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Packaged Bread Continues To Slide, As Healthful, “Decadent,” Foods Surge

Two seemingly contradictory trends – convenient, healthful nutrition and “decadent” indulgence – are driving the bakery and snacks markets, according to various research companies. Subcategories like gluten-free and ethnic breads are also thriving. Last year, bakery products market value in the U.S. was $32.3 billion, while the snacks market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3.4 percent to 2026.The loser in the surge of consumer preferences for more natural ingredients over processed ones, even in extravagant snacking, remains packaged leavened bread, which has suffered in volume (down 2.7 billion tons) and value ($11. 3 billion) since 2011. [ Image credit: © Anthony Albright ]

"Future of US Bakery and Snacks Driven by Healthy Indulgence, Say Analysts",, March 28, 2017

Advertising Standards Bureau Dismisses Complaints Against Unilever Ads In Australia

Australia's Advertising Standards Bureau has ruled against claims of improper advertising against Unilever's Lynx personal care brand and Magnum and Streets ice cream brands. ASB disagreed with a complainant who claimed that an ad for Bubble O Bill ice cream promotes “sexual entitlement of men” with its “I can see your white bits” line. Also, the board dismissed a complaint against a TV ad showing a man spraying Lynx across his torso.

"Unilever Ads Cleared of Inappropriate 'Sexualised' Advertising", Adnews Media, March 27, 2017

Lidl Supports NFU's Back British Farming Charter

Lidl UK has signed the NFU's Back British Farming Charter, a campaign supporting British produce. Joining retailers Aldi, The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, and Waitrose, Lidl UK's move highlights its support for UK farmers. According to the charter, retailers need to have a transparent UK supply chain based on fair relationships, and labels UK produce with a Red Tractor or the UK flag.

"Lidl Signs Up to Back British Farming Charter", Farmers Weekly, March 22, 2017

German Discounters Are “Disrupting” U.S. Retail Grocery Market

The combined sales of German discount grocery chains Aldi and Lidl in the U.S. could reach $67 billion over the next four years, according to two industry experts speaking at a food marketing conference. This will force U.S. grocery chains to re-examine their own business models while carefully analyzing why the discount model works so well. Aldi and Lidl will be disruptors and a “source of change influence” in the U.S. grocery business. But the two companies are also evolving, learning perhaps from their bigger competitors, by working to overcome product selection limitations, for example; renovating stores; moving beyond the “hard discount” model; creating a “hybrid promotional strategy’ that increases the size of sales flyers, and ...  More

"Aldi, Lidl growth to spark industry change", Supermarket News, March 21, 2017

Unilever's Indonesia Unit Posts Strong Net Growth In 2016

PT Unilever Indonesia reported net profit rose 9.2 percent to Rp 6.39 trillion, or $479.7 million, in 2016, compared with the previous year. Net sales jumped almost 10 percent to Rp 40.05 trillion from the previous year's Rp 36.48 trillion. Cost of goods sold increased almost 10 percent year on year to Rp 19.59 trillion.

"Amid Weak People's Purchasing Power, Unilever Reaped Rp 6.39t Profit Last Year", Jakarta Post, March 20, 2017

Target Appoints Burt SVP For Grocery, Fresh Food, Beverage

Target Corporation said it has named Jeff Burt as senior vice president for grocery, fresh food, and beverage. According to the retailer, Burt's role will include promotion and execution of the company's food and beverage business strategy. He will report to Mark Tritton, Target's EVP and chief merchandising officer.

"Target Names Jeff Burt Senior Vice President, Grocery, Fresh Food and Beverage", Business Wire, March 20, 2017

Purchase Of Thanasi Extends Conagra Brands Into Premium Meat, Seed Snacks

Conagra Brands announced it is acquiring the protein-based snacking business Thanasi Foods, maker of Duke’s meat snacks and BIGS seed snacks in a transaction expected to close this summer. Conagra manages the Slim Jim meat stick brand and the DAVID Seeds brand. The Duke's product line includes Smoked Shorty Sausages and Steak & Brisket Strips. BIGS’s products include jumbo in-shell sunflower seeds, sunflower seed kernels and roasted pumpkin seeds. Conagra Brands CEO Sean Connolly said the purchase is part of a strategy to extend into “faster-growing, more premium segments” of the meat and seed snacks market. Financial terms were not disclosed. [ Image credit: © Conagra Brands ]

"Conagra Brands Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Thanasi Foods, Maker of Duke's® Meat Snacks and BIGS® Seeds", News release, Conagra Brands, March 16, 2017

Meijer Expands Home Delivery Service Across Midwestern Market

Retailer Meijer is expanding its home delivery service across the Midwestern market. Meijer's move follows the success of a test of the service in the Detroit area where more than 65,000 orders for home delivery were received by the company. Mejier, in partnership with Shipt, offers the membership-based service with $99 annual subscription fee and offers unlimited free grocery deliveries on orders worth more than $35. Meijer president Rick Keyes said the company learned many lessons from the Detroit test, including the demographic groups that used the service.

"Groceries on Demand: 5 Questions With Meijer President Rick Keyes", Brandchannel, March 16, 2017

Organic Bread Brand Provides Detailed Ingredient Source Info To Consumers

Thirty-five-year-old Rudi's Organic Bakery, owned by Hain Celestial, has launched two breads that provide consumers detailed information about the source of the grain in each loaf. The traceability information comes thanks to a partnership with Community Grains, which gathers information from the local farmer suppliers. Community Grains monitors each step of flour production, from sourcing seed, growth through harvest, and preservation of nutrients and flavor with whole milling. The two new Rudi’s breads are certified USDA organic and use only organic cracked wheat, organic rolled oats and organic sunflower oil, all without genetically modified organisms (GMOs). [ Image credit: © Rudi's Organic Bakery ]

"Rudi's Organic Bakery® Launches New Traceable Organic Bread Line with Community Grains", News release, Hain Celestial, March 16, 2017

Consortium To Accelerate Technology That Turns Plant Protein Into “Beefsteak”

Several food companies, including Unilever, have formed a consortium with a Dutch university to advance a technology that transforms vegetable protein into a layered fiber structure that mimics the taste, texture, and appearance of beefsteak. The Plant Meat Matters consortium comprises Swiss flavor house Givaudan, French agri-food giant Avril, and plant protein supplier Ingredion. Wageningen University researchers developed the shear-cell technology that can use protein from soy, wheat, pea, rapeseed or corn. The consortium hopes to scale the technology to produce industrial quantities, and to make it available to industry as well as chefs and consumers. Global sales of meat substitutes increased from 163,000 tons in 2015 to 183,000 tons ...  More

"Plant Meat Matters: Unilever, Givaudan and Ingredion Invest in Vegetarian Steak",, March 13, 2017

Baked Snack Makers Go Heavy On Indulgent, Healthful, Functional

Thirty-one percent of Americans say they often try new snacks, both “decadent” and healthful, a fact that caught the attention of bakery manufacturers. Many new product introductions offer indulgent, as well as functional and clean label, snacks. New ingredients are all the rage. On the indulgent side are treats like warmable gooey bun bites (Cinnabon) and seasonal treats like Italian rainbow pastries repurposed as everyday Raindow CakeBites (Cookies United). Other snack innovations that popped up in 2016: wide use of once seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice; artisan offerings; “healthy” snacks made without wheat or gluten; smaller portion sizes; protein-packed snacks; indulgent cookie flavors; candy-laden cookies; functional cookies laced
...  More

"2017 Bakery Trends: Flavor and Function", Prepared Foods, March 13, 2017

Great Brownies, Cookies, And A Progressive Hiring Policy

New York’s Greyston Bakery is launching a line of “grab-and-go” cookies baked without preservatives, and with cage-free eggs and fair trade sugar. Greyston is already famous for its brownies, which are the key ingredient in Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. The new cookie line features Harvest Cookies and Chocolate Chunk Cookies, sold, like the brownies, exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores. Greyston is also noted for its impact on the community. The company has an open hiring policy: it hires people with barriers to employment, no questions asked. CEO Mike Brady says, “We don’t hire people to bake cookies, we bake cookies to hire people.” Its partnership with Whole Foods Market has created 20 full-time positions at the ...  More

"Greyston Launches New Cookies at Whole Foods Market®, Expands Job Impact", Specialty Food Association, March 08, 2017

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