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Food Companies Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<234567891011>> Total issues:183

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September 01, 2016, to September 15, 2016

Starbucks Battles Hunger – And Food Waste – With FoodShare Program

The Starbucks restaurant chain, which announced an anti-waste initiative in March, says it has donated 300,000 meals to local food banks across the U.S. The FoodShare initiative was launched to fight food waste and hunger with the help of the Food Donation Connection and Feeding America. FDC workers pick up Starbucks' surplus food using refrigerated vans, and redistribute it to food pantries. In its first year five million ready-made meals will be distributed to charities and expects that number to increase to 50 million meals within five years. The company will expand the program from the current 1,150 Starbucks locations to all 7,600 by 2019.

Jersey Shore Bakery Scores A Hit With Scrapple Pie

Grocery shoppers in the meat or deli department often notice – and mostly turn their noses up at – every day the refrigerated blocks of specially-prepared pork offal known as scrapple. An East Coast, Pennsylvania Dutch breakfast tradition, scrapple has become the best-selling pie flavor at Wards Pastry Shop in Ocean City, N.J. Owner Walter Hohman was looking for something new that might appeal to the Philadelphia crowd that heads to the Jersey Shore every summer. A friend suggested scrapple, and a pie sensation was created, despite some initial skepticism. The scrapple is prebaked, stuffed into a pie crust, topped with buttery streusel and baked. Hohman says his bakery sells more scrapple pie, at $4.50 each, than apple.

Knorr Hopes To Educate Consumers About Water Wasted In Food Production

Consumers are increasingly aware of the need to conserve –  or at least not to waste –  water. But, according to the Unilever brand Knorr, much of the water wasted in the world is “hidden’ in food production. Water wasted in the production of common foods amounts to roughly 1,000 gallons a day per person at a time when as many as 500 million people globally face water shortages. To help combat this problem, Knorr launched a campaign with the Water Footprint Network (WFN) to encourage consumers to change food buying habits. The company has created a list of alternative food items with a lower water footprint, and is asking consumers to: limit food waste and buy food that is certified as sustainably sourced.

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August 15, 2016, to September 01, 2016

Company’s Allergen-Free Frozen Snacks Hit Northeast Supermarket Shelves

Incredible Foods said its line of non-dairy, allergen-free frozen treats are now available in supermarkets in New England, New York, and other mid-Atlantic states as far south as Washington D.C. Food allergies affect more than 15 million Americans, including one in every 13 children under 18 years of age, or about two children in every classroom. The low-calorie – 25 to 35 calories each – “perfectly free” frozen treats contain no dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, or shellfish. In addition, they are gluten-free and kosher. The bite-sized snacks comprise a vanilla core covered by a layer of real cherry and blueberry, cocoa or salted caramel.

Dannon Rids Yogurt Brands Of GMO Ingredients, And Will Clearly Label GMO Products

Dannon unveiled yogurts under the Dannon and Oikos brands that contain no GMO ingredients. The company said it plans to transition all yogurt brands, including Danimals, to non-GMO content, and will also clearly label products still containing GMO ingredients. The next step in the process will come in 2017, when Dannon will ensure that the cows that supply milk for its flagship brands will be raised on non-GMO feed. The company will convert 80,000 acres of farmland to produce non-GMO crops

Take-And-Bake Pizza Chain To Serve Only Antibiotics-Free Chicken

National pizza-kit restaurant chain Papa Murphy’s announced it is beginning a transition to antibiotics-free, vegetarian-fed chicken in all of its 1,500 locations. The chain is also committed to removing artificial flavors and colors from its food by 2017. It is working to eliminate palm oil and high-fructose corn syrup from menu items by this fall. It has already eliminated monosodium glutamate from its offerings. Papa Murphy’s is the largest take-and-bake pizza brand in the U.S., and also offers salads, sides and desserts.

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August 01, 2016, to August 15, 2016

Nestle Launches Initiative Encouraging Innovative Projects In Health, Wellness, Nutrition

Nestlé has launched its Henri@Nestlé open innovation platform to expedite entrepreneurial solutions that respond to social and business challenges, especially in nutrition, health, and wellness. The platform, open to startups worldwide, allows young companies to collaborate with Nestlé teams to tackle projects that “matter both to Nestlé” and millions of customers. The program is designed to streamline innovation, making it faster, more transparent and less bureaucratic. Four new projects are posted on the platform for startups to review and offer their solutions to. Each project will be open for 45 days, after which the Henri@Nestlé teams will review submissions within 30 days and pick five startups to pitch their ideas.

Diminishing Shelf Space Drives CPG Companies To Try Online Innovation

Manufacturers of food, drink, beauty, and personal care products are losing store shelf space thanks to the rise of own-brand discount supermarket chains like Aldi and Lidl, and smaller stores that sell independent brands. To meet the challenge, manufacturers – Reckitt Benckiser, Nestlé, Diageo, Unilever, etc. – are increasingly focusing on e-commerce, selling through e-tail websites. But they are also experimenting with delivery-on-demand and subscription-based models. It’s a rising trend: online shoppers globally spent $87 billion on CPG items last year, nine percent of the total online spend. Twenty-five percent of people in 60 countries in 2015 ordered grocery products online for home delivery. Fifty-five percent said they would do so in the future.

USPTO Rejects Whole Foods’ Trademark Request

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected an application by Whole Foods Market to brand itself the “World’s Healthiest Grocery Store.” The rejection letter noted that the slogan can’t be trademarked because it is merely descriptive of the company’s services. Besides, the company has stores in only three countries: the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., making it difficult to support a “world” claim. The company has six months to respond to the letter. Meantime, Whole Foods posted disappointing 3rd quarter financials, including a 2.6 percent drop in same-store sales.

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July 15, 2016, to August 01, 2016

Walmart Hopes Its New Date Labeling Scheme Will Help Reduce Wasted Food

Walmart is changing the date labeling scheme on its food products to avoid consumer confusion over safe-to-eat dates. That confusion has led Americans to toss $29 billion worth of edible food into the trash every year. Walmart’s fix is to require suppliers of its own label Great Value products to use the same standardized date – “best if used by” – for non-perishable foods. The change began last year, and the company says 70 percent of its private label suppliers have already complied. The rest have until next month to comply. The Food Marketing Institute says most date labels aren’t meant to indicate safety, only when manufacturers believe products will go beyond peak quality.

Can Dunkin’ Donuts Succeed In San Francisco, Home Of Beloved Mom-And-Pop Shops?

Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts tried expanding to California 30 years ago but failed – the last stores closed more than 10 years ago, trounced by a “reversed Walmart effect.” In the San Francisco Bay area especially, there’s an abundance of cherished mom-and-pop doughnut shops that have given fits to national chains like Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme. But, with much ballyhoo, and some instant success, Dunkin’ is back in the Golden State, and once again faces competition from those entrenched family-run businesses like Stan's Donut Shop. San Franciscans – who love to eat out and discover unique eateries – are loyal to the mom-and-pop shops because their products are high quality and affordable, and they offer a good “old school” business culture.

Kellogg’s Adds Granola To Raisin Bran

Kellogg Company has expanded its Raisin Bran breakfast cereal line to include two granola-based varieties. Two flavors of Raisin Bran Granola will be available at 200 calories a serving with bran flakes, raisins and granola oat clusters: Raisin & Honey Granola and Cranberry Almond Granola, both low in fat, high in fiber. The company said its market research found now only that an increasing number of people were eating granola, its own Raisin Bran customers were eager to have granola blends that did not sacrifice the traditional flavor of the bran flakes and sweet raisins. 

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July 01, 2016, to July 15, 2016

Hindustan Unilever Tea Brand’s Transgender Pop Group Wins First Prize At Festival

An Indian transgender band created to advertise a Hindustan Unilever brand of tea won top honors at a creativity event in France. In January, the 100-year-old Brooke Bond Red Label tea brand partnered with Y-Films to launch the Brooke Bond Red Label 6 Pack Band, comprising six transgender Indians. The pop singing group won the top prize at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, calling for a warmer and more welcoming world for everyone, “irrespective of religion, economic background or gender.”

PepsiCo Reverses Course On Aspartame Sweetener As Diet Pepsi Sales Continue To Slide

The artificially-sweetened soda market is in the doldrums, but PepsiCo’s aspartame blunder didn’t help matters. So, to reverse steadily declining Diet Pepsi sales the company is bringing back the aspartame-sweetened version it torpedoed nearly a year ago in favor of a sucralose-sweetened version. The aspartame product will hit store shelves in September, and will be sold alongside its sucralose sister. PepsiCo says it is reacting to loud protests from the diet soda’s die-hard fans who claimed to hate the taste of sucralose. But the reformulation last August worsened Diet Pepsi’s soda market share: from 4.5 percent to 4.1 percent as sales fell 10.6 percent in 1Q 2016. Diet Coke, with a 7.4 percent soda market share, saw sales slip 5.7 percent in the same period.

French Yogurt Buyers Now Have Varieties Made With Sheep Milk, Goat Milk

General Mills is introducing goat and sheep milk versions of Yoplait yogurt in France, following a strategic plan to bring greater diversity to its yogurt products. In fact, the products have that theme in their French name – Yoplait C’est bon de varier (variety is good). A significant trend in yogurt sales in France is the growing interest in products made from non-dairy ingredients. The alternative dairy segment, which includes products made with organic and soy ingredients, and with goat and sheep milk, accounts for about eight percent of the fresh dairy products sold in that country. According to General Mills, goat milk yogurt has a “strong taste” reminiscent of cheese, while sheep milk yogurt tastes sweeter and milder.

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June 15, 2016, to July 01, 2016

Lawsuit Accuses Kellogg Of Marketing “Whole Grain” Crackers Made With White Flour

Consumer watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Kellogg of allegedly falsely advertising a variety of its Cheez-It snack crackers as made with “Whole Grain.” CSPI said the crackers are actually made from refined white flour, not whole grain as claimed on the package. Whole Grain Cheez-It crackers “are nearly identical nutritionally to the Original version of Cheez-Its, providing a negligible one gram of fiber,” CSPI said. The plaintiffs are asking the court for injunctive relief to prevent Kellogg “from continuing to engage in deceptive marketing of Cheez-Its.”

USA: Ice Cream Shops Nationwide Help Tom's Launch Pain-Relieving Toothpaste

Eco-conscious ice cream shops in 14 states coast-to-coast are participating in a promotional campaign launching the new Tom's of Maine Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste. Dubbed the Sustainable Ice Cream Trail, the campaign encourages ice cream lovers to visit one of the shops that sells only ice cream or gelato containing only natural, locally-sourced ingredients. The new toothpaste uses a patented technology that combines arginine and calcium carbonate to “help seal out pain” in sensitive teeth from eating ice cream. The company claims the toothpaste – which contains no artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives – relieves pain in 60 seconds, and also strengthens enamel, whitens, freshens breath, and provides cavity protection.

Bakery Creates Fritter Soaked With Hard Cider

Hard cider maker Angry Orchard has partnered with a New York City bakery to create the Angry Fritter especially for National Doughnut Day, celebrated earlier this month. The Doughnut Project bakery specializes in merging unlikely ingredients – bacon, beets, olive oil, ricotta cheese, sesame seeds, black pepper, sea salt, etc. – and dough to create doughnuts with flavors inspired by the foods and cocktails of New York City. The Angry Fritter is made with crunchy apple slices and a special fritter dough infused with Angry Orchard hard cider.

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June 01, 2016, to June 15, 2016

Aldi’s Cage-Free Egg Decision Proves Controversial In Australia

Despite criticism from egg producers in Australia, German retail grocery chain Aldi will spend the next ten years transitioning to cage-free eggs. Consumer pressure pushed the company to take the complicated, expensive and hopefully sustainable step. But egg producers ironically call the move a “slap in the face” to consumers who may not want to spend premium prices for cage-free eggs. Aldi’s decision will “hurt Australian egg farmers and can’t be justified on the basis of either science or consumer behavior.” One egg industry representative said Australian research shows that hen stress levels are similar across cage, barn and free range farming environments. Animal husbandry practices “have the greatest influence on hen welfare.”

General Mills Recalls Flour Products After Reports Of Bacterial Illnesses

General Mills posted a notice on its website that it is recalling certain flour brands that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, though no consumers have reported any illnesses to the company.  Gold Medal, Wondra, and Signature Kitchens were mentioned in the notice. Customers of Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls and Acme were warned not to use the affected brands, which have best buy dates of August 23, 2016, to June 14, 2017. Federal and state officials are investigating 38 E. coli 0121 illness cases found in 20 states. About half said they had used flour or handled dough before getting sick.

Kraft Heinz Gets Ready To Redeem Warren Buffet’s Investment

After major moves to cut both operational and financing costs, Kraft Heinz stock is up 16 percent this year, outperforming the S&P 500 packaged food index, which is up 6.8 percent. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway company invested $8 billion in the deal three years ago that ultimately created Kraft-Heinz, which has been paying him a nine percent annual dividend – $720 million. But that’s all about to end as Kraft-Heinz is getting ready to redeem Berkshire’s preferred shares to the tune of about $8.3 billion: “good news for Kraft-Heinz, but bad news for Berkshire,” as Buffet told investors recently.

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May 15, 2016, to June 01, 2016

Stonewall Kitchen Joins The GMO Label Movement

Maine-based specialty food producer Stonewall Kitchen says it will be rolling out label changes for the products it makes that contain GMO ingredients in time for the July 1 implementation of Vermont’s strict GMO label law. The company says most (90 percent) of its product line is already non-GMO, but some products contain GMO corn or soy. These will get the new labels. The company said new products will be in compliance by June, and existing products will reach store shelves “on a rolling basis” as soon as possible after that. GMO-containing ingredients in Stonewall Kitchen’s products include corn meal, soya oil, corn starch and beet sugar.

Rhode Island Bakery Succeeds With Only One Product: Portuguese Muffins

Family-owned Central Bakery in Tiverton, R.I., has been producing a unique breakfast bread known as bolo levedo – and only bolo levedo – since 1967. An import from Portugal’s Azores Islands, bolo levedo resembles an English muffin, but lacks the nooks and crannies, and is spongier and sweeter. Thriving Central Bakery supplies the delicacy (known locally as the “3 Meal Muffin”) to area supermarkets and to notable chefs around the country who use the bread for burger and sandwich buns.

McDonald’s Cleans Up Its McNuggets Recipe

McDonald’s, which has acknowledged it failed to keep up with America’s changing food preferences, is turning over a new leaf. The company announced it is testing a reformulated Chicken McNuggets – without artificial preservatives – in restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. The company has not revealed details of the new recipe, but did say it is “simpler” and will please parents. The company’s sagging sales have picked up recently, thanks in part to its all-day breakfast strategy, but also to price hikes and to shuttering of underperforming restaurants. It did not say whether customer visits had picked up as well. The company hopes to launch the new McNuggets recipe in time for the Summer Olympics,

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May 01, 2016, to May 15, 2016

PepsiMoji Campaign Expands For The Summer

PepsiCo is expanding its PepsiMoji campaign for this summer to take advantage of the fact that emojis have become “a truly universal language” useful for keeping the brand active on smartphones. The campaign will comprise a hundred five-second TV ads, an interactive Times Square billboard, and a half billion PepsiMoji bottles of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi MAX. The company has created hundreds of proprietary emoji characters applying themes like food, sports, travel, and music. The idea is to spark surprising Pepsi-related conversations and “shareable moments,” the company said.

Sustainability, Purity, Simplicity Are Dannon's New Watchwordsl

Yogurt maker Dannon is requiring its milk suppliers to adhere to the company’s animal welfare standards and to improve and conserve soil. The new requirement is part of Dannon’s response to a growing consumer concern about the source and wholesomeness of food. Consumers increasingly seek fewer synthetic ingredients in their foods, want their food to be more pure, and want food animals treated humanely. A slew of new food companies represent fairly tough competition for Dannon – which sells a third of all yogurts in America – by touting the simplicity and purity of their products.

Dannon Promises Greater Sustainability, More Natural Ingredients, Label Transparency

Yogurt maker Dannon has pledged to farmers, retailers, and consumers that it will improve sustainable practices for its milk supply. It also promises greater transparency for its products as uses more natural – and fewer – ingredients. Improving its sustainable agriculture practices and technology will lead to better soil health, better water management, an increase in biodiversity, and a decrease in carbon emission. Moving to natural ingredients means fewer synthetic and more non-GMO over a three-year transition period. The company will ensure that by the end of 2017 any GMO ingredients will be clearly indicated on product labels.

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April 15, 2016, to May 01, 2016

General Mills Touts Progress In Sustainability, Healthful Foods

In a corporate progress report, General Mills says it has made significant headway in its plan to sustainably source all of its 10 “priority ingredients” – about half of its yearly raw material purchases – by 2020. The company also noted progress in delivering more healthful foods. It has lowered sodium and sugar content (in cereals and yogurts) and reformulated some products in response to consumer preferences. It eliminated artificial colors and flavors in its cereals and added gluten-free products. It also said it is now “the third-largest U.S. natural and organic food producer.”

Mars Follows Example Of Food Companies That Promise More Healthful Products

Mars Food says it will reformulate some of its food products to make them more healthful, and will begin labeling some with guidance as to whether they should be eaten occasionally or can be eaten every day. The company acknowledged that some of its food products have more salt, added sugar or fat, and therefore should not be eaten daily. The company also plans to cut the amount of salt in its food 20 percent within five years, and reduce sugar in some sauces and light meals by 2018. Brussels-based Mars owns brands like M&Ms, Snickers, Wrigley’s, Dolmio, Miracoli, and Uncle Ben’s.

Coca-Cola Unifies Brand Packaging

Coca-Cola is unifying its brand image and identity by using new graphics that feature “Coca-Cola Red” across the trademark. The red disc, featured in the new “Taste the Feeling” ad campaign, will appear prominently on all packaging. The red color will be featured on all soft drink packs, along with the brand's signature color : black for Zero, silver for Light/Diet and green for Life. The basic Coca-Cola brands are Original Taste (or Classic in some markets), Light/Diet, Zero (no sugar), and Life (less sugar, plus stevia leaf extract.
<<234567891011>> Total issues:183
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