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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [ Image credit: © Hershey's  ]

"Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts",, October 24, 2017

Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [ Image credit: © Cargill  ]

"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017

Nissin Reformulates Top Ramen Products For Health-Conscious Noodle Buyers

Instant ramen maker Nissin Foods said consumer demand for simpler, more healthful food products was the force behind its decision to reformulate its Top Ramen product line with less salt, no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and “fewer artificial ingredients.” The company says the reformulation – the initiative is dubbed “Noodle Zen” – means an improved nutritional profile without loss of “great taste” or a price increase. Specifically, the products now have 15 percent less sodium, no added MSG, and no artificial flavors.  [ Image credit: © Nissin  ]

"Nissin Foods Top Ramen Finds Noodle Zen with Updated Recipe", News release, Nissin, October 09, 2017

Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [ Image credit: © Agricultured  ]

"Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017

Judge Okays Agreement That Frees FDA To Enforce Menu Calorie Count Rules

The FDA will begin enforcing in May 2018 long-delayed regulations that require chain restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores to include calorie counts on menus. A federal judge in Chicago approved an agreement reached by the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, and the Dept. of Justice, to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Earthjustice targeting the FDA’s delays in enforcing rules finalized in 2014. The agreement was reached after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on August issued a statement assuring the litigants that there will be no further delays or changes to the menu labeling rules.  [ Image credit: © Earthjustice  ]

"FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018", Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 27, 2017

USDA Says Its Organic Police Are Slacking Off

The inspector general of the USDA has found that agency officials tasked with monitoring imported foods labeled “USDA Organic” have been sleeping on the job, allowing, for example, millions of pounds of imported conventional soybeans and corn to reach U.S. grocery stores with bogus certified-organic labels. The audit of the Agricultural Marketing Service determined that the agency could not “provide reasonable assurance” that those items from abroad are actually “from certified organic foreign farms and business.” The inspector general suggested that the USDA needs to find a way to get the organic food-monitoring staff to do its job properly. [ Image credit: © USDA  ]

"USDA Warns That Millions of Pounds of Fake ‘Organic’ Imports Are Pouring Into U.S.", Grub Street, September 20, 2017

Judge: Plaintiff In Added-Sugar Suit Against Kellogg Has An Adequate Case

A federal judge in California has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Kellogg, agreeing essentially with the plaintiff that most of the claims made by the company about the nutritional value and wholesomeness of its breakfast cereals seem to be refuted by the fact that they contain “excess added sugar.” Judge Lucy Koh dismissed five of the claims because she agreed they were essentially harmless advertising “puffery.” But she allowed claims regarding 24 other products to move forward because “these products contain at least one statement that the court found was not pre-empted, non-misleading, or puffery as a matter of law." The case is Hadley v. Kellogg Sales
Company.  [ Image credit: © Kellogg  ]

"Kellogg Can’t Duck Class Action Over Cereal Labels", Courthouse News, August 15, 2017

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