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Period: January 15, 2011 to February 1, 2011
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Comment & Opinion  

Study Of Foods Targeting Children Finds Most Of Them Are Not “Better For You”

A report from the Prevention Institute shows that, despite label claims on prepared foods and meals, snacks, breakfast cereals and beverages, 84 percent of child-targeted products examined did not meet basic nutritional standards. The study looked at the front-of-package labeling on fifty-eight “Better-for-You” children’s products: those that manufacturers tout as their most nutritious. The nutritional content was compared against criteria from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the National Academies of Science. Study findings revealed that 57 percent of the products studied qualified as high sugar (95 percent contained added sugar); 53 percent were low in fiber; 53 percent did not contain any fruits or vegetables; 24 percent of prepared foods were high in saturated fats; and 36 percent of prepared foods and meals were high in sodium.

"Claiming Health: Front-of-Package Labeling of Children’s Food", Report, Prevention Institute, January 17, 2011

Almond Milk Pushes U.S. Milk Alternatives To Double-Digit Growth In 2010

The emergence of premium-priced almond milk helped boost the growth in the US milk alternatives category by 13 percent in 2010. Blue Diamond Growers’ Almond Breeze and Dean Foods Co.’s Silk Pure Almond brands are battling each other for leadership in the almond milk segment. Milk alternatives, especially soymilk, are becoming more popular as U.S. consumers’ consumption of cows’ milk has declined, partly through vegan lifestyles and some consumers’ intolerance to cows' milk, and almond milk is helping to drive that trend. The National Milk Producers Federation is calling for a ban on using the word “milk” in describing non-dairy milk, although sales of milk alternatives are small compared with regular milk. Silk, known also for soymilk, is extending its range of milk alternatives, with a new coconut milk.

"Move Over, Cow", Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2011

Unilever raises the green flag

Director, January 04, 2011

Companies, Organizations  

Study Says Americans Not Getting Enough Whole Grain From Their Diet

General Mills's study, General Mills Whole Grain Check-up, reveals that although 92% of Americans know the importance of whole grains in their diet and 61% think they consume enough, only 5% consume the three daily servings (of at least 48 grams) recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Only 55 percent of participants could identify foods with whole grains, and 28 percent cannot differentiate whole from enriched grain. Convenience, price, and taste prevent Americans from consuming the recommended amount. Seventy one percent of over 55s thought they were getting enough whole grain, but only 47 percent in the 18-34 age band.

"Dietary Guidelines Committee Report Shows 95 Percent of Americans Do Not Get Enough Whole Grain; General Mills Report Reveals More than Half Overestimate Whole Grain Consumption", General Mills, January 18, 2011

Supplements That Claim To Help Diabetics Control Blood Sugar Lack Scientific Proof

A large variety of dietary supplements promise to help Type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar, but experts warn that there’s virtually no scientific evidence backing the claims. Examples of products from alternative medicine companies include Sugar Crush, which contains herbs like common sage, cinnamon, hibiscus, etc., and Blood Sugar, whose main ingredients are cinnamon bark and chromium. A research chemist with the USDA has found some evidence that cinnamon and chromium do increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. But endocrinologist Dr. Daniel Einhorn of UC San Diego says there are only two proven, reliable ways to control blood sugar without using prescription medications: a healthy diet and regular exercise.

"Alternative treatments for diabetes -- do they work?", Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2011

Cargill Expands Chocolate Business, Buys German Chocolate Company

Cargill has acquired, subject to regulatory approval, German chocolate manufacturing company Schwartauer Werke GmbH & Co. KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB), which operates two manufacturing plants in Berlin with combined annual capacity of over 75,000 tonnes of chocolate.  Cargill expects KVB’s Berlin factories to complement its existing chocolate facilities in Germany, strengthen its presence in Germany and create a platform for expansion to new markets. The deal should close in the first half of this year.

" Cargill announces acquisition of German chocolate business", Cargill, January 12, 2011

Sara Lee Makes Long Term Commitment To Buy UTZ Certified Coffee

The Sara Lee Corporation announced a five-year commitment to buy at least 350 million kilos of UTZ CERTIFIED Good Inside coffee as part of its long-term goals for sustainability. Ranked third globally in terms of volume of coffee, Sara Lee promises to have 20% of its annual coffee volume certified by 2015, putting the company first in sustainability among its competitors. In addition to the UTZ CERTIFIED Foundation, Sara Lee plans to work with other sustainable certification programs and expand the amount of sustainable tea purchased for brands such as Pickwick and Hornimans.

"Sara Lee launches ambitious five-year sustainable coffee plan", Sara Lee, January 10, 2011

Kraft Sues Britannia Industries For Alleged Oreo Trademark Infringement In India

Kraft Foods Inc. has filed a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit against India-based biscuits and dairy company Britannia Industries. The case stems from Britannia's alleged illegal use of design elements from Kraft's popular Oreo cookies. Kraft also claims that the Treat-O brand name itself is inspired by the Oreo name. Kraft’s move has echoes of a 2007 infringement case filed against Britannia by Danone over its Tiger biscuit; Danone eventually terminated its joint venture with Britannia and created an independent company in the country.

"Kraft files copyright suit against India's biscuit maker Britannia", International Business Times, January 05, 2011

10 marketing trends popping up in 2011

USA TODAY, January 24, 2011

Company Report: Unilever ESA, Making Business Sense of FMCG

African Business Review , January 05, 2011

Market News  

GIA Estimates Global Soy Foods Market Will Reach $42.3 Billion In 2015

Global Industry Analysts forecast continued growth in the world soy food market and expect it to reach US$42.3 billion in 2015. Its report, "Soy Foods: A Global Strategic Business Report," sees key drivers as the increase in consumers' health consciousness, demand for nutritious diets, and knowledge about the health benefits of soy foods, such as protection from cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Manufacturers' innovations in product development, aging population, and increasing popularity of organic soy foods also help boost the market. Soy foods have become mainstream products in both developed and developing markets, and while anti-soy allegations impacted growth recently these worries have faded. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market, followed by the United States and Europe.

"Global Soy Foods Market to Reach US$42.3 Billion by 2015, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.", PRWeb, January 10, 2011

Jamba Juice Launches Line Of Probiotic-Reinforced Yogurt Drinks

Jamba Juice Company has launched Jamba Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends, a line of yogurt drinks made using the company's Probiotic Boost brand of probiotics. Each serving contains some 500 million active probiotic cultures which Jamba Juice claims enhances the immune and digestive systems. The company claims that its yogurt drinks - Vibrant Blueberry, Strawberries Alive, and Thrivin' Mango – are made with whole fruits and does not include any artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. Jamba Juice separately markets its Probiotic Boost that consumers can add to any smoothie. Jamba Juice Boost product lines include Soy Protein Boost, Antioxidant Boost, and Energy Boost.

"Jamba Juice Debuts Probiotic Fruit and Yogurt Blends", Jamba Juice, January 05, 2011

P&G Pitches Downy Product as Sleep Aid

Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2011

Marketing & Advertising  

Kellogg Revamps Global Marketing, Appoints Brand Learning To Manage Campaign

In the face of poor financial performance — its third-quarter net sales decreased 4% to $3.2 billion — Kellogg is investing to improve its marketing effort globally and has appointed Brand Learning to train Kellogg's marketing directors and senior marketing executives to help set up standards and common processes. Kellogg envisions the program, which will ultimately cover all of the company's marketing units, to improve its marketing capacity and business performance. Mark Baynes, Kellogg CMO, says He said: "We (are aiming) to create a team inspired, equipped and enabled to drive stronger returns in this increasingly complex consumer landscape."

"Kellogg unveils plan to boost global marketing", Marketing Magazine, January 20, 2011

Mars Makes All-Natural-Ingredient Claims For Dolmio Pasta Sauces

Mars in the UK is marketing its Dolmio bolognese sauces as 100% natural, after improvements in harvesting and manufacturing, and will extend this to the whole pasta sauce range during the year. Sales of Dolmio sauces fell 2.3% to £148.9 million in 2010, and the company hopes the all-natural claim in 2011 advertising will attract buyers that normally make their own. Mars is also launching My Dolmio Squeeze Me sachets, designed for kids to add to pasta, meeting demand for food parents can prepare with their kids.

"Dolmio goes 100% natural in attempt to lift flagging sales", The Grocer, January 14, 2011

Starbucks Puts Marketing Muscle Behind Its Seattle's Best Coffee Brand

Starbucks Corp. has launched its first major advertising campaign for its Seattle's Best Coffee brand that currently has unaided brand awareness of 10%, hoping to transform it into a billion-dollar brand that is "fun, approachable." Starbucks appointed advertising agency Creature to develop outdoor advertisements and online videos emphasizing the brand's aim "to bring coffee to where you are." In May 2010, Starbucks introduced a new logo for Seattle's Best Coffee geared to informing coffee lovers it is for fun-loving, optimistic, simple, and mobile consumers. Starbucks is testing several retail concepts as it positions Seattle's Best to compete with the café operations of Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's.

"Why Starbucks Wants You To Know Its Next Billion-Dollar Baby: Seattle’s Best Coffee", Forbes, Blog, January 10, 2011

Changes ahead for Whole Foods

KVUE News, December 27, 2010

Press Release  

School Lunch Suppliers Commit To Providing Healthier Meals To 30 Million Students

Thirteen school meals makers, group purchasing organizations and technology companies have partnered with  the Alliance for a Healthier Generation “to make healthier school lunches possible for more than 30 million students” at more affordable prices. According to the AHG, about 14 million of the affected students participate in the free and reduced lunch program. The partnership is part of an effort to combat childhood obesity that involves developing, marketing and competitively pricing products that will lead to healthier school meal options, a streamlined ordering process, and easier identification of healthy food options. Participants have committed to providing lean protein products such as lean red meat, skinless poultry, etc.; low-fat lunch entrées; whole-grain products; fresh, canned or frozen fruit; non-fried vegetables; and zero trans fat cooking oils.

"Groundbreaking Industry Agreements Help Increase Availability of Healthy School Meals", News release, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, January 21, 2011

Unilever And Paques Build Bio-Digester At Ben & Jerry's Factory In The Netherlands

Unilever and Paques began building a bio-digester at the former's Ben & Jerry ice cream factory in Hellendoorn, the Netherlands. Paques' BIOPAQ AFR bio-digester purifies wastewater and converts waste products, such as from milk and syrup production, into biogas in one step.  Unilever made the investment as part of its Sustainable Living Plan and it is one of the first companies to use this bio-digester that applies an innovative approach of treating wastewater streams that contain fat and oil together with degradable particles all in one reactor. The process relies on over 24 billiard (24*10^15) micro-organisms to digest the waste and the plant will begin operating mid-2011 and supply up to 40 percent of the factory's green energy requirements.

"Unilever's ice cream factory in Holland to derive green energy from wastewater", Paques press release, January 14, 2011

Orlando Baking Launches Line Of Whole Wheat Breads With Probiotics

Orlando Baking Company has launched True Grains, a line of whole wheat breads made with ingredients that include probiotics, which help ensure digestive health. The products, Honey Wheat and Seed'licious, include GanedenBC30®, a probiotic from Ganeden Biotech. Initially, Heinen's Fine Foods stores will sell the kosher-certified breads on an exclusive basis. In 1987, Orlando Baking introduced European-style ciabatta bread to U.S. consumers, and the company is hoping to tap the growing US market for probiotic products, now worth over $1 billion a year. 

"Orlando Baking Company Rolls Out North America's First Probiotic Bread Line", PRWeb, January 13, 2011

Kraft and Intel Virtual Meal Planning Solution Overview

Intel press release, January 10, 2011

Products & Brands  

Walmart Launches Major Healthy, Affordable Foods Program, Gets First Lady's Support

Walmart has launched a program aimed at providing its customers with healthy and affordable food options that gained the support of First Lady Michelle Obama. The program comes with five key components, namely: reformulation of packaged food items by cutting sodium 25% and added sugars by 10%, and removing all manufactured trans fats; cutting prices of fresh fruits and vegetables; strengthening standards for "front-of-package seal" to help consumers determine healthy food choices; opening stores to serve economically disadvantaged communities that need healthy and affordable foods; and expansion of corporate support for nutrition education campaigns. Walmart’s initiative will have far reaching affects across the US food supply chain In 2010, Walmart launched a $2 billion program to work against hunger by awarding fresh and healthy foods to food banks in the United States. Walmart will also work with the Partnership for a Healthier America to help address the country's obesity problem.

"Walmart Launches Major Initiative to Make Food Healthier and Healthier Food More Affordable", Walmart Stores, January 25, 2011

Business Watchdog Urges Discontinuance Of Health Claims For “i-flex” Joint Health Supplement

Some of the joint-health benefit statements made by a vitamin supplier for a rose hips-based dietary supplement “overstated the results of the research,” according to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which urged discontinuance of the claims. The questionable advertising statements for the “i-flex” dietary supplement product, manufactured by DSM Nutritional Products, Inc., a supplier of vitamins, carotenoids and other chemicals, included performance claims, comparative claims and “green” claims. NAD asked DSM to provide substantiation for claims made in print and Internet advertising and on product labels for i-flex. Specifically, NAD recommended that DSM discontinue claims that “i-flex from Patented Danish Rosehips Gives Rapid Joint Relief and Comfort to 4 out of Every 5 People” and “the longer term effect is also impressive.”

"NAD Recommends DSM Discontinue Certain Claims For “I-Flex” Dietary Supplement; Finds Certain Claims Supported", News release, National Advertising Division (CBBB), January 14, 2011

Evian Kicks Off Popular "Live Young" Campaign for 2011

Evian's 2011 "Live Young" campaign will build on the 2009 campaign based around videos of rapping babies on roller skates that have attracted millions of views in the US and internationally since their launch. This year, Evian will use music videos as well as urban events, and has enlisted the video specialists from Eclectic Method and other musicians to create footage of the culture and sights from Los Angles and Miami. The videos, which will appear on Evian's Facebook page, should encourage fans to "make the most of every moment" and will feature homegrown talent in promotional spots during the months of January and February.

"Evian's 'Live Young' Takes Urban Turn For 2011", MediaPost, January 03, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Brazil's Packaged Food Market Now The World's Fifth Largest

Brazil's packaged food industry grew 44% from 2005 to R$176 billion (US$105 billion) in 2010, moving from eighth to become the fifth largest in the world. Euromonitor sees continued growth for five more years, backed by a strong agricultural production capacity and a growing consumer base that has attracted multinational companies to compete with domestic brands. In the past two years, the market has also seen significant mergers and acquisitions, improving the competitiveness of Brazilian companies. But the newer entrants, like General Mills, find it difficult to penetrate the market as consumers trust brands such as Nestle that have been in the market longer.

"Brazil: Food Industry Boom", Latin Business Chronicle, January 20, 2011

Global Market For Whole Grain/High Fiber Foods To Top $24 Billion Within Four Years

Driven by growing consumer awareness of the need for a healthy lifestyle, the global market for whole grain and high fiber foods will top $24 billion by 2015, indicating a “massive shift away from harmful processed foods,” according to forecasts by Global Industry Analysts. Healthier, natural and fat-free whole grain/high fiber foods and baked products are fueling the sales rise in the medium-to-long term. Underlying factors for the trend include the release of new U.S. dietary guidelines and the MyPyramid food guidance system that stress consumption of healthy food products, particularly whole grains. The economic slowdown had only a minimal impact on the global whole grain and high fiber foods market, GIA said, with bread and breakfast cereals performing especially well.

"Global Whole Grain and High Fiber Foods Market to Reach US$24 Billion by 2015, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.", PRWeb, January 13, 2011

Carb Loading With Omega 3 Chia Seeds Does Not Enhance Vigorous Athletic Performance

Scientists who tested two high-carbohydrate formulas found that a drink containing chia seeds and Gatorade had the benefit of using less sugar, but otherwise offered no performance advantage to highly-trained athletes undergoing rigorous exercise. The study compared a traditional carb-loading formula – 100 percent Gatorade – against a formula consisting of half Greens Plus Omega 3 Chia seeds and half Gatorade. Six highly-trained males did a one-hour run on a treadmill followed by a 10 k time trial run on a track. The researchers concluded that the Omega 3 Chia formula was a “viable option” for lower-sugar carb loading prior to vigorous exercise of more than 90 minutes, but offered no measurable performance advantage over plain Gatorade.

"Omega 3 Chia Seed Loading as a Means of Carbohydrate Loading", Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, January 01, 2011

Eco-Conscious Shoppers Would Like To See Tighter Standards For “Natural” Label

A poll conducted by Mambo Sprouts Marketing has found that eco-conscious grocery shoppers have become suspicious of “natural” labels on food products and urge creation of standards for so-called natural products. The poll, conducted among 1,000 consumers of organic and natural products, found 34 percent of either “not very” or “not at all” confident in “natural labeling,” while 65 percent were “very interested” in seeing standards set or certification for products that are labeled “natural.” Thirty-three percent preferred oversight of natural labeling by an independent organization, while 27 percent preferred government oversight agency. As to recession-induced shopping practices, respondents said they will continue to shop for the best value on eco- and healthy products, clip or download coupons, and choose store brand organic products.

"Green Consumers Grow Wary of ‘Natural’ Labels", News Release, Mambo Sprouts Marketing, January 01, 2011

What Is Your Product Saying to Consumers?

Advertising Age, January 18, 2011

Snapshot of TV advertising during 2010 - Part 2

Indian Television, January 18, 2011

Cacao Polyphenols Influence the Regulation of Apolipoprotein in HepG2 and Caco2 Cells

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 12, 2011


China's Fast-Paced Market Puzzles, Rewards Both Local And Multinational Competitors

Following a three-year gap working in the US , PepsiCo chief marketing officer for Greater China, returned to the country to find it greatly changed, and with change accelerating. In addition to spreading urbanization Lee sees a greatly expanded digital footprint with activity extending far beyond tier 1 cities, creating anomalies with people without basic plumbing knowing English soccer stars. In this fast changing environment Lee sees local competitors as more effective than multinationals that rely on approaches that are outdated and not relevant for China; local competitors, he says, are fresher, faster moving and more innovative in their marketing.

"At Pepsi, Old Rules of Marketing Don't Apply", AdAgeChina.com, January 26, 2011

UK Supermarkets Say Meat Free Is The New Vegetarian

Supermarkets across the UK have started using the phrase "meat-free" instead of "vegetarian" on selected products. Marks & Spencer cite the trend among consumers who are more concerned about eating less meat for health benefits and not ethical reasons. Mintel says 6% see themselves as ‘vegetarian’ but 60% say they ‘eat meat-free foods.’ The "Meat-Free Mondays" campaign by Sir Paul McCartney, several popular books, and statements on sustainability by the UN have helped highlight the benefits of eating less meat. M&S will stock their meat-free products alongside products containing meat while Asda retains a separate shelf. 

"Don't call it vegetarian, it is 'meat free'", Telegraph.co.uk, January 16, 2011

Vending Machine Industry Goes Natural, Organic – And Just Plain Healthier

A new era in vending machine technology and marketing has arrived, as established vending machine companies offer healthier snacks, while start-ups launch new machines selling natural and organic yogurt and granola bars, gluten-free products and fresh fruit. Schools, fitness clubs and office buildings are seeing their old machines – stuffed with sugar-sweetened sodas and snacks packed with trans-fats, high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils – replaced by the new equipment. The new healthy vending machine sector comprises small, locally-owned businesses, so their sales have not yet registered in tallies of the $30 billion vending industry. But one industry expert expects "exponential" growth reflecting that of the natural foods and organic industry. And big snack and beverage companies like PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are revamping their machine-vendable products to meet demand for healthier, more nutritious foods.

"No Twinkies? Vending machines go organic", msnbc.com , January 12, 2011

California Organic Rice Producer’s Warehouse Is Now 100% Solar Powered

Organic rice and rice products producer Lundberg Family Farms has opened a 37,558-foot warehouse powered completely by solar energy. The warehouse uses 1,690 solar panels at the facility in Richvale, Calif. The company says the panels will produce 500,000 kilowatts of electricity, more than enough to power the building. According to the company, 20 percent of the electricity it consumes comes from solar energy. By purchasing renewable energy credits to offset the rest, the company can claim its energy use is 100 percent green. The warehouse was built to U.S. Green Building Council’s certification standards and is designed to capture and filter storm water runoff. It features high-efficiency water conservation fixtures such as dual flush water closets, waterless urinal and electronic faucets that reduce water by 39 percent, saving 15,625 gallons annually.

"Lundberg Family Farms powers new warehouse with solar energy", News release, Lundberg FamilyFarms, January 05, 2011

Hungry? Your Stomach Really Does Have a Mind of Its Own

Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2011

How Marketers Can Cut Through Cause Clutter

Advertising Age, January 18, 2011

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