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Nu-Tek Finds Way to Cut Sodium in Processed Meats

May 4, 2009: 07:27 PM EST
Nu-Tek says it has developed a low-sodium salt that can cut the sodium content of processed meat by up to 50 percent. Tests at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, showed that the flavor of deli ham slices was not compromised if sodium levels were cut to 25 percent. The company says that its product is at least as good as sodium chloride at holding water and emulsifying fat in ground beef. Sodium helps to preserve meat, and aids juiciness, tenderness and emulsification. Processed meats are a major source of sodium in people’s diets, followed by phosphates and lactates.
Mike Stones, "New meat sodium reduction technology on a plate", Food Production Daily.com, May 04, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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Online Retailers Turn to Social Media

May 4, 2009: 07:32 AM EST
Social marketing is proving to be a plus for companies willing to take the plunge into the “new media”, according to a recent survey. Online retailers in particular are shifting their marketing efforts into sites such as Facebook.com and Twitter, and making more use of targeted emails. The research, done by Forrester Research for Shop.org, shows that many online retailers believe that they are better placed to withstand the recession than either physical stores or catalogue companies. They also appear to have more faith in the ability of social media to get their messages to consumers. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of the retailers surveyed said that will cut web spending this year, 24 percent will increase it, and 46 percent will stick to their spending plan. According to Forrester Research, total US online sales will increase 11 percent to $156.1 billion in 2009, compared with a 13 percent gain in 2008. The company is predicting 13 percent growth in 2010, and 9 and 8 percent respectively in the following two years.
"Recession forces new focus in e-commerce marketing ", Seatllepi.com, May 04, 2009, © Hearst Seattle Media, LLC
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FDA Spurs Recall of Weight-Loss Supplement

May 1, 2009: 08:00 AM EST
A supplement widely used by dieters and body builders has been taken off the market at the request of the FDA. The product, Hydroxycut, has been linked to cases of liver damage, including one death. It is made by a Canadian company and distributed in the US by Iovate Health Sciences, headquartered near Buffalo, N.Y. Health officials aren’t sure which of the ingredients cause the problems, which reportedly include conditions ranging from jaundice to liver failure. One medical journal report, however, has pointed the finger at hydroxycitric acid, derived from a tropical fruit. Dr. Linda Katz of the FDA's food and nutrition division said the FDA has no authority to review supplements before they hit the market. The agency can look at them only after they reach the market, and in the case of Hydroxycut, the cases of liver damage were rare and difficult to track. The death of a teenager in 2007, apparently linked to the product, was not reported to the FDA until March this year. Reporting is voluntary.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar , "FDA Takes Diet Supplement Off the Market", Time.com, May 01, 2009, © Time Inc.
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Probiotic Sweetener First Product of New Partnership

May 1, 2009: 08:05 AM EST
A partnership between Heartland Sweeteners LLC and Ganeden Biotech has yielded its first fruit: a probiotic sweetener. Named Nevella, the new sugar substitute can be used in baked goods, tea and coffee. Designed to boost immune and digestive health, its makers also say it has “been shown to provide some protection against certain strains of influenza”. The partnership was made public in March. Ganeden Biotech’s patented probiotic bacteria, GanedenBC30, can survive manufacturing and baking temperatures, so that its health benefits are available in the digestive tract.
"Ingredient in Probiotic Sweetener Boosts Immune System ", Nutrition Horizon, May 01, 2009, © Bio-Medicine
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Supplements Face Testing Times Amid Recalls, Lawsuits

May 1, 2009: 05:14 AM EST
Dietary supplements are under scrutiny following several high-profile lawsuits amid the recall of more than 60 weight-loss supplements containing traces of undeclared pharmaceuticals. In an opinion piece, Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the Faseb Journal, argues that the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) made it impossible for the FDA to adequately regulate and police dietary supplements, giving manufacturers almost free rein to lace them with potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals. Action can be taken only if someone blows the whistle on adverse side effects. Weissmann cites reports that indicate if dietary supplements were subject to the same rigors as pharmaceuticals, at least 472 adverse events would have been reported in the period between 1999 and 2003, caused by echinacea, ginseng, garlic, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, and peppermint.
Gerald Weissmann, "The Atlanta Falcon and Tono-Bungay: Dietary Supplements as Subprime Drugs", The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, May 01, 2009, © The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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Whole Harvest Claims to Have 100% Natural Trans Fat Free Oil

April 29, 2009: 07:00 AM EST
Food companies and their scientists have been beavering away for years, and spending millions of dollars, trying to make a stable, trans fat free cooking oil without using chemicals or genetically modified soybean oils, and have come up with a number of options. Meanwhile, since 2003, Whole Harvest has been producing an all-natural 100 percent trans fat free soy oil, using a process for which it now has eight US production and product patents. The oil is not hydrogenated, retains its omega-3 and vitamin E content, and its purity has been independently verified.
"Naturally-Produced Zero Trans Oil is Here ", Food Ingredients First , April 29, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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Bloggers Used to Boost Company Profiles on Web

April 28, 2009: 08:52 AM EST
General Mills has recruited more than 900 bloggers who receive free products in return for making comments on the company’s MyBlogSpark site. The bloggers, 80 percent of whom are mothers, are eligible for sampling campaigns, product coupons, and advance advice of new ad campaigns. They don’t have to write good things about General Mills or its products, but a site requirement reads: "If you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service, please contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content." They also don’t have to disclose their personal interest. Other companies, including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart, are also ramping up their efforts to use bloggers. Media commentators say that anyone participating in these schemes should disclose their active participation, including receipt of free products and other inducements. MyBlogSpark’s 910 bloggers currently attract an audience of 8 million visitors, according to General Mills.
Brian Morrissey , "General Mills Recruits Blog Backers", Adweek, April 28, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
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Grocery and Food Giants Support Outlets to Boost Sales

April 28, 2009: 03:14 AM EST
Two of the world’s grocery and food-product giants, Unilever and Nestle, have unveiled plans to boost sales and encourage spending in Thailand in the current economic downturn. Unilever Thai Group of Companies is discounting 300 products by 45 percent from April 30 to June 4 in 100,000 retail outlets throughout the country, while Nestle (Thai) has sent more than 200 representatives to help retail outlets in Bangkok display and promote the Bear brand of powdered milk. The campaign is a world-first for Unilever. The campaign aims “to help cash-strapped Thai consumers by giving them more value for money,” said Bauke Rouwers, chairman of Unilever Thai Group of Companies. “It also hopes to help steer the country out of the crisis and move ahead," he said.
Pitsinee Jitpleecheep , "Bold campaigns to spur sales", Bangkok Post, April 28, 2009, © The Post Publishing Public Company Limited
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Unilever Resorts to Price Slashing in Thailand

April 28, 2009: 03:14 AM EST
Unilever in Thailand is resorting to huge discounts on its products to ride the tide of the recession. The company is spending $35 million on discounts of up to 45 percent, the most it has yet offered. Nestle in Thailand is also trying to help retailers cope with the current downturn by strengthening sales and merchandising through its Sales Blitz campaign.
Pitsinee Jitpleecheep , "Bold campaigns to spur sales", Bangkok Post, April 28, 2009
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Nestle
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Diet Soda Helps Prevent Kidney Stones

April 27, 2009: 03:38 AM EST
Diet soda can help prevent kidney stones, says a study from the University of California. The citrate and malate content may stop the development of calcium stones. Diet Sunkist Orange contained the greatest amount of total alkali and Diet 7-Up had the greatest amount of citrate as alkali. The researchers warn that kidney stone sufferers should not exchange water for soda, but say that moderate consumption can help.
"Drinking Diet Soda May Reduce the Risk of Forming Kidney Stones ", Nutrition Horizon, April 27, 2009
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Biscuit Maker Spends Millions to Slash Saturated Fats

April 27, 2009: 04:03 AM EST
UK-based snack and biscuit maker United Biscuits (UB) says it has cut the saturated fat content in three of its McVitie’s brands by 50 percent, and replaced them with unsaturated fats. The project took three years, and cost $8.7 billion, said Alice Cadmen, head of strategic projects at United Biscuits. Cadmen would not disclose the exact ingredients. The UK’s Food Standards Agency is running an awareness campaign aimed at getting people to reduce the level of saturated fats in their diets, and has been working with the food industry to achieve this. UB is also working to cut saturated fats from its snack lines.
Lindsey Partos, "United Biscuits invests over €6m in NPD for saturated fat reduction", FoodNavigator, April 27, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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Cargill Announces Flavor Solutions That Work With Rebiana

April 27, 2009: 04:53 AM EST
Using its patented technology Cargill has developed flavor solutions for rebiana, its zero-calorie sweetener containing mainly the steviol glycoside rebaudioside A (Reb-A), which is extracted from stevia. Rebiana is the first natural zero-calorie sweetener and is more than 200 times sweeter than sugar. Cargill’s advance on flavors is significant since flavors used in traditional sweetener-based systems often do not work with rebiana. The company claims the new flavor solutions will be well suited for cereal, yogurt, ice cream, confectionery and various beverage applications including carbonated soft drinks and flavored water.
"Cargill Expands its Flavor Offerings to the "Next Generation" of Taste Innovation ", Cargill, April 27, 2009
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KFC Continues Shifts to “Better for You” Grilled Chicken

April 27, 2009: 04:15 AM EST
KFC is continuing its shift to focus on its new grilled chicken offering, while at the same time keeping the traditional “secret” recipe on the menu. It is also maintaining the “secret” atmosphere: no one is allowed to see the in-restaurant grill. The move is part of a plan to capture the “better for you” market – people looking for healthier food options – without compromising the “fast food” drawcard. The grilled chicken sells at the same price as the traditional Kentucky fried. Charles Sharp, assistant business professor and consumer behavior expert at the University of Louisville, says consumers are changing. They’re becoming more concerned about healthy eating, but want to hang on to the quick service. Trudy Waterstadt, district manager of the Ocala KFC, said that customers have been making positive comments about the grilled chicken, but that some regulars don’t intend to change.
Joe VanHoose, "Residents find healthier option at KFC", Ocala.com, April 27, 2009, © Ocala.com
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Tate & Lyle Expands into Green Tea Ingredients

April 23, 2009: 06:37 AM EST
UK ingredients giant Tate & Lyle has gained an exclusive right to market A. Holliday’s high-concentrate green tea extract in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A. Holliday, a Canadian tea and coffee specialist, produces Teawell 95, a 95 percent concentrate of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most bioactive component of green tea. EGCG is reputed to increase metabolism, maintain blood glucose levels, and benefit the heart. Tate & Lyle, known for its sugars and starches, has been expanding into a range of healthier options through partnerships with other companies, such as Lipid Nutrition. It has produced a range of prototype products containing Teawell 95, incorporating its sweeteners, and expects the first product to be on the market next year. Coca-Cola is in the firing line in some States of the US over its claim that its EGCG-based beverage, Enviga, can burn calories.
"Tate & Lyle agree exclusive distribution rights for new green tea extract, TEAWELL 95, in Europe, Middle East and Africa ", Tate & Lyle, April 23, 2009, © Tate & Lyle
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Unilever Takes Portfolio-Wide Stance on Salt Reduction

April 21, 2009: 09:18 AM EST
Unilever has announced in a press release that it will reduce the salt content of all of its 22,000 food products. The company says it is taking a “holistic” approach, targeting a dietary intake of 6g of salt per person per day by the end of 2010, and 5g by the end of 2015. Food authorities in most countries advocate 6g/day as an acceptable consumption level, while the World Health Organization recommends 5g. Unilever’s strategy is to use recipe reformulations and salt replacers to reduce the amount of salt in its products, and to use aromas, herbs and spices to enhance the salty taste. It plans to look at the “contribution of our products to daily salt intake in the context of their role within a typical menu” when determining the reduced salt levels of particular products. As an example, it says salt in soup contributes about 10 percent of a person’s daily dietary intake. This means Unilever would have to cut salt levels in its soups to 360mg per 100g serving to meet its 2010 target.
"Unilever makes a commitment to reduce salt across its portfolio", Unilever.com, April 21, 2009, © Unilever
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Beverage Makers Strive to Achieve “All Natural” Status

April 21, 2009: 07:27 AM EST
Coca-Cola North America has reformulated Fanta Orange with 100 percent natural flavors, bringing it into line with Coca-Cola and Sprite. Fanta Apple and Fanta Grapefruit will be converted to natural flavors by the end of summer. The move is a response to rising consumer demand for natural ingredients, including flavors, colors and sweeteners. Coca-Cola rival PepsiCo is using a natural sweetener, Reb A stevia extract, in its Trop50 beverage. The FDA effectively approved Reb A in December. Flavor firms are now racing to develop products that counter the downside of stevia-based sweeteners, such as bitterness and off-flavors, as beverage makers strive to achieve the “all-natural” label for their products. Mintel reports in its Global New Products Database that the claim was made for 23 percent of foods and beverages launched last year.
"Fanta Orange Now With 100 Percent Natural Flavors", April 21, 2009, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Study Supports ConAgra’s Healthy Choice® Meal Options

April 20, 2009: 07:56 AM EST
ConAgra Foods says that its Healthy Choice® products help people to lose weight in association with an exercise program. Participants lost an average of 18 pounds over the 24-week study, conducted by the Rippe Lifestyle Institute. As well as losing weight, participants took three inches off their waistlines and dropped their cholesterol levels by 12 points. The men and women in the study had “health conditions common to many Americans, such as being overweight and having elevated cholesterol”. The study emphasized portion and calorie control, and eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean meat. The activity program began with a 15-minute walk three days a week and built up to a 45-minute walk four days a week. Healthy Choice products meet American Heart Association nutrition requirements, and feature information on how they fit into the USDA daily recommended amounts for food groups, says Kristin Reimers, PhD, Nutrition Manager, ConAgra Foods.
"CONAGRA FOODS; New Research Shows Healthy Choice Lives Up To Its Name ", April 20, 2009, © ConAgra
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Social Networking Now Crucial in Retailing

April 20, 2009: 07:12 AM EST
Social networking can no longer be ignored as a retail marketing tool, says Moira Benigson in this article. Citing Unilever’s Marmite as an example, she says it had 231,093 Facebook friends when she last looked. Unilever is aware of the opportunities this presents: It “gives Unilever the chance to entertain a captive audience”, says marketing, communications and buying director Rachel Bristow. Consumers are “wearing a virtual badge” and sharing comments about “their Marmite experiences”. She also says social networking will never take the place of advertising, because it is difficult to tell how much impact the networks have on sales. Facebook’s commercial director, Blake Chandlee, says that progressive brands “see social networking as an opportunity to connect with consumers like never before”. Information from a friend carries more credibility than brand marketing from a corporation, he says. On the downside, information from friends can also sink a brand. Chandlee says a combination of traditional media and viral marketing is “very powerful”.
Moira Benigson, "Social network sites offer a new opportunity for retailers", Times Online (UK), April 20, 2009, © Times Newspapers Ltd.
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Health Claims Range from “Hilarious” to “Irresponsible”

April 19, 2009: 12:26 PM EST
Registered dietitian Sharon Lehrman, a private practitioner, has drawn attention to health claims ranging from “hilarious” to “irresponsible” to highlight a growing trend for manufacturers to make vague or incomplete health claims such as “energy boosting” or “immune enhancing”. Earlier in the year the Center for Science in the Public Interest sued Coca-Cola for making what it says are deceptive and misleading claims for its Vitamin Water range. Citing six specific products, Lehrman notes that the good points emphasized in product marketing are often outweighed by unstated bad points.
Sarah Moran , "Label fables ", Star Tribune, April 19, 2009, © Star Tribune
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India Consumer Goods Sector in Good Shape

April 14, 2009: 04:45 AM EST
India's fast-moving consumer goods sector is expected to have notched up 15 percent net profit growth in the March quarter. High-end consumer products are likely to have suffered from smaller volumes. Analysts expect Hindustan Unilever to report a 23 percent year-on-year increase in its earnings and a 14 percent rise in revenues.
Kiran Kabtta Somvanshi, "FMCG cos may stay in fast lane", Economic Times, April 14, 2009
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Functional Foods Offer Hope of Disease Prevention Through Genes

April 11, 2009: 01:33 PM EST
Functional foods hold the promise of developing personalized diets that alter genes to prevent diseases, says Prof Charles Daly from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College, Cork. The diets could target a range of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, intestinal diseases, cognitive failure, bone problems and stress. Institute for Food Research (IFR) scientist John Eady said about 30 percent of genes showed potential to be changed through dietary intervention. Skeptics say it would be better to focus on improving people’s diets rather than pour money into long-term research with doubtful benefits.
David Christie, "New ‘science’ food may pave way to a disease-free diet", Sunday Herald , April 11, 2009, © newsquest (sunday herald) limited
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Edible Adverts Aim to Hit Front Page of Daily Paper

April 8, 2009: 03:44 AM EST
Edible adverts may the next innovation to hit newspapers. Inspired by the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, which featured orange-flavored wallpaper, the new adverts are edible films that can be sealed in a pouch and attached to magazine and newspaper ads. The brainchild of Adnan Zizi, who set up First Flavor with entrepreneur Jay Minkoff, the ads feature flavors such as grape juice, acai-berry juice, lime-spiked rum and baking-soda toothpaste. So far they’ve been used with some success in shops, magazines and direct-mail promotions, and now the company is targeting newspapers. Their aim to hit the front page. This may be a tall order, as newspapers tend to be broad-based, whereas magazines target niche markets. However, First Flavor figures that the declining fortunes of traditional print media in these tough economic times may work in their favor.
"Trading Licks", The Economist, April 08, 2009, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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ConAgra Revamps, Relaunches Healthy Choices Product Line

April 3, 2009: 11:56 AM EST
ConAgra Foods has revamped its Healthy Choice range of frozen entrees, including a new range of All Natural Entrees, backed by an advertising campaign fronted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, new packaging and a new-look Web site. As part of the promotion, Healthy Choice and the ConAgra Foods Foundation are donating $250,000 to US hunger-relief organization Feeding America. Carlos Veraza, vice president and general manager frozen, ConAgra Foods, said Healthy Choice aims to provide “food with more positive health benefits and delivering deliciously healthful meals with protein, fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients that consumers seek."
"Healthy Choice Reinvents Brand With New Products, A New Look And New Campaign Featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus", Reuters, April 03, 2009, © ConAgra Foods, Inc.
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White Wheat Provides Whole Grains without Sacrificing Texture

April 2, 2009: 07:21 AM EST
ConAgra says it has overcome one of the key barriers to eating more whole grains. Its new Ultragrain Whole Wheat Flour is made from white wheat under a patented process that gives it the texture, appearance and taste of the refined flours people prefer. Previously available only to manufacturers and food service operators, the flour is now being marketed US-wide under the Eagle Mills brand. The flour provides 30 grams of whole grains per serving and has more than four-and-a-half times the fiber of refined white flours, and can be used to replace a portion of the refined white flour in many recipes.
"100% Ultragrain White Whole Wheat Flour Now Available to Consumers", ConAgra Foods, April 02, 2009, © ConAgra Foods, Inc.
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Atkins Diet Worse than others in Maintenance Phase

April 1, 2009: 08:14 AM EST
The Atkins Diet is tougher on people’s hearts if they stay on it after they have met their weight-loss target, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Principal investigator Dr. Michael Miller, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, compared the effects of the Ornish, South Beach and Atkins diets on blood vessel dilation and cholesterol levels, and found that Atkins performed the worst on both counts. Atkins Nutritionals' vice president of nutrition and education Colette Heimowitz said the study was too small and the correlations were too weak to allow conclusions to be drawn.
Kathleen Doheny, "Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss", Health Scout, April 01, 2009, © The HealthCentralNetwork, Inc
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Yogurt Proves to be a Flexible Stayer in the US Market

March 31, 2009: 10:31 AM EST
Yogurt gained a foothold in the US market decades ago as a natural product in health-food stores. Since then, it has rocketed into prominence as the fastest-growing product in the dairy category. The number of new yogurt products launched in the US rose from 189 in 2005 to 244 in 2006 to 265 in 2007, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database. Sales in the year to July 2008 were up 9 percent on the previous year (excluding Wal-Mart). Spoonable yogurt was the second most active subcategory of all functional foods launched in the US in 2007. Yogurt meets many of today’s consumers’ needs, and it lends itself to the drive for natural, healthy, nutritional and functional products that are convenient and good value for money. It’s a flexible product, easily adaptable to many forms, from drinkable to single-shot or smooth and creamy. It blends easily with new, all-natural artificial sweeteners, and can handle a wide range of flavors and additives, particularly fruit.
Kimberly J. Decker, "Online Exclusive: Rediscovering Yogurt", Food Product Design, March 31, 2009, © Virgo Publishing
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Danone
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Nestlé Waters Takes Stake in Organic Tea Company

March 31, 2009: 08:13 AM EST
Nestlé Waters North America has taken a $15.6 million stake in Austin-based Sweet Leaf Tea Company, which makes organic, all-natural iced teas and lemonades. Company founder and CEO Clayton Christopher expects the deal to give the company “full national distribution” within 24 months and help to fund other growth strategies. Sweet Leaf products are currently sold in about 30 percent of America’s natural food stores, including Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway. Private equity firm Catterton Partners also has a stake in the company, but Nestlé Waters now has an option to buy it outright.
"UK: Nestlé Waters invests in Sweet Leaf Tea", just-drinks.com, March 31, 2009, © just-drinks.com
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Dairy Crest Cuts JV with Yoplait

March 27, 2009: 08:02 AM EST
Dairy Crest has ended a joint venture with Yoplait early, selling its 49 percent holding in Yoplait Dairy Crest to its partner for $90 million. Dairy Crest will continue to distribute Yoplait products in the UK until March 2010. The joint venture was expected to continue at least until 2012 but Dairy Crest now wants to focus on its own butter and cheese lines.
Fiona Ramsay, "Dairy Crest sells off Yoplait stake for £63.5m", marketingmagazine.co.uk, March 27, 2009, © Haymarket
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New Products from Weight Watchers

March 24, 2009: 08:13 AM EST
Thirteen new products from Weight Watchers are being rolled out. The items include sweet baked goods (chocolate brownie with real chocolate chips, banana nut muffin, peanut butter soft cookie, and petite bagels); frozen novelties (an ice cream candy bar, giant mint ice cream cone, giant mint ice cream sandwich, two-pack cups in cookies and cream and peanut butter varieties); and cheese (natural reduced-fat medium cheddar, Swiss and pepper jack slices, and reduced-fat pepper jack slices). Supporting the launch is an online and print campaign.
Karlene Lukovitz, "Weight Watchers Adds 13 New Products", Media Post, March 24, 2009, © MediaPost Communications
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Sugar Returns To Favor As Manufacturers And Consumers Avoid Corn-Syrup

March 20, 2009: 10:51 AM EST
After three decades in which high-fructose corn syrup had been gaining on sugar in the American diet, reaching level in 2003, the tide has turned. Department of Agriculture data shows that in 2007 American adults ate an average of 44 pounds of sugar in 2007, compared with 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup, and the trend looks set to continue in sugar's favor. Responding to consumer concerns, suppliers are switching to sugar, such as Log Cabin syrup, a 120-year-old brand from Pinnacle Foods Group, which announced earlier this month it had stopped using high-fructose corn syrup. The Corn Refiners Association argues consumers are being duped by misleading marketing claims and flawed science, but they face an uphill battle.
Kim Severson, "Sugar Is Back on Food Labels, This Time as a Selling Point", New York Times , March 20, 2009, © New York Times
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Coca-Cola Company
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China Stops Coca-Cola's Bid for Fruit Juice Brand

March 19, 2009: 07:56 AM EST

Coca-Cola's £1.7bn bid to acquire Huiyan, the largest pure juice brand in China, has been halted by the country's new anti-monopoly laws brought in to meet nationalist demands. Coca-Cola has over half of the Chinese fizzy drinks market but just 10% of the fruit and vegetable juice sector. The European Chamber of Commerce in China is seeking an explanation for the deal being blocked.

Ed Kemp, "Coca-Cola bid to dominate Chinese juice market derailed", marketingmagazine.co.uk, March 19, 2009, © Haymarket
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2008 Nutraceutical Drinks Sales Up 9% To 3.7 Billion Liters

March 18, 2009: 05:41 AM EST
The 2009 Global Nutraceutical Drinks report estimates that sales of nutraceutical drinks - which claim to deliver specific benefits such as beauty, weight management and stress relief - grew by 9% to reach 3.7bn liters in 2008. North America is the largest market, with 47% volume share, followed by Japan with 37%. The authors expect sales to reach 5.6bn liters by 2013. The report, prepared by Zenith International, highlights how innovation and growth has been boosted by the arrival of major beverage multinationals Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Danone and PepsiCo.
"GLOBAL: Nutraceutical sector on the rise in '08 - statistics", just-drinks.com, March 18, 2009, © just-drinks.com
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Coca-Cola Company
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Japan

Dr Pepper Jumps in with Reb A Sports Drink

March 12, 2009: 06:30 AM EST
Dr Pepper Snapple is marketing a sports drink with no calories and sweetened with Reb A, derived from the stevia plant. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have also said they will market drinks containing the sweetener, following FDA approval as GRAS. The sports drink market has shown strong growth in recent years and according to Mintel, by 2012 it will have grown 8.5 percent a year from $1.6 billion in 2007. Powerade, manufactured by Coca-Cola, suggests that the sports drink market is no longer a niche consumer area, and that this has opened up the scope for product innovation.
Caroline Scott-Thomas, "Dr Pepper Snapple announces first major Reb A-sweetened sports drink", Food Navigator USA, March 12, 2009, © Decision News Media
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Cadbury-Schweppes
Coca-Cola Company
PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Acai No Longer Flavor of the Month

March 11, 2009: 01:13 AM EST
Debate over the benefits of acai products is heating up, with both scientists and consumers lining up on both sides of the “is it good for you?” argument. Several celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and Rachel Ray, have distanced themselves from health claims, and even the maker of a successful range of products containing acai, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, “is looking into claims made by companies using his image to market products he does not endorse”. Stephen T. Talcott, associate professor of food chemistry at Texas A&M University, says there is no scientific research to support claims that acai contributes to weight loss. Two studies published in the September 2008 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicated that the antioxidants found in acai berries were absorbed by the body, but were not large enough to prove health benefits. Consumers are complaining about being ripped off by online free trial offers, saying they’re being charged for the products even after they canceled the trial, and some say they didn’t lose weight while taking the product. The Center for Science in the Public interest is advising people not to take part in online "free trials" of acai, and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says he will begin investigations into the complaints.
ABBY ELLIN, "Pressing Açaí for Answers", The New York Times, March 11, 2009, © The New York Times Company
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Opinion Split on Prudence of Coca-Cola's Interest in Innocent

March 10, 2009: 07:59 AM EST
Industry opinion is split on whether Coca-Cola’s interest in the Innocent brand of smoothies in the UK is a good idea or not. Some sources suggest the investment could be as high as £30m, supporting the brand’s international ambitions. Coca-Cola could benefit because of the lack of success in the UK of its Minute Maid juice brand, compared with the dominance of the Tropicana brand, owned by its closest rival, PepsiCo. One consultant said that any tie-up should follow the Ben & Jerry’s model, where the ownership by Unilever is not widely known by consumers. Another, however, criticized the deal, arguing that there was little in the way of strategic fit between the two entities.
"Coca-Cola's interest in Innocent splits opinion", marketingmagazine.co.uk, March 10, 2009, © Haymarket
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Spice Brand Schwartz Seeks to Highlight Healthy Benefits

March 10, 2009: 05:44 AM EST
Schwartz, the McCormick-owned dominant spice brand in the UK, is shifting its marketing approach to emphasize the health and nutritional benefits of its herbs and spices. Its new print, digital and PR campaign - 'The Secrets of Spices' - includes a microsite and stresses the antioxidant properties of its products and how its herbs and spices can be used as part of a healthy balanced diet. The campaign is built around ten popular flavorings with specific information on each one, for instance, how cinnamon can stimulate the respiratory and circulatory systems, while basil can act as a relaxant.
Alex Brownsell, "Schwartz to push healthy benefits", Marketing, March 10, 2009, © Haymarket
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
McCormick
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Aging Population Turns To Supplements To Maintain Eye Health

March 9, 2009: 05:30 AM EST
In a preventative strategy, aging consumers are using supplements to enhance their nutrition intake to avoid some diseases. High on the list of concerns is eye health, which Frost & Sullivan claim has become a primary concern for the food industry. In a new report, European Eye Health Ingredients Market, Frost & Sullivan estimate that the market had sales of $43.4 million in 2007 and estimates this will reach $87.4 million in 2014. Consumers are concerned about eye-diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and childhood blindness and have been using products high in antioxidants, notably lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin and bilberry.
Frost & Sullivan, "Frost & Sullivan: Ageing Population and Availability of Preventative Medicines Propels Growth of European Eye Health Ingredients Market", March 09, 2009, © Frost & Sullivan
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Other
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Quaker Oats Lines Under One Marketing Umbrella

March 9, 2009: 07:55 AM EST
Quaker Oats’ suite of breakfast and snack products is being rebranded under one communications umbrella, with the tagline “go humans go”. Quaker owner PepsiCo wants to stress the health-giving qualities of the company’s key ingredient – wholegrain oats. The marketing and advertising campaign employs television, print, online and “out-of-home extension advertising” to promote the message that Quaker oats "help power the bodies and minds of humans and inspires people to be their best". Television ads began screening in prime time slots and cable channels on March 16, with print ads scheduled to begin this month (April).
"PepsiCo rebrands Quaker", just-food.com, March 09, 2009
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Hansen Launches Its Self Beauty Elixir That Promises Health Benefits

March 6, 2009: 07:43 AM EST
In a bid to tap the trend in functional beverages, Hansen has launched a low-calorie, functional, ready-to-drink beverage - Self Beauty Elixir - that contains vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts. The company claims that the drink will "promote and support healthy skin and overall wellness". It should be available in mass retailers, drugs stores and major supermarkets from spring in three flavors, Tropical Bliss, Blushing Berry and Pink Lemonade.
"US: Hansen rolls-out Elixir ‘beauty’ beverage", just-drinks.com, March 06, 2009, © just-drinks.com
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

EU “Agrees in Principle” to Unilever Plant Sterol and Fatty Acid Claims

March 2, 2009: 09:14 PM EST
Unilever says that it has “heard informally” that the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health has approved in principle its claims that plant sterols help reduce cholesterol and ALA/LA (a-linolenic acid and linoleic acid) assist children's growth and development. The Committee has apparently asked the European Food Standards Authority to develop conditions of use for the claims. Unilever says it will apply the claims in the near future.
"EU: Brussels poised to OK Unilever health claims", just-food.com, March 02, 2009, © just-food.com
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Belgium

Probiotic Protein Bar

March 1, 2009: 08:00 AM EST
Max Muscle Sports Nutrition, based in California, is offering a probiotic protein bar, that the company claims is the first of its type in the US. Developed in conjunction with Ganeden Biotech of Ohio, the bar contains the patented GanedenBC30, a form of the strain bacillus coagulans. The company says the strain survives harsh manufacturing processes and remains shelf stable without refrigeration.
"Probiotics Muscle in on Protein Bars", FoodProcessing.com, March 01, 2009, © Food Processing
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Other
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Health Claim Rule Threatens Smaller Functional Food Processors

March 1, 2009: 09:18 PM EST
The future of a host of smaller functional foods companies is at risk because the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is too strict over the definition of health claims, says Cantox Health Sciences of Canada. The company says many products contain ingredients with promising benefits, but which cannot be promoted because EFSA rules state that only products with proven effects can be advertised as being healthy. The company says that smaller companies do not have the money to spend on research to prove their claims. About 80 percent of claims put forward to EFSA for approval have been turned down, according to Cantox.
"Claims regime threatens functional sector", Functional Ingredients , March 01, 2009, © Penton Media
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
EMEA
Canada
Europe

Kraft Partners with Drug Company to Develop Bioactive Food Ingredients

March 1, 2009: 07:38 AM EST
Kraft Foods Global Inc. is teaming up with Minneapolis-based drug company Medisyn Technologies Inc. to develop bioactive ingredients for food. David Land, president of Medisyn, explains the company’s approach: “Rather than going on a fishing expedition, you create a rational approach by identifying a market need and intelligently working toward fulfilling that need.” The aim is to identify the specific properties required, find the compounds with those properties, and then look for sources in nature. He says the result is a significant reduction in development time. Kraft says it underlines its strategy of complementing internal R&D efforts with external collaboration, and alliances like this help it to get to market quicker. Land says that trends show opportunities in fighting weight, diabetes, cholesterol, osteoporosis and high blood pressure, but it has also been working in areas such as mental health, including anxiety and mental focus.
Diane Toops, "Kraft Foods Global Thinks Outside the Box with Bioactive Ingredients", FoodProcessing.com, March 01, 2009, © Food Processing
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Kraft Foods
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Prevention Trend Key to Future for Antioxidants

March 1, 2009: 05:36 AM EST
Antioxidants and products that promote immune system health as a means of preventing illness and disease are becoming more important as the health care system continues to focus on disease treatment and economic conditions worsen. Antioxidant sales reached more than $3 billion in 2007, continuing their overall growth of around 6 percent, according to Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). Non-vitamin antioxidants ticked upwards by 11 percent, and antioxidants from fruit and vegetables achieved 21 percent growth. The top five best sellers remained the same as in 2006, with the exception that CoQ10 kicked Vitamin E out of second spot, demoting it to No.3. Traditional antioxidants such as selenium and Vitamins C and E showed low or even negative growth, allowing relative newcomers such as pomegranate, goji and acai to shine. These and other superfruits, with their high levels of anthocyanin, are poised to join carotenoids in the race for supremacy, alongside some tried and true favorites, such as blueberries and cranberries. Fruit and vegetable juice blends are beginning to make their presence felt as companies attempt to combine the best of the trend toward more natural, whole foods. Antioxidants are also finding their way into nutricosmetics (also known as cosmeceuticals), and CoQ10 and resveratrol continue to hold their ground. Food companies are also keeping up with the trend for consumers to want evidence that antioxidants actually work, and to know what the specific benefits are, by turning to clinical studies and scientific tests to back their claims.
Sean Moloughney, "The Evolution of Antioxidants", Nutraceuticals World, March 01, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Cadbury-Schweppes
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Stevia Processors, Sellers see Much Sweeter Future

March 1, 2009: 04:28 AM EST
Stevia extract Rebaudioside A processors are very optimistic about the industry's future, following GRAS approval by the FDA and expected approval by the European Union. Malaysia's PureCircle is quadrupling the capacity of its stevia extraction plant in China to more than 4,000 tons and doubling its Malaysian plant to 2,000 tons as well as investing in Kenya and Paraguay. GLG is increasing capacity in China from 5,000 tons to 41,000 tons and developing new strains. Merisant of Chicago is banking on its PureVia tabletop sweetener to revive its fortunes. The company says Reb A sales could take up half of the $1.6 billion world sweetener market, compared with 2 percent at the moment.
Richard Clarke, "Reb-A to spark sweetener revolution?", Functional Ingredients, March 01, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Other
PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Latin America
United States of America
Middle East- Africa
China
Malaysia
Paraguay
Kenya

States Win Case against Enviga

February 27, 2009: 04:17 PM EST
A coalition of 27 US states will be paid $650,000 when Coca-Cola, Nestle and Beverage Partnership Worldwide (BPW) settle claims over the marketing of Enviga green tea beverage. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal led the states in an inquiry into claims that the beverage burns extra calories and results in weight loss. The inquiry dismissed the evidence on which the weight-loss claim was based. The companies have also agreed to re-label Enviga and similar beverages to make it clear that weight loss is possible only through diet and exercise.
"Coca-Cola and Nestle to Pay US$650,000 Settlement over Weight-Loss Claims of Green Tea Drink", FLEXNEWS, February 27, 2009, © FLEXNEWS
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Nestle
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Fiber on the Move in US

February 25, 2009: 04:41 PM EST
Fiber is on the move in the US, according to new figures from Datamonitor. The proportion of new products claiming to be high in fiber rose from 5.2 percent in 2006 to 6.3 percent in 2007, says Datamonitor’s Product Launch Analytics. PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Kellogg, and Dannon are among multinationals launching high-fiber products, ranging from bars, cookies, chips and bread to drinks and yogurt. Some of the products also contain omega-3. While few of these products are making weight-related claims at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before companies start touting grains as a means of helping people to feel full for longer, cutting down the amount they eat.
"Food Makers Pump Up Fiber Contents", QSR Magazine, February 25, 2009, © Journalistic Inc
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Campbell's
Danone
Kellogg
Kraft Foods
PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America

Kraft Seeks Quick Route for New Products

February 18, 2009: 08:02 PM EST
Kraft Foods Global Inc is working with pharmaceutical company Medisyn Technologies Inc to identify bioactive compounds that can be incorporated in foods to target specific ailments. The two companies see opportunities in the “big five” health concerns – weight management, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Medisyn has also done work in mental health, particularly anxiety, dream state and mental focus. Medisyn’s approach allows it to identify compounds that target the ailments, find them in plants and animals, and develop ways to extract them within 18 months. Kraft’s responsibility is to bring a finished product to market after appropriate trials and regulatory process have been followed.
Diane Toops, "Kraft Foods Global Thinks Outside the Box with Bioactive Ingredients", FoodProcessing.com, February 18, 2009, © Food Processing
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Kraft Foods
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Shelf Tags Provide Nutrition Information

February 1, 2009: 08:21 PM EST
In-store labeling systems that identify healthy products are becoming more popular in supermarket chains across the US. Some groups, such as Ahold USA's Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, Supervalu, and regional chains Price Chopper and Hy-Vee, are using proprietary systems, others are basing labels on FDA guidelines or ranking developed by private companies in association with researchers. The chains are also using booklets, ceiling banners, promotional messages and websites to promote their schemes. Retailers say the programs promote healthy-eating habits, boost customer loyalty and improve the shopping experience. Some reports indicate sales of labeled items are increasing. Many packaged-food manufacturers are also involved in a national labeling program developed by nonprofit organization The Keystone Centre. Scheduled to launch in summer, the "Smart Choices Program" uses federal government guidelines to identify healthy foods. Participating companies include Kraft Foods, General Mills, ConAgra and Unilever.
"Supermarkets Tag Along on Nutrition", In-Store Marketer, February 01, 2009, © In-Store Marketing Institute
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
ConAgra
General Mills
Kraft Foods
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Kraft Enters Innovation Deal

January 16, 2009: 04:52 PM EST
Kraft Foods Global Inc has teamed with Medisyn Technologies Inc in a bid to stay ahead of the game in innovative functional foods. The research and licensing partnership is expected to enable faster and less costly development of new functional food ingredients, says Medisyn. The arrangement covers "bioactive discovery with development and commercialization milestones, as well as post-commercialization payments”.
Karlene Lukovitz, "Kraft Fast-Forwards Functional Foods", January 16, 2009, © MediaPost Communications
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Kraft Foods
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America
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