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Period: July 1, 2017 to August 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

Advanced Card Technology Ensures Food Safety, Prevents Waste

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, getting food to the table devours 10 percent of the U.S. energy budget, half of U.S. land, and 80 percent of fresh water. But 40 percent of the food in the U.S. – $150 billion a year – is never eaten. Natures Frequencies is well aware that the biggest concern of U.S. consumers who ponder whether – and when – to throw out food is safety.  With that in mind, the company developed the Food Freshness Card, a laboratory- and commercially-tested technology to keep food fresher longer. The card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs, encoding information on a substrate. It helps assist with freshness all along the food chain, from farm to retailer to the home. The card recently won the United Fresh Innovation Award for the best new food safety solution.

"The Food Freshness Card: The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2017 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", News release, Nature's Frequencies, June 28, 2017

Sales Of Sustainable Cocoa-Based Confectionery Products To Reach $9 Billion

Sales of cocoa-based products that feature labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest alliance will reach $8.9 billion in 2017, according to Euromonitor, and are expected to grow 1.3 percent through 2020 because certification schemes build consumer confidence in cocoa-related products. Chocolate confectionery products make up the bulk of total sales of cocoa products that carry sustainable trade and farming labels. “Without investment in sustainable production, the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain,” a Euromonitor analyst said.

"Chocolate Confectionery Contributes Most to Value Sales of Sustainable Cocoa Products: Euromonitor", ConfectioneryNews.com, June 29, 2017

New York City Expands Organic Waste Collection Program

The N.Y. City Department of Sanitation is expanding its organics program of curbside collection of food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste to more residential areas. The expansion to more neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx means two million residents will be able to participate. The department's goal is to make the program available to all New Yorkers by the end of 2018, through either curbside service or neighborhood drop-off sites. The "organic" waste collected is turned into compost, a soil amendment, or renewable energy.

"July Update: More than 2 Million New Yorkers Now Have Access to NYC Organics Curbside Program", NYC Department of Sanitation, July 03, 2017

U.K. Supermarket Chain Experiments With Smart Food Label

British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is testing an advanced labeling technology to help customers avoid tossing edible food in the waste bin before its time. The company sticks a color changing label to packets of its own brand sliced ham. The smart label changes from yellow to purple the longer the packet has been open. It is sensitive to temperature as well, because an open pack of ham has a relatively long fridge life when kept below 5º C (41º F). The new label is being used on ham packages in all 601 stores and will be expanded to other foods if consumers like it.

"Sainsbury’s Launch Colour Changing LABEL on Ham Packets to Reveal When Meat is OFF", Sunday Express, July 04, 2017

Restaurant Reduces Food Waste Through Efficient Purchase, Preparation

A Brooklyn, N.Y., Japanese restaurant is expert at cutting food waste. Chef and owner Yuji Haraguchi’s Okonomi restaurant is so efficient at buying and using ingredients that he discards only two bags of trash a day. Every effort is made to use all parts of whatever meat and fish are purchased each day. For example, he buys locally caught fish from his own fish shop. The meat of the fish is used to make for Okonomi's Japanese-style breakfast and lunch. The head and bones are simmered for ramen stock that will be served at dinner. On a recent day, Okonomi served 69 breakfast meals and 59 bowls of ramen to 130 diners. Only one bag of garbage was tossed out at the end of the day.

"Nothing Goes to Waste at Okonomi", Reuters, July 07, 2017

Australia’s CSIRO, Veggie Producers Put Wonky Produce To Work

Australia’s national research body hopes to stop the waste of $1.7 billion worth of wonky – i.e., ugly, misshapen – vegetables considered unfit for the supermarket by transforming them into saleable, nutritious food products. CSIRO is working with vegetable growers to grab the culled uglies, initially carrots and broccoli, and turn them into shelf-stable fermented products, nutrient-dense powders, and kids’ snack foods. A commercial participant in the project, Fresh Select, says it want to reduce the 15-20 percent of its produce that is unmarketable to five percent. It’s good for business sustainability and it reduces food waste.

"Ugly Vegetables Get a Fair Go as Food Scientists Strive to Cut Waste", ABC News (Australia), July 11, 2017

Coca-Cola Set To Boost Amount Of Recycled Plastic In Its Bottles

In response to environmental pressures and concerns, Coca-Cola in the UK announced it will increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020, up from a current target of 40% by 2020 for its UK and European operations. Many environmentalists believe the target is inadequate, Greenpeace UK points out that other bottlers are already at 50% and are aiming to be at 100% by 2020. Greenpeace estimates that the top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products, with none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.

"Coca-Cola to increase amount of recycled plastic in its bottles", The Guardian, July 12, 2017

Enterprise Software Company Tackles Food Waste, Small Farm Management

Enterprise IT software giant Cisco Systems says its products are being used to solve food waste and farm management problems. A start-up company that helps manufacturers and farms make use of extra food raised $2.5 million to buy Cisco's enterprise software. Boston-based tech start-up Spoiler Alert’s cloud-based software links food producers, food banks, and pantries. The company helps them track food they throw away or donate. In addition, Cisco’s software has helped smaller and rural farms connect their “Farm from a Box” units with Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet of Things (IoT) system to optimize everything from water and energy use to guidance on farm management.

"Technology that Helps Reduce Food Waste", News release, Cisco Systems, July 12, 2017

It Takes A Village To Reduce Food Waste

Composting is crucial to the fight against food waste, says a University of Iowa student and environmentalist. The practice would help cut the 18,000 tons of food waste that annually ends up in the Iowa City landfill. Composting involves different agencies and organizations, from food co-ops to supermarkets to local governments. But the best advice on reducing food waste is fairly simple. It comes from food journalist Michael Pollan who tells people to buy fresh ingredients in smaller quantities more often. It essentially means mindful thriftiness.

"Armstrong: Local Composting Will Help Reduce Waste", The Daily Iowan, July 13, 2017

SodaStream’s Frontal Assault On Bottled Water

Israel-based SodaStream International is challenging the bottled water industry – particularly PepsiCo, Nestlé and Coca-Cola – with a new marketing campaign that features a fictional futuristic anthropologist explaining to schoolchildren about the “homoschlepiens” species. Those would be people of the distant past who bought sparkling water in environment-damaging plastic bottles. This confuses the children who, of course, use SodaStream machines to get their sparkling water. The ad dovetails with a couple of consumer trends: spurning carbonated sugary drinks, and embracing eco-friendly packaging and products. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi admitted to Wall Street analysts recently that the industry is seeing "profound change."

"Our Biggest Soda Rivals Are Prehistoric and They Keep Trying to Shut Us Up: SodaStream CEO", TheStreet.com, July 16, 2017

U.K. Relaxes Overly Cautious “Use By” Dates On Food Packaging

Calling current rules overly cautious, the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has issued draft guidelines urging supermarkets to scrap “use by” dates on packages of food that wouldn’t cause poisoning in favor of “Best Before” dates. The proposed rules also state that packaging should tell customers how to store food, and should display the snowflake logo to indicate that a product can be frozen. The goal is to reduce the 7.3 million tons of food a year, two million tons of which is due to it “not being used in time.” The guidance is “under consultation” until August. ]

"Supermarkets are Told to Stop Telling Shoppers to Throw Away 7.3m Tons of Good Food Every Year by Scrapping 'Use By' Dates", Mail Online, July 17, 2017

Proposed N.Y. City Rules Require Large Retailers To Cull Compostables From Trash

New York City’s Sanitation Department, unveiling new rules implementing a goal to cut landfill dumping to zero over the next 13 years, is requiring chain restaurants and big retail stores to split waste into compostable materials and just plain garbage. Any restaurant bigger than 7,000 square feet, big box stores with more than 50 locations, and grocery stores bigger than 10,000 square feet, will need to separate out compostables. The fine is $100 per infraction. There is a six-month public comment period for the rules.

"Large Chain Businesses Must Separate Compost Under New City Rules", New York Daily News, July 17, 2017

Coca-Cola India Has Adapted To New Retail Landscape - Krishnakumar

The head of Coca-Cola’s India business says his company, one of the oldest in the world, has been able to overcome the inertia that often accompanies tradition and heritage by changing its business strategy when necessary to connect with consumers. This has meant expanding beyond a one-brand identity. According to T. Krishnakumar, consumer behavior in India has changed along with changes in retail. Mom-and-pop stores have evolved into a complex environment of more organized and larger-format stores. Today’s “hyper-productive” consumers are interested in traditional and local products, as well as new cultures and senses. Technology creates opportunities for companies, but it also heightens consumer expectations of brands.

"Coca-Cola's India mission is to grow beyond a single-brand company: T Krishnakumar", exchange4media.com, July 24, 2017

Products & Brands  

Growth Returns To Asian FMCG Market

FMCG growth in Asia is accelerating, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel, with the personal care care segment leading the way. The overall pace of growth reached 3.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 3.3 percent in 2016, due largely to the strong health & wellness and convenience sectors. Value growth in food was up about 0.8 percent over last year.  But beverage growth was flat, indicating that consumers are “rationalizing their spending.” Dairy growth was healthy (4,2 percent), as was homecare (3.2 percent), but both were slower than a year ago. Personal care grew 9.6 percent, a major spurt over a year ago. “Self-pampering and indulgence remained important to consumers,” the company said.

"Asia Consumer Insights Q1 2017", Report, Kantar Worldpanel, July 27, 2017

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