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Nestlé Waters’ Plastic Packaging Is Recyclable, But Consumers Need To Recycle

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters has announced plans to make 100 percent of its packaging across the business recyclable or re-usable by 2025. But another goal – no packaging ending up in landfills or as litter – requires help from consumers. PET has the potential to be a reusable resource, but it’s a major challenge: industrywide only half of bottles are recycled. The company says nearly all of its bottles are recyclable now, and it is working on the exceptions. But to achieve the goal of zero-landfill-disposal, the company said it needs the cooperation of consumers globally. To that end, it is “raising their awareness” via brand platforms and corporate educational programs such as those implemented in Italy, Argentina, U.K., and Thailand. In the U.S., the company uses “clear and consistent How2Recyle instruction” on half-liter bottle labels of major brands.
Rachel Arthur, "Nestlé Waters on ‘unlocking the economic, social and environmental benefits of PET as a reusable resource’", Beverage Daily, April 11, 2018
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Coca-Cola India Begins Campaign To Build Thums Up To Billion-Dollar Brand

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India’s new no-sugar variant of the Thums Up Charged cola is a first step in executing its goal of making Thums Up a billion-dollar brand by the end of 2020. The company is investing to boost customer loyalty, launch new packs, expand distribution (to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka), and increase bottling capacity. Coca-Cola India is supporting the launch of Thums Up Charged with a marketing campaign featuring cans and PET bottles illustrated with four Marvel Avengers superheroes. The campaign will include TV commercials starring the Avengers, and social media promotions on the brand’s social media pages on the YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms.
"Coca-Cola India unveils no-sugar variant of Thums Up Charged", FoodBev Media, April 11, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Amatil To Invest $10M Garnering Business Innovation Ideas

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Australian unit of Coca-Cola hopes to partner with the country’s entrepreneurs and start-ups to invigorate its business as consumers spurn sugary sodas. Coca-Cola Amatil will invest as much as $10 million in emerging companies with good ideas on business improvements that could lead to new revenue streams. The basic idea is to catalyze business innovation, according to chief executive Alison Watkins, but not in beverages or products. The company’s new venture, dubbed Amatil X, wants to focus on improving the ways it deals with retailers that stock its products, under the broad themes of sustainability, use of customer information, and delivery.
Patrick Hatch , "As consumers turn off soft drinks, Coke looks for new X-factor", April 11, 2018
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Dr Pepper Uses Sponsorships To Penetrate The eSports Gaming World

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Multi-player video game competition – known as eSports – is increasingly supported at the professional level by corporate sponsorships. About 60 percent of the revenue generated in 2018 will come from sponsorships, some of which are more successful than others. Team SoloMid recently announced that Dr Pepper Snapple Group has become a sponsor for all its competitive teams, joining other non-endemic (i.e., non-gaming related) brands Gillette and Geico. Another team, FlyQuest, recently announced that its squad would wear the logos of Snickers and 5-Hour Energy. The idea behind the sponsorships is target marketing. Dr Pepper’s media VP recently said the company has a clear goal: to reach a younger audience in a way that “felt authentic.” Blaise D’Sylva said. “We want fans to be exposed to Dr Pepper in an environment that’s relevant to them.”
"What Brands can Learn From the Dr Pepper/Team SoloMid Sponsorship", Esports Business Solutions UG , April 10, 2018, © Esports Business Solutions UG
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“Real Organic Project”: Assuring Consumers Their Food Comes From The Soil

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Fifteen farmers and scientists from around the U.S. who are determined to stick to “the true spirit of the organic movement” recently met to create new standards for organic certification. The current USDA organic label certifies that fruits, vegetables, and meats have been grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers, and without genetic engineering. The new, still unnamed, labels would tell whether the produce was grown in soil – rather than in water – and meat and dairy products came from animals that had been pastured. The new label is being created by the Real Organic Project, which says it is not abandoning the USDA’s National Organic Program, but merely supplementing it. The new standards will be tested on 20 to 60 farms this summer. [Image Credit: © Real Organic Project]
Lisa Rathke, "More organic than thou? Rebel farmers create new food label", The Washington Post, April 10, 2018
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The Many Possible Uses Of Coffee Grounds

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British consumers are very much into coffee: 2.4 billion cups are consumed each year. But making that coffee creates 500,000 tons of grounds each year, most of it ending up in the landfill. Advocates of better use of coffee grounds have come up with a fairly long list of alternatives to simply trashing them. Among the creative options are using grounds in: making cocktails; insect repellant; skincare exfoliant; fueling vehicles; fertilizing gardens and deterring slugs; cooking; keeping shoes and refrigerators fresh; growing mushrooms; and making paint. 
"From skincare to fertilizer and fuel: 10 ways to reuse coffee grounds ", telegraph.co.uk, April 10, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Technology Can Cut Down On Food Waste In Foodservice Kitchens

April 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Portland, Ore.-based foodservice technology company has developed a measurement system that helps restaurants and other establishments reduce overproduction – and waste – of food. LeanPath believes food waste can be prevented in the world’s kitchens through proper measurement using the company’s sophisticated, easy-to-use technologies like scales, cameras, and touchscreen devices that show what’s going into the landfill stream, the compost stream, and even the donation stream. The company last year tracked food waste in more than 1,200 foodservice kitchens in 20 countries. The data and imagery collected from the research revealed that overproduction is the main cause of food waste in foodservice. To solve the problem, kitchens need to: accurately forecast the amount of food needed; learn to properly use knives in food preparation; and creatively use “imperfect produce.”  [Image Credit: ©   LeanPath ]
Mallory Szczepanski, "How Overproduction is Food Waste’s Biggest Culprit and Opportunity", Waste 360, April 10, 2018, © Informa USA, Inc.,
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Food Importer Plans National Distribution For Pasta Alternative

April 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Food importer OA Foods has big plans for expanding distribution of alternative pasta Palmini as the carb-avoidance trend continues in the U.S. Palmini, made from hearts of palm, is available on Amazon and in Whole Foods Market stores in Florida. The plan is to take the product nationwide next year. According to Mintel, 41 percent of American consumers believe rice and grains are healthier than pasta and are looking for alternatives to wheat-based pasta. More than 90 percent of gluten-free Palmini is water; one serving contains 20 calories, four grams of carbs, and two grams of fiber. OA Foods spent two years developing a machine that can produce noodles made from hearts of palm, harvested from the center of the cabbage palm tree, on a commercial level.
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Palmini could reinvent pasta category with new vegetable noodle alternative", Food Navigator USA, April 09, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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FIJI Water Partners With Bicycle Fitness Studios For Collaborative Promotions

April 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
U.S.-based FIJI Water, which makes a premium bottled water sourced from the Fiji Islands, recently launched a Sports Cap bottle and partnered with bicycle workout studio company SoulCycle to promote the new packaging, along with hydration and fitness. The two companies are collaborating to bring SoulCycle’s Destination SOUL pop-up experience to locations nationwide. SoulCycle operates 85 studios across North America, serving celebrities, fitness influencers, professional athletes, and fitness enthusiasts. FIJI Water’s new bottle is available through the company’s home delivery website and will roll out to retailers nationwide in the summer.
"FIJI Water Is Now Official Water Partner Of SoulCycle", Press Release, April 09, 2018, © FIJI Water
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Dunkin' Donuts Tests Snacks in Boston

April 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts is testing a $2 afternoon snacking menu in several Boston-area locations that features donut fries, Munchkin dippers, pretzel bites with honey mustard sauce, waffle-breaded chicken tenders, ham-and-cheese rollups, and gluten-free brownies. The test is designed to gather input from consumers, franchisees, and employees prior to a possible national rollout. A Reddit user review gave thumbs up to the pretzel bites and the donut fries, and thumbs down to the “gross” waffle-breaded chicken that was “way too greasy.” The batter is the “same batter used in the pancake bites that they used to have.” The company recently unveiled a value menu offering Wake-up Wraps for $2, breakfast sandwiches for $3, and croissant sandwiches for $5. [Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]


 
"Dunkin’ Donuts Tests Snacks in Boston", NACS, April 09, 2018, © NACS
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Time For Healthful, Natural Energy Beverages, Says Mamma Chia

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Mamma Chia beverage company, whose functional product range includes health and energy drinks made with chia seeds, is basing its marketing strategy on the belief that “the traditional energy drink space” – dominated by chemical- and sugar-laden drinks – “is ripe for disruption.” Consumers are demanding more healthful, natural beverages. Its recently-launched “clean energy beverages” combine chia seeds with caffeine from organic yerba mate and organic green coffee beans to deliver 2,500 mg of omega-3 and 90 mg of caffeine per serving. Chia seeds also add fiber, healthy fat, and protein to the beverages. CEO Janie Hoffman sees “endless opportunities” in chia-based drinks, “and we seek to create more.”
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Mamma Chia CEO: ‘Consumers are looking to get more nutritional bang for their buck’ Worthwhile?", Beverage Daily, April 06, 2018
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Hotels Benefit Financially From Spending On Food Waste Solutions

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A review of 42 hotels in 15 countries by Champions 12.3 has found that on average facilities achieved a 21 percent reduction of kitchen food waste by weight in just one year. Within the first year, more than 70 percent recouped their investment. The average hotel saved $7 for every $1 invested in reducing kitchen food waste. Within two years, 95 percent had recouped their investment. Nine out of ten sites kept their total investment in food waste solutions below $20,000, less than one percent of sales on average. The data came from budget, mid-range, casino resort, and luxury market hotels. Champions 12.3 comprises 40 executives in government, business, and civil society dedicated to achieving Target 12.3 of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. 
Elaine Simon, "Study quantifies cost savings of reducing food waste", Hotel Management, April 06, 2018, © Questex LLC
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U.K. Project Is Studying How Robotics Might Help Reduce Food Waste

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Innovate U.K. has awarded $1.2 million to an industrial R&D project that will study the food waste problem to determine how robotics might reduce the inefficiencies that cause it. Roboticists engineers, computer scientists, and food specialists will work together to figure out how to eliminate the 51 percent of food waste that is avoidable. The goal of the two-year project is to remove the human error from the crucial early stages of handling, preparing and weighing raw ingredients. The project is led by Olympus Automation (OA), which will collaborate with the University of Lincoln's National Center for Food Manufacturing and supplier English Provender. 
Megan Tatum, "How robots can help reduce supply chain food waste", The Grocer UK, April 06, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coke Classic Ad Campaign Begins In U.K. As Sugar Tax Goes Into Effect

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has launched a four-week ad campaign touting Coke Classic, just as the U.K.’s sugar ax takes effect. The “We Do” campaign – the theme is “to celebrate and reinforce the uniqueness and specialness” of Coke – began on April 6. Ads will run on large outdoor formats (billboards, streets, roads, highways, transit, etc.) and on social media. Images of Elvis Presley are displayed with the tagline “They don’t make ’em like they used to. We do.” The new sugar levy will cost CCEP about $144 million, based on last year’s volume sales of 424.3 million liters. The sugar content of Coke Classic, whose sales rose just one percent in 2017, falls in the higher of two tax levels: sugar content greater than eight grams per 100 ml.
"Coke Classic kicks off OOH push as sugar tax takes effect", The Grocer, April 06, 2018
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Company Wants To Spread The Word About Its Healthful Peanut Butter

April 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Wisconsin-based company that produces “the healthiest peanut butter” has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to get its message across to Americans who believe national brands produce healthful peanut butters. According to Pintful, major U.S. brands “sneak in” added sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, palm oil, and hydrogenated oils. The products are “damaging to your gut health, insulin sensitivity, and overall health and wellness.” Pintful’s product, however, uses natural, plant-based, and organic ingredients. The peanut butter is high in protein, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, keto-friendly, pet-friendly, and has no added sugar, oils, or preservatives. [Image Credit: © Pintful Peanut Butter]
"75%+ Of Americans Are Wrong About Peanut Butter", KMOV.com, April 03, 2018, via ABNewswire.com, © KMOV
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Food Waste Collaboration Connects Farmers And Consumers

April 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A group of organizations and companies concerned about food loss in food production have banded together to create he “No Taste for Waste” campaign. The initiative includes an interactive website, “bookazine,”, and social media resources for farmers and ranchers trying to reduce food loss in the fields and for consumers who want to reduce household food waste. One goal of the campaign is to connect consumers with farmers and ranchers who are using sustainable practices in land stewardship while reducing food waste. Participants in the campaign are the American Farm Bureau Federation, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, Valent BioSciences Corporation, FLM Harvest, the CropLife Foundation, and Meredith Agrimedia. 
"American Farm Bureau Federation Helps Launch ‘No Taste for Waste’ Campaign", News release, AFBF, April 03, 2018, © American Farm Bureau Federation
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Coke’s April Fool’s Prank Involves Some Hip New Flavors

April 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola played an April Fool’s prank on the media and consumers with an announcement of new flavors of Coke Zero Sugar for the "brunch-loving, superfood-snacking Millennial" members of the “Instagram generation.” The faux flavors announced were Coke Zero Sugar Avocado (with “creamy undertones of amazing avocado”); Charcoal (“loaded with activated charcoal”); and Sourdough “superbly sour and bursting with fermented flavors.” In a statement, Coca-Cola said the new flavors offer the “perfect tasty, sugar-free refreshment” as well as an ideal accessory for social media photos “guaranteed to see the ‘likes’ rolling in.”
"No, Coca-Cola aren't launching Avocado, Sourdough and charcoal flavours", The Mirror, April 01, 2018
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Proposed U.S. Nutrition Guidelines Draw Wide Range Of Comments

March 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Groups with vested interests in the U.S. government’s forthcoming 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have weighed in with their comments on the proposals to the USDA and Dept. of Health and Human Services. Needless to say, the comments differed widely, covering environmental concerns, social policies, whole fruit versus juice, the science of saturated fat, the benefits of a plant-based diet, etc. The U.S. Cattleman’s Association, for example, urged the agencies to emphasize that “red meat is an essential part of a healthy whole food diet.” But the Food Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School advised that the guidelines take into account the relationship between red and processed meat consumption and cardiovascular disease, risk of cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. [Image Credit: © Health.govs]
Elaine Watson, "Stakeholders square up for battle over scope of 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans", Food Navigator USA, March 31, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestlé Waters NA Makes Progress On Factory Sustainability Efforts

March 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Third-party accrediting organization Alliance for Water Stewardship has certified a Nestlé Waters NA factory in Ontario, Calif., along with facilities in Canada, for sustainability achievements. Last week AWS certified Nestlé’s Los Angeles and Cabazon, Calif., factories. AWS is an alliance of businesses, nonprofits, public-sector agencies, and academic institutes. The organization’s audit of the California facilities showed combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017, according to Nestlé Waters. Eight Nestlé Waters facilities worldwide have met the AWS standard; two more plants in North America are expected to be certified by the end of this year.
Paul Schott, "Nestle Waters factories gain sustainability certifications", Stamford Advocate, March 30, 2018
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Danone Sheds Two-Thirds Of Stake In Japanese Dairy Products Company

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone says it will use the proceeds – $1.66 billion – of the sale of two-thirds of its stake in Japanese probiotics dairy producer Yakult Honsha Co. to reduce debt and invest in organic growth. According to Bloomberg, the discounted stock sale took place after activist fund Corvex Management accumulated a stake in Danone, which is struggling to boost revenue. Danone remains Yakult’s biggest shareholder.
"Danone Sells Yakult Shares at Discount, Raising $1.66 Billion", Bloomberg, March 28, 2018, © Bloomberg
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USDA To Publish Rules Soon For Two-Year-Old GMO Labeling Law

March 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The USDA is expected to publish a proposed final rule addressing what foods should be considered bioengineered and the amount of GMO content that would trigger a disclosure label. The new rule from the Agricultural Marketing Service would implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law, enacted in July 2016. Courts around the country have been handling consumer fraud and false advertising lawsuits over the issue of disclosure (or non-disclosure). Plaintiffs say food companies claim their products are “non-GMO” or “GMO-free” but actually do contain genetically engineered ingredients. Defendants, however, say the claims in the lawsuits are preempted by the disclosure law, which also bars states – like Vermont – from creating their own GMO food labeling requirements.  [Image credit: Wikipedia]


 
Kim Bousquet, "New rules coming for GMO food labeling ", Thompson Coburn, March 27, 2018, © Thompson Coburn LLP
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Canyon Unveils New Bread Varieties In Longer Shelf Life Packaging

March 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Gluten-free bakery Canyon Bakehouse has introduced new airtight bread packaging that extends the shelf life of loaves to 90 days. The Stay-Fresh Packaging line was launched with three variants: ancient grain, country white and deli white bagels. Last month it added Hawaiian sweet bread and honey oat bread. According to the company, after opening the bread should be consumed within five days. A "best by" date is printed on each closure tag. In addition to being certified gluten-free, Canyon’s baked goods are kosher and free from dairy, casein, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and sesame. Available at conventional and natural grocery stores in the U.S., the suggested retail price of the bread is $5.49. [Image Credit: © Canyon Bakehouse]
"Say ‘Aloha!’ to Two New Loaves from Canyon Bakehouse", GlobeNewswire, March 26, 2018
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High-Fiber Wheat Product Inches Toward Commercialization

March 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Minnesota-based consumer-focused food company Calyxt announced that its high-fiber wheat product was declared a non-regulated article under the “Am I Regulated?” process by a unit of the USDA. The company said this is its first consumer-centric wheat product, second wheat product, and seventh product overall to be given this designation. Calyxt’s powdery mildew resistant wheat was awarded the non-regulated status by the USDA in February 2016. Consumer demand for flavorful high-fiber foods has been strong because they have the potential to not only decrease the risk of food-related coronary heart disease and diabetes, but also to lower cholesterol and control weight gain. Calyxt believes that once its high-fiber wheat flour is commercialized – it could happen in 2020 or 2021 – it can be used by food manufacturers to make premium bakery and pasta products that allow consumers to reach their daily fiber requirement.[Image Credit: © Calyxt ]
"Calyxt’s High Fiber Wheat Deemed Non-Regulated by USDA", News release, Calyxt, March 21, 2018, © Calyxt
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Nestle Launches Two Nitrogen-Infused Nescafé Coffee Beverages

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a coffee drink in two flavors infused with nitrogen in the U.K. and Ireland. The nitrogen infusion gives Nescafé Azera Nitro’s flavors a smoother taste, according to the company. The Nitro Latte is a creamier version of the drink, made with coffee sourced through the Nescafé Plan, a responsible coffee production and sustainability initiative. Nestlé Professional will offer chilled Nescafé Azera Nitro Americano on tap in British and Irish bars, pubs, restaurants, and across the hospitality sector.
"Nestle Brings Innovative Nitrogen Infused Coffee to the UK – Introducing ‘Nescafé Azera Nitro' Americano and Latte", News release, Nestlé, March 20, 2018, © Nestlé
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New Healthful Doughnuts Feature Protein, Much Less Sugar, Much More Fiber

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Texas-based start-up thinks it has an answer for health-conscious doughnut lovers. Elite Sweets has debuted a more healthful, protein-based alternative to the calorie-packed breakfast pastry. The company says its "protein doughnuts" are the perfect post-workout snack for athletes. Each contains16 grams of protein, a significant contribution to the 56 grams recommended daily for the average sedentary man. Conventional doughnuts contain about 300 calories, 20 to 30 grams of sugar, and no protein. The Elite Sweets cinnamon sugar version, sweetened with stevia, contains about 200 calories, two grams of sugar, and 15 grams of fat, mainly from the almond flour used, and 12 grams of dietary fiber. The protein doughnuts also come in peanut butter, birthday cake, and chocolate chip flavors..[Image Credit: © Elite Sweets ]
Pam LeBlanc, "Can Doughnuts be Healthy? Elite Sweets Thinks they can", Austin360, March 20, 2018, © Cox Media Group
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U.S. NAFTA Negotiators Want To Limit Ability To Mandate Junk Food Warning Labels

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to confidential documents obtained by The New York Times, the Trump administration – spurred on by U.S. food and soft drink manufacturers – is using trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico to limit governmental power to mandate food labels that warn of the dangers of eating junk food. U.S. trade negotiators want to bar the use of any warning symbol, shape or color that "inappropriately denotes that a hazard exists from consumption of the food or non-alcoholic beverages." Health officials and advocates are concerned that eliminating such warnings would harm international efforts to contain the growing obesity crisis.
AZAM AHMED, MATT RICHTEL and ANDREW JACOBS, "In Nafta Talks, U.S. Tries to Limit Junk Food Warning Labels", The New York Times, March 20, 2018, © The New York Times
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Company’s AI Technology May Provide Answer To Food Industry Supply Chain Waste

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A high-tech home food delivery start-up that is using artificial intelligence technologies to modernize the grocery supply chain has launched a B2B platform targeting food industry companies. Farmstead’s FreshAI model would benefit supermarkets, cafeterias, food production facilities, restaurants, quick service food chains, and convenience stores that need to reduce food waste and improve profit margins. Current methods of supplying stores cause supermarkets to discard 35-40 percent of all perishable foods, the company said. FreshAI, however, allows food businesses to upload operations data securely. The platform then provides daily and weekly recommendations on exactly how much to order of each SKU based on historical sales and consumer tastes.. [Image Credit: © Farmsted   ]
"Farmstead Launches New 'Fresh AI' Platform That Applies Artificial Intelligence To Help Food Companies Reduce Waste And Improve Margins", News release, Farmstead, March 20, 2018, © Farmstead
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Tingyi Reports Rising Revenues, Profit In 2017

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Instant noodle maker Tingyi (Cayman Islands) posted a fiscal year profit of $287.74 million, a 57 percent increase from a restated $184.5 profit a year earlier. The performance was just beat the Thomson Reuters analyst consensus forecast of $275.5 million. The results ended of four years of sliding growth. Revenue was up 6.1 percent at the same time that distribution, advertising, and promotion expenses fell. But the company, a Chinese partner of Starbucks and PepsiCo, warned of financial headwinds from a volatile global economy, rising raw material costs and growing consumer preferences for more healthful foods. The company said it will further reduce capital expenditure, upgrade products, and promote national food safety standards.
 
"China's Tingyi 2017 Profit Soars 57%, Raw Material Costs Pose Challenge", Star Online, March 20, 2018, © Star Media Group Berhad
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Technology Duplicates Local Water Formula For Authentic Local Baked Goods

March 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Water, water everywhere, but only New York City water makes genuine New York pizzas. At least that’s the theory behind a patent-pending technology developed by a Big Apple start-up. New York WaterMaker, whose product duplicates the molecular structure of local water, says it is drawing interest from foodservice companies around the world. The “water replication system” allows restaurants, pizzerias, bakeries, bagel stores, etc., to replicate the specific type of water used in a specific geographic location, such as New York City or San Francisco. According to the company, restaurants around the world have wasted millions of dollars trying to copy New York City food taste and quality. Now, using the WaterMaker system, “recipes will be tastier, bread will be crispier, and pizza and bagels will be authentic New York City style, not an imitation.” [Image Credit: © New York Watermaker   ]
"New York WaterMaker to Enable Restaurateurs to Serve Genuine New York City Pizza and Bagels Anywhere", News release, New York WaterMaker, March 19, 2018, © New York WaterMaker
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High-Tech “Bumpy” Labels May Extend Shelf Life Of Perishable Foods

March 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
British dairy products maker Arla is testing high-tech food labels that gain a “bumpy” texture as food goes bad. When products like milk, cheese, and cream reach the end of their shelf life, gelatin in the label reacts to changes in the packaged food and temperature outside. The resulting molecular breakdown causes the packaging to develop bumps that consumers can see and feel. They no longer need to sniff the product to determine whether it is still safe to eat or drink. Arla teamed up with food technology company Mimica Touch to create the technology that could give suppliers the confidence to offer longer shelf-lives by calculating expire dates based on a best-case scenario. [Image Credit: ©   Mimica Touch]
Adam Bennett, "Bumpy Labels that Signal When Food Has Gone off Are Set to be introduced for Dairy Products", The Telegraph, March 18, 2018, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Food/Beverage Companies Using Texture To Elevate Flavor

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Texture is increasingly important in the world of food and beverages, according to Mintel, which has been following texture trends in new product launches.  Several have used texture in novel, interesting ways, including jam with nuts for an extra crunch to drinks with basil seeds. Nature Valley granola-type bars, for example, feature a chocolate base, a nutty center, and a creamy nut butter topping. A German “superfood drink” (Friya Rose Blossom & Sour Cherry) contains water-soaked basil seeds rich in iron and magnesium, as well as polyphenols. Fanta Jelly Fizz is an Australia-launched soft drink that contains liquid jelly pieces “activated” after shaking the can. Other examples of new textured products include: Muso From Japan’s Sansho Pepper Furikake, Arteta’s DayUp Pearls, and Mindfuel Cacao & Cayenne Pepper Posh Teff Porridge. [Image Credit: © Fanta]
Katya Witham, "Innovative Product Launches Utilising Texture", Blog entry, Mintel, March 16, 2018, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Voracious Fly Larvae Offer An Interesting Food Waste Solution

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
For a long time, composters the world over have known about the amazing ability of ravenous black soldier fly larvae [left] to break down food waste and create rich plant fertilizer. Now scientists at the National University of Singapore – which has an abundance of the species – are working to breed the fittest, hungriest flies. At the same time, Singapore's first insect farm, Insectta, is turning about 500 kg of food waste from food suppliers, stalls, and homes into fertilizer every day by 100 kg of black soldier fly larvae. The fertilizer is then used to grow kale, lettuce, and other vegetables. Researchers at Insectta are also studying how the larvae can be turned into other products, like pet food.. [Image Credit: ©  Blacksoldierflyblog.com ]
Samantha Boh, "Using Insect Army to Fight Food Waste", The Straitstimes, March 16, 2018, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co.
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Kraft Heinz Gearing Up To Enter Healthful Snack Arena With Nut-Based Treats

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The burgeoning health and wellness trend in snacks has caught the attention of one of the major players. Kraft Heinz plans to launch healthful snacks that feature nuts as their main ingredient, mainly almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pecans. The planned launches were showcased at the recent Snaxpo meeting in Atlanta, Ga. Prototypes included Korean gochujang-spiced nuts, maple bacon-flavored roasted pecan clusters, and energy balls. In preparation for the entry into healthful snacks, the Kraft Heinz Ingredients business unit has been processing nuts for several years at its plants in the southeastern and southcentral U.S. It will use proprietary salting and roasting techniques to create the snacks. [Image Credit: © Kraft Heinz]
Douglas Yu, "Kraft Heinz Ingredients Eyes Nuts as Snacks to Deliver Health", BakeryAndSnacks.com, March 16, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Jennie-O Cleans Up Its Processed Turkey Line

March 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel Foods subsidiary Jennie-O has debuted 17 “on-trend turkey products,” including flavored turkey bacon, taco-seasoned turkey sausage, and uncured turkey breast franks. The franks are made with premium turkey breast and have half the fat of beef franks. They contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, no added nitrites or nitrates, and are gluten free. The company’s other new products also boast of less fat and no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. [Image Credit: © Jennie-O]
"Frankly Delicious: Jennie-O Unveils New Product Innovations, Including First-In-Category Uncured Turkey Breast Franks ", News release, Jennie-O Turkey Store, via PR Newswire, March 15, 2018, © Jennie-O
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Booming Healthful Snack Industry Is Roiling With Innovation, Acquisition Fever

March 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers – Millennials especially – love healthful snacks. Ninety percent admit to snacking multiple times a day, a fact that underpins the burgeoning growth of the sector to more than $100 billion a year. Lots of healthful snack start-ups have entered the industry, and some have already gotten successful enough to attract the interest of larger players, like Snyder's-Lance, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, and Conagra Brands. There have been several acquisitions (viz., Kellogg’s purchase of healthful snack producer "RX Bar" brand). In the coming years, according to Mintel market research, a major trend will be "functional nighttime snacks." Companies offering this category of snacks could be prime acquisition targets of the big players. Microcapspeculators.com offers thumbnail sketches of recent events involving those players..[Image Credit: © RXBAR]
"Healthy Snacking Companies that are Poised for a Bigger Piece of the Pie", News release, Microcap Speculators, March 15, 2018, © Microcap Speculators
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Freezing Bread At Home Would Help Cut Down On Food Waste

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
More than 24 million slices of bread are tossed into the trash every day in the U.K. because it has not been consumed in time. It’s a huge food waste problem that has some simple solutions. Fifty-six percent of Britons aged 18 to 34 eat bread at least four days a week, a poll found, and 31 percent eat it every day. Sixty-nine percent throw bread away every week and 26 percent know they can make toast straight from frozen bread, but don’t do it. A representative of food waste group Love Food Hate Waste said if everyone stored their bread in the freezer it would keep fresh longer and reduce food waste. “You can even use bread straight from the freezer to make toast without needing to defrost it first," said Sarah Clayton.. [Image Credit: ©  LivingWellSpendingLess.com ]
James Andrews, "Simple Mistake Most Young Brits are Making with their Bread - and It's Costing Them", Mirror, March 14, 2018, © MGN Limited
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STōK Debuts New Cold-Brewed Coffee, Tea Lines

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Cold brew beverage company STōK has added two cold brew drinks, including a high-protein coffee, and a range of teas. The new cold brewed teas, dubbed STōK Yerba Mate Cold Brew Teas, will be available in two flavors, Slightly Sweet and Peach. The drinks contain 75 percent more caffeine than standard RTD iced teas. The STōK Protein Cold Brew Coffee contains 16g of protein per serving, the equivalent of “two large eggs and a slice of bacon,” according to the company, which is owned by DanoneWave. The new lines will be available in the U.S. in 48 oz bottles beginning this month.
"Danone-Owned Stok Releases Two New Cold Brew Drinks in the US", FoodBev, March 14, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Company’s Non-GMO Wheat Varieties Contain 94% Amylose, Resistant Starch

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agricultural technology company Arcadia Biosciences of Davis, Calif., announced advancements in its high-fiber resistant starch development program. Its non-transgenic (non-GMO) wheat varieties contain as much as 94 percent amylose and resistant starch. It used advanced screening and traditional breeding techniques to accomplish this. The company also said these wheat varieties deliver enough dietary fiber to qualify for the FDA’s “Good Source” of fiber or “High in Fiber” designation on consumer packaging. Arcadia said the new wheat varieties will provide the health benefits of resistant starch and dietary fiber, “while satisfying consumer demand for clean-label, natural foods.” The company is working with a few CPG companies to develop more healthful formulations of existing products, using both enriched and whole wheat RS Wheat flour. [Image Credit: © Arcadia Biosciences ]
"Arcadia Biosciences Achieves Key Resistant Starch Wheat Technology Milestones, Prepares for Commercial Launch", News release, Arcadia Biosciences, March 14, 2018, © Arcadia Biosciences
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U.K. Snackers Are Getting More Adventurous

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Snack companies have detected that consumers in the U.K. are looking for more exotic, adventurous, bold flavors in their chips. So product launches there have included smoked salmon glitter chips, prawn cocktail chips, green lemon & pink peppercorn and serrano chili & Yucatan honey tortilla chips, beef barbacoa & dill pickle, Manomasa chargrilled pineapple & arbol, lime & coriander chutney poppadoms, and wasabi & ginger. Market data support the trend. The Grocer polled 1,185 Brits found 20 percent regularly sample new chips. Thirty-nine percent regularly or always experiment with new and exciting flavors, Harris Interactive found. Sixty percent of 25- to 34-year-olds experiment with snacks. [Image Credit: ©   Manomasa]
Ash O’Mahony, "Snacking Gets Exotic: on the Hunt for Unusual Flavours", The Grocer, March 14, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bolthouse Expands Organic Portfolio With Plant-Protein, Cold-Pressed Drinks

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms is expanding its 1915 Organic beverage portfolio with several plant-based and cold-pressed products. The protein drinks contain 12 grams of pea-protein, nine grams of sugar, have no more than 160 calories, and come in four flavors. The two new sugar-free cold-pressed juices are available in cucumber a green (leafy green vegetables, ginger, moringa), and watermelon and lemon. The USDA-certified organic beverages are vegan, non-GMO, and packaged in 12-oz. bottles ($3.99). The company has begun packaging its beverages in sustainable, eco-friendly bottles that use 25 percent less plastic.
Gisselle Gaitan, "Bolthouse Farms Goes Plant-Based with 1915 Organic Juices", Drug Store News, March 13, 2018, © Drug Store News
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Retail Grocer Private-Label Brands Are An Evolving Threat To Major CPG Brands

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Big CPG companies in the U.S. are beset on all sides by competition – from fast-moving start-ups exploiting evolving consumer eating trends, and also from private-label or retail store brands. Industry expert Victor Martino says the threat from grocery chain private-label is serious. It represents a paradigm shift in consumer attitudes about products and brands. Martino says U.S. consumers are getting more like Europeans who generally view private brands as simply brands. Private brand penetration there is approaching a 40 percent share of branded CPG sales. In the U.S., store-brand innovators like Trader Joe's, Kroger, Albertsons, Costco and Whole Foods – and now Walmart and German grocery chains Aldi and Lidl – are offering something beyond private label: they are quality, lower-price products that compete seriously with the big brands. Martino offers some insights for the name brand players on how to compete effectively. [Image Credit: ©   Kroger]
Victor Martino, "Why Private-Label has Reached Tipping Point in US - and What to Do", Just-Food, March 13, 2018, © just-food.com
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Smoothie Chain Reformulates To Offer Clean Label Menu

March 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Smoothie King has added two whole organic spinach variants to its menu, which already includes carrot and kale smoothie offerings. Vegan pineapple spinach smoothie and lemon ginger spinach smoothies contain fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The company has launched a Cleaner Blending initiative to remove added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, added hormones in dairy, and GMO fruits and veggies from its offerings. In addition, the company has added in more whole fruits and vegetables. The company says it is on track to achieve its Cleaner Blending goals in more than 50 blends by the end of 2018. [Image Credit: © Smoothie King]
"Smoothie King Adds Organic Spinach To The Mix As Part Of Its 'Cleaner Blending' Initiative", News release, Smoothie King, via PR Newswire, March 13, 2018
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Cattle Growers Ask USDA To Clarify Labeling Of “Meat Products”

March 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), arguing that consumers need to be better informed about beef and alternative synthetic meat products, in February petitioned the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service for a change in the country’s food labeling system. Labels need to clearly distinguish between real beef and products formulated from plants or insects, as well as laboratory-grown products derived from animal cells, the USCA said. Products not derived from animals that are born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner, should not be permitted to be marketed as beef or meat products, the association said. [Image Credit: © USCA]
Simon Harvey, "US body calls for labeling distinctions for 'real meat' products", just-food, March 12, 2018, © just-food.com
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Artisanal Bakeries Thrive On Long Island

March 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The term “artisanal” has become a handy marketing claim these days, but when applied correctly it means handmade using traditional production methods. Several bakeries on Long Island can now make that claim because they are baking hand-formed loaves of artisanal bread – baguette, batard, boule, ciabatta, Pugliese, sesame-seeded semolina or caraway-seeded rye — using techniques that originated in France, Italy, and Germany. The trend began nearly 20 years ago with the opening of Blue Duck Bakery in Southampton and has since spread to other counties. Five genuinely artisanal bakeries now flourish in a region once known as “a dead zone for great bread.” [Image Credit: © Blue Duck Bakery]
Erica Marcus, "Long Island Bakeries Making Amazing Artisanal Breads", Newsday, March 12, 2018, © Newsday
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Further Localization Of Beverage Portfolio Is Coca-Cola’s Plan For Indian Market

March 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola India confirms that the company plans to introduce domestic  ethnic drinks and fruit juices with a goal of localizing two-thirds of the product line in the country. About half of the portfolio today comprises local brands like ThumsUp, Limca, Maaza, and RimZim that are formulated, produced, and sold in in India. T Krishnakumar said the goal is to have about a third of Coca-Cola’s product in India remain “basically global.” Its plans for juice are based on the realization that Indians “have a huge love for fruits,” he noted. The company’s “Ras Ras Mein India” program involves selecting a fruit in each state and converting it into juice.
"Coca-Cola Plans to Localise 2/3rd of Its Products Portfolio in India", The Economic Times, March 11, 2018, via PTI, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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South Dakota Governor Signs Bill Allowing Alcohol Use In Baked Goods

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A small family-owned cupcake bakery in South Dakota is back in business now that Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed legislation allowing the use of alcohol in baked goods and candy. Holly Jorgenson closed her Intoxibakes business when she found out that alcohol was an illegal ingredient, but local lawmakers rallied to her defense. The bipartisan legislation sailed through the state legislature. The new law allows mixing alcohol into confectionery and candy, as long as the alcohol volume is no more than .5 percent by weight. Businesses with a liquor license may use more if desired. [Image Credit: © Intoxibakes]
Patrick Anderson, "Governor Dennis Daugaard Signs Boozy Cupcake Bill", Argus Leader, March 09, 2018, © www.argusleader.com
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N.Z. Okays Merger Of Kraft-Heinz And Cerebos Gregg’s Food, Instant Coffee

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As long as Kraft-Heinz divests licenses for some sauce brands owned by Cerebos Gregg’s, the company can acquire the food and instant coffee businesses of the Suntory-owned business, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has ruled. Under the ruling, Kraft Heinz would have to divest the licenses for the Gregg’s brand of tomato ketchup, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, and the F. Whitlock Worcestershire sauce brand. Cerebos Gregg’s will become part of the Heinz Wattie division. The commission said that without the divestitures the acquisition would “result in a substantial lessening of competition in each of these markets.”
"Kraft Heinz Cleared to Purchase Cerebos Gregg’s from Suntory", FoodBev, March 09, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Fortifies Its Coconut Water Beachhead With New Zico Flavors

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is laying the groundwork to be a major player in the soon-to-be $7 billion global coconut water market, adding new flavors to its Zico brand family and building its portfolio of healthful, better-for-you beverages.  The company expects coconut water to be a $1.5 billion market domestically by 2020, though the climb will be a steep one, requiring lots of new customers who may have a tough time getting used to the flavor of coconut water. The solution to the problem is new flavors: it recently added chocolate, watermelon-raspberry, and jalapeño-mango to the line. In addition, newly-announced organic veggie juice-coconut water blends (ZICOCocoLixir) fuse two health-centric drinks: coconut water and cold-press juice. It may seem odd for sugary soda company Coca-Cola, but it says it is simply pursuing the new mission of becoming a “total beverage company” globally.
Kate Taylor, "Coca-Cola Wants to Dominate a $7 Billion Industry with a New Type of Beverage that's Taking Over the World", Business Insider, March 09, 2018, © Business Insider Inc
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Automated “Mini Bakery” Using AI, Data Analytics Technology, Targets Grocers

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Washington State-based baking company working with a marketing firm recently debuted a product that promises to “create fresh bread right in front of your eyes.” BreadBot is a mini-bakery targeted at retailers looking for a “local bakery feel” while reducing carbon footprint, eliminating preservatives, and reducing waste. The smart bread robot or "Mini Bakery", from Wilkinson Baking Company and Bonin Ventures, is fully automated, produces 10 loaves an hour, and uses smart technology like AI, big data analytics and facial recognition. It customizes each purchase experience, providing real-time insights into customer purchasing behavior for retailers. The product debuted early in March at the South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.  [Image Credit: © Wilkinson Baking Co.]
"Food for Thought - Bonin Ventures Backed #BreadBot Feeds SXSW's Hungry", News release, Wilkinson Baking Co., March 09, 2018, © Wilkinson Baking Co.
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Unilever Saves 30% With Its In-House Creative Content Production Agency

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