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Period: February 1, 2018 to March 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

Would Knowing What The USDA Means By “Natural” Make For Smarter Meat Buying?

New research from Arizona State University shows that food shoppers not only misinterpret labels on food products, they’re willing to pay a premium price for a “natural” steak without really knowing the USDA’s explanation of the term: no artificial ingredients or added color and only minimally processed. The online study of 663 beef-eaters tested their willingness to pay for steak labeled with different attributes, such as natural, grass-fed, or raised without growth hormones. Half were given the definition of natural, half were not. Uninformed consumers were willing to pay $1.26 more per pound for the “natural” beef, and $2.43 more for natural beef with no growth hormone. Informed consumers, however, were unwilling to pay a premium for the “natural” claim alone, but were willing to pay $3.07 more per pound for steak labeled as natural with no growth hormones.

"Is 'Natural' Beef Label Misleading?", Arizona State University, January 04, 2018

It’s Not Easy To Find Out Whether Meat Is Ethically Raised

Americans are eating 50 pounds more meat per person than they did in 1960. An increasing number of them want to be certain their meat was ethically raised. But that’s not easy to do. Labels like “all natural” or “free range” on meat packages are no help, and few many consumers are likely to visit farms to observe animal husbandry practices. That’s where independent third-party certification comes in. Whole Foods Market, for example, requires its fresh meat to be certified through the nonprofit Global Animal Partnership, a somewhat expensive procedure that involves regular farm audits. Other third-party organizations that assure customers that the meat they are eating was ethically raised include Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and American Humane Certified, as well as the Non-GMO Project and Where Food Comes From, Inc.

"You Want to Eat Meat That’s Been Ethically Raised. But How Can You Know for Sure?", Bangor Daily News, January 15, 2018

Panera Chides Competitors About Use Of Non-Clean Ingredients In Menu Items

Fast-casual restaurant chain Panera has set up a committee of food experts who can advise competitors on how to start using natural “clean” ingredients in their menu items. The experts who comprise Clean Consultant can also be hired by other restaurant chains to learn how to get more active in food policy issues. The feisty company has also begun marketing a revamped breakfast sandwich; asked the FDA to clearly define the term “egg;” and called out rivals Chick-fil-A and Starbucks for using additives in their egg sandwiches.

"Panera Wants to Help Other Brands Clean Up Their Menus ' and it Shows How the Sandwich Chain is Doubling Down on a Key Strategy in a New Era", Business Insider, January 29, 2018

Natural/Organic Is Increasingly Attractive To Hispanic Grocery Shoppers

The organic and clean label foods and beverages movement is permeating nearly every segment of the American consumer population, and especially Hispanics, whose buying power has reached $1 trillion annually. A new Packaged Facts report finds that more than half of Hispanic shoppers routinely buy natural/organic groceries, and 60 percent say they are buying more natural/organic foods than ever. Forty percent of Hispanic adults say a store's organic vegetable and fruit selection is an especially important factor when choosing where to shop for groceries, while 33 percent say the store's selection of organic packaged foods and beverages is important. In each of these cases, Hispanics are 15 percent or more above the average for all adults. 

"Hispanics Creating New Retail Opportunities in Organic and Clean Label Food Market", News release, Packaged Facts, February 08, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Britvic Opens New High-Capacity Can Production Lines At U.K. Plant

Britvic’s three-year, multimillion-dollar U.K. infrastructure investment program has resulted in the creation of three new aluminum can production lines in the Rugby plant, collectively capable of producing 6,000 cans a minute. The $139 million production lines are expected to generate 80 new jobs at the plant, while reducing waste and boosting flexibility in the type of material –aluminum or steel – used.  The company claims that by April its steel can formats will be replaced by aluminum cans, removing 8,000 tons of metal annually.

"New Britvic £100m Investment Helps Produce 6,000 Cans per Minute", Packaging News, February 06, 2018

Bill Would Allow Schools to Pass Out Unused Food

The Herald Dispatch, February 24, 2018

Innovation & New Ideas  

Nestlé Waters NA Debuts Recyclable 700ml rPET Bottle For Its Pure Life Line

Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water has begun using a 700ml bottle made entirely from food grade recycled plastic. The new rPET bottle will be arriving this month on grocery, mass, and convenience store shelves across the country. According to Nestlé Waters North America, use of the rPET bottle achieves two goals: “satisfying consumer demand for healthy hydration on-the-go and inspiring consumers to recycle." The company said the bottle will be spotlighted in a short video about Nestlé’s use of recycled materials that was created for viewing on social media and on its website. The video encourages consumers to recycle the bottle so that it can be made into a new one. 

"Nestle Pure Life Purified Water Launches New Bottle Made From 100 Percent Recycled Plastic in North America", News release, Nestlé Waters North America, February 15, 2018

Climate Action Champions – Henkel Singapore

Climate Action Champions , February 08, 2018

Unilever, UNDP partner for SDGs

The Daily Star, February 09, 2018

Tereos: Beet Campaign Sets New Record in France

Food Ingredients 1st, February 21, 2018

Marketing & Advertising  

Beverages Made With Wonky Fruits Gain Momentum In The U.K.

British sparkling water brand Dash Water, known for using ugly but edible fruits and vegetables, has launched a social media ad campaign with the theme “Squashed for Love” for its newest flavor. The new raspberry-infused water is made with wonky or slightly squashed raspberries. During the run of the campaign, customers can win a three-month supply of the water simply by visiting a local Whole Foods Market and saying the word “squashed” to Dash’s sampling squad. Only eight months old, Dash Water has already spawned imitators: the British brand Cotchel launched an apple and pear juice line in January using fruit too big, too small or too ugly to be sold in grocery stores.

"Dash Water Kicks off Campaign with New Raspberry-Infused Drink", FoodBev, February 14, 2018

Products & Brands  

Authenticity Is RAW Pressery’s Guiding Precept

Indian entrepreneur Anuj Rakyan, founder of cold-pressed juice company RAW Pressery, says clean label will be the hot trend in food and beverages in 2018. With that in mind, the company will base an advertising campaign on that trend this year. But Rakyan nevertheless believes that authentic products – not advertising itself – builds consumer trust. That philosophy actually prevented Rakyan from launching a new product – baby food – it spent many months developing. There were distribution problems certainly, but more importantly, the company came to the conclusion that baby food was not within its definition of authentic. Rakyan told his people, “Let’s focus on what we are good at.”

"RAW Pressery's Anuj Rakyan on Clean Label, His Philosophy on Advertising and More", ET Brand Equity, January 30, 2018

China: Increased Milk Consumption Means “Going Green”

Food Ingredients 1st, February 07, 2018


U.K.’s One Drinks To Introduce Refillable Water Bottles This Spring

British bottled water company One Drinks says it is committed to producing a refillable bottle for its One Water brand this year. The company is also expected to introduce Tetrapak cartons and canned water, as negative publicity surrounding the environmental impact of plastic bottles continues to build. One Drinks, which is known for supporting water conservation efforts, will launch its new products in the U.K. in the spring and will appear on grocer shelves alongside its One Water PET and glass ranges. PepsiCo distribution partner Voss (Norway) already packages its water in reusable glass bottles.

"One Drinks Sets Sights on Refillable Bottled Water Launch", Just-Drinks, February 08, 2018

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