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Period: January 15, 2018 to February 1, 2018
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

U.K. Supermarket Store Gives Away Cartloads Of Unsold Holiday Produce

An Asda supermarket branch in Wales decided it didn’t want to waste the unsold produce accumulated over the holidays. It created a sensation in the Barry community as shopping carts full of leftover carrots, broccoli, parsnips, and brussels sprouts were given away free of charge to surprised and happy shoppers. Some of the food was collected for the homeless, charities, soup kitchens or owners of livestock. Store managers at other Asda outlets apparently were free to do the same thing at their own discretion.

"Supermarket Gives Away Trolley-Loads of Free Food Left Over from Christmas to Make Sure Nothing Goes to Waste", Mirror (U.K.), December 30, 2017

Potato Chip Company Turns Ugly Spuds Into Gold

Rather than discard potatoes deemed too small or too large or too blemished for regular potato chip production, Pennsylvania’s Dieffenbach Potato Chips has launched the “It’s Good to be Ugly” campaign to reduce waste and fight hunger. The campaign follows the launch of its Uglies Kettle Chips last year. The company works with local farmers to acquire surplus and blemished potatoes, which are cooked in small batches like its regular potatoes. A total of 350,000 pounds of potatoes have been kept from landfills since the launch of Uglies Kettle Chips last year, according to the company.. 

"Ugly Chips are All the Rage in Fight against Food Waste in America", BakeryAndSnacks.com, January 10, 2018

Walton Family Invests In Colorado Food Waste Company

A Colorado-based start-up whose mission is to cut food waste by buying at a discount excess or rejected foods from supermarkets and selling it to foodservice companies has caught the eye of an investment arm of the billionaire Walton family. Foodmaven completed an $8.6 million fundraising round, including Walton money, to continue acquiring, for example, still edible frozen pizzas with a mistake on the box, excess chicken from supermarkets, and produce rejected for cosmetic reasons. FoodMaven has 700 customers in Colorado, including restaurants, hospitals, and large institutional cafeterias, and expects $10 million in revenue this year.

"Second-Hand Pizza Seen as Next Big Thing by Richest U.S. Family", Bloomberg Quint, January 10, 2018

Food Waste Start-Ups Face Four Key Organizational Challenges

A number of companies have launched in recent years to tackle the staggering problem of fruit and vegetable produce that never reaches the consumer’s shopping cart because it is deemed below commercial grade. Cosmetically challenged produce nevertheless retains intrinsic value: it is edible, nutritious, and marketable, at least somewhere. Though still small, companies like Imperfect Produce, Hungry Harvest, Full Harvest, and the new iPhone app goMkt, are pursuing solutions to the problem of delivering edible discarded food to the needy. More such initiatives are likely to emerge in the coming years. According to a university professor, each of these businesses faces four challenges: schematizing of quality distinctions to allow useful pricing; creating an efficient distribution system; nailing down liability issues when produce deteriorates prior to delivery; and ensuring profitability. 

"Beneath the Bruises: A New Market for Old and Ugly Fruit and Vegetables Takes Shape", The Economist, January 11, 2018

Australian Technology Solves Food Waste, Creates New Products

Banana-growing couple Rob and Krista Watkins have patented and trademarked a technology that turns any fruit or vegetable – but especially discarded, unmarketable produce – into powder in less than 25 minutes. The powder can be used to make any number of food products, including flour and cake pre-mixes, resistant starches, ointments, and vegan protein mixes. Vertically integrated Natural Evolution Foods in Queensland, Australia, uses its proprietary NutroLock technology – an in-line, cold, raw, low-speed food processing technique – to turn green bananas into flour and resistant starch. Its facility can produce eight tons of banana flour a week, with 10kg of bananas making 1kg of flour.

"Natural Evolution Foods: Adding Value to Queensland Bananas", The Weekly Times, January 16, 2018

Growing Public Awareness Will Make Food Waste A Major Issue In 2018

Global food waste is a problem of staggering proportions. It encompasses edible food that is lost, left uneaten or thrown away; imperfect fruits and vegetables that are never sold; and edible food thrown away because it’s past its best-before date. However, growing awareness and concern about the issue might make 2018 the year when minimizing food waste becomes a bona fide movement. A surge in veganism reflects consumer concern not only about what we eat but whence it comes. Global educational campaigns are trying to raise awareness about waste. Food waste initiatives and sustainable practices campaigns are popping up all over, especially in the hotel and restaurant industry. “Public awareness is an important step in changing the food culture,” says sustainability expert Ivano Iannelli.

"Minimising Food Waste: A New Culinary Trend for 2018", The National, January 18, 2018

N.Y. State Legislators Move To Incentivize Commercial Food Donations With Tax Credits

A Republican Senator and colleagues in the New York State legislature is tackling the food waste problem by co-sponsoring legislation to create a tax credit of up to $5,000 for grocery stores, food brokers, wholesalers, restaurateurs, and catering services that donate surplus or about-to-waste food to local food banks and pantries. The tax credit proposal builds on a measure enacted last year that created a tax credit of up to $5,000 for farmers who donate fresh produce to food banks and other emergency food providers. “We need to keep taking commonsense actions like this one to stop perfectly good, fresh, nutritious food from ending up in landfills and waste incinerators and, at the same time, to help combat hunger,” Sen. Thomas F. O’Mara said. 

"O’Mara Calls for Tax Credit to Grocers, Others Donating Surplus Food", The Leader, January 20, 2018

DoorDash Tries A Unique Solution To The Food Waste Problem

Food delivery app DoorDash has come up with a scheme to put the 50 tons of its extra restaurant food that gets tossed annually into dumpsters and landfills to better use. Pilot programs set up in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City allow local restaurants to donate their unused food to food banks. DoorDash delivery people pick up the food and drop it off at Feeding America hubs that in turn redistribute it. After January, DoorDash will seek to partner with national restaurants already available on the app and have those sponsor donations each month. 

"DoorDash Now Delivers Surplus Food to Fight Hunger", Mashable, January 28, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Britvic Is Serious About Sustainability Goals

British beverage company Britvic unveiled sustainability plans that include short-term goals for manufacturing emissions, waste, and water use over the next two years. The company wants to cut CO2 by 15 percent from global manufacturing plants in the U.K., Ireland, France, and Brazil, between 2016 and 2020 by implementing greener bottling lines. The “A Healthier Everyday” sustainability initiative focuses on resource efficiency, minimizing the environmental impacts of its packaging, and operating a sustainable supply chain. The company says it already keeps 99 percent of its solid waste from landfills, and new bottling lines eliminated 300 tons of plastic packaging in 2017.

"Thirsty Work: Britvic Freshens Up 2020 Sustainability Goals", Business Green, January 11, 2018

Influencing the bigger picture

Aurora, January 23, 2018

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Suntory Continues Investing In Company’s Biomass-Based Bottle Technology

Suntory Holdings and N.Y.-based Anellotech, which produces cost-competitive chemicals and fuels from non-food biomass, partnered six years ago to build a 25-meter-tall TCat pilot plant that would produce bio-based beverage bottles. Now that the plant has been commissioned, Suntory has invested another $9 million in Anellotech to continue development of a fully bio-based PET beverage bottle. The $9 million is part of a $15 million commitment based on the company’s achievement of certain performance goals. The next step is to test process viability and the ability to scale up to commercial operation at the plant. TCat-8 technology produces the renewable aromatic hydrocarbons known as BTX (viz, benzene, toluene and xylene) made from wood and agricultural residues used to make plastics. Suntory hopes to integrate Anellotech's bio-bottles into its sustainability program.

"Suntory invests additional $9m in Anellotech to develop 100% bio-based plastic bottle", Beverage Daily, January 18, 2018

Press Release  

Coca-Cola Envisions “World Without Waste,” Announces Recycling Targets

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey says his company has “a responsibility to help solve” the global “packaging problem.” With that premise in mind, the company announced a “World Without Waste” initiative to help collect and recycle all of its food and beverage product packaging by 2030. Coca-Cola is already developing technology to ensure that all of its packaging is eventually fully recyclable. Though most of it is already recyclable, Coca-Cola plans to make bottles with an average of 50 percent recycled content by 2030. The company also wants to get consumers involved in the movement: it is enlisting the help of new regional and local partners and key customers to motivate beverage buyers to recycle more packaging.

"The Coca-Cola Company Announces New Global Vision to Help Create a World without Waste", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, January 19, 2018

Swachh Aadat, Swachh Bharat

Hindustan Unilever Limited, January 11, 2018


RTD Drink Trends In 2018 Include Minimal Processing, Functional Ingredients

Consumer demand will continue to rise in 2018 for perishable RTD beverages that are minimally-processed, contain little or no added sugar, are sweetened with natural ingredients, feature unusual flavors, and offer functional benefits. In play will be products that are cold pressed or cold brewed, often using high-pressure technologies that eliminate the need for ultra-high temperature pasteurization and aseptic processing. Look for functional ingredients that promote health in RTD coffees, teas, and juices, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, prebiotics, and probiotics. New flavors expected to gain traction include: maple and honey, sour citrus, watermelon, carrot ginger turmeric (Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice), and mocktail spirit flavors like amaretto and whiskey (ArKay Beverages).

"Freshness, Transparency to Propel Beverage Trends", Food Business News, January 10, 2018

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