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Period: August 1, 2016 to September 1, 2016
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

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

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

"Dannon Brings non-GMO Ingredient Options And Clear-Labels Commitment", News release, Dannon, July 14, 2016

Stevia Producer Expands Agronomy Program

Stevia producer PureCircle said it will invest another $100 million in a program to create the world’s largest natural supply of stevia for the food and beverage industry. The PureCircle Agronomy Program hopes to expand stevia growing to 15 regions beyond China. The company said the expansion will result in a 10,000-hectare pipeline of stevia. The program is focused on sustainable agricultural expansion, R&D to create advanced stevia varieties, and training and support of farmers.

"PureCircle Announces $100 Million Investment In Agronomy Program", News release, PureCircle, July 18, 2016

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

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

"Papa Murphy's Is The First National Pizza Brand to Serve Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics", News release, Papa Murphy's, July 18, 2016

Papa John’s Completes Transition To Antibiotics-Free Chicken

Pizza delivery chain Papa John’s announced it has taken only eight months to complete its transition to antibiotics-free, vegetarian-fed chicken in its menu items. The company features grilled chicken pizza toppings as well as chicken poppers (boneless, skinless chicken breast chunks similar to McDonald’s McNuggets). In recent years Papa John’s has removed other objectionable ingedients from its foods: preservatives BHA and BHT; flavor enhancer MSG; cellulose and partially hydrogenated oils; artificial flavors and synthetic colors; and high-fructose corn syrup. The company has also committed to serving only meat from cage-free chickens by the end of the year.

"Papa John's Announces Completion Of Transition To Antibiotic-Free Grilled Chicken Pizza Toppings And Poppers", News release, Papa John's, July 20, 2016

Food Waste Can Only Be Reduced If People Are Aware Of The Problem

A study by Ohio State University scientists has determined that Americans, who waste a lot of food each year, would be more likely to take steps to reduce waste if they understood the magnitude of the problem. About 80 billion pounds of food are tossed into America’s trash cans each year, wasting money and burdening the environment. Only fifty-three percent of respondents to a national survey, however, knewc that food waste is a problem – about ten percent higher than in a 2015 survey, but “still amazingly low.” The researchers said increasing awareness of the problem would lead to “purposeful action to reduce food waste.” Other findings: only 58 percent thought wasting food is bad for the environment; and only 42 percent believe that food waste is a major source of money waste.

"American Consumers Don’t Understand the Impact of Food Waste", Institute of Food Technologists, July 22, 2016

Grocery Chain Turns Food Waste Into Electricity

A New England grocery chain has begun collecting inedible food waste from its stores and processing it into biogas that fuels an electricity generator. The Stop & Shop chain collects and processes 95 tons of waste a day at the plant that opened in April, turning the waste into energy using an anaerobic digestion technology, while keeping it out of landfills. The facility generates 1.14 megawatts of electricity a day, roughly 40 percent of the energy required by the next-door distribution center. The company plans to open more processing facilities in Connecticut.

"Stop & Shop Converts Inedible Food Into Energy", The Huffington Post, July 27, 2016

Smart System Helps Singapore Hotel Reduce Restaurant Food Waste

A Singapore hotel has installed a system in its kitchen that helps it forecast more accurately how much to cook, ensuring that it is not overproducing and wasting food. The Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa’s system, developed by U.K.-based Winnow Solutions, uses a smart meter integrated with a kitchen's waste bin. A scale, an LCD panel and wireless connectivity automatically weighs discarded food and displays the dollar value. The hotel’s general manager says Sofitel SIngapore has reduced its food waste by two to four percent since the smart system was installed. The country’s National Environment Agency estimates that 790,000 tons of food were thrown away in 2014.

"Smart Kitchen System Checks Food Wastage", The Straits Times, July 27, 2016

British Grocery Chain Packs Nutritious Pasta Into Eco-Friendly Packages

U.K.-based supermarket chain Waitrose has begun using packaging that is made from 15 percent food waste. The company recently introduced two dry fusilli pastas made from green peas and red lentils, both of which are packaged in the new eco-friendly boxes, which cut the use of virgin tree pulp by 15 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. The pasta boxes are also 100 percent recyclable. The new pastas are high in protein, a good source of fiber, and gluten-free.

"Waitrose Launches New Pasta in Boxes Made from Food Waste", FoodBev, July 29, 2016

McDonald’s Menu Gets Cleaner And Cleaner

Facing stiff competition from restaurant chains whose foods are less likely to contain questionable ingredients, McDonald’s announced a handful of menu updates intended to appeal to picky eaters. The company removed artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets, pork sausage patties, omelet-style eggs, and scrambled eggs. It introduced buns without high fructose corn syrup that will eventually replace the buns used in Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, hamburgers, etc. And, lastly, it has completed a transition to antibiotics-free chicken, 12 months ahead of schedule. A company spokesman said “it’s time for all fast and casual restaurants to address the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance” by working with suppliers who provide antibiotics-free poultry.

"McDonald’s Removing Preservatives From Some Items; Nuggets Now 100% Antibiotics-Free", Consumerist, August 01, 2016

Unilever Creates Platform For Achieving Zero-Waste Within Its Supply Chain

Unilever announced a new supplier collaboration platform focused on achieving zero-waste across its entire supply chain. Zero-waste is a fundamental pillar of the company’s sustainable growth strategy that also includes resource resiliency and dealing with climate change. Unilever has eliminated non-hazardous waste delivery to landfills at more than 600 sites in 70 countries, saving $200 million while creating hundreds of jobs. The supplier collaboration platform, developed with shared value consultancy 2degrees, will be operational by the end of the year.

"Unilever announces new partnership to scale up sustainability", The Fifth Estate , August 04, 2016

Wendy’s Creates Timeline For Making Its Chicken Antibiotics-Free

Fast-food chain Wendy’s, like McDonald’s, has caught on to the fact that drug-resistant pathogens are a growing health problem linked to the widespread use of antibiotics in beef, pork, and poultry. Or at least they’ve caught on to the fact that their customers are aware of it. Wendy’s hasn’t acted as quickly as McDonald’s, which recently announced its chicken is 100 percent antibiotics free. The company says it’s establishing a timeline for eliminating drugs from its poultry supply chain, after the Natural Resources Defense Council awarded Wendy’s and a dozen other fast-food chains a grade of “F” because they lacked a timeline or firm policy for ridding their birds of antibiotics.

"Wendy’s Quietly Getting Rid Of Antibiotics In Chicken", Consumerist, August 05, 2016

App Helps British Restaurants Sell Meals Otherwise Destined For The Landfill

Danish entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app that makes it easier for people to buy edible food cheaply from British restaurants that might otherwise toss it into a waste bin. A U.K. government report in May revealed that 1.1million tons of food are "avoidably" thrown out every year. Too Good To Go connects food buyers with top flight eateries that have trash-bound meals at prices ranging from $2.63 to $4.99. The app, which is already available in Brighton, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, will debut this month in London, where more than a hundred restaurants will participate in the initiative.

"The App that Lets You Order Cheap Food from Restaurants that Would Be Thrown In The Bin", The Independent, August 07, 2016

Smart Brewers Find Ways To Re-Purpose The Byproducts Of Beer-Making

The problem for craft beer brewers is what to do with the thousands of pounds of spent hops and grains used to make the beer so popular among today’s beer lovers. Jeff Fegley of eastern Pennsylvania, for example, uses Czech Saaz hops to make his Knuckleball blonde ale. But he no longer carts the spent grain to the landfill. He ships it to a local farm where it is used to feed the cattle that end up as prime cuts of beef found on local restaurant menus, including Fegley’s own Allentown and Bethlehem BrewWorks. Spent grain isn’t just used as cattle feed. Farmers, bakers and entrepreneurs are using spent grain to make, for example, edible six-pack rings and to feed the spent-grain boiler used at an Alaska brewery.

"Bread from Beer: Brewers Get Creative with Spent Grains", The Morning Call, August 08, 2016

New Whole Foods Store Features Advanced Eco-Friendly Refrigeration

A new advanced grocery refrigeration system installed by Whole Foods in California eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions. Unveiled in a new store in Santa Clara, the system prevents the release of the 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide normally generated by a typical supermarket. The Hydrocarbon/CO2 Cascade System cuts the environmental impact of refrigerants to zero by using propane, a natural refrigerant, to condense carbon dioxide, the eco-friendliest refrigerant available. At the same time, a heat-reclaim technology uses the heat generated by the system to preheat water for the store’s later use.

"Whole Foods Installs Country’s Greenest Refrigeration System", Progressive Grocer, August 08, 2016

Cargill Turkeys Will Be Antibiotics-Free By 2017

Food and agricultural production giant Cargill announced it has ended the use of the antibiotic gentamicin – used to prevent disease in animals and humans – in its turkey business. The company’s two largest turkey brands, Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms, will be affected; antibiotics-free birds will be available in stores in 2017. However, birds will continue to receive antibiotics for control and treatment of disease. The company also announced it is expanding its antibiotics-free turkey products through the creation of a new Honest Turkey product line, whose birds have never been treated with antibiotics. Cargill says it is committed to reducing use of shared-class – i.e., for human and animal use – antibiotics in food animals processed for protein and by-products.

"Cargill Turkey Slices Antibiotic Use, Creates Honest Turkey Antibiotic-Free Product Line", News release, Cargill, August 09, 2016

Millennial Moms Want Food/Beverage Transparency, And Are Increasingly Getting Just That

CPG food and beverage brands are increasingly aware that health-conscious Millennial consumers are concerned about the ingredients in the products they buy, and where they came from. Even companies like healthy beverage producer AquaBall, which introduced a novelty round-shaped package several years ago, concluded that the ingredients list was more important than package shape. To remove preservatives, it had to switch to a process that precluded the round shape. It ended up with oval. A large number of CPG firms are cleaning up their nutrition panels by reducing the overall number of ingredients, and particularly preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and even strange-sounding but natural substances. “Transparency is the coin of the realm,” said Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison recently.

"Clean Labels Become CPG Imperative in Era of Healthier Food", Brandchannel, August 10, 2016

Closed Loop Co-op Process Turns Food Waste Into Food

A Boston, Mass.-area co-op named CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling and Organics) comprises three garbage haulers whose job is to gather and compost food waste collected from restaurants, hospitals, grocery stores and schools. (The organizations pay the co-op to collect the garbage.) Once the scraps undergo microbial digestion – about a year later – the compost is distributed to regional farms to be used to grow vegetables. That produce in turn is sold to local restaurants, stores, etc., forming a closed loop. The worker-owned cooperative also keeps the profits in the community.

"Closing the Food Loop: A Compost Firm Grows", The Bay State Banner, August 10, 2016

L'Oreal Plans To Build Solar Power Installation In Kentucky

L'Oreal plans to build a solar panel installation at its manufacturing facility in Florence, Kentucky. Designed to generate as much as 1.5 megawatts of electricity each year, the proposed solar power project is significant because Kentucky is one of the top coal-producing states in the US. Part of the company's Sharing Beauty with All sustainability initiative, the solar installation will help L'Oreal reduce its carbon footprint by 2020.

"L’Oréal to build solar installation in Kentucky", Cosmetics Design, August 15, 2016

Euromonitor Acts To Save Orangutan Habitat In Indonesia Through Reforestation

Euromonitor announced it is sponsoring reforestation in Indonesia, where forest fires and palm oil plantations have taken their toll on the habitat of native orangutans. The animals were recently added to the critically endangered list because, under current conditions, they are likely to become extinct in the wild. Euromonitor’s replanting program has already begun, with the first 10 hectares of land reforested with a total of 11,221 seedlings purchased from the Mantangia Village Nursery between December 2015 and April 2016.  The company expects to replant 1,000 hectares during its Carbon Balance Program.

"Deforestration, Palm Oil, the Orangutan, and Euromonitor’s Carbon Balance Programme", Blog entry, Euromonitor International, August 16, 2016

L'Oreal USA Joins U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership

L’Oreal USA said it has been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership, which acknowledges the company as one of the leading green power users in the country. According to the company, it is using almost 27 million kilowatt-hours of environment-friendly power yearly, enough to meet 33 percent of its electricity requirements. Most of its green power comes from on-site solar power installations and those supplied by utility firms. Its growing adoption of green power is part of the company’s Sharing Beauty with All sustainability initiative, which seeks to reduce its carbon dioxide emission in the US by 60 percent by 2020, compared with its 2005 levels.

"EPA Recognizes L'Oréal USA Among Nation's Leading Green Power Users", L'Oréal, August 18, 2016

Seafood Quick-Service Chain’s Mobile Campaign Explains Sustainability Efforts

Fast-seafood chain Long John Silver’s has launched a social responsibility mobile ad campaign with a video on sustainability that highlights its primary menu items – 100 percent wild-caught Alaskan pollock and cod – and tells viewers about its continuous monitoring of Northern Pacific waters. Fishing quotas for the two fish species are regularly adjusted to ensure the species’ strength and survival. The two-minute video was filmed in Alaska and features narration alongside clips showing the state’s Pacific shores. Other videos in the campaign appearing on Vine, YouTube and Facebook, will discuss family and food quality.

"Long John Silver’s Highlights Corporate Sustainability With Snackable Mobile Videos", Mobile Marketer, August 19, 2016

Milk-Based Food Packaging Film Offers Major Potential Benefits

USDA scientists recently told fellow chemists about a food packaging material made from the milk protein casein. The packaging film is 500 times more effective at protecting food from oxygen, in addition to being edible, potentially nutritious, biodegradable, and sustainable. The milk-based film retards food spoilage and could prove to be an effective tool in the fight to reduce food waste “during distribution along the food chain." It would also reduce the use of plastic, a significant environmental benefit. The researchers expect the edible packaging will be on store shelves within three years.

"Eat Your Food Packaging, Don't Bin It – Scientists", Reuters, August 22, 2016

Viable High-Tech Solutions To Grocery Store Food Waste Disposal Do Exist

Disposal of grocery store produce that is damaged, ugly, or otherwise surplus because of faulty buying, but cannot be donated, is a major economic and environmental problem. Produce decaying in landfills, for example – 35 percent of all landfill waste – is a major source of methane gas. A variety of emerging technologies can help solve the problem. But perhaps the best is so-called “Big Data.” A supermarket of any size that has access to real-time information and analytics tracking processes related to food disposal can better manage the amount and timing of what they order. This would ensure that most of the food brought into stores is destined for consumer refrigerators, not landfills. Meanwhile, unsold items are minimized and disposed of safely.

"How Big Data Can Help Supermarkets Tackle Food Waste", Supermarket News, August 24, 2016

Seventh Generation Launches EPA- And USDA-Certified Laundry Detergent Packs

Seventh Generation launched the Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Packs. Safer Choice Certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the product provides consumers with a biodegradable option for keeping their laundry clean. Also, the laundry care product pushes the company’s campaign for ingredient transparency within the industry. With a USDA certification that the product is bio-based at 94 percent, it also has no optical brighteners, dyes, and VOCs. According to the company, the new laundry packs are designed to dissolve in all temperatures, safe for use in HE machines, and come with quadruple-enzyme power to deal with stains.

"Seventh Generation Develops EPA Safer Choice Certified Laundry Detergent Packs Mission-Led Household and Personal Care Products Company Introduces New Line of Solid Laundry Detergent Packs Formulated With Plant-Based Ingredients", Seventh Generation, August 25, 2016

Spent Coffee Grounds Show Global Promise As Source Of Fiber And Proteins

Most people toss their spent coffee grounds into the trash after brewing a pot. Some carefully save them to add to the compost pile for use in next spring’s vegetable garden. But what do food manufacturers do with the six million tons of spent coffee grounds used globally to make instant coffee? Scientists have explored their use in biofuels, composts, animal feed and enzymes. Now a Spanish study suggests that spent industrial coffee grounds could be a source of antioxidants, insoluble dietary fiber, proteins, essential amino acids and low-glycemic sugars that could be used in future baked goods. The researchers said use of spent coffee grounds as healthy food ingredient is “a contribution to the bio-economy and the reduction of the environmental impact of the coffee processing.”

"Leftover Coffee Grounds: Unlocking 6m Tonnes of Unused Antioxidant Dietary Fibre", NUTRAingredients.com, August 25, 2016

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