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Period: December 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019
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

Kellogg Europe Executive Outlines Bio-Based Cereal Pouches Goal

According to Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Kellogg Europe’s senior director of sustainability and corporate communications, the company is working towards its pledge to ensure 100 percent of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. An interim goal is to develop bio-based cereal pouches, recyclable in all Kellogg’s markets, to replace oil-based pouches by the end of next year. Although it’s up to consumers to contribute to the recycling process, he says, food companies must work with stakeholders, including suppliers and waste management companies, to design packaging that can be recycled and to improve the infrastructure. Kellogg Europe has started an audit of recycling structures in its largest 25 markets. Kellogg is one of the 250-plus signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to eliminate single-use plastic. Maitland-Titterton believes this scale of collaboration is crucial and that the food industry can’t ...  More

"How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging", edie.net, December 04, 2018

Starbucks Says Plastic-Lined Coffee Cups Can Be Converted Into New Cups

Coffee chain Starbucks says it has converted 25 million of its coffee cups into new cups as part of a pilot scheme introduced earlier in 2018, overturning conventional wisdom that the plastic lining means they couldn’t be recycled. Mike Mueller of WestRock, the company that recycled the cups, said the company is aiming to raise awareness about how it can be achieved and scaled. Other initiatives used by Starbucks include charging a small fee to its London customers for single-use cups, and it is working on a cup that can be easily recycled and composted. Customers in most stores can expect a discount if they bring their own reusable cup.

"Starbucks Proves That Single-Use Coffee Cups Can Be Recycled", LIVEKINDLY , December 06, 2018

Unilever Invests €100,000 To Solve Single-Use Plastic Sachet Problem

Unilever has set its sights on eliminating single-use plastic sachets for laundry products, piloting a technology in which it is investing €100,000. The crowd-sourced plastic-free tablet, which uses a plant-based coating, emerged from the company’s “Rethink Plastic” Hackathon. Other ideas from the event included a subscription model for detergent in ceramic or glass bottles, and soluble sheets of detergent, or ‘Laundry on a roll’. Teams from Unilever will look at some of these other ideas. 

"Unilever to invest €100,000 in a crowdsourced solution as part of its drive to rethink plastic packaging", Unilever, December 06, 2018

Corn Flakes To Beer: Kellogg U.K. Program Cuts Food Waste 12.5 Percent

The U.K. unit of breakfast food company Kellogg is brewing a new business: beer. The company has launched a program, “Throw Away IPA,” that turns rejected corn flakes – too small, too big, undercooked – into beer, the revenues from which are partially donated to Fareshare, a food poverty charity. The English beer, made by Seven Bro7hers Brewery, tastes sweeter than the usual IPA, and has the iconic golden color of its breakfast cereal ingredients. Each Throw Away IPA brew uses roughly 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of rejected cornflakes. Since the program was launched, Kellogg says it has reduced its U.K.-based food waste by 12.5 percent.

"In Bid to Cut Food Waste, Kellogg’s is Using Their Rejected Cornflakes to Make Beer ", Good News Network, December 07, 2018

McDonald’s In The Vanguard Of Movement To Reduce Antibiotics In Beef

With a nudge from the Natural Resources Defense Council, McDonald's announced it has told its beef suppliers around the world to cut back on the use of antibiotics beginning in 2019. Implementation will begin with pilot projects in ten markets around the world, including in the U.S. McDonald’s is the first big burger chain to launch such a policy, though other fast food leaders – Chipotle, Panera, Subway – have either cut antibiotic use in their beef supplies or have committed to do so. A spokesman for the NRDC said: “Nobody in the world sells more burgers than McDonald's, and their actions can shape the future of the industry.” Forty-three percent of medically important antibiotics sold to the U.S. livestock industry go to the beef sector, compared to only six percent for chicken.

"McDonald’s Commits To Reducing Antibiotic Use In Its Global Beef Supply", Natural Resources Defense Council , December 11, 2018

Consumers Expect Colors – Artificial Or Not – In Their Foods

Colors are important to food companies because, apparently, they’re important to consumers. Though big food companies like McDonald’s and Kellogg have promised to get rid of artificial dyes, they continue to use – or have reinstated – colorings because consumers want them. General Mills, for example, eliminated artificial colors from Trix, it added them back in last year after consumers demanded a return to the “classic” look. The cheddar cheeses sold by Boar’s Head, Cabot, Kraft, and Tillamook contain annatto, a plant extract commonly used for color.  Because salmon buyers expect salmon to be pink, farmed salmon is often fed synthetic astaxanthin, a version of a naturally occurring compound. It makes economic sense: darker salmon commands an extra 50 cents to $1 per pound when offered next to lighter salmon.

"Artificial dyes fading, but food will still get color boosts", Associated Press, December 11, 2018

KFC To Use Plastic-Free Food Buckets At Australia’s Upcoming Big Bash Cricket League

KFC, in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, is supplying half a million food buckets using sustainable materials for the Big Bash League 2018, a cricket event in Australia. The move is aligned with the Government’s commitment to ensure all packaging in the country will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The plastic-free buckets will be made at Graphic Packaging’s plant in the UK and will have a grease-resistant lining. 

"KFC to launch recyclable buckets for Australia’s Big Bash League 2018", Sharp Reports, December 12, 2018

Aldi To Replace Polystyrene Pizza Discs With Recyclable Discs

The Aldi supermarket chain in the UK is introducing 100 percent recyclable pizza discs to replace the Polystyrene discs. Earlier this year, Aldi in the US said it would roll out How2Recycle labels across its own brand products over the next two years, and in March the company committed to using 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for own-label products by 2022. In the UK, it has also stopped offering customers 5p plastic bags, only 9p reusable bags made from plastic waste.

"Aldi introduces 100% recyclable pizza discs in UK", Packaging Gateway, December 13, 2018

Ioniqa’s Process For Hard-To-Recycle PET Materials Is Gaining Attention From Large CPGs

Coca-Cola is supporting Dutch firm Ioniqa Technologies with a loan, to help it develop the technology for producing recycled PET content from PET waste that is typically difficult to recycle. The move is a part of  Coca-Cola’s target of using packaging containing 50 percent or more recycled content by 2030. The  technology allows recycling of colored PET bottles, typically excluded from some recycling processes, to be used in food-grade PET. Unilever announced earlier this year its collaboration with Ioniqa.

"Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa in its efforts to develop recycled PET", Foodbev.com, December 14, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Coca-Cola CEO Tells Investors Not To Expect Brisk Acquisition Pace To Continue In 2019

After initiating six acquisitions in 2018, including the $5.1 billion purchase of U.K. coffee chain Costa Coffee, Coca-Cola will tap the brakes in 2019, according to CEO James Quincey, who said the plan is to spend time absorbing what it bought. Shares of the company are up more than seven percent so far this year, standing relatively strong against broader market volatility, an indication that investors are happy with the aggressive growth plan. Coke now has a market value of $209.8 billion. And while the beverage industry has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks as an avenue for growth, Quincey said Coca-Cola will hold off from including cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound, in any of its products until it is "legal, safe and consumable."

"Coca-Cola CEO: Deal Making in 2019 will likely slow down as company integrates recent acquisitions", CNBC.com , December 11, 2018

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Coca-Cola Closes Aggressive Acquisition Year With Series A Investment In POS Connectivity Firm

Coca-Cola took the lead in a $10 million Series A investment round in Hayward, Calif.-based restaurant tech company Omnivore, developer of a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform. Other investors were Performance Food Group and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. Omnivore promotes an "end-to-end suite of solutions" to help optimize the digital restaurant experience, such as online ordering, paying at the table, third-party delivery, kiosk/digital menus and analytics. The financing will be used to accelerate current development and growth of proprietary Omnivore products that minimize friction for restaurant brands, third-party technologies, and POS companies, according to a news release.

"Coca-Cola backs restaurant tech company", Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 17, 2018

Products & Brands  

Nestlé R&D Unit Is Developing Beverages Made From Walnuts, Blueberries

Nestlé SA hopes to ride the wave of plant-based eating – one of the new so-called “food tribes” that include gluten-free and lactose-free – to a billion-dollar business. In addition to stepping briskly into vegan substitutes for meat, using soy and wheat protein, the company’s research and development center in Switzerland is exploring the potential for a liquid derived from walnuts and blueberries, with a purple hue. There’s also a blue latte featuring spirulina algae in the works. The company says about half of the protein used in its food products, including in pet food, comes from plant rather than animal sources. Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer said, “Vegetarianism has never been this popular before and it’s here to stay, I’m convinced about that.” 

"Nestlé Plans Vegan Push With No-Meat Burger, Purple Walnut Milk", Bloomberg, December 28, 2018

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