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Food Retailer Partners With Iowa Farmers To Obtain GMO-Free Pork

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
California food retailer Raley's has launched a program to offer non-GMO and antibiotics-free pork in its stores. The company has partnered with supplier American Homestead Pork, a group of 35 family farms in Iowa whose animals have never been given antibiotics or growth-promoting chemicals, and have never been caged. Family-owned Raley’s says it now offers more than 15,000 natural and organic foods. [ Image credit: © Raley's  ]
Alissa Marchat, "Raley’s Partners With American Homestead To Offer GMO-Free Pork", The Shelby Report, October 30, 2017, © The Shelby Report
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Re-Used Bread Offers Many Benefits, Including Waste Reduction

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Disturbed by the amount of bread wasted around the world every year – about 1.2 million tons – a New Zealand university professor figured out a way to take unsold bread from supermarkets and make new loaves. Collaborating with food company Goodman Fielder, Aydin Berenjian [left] developed a day-long process that produces one ton of fermented bread that has a high profile of essential amino acids, high resistance starch, and a higher shelf life – up to seven days. It tastes like a cross between white bread and sourdough, and because the microbes used in the fermentation system are all probiotics, the bread benefits the digestive and immune systems.  [ Image credit: © University of Waikato  ]
Caitlin Moorby, "Researcher Recycles Stale Bread Into New Loaves", Stuff, October 30, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Australian-Made Beauty, Personal Care Products Attract Chinese Consumers

October 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Chinese consumer demand for Australian-made beauty and personal care products is strong, thanks to the country’s clean and green reputations, strict regulations, and quarantine control. Demand for Australian products will remain strong, according to Euromonitor, because they are more trusted and perceived as higher quality, with consumers willing to pay a premium. Australian companies can expect increasing sales, including via direct-to-consumer channels like Chinese e-commerce sites Tmall and JD.com. Australian companies and retailers have opened their own sites through these channels as well.  [ Image credit: © A'kin Australia   ]
Tim Foulds, "Beauty and Personal Care in Australia Sees Strong Demand from Chinese Consumers", Blog entry, Euromonitor, October 30, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Data Analytics Platform Helps Tesco India Detect, Prevent Shopping Fraud

October 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Indian technology center for supermarket chain Tesco has created a platform and team that detects online and offline fraud involving its massive amounts of collected customer data. The 18-member staff is focused on combating fraud for online businesses (food and non-food), buyer-supplier collusion fraud, and employee fraud at checkout counters. The platform is programmed to detect anomalies in purchasing patterns that might indicate fraud, such as bulk purchases of products like alcohol and cigarettes.  [ Image credit: © geograph.org.uk  ]
"Tesco unit builds anti-fraud platform for online businesses", Economic Times, October 27, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Big Food Agrees To Clarify Food Expiration Labels

October 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fifty of the biggest players in the food industry, led by Campbell, Walmart, Kellogg, and Nestlé, are changing their expiration labels exclusively to “Use By” over the next three years. That means that by 2020, consumers will not have to deal with confusing labels that say “Sell By,” “Display Until,” or “Best Before.” The companies, all members of the Consumer Goods Forum Board, unanimously approved the change after concluding that confusing labeling that leads to premature disposal is one of the leading causes of food waste around the world. About 40 percent of food that is bought in the U.S. is thrown out often unnecessarily. About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually around the world, contributing to eight percent of greenhouse gases. [ Image credit: © General Mills  ]
Leanna Garfield, "Walmart and Nestlé are spearheading a Massive Change in Food Expiration Dates", Business Insider, October 26, 2017, © Business Insider Inc.
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Danone Expands Plant-Based Beverage Factory Acquired In WhiteWave Deal

October 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone announced it will spend $60 million to expand production and warehouse capacity at its plant-based beverage factory in Rockingham County, Virginia. The company acquired the factory, located in Mount Crawford, in the $12.5 billion purchase of WhiteWave Foods, now known as DanoneWave. The 500-employee unit’s plant-based portfolio includes brands such as Silk, So Delicious Dairy Free, and Vega. The company said the plant expansion will add 49 new jobs.
"Danone to Invest $60m in Plant-Based Beverage Operation in US", FoodBev, October 26, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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NRDC Pinpoints Sources, Amounts Of Food Waste In Three U.S. Cities

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) research explores how much food is being wasted in Denver, Nashville, and New York City, as well as where and why food is discarded, what types of food are wasted, and how much of that food was potentially edible. NRDC says food is the largest component of waste sent landfills in the U.S. –  nearly 22 percent. Organic solid waste in landfills generates the global warming pollutant methane. But it also indicates how much water, land, energy, money, labor, and other resources are being wasted in growing, processing, distributing, and storing that food. For the study, NRDC collected data from each city’s restaurants, food wholesalers, food manufacturers, grocers, and hotels. Six hundred households kept track of discarded food for a week. [ Image credit: © True Activist  ]
Darby Hoover, "What, Where and How Much Food Is Wasted in Cities", Blog entry and report, Natural Resources Defense Council, October 25, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Coke CEO Quincey Says Continued Downturn In Revenues Is Due To Refranchising

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola revenues slid 15 percent in the third quarter, while organic revenues were up four percent. CEO James Quincey said revenue has been down recently because of the bottler refranchising program. The company is selling off its bottler operations, so it no longer has income from that source. This decline in revenues will continue for several quarters into the future because of this. “To put it simply,” Quincey said during an internal interview, “we’re transforming into an organization that is smaller in revenue, but larger in terms of profit margin and more acutely focused on innovation, brand-building and creating a stronger, even more consumer-centric portfolio.”
"Q&A: Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey on Q3 2017 Results", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, October 25, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Revenue Sags In 3rd Quarter, But Still Beats Wall Street Forecasts

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola beat Wall Street estimates for third quarter revenue and profit, turning in an EPS of $0.50 (expected $0.49) on revenue of $9.08 billion ($8.72 billion expected). CNBC noted that the surprising numbers showed the company’s ability to buck negative trends, especially the consumer shift away from sugary soft drinks toward more healthful beverages. The company accomplished this by focusing on price hikes, selling more expensive products, and pushing newer products, like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Net revenue was $9.08 billion, 15 percent less than a year ago, and reflected its ongoing refranchising efforts. Net income grew to $1.45 billion from $1.05 billion a year ago.
Lauren Hirsch , "Coca-Cola tops estimates, backs full-year outlook", CNBC.com, October 25, 2017, © CNBC LLC
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San Francisco Requires Reporting Of Antibiotics Contained In Grocery Store Meat

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The San Francisco board of supervisors has passed a law requiring larger grocery retailers in the city report the type of antibiotics used in raw meat products they sell. Grocery stores with 25 locations or more will have to report antibiotic use by their suppliers to the city Department of the Environment. The department’s website would make the information available to consumers. Meat and grocery industry representatives have panned the law as costly, unnecessary, and potentially confusing to consumers. Last month, in a victory for the meat industry, the U.S. Congress repealed a law requiring that packages of pork and beef sold in grocery stores be labeled with country of origin.  [ Image credit: © Wikimedia  ]
"San Francisco to Require Stores to Report Meat Antibiotics", SF Gate, October 25, 2017, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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Buckwheat Rebounds In The Gluten-Free Age

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dubious old recipes for buckwheat pancakes are the probable reason buckwheat, even with its many virtues, never caught on in the U.S. like corn and wheat. Recipes used more of the buckwheat husk, which accounted for the dark color and nutty flavor of the pancakes. Nevertheless, because buckwheat is a hearty, easy-to-grow grain, that doesn’t require herbicides or pesticides, it never fell completely out of favor. As the gluten-free trend caught on, interest in naturally gluten-free, nterest in whole grain buckwheat has grown. Millers eliminate more of the husk when making flour, which is used to make pancakes, crepes, muffins, and quick breads. The whole, intact seeds without the husk are known as groats. Toasted they become kasha. Processed they make a hot cereal called "cream of buckwheat." [ Image credit: ©  Wikimedia  ]
Gretchen McKay, "Buckwheat is Making a Comeback, and Not Just in Pancakes", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 25, 2017, © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

October 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [ Image credit: © Hershey's  ]
Douglas Yu, "Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts", ConfectioneryNews.com, October 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bakery’s New Owners Replace Breads With Outrageous Cakes, Desserts

October 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The new owners of a traditional Southern California bakery stopped selling breads, but continued to sell Taiwanese-style buns while expanding their line of cakes and desserts. The new emphasis is also reflected in the name change, from Kelley’s Bakery to Caked LA. In the process, and thanks to publicity generated by photos of wild-looking cakes and desserts on social media, the bakery has become a foodie’s paradise, and a popular destination for both local college students and families with kids. Among the favorites are candy-adorned milkshakes, tea with a halo of cotton candy atop the rim, and lemonade with a slice of rainbow cake on top, anchored by a straw. Older customers miss the breads, but still come by with kids and grandkids in tow, asking for the strawberry Unicorn Milkshake topped with candies and whipped cream. [ Image credit: © Caked LA  ]
Christopher Yee, "This Monterey Park bakery has the Perfect Desserts for Your Instagram Feed", Pasadena Star News, October 23, 2017, © Pasadena Star News
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Sandy Douglas To Leave Coca-Cola NA After Three Decades

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
James L. Dinkins will take over the helm at Coca-Cola North America on January 1, 2018, replacing Sandy Douglas, who announced his retirement as of March 1, 2018, after 30 years at the company. Dinkins now serves as head of the Minute Maid Business Unit and chief retail sales officer. In an internal interview, Douglas said he was especially proud of the company’s nearly-completed refranchising campaign, calling it “an enormous project.” Dinkins said his mission will be to continue “following the consumer” by accelerating innovation, expanding the product portfolio, fostering an entrepreneurial culture, and building capabilities, especially in the digital area, to better serve consumers.
"New Leadership for Coca-Cola North America: A Conversation with Sandy Douglas and Jim Dinkins", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, October 22, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Milk Producer Group Adds Examples Of “Fear-Based” Labeling To Its List

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA., has added more items to its list of foods found to be misleadingly labeled “non-GMO,” “no added hormones,” etc. The organization has launched a “Peel Back the Label” campaign targeting “fear-based” labeling such as non-GMO on foods or products that contain no DNA to modify – e.g., table salt – and “no added hormone” labels on poultry products that are already barred from adding hormones by federal law. New examples of deceptive labeling include canned sliced carrots with "non-GMO" labels, a "GMO-free" label on lettuce, and mandarin oranges. None of these foods have ever been genetically modified, the group says. [ Image credit: © non-GMO Project  ]
"Dairy Industry Group Decries 'Fear-Based' Labeling", Rapid City Journal Media Group, October 22, 2017, © Rapid City Journal Media Group
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New York Doughnut Shop Sticks To Savory Flavors

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A pop-up doughnut shop in Manhattan no longer serves traditional treats, opting instead to produce savory flavors like smoked salmon, foie gras, lobster roll, and caviar. Forbidden Doughnuts, launched by French chef Richard Farnabe and open only on weekends at the Bowery kitchen supplies firm, sells its wares for $5 to $18 each. Other ingredients in the unusual doughnuts include cauliflower, sweet peas, artichokes, kimchi, garlic, broccoli, tomato, olive tapenade, carrots, peppercorns, and crab. The specialty of the house is the caviar doughnut [left] with an oscetra caviar cream filling, cream fraiche glaze, and vodka gelee topping ($18).. [ Image credit: ©  Forbidden Doughnuts  ]
Carly Stern, "Nobody's Dunkin' These! New York City chef Ditches Traditional Glazed and Chocolate Doughnuts", Daily Mail, October 20, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Company Unveils Pasta That Is Rich In Fiber, Protein

October 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
FiberPasta has launched a low-carb, high-protein, whole wheat pasta for athletes, vegans, and other health-conscious consumers. PastaPro is also non-GMO and organic. It delivers roughly three times the amount of protein and much more fiber per serving than regular pasta via a combination of durum whole wheat semolina, pea protein, and inulin fiber. Founded in Italy, FiberPasta U.S. has offices in Southern California, and sells pasta, cookies, bread, flour, and pizza crust/dough balls. [ Image credit: ©  FiberPasta ]
"Pastapro Changes the Way You Think About Pasta for Fitness", News release, FiberPasta, October 20, 2017, © FiberPasta
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Grupo Bimbo Buys Baked Goods Supplier To U.S. Fast-Food Industry

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexican baked goods giant Grupo Bimbo says it has completed the integration of Chicago’s East Balt Bakeries, purchased for $650 million in July, into its operations. East Balt produces buns, English muffins, rolls, tortillas, bagels, artisanal bread, and other baked foods for fast-food companies. The acquisition of the American firm brings to 32 the number of countries Grupo Bimbo is operating in and advances its mission of “transforming the baking industry and expanding our global leadership,” CEO Daniel Servitje said. The company operates 21 bakeries in 11 countries in the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. [ Image credit: ©  East Balt Bakeries  ]
Gill Hyslop, "Grupo Bimbo Finalizes East Balt Deal to Form Bimbo QSR", BakeryAndSnacks.com, October 19, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Former Chef With A Passion For Paleo Launches Successful Baked Goods Company

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An entrepreneur who grew up dreaming of becoming a chef – he actually worked as one in California and New York – eventually lost interest in that career and launched a bakery in Arizona that specializes in paleo and gluten-, grain-, soy- and dairy-free bread products. Michael Tierney’s company (“Mikey’s Muffins”) launched in 2014 with one product, an English muffin, and has expanded since then to ten, including muffin tops, sandwich bread, and tortillas, with more on the way. Company growth has been “exponential,” and his products can be found in 8,000 retail locations in the U.S., including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Bashas', and Walmart. The mission is to use premium, recognizable ingredients to create nutritionally-dense baked goods following paleo diet principles.. [ Image credit: ©  Mikey's Muffins  ]
Georgann Yara, "Paleo, Grain-Free Bread Products Yield Serious Dough for Scottsdale-Based Mikey’s", AZcentral.com, October 19, 2017, © www.azcentral.com
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Kraft Heinz Acquires Suntory’s Cerebos Food And Instant Coffee Business

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. (SBF) announced it has agreed to sell its Cerebos food and instant coffee business in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian Home Gourmet Singapore, to Kraft Heinz for $223 million. The sale, expected to close in early 2018, does not include Suntory’s fresh coffee business. Cerebos’ food and instant coffee business includes food brands such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro, and Asian Home Gourmet.  Product categories include sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts, and cooking ingredients.
"Suntory Sells Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee Australia/NZ Business to Kraft Heinz", News release, Cerebos, October 19, 2017, via Medianet, © Cerebos
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EU Guidelines Set Priorities For Preventing, Eliminating Food Waste

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The European Union’s new food waste guidelines target food donation to reduce spoilage and help poor people gain greater access. Nearly one-quarter of Europeans – 119.1 million people – in 2015 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 42.5 million of these were not able to afford a quality meal every second day. The idea behind the guidelines is to limit the generation of surplus food at each stage in the food supply chain (i.e., production, processing, distribution, and consumption). If this cannot be accomplished, the guidelines suggest, then edible food surplus should be redistributed for human consumption “where safe to do so.” [ Image credit: © European Union   ]
Katy Askew, "Europe Puts Food Waste in the Spotlight", FOODnavigator.com, October 18, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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There’s Only One Food Item On The Menu Of This Coffee Shop

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Hundreds of miles west of the Manhattan birthplace of the doughnut-croissant mashup known as the cronut, a café in Akron, Ohio, has created another hybrid treat. The shop offers a variety of fair trade and organic coffees, including drip, French press, pour-over, lattes, espresso, mocha, and more. The only food it sells, however, is the cretzel, a cross between a soft pretzel and a croissant available in two flavors: cinnamon sugar and chocolate-filled. Unlike other pretzel-croissant hybrids, however, the cretzel at Sure House Coffee Roasting Co. – the term “sure house” is mentioned in the Old Testament – is shaped like a croissant, not like a pretzel. [ Image credit: © Sure House Coffee Roasting  ]
"Akron Dish: Northside Marketplace Downtown is Percolating; West Point Open House; Kenyan Food at Fundraiser and More", The Akron Beacon Journal, October 18, 2017, © The Akron Beacon Journal
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Danone Posts Solid Sales Growth In 3rd Quarter

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consolidated sales rose 16.6 percent in Danone’s third fiscal quarter to $7.64 billion, with especially strong performance in Specialized Nutrition and Early Life Nutrition China. New Danone like-for-like sales growth was 4.7 percent in the quarter, which reflects a 0.4 percent increase in volume and a 4.3 percent rise in value. As to guidance, the company still expects to deliver double-digit recurring earnings per share growth of more than 12 percent. It is also looking for overall like-for-like sales growth between four and five percent by 2020, including healthy like-for-like sales growth above five percent for EDP NORAM, Specialized Nutrition, and Waters, and a like-for-like sales growth of between three and four percent for EDP International.
"Danone Q3 Sales Climb, Backs FY17 View; Sets 2020 Objectives - Quick Facts", Nasdaq, October 17, 2017, © The NASDAQ, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Debuts New Line Of Vitaminwater Drinks

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new range of Vitaminwater performance drinks for athletes contain electrolytes from natural sources, including coconut water and sea salt, and are sweetened with cane sugar. Vitaminwater Active drinks also contain the antioxidants vitamins C and E, as well as vitamins B5, B6, and B12. The new line will be available in a limited number of convenience and grocery stores – including 7-Eleven, Target, and HEB – through the end of the year. A national rollout will begin in 2018.
"Vitaminwater Active: Coca-Cola launches range of sports drinks", FoodBev , October 17, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Many British Shoppers Would Choose Supermarkets Based On Food Waste Practices

October 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by British charity Tearfund found that three quarters of consumers said they would be more likely to shop at supermarkets if they knew the stores reducing food waste, and a third said they definitely would. In fact, eighty percent said they would consider changing where they shopped for food if their store wasn’t doing enough to curb waste. As part of the organization’s Renew Our World campaign, thousands of people have taken an online pledge to waste less food at home and urge their supermarket to play their part too. [ Image credit: © Tearfund   ]
"Four Out Of Five People Would Consider Changing Supermarkets over Food Waste", News release, Tearfund, October 16, 2017, © Tearfund
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Coke Exec: The Online Shopper Today Expects A Lot More

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Coca-Cola executive says online customers have grown impatient, demanding, and bored, as their expectations become “higher and higher” when it comes to service. Coke’s global customer director Simon Miles told a recent grocery industry meeting that companies need to up their game to meet shopper expectations, which can be summed up in one word: “free” (or close to it). That presents a lot of challenges in terms of logistics, supply chain, and products. Online grocery selling will evolve into two streams: auto-replenishment of boring but essential basics, and service-orientated ways to lure shoppers into buying products they may not have previously considered.
Victoria Craw, "Coca-Cola Global Customer Director Says Online Shopping Has Failed to Inspire Consumers", News.com.au, October 15, 2017, © News Limited
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Nestlé Deletes Image Of Cross From Greek Yogurt Packages

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Breitbart news website reports that both Nestlé and German supermarket chain Lidl have removed a tiny cross from a Greek church image that appeared on Greek yogurt packaging so as “not to hurt sensibility of other religions.” The cross appeared in a representation of the Greek Orthodox church on the island of Santorini. German supermarket chain Lidl also edited out the cross on images of the same church used on packages of its Eridanous brand Greek-style yogurt. In both images, the cross was removed from the blue dome of the old church.
Thomas D. Williams, "Nestlé Removes Christian Cross from Greek Yogurt Packaging", Breitbart, October 15, 2017, © Breitbart
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FMCG Start-Ups In India Rely On Innovation, Pluck

October 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The biggest hurdles for India’s start-up FMCG companies as they battle industry giants for market share are capital, retail shelf space, distribution, and marketing. They sometimes make strides through pure luck, but innovation and persistence are the most reliable vehicles to success. In its early days RAW Pressery, for example, an online marketer of cold-pressed juices, adapted Mumbai’s dabbawala hot-lunch delivery system based on bicycles and rail transport to deliver its juice products. Dabbawalas were able to deliver 50,000 purchases in three hours. Four years later, the company’s fleet of 25 refrigerated vehicles delivers its own juices as well as products for other brands. The end result is that RAW Pressery and other aggressive start-ups are able to peel off market share from bigwigs like Unilever, Nestlé, and others.
Supraja Srinivasan, "Battleground FMCG: How Consumer Product Startups are Battling Roadblocks to Stand Out Amid Giants", The Economic Times, October 13, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Nestle To Build Infant Formula Factory In Russia

October 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced it is spending $31 million to build an infant formula plant at its 14-year-old Vologda facility in Russia. The new factory, operational by 2019, will help strengthen the company’s position in Russia’s infant formula market, while supporting exports to neighboring countries. Nestlé’s overall strategy is to invest in high-growth food and beverage categories such as coffee, pet care, infant nutrition, and bottled water. It operates eight factories in Russia.
"Nestlé Invests CHF 30 Million in Infant Formula Plant in Russia", News release, Nestlé, October 12, 2017, © Nestlé
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Negative Short-term Factors Depress ThaBev’s Nine-Month Financials

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A number of trends and events have combined to depress both alcoholic and nonalcoholic product sales of Thailand-based food and beverage company ThaiBev. Nine-month sales slid six percent to $4.3 billion, thanks to sluggish economic growth; a year-long mourning period that depressed beer sales after the death of King Bhumibol last October; a new alcohol excise tax; and a sugar tax on sweetened drinks. Company execs are optimistic about the coming year because of strong fundamentals and growth from neighboring countries. The company hopes to further growth by expansion into the food business.
"ThaiBev Looks to Food and Abroad for Growth after Sales Dip", Reuters, October 11, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Vegan Grain Bowls Are A Hit Among Non-Vegan Foodies

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bowls of green veggies served on a bed of healthful grains are catching on among diners looking for a healthful lunch or dinner. Known as vegan grain bowls, the meals offer light but filling and healthful fare that appeals to vegans and non-vegans alike, if reports from Maine eateries are any indication. Variations include: green bamboo rice, French green lentils, green zebra tomatoes, and zucchini; wheat berries, seared tempeh, red cabbage and pumpkin broth; or rice and quinoa topped with greens, seaweed, avocado, pickles, and tofu finished with a carrot-ginger dressing.  [ Image credit: © Sharon ]
Avery Yale Kamila, "Vegan Grain Bowls Gain Popularity in Maine", Press Herald, October 11, 2017, © Press Herald
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [ Image credit: © Cargill  ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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Amazon Angers India’s Big Retailers With Unapproved Gift Coupon Scheme

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Big retail chains in India are crying foul over what they feel was a sneaky tactic by Amazon to steal their customers using gift coupons distributed via ITC, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola products. The tactic – dubbed “below the belt” and “ambush marketing” – infuriated Big Bazaar, Hyper-City, Star Bazaar, Walmart-owned Best Price Modern Wholesale, and others. The brands involved in the Amazon campaign include ITC’s Yippee Noodles, Nestlé’s KitKat chocolate, and Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Fanta soft drinks. The stores have since removed products carrying the coupons. A D-Mart executive criticized the brands for not talking to his company first. Amazon downplayed the ruckus, calling the campaign a normal promotional activity.
Ratna Bhushan et al., "Big Retailers like ITC, Nestle & Coca-Cola Cry Foul over Amazon’s ‘Ambush’", The Economic Times, October 09, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Nissin Reformulates Top Ramen Products For Health-Conscious Noodle Buyers

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Instant ramen maker Nissin Foods said consumer demand for simpler, more healthful food products was the force behind its decision to reformulate its Top Ramen product line with less salt, no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and “fewer artificial ingredients.” The company says the reformulation – the initiative is dubbed “Noodle Zen” – means an improved nutritional profile without loss of “great taste” or a price increase. Specifically, the products now have 15 percent less sodium, no added MSG, and no artificial flavors.  [ Image credit: © Nissin  ]
"Nissin Foods Top Ramen Finds Noodle Zen with Updated Recipe", News release, Nissin, October 09, 2017, © Nissin Foods
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Aldi Plans To Build ₤75-Million Warehouse In UK

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Aldi plans to invest ₤75 million to build a distribution center in Bedford, England, to support the company's growing network in the UK. Aldi said it remains committed to expansion plans in the UK retail market despite reporting its third year of declining profit. By 2022, the retailer expects to have 1,000 stores in the country from its current 726 locations.
Polina Ivanova, "German retailer Aldi to build 75 million pound UK distribution centre", Reuters, October 09, 2017, © Reuters
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Lidl Sees Share Of Shopper Traffic Drop In US

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Months after opening its stores in the US in June 2017, German discount retailer Lidl saw its share of store visits declined, according to an analysis by location-based data firm inMarket. Local rivals, including Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart, have recovered much of market share they lost when Lidl after Lidl opened its first nine US stores in June 15. Lidl grabbed 11 percent of customer visits to traditional grocers in nine markets in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, inMarket data revealed. Lidl's share of traffic fell below 8 percent in August, inMarket revealed.
Heather Haddon, "Lidl Stores Gain Little Traction So Far in U.S.", The Wall Street journal, October 08, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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India's Parle Agro Prospers In Fizzy Drinks Despite U.S. Competitors

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
India’s Parle Agro beverage company is doing well in the fizzy drinks segment with its mango brand Frooti Fizz despite strong competition from leader Coca-Cola Maazi and Pepsi’s Slice. CEO Schauna Chauhan Saluja says Frooti Fizz now reaches 320,000 outlets, while Appy, its first fizzy drink launched 12 years ago, has been growing at more than 20 percent annually for the last five years. Parle Agro’s sales rose 16 percent in 2016-2017. "We are a 3,000 crore [about $461 million] company now, and in the next five years we aim to become a 10,000-crore beverages firm," says Saluja.
Nevin John, "Thirsting to Improve", Business Today, October 08, 2017, © Living Media India Limited
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'Supermarket' Startup Seeks To Go Storeless

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Farmstead believes it can reinvent the supermarket model by eliminating its physical structure altogether. The San Francisco based startup has a series of micro-warehouses stocked with a range of local farm produce and grocery products and uses AI to predict a customer’s future needs based on their initial order. The selection is then delivered to the customer. Farmstead claims to have made over 15,000 deliveries in the Bay Area and has raised $2.8 million from venture funds.  [Image credit © Farmstead]
Dan Orlando, "Startup Believes it Can ‘Reinvent’ Supermarket Model", Supermarket News, October 05, 2017, © Penton
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Upcoming GDPR Legislation Set To Have Global Impact

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST

New General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are due to arrive in May 2018. GDPR will create a standardized data privacy law for EU members. It will also affect companies and individuals selling goods or services to EU citizens. The legislation will give individuals more rights to their data, including the “right to be forgotten” and asking consent for data processing. Potential fines for not adhering to the regulations can be up to $24m, or 4% of a company’s annual turnover. A recent PwC survey revealed that GDPR is a top data priority for more than 50 percent of US multinationals. [Image credit © EDPS]

Ronan Shields et al., "What Does the EU’s Privacy Reform Mean for US Marketers? And what Should You Do Now?", The Drum, October 05, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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San Francisco Grocery Delivery Service Uses AI To Cut Food Waste

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco Bay Area food delivery service Farmstead, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, sources and delivers exact amounts of food in less than an hour in an effort to cut grocery industry food waste. Farmstead’s AI software helps customers select food items from a “carefully curated array of local farm produce and grocery products.” AI calculates and predicts users' habits to know exactly how much food to order from local sources daily, weekly, seasonally, and annually. Customers can choose one-hour, same-day and weekly services. Customers who are part of a weekly eco-optimized delivery route, their order is delivered for free. Otherwise delivery is $3.99; one-hour delivery is $4.99. [ Image credit: © Farmstead  ]
"Farmstead Launches Nation's First Sustainable Digital Grocer in San Francisco", News release, Farmstead, October 05, 2017, © Farmstead
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Airline Reclassifies Unopened Snacks, Beverages As Safe For Future Use

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a bid to not only save costs but also reduce food waste, Air New Zealand has launched a program to recycle sealed and unopened beverages and snacks. Project Green, a collaboration of the airline, its catering partner, and the Ministry for Primary Industries, allows reclassification of unopened in-flight food and beverage products so they can be redistributed on future flights. So far more than 40 such products are included in the reclassification scheme. In the first month, the airline diverted 266,000 plastic cups, 480 kg of sugar packets, and 3.5 tons of bottled water from landfills – 13 tons total. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia   ]
"Air New Zealand Recycling Unopened Snacks Instead of Sending Them to the Dump", New Zealand Herald, October 04, 2017, © NZME. Publishing Limited
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Expensive, Well-Crafted Bread Thrives In New York City

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New York City denizens who have discovered artisanal bread makers like She Wolf Bakery are willing to pay premium prices – as much as $12 to $20 a loaf – for quality luxe breads made from locally-farmed organic flour. But it’s not just the flour: the most expensive ingredient is time. Making quality sourdough bread is a long process that involves creating and caring for live starter, then making and fermenting the dough. It can take anywhere from 12 to 68 hours. For those who love the result, though, the higher prices are worth every penny. "It's a treat that we have on the weekends,” says one thirty-something customer. “A nice, bourgeois treat." It’s also an indication that the anti-carb, anti-gluten movements are deflating somewhat.  [ Image credit: © She Wolf Bakery  ]
Lauren Steussy, "Would You Pay $20 For This Bread? ", The New York Post, October 04, 2017, © NYP Holdings, Inc.
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ThaiBev Buys Chain Of Ten Restaurants

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and beverage company ThaiBev has purchased a majority interest in Thailand restaurant chain Spice of Asia for $3.5 million. The chain operates 10 restaurants under four brands that serve Thai food and hotpot cuisines. ThaiBev will use its own cash to buy the 76 percent stake, which will be held by a wholly-owned ThaiBev business unit.
Kenneth Lim, "ThaiBev Acquires Thailand Restaurant Chain for 114.5m Baht", Business Times, October 03, 2017, © SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS LTD
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Anheuser-Busch InBev Sheds Majority Interest In Coke’s African Bottler, CCBA

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has completed the transfer of its majority interest in Coca Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the largest Coke bottler in Africa, to Coca-Cola Co., which will continue working to refranchise the company. AB InBev had owned 54.5 percent of CCBA, formed in 2016 by combining the African non-alcoholic ready-to-drink bottling interests of SABMiller plc, Coca-Cola, and Gutsche Family Investments. Coca-Cola has a conditional agreement to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador, and Honduras.
"The Coca-Cola Company and AB InBev Complete Transition of Majority Ownership in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa", News release, The Coca-Cola Co., October 04, 2017, © Coca-Cola Co.
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Seaweed Slithers Into Natural Foods

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite its somewhat daunting fishy taste, seaweed is gaining popularity among natural food manufacturers because of its green color, umami flavor, healthfulness – it contains high levels of magnesium, folate, calcium, and vitamin K – and “an inspiring sustainability story.” Besides its traditional use as a wrapping for rice and fish, it is being incorporated into snack chips, pasta, purees, and jerky. Blue Evolution Foods is trying to improve seaweed’s status by blending it into pasta sauce and marinara sauce. Another innovator is blending several different seaweeds with mushrooms, herbs and spices and a dehydrator to create a kelp jerky as a stand-in for traditional meat-based jerky. [ Image credit: © California Academy of Sciences  ]
Jenna Blumenfeld, "Brands Find New Flavor Opportunities with Seaweed", New Hope Network, October 03, 2017, © Penton
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Wal-Mart Buys NYC-based Last-Mile Delivery Service Parcel

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has acquired Parcel, a technology-enabled, last-mile delivery service company specializing in perishable and non-perishable products in New York City. Operating 24/7, Parcel relies on technology, a fleet of leased vehicles, and employee-based workforce to rapidly sort, load, and deliver products to customers. Wal-Mart said it plans to use Parcel to deliver packages to customers in New York City.
"Walmart Announces the Acquisition of Parcel, a Technology-Based, Same-Day and Last-Mile Delivery Company", Walmart, October 03, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Mesquite Flour, And A Good Mood, Are Keys To Successful Tortilla Business

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An innovative recipe using mesquite flour, suggested by a University of Arizona professor, is the key to the successful tortilla business – “our little gold mine” – launched somewhat lukewarmly by Esperanza Arevalo. She had started making tortillas as a child, and was never a big fan of it. Then she began helping her father in his business, Tortilleria Arevalo. Prof. Gary Nabhan asked the two to develop a tortilla recipe using Peruvian mesquite flour, which is high in fiber and protein and thus more healthful than regular flour tortillas. The recipe comprises, besides mesquite flour, whole wheat flour, amaranth flour, olive oil, water, a tap of salt and baking powder. A less tangible but essential ingredient in the labor-intensive process is a good mood. Esperanza says, “If you're actually in the mood to make them, they'll come out perfect.”  [ Image credit: © Tortilleria Arevalo ]
Gloria Knott, "Tortilleria Arevalo's Secret to a Healthier Tortilla is Peruvian Mesquite Flour", Tucson.com, October 03, 2017, © Arizona Daily Star
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Coca-Cola Launches “New Beginning” Campaign For Schweppes

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Schweppes brand of mixers led the U.K. market with a 32.6 percent share in 2016, but is feeling competitive pressure from Fever-Tree and private label products. To grow market share Coca-Cola is pulling out all the stops in a 15-month campaign to reinvigorate Schweppes with a “new beginning.” Campaign features a re-design of the bottle and a nearly $9 million ad effort targeting U.K. TV, movie theaters, special events, digital, and sponsorship of a TV talk show. The company is also launching premium mixers (Schweppes 1783), mainly in pubs and bars, with flavors like golden ginger ale, salty lemon tonic water, cucumber tonic water, and floral tonic water.
Leonie Roderick , "Coca-Cola overhauls Schweppes in bid to ‘future proof’ the business", Marketing Week, October 02, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Coke Acquires U.S. Rights To Mexican Sparkling Water Brand

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexico-based Arca Continental, one of the biggest of Coca-Cola’s Latin American bottlers, confirms that it has purchased the U.S. rights to mineral water brand Topo Chico for $220 million. The deal was forged by Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit that focuses on “smaller, high-value brands” that don’t make soda, such as Honest Tea and ZICO coconut water. Most of Topo Chico’s U.S. sales – about 70 percent – are in Texas. Coca-Cola continues to expand its non-soda product lines as consumers seek more healthful beverage options, including sparkling waters, which is a $2.3 billion market in the U.S.
Jill Cowan, "Coca-Cola buys Texas cult favorite sparkling water brand Topo Chico for $220 million", Dallas News, October 02, 2017, © The Dallas Morning News Inc
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Advanced Technologies Could Fuel Expansion Of Sugarcane Juice Market In India

October 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canned sugarcane juice is a popular and healthy but fragile beverage treat in India. A number of companies supply the juice, but its short shelf-life – it stays fresh only a few hours before fermentation sets in, thanks to the presence of yeast – makes it a frustrating commodity. Haphazard sugar cane sourcing worsens the problem. Various research organizations are working to solve the shelf-life issue. One example is the Central Food Technological Research Institute, which will soon file a patent application for preservation and packaging technologies for sugarcane juice. The addition of certain chemicals would preserve potability for six to eight months after bottling.
Arachika Kapoor , "Trials and Tribulations of Canning Sugarcane Juice", Media India, October 01, 2017, © Media India Group
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