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Treatt Introduces New Tea Flavors For Ready-To-Drink Market

August 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Treatt expanded its range of tea flavors and fragrance ingredients by introducing three new tea flavors for the ready-to-drink segment. Green Tea TrueTaste Natural 200 is an iced tea concentrate made from natural tea ingredients, the company said. Reconstituted to single strength, the RTD tea comes with a minimum of 0.04 percent tea solids and offers an authentic deep tea color, the company added. Designed for mixing with Stevia and other sweeteners, TreattSweet Tea 9859 is a zero-calorie mix of all-natural essences, the company said. White Tea Type WONF (With Other Natural Flavors) is a blend of natural essences from tea and other plants, according to the company.
"Take a break for Treatt's new natural tea launches", Treatt, August 08, 2013, © Treatt PLC
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Cadbury India Plans To Build Its Largest Asia-Pacific Manufacturing Facility In India's Andhra Pradesh State

August 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International's subsidiary Cadbury India said it plans to build its biggest manufacturing facility in the Asia-Pacific region in Andhra Pradesh's Sri City industrial zone. Expected to be initially worth over Rs 1,000 crore, the project breaks the long streak of depressing economic data and foreign investors' complaints about problems in doing business in the country. With the first phase expected to start by the middle of 2015, the proposed production facility is likely to be expanded with Cadbury India planning to spend at least Rs 2,000 crore more by 2020. Cadbury India already signed a lease agreement with Sri City for 134 acres, with special economic, domestic tariff, and free trade and warehousing zones provisions.
"Cadbury to invest over Rs 1,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh plant", Economic Times, August 08, 2013, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Food Manufacturers Profit From Obesity And Diet-Obsessed Market

August 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Some of the world’s leading food companies are making money from obesity by buying into the diet industry. For example, Weight Watchers, which was founded by Jean Nidetch in the early 1960s, was acquired by Heinz in 1978, which then sold the company to investment firm Artal for $735 million in 1999. Also, Slimfast, a liquid meal replacement invented by chemist and entrepreneur Danny Abraham was bought by Unilever in 2000, while the diet company Jenny Craig was bought by Nestlé, the world’s most profitable company in 2011, according to Fortune magazine’s Global 500 list. These multinational food giants, which have played a significant role in the global obesity epidemic, are now selling weight-loss and diet food products aimed at perpetuating a revenue-generating, obesity-driven, vicious circle.
Jacques Peretti , "Fat profits: how the food industry cashed in on obesity", The Guardian, August 07, 2013, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Jonesboro City Council Approves Proposed Bonds For Unilever Expansion

August 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The city council of Jonesboro in Arkansas voted unanimously to authorize $41 million in revenue bonds to help finance the continuation of Unilever’s expansion project at its manufacturing plant in the city. Unilever’s proposed expansion will not include construction of any new facilities; however, it will expand its product lines and use equipment relocated from recently closed Unilever plants in Melrose Park, Illinois, and Clinton, Connecticut. With 70–80 employees already hired, the expanded plant will hire additional employees by the middle of 2014, with hourly wages ranging from $14 for the least skilled jobs to $23 for more skilled positions.
Kenneth Heard , "Jonesboro OKs Unilever bonds $41 million to help company expand factory, hire 125", Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock), August 07, 2013, © Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.
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Hostess Relaunches Twinkies Brand Of Cakes As Snack for Guys

August 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Bankruptcy survivor Hostess relaunched the Twinkies snack brand as cakes for male consumers, specifically, guys 18–35 years old. Using the tagline "The sweetest comeback in the history of ever", Hostess launched a social media campaign and a guerilla marketing initiative, which includes employing street teams, food trucks, and its Twinkie the Kid mascot. Results of the $3 million campaign were overwhelming, with the company barely able to keep up with demand. Hostess has shipped 85 million Twinkies and Hostess CupCakes initially and taken orders for 100 million more. New owners Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos and Co. plan to add new products but intend to keep the classic Hostess products as they are.
T.L. Stanley, "Twinkies Relaunch as Dude Food", Adweek, August 07, 2013, © Adweek
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Kellogg Launches Marketing Campaign For Rice Krispies Brand Of Cereals

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg Co. plans to launch a marketing campaign for its Rice Krispies brand of ready-to-eat cereals. Aimed at mothers younger than 34 years, who want simple food for their children, according to the company's research, the campaign will highlight that the Rice Krispies cereals have a few simple ingredients which are easy to digest. The campaign also presents a realistic image of motherhood, which the company claims mothers found more appealing, based on tests it conducted.
"To Please Mom, No More Treats", Wall Street Journal, August 06, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Unilever Works With Giant Hypermarket To Launch Campaign Aimed At Women In Malaysia

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever partnered with Giant Hypermarket in Malaysia to launch the Speed Shopping Challenge, which aimed to add fun into household chores. With several of its brands, such as Breeze, Persil, and Comfort, participating in the promo, Unilever aimed to use the in-store contest to highlight the scope and importance of the chores managed by Malaysian women at home. Prizes at stake during the competition, which also aimed to promote closer bond between mothers and their families, included a Toshiba LED television, RM600 worth of Giant vouchers, and RM300 worth of store products for the first three winners.
"Unilever makes mundane chores exciting", New Straits Times , August 06, 2013, © The New Straits Times Press
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WILD Flavors Launches Brewed Tea Solutions

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
WILD Flavors GmbH added brewed tea flavors to the range of tea extracts, flavors, and infusions it provides to manufacturers of ready-to-drink teas, which rank among the most popular beverages in Europe. Data from market research firm Canadean revealed that in 2012, the sector reached 4.3 million liters, accounting for 5 percent of the soft drinks consumed in Europe. WILD’s lineup of tea products includes classics, such as black and green tea, white tea, rooibos, and the exotic mate. These flavors are provided as a liquid concentrate or as a dried powder.
"WILD expands its tea portfolio", WILD Flavors, August 06, 2013, © WILD Flavors GmbH
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Cargill Australia Announces Plan To Buy Joe White Maltings

August 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Cargill Australia Limited announced that Glencore International has accepted its offer to acquire malt producer Joe White Maltings. Expected to be completed before the end of 2013, the acquisition deal needs to gain certain regulatory approvals. Joe White Malting, as the country’s largest malt producer, provides Cargill with a strong presence in Australia’s malting market. It also complements its operations in Europe and the Americas, where the company operates malting facilities.
"Cargill Australia to buy Joe White Maltings", Cargill, August 05, 2013, © Cargill, Incorporated
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Toaster Strudel, Ja?: General Mills Hopes So

August 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A new ad campaign from Pillsbury (General Mills) featuring a Germanic-looking, lederhosen-clad  adolescent boy pitching Toaster Strudel signals a rising trend in food marketing: the use of brand mascots, “an old-school approach” – think Pillsbury Doughboy – rejuvenated in the era of digital social media. Toaster Strudel’s ads are, in fact,  timed to dovetail with the launch of the brand’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. The company’s strategy is a response generally to the malaise in breakfast cereal sales, and specifically to the $668 million Kellogg campaign for its Pop Tarts brand and its “Gone Nutty” peanut butter and chocolate varieties. One of the ads features an animated Pop Tart character swimming in a peanut butter spa.
E.J. Schultz, "Toaster Strudel Straps on Lederhosen in Breakfast Battle", Advertising Age, August 02, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Post Holdings Says It Plans To Acquire Premier Nutrition

August 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Cereals manufacturer, marketer, and distributor Post Holdings, Inc. said it has agreed to acquire Premier Nutrition Corporation, a fast growing marketer and distributor of high-end protein beverages and foods. Expected to enable Post to expand into the growing active nutrition and supplements markets, the proposed acquisition will give the company access to PNC’s Premier Protein brand of protein beverages and Joint Juice nutritional supplements. As part of the deal, PNC will be independently managed by its current management team in Emeryville, California.
"Post Holdings to Acquire Premier Nutrition Corporation", Post Foods, August 02, 2013, © Post Foods, LLC
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Ella's Kitchen Launches Range Of Meals For Toddlers In UK

August 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Ella’s Kitchen launched the “my little BIG meals”, its first lineup of 100 percent organic meals for growing toddlers 12 months and older. Offering various tastes and textures from dishes, including Chicken Paella-ella-ella and stacked and vegetable Moussaka with creamy sauce topping, the lineup was developed based on research results showing parents of toddlers older than 12 months want to go beyond staged weaning to meals that are more “grown up”. Ella’s Kitchen said the range will be available in stores starting in August 2013, with suggested retail price of £2.19.
"Ella’s Kitchen launches new meal range", Food & Drink Innovation Network, August 02, 2013, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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Unilever’s Ireland Unit Seeks To Trim Labor Costs To Stay Competitive

August 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever told Ireland’s Labor Court that it needs to cut 40 redundant positions from its workforce of 190 because employment costs are too high in an “unrelentingly challenging retail environment”. Unilever’s proposal is being contested at the court by Ireland’s trade union, the Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (Siptu). A mediation meeting resulted in the company offering workers a redundancy package of four weeks’ pay of service inclusive of statutory payments. But members of Siptu rejected the plan. The Labor Court said that Unilever’s terms were “generally reasonable” but a proposed additional payment of €600 per year of service should be increased to €1,000 per year of service”.
Gordon Deegan, "Irish costs are too high, says Unilever", Irish Examiner, August 01, 2013, © Irish Examiner Ltd.
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Unilever Foundation Representatives Visit Save The Children Projects In China

July 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Foundation ambassadors and Unilever employees Dana Buchanan and Carlos Castillo Cano came to China to visit Save the Children’s projects in the country. China is one of the five countries where Unilever is supporting the nonprofit group’s Every One global campaign to prevent preventable deaths of children and their mothers. Among the projects visited by Buchanan, who is a senior manager from Australia, and Cano, a customer development executive from Spain, are a community health center and a kindergarten in Shanghai.
"Unilever Foundation Ambassadors visit China with Save the Children", Unilever, July 31, 2013, © Unilever
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Reckitt Benckiser's Schiff Nutrition Unit Posts Strong Sales Growth In Second Quarter Of FY2013

July 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Schiff Nutrition International, which Reckitt Benckiser acquired for about $1.3 billion in 2012, reported 4 percent like-for-like growth for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013. Schiff’s health business division posted the highest growth rate at 16 percent, followed by hygiene with 5 percent, and home at 3 percent. Food and pharmaceutical divisions, however, posted negative growth rates of -2 percent and -12 percent, respectively. All markets remained strong for Schiff Nutrition, with North America and Europe posting 3 percent growth; however, Latin America and Asia-Pacific reported far stronger growth rates at 11 percent each.
Stephen DANIELLS , "Reckitt Benckiser: Schiff results ‘confirm that we have acquired very high quality brands in an exciting VMS category’", Nutra-ingredients-USA, July 31, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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European Union Initiative Aims To Develop Healthy Foods With Less Salt, Sugar, And Fat

July 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
PLEASURE, a European Union-funded project, seeks to develop new food processing technologies that would reduce sugar, salt, and fat content of ready-to-eat meals without using additives. Biozoon Food Innovations owner Matthias Kück, coordinator of the project, said the initiative focuses on different food groups, such as sausages, mozzarella, and pizza dough. Project scientists are studying various possible options, including a biotechnological procedure, with patent pending, which involves the use of enzymatic and fermentation processes to reduce sugar in apple juice.
"Junk-free pizza, engineered to please taste buds", Cordis, July 31, 2013, © Cordis
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Nestlé Launches Premium Tea Brand In Japan

July 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is launching its high-end capsule tea system Special.T in Japan, the first non-European market to see the brand. Nestlé claims the brand’s advanced tea-brewing technology, as well as its wide range of tea varieties, will attract consumers in the country. Special.T’s launch in Japan, which comes in time for the company’s 100th year in the country, highlights Nestlé’s plan to build on the brand’s earlier launches in several European countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland.
"Nestlé launches Special.T in Japan", Nestlé , July 31, 2013, © Nestle
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PepsiCo Agrees To Sponsor Manchester United FC In Asian Markets

July 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo entered into a multiyear regional sponsorship deal with Manchester United Football Club in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of the agreement, PepsiCo will become the football team’s official soft drinks partner in several Asian countries, including Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei, and Thailand. For its part, PepsiCo gains exclusive rights to using the football team’s branding on its products and point of sale materials within the markets covered.
"Manchester United and PepsiCo form partnership in seven countries in Asia", PepsiCo, Inc., July 31, 2013, © PepsiCo Inc.
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WILD Flavors Acquires Stake In Amazon Flavors, Establishes Presence In Brazil's Beverage Market

July 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
WILD Flavors GmbH acquired a stake in Amazon Flavors, a major manufacturer of natural flavors, extracts, emulsions, and compounds for Brazil’s fast-growing beverage market. WILD’s partnership with Amazon Flavors, whose product portfolio includes natural extracts and flavors derived from the guarana plant, açai berries, oranges and grapes as well as cola flavors, helps the Swiss company establish and expand its presence in the region. Based on the latest market data, Brazil’s beverage sector has plenty of growth potential, with an annual growth rate of 3–4 percent for the soft drinks market in the medium term, according to market research firm Canadean.
"Investment in the booming Brazilian beverage market", WILD Flavors, July 30, 2013, © WILD Flavors GmbH
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Canterbury Coffee Introduces 92% Biodegradable Single-Serve Coffee Cup

July 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Richmond, British Columbia-based specialty coffee roaster Canterbury Coffee announced the OneCoffee, a single-serve coffee cup the company claims is 92 percent biodegradable. Reportedly similar to Keurig’s K-Cup but with 40 percent less plastic content, the cup is made of polylactic acid resin and is designed to break down in an industrial composting facility or landfill. Capable of being degraded in an anaerobic digester, the cup, however, requires moisture. Also, the company said it plans to replace the cup’s nylon filter, which is its only non-biodegradable component. In the United States, about 13 percent of consumers drink coffee from single-serve brewers compared with 4 percent in 2010.
"Canterbury Coffee Develops 92% Biodegradable Single-Serve Pod", Environmental Leader, July 30, 2013, © Environmental Leader LLC
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MusclePharm Partners With Schwarzenegger To Launch Line Of Nutritional Supplements

July 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
MusclePharm Corp. partnered with former governor, actor, and celebrity bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger to launch the Arnold Series of nutritional supplements. Slated to launch with eight supplements supporting the four fitness pillars —performance, power and strength, nutrient support, and recovery, the Arnold Series will be available in the U.S. and international markets at various health and nutrition stores, the company said. Founded in 2008 by former NFL player Brad Pyatt, MusclePharm develops and manufactures daily supplement regiments to help consumers and athletes in building muscles, losing weight, and achieving general fitness, the company added.
"Arnold Schwarzenegger Teams Up With MusclePharm® to Develop the Arnold Series, His First Line of Nutritional Supplements", PRNewswire , July 30, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Will Fitness Fans Flock To Dr. Zak’s High-Protein Bread?

July 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
MuscleFood.com has launched a high-protein, lower-carb bread targeted at bread loving fitness fanatics. Made in the U.K. from wholemeal (whole grain) flour, Dr. Zak’s Protein Bread contains 15 grams of wheat and pea protein and 13.9 grams of carbohydrates per slice, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. A loaf is denser than sliced white bread, weighing in at 850 grams, triple the weight of a normal loaf. Food writer Bianca London says the bread has a pleasant aroma, more depth of flavor than regular bread, and left her feeling full and satisfied. But at £5 ($7.64) a loaf, it would probably appeal only to a specialty market.
Bianca London, "The bread that can help you get fitter, not fatter: Loaf contains SEVEN TIMES as much protein as regular bread - and it's full of Omega 3 too", Daily Mail Online, July 29, 2013, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Kellogg Announces Success Of Technology-Enabled Loyalty Program

July 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Food company Kellogg Co. said its Kellogg’s Family Rewards consumer loyalty program has expanded to cover more than 90 percent of the company’s products.  Kellogg’s customer relationship management team expects to expand overseas the loyalty program, which highlighted the company’s lack of historical insight into how consumers buy its products when it was launched in 2012. As part of the program, each product comes with a 16-digit loyalty code, which includes information on product type, size, flavor, the store where the product is bought, and the store location. 
Kate Kaye, "Kellogg Cracks the Code on Loyalty", Advertising Age, July 29, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Unilever Divests Turkish Bakery, Oils Unit

July 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever will sell its Turkish bakery and industrial oils business to Swedish specialty vegetable fats producer AAK, the company announced. The Unipro bakery and oils business also includes several sub-brands available in Turkey. The move was made as part of an effort to “sharpen” its product portfolio, the company said. The divestment will not include Unilever’s factory in Çorlu, where Unipro brands are produced. The factory will continue to manufacture for AAK under a third-party agreement.
"Unilever agrees to sell its Unipro bakery and industrial oils business in Turkey", News release, Unilever, July 27, 2013, © Unilever
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Unilever Opens Digital Media Facility In Mumbai

July 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever opened its first media laboratory for the Indian market in Mumbai where the company plans to train its managers on digital media marketing. A sign of the company’s focus on digital marketing, the facility will also be used to certify all of the company’s digital campaigns before they are launched. In 2012 and 2013, the company increased its digital ad spending worldwide by about 40 percent.
Sagar Malviya & Amit Bapna, "Hindustan Unilever sets up digital media lab in Mumbai to train managers", Economic Times, July 26, 2013, © Times Internet Limited
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Canada Approves Tate & Lyle’s Soluble Corn Fiber As Food/Beverage Ingredient

July 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
British food ingredients Manufacturer Tate & Lyle said its soluble corn fiber product has won approval in Canada as a source of dietary fiber. PROMITOR Fiber 70 and 85, available in powder and liquid form, can be used by food formulators to bring functional benefits of fiber fortification into their food and drink products, the company said. The Canadian approval validates the claim that the corn fiber product offers physiological and health benefits. PROMITOR is low in viscosity and is stable in processing, heat and pH, making it appropriate for fiber fortification of fruit drinks, meal replacements, bars, cereal, snacks and dairy.
"Tate & Lyle’s PROMITOR® Soluble Corn Fiber Receives Approval in Canada", Tate & Lyle , July 25, 2013, © Tate & Lyle
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Unilever Reports Strong Profit Growth In First Half Of 2013

July 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever reported sales grew 5.0 percent in the first half of 2013, with sales in emerging markets rising by 10.3 percent, slightly lower than the 10.4 percent in the previous quarter. Turnover rose 0.4 percent to €25.5 billion, with operating profit rising 14 percent to €3.9 billion. Net profit rose 13 percent to €2.7 billion. Volume growth was at 2.6 percent, with pricing higher by 2.3 percent. The company also reported turnover increased by 0.4 percent at €25.5 billion, with currency at 3.2 percent and disposals at 1.1 percent. Core earnings per share rose 4.0 percent to €0.76, with free cash flow reported at €1.3 billion. Also, during the period, Unilever increased its stake in its India unit Hindustan Unilever to 67 percent.
"Unilever First Half 2013 Results (Full Announcement)", Unilever, July 25, 2013, © Unilever
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Smartphone App Gets Dunkin’ Donuts Closer To Its Customers

July 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin' Donuts launched a smartphone app a year ago that has proven wildly successful in boosting sales, according to the company, which has since concentrated on improving the customer experience and speeding payments. The company enhanced its ability to target consumers with local and national special offers that help in the launch of new products. There is now a version of the app in Spanish, and an adaptation of the app being tested in South Korea is capable of waking users up and displaying the day’s breakfast menu and special offers. The company is also testing mobile loyalty programs.
David Heun, "Dunkin' Donuts' Mobile Payments App Delivers Steady Sales", Payments Source, July 25, 2013, © SourceMedia
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Skinnygirl Introduces Liquid Sweeteners

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The start-up company known mainly for its low-calorie alcoholic beverages targeted at women has launched a line of zero-calorie liquid sweeteners made with monk fruit, agave, and stevia. The concentrated sweeteners from Skinnygirl, founded by former Real Housewives of New York cast member Bethenny Frankel, are zero-calorie, gluten-free and carb-free. They come in 1.68 ounce bottles that contain 80-160 servings. The sweeteners are available nationwide in Walmart and other stores.
"Skinnygirl™ Makes Life a Little Sweeter by Launching Zero Calorie Stevia, Agave, and Monk Fruit Liquid Sweeteners", PRNewswire , July 24, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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FMC Acquires Omega-3 Concentrates Manufacturer Epax

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
FMC Corp. announced its acquisition of all the shares of Epax Nutra Holdings III AS and Epax UK Holdings III AS, manufacturer of high-purity, premium-grade Omega-3 fatty acid concentrates. Estimated to be worth $345 million, the purchase deal reinforces FMC’s business operations in the fast growing nutraceutical market. Epax uses proprietary purification and concentration production processes in manufacturing Omega-3 fatty acids that are used mainly in the nutraceutical, food, and active pharmaceutical ingredient intermediate markets. As part of the deal, FMC also takes possession of Epax’s world-scale production facilities in Alesund, Norway, and Seal Sands in the UK.
"FMC Corporation Acquires Leading High-Purity Omega-3 Concentrates Producer Epax", FMC Corporation, July 24, 2013, © FMC Corporation
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Nestlé Turns Factory Grounds Into Meadows In The UK

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé promised to plant wildflower meadows within the grounds of all its manufacturing facilities in the UK by 2015 to help create natural habitats and expand green space for local communities. Also, Nestlé is partnering with a group of dairy farmers who supply its factory in Girvan, Scotland, to plant wildflowers on their land. Aimed at attracting a variety of wildlife, including various species of butterflies, which are seeing population declines in the UK, the wildflower planting project is expected to create 75 acres of meadows.
"Nestlé plants wildflower meadows to promote biodiversity in the UK", Nestle, July 24, 2013, © Nestle
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Fancy Food Show Review: Ancient Grains

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Recently we attended the Fancy Food Show, ‘North America’s Largest Specialty Food & Beverage Event’, which was held in New York June 30 - July 2, 2013. The event includes 180,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic, natural, organic and more, with 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries and regions.
 
All the standard food business trends were in evidence at the show – rise of organic, healthier options, exotic and vibrant tastes, craft and artisanal food, convenience. This year the show was especially heavy on artisanal olive oils, sea salts and chips.
 
We went looking at a number of themes and trends and one thing we looked at was the ongoing rise of ancient grains. Here are a few things of interest we saw:
 
Ancient grains
Many brands and products mention ancient grains in their literature but the penetration of grains varies greatly. Some, like quinoa are entering the mainstream while others like teff, spelt or kamut, say, are much less commonplace. One product that at the show looked to be gaining traction is freekeh, being introduced alongside quinoa and used more widely as an ingredient. For example:
 
Under the tag ‘Nature’s Recipe for Well-Being,’ Freekehlicious offer Wholegrain Freekeh and Cracked Freekah.
 
Under the tag ‘ancient grains for modern times,’ Freekeh-Foods offers freekeh in three flavors: Original, Rosemary Sage & Tamari.
 
We did not notice any consumer products with freekeh but a web search shows some are emerging. Also, the rep at Freekehlicious believes that freekeh is the ‘new quinoa,’ given the benefits it offers and relative ease of using it compared to other ancient grains.
 
Chia Pod
Australia-based Chia Company is pushing the benefits of the ancient grain chia that was originally grown in South America. Chia seeds were first used as food as early as 3500 BC and were one of the main dietary components of the Aztecs and the Mayans. It is the richest plant based source of Omega 3, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.
 
It recently launched Chia Pod:
 
‘…a world first innovation. Dairy free and vegan, each 6oz Chia Pod® has been cold processed to retain the raw nutrition, taste and color of the fruit. The innovative single serve pack contains a custom designed spoon inside the lid. The lid, spoon and cup are 100% recyclable.’
 
The Chia Co products are now available throughout stores in Australia, New Zealand and the USA; since June 2013 Chia Pods have been available at Wholefoods in the USA.
Business360 staff, "Fancy Food Show Review by Business360", Business360 Comment, July 24, 2013
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Coca-Cola Launches Healthy Lifestyle, Anti-Obesity Campaign In Australia

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola South Pacific said it plans to launch an anti-obesity campaign in Australia. As part of the planned initiative, Coca-Cola said it would focus on offering products with smaller-portion sizes, expanding and promoting its lineup of low-kilojoule beverages, providing consumers access to more nutritional information about its products, and helping inspire Australians to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle. Announcing its health campaign on network television, Coca-Cola claimed it had an important role in fighting obesity in the country. In the UK, meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority banned a TV advertisement by Coca-Cola for potentially misleading health and calorie-burning claims.
Sophie Langley, "Coke launches anti-obesity campaign in Australia, but ‘be healthy’ Coke ad banned in UK", Australian Food News, July 24, 2013, © Australian Food News
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Coca-Cola Company
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FDA Warns Companies Making Unauthorized Diabetes Claims For Their Products

July 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to companies that make diabetes-related claims for their products. Part of the FDA’s probe into health benefits claims on products, websites, and other marketing literature, the warning letters covered products ranging from nutritional supplements to topical creams. Neuliven Health, Inc. received a warning letter for claims the company has made for its Glucocil product, including lowering fasting blood sugar levels by up to 29 percent and lowering A1c levels significantly. Also, the FDA warned PharmaTerra, Inc. for claims related to its ProBeta product, which tend to establish that the product is a drug.
Stephen DANIELLS , "FDA targets diabetes claims with raft of new warning letters", Nutra-Ingredients USA, July 23, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Starbucks, Danone Collaborate To Promote Yogurt Line In U.S.

July 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks Coffee Co. partnered with Danone to offer a jointly developed line of healthy specialty yogurt products in selected Starbucks stores and in grocery stores. Inspired by Dannon-branded ready-to-eat Parfait Greek yogurt products, the Evolution Fresh product line will help push Danone’s plan to expand yogurt consumption in the United States. Also, the deal will help Starbucks extend its lineup of health and wellness offerings for its customers. Starbucks and Danone said they plan to explore additional ways to leverage common opportunities across product and market segments.
"Starbucks and Danone Announce Strategic Agreement to Create and Develop an Exclusive Line of Evolution Fresh, Inspired by Dannon-branded Fresh Dairy Products", Starbucks, July 23, 2013, © Starbucks Corporation
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Coca-Cola Launches Environment-Friendly Soft Drink In Argentina

July 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola launched the Coca Cola Life soft drink product in Argentina. Sweetened with sugar and the natural no-calorie sweetener stevia, the new product comes with a green label. Packaged in the PlantBottle, which is made with 30 percent plant material and is fully recyclable, the new drink comes with 108 calories in a 600 milliliter bottle. Coca-Cola has yet to announce plans to launch in other markets the product, which follows the launch of a new bottle made of ice in Colombia.
Daily Mail Reporters and Reuters Reporter, "Sure this is the real thing? GREEN Coke launched in Argentina with natural sweetener and fully recyclable bottle", Daily Mail Online, July 22, 2013, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Coca-Cola Company
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Latin America
Argentina

Free Smartphone App Helps Cupcake Fanatics Find A Fix

July 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Cupcake aficionados (and addicts) should welcome a new app for iPhone and Android smartphones from Cupcake Maps LLC. The free apps, available in the iTunes store or in the Google Play Marketplace, help cupcake and cake lovers find a fix while on the go, as well as deals, reviews, articles and baking tips. Maps locate cupcake shops in specific zip codes, and the apps provide directions, allow sharing on Twitter and Facebook and use GPS integration to point hungry users to the closest shops. Cupcake Maps LLC also maintains CupcakeMaps.com and CupcakeMonster.com
"Cupcake Maps Announces Release of Cupcake Monster's Cupcake Maps - Cupcakes and Cakes Reviews Mobile iPhone and Android Apps", News release, Cupcake Maps LLC, July 21, 2013, © Cupcake Maps LLC
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The Gluten-Free Doughnut Is A National And Local Bakery Trend

July 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The gluten-free trend is spreading into the retail doughnut sector, touching both large chains and local operators. Dunkin' Donuts, noting that it  recognizes that “sensitivities to food ingredients such as gluten are a serious concern,” said it will introduce a gluten-free cinnamon sugar doughnut and a gluten-free blueberry muffin by the end of the year. An example at the local level: Memphis, Tenn.-based Glaze Gourmet Donuts said it will offer gluten-free doughnuts among its other specialties at weddings, parties and office gatherings. The market for gluten-free foods hit $4.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to exceed $6.6 billion by 2017 (Packaged Facts).
Adolfo Flores, "Dunkin' Donuts to sell gluten-free doughnuts, muffins by end of 2013", Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2013, © Los Angeles Times Company
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Heinz Launches Facebook Contest As Part Of Summer Campaign

July 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Heinz launched a contest on Facebook as part of its Summer Sauces marketing campaign. With various goodies at stake, the online competition is open for consumers via the Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Heinz Salad Cream Facebook pages. Facebook fans only need to refer a Facebook friend to “Like” either of the Facebook pages to join the contest.
"Heinz releases new Facebook competition", Food & Drink Innovation Network, July 17, 2013, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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Nestlé’s Nespresso Premium Coffee Unit Launches Sustainability Programs In Latin America, Africa

July 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé’s premium coffee business unit has launched several socio-economic and environmental initiatives targeted at coffee-farming communities in Africa and Latin America from where it sources some of the Nespresso Grands Cru brand. The aim is to build on the success of the company’s 10-year-old AAA Sustainable Quality Program to secure high quality coffee and improve sustainable farming practices and enhance  farmer welfare .Nespresso says it will partner with local governments and a non-profit organization to improve coffee sustainability at farm level, while launching social development programs to support the welfare of farmers, their families and the wider community.
"Nespresso launches major new sustainability initiatives in Africa and Latin America", Nestle, July 16, 2013, © Nestle
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Salt Reduction Ingredient Wins IFT Innovation Award

July 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
British specialty food ingredients provider Tate & Lyle’s SODA-LO salt microspheres won the Institute of Food Technologists Food Expo innovation award. The product is made of salt, but uses a unique technology that transforms standard salt crystals into free-flowing hollow crystalline microspheres that deliver salty taste by maximizing surface area relative to volume. Food manufacturers can use the product to meet lower salt requirements without compromising the taste or functionality of their products, according to the company. The product has been used to reduce sodium content 25 to 50 percent in breads, peanuts, popcorn, crackers, chips, French fries and seasoned meat.
"Tate & Lyle’s SODA-LO Salt Microspheres Wins 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Innovation Award", News release, Tate & Lyle, July 15, 2013, © Tate & Lyle
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Safeway CEO Is Second Most Influential In Food Retail, Supermarket News List Says

July 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Safeway CEO Robert Edwards is ranked number 2 in the Supermarket News’ 2013 Power 50 list of the most influential people in the food retail market. Edwards has led Safeway’s efforts to right-size itself which include selling its stores and manufacturing facilities in Canada to Sobeys for US$5.7 billion. Safeway plans to use most of the proceeds from the sale to retire $2 billion in notes due in August 2014 and most of the remaining funds to buy back stock. Edwards also said some of the proceeds may be used to invest in growth opportunities, mostly in-house initiatives aimed at increasing operating income in its grocery business.
Elliot Zwiebach , "2013 Power 50: Robert Edwards, No. 2 in Traditional Supermarket Operators", Supermarket News , July 15, 2013, © Penton
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FMCG Companies Step Up Marketing Efforts In Rural India

July 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers in rural India have become increasingly important to fast moving consumer goods companies like Hindustan Unilever and Dabur India, despite the fact that spending has slowed in that market. To revive sales, HUL created Project Shakti, which armed 40,000 Ammas with a basic smartphone that can take and bill orders, manage inventory and stay informed about company promotional offers. Dabur India’s strategy involves the use of word-of-mouth advertising to get rural consumers to sample products and experience their benefits. The company also used local  fairs and melas (Hindu pilgrimages) during the harvest seasons when people have more money to spend.
Bhavana Acharya, "Dabur India, Hindustan Unilever’s tech route to rural markets", The Hindu Business Line, July 14, 2013, © The Hindu Business Line
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Unilever
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Japan's Royce Brings Luxury Chocolate Business To India

July 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Japan-based luxury chocolate company, Royce, plans to open a flagship store at the Palladium Mall in Mumbai, which marks its entry into India’s high-end confectionery market. Market tests conducted by the company showed India is ready for super-premium gourmet products, according to Royce officials. Trends among the country’s existing luxury food retailers, including Godrej Nature’s Basket and Le Marche, which are showing no sign of weakening in their business despite the depreciation of the Indian rupee and resulting higher prices, seem to support Royce’s assertion. So while Indian consumers are cutting down on their discretionary spending and almost all mid-level consumer brands are expanding their promotions and discounts to increase sales, luxury food marketers are holding on to their premium-market pricing strategies.
Ratna Bhushan & Vijaya Rathore, "Japan's luxury chocolate maker Royce enters India's booming gourmet food business", Economic Times, July 12, 2013, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Nestlé Continues China Expansion, Opens Two Factories

July 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé opened two new factors in China as part of its expansion of its business in the country by growing its range of local and global brands. Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke attended the opening of the Nescafécoffee factory in Shandong Province and the Yinlu Foods factory in Anhui Province. Part of Nestlé’s joint venture with China’s leading manufacturer of ready-to-eat peanut milk and ready-to-eat rice congee, the Yinlu Foods factory created more than 2,000 new jobs.
"Nestlé continues to grow its business in China with opening of two new factories", Nestlé , July 11, 2013, © Nestle
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Tenth Indonesia Palm Oil Processing Plant Will Help Unilever Achieve Sustainability Goals

July 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has broken ground on the construction of a Rp 1.4 trillion ($140.4 million) palm oil processing plant in the Sei Mangkei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in North Sumatra (Indonesia), its tenth plant in the country. The new plant, expected to be fully operational in 2014, will be run by the PT Unilever Oleochemical Indonesia subsidiary. Unilever in 2010 set a goal of sourcing 100 percent of the palm sustainably by 2015. The target was reached in 2012. Company officials say the new plant will help Unilever achieve a new goal of purchasing all palm oil sustainably from certified, traceable sources by 2020.
Andrew McDougall, "Unilever breaks ground on Indonesia plant for sustainable palm oil", Cosmetics Design , July 11, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Unilever
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The Twinkie Is Dead, Long Live The Twinkie!

July 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hostess Brands declared bankruptcy last year, laying off 18,000 workers nationally. Many observers said the demise of Hostess was due to unstoppable trends of the “real food”  movement. But after it was acquired and reorganized by two private equity firms this year, Hostess announced it would once again offer Twinkies, Cupcakes and DingDongs, albeit more efficiently through warehouses rather than directly to stores. Rabobank drew four lessons from the relaunch of the Twinkie brand that may apply to the entire snack cake market: the strength of iconic brands such as Twinkie; recognition that there is room in the diet for sweet indulgence; the dangers in messing with a winner; and opportunities available to expand the snack cake market.
"Rabobank Report: The Return of the Twinkie – Naughty but Nice?", News release, Rabobank, July 10, 2013, © Rabobank
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Taste, Health, Convenience Are Watchwords For General Mills’ 200 New Products

July 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills took the wraps off its product innovation plans for this year, providing details on more than 200 new items being introduced gradually worldwide. According to the company, the products are designed to meet the needs of consumers who are demanding better taste, enhanced nutrition and convenience at a good value. Among the new products are Vanilla Chex cereal and Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares in the U.S.; Liberte Greek yogurt in the U.K.; Yoki Kit Facil convenient dinner kits in Brazil; and pint-sized Haagen-Dazs Secret Sensations ice cream in Europe.
"General Mills to unveil global innovation lineup of 200 products launching this summer", PRNewswire , July 09, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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General Mills
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United States of America

Unilever Launches Rail-Enabled Green Express Sustainable Logistics Program

July 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever launched its Green Express sustainable logistics initiative as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions across its supply chain. As part of the program, Unilever will ship its products by rail instead of using the road network. With its initial stage launched in Italy, with the company’s Green Express train making its first ice cream delivery, the project is part of Unilever’s sustainable living plan.
"Unilever takes to rail logistics for supply chain carbon gains", Edie.net, July 08, 2013, © Edie.net
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Unilever
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Italy

New Malaysian Factory Will Help Meet Growing Demand For Nestlé’s Ready-To-Drink Beverages

July 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
With demand on the rise in Malaysia for its ready-to-drink beverages, Nestlé is investing about $49.9 million in the construction of a factory in Shah Alam that will open in 2014, providing 160 new jobs. The factory will produce  Nescafé, Milo, and Nestlé Low Fat Milk. The new factory will have several sustainable design features, including a rain water recovery system and  ultra-high-temperature (UHT) processing with built-in heat recovery to reduce energy consumption.
"New Nestlé factory to meet growing demand for ready-to-drink beverages in Malaysia", News release, Nestlé , July 08, 2013, © Nestlé
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