natural Preservatives”

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to consumer demands for simple and understandable food ingredient labels, manufacturers are looking to replace artificial preservatives. To help in that endeavour, Mass.-based bioengineering firm Conagen announced a “ready-to-go” technology that can create the “next generation of natural preservatives.” The fermentation technology produces a highly pure compound with significant anti-microbial effects and preservative functionalities. It is stable in various pH conditions, colorless with a slightly sweet taste, and water soluble. The company says the compound will be ready for commercial scale production in 2019, with regulatory approvals “on the way.”[Image Credit: © Conagen-Inc.com]
"Next Generation, Non-GMO Natural Preservatives Developed By Conagen", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola On Shortlist In Bidding For GSK Consumer Portfolio

October 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As negotiations for the Indian GlaxoSmith-Kline nutrition portfolio, including Horlicks, begin to heat up, Nestlé, Unilever and Coca-Cola are among companies shortlisted for a second round of bidding. Other food and drinks companies that have shown interest in the auction include PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, General Mills, Danone, and Kellogg’s, as well as India’s ITC and private equity buyout funds like KKR. It’s not clear how many bidders are still in the running. 
Ratna Bhushan, Arijit Barman, "Coke, Nestlé for second round in Horlicks race ", The Economic Times, October 01, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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U.K. Grocers Sell Cheaper “Fauxdough” Bread In Place Of Expensive Sourdough

October 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British Millennials love sourdough bread, which is more nutritious and easier to digest than conventional offerings. So the classic bread has become very popular in the U.K. Popular but, it turns out, very expensive: about $5 per bakery loaf. Which is why sales of cheaper sourdough bread at grocery stores are on the rise. But according to British consumer watchdog Which?, just four out of the 19 supermarket sourdough loaves tested contained the traditional four ingredients: flour, water, salt and what’s known as a mother or starter culture. Many of the loaves – dubbed “fauxdough” – contained yeast, ascorbic acid, yogurt and vinegar, added to speed up the rising process, boost volume or create sour flavor. And they defeat the purpose of eating the more healthful sourdough.[Image Credit: © GAIL's]
Rachel Hosie, "75% Of U.K. Supermarket Sourdough Breads Don't Follow Authentic Recipe", independent.co.uk, October 01, 2018, © independent.co.uk
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Czech Firm Isoline Debuts Functional Drink With Novel Three-Chambered Cap

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Czech Republic beverage company Isoline has developed a functional drink that uses fruit and herbal extracts like schisandra, ginseng, matcha tea, ginkgo biloba and guarana, and is sweetened with stevia. A unique feature is the 3D SportTop cap composed of three chambers, each containing the drink concentrate. The cap makes it possible for buyers to obtain three drinks from one bottle. The company says Escalate’s ingredients fight fatigue, improve concentration, focus and memory, and support “regeneration after intense activity.” The beverage was developed with professional athletes and nutritional scientists from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.
"Escalate – The functional drink of the future", FoodBev Media, September 28, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Australian Coca-Cola Unit Commits To Full Recyclability By 2025

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’a Coca-Cola Amatil has promised that all bottles, cans, plastic wrapping, glass, and cardboard will be fully recyclable by 2025 and compliant with the National Packaging Targets announced by Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price. The company will also focus on removing unnecessary single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the implementation of recycled alternatives. The recently announced packaging targets include 70 percent of Australia’s plastic packaging to be recycled or composted by 2025 and 30 percent of packaging to be made from recycled content.
"Coca-Cola Amatil to make all packaging recyclable by 2025", Packaging Gateway, September 28, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Asia-Pacific Is Ramping Up Efforts To Reduce Single-Use Plastic

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
There is a growing awareness of single-use plastic in the Asia-Pacific region, with governments and companies acting to reduce the volume of plastic waste. However, there are also concerns that too little is being done, and too slowly. In India, PepsiCo has committed to using 100% compostable, plant-based packaging for some of its snack brands, and Nestle plans globally to make 100% of its packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025. Unilever has a similar target. In South Korea, supermarket chains Lotte Market, E-Mart, Mega Mart, Homeplus and Hanaro Mart, announced plans to reduce the number plastic shopping bags and encourage the use of reusable ones. In Singapore, a new zero-waste store opened in May 2018. Unpackt uses no packaging, inviting customers to bring their own containers. Governments too are acting. In India, the state of Maharastra introduced a ban on single-use plastics, and the whole country aims to be free of single-use plastics by 2022. A senate inquiry in Australia has recommended a national ban on single-use plastics, following state bans of single-use bags in Victoria and New South Wales. [Image Credit: © Unpackt]
Pearly Neo , "Tackling APAC’s plastic waste crisis: How Pepsi, Nestlé and Lotte are stepping up", Food Navigator ASIA, September 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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McDonald’s Removes Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, Colors From Menu Items

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Hoping to attract more health-conscious consumers to its restaurants, McDonald's is getting rid of the artificial ingredients in its menu items. Seven classic burgers – the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Big Mac – will no longer contain artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. The changes apply to the bun, the cheese, and the sauce, but not to the pickles. Ingredients eliminated include the artificial preservative calcium propionate from buns and the preservative sorbic acid from its American cheese. Th company is also removing potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA from the Big Mac Special Sauce without "sacrificing that signature taste."[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Jordan Valinsky , "McDonald's removing artificial additives from its burgers", CNN Money, September 27, 2018, © Cable News Network
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Starbucks Is Getting Ready To Build A New Standalone Princi Bakery In Seattle

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks has filed a site plan with Seattle’s construction and inspection department for a $1.1 million, 40-seat second standalone Princi bakery. A 231-square-foot outdoor patio would hold an additional 15 seats. Besides the first standalone bakery,  Princi operates two bakeries in the city within a Roastery and Starbucks headquarters. Standalone Princi bakeries are centered around the ovens that make fresh pastries and pizza onsite throughout the day. The menu also offers baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, cornetti sandwiches, focaccia sandwiches, and Italian cakes, tarts and other desserts. The new bakery would be the third standalone Princi in the U.S.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation DBA Princi.]
"Records reveal Starbucks is planning a second stand-alone Princi in Seattle", Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, Washington), September 27, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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FDA May Soon Require Non-Dairy “Milks” To Change Their Labeling

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In what may be the first step toward changing the way plant-based dairy substitutes are labeled, the FDA is soliciting comments from producers and other experts on how consumers use the alternative “milk.” The agency wants to know whether American consumers understand how substitutes differ from cow’s milk in nutritional content and cooking performance. As sales of non-dairy substitutes like soy and almond milk National Milk Producers Federation asked the FDA to enforce what's known as a "standard of identity." The for milk reads, in part: "the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum” – the milk produced after giving birth – “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows." Companies and consumers have 60 days to respond to the FDA's questions.[Image Credit: © rawpixel from Pixabay]
Anna Edney, "U.S. Explores Renaming Almond Milk in Victory for Dairy Industry", Bloomberg, September 27, 2018, © Bloomberg LLC
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Market Report Finds That Americans Want Functional Coffee

September 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
RTD coffee should be more than a caffeine-delivery vehicle, market researcher Mintel found in a survey of U.S. consumers, it should be functional, providing perhaps antioxidants, probiotics, and brain health benefits. The online survey questioned 613 U.S. Internet users aged 18 and older who drink any ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee products. Respondents said they want options that include antioxidants (47 percent), promote brain health (40 percent), are anti-inflammatory (35 percent), or have added probiotics (30 percent).The findings support the general trend that U.S. consumers want brands and products offering health and functional benefits.
Adi Menayang, "Consumers seek functional benefits even in their cup of joe, Mintel study finds", Beveragedaily.com, September 26, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Start-Up Launches Aronia Berry Beverages

September 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kansas City, Mo.-based Tohi Ventures has introduced four antioxidant-rich aronia berry beverages. Tohi – a Cherokee word meaning both “peace” and “wellness” – was founded by two female entrepreneurs with backgrounds in investment and science. The functional beverages are 30 percent single-strength aronia berry juice, 70 percent water, noncarbonated, low-calorie, and available in four flavors: original, blackberry raspberry, dragon fruit, and ginger lime. All are sweetened with monk fruit. The 12-ounce cans are available on Amazon.
"Tohi Ventures Launches New Aronia Berry Beverages", PR Newswire , September 26, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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British Grocers, Producers, Hotels Commit To Food Waste Reduction Roadmap

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A British charity dedicated to waste reduction and sustainability has launched a Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with the cooperation of government, large food retailers, food producers, manufacturers, and hospitality and food service companies. The Roadmap encompasses the food supply chain from field to fork, and outlines the actions large businesses will take to address food waste in their own operations, among their suppliers, and with consumers. The first major milestone on the Roadmap, set for September 2019, is to have fifty percent of the U.K.'s largest 250 food businesses measuring, reporting, and acting on food waste, with all 250 companies doing so by 2026. [Image Credit: © The Waste and Resources Action Programme]
"A World First: U.K. Food Industry Commits to a Landmark Roadmap to Halve Food Waste", Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), September 25, 2018, © WRAP
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“Waste Bread” Incorporates Unsold Sourdough Loaves Into New Ones

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A British bakery has developed what it calls Waste Bread, made by crushing unsold loaves, rolls, and bloomers (London-style white bread) to make a porridge. A new batch of sourdough then incorporates the porridge.  Gail’s Bakery’s 43 sites in London, Oxford, and Brighton will introduce the sourdough in October at a price of $5.50 a loaf. The co-founder of Gail’s said the process took nine months to perfect because it is so complicated, but it is worth the effort because it continues the company’s commitment to sustainability and reduction of food waste.[Image Credit: © GAIL’s Limited]
Gill Hyslop, "U.K. bakery chain has developed a sourdough made from surplus loaves to cut down on food waste", BakeryAndSnacks.com, September 25, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Suit Alleges Pret a Manger’s Baked Goods Contain Weed Killer Ingredient

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Beyond Pesticides announced it is joining GMO Free USA and Organic Consumers Association in a lawsuit charging restaurant chain Pret a Manger with “deceptive marketing and sale of certain bread and other baked goods” as "natural food" though they tested positive for glyphosate. The lawsuit accuses Pret of exploiting consumers' preferences and willingness to pay more for products marketed as natural. A component of Roundup weed killer, glyphosate is patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, but is linked to adverse health effects including cancer, infertility, and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases. The suit would have Pret fully disclose glyphosate in its products and reformulate them to be glyphosate-free.[Image Credit: © Beyond Pesticides]
"Nonprofits Sue Pret A Manger for Deceptive Marketing of Foods as 'Natural'", PR Newswire , September 25, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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FDA May Soon Update The Definition Of, And Permitted Ingredients For, Yogurt

September 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA is looking into the possibility of “modernizing” regulations governing the content and even the definition of yogurt. The dairy industry has been pushing to open up the yogurt standard as manufacturing practices and consumer tastes have changed. The FDA established a standard for foods labeled as "yogurt" in 1981 that limited the ingredients. But the industry objected; the following year the agency suspended enforcement of various provisions and allowed the addition of preservatives. A 2009 rule that was never finalized created a unified standard that allowed emulsifiers as well, but yogurt makers said the rule created confusion and left it open to lawsuits. Meanwhile, milk producers hope the FDA’s “modernized” standards will soon crack down on soy and almond drinks that call themselves "milk," which current standards say must come from a cow.[Image Credit: © Aline Ponce from Pixabay]
Candice Choi , "'Yogurt' to get more modernized definition in U.S.; Industry wants greater liberty to use term in food labels", The Associated Press, September 25, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Land O’Lakes Launches Digital Tool To Help Farmers Get More Sustainable

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN is to launch Truterra Insights Engine, an interactive digital platform to help farmers and food companies measure their sustainability in real time. The platform combines agronomic expertise and technical capabilities from several contributors, including the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and combined with other tools can help farmers measure the economic and environmental benefits of their sustainability efforts. It also helps them identify farm management options. The company claims Truterra Insights Engine is better suited to farmers since it was created by a farmer-owned cooperative.[Image Credit: © Land O’Lakes, Inc.]
"Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN debuts first-of-its-kind digital platform to support farmer-led stewardship", PR Newswire, September 24, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Inventor’s “Twist & Grip” Bag Preserves Bread’s Flavor, Freshness Longer

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
InventHelp says it has helped an Atlanta, Ga.-based inventor develop a bread bag that seals more effectively, preserving the freshness, flavor and shelf life of the loaf. The “Twist & Grip” bag allows the package to open and close easily, and also contains an easy-to-grip handle for carrying. The bag is recyclable and reusable. The invention is available for licensing or sale to manufacturers or marketers by contacting InventHelp at its Pittsburgh, Pa., headquarters.[Image Credit: © InventHelp ® All Rights Reserved]
"Inventor Develops Stay Fresh Bread Bag (AAT-1637)", PR Newswire , September 24, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Gluten-Free Ancient Grain From Africa Is Catching On In New York City

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Senegalese chef who last year began exporting a gluten-free ancient grain from the impoverished Sahel region of Africa plans to double production over the next five years to meet demand from New York City foodies. Fonio – known as “the lazy farmers’ crop” because it is easy to grow and requires little water – is now on the menus of 60 restaurants and will soon be available at Whole Foods Market locations, according to Pierre Thiam’s start-up company Yolele Foods. The idea behind the import initiative is to help the smallholder communities of the Sahel, which ranges from Mauritania in the west to Eritrea in the east and is home to more than 100 million people.[Image Credit: © Yolélé Foods Inc.]
Thin Lei Win, "Senegalese chef puts supergrain on NYC menus", Thomson Reuters Foundation, September 24, 2018, © Thomson Reuters
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San Francisco Chef Plans Food Waste-Focused Restaurant

September 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Although there have been restaurant pop-ups focused on food waste, no one in the U.S. with a fine dining background has opened a restaurant devoted to food waste. But San Francisco chef Nick Balla, who has a reputation for creating delicious meals from surplus foods, is toying with the idea. He recently shared his business plan during the San Francisco Global Climate Action Summit at an event focused on reducing food waste. Balla says the restaurant he launches, possibly in the Bayview neighborhood, will have to have room for equipment needed to juice, dehydrate and jar the tons of food he will process. There will also be a bakery for incorporating leftovers into bread. He predicts that embracing surplus and ugly food will soon move from buzzword status to a national trend.[Image Credit: © Couleur from Pixabay]
Tara Duggan , "San Francisco chef Nick Balla plans food-waste-focused restaurant ", The San Francisco Chronicle , September 21, 2018, © Hearst
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Dutch Supermarket Chain Uses Blockchain To Make Orange Juice Supply Chain Transparent

September 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to International Supermarket News, Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijin is using Blockchain to make transparent the supply chain for its orange juice. The new system will be launched in partnership with Refresco, one of the company’s suppliers and will enable customers to track the product’s journey from Brazil to the Netherlands by using a QR code on the carton. The food industry is beginning to discover and embrace the potential of blockchain, helped by tech companies working on solutions for the sector. For example, Walmart has been working with IBM on a blockchain system to reduce food waste and improve food safety.[Image Credit: © Gewoon bij Albert Heijn]
Marie Huillet, "Dutch Supermarket Giant Adopts Blockchain to Make Orange Juice Production Transparent", Cointelegraph, September 21, 2018, © Cointelegraph
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AlgoTek Develops An Algae-Based, Degradable Plastic For Single-Use Market

September 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Startup AlgoTek has developed an edible and biodegradable plastic made mainly from brown algae powder. The plastic, which is created using a proprietary process, is durable and can be used for various single-use products such as capsules and bottles. The plastic, which is degraded by water, can withstand heat up to 140 degrees F and cold down to 10 degrees F. AlgoTek was established by chief executive officer David Crinnion and his college friends to help address the global plastic waste problem. AlgoTek has raised 35,000 dollars, is looking for manufacturing partners and aims to secure patents so it can license its technology to other users.[Image Credit: © AlgoteK ]
Eric Mack, "It's Plastic. It's Edible. It Could Be A Very Big Deal.", Forbes, September 21, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Multinational Corporations Support Campaign To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution

September 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Multinational corporations, including Coca-Cola and Walmart, pledged their support for the Ocean Plastics Charter signed by Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in June 2018. Despite an abstention by the two other G7 nations, United States and Japan, several non-G7 nations supported the plan to achieve 100 percent plastics recyclability by 2030. An announcement by Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKena to create a new partnership with businesses to reduce plastic waste secured support from several companies, including Loblaws, Walmart, and IKEA, and Nestle Canada. Separately, Unilever announced the launch of a not-for-profit venture to reduce consumer and business waste.[Image Credit: © kakuko from pixabay]
"Coca-Cola, Walmart to cut plastic pollution in oceans", Phys.org, September 20, 2018, © AFP
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Analysts Predict Nestlé Will Divest Skin-Health Business To Focus on Beverages, Food

September 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé may be planning to divest its $2.79 billion skin-health business as a way to placate an activist investor who believes the company should focus on food and beverages. Selling the unit could generate $4.1 billion, according to analysts, but the company did not comment on the speculation. Investor Daniel Loeb took a $3.5 billion stake in Nestlé last year and has since pressured the company to sell its investment in L’Oréal SA and in the skin-health arm set up in 2014 after Nestlé assumed full control of Galderma. CEO Mark Schneider has said the key to reviving stagnating growth is to focus on core areas with growth potential like coffee, pet care, water, and infant nutrition. Regarding coffee, the company recently bought the rights to market and sell Starbucks coffee and tea products in grocery and retail stores, and last year bought a majority stake in U.S. premium coffee chain Blue Bottle.
Saabira Chaudhuri and Brian Blackstone, "Nestlé Sharpens Focus on Food and Beverages With Review of Skin-Health Unit", The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Novel Edible Utensils Enhance Customer Experience And Help Eliminate Plastic Waste

September 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Companies are responding to consumer concerns about plastic pollution and regulation restricting the use of plastic straws, with a range of innovative solutions. After announcing it would remove single-use straws globally by 2020, Starbucks introduced a pumpkin spice cookie straw. In the summer Diageo introduced flavored edible straws that supposedly complemented its canned cocktails. Beyond straws, British packaging startup Skipping Rocks Lab partnered with delivery service Just Eat to offer seaweed-based edible sauce sachets. Consumer awareness continues to rise as the scale of the issue becomes clear. One study found that just 9 percent of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic produced worldwide is recycled, underling the work still to be done.[Image Credit: © Skipping Rocks Lab]
Emily Safian-Demers, "Edible utensils", J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, September 19, 2018, © J. Walter Thompson U.S.A., LLC
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Florida Bakers Offer Their Take On Desserts Trending On Social Media

September 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Florida food writer Savannah Vasquez discovered that some mouth-watering dessert innovations posted on social media were actually available in locations across the northwest part of the state. Among the treats she happened upon – and food in several bakeries – were two-layered tart cakes, re-imagined by an Israeli chef and now trending on Pinterest and Instagram. Often shown in the shape of numbers or letters, they can feature “extravagant” toppings like edible flowers, macaron cookies, and fresh fruit. Also having their 15 minutes of fame on social media are: edible cookie dough, custom donuts, and Japanese crepes.[Image Credit: © [Image Credit: © Steve Buissinne @ Pixabay.com]]
Savannah Vasquez, "Trending Desserts and where to get them", Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL), September 18, 2018, © GateHouse Media LLC
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Irish Agricultural Technology Companies See Export Opportunities in the North American Agricultural Market

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Enterprise Ireland sees large opportunities in the US for Irish agricultural technology companies and recently opened a Chicago office to help companies to secure business. It seeks to help companies that offer a range of products, often leveraging digitalization to help farmers optimize efficiency, maximize profitability, and reduce costs. For example, Moocall sells wearable sensors to the bovine industry to improve calving, MooMonitor provides a system to monitor animal health and fertility and MagGrow has technology that improves spraying efficiency and reduces spray drift by up to 70 per cent.[Image Credit: © Enterprise Ireland]
Ryan J Shaughnessy, "US agritech is a new digital frontier for exporters", Farm Ireland, September 17, 2018, © Independent.ie
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Coca-Cola Looks For Opportunities In CBD-Infused Beverage Market

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has issued a statement confirming that it is “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol) as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.” The company is one of many that are monitoring the development of CBD-infused beverages, or have – like Molson Coors Co. and Constellation Brands – invested in the segment. Bloomberg reported that Coca-Cola is discussing the possibility of new products with Aurora Cannabis Inc. of Vancouver, Canada.
Tonya Garcia, "Coca-Cola says it's 'closely watching' the opportunities in CBD-infused beverages", MarketWatch, September 17, 2018, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Arkansas’ Food Companies Make Progress In Battle To Cut Food Waste

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food waste in manufacturing and packaging costs corporations $2 billion each year – in addition to $15 billion for farmers – while dumping 52 million tons of waste into landfills. In the state of Arkansas, food and beverage industry companies are taking steps to eradicate food waste. Tyson Foods this summer launched bite-sized chicken crisps, dubbed ¡Yappah!, made with upcycled chicken breast, rescued carrots, and celery puree from juicing, or malted barley from beer brewing. Walmart has introduced a technology that focuses on tracking the freshness of produce as it travels from farm to wholesaler to retailer to table. Eden’s sensors measure and report temperature, moisture and metabolite data used to assess carton-level freshness and shelf life based on FDA standards. And ConAgra Brands says it achieved an 81.7 percent landfill diversion rate in 2017 corporate-wide.[Image Credit: © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)]
"How one state is fighting food waste", Brandpoint Content, September 17, 2018, © Brandpoint
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Resorts, Hotels Adjust To The Evolving Era Of Legalized Pot

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As legalization of cannabis-based foods and beverages for functional and recreational use spreads gradually across the U.S., hotels and resorts have geared up to offer cannabis-based menu items and wellness treatments. The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, for example, serves a mojito ($18) infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a nonintoxicating cannabis compound whose relaxation effect is “even more profound” than a traditional mojito. The Spa Solage resort in Napa Valley offers a massage, facial and body scrub ($160 to $420), all of which feature CBD oil, a purported anti-inflammatory agent that is supposed to help with insomnia, pain relief, anxiety, and eczema. Lastly, The Thompson Seattle hotel sponsored two dinners where different strains of marijuana (this time with psychoactive THC) were paired with beets with herring, scallops with apples and anise, and veal cheeks with cauliflower and pecans.[Image Credit: © maroonedonisland from Pixabay]
Shivani Vora, "Cannabis on the Menu at Your Next Hotel Restaurant or Spa?", The New York Times - International Edition, September 17, 2018, © The New York Times Company
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Soylent Plans U.K. Launch

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Los Angeles-based meal replacement company Soylent is expanding to the U.K. after market research found that skipping meals is becoming more commonplace there. Launched in the U.S. in 2014 after a crowdfunding campaign raised $1.5 million, Soylent has developed a significant following for its RTD beverages and powders among athletes and gym rats who use it as a high-protein workout supplement. It was the top grocery product on Amazon in the U.S. beginning in January 2018. The company is planning a soft launch because of the novelty of the meal replacement concept in the U.K. The strategy is to drive word of mouth, awareness and advocacy to educate consumers. Marketing will target gamers, urban Millennial achievers and busy students.
Beth Newhart, "Soylent ‘cult following’ in the U.S. leads to U.K. launch", beveragedaily.com, September 17, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Premier Nutrition Corporation Partners With Tetra Pak To Launch A New Earth First Packaging Initiative For Its Premier Protein Shakes

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In its commitment to reduce its environmental impact, Premier Nutrition decided to change the packaging for its Premier Protein shakes by using Tetra Pak cartons certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The cap is durable, recyclable, free from genetically modified organisms and made from sugarcane. Company president, Darcy Horn Davenport, claims the growing environmental awareness of consumers prompted them to reevaluate the product line's packaging.[Image Credit: © PREMIER NUTRITION CORPORATION]
"Premier Protein Introduces Sustainable Packaging for its Line of Ready-to-Drink Protein Shakes", PR Newswire, September 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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New Facility In Upstate N.Y. Will Reclaim, Convert Food Scraps Into Energy

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A solid waste manager in the upstate New York city of Utica says about 14 percent of the 169,000 tons of municipal waste that ends up in a local landfill is food scraps. But Bill Rabbia believes there’s a better way to deal with discarded leftover food from restaurants and homes than dumping in the landfill. Construction is scheduled to begin next month on a $3.4 million facility with equipment that can separate food scraps from wrappers, packaging, utensils, etc., then turn it into a “slurry” that will end up in Oneida County’s anaerobic digester. There, in an oxygen-free setting, microorganisms break down biodegradable material and turn it into a gas – such as methane – that can be transformed into energy. [Image Credit: © Ben Kerckx from Pixabay]
Greg Mason, "Project under way to recycle food waste in Oneida, Herkimer counties", Utica Observer-Dispatch (N.Y.), September 16, 2018, © Gatehouse Media LLC
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Bakery Thrives On All Gluten-Free Menu

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The founder of a Wisconsin gluten-free bake shop called The Naked Baker – the name has nothing to do with wardrobe and everything to do with excluded ingredients like corn syrup, GMOs, and artificial anything – started her business as a traditional bakery. She switched when demand for gluten-free became too heavy to ignore. She developed and tested a special flour blend and recipe – “I have a little ratio I keep in my head” – that uses less sugar. When the gluten-free creations started outselling her other items, Sue Knutson decided to focus entirely on gluten-free baked goods, including chocolate chip cookies, brownies, birthday cakes, etc. But whether traditional or gluten-free, she relies on her husband and four teenage sons – none of whom have any gluten-related allergy – to ensure that the quality is high. [Image Credit: © The Naked Baker, LLC.]
Kristine M. Kierzek, "Gluten-free experiment turns into popular business for 'Naked Baker' founder", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 16, 2018, © jsonline.com
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Bakery Draws Inspiration From 1950s-Style Snack Cakes, But That’s All

September 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
California bakery Cake Monkey hopes to please all age groups and generations with its upscale, all-natural takes on the cream-filled snack cakes of past decades. But its creations – e.g., Moguls inspired by Hostess Sno Balls and foil-wrapped Black & White Cakewich modeled after Ding Dongs – are most likely to push the nostalgia buttons of Baby Boomers who grew up in the latter half of the 20th century. The lineup isn’t just inspired by the Hostess product line. Other Cake Monkey creations give a nod to Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls and Drake's brand Ring Dings, Yankee Doodles, and Devil Dogs. But inspiration is where the imitation ends. Cake Monkey never uses candy coating chocolate or shortening in its products. “You can really taste the difference in our buttercream frosting."[Image Credit: © cake monkey bakery]
Sandra Barrera, "These retro snack cakes at Cake Monkey update your childhood favorites ", Redlands Daily Facts (California), September 16, 2018, © South California News Group
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Meal Replacement Beverage Company Gains Venture Capital Infusion

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Austrian food and beverage investor Square One Foods has acquired a seven percent interest in Saturo Foods of Vienna, Austria. Founded in early 2017, Saturo makes a range of RTD meal replacement drinks formulated with proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. The target market is individuals with busy lifestyles. One 500 ml bottle contains up to 25 percent of the daily balanced nutrient intake. Square One’s “six figure round” will be used to finance distribution plans, recruit additional manpower, and expand product lines, the company said. Saturo is discussing a large Series A funding round within 6-9 months. The company says it has “the potential to establish a new category of meal replacement drinks and will soon be an integral part of our beverage range, like Red Bull or Coca-Cola."
Will Chu , "Saturo secures six-figure investment to fund ‘new meal replacement drink category’", Nutraingredients-USA, September 14, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Optimum Nutrition’s New Sports-Energy Line Includes An RTD Sparkling Drink

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Illinois-based protein powder marketer Optimum Nutrition has debuted two formats of its Essential Amin.O.Energy Plus Electrolytes beverage: a powder and an RTD sparkling drink. The new drink contains amino acids to help support muscle recovery and natural caffeine for energy plus electrolytes. Optimum’s Essential Amino.O.Energy line is mainly a variety of sugar-free protein powders in four flavors that contain caffeine (100 mg) derived from green tea and green coffee bean extract. Other ingredients include five grams of amino acids and minerals potassium and sodium.
"Optimum Nutrition Introduces New Essential Amin.O. Energy Plus Electrolytes", PR Newswire, September 14, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestlé removes stabilizers in UHT milks in Brazil

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In an effort to “simplify” the ingredient lists for its products, Nestlé’s Brazilian unit has removed the stabilizers used in the UHT (ultra-high-temperature pasteurization) long-life milks sold in the country under the brand names Ninho and Molico. The company said it is the first country where it has done this. In the U.S., Nestlé has removed GMO ingredients from its Buitoni products, and artificial colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and GMO ingredients from six ice cream brands. It plans to eliminate artificial flavors and reduce the salt levels in pizzas and snacks sold in the U.S. 
Dean Best, "Nestlé removes stabilizers in UHT milks in Brazil", just-food, September 14, 2018
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Hershey’s Expands Into Healthful Cheese Puffs Snack Segment

September 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Like other big food companies, Pennsylvania-based candy and snack company Hershey’s is investing heavily in healthful foods. It recently announced the $420 million acquisition of Pirate Brands, maker of Pirate's Booty, Smart Puffs, and Original Tings. Pirates snacks will help Hershey’s break into the more than $2.5 billion cheese puffs category.  In 2017 the company purchased Amplify Snack Brands and its SkinnyPop popcorn and Oatmega whey-protein bars, for $1.6 billion. Other companies investing in healthful snacks and foods include ConAgra (Pinnacle Foods) and PepsiCo (SodaStream and Bare Snacks). In 2014, General Mills bought Annie's, which makes organic pasta and snacks, for $820 million in 2014 and Campbell Soup acquired Bolthouse Farms in 2012, thought the company said it plans to sell the Campbell Fresh line, which includes Bolthouse. [Image Credit: © The Hershey Company]
Danielle Wiener-Bronner, "Hershey's buys Pirate's Booty to double down on healthy snacks", CNN Wire, September 13, 2018, © Cable News Network
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Starbucks Establishes Framework For Building, Operating “Greener Stores”

September 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Coffee Company announced a commitment to build and operate 10,000 “Greener Stores” around the world by 2025. The company will follow a “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework of comprehensive performance criteria for the new stores. The company also said it would audit all existing stores in the U.S. and Canada using the framework criteria, which will be shared with other retail businesses. The framework will be co-developed by experts, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and will be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, a third-party verification organization that also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (CAFE) Practices. CEO Kevin Johnson said, “Simply put, sustainable coffee served sustainably is our aspiration."[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
"Starbucks Announces Global Greener Stores Commitment", Starbucks, September 13, 2018, © Starbucks Corporation
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Phivida Launches Line Of Functional Beverages Infused With Hemp Extract

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Vancouver, Canada-based Phivida Holdings Inc. has launched the "Oki" line of functional beverages and supplements infused with active hemp extract that will be sold in 2,400 U.S. natural specialty store locations. Oki beverages are infused with 10 mg of active hemp extract per glass bottle and come in two different formulations: iced teas and flavor-infused water, each ranging in four different 16 oz flavors. Its supplements are available in tinctures or capsules in doses of 600-1800 total mg of active hemp extract. All products are non-GMO, contain natural and organic ingredients, and are plant-based and vegan friendly. Distribution will be handled by Natural Specialty Sales (NSS), a natural/specialty retail network that includes retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and National Co-op Grocers.
"Phivida introduces premium active hemp extract infused functional beverage and supplement line to mainstream retailers in the U.S.", CNW, September 12, 2018, © CNW Group Ltd.
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Bakery Shifts Focus From Healthy Snacks To Low-Carb Bread

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Taking advantage of the growing low-carb and ketogenic lifestyles trend, the Stone Bank Baking Co. has shifted emphasis from healthy snacks to low-carbohydrate bread. The company produces SoLo Carb Bread, sold on Amazon.com and in Midwest retail locations such as Piggly Wiggly, Sentry Foods, Woodman’s, and Sendik's stores. In August, the company started selling the bread on its own website Sales were slow at first, but have grown every day.[Image Credit: © Stone Bank Baking Co]
Sari Lesk, "SoLo Carb Bread sees growth as low-carb diets spread", Milwaukee Business Journal (Wisconsin), September 12, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Protein Powder Pods Deliver Convenience, Cost-Competitiveness

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Michigan-based Vade Nutrition is betting its future on the convenience and cost-competitiveness of its innovative technology for protein shakes. The family-owned company has created dissolvable single-serve protein powder “scoops” encased in edible film that dissolves in water. The concept is similar to dissolvable pods used in household cleaning products. Though sales growth of protein and protein call-outs has tapered off somewhat, both categories continue to grow. Protein powder sales in the U.S. grew 11 percent in 2018, down from 14 percent in 2016. Growth in the RTD segment dropped to 8.3 percent in 2018 from 9.7 percent in 2016. Vade Nutrition’s marketing is apparently paying off: it is one of two top results when searching for “protein pod” on Google, the other being a company called Podz.
Adi Menayang , "As protein category crowds, start-up Vade Nutrition shakes things up with dissolvable scoop ‘pods’", Nutraingredients-USA, September 12, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kruseaz Adds Flapjack Mix That Is High In Protein, Fiber

September 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Baking mix maker Krusteaz as launched a Buttermilk Protein Flapjack & Waffle Mix that provides 15 grams of protein per serving and four grams of fiber. The mix is made from 100 percent whole grain flour and contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The Krusteaz product line includes pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick breads and flatbreads, cookies, dessert bars, cornbread, crumb cakes and a line of gluten-free products. Krusteaz is a brand of Continental Mills, Inc., is a privately held manufacturer located in Tukwila, Wash.[Image Credit: © Continental Mills, Inc.]
"Hot Off The Griddle: Krusteaz Steps Up Pancake Game With Introduction Of New And Improved Buttermilk Protein Flapjack & Waffle Mix", PR Newswire, September 12, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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