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Period: February 1, 2017 to March 1, 2017
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

Hellman’s Fulfills Cage-Free Egg Pledge Three Years Early

Mayonnaise maker Hellman’s, a Unilever brand, announced that after a reorganization of its egg supply chain – involving 331 million eggs annually – all of its mayonnaise and dressings brands are now made with eggs from cage-free hens. The change in U.S. brands comes three years ahead of the company’s commitment announced in 2010. It affects 170 million jars, 30 million squeeze bottles, and 1.3 million egg-laying hens annually. A Humane Society spokesman said “Hellmann's move shows just how in synch the company is with its customers." 

"Hellmann's Mayonnaise And Mayonnaise Dressings Now Use 100% Cage-Free Eggs In The U.S.*, Three Years Ahead Of Schedule", News release, Unilever U.S., January 23, 2017

Company’s Cage-Free Eggs Showcased In Inflatable, Transparent Carton

A Taiwanese egg company committed to cage-free eggs has developed a special packaging technology that showcases the health and freedom of its products. The new egg carton is made of a transparent PVC material that inflates to cushion individual eggs. The eggs from Happy Egg company are available in purse-shaped packs of three, or in individual packs decorated especially for local festivals and events, such as birthdays, Christmas and Chinese New Year.

"Inflatable Egg Carton Promotes Cage-Free Eggs", Springwise, January 30, 2017

Hormel Investigates Pig Supplier Accused Of Animal Cruelty

A video created by an animal rights group showing alleged cruelty to animals at an Oklahoma pig farm has spurred an investigation by Hormel Foods Corp., which buys meat from the farm. The company also suspended operations at the Maschhoffs farm. The two-minute video shows dozens of pigs and piglets confined in crowded spaces without benefit of veterinary care. Hormel said it would send third-party auditors to investigate the claims made by Mercy for Animals in the video.

"Hormel Stops Operations at Supplier Farm After Video Shows Animal Abuse", Reuters, January 31, 2017

A Closer Look At Major Food Retailer, Restaurant Chain Clean Label Policies

A consumer watchdog organization has analyzed the clean label initiatives of four big restaurant chains and nine supermarket chains finding that all have committed to excluding additives, such as synthetic food dyes and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Except Whole Foods, the supermarket chains have limited their commitments to one or more lines of their house-brand products, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Other findings: none of the clean label lists limit sodium or added sugars; all exclude many artificial ingredients that CSPI considers safe; and restaurant policies do not include “riskiest” beverage ingredients such as added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic food colors. One interesting CSPI observation: “clean label products are not necessarily healthful.” 

"Clean Labels: Public Relations or Public Health?", Report, Center for Science in the Public Interest, February 01, 2017

Clean Label Frozen Treats May Lead To Sales Growth

The food industry has gotten the message from consumers that sugary, nutrition-free and calorie-packed ice cream is no longer acceptable They are now making healthier, “yet still decadent,” frozen treats, says researcher Packaged Facts. Today there are a growing number of ice creams and frozen desserts that eschew soy, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and genetically modified ingredients, not to mention much less fat and sugar. Some of the new products are organic. Consumers are apparently pleased with the results. Ice cream and other frozen treats are a mature market – 85 percent of households buy ice cream routinely. Sales have been steady in recent years. But Packaged Facts says the new attention being paid to clean label frozen desserts could spark a revival of sales growth. 

""Free From" Ice Cream Trending in $28 Billion Market", News release, Packaged Facts, February 06, 2017

Target Adds More Brands To Collection Of Natural Beauty Products

Target is expanding its natural beauty care collections by adding more natural beauty brands, including Alaffia, Little Seed Farm, and Nubian Heritage, to the lineup. With millennial consumers showing preference for healthy and natural beauty options, the retailer seeks to position itself as their first choice for affordable natural beauty products. As part of this initiative, Target aims to achieve full ingredient transparency for beauty, personal care, baby care, and household care products by 2020. Target is requiring suppliers to remove toxic and dangerous ingredients, such as phthalates, propylparaben, and butylparaben, from their products.

"Target Boosts Selection of Natural Beauty Products", Women’s Wear Daily, February 10, 2017

The Body Shop Cuts Ties With The Daily Mail Over Editorial Stance

Citing concerns on The Daily Mail's comments on human rights, L’Oréal-owned beauty retailer, The Body Shop, announced it does not have any partnership with the tabloid and has no plans to advertise with it.  The firm noted that The Daily Mail's editorial stance is going against The Body Shop's "Enrich Not Exploit Commitment" but declined to comment on whether its decision affects other publications, including The Sun and Daily Express, or specifically which editorial stance it was concerned about. The Body Shop had been running voucher promotions on the front page of the Mail and Mail on Sunday. The move comes in the midst of a campaign for ethical advertising by the group Stop Funding Hate which criticized tabloid newspapers over their coverage of Europe's refugee crisis and other social issues. In November, Lego Group also announced it had ended its relationship with the Mail.

"The Body Shop Becomes Latest Company To Cut Ties With The Daily Mail Over ‘Human Rights’ Concerns", The Huffington Post UK, February 16, 2017

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