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Period: October 1, 2017 to October 15, 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

Battling Hotel Food Waste Starts With Event Buffets

Experts from a global design firm analyzed each facet of a Florida hotel’s buffet operations – it handles more than 5,000 event buffets a year – finding to everyone’s surprise that half of the food put out for guests was left uneaten. Only 10 to 15 percent of the leftovers could be donated or repurposed because of food safety regulations: the rest ended up in the garbage. More waste was generated by coffee, juices, and other liquids. The executive chef at Orlando’s Hyatt Regency says some changes being tested include: sample plates of meats and cheese instead of large platters; single servings of yogurt instead of big bowls; smaller amounts of bread and butter instead of big baskets; and substituting finger pastries for whole cakes and pies. The changes have already cut food waste by ten percent without guest complaints.

"Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized", The New York Times, September 08, 2017

Particle Accelerator Technology Leads To Food Waste Savings

Technology used in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator is being used by supermarkets like the U.K.’s Morrisons chain, to curtail food waste. An algorithm developed by Michael Feindt of the AI firm Blue Yonder not only predicts the activity of quarks, it accurately predicts supermarket stock needs so they can reduce the amount of unsold food that ends up in landfills. The Blue Yonder system’s efficiency savings come close to 30 percent, Feindt says, a considerable achievement considering that British supermarkets tossed 235,000 tons of food into the waste bins in 2015.

"How Supermarkets Use Particle Physics to Save Thousands of Tonnes of Food Waste", Independent, September 11, 2017

Grocery Chain Tackles Food Waste With End-Of-Day Half-Price Bread

Norwegian grocery chain SPAR’s goal is to cut food waste by 270 tons a year. One of the tactics for achieving this is to offer unsold freshly-baked bread at half off an hour before closing. The company tested the idea in a few stores, without any advertising or marketing. Bread waste dropped by 16 percent, which adds to 270 tons a year. Trial participants noted a boost in foot traffic in the last hour of business in addition to positive comments from customers. Any unsold bread is given to pig farmers. The company is also spreading the word among its 259 other stores using in-store posters and shelf markers.

"SPAR Norway’s Food Waste Reduction Scheme", SPAR International, September 18, 2017

Kroger’s New Mission: No Food Waste, No Hunger

The Kroger Co. has embarked on a new corporate mission to reduce food waste and hunger in the communities where its stores operate by 2025. CEO Rodney McMullen noted that 42 million Americans struggle with hunger while 72 billion pounds of food end up in landfills every year. Kroger's Zero Hunger-Zero Waste plan includes commitments to: establish a $10 million innovation fund to address hunger and food waste; speed up food donations to provide three billion meals by 2025; donate not just food, but also balanced meals; and advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and shorten lines at food banks, and lobby governments on programs for recycling, composting and sustainability.

"Kroger Announces Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan", News release, Kroger Co., September 19, 2017

Food Industry Giants Seek Label Standardization Within Three Years

An organization that represents 400 consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in 70 countries has proposed that food date (viz., "sell by," use by," etc.) labels be standardized and streamlined globally within three years to help customers reduce the amount of edible food thrown out by households. The “Call to Action” from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a Paris-based group with offices in Tokyo and Washington, D.C., requires retailers and food producers to focus on numbers of labels, inclusion of expiration dates for perishable items and food quality indicators for non-perishable items, and educating consumers on what date labels mean. The CGF includes companies like Tesco, Kellogg, Walmart, Campbell Soup, Bimbo, Pick n Pay, Nestlé, Carrefour, and Unilever.

"Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste", The Consumer Goods Forum, September 20, 2017

Tesco Own-Label Suppliers Commit To Food Waste Transparency

Major own-label food suppliers to British supermarket chain Tesco have agreed to start publishing their food waste data within the next year. CEO Dave Lewis called the commitment by 24 of the company’s biggest suppliers “pivotal.” Lewis said he believed that many other suppliers and retailers would follow suit in the next weeks and months. Suppliers were apparently influenced by a WRAP organization report in March that showed investments in curbing food waste earned positive returns. For every £1 invested in reducing food waste, WRAP reported, half the business sites had at least a £14 return. WRAP is a nonprofit organization whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably.

"Tesco CEO Hails Waste Agreement with Two Dozen Suppliers a 'Pivotal Moment'", The Grocer, September 21, 2017

Smart-Label Technology Could Generate Millions In Sales Soon

A smart-label developed by a University of Strathclyde business spin-out helps consumers track the freshness of purchased foods. Insignia Technologies is seeking funding to fast-track the commercialization of the technology, which was tested on a popular Sainsbury's cooked ham product in 1,100 shops in the U.K. The labels monitor time and temperature using a color-changing smart plastic that alerts consumers when food is nearing the end of its edible life. Executives at Insignia believe the business could generate £10 million ($13.3 million) in sales within the next three years.

"Smart Label to Cut Food Waste could Save Shoppers £150m", The Herald, September 25, 2017

Innovation & New Ideas  

New Beverage Dispensing Technology Being Tested In U.K.

Coca-Cola European Partners is testing its Coke Freestyle fountain dispensers among students and staff at the University of Reading in the U.K. The machines work with refillable containers sold by the school that have RFID technology and microchips that interact with Validfill dispensing software. Customers choose from more than 100 brands, including Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, and Fanta, as well as low- and zero-calorie varieties, caffeine-free and still drinks. The technology ensures payment, keeps track of refills, and ranks drinks on popularity.

"Coca-Cola European Partners to track refillable bottles on UK university campus", Just-Drinks.com, October 09, 2017

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