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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

October 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [Image Credit: © Hershey's ]
Douglas Yu, "Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts", ConfectioneryNews.com, October 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Milk Producer Group Adds Examples Of “Fear-Based” Labeling To Its List

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA., has added more items to its list of foods found to be misleadingly labeled “non-GMO,” “no added hormones,” etc. The organization has launched a “Peel Back the Label” campaign targeting “fear-based” labeling such as non-GMO on foods or products that contain no DNA to modify – e.g., table salt – and “no added hormone” labels on poultry products that are already barred from adding hormones by federal law. New examples of deceptive labeling include canned sliced carrots with "non-GMO" labels, a "GMO-free" label on lettuce, and mandarin oranges. None of these foods have ever been genetically modified, the group says. [Image Credit: © non-GMO Project ]
"Dairy Industry Group Decries 'Fear-Based' Labeling", Rapid City Journal Media Group, October 22, 2017, © Rapid City Journal Media Group
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EU Guidelines Set Priorities For Preventing, Eliminating Food Waste

October 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The European Union’s new food waste guidelines target food donation to reduce spoilage and help poor people gain greater access. Nearly one-quarter of Europeans – 119.1 million people – in 2015 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion; 42.5 million of these were not able to afford a quality meal every second day. The idea behind the guidelines is to limit the generation of surplus food at each stage in the food supply chain (i.e., production, processing, distribution, and consumption). If this cannot be accomplished, the guidelines suggest, then edible food surplus should be redistributed for human consumption “where safe to do so.” [Image Credit: © European Union  ]
Katy Askew, "Europe Puts Food Waste in the Spotlight", FOODnavigator.com, October 18, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Many British Shoppers Would Choose Supermarkets Based On Food Waste Practices

October 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by British charity Tearfund found that three quarters of consumers said they would be more likely to shop at supermarkets if they knew the stores reducing food waste, and a third said they definitely would. In fact, eighty percent said they would consider changing where they shopped for food if their store wasn’t doing enough to curb waste. As part of the organization’s Renew Our World campaign, thousands of people have taken an online pledge to waste less food at home and urge their supermarket to play their part too.
"Four Out Of Five People Would Consider Changing Supermarkets over Food Waste", News release, Tearfund, October 16, 2017, © Tearfund
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [Image Credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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New Beverage Dispensing Technology Being Tested In U.K.

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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.
Andy Morton, "Coca-Cola European Partners to track refillable bottles on UK university campus", Just-Drinks.com, October 09, 2017, © Just-Drinks.com
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Nissin Reformulates Top Ramen Products For Health-Conscious Noodle Buyers

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Instant ramen maker Nissin Foods said consumer demand for simpler, more healthful food products was the force behind its decision to reformulate its Top Ramen product line with less salt, no added monosodium glutamate (MSG), and “fewer artificial ingredients.” The company says the reformulation – the initiative is dubbed “Noodle Zen” – means an improved nutritional profile without loss of “great taste” or a price increase. Specifically, the products now have 15 percent less sodium, no added MSG, and no artificial flavors.  [Image Credit: © Nissin ]
"Nissin Foods Top Ramen Finds Noodle Zen with Updated Recipe", News release, Nissin, October 09, 2017, © Nissin Foods
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San Francisco Grocery Delivery Service Uses AI To Cut Food Waste

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
San Francisco Bay Area food delivery service Farmstead, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) technology, sources and delivers exact amounts of food in less than an hour in an effort to cut grocery industry food waste. Farmstead’s AI software helps customers select food items from a “carefully curated array of local farm produce and grocery products.” AI calculates and predicts users' habits to know exactly how much food to order from local sources daily, weekly, seasonally, and annually. Customers can choose one-hour, same-day and weekly services. Customers who are part of a weekly eco-optimized delivery route, their order is delivered for free. Otherwise delivery is $3.99; one-hour delivery is $4.99. [Image Credit: © Farmstead ]
"Farmstead Launches Nation's First Sustainable Digital Grocer in San Francisco", News release, Farmstead, October 05, 2017, © Farmstead
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P&G To Launch Fairy Bottle In UK Made Of Ocean And Recycled Plastic

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble is cooperating with TerraCycle to develop a new Fairy Ocean Plastic Bottle made from 100% recycled plastic and ocean plastic that will be launched in the UK in 2008. The company expects to make 320,000 bottles, the largest production run of recyclable dish soap bottles in the world made using ocean plastic. The project aims boost P&G’s sustainability and to drive awareness of the issue of ocean plastic pollution, inspire consumers to participate in beach clean-ups and recycle household waste. [Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
"Procter & Gamble launches new Fairy Ocean Plastic bottle made from 100% recycled plastic and ocean plastic", Procter & Gamble, October 05, 2017, © Procter & Gamble
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Airline Reclassifies Unopened Snacks, Beverages As Safe For Future Use

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a bid to not only save costs but also reduce food waste, Air New Zealand has launched a program to recycle sealed and unopened beverages and snacks. Project Green, a collaboration of the airline, its catering partner, and the Ministry for Primary Industries, allows reclassification of unopened in-flight food and beverage products so they can be redistributed on future flights. So far more than 40 such products are included in the reclassification scheme. In the first month, the airline diverted 266,000 plastic cups, 480 kg of sugar packets, and 3.5 tons of bottled water from landfills – 13 tons total.
"Air New Zealand Recycling Unopened Snacks Instead of Sending Them to the Dump", New Zealand Herald, October 04, 2017, © NZME. Publishing Limited
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Wal-Mart Expands Sustainability Chemistry Policy, Demands Safer Products From Suppliers

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has expanded its sustainability chemistry policy for consumable products, as part of the retailer's efforts to improve transparency, promote better product formulations, and widen its selection of sustainable products. First launched in 2013, the program covers about 90,000 products from 700 suppliers. As part of the commitment, Wal-Mart expects its suppliers to completely disclose chemicals used as ingredients in their products, ensure their products come with safe ingredients, and integrate sustainability into their product manufacturing.
"Walmart Strengthens Sustainable Chemistry Commitment, Reports Progress in Safer Product Formulation", Wal-Mart, September 27, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Judge Okays Agreement That Frees FDA To Enforce Menu Calorie Count Rules

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA will begin enforcing in May 2018 long-delayed regulations that require chain restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores to include calorie counts on menus. A federal judge in Chicago approved an agreement reached by the nonprofit law firm Earthjustice, representing the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the National Consumers League, and the Dept. of Justice, to stay further proceedings in the lawsuit filed by Earthjustice targeting the FDA’s delays in enforcing rules finalized in 2014. The agreement was reached after FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on August issued a statement assuring the litigants that there will be no further delays or changes to the menu labeling rules.  [Image Credit: © Earthjustice ]
"FDA Agrees to Enforce Menu Labeling Rule in May 2018", Center for Science in the Public Interest, September 27, 2017, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [Image Credit: © Agricultured ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Smart-Label Technology Could Generate Millions In Sales Soon

September 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © Insignia Technologies ]
Kevin Scott, "Smart Label to Cut Food Waste could Save Shoppers £150m", The Herald, September 25, 2017, © The Herald
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Nestlé’s Deals With U.S. Communities Result In Mostly Free Water Worth Billions

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is the biggest bottled water supplier globally in terms of sales, ahead of Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo. In 2016, U.S. bottled water sales reached $16 billion, up nearly 10 percent from 2015, outpacing soda sales as consumers increasingly seek convenience and healthful options, and worry about tap water safety. Nestlé dominates by accessing U.S. water sources spring by spring – at very low cost – promising communities jobs and new infrastructure in exchange for tax breaks and access to the scarce resource. The company pays a municipal rate for the water, or a nominal extraction fee. ($200 in Michigan.) Nestlé battles grass-roots resistance – “it rankles many because the natural resource gets hauled out of local watersheds for private profit” – with legal action.
Caroline Winter, "Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 21, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Tesco Own-Label Suppliers Commit To Food Waste Transparency

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © Tesco ]
Ian Quinn, "Tesco CEO Hails Waste Agreement with Two Dozen Suppliers a 'Pivotal Moment'", The Grocer, September 21, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Eco-Conscious Millennials Support Boxed Water’s Environmental Solution

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite the huge presence of bottled water globally, Boxed Water CMO Rob Koenen says the company will make inroads by building relationships with consumers, especially eco-conscious Millennials, to grow its packaging business and “make a positive impact on the planet.” A key strategy is engaging with consumers who are responsive to the sustainable packaging message. According to Koenen, the company’s social media community generates lot of the content as they share how they enjoy Boxed Water in their daily life. Millennials want solutions to environmental problems and will support solutions through purchasing decisions. “Consumers understand the depth of our commitment and that drives their loyalty,” Koenen says.
Hal Conick, "Why Boxed Water’s Brand Resonates with Millennials and Gen Z", American Marketing Association, September 20, 2017, © American Marketing Association
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USDA Says Its Organic Police Are Slacking Off

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The inspector general of the USDA has found that agency officials tasked with monitoring imported foods labeled “USDA Organic” have been sleeping on the job, allowing, for example, millions of pounds of imported conventional soybeans and corn to reach U.S. grocery stores with bogus certified-organic labels. The audit of the Agricultural Marketing Service determined that the agency could not “provide reasonable assurance” that those items from abroad are actually “from certified organic foreign farms and business.” The inspector general suggested that the USDA needs to find a way to get the organic food-monitoring staff to do its job properly. [Image Credit: © USDA ]
Clint Rainey, "USDA Warns That Millions of Pounds of Fake ‘Organic’ Imports Are Pouring Into U.S.", Grub Street, September 20, 2017, © New York Media LLC
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Food Industry Giants Seek Label Standardization Within Three Years

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © Consumer Goods Forum ]
"Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste", The Consumer Goods Forum, September 20, 2017, © The Consumer Goods Forum
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Kroger’s New Mission: No Food Waste, No Hunger

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © Kroger ]
"Kroger Announces Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan", News release, Kroger Co., September 19, 2017, © Kroger Co.
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Thai Beverage Recognized For Eco-Achievements

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
ThaiBev joined the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World and Emerging Markets indices after it was awarded perfect scores from the yearly RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). The DJSI World Index represents the top 10 percent of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global BMI. The company In 2016 recorded 12 percent less water withdrawal per hectoliter of finished goods, and recycled 10 percent of water resources it used.
"ThaiBev joins DJSI's World Index", Singapore Business Review, September 19, 2017, © Charlton Media Group
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Revamped Headquarters Reflect Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Mores

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has worked with international architect Gensler to renovate its 60-year-old headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The idea was to provide workspaces that promote creativity, productivity, and engagement for the 13,000 employees who work there, and to visually represent the company’s transformation to a “true total beverage company.” Gensler and the company came up with a “Mainstreet Experience,” creating communal space out of the ground floors of six buildings and physically linking the buildings into a network. The 350,000 square feet of office space now features conference rooms, cafes, lounges, treadmill desks, sit-stand workstations in communal areas, soft seating, and two acres of outdoor space with patios and courtyards.
Diana Budds, "Coca-Cola’s Headquarters Have A Refreshing New Look", Fast Company Design, September 18, 2017, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Grocery Chain Tackles Food Waste With End-Of-Day Half-Price Bread

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: © SPAR Norway ]
"SPAR Norway’s Food Waste Reduction Scheme", SPAR International, September 18, 2017, © SPAR International
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Boxed Water’s Tree Planting Project Is Achieving Its Goals

September 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Boxed Water, which sells water in recyclable cartons made using paper from managed forests, says its partnership with the National Forest Foundation has been successful over the last three years. The company, through its #ReTree project, has committed to planting more than 600,000 trees within the 193 million-acre National Forest System, and a million trees by 2020. Boxed Water is available in 500 ml, 250 ml and 1 liter sizes.
"Boxed Water Plants More Than 600,000 Trees Through #ReTree Campaign", News release, Boxed Water, September 13, 2017, © Boxed Water
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Evian Certified As Carbon Neutral In U.S., Canada

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s bottled water brand Evian, sourced from a French Alpine spring, announced it has been audited and certified by the nonprofit Carbon Trust in the U.S. and Canada as a carbon neutral product. The certification marks a major step toward a goal of reaching worldwide carbon neutrality by 2020. To help reduce its carbon footprint, the brand uses environmentally friendly trains and ships to deliver product to North America. In addition, all Evian bottles and caps are fully recyclable; the company expects all packaging to have an average of 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by the end of 2017 in North America.
"Evian Achieves Carbon Neutrality in the U.S. and Canada", News release, Danone, September 12, 2017, © Danone
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Particle Accelerator Technology Leads To Food Waste Savings

September 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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. [Image Credit: ©   Blue Yonder]
Ben Chapman, "How Supermarkets Use Particle Physics to Save Thousands of Tonnes of Food Waste", Independent, September 11, 2017, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Battling Hotel Food Waste Starts With Event Buffets

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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.
Linda Himelstein, "Hotel Buffets, a Culprit of Food Waste, Get Downsized", The New York Times, September 08, 2017, © The New York Times Company
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Battle Over “Country Of Origin” Meat Labeling Rages On

August 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A lawsuit filed by groups representing American cattle growers alleges that USDA regulations that allow imported beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products” not only confuses consumers and harms farmers, they violate the Meat Inspection Act. The suit says meat products should be labeled with “country of origin.” American consumers agree: 90 percent in a recent survey said they favored country-of-origin labeling for fresh meat. Such labeling had been required in the U.S. until two years ago, when the World Trade Organization determined that the requirements discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock. [Image Credit: © Temperature Climate Permaculture ]
"Large Majority of Americans Strongly Support Requiring Origin Information on Fresh Meat", Consumer Federation of America, August 24, 2017, © Consumer Federation of America
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Helping Needy Families Eat Healthy, Save Money, Cut Food Waste

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A year-old food education program launched in Western Pennsylvania by the group 412 Food Rescue is helping families save precious dollars by giving them access to fresh food and teaching them how to cook it. Since last year, more than a hundred needy mothers have benefited from the training, which also includes nutrition education. By teaching people how to cook, they immediately begin saving money by not eating out, and they eat healthier. One participant said the training also meant that she cut waste of vegetables in half. [Image Credit: © 412 Food Rescue ]
Smitha Rajan, "Don’t Waste that Food — Oops, Dollar!", Post-Gazette, August 23, 2017, © Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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McDonald’s To Work Toward Antibiotics-Free Meat

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald's announced it will phase out use cattle and pigs raised with antibiotics important to human medicine. It has already begun phasing out antibiotics-raised chickens in its 14,000 U.S. restaurants and the 36,000 locations globally. Meat suppliers in the McDonald’s supply chain will still be allowed to use ionophores antibiotics because they are not used to treat humans. [Image Credit: © Union of Concerned Scientists ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "McDonald’s Vows to Serve More Antibiotic-Free Meat, Targeting Beef and Pork", Chicago Tribune, August 23, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Coca-Cola To Fund Search For Solutions To Citrus Greening Disease

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
With nearly all commercial orchards in Florida infected with citrus greening, a bacterial plant disease caused by an insect, Coca-Cola company announced it is funding collaborative research between Bayer and a nonprofit citrus research organization to find solutions to the problem. A Bayer crop scientist said unless such a solution is found, the Florida citrus industry could be dead within 10 to 15 years. Researchers will try to identify biological disease control solutions, or compounds that control the plants’ immune defenses. Bayer will have the rights to development and commercialization of any discoveries that result from the research.
Journey Staff, "Coca-Cola Supporting Research Partnership to Combat Citrus Greening", News release, the Coca-Cola Company, August 23, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Plenty Of Demand For Wonky Fruits And Vegetables

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Imperfect Produce, which sells subscriptions for delivery of blemished and misshapen fruits and vegetable, is expanding from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., and eventually to the Seattle, Wash., area. The idea for the company came from the fact that most grocery stores won’t sell scarred plums or odd-shaped eggplants. They are discarded, even though they’re perfectly edible. The company gathers the unmarketable produce from 70 West Coast farms. After just three weeks of marketing in Portland, the service has added 1,500 new subscribers.
Cassandra Profita, "'Ugly' Produce Delivery Service Expands to the Northwest", Oregon Public Broadcasting, August 23, 2017, © Oregon Public Broadcasting
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Teaching Bars To Use Food Waste To Make Creative Cocktails

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian has teamed with a Canadian to teach bars and bartenders how to put cocktail ingredients destined for trash bins to good use. The two, who refer to themselves as “Trash Tiki,” travel the world with a pop-up bar spreading a message of sustainability, one cocktail at a time. The two have taught bartenders and bar owners how to get more use out of lime wedges after spritzing into gin-and-tonics, and how to use ingredients like coffee grounds, avocado pits, almond croissants, and fermented pineapple to make flavorful drinks. [Image Credit: © Trash Tiki ]
Talia Ricci, "From Trash to Tiki Cocktail: How a Travelling Pop-Up is changing the Way Bars Think About Waste", CBC News, August 23, 2017, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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Canadian Zero-Waste Grocer Gets High Praise

August 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ottawa, Canada’s first zero-waste grocery store encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers to carry off their purchases. The goal is to eliminate packaging waste while selling dry food, fresh produce, and cleaning and beauty supplies. Nu Grocery store owner Valrie Leloup has not only won praise from Canada’s environment minister – “taking real action to tackle climate change, protect the environment, and employ a bunch of people” – she believes she has changed her customers’ minds about the problem of food and packaging waste. "I think that this store has triggered something," she said. [Image Credit: © Idil Mussa/CBC ]
"Ottawa's First Zero-Waste Grocery Store Officially Opens", CBC News, August 20, 2017, © CBC/Radio-Canada
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PET Bottle Collection And Recycling Effort During Festival Proves Successful

August 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nearly 4.5 tons of empty, discarded plastic PET bottles that once contained water, fruit juice, and carbonated soft drinks, were collected for recycling during the recent Kataragama Perahera Festival in Sri Lanka. The effort, dubbed “Give Back Life” to the recyclable bottles, was supported and sponsored by Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd., which partnered with a local waste management company to place an array of 1,000-liter and 5,000-liter bins in accessible locations. The festival ran from July 24 through August 10.
"Coca-Cola “Gives Back Life” to 4.5 Tons of PET Bottles in Katharagama", Daily Mirror, August 18, 2017, © Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.
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Distillery Based On Discarded Bread Offers Two Key Benefits

August 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A start-up distillery in California has come up with a novel scheme to make money while cutting food waste. The idea is to turn bread products that can no longer be given away into vodka. Misadventure & Co. picks up a thousand pounds of bread from a local food bank each week. The bread is past its expiration date, but still useable. It is combined in a giant blender, and mashed into a sort of sweet porridge. Yeast is added to eat the sugar and create alcohol. This “bread beer” is heated to extract the alcohol that is eventually turned into vodka. The bread products from the food bank are free, so the beverages made can be sold for less. And it’s also keeping tons of food out of landfills.
Greg Bledsoe, "Your Corner: Turning Old Cupcakes and Bread Into Vodka", NBC San Diego, August 18, 2017, © NBCUniversal Media, LLC
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Food-Pairing Technology Can Reduce Food Waste

August 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
IBM scientists believe the same artificial intelligence technology that beat Ken Jennings in Jeopardy can also be applied to cut food waste. For now, the advanced algorithm they have developed pairs unexpected ingredients based on flavor compounds, viz., a pudding made with porcini mushrooms, or a burrito made with chocolate and edamame. The scientists say they can expand food-matching or food-pairing software beyond that, however, using the same algorithm to provide personalized meal plans that would reduce food waste and create varied meals for people who have severe dietary constraints. [Image Credit: © IBM Chef Watson ]
Catherine Ho, "Can a Computer Configure Food Pairings to Cut Down on Waste?", The San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2017, © Hearst Corporation
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Judge: Plaintiff In Added-Sugar Suit Against Kellogg Has An Adequate Case

August 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A federal judge in California has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Kellogg, agreeing essentially with the plaintiff that most of the claims made by the company about the nutritional value and wholesomeness of its breakfast cereals seem to be refuted by the fact that they contain “excess added sugar.” Judge Lucy Koh dismissed five of the claims because she agreed they were essentially harmless advertising “puffery.” But she allowed claims regarding 24 other products to move forward because “these products contain at least one statement that the court found was not pre-empted, non-misleading, or puffery as a matter of law." The case is Hadley v. Kellogg Sales

Company.  [Image Credit: © Kellogg ]
Matthew Renda, "Kellogg Can’t Duck Class Action Over Cereal Labels", Courthouse News, August 15, 2017, © Courthouse News Service
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Americans Support More Humane Methods Of Raising Chickens For Food

August 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Eighty-three percent of Americans say they want food companies to reduce “the suffering” of chickens raised for food, according to a poll. Americans oppose growing chickens so quickly they can’t bear their own weight; oppose live-shackle slaughter; and oppose extreme crowding in cages. They support keeping chicken litter clean and providing environmental enrichment, such as straw bales and pecking objects. NRG Research Group singled out Tyson Foods for censure, noting that its poultry-raising standards “fail to adequately address the most pressing chicken welfare issues.” [Image Credit: © Mercy for Animals ]
"Four Out Of Five Americans Want Restaurants And Grocers To End Cruel Factory Farming Practices", News release, Mercy For Animals, August 13, 2017, © Mercy For Animals
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Plan To Increase Royalty-Free Draw Of NZ Spring Water Sparks Debate

August 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Chinese-owned company has stepped into a big puddle of controversy in New Zealand with an application to draw as much as 580 million liters of spring water – royalty free – for bottling and selling in China. Commercialization of spring water is a prickly issue a month ahead of national elections. The leader of the country’s labour party is promising to crack down on royalty-free use of limited water resources. Creswell NZ Ltd., a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring, currently draws two million liters of water a year for bottling.
Matt Shand, "Chinese Company Seeks Consent to Draw 580 Million Litres of Pristine Spring Water", Stuff, August 13, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Use Of Biodegradable Materials Is Changing The Packaging World

August 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Companies in the food, beverages, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals industries are heavy users of returnable bulk shipment packaging, including pallets, bulk boxes, barrels, and plastic drums. It’s a $9 billion market that depends heavily on synthetic, petroleum-based plastics – the bane of the enviro-conscious world. Companies like Dow Chemical and Braskem, experimenting with environmentally-friendly packaging materials, are investing in bio-based polymers and biomass. New packaging options have led to another emerging trend that offers an ancillary benefit to vendors: they are more easily customizable in terms of height, length, and breadth. [Image Credit: © Returnable Packaging Resource ]
Matt Hamer, "Three Trends in Returnable Packaging", BakingBusiness.com, August 11, 2017, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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New Spray Coating Preserves Fruits Much Longer

August 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An advanced plant-based technology developed by South Korean scientists not only adds nutrients to fruits, it prolongs their shelf life. The technology comes in the form of a five-second spritz coating of Iron (III)-tannic acid-metal-organic coordination complex (Fe(III)-TA-MOC) for fruits. The spray forms a five nanometers-thick layer (more after additional coats). A field test that analyzed the post-harvest shelf-life of mandarin oranges found that, after 28 days of storage at 77ºF, more than a quarter of the uncoated mandarin oranges (10 out of 37) were rotten and covered with mold. Those spray-coated remained edible. A similar test on strawberries found that, after 58 days of storage at 77ºF, 56.3 percent of sprayed fruit were edible, but only 6.3 percent of the unsprayed. [Image Credit: © Ji Park et al.]
Ji Park et al., "Antimicrobial spray nanocoating of supramolecular Fe(III)-tannic acid metal-organic coordination complex: applications to shoe insoles and fruits", Scientific Reports, August 11, 2017, © Park et al.
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Health Consciousness Leads List Of Trends Affecting Beverage Makers

August 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage manufacturers are responding to a number of consumer trends in the U.K. this year, not the least of which is health consciousness. Governments and nutrition advocates globally have thoroughly demonized sugar, and brands have responded appropriately. PepsiCo responded with Naked Juice and the Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line. The company’s zero-sugar Pepsi Max was rebranded to Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. Coca-Cola rebranded and reformulated Coke Zero to make Coke Zero Sugar. Red Bull introduced several exotic zero-sugar flavors targeting younger consumers. Other trends affecting beverage companies include drinks with functional ingredients, demands for sustainable packaging, and a significant increase in young teetotalers in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.
Kasia Kossakowska et al., "Health-Conscious Millennials Turn to Zero-Calorie Drinks", BeverageDaily.com, August 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Recycling Instructions Added To Nestlé Waters NA Bottles

August 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA says it is putting “How2Recycle” instructional labels on its 16-ounce U.S. bottled water brands, including Pure Life, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka, and Arrowhead. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a membership-based collaborative comprising businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies, created the “How2Recycle” label in 2012. The label is used by more than 65 brands and retailers, and can be found on thousands of products.
"Nestlé Waters North America Launches New Recycling Labeling across all Major U.S. Bottled Water Brands", News release, Nestlé Waters NA , August 09, 2017, © Nestlé Waters NA
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Sodexo Commits To Cage-Free Boiled Eggs, Pork From Open Pen-Raised Sows

August 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food services company Sodexo has added hard-boiled eggs to its commitment to use only cage-free shell and liquid eggs by 2025. The company says 70 percent of its egg use will be cage-free by spring 2018. The company also announced that 12,500 organizational customers in the U.S. will begin to source open-sow-housed pork products this fall to improve the humane treatment of animals in its supply chain. The moves all under the company’s Better Tomorrow 2025 roadmap for improved corporate responsibility. [Image Credit: © Sodexo ]
"Sodexo Cracks its Commitment to Buy Cage-Free Eggs and Open Sow Housed Pork in the U.S.", News release, Sodexo, August 08, 2017, © Sodexo
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Lucky British Pod People In Sainsbury’s Food Waste Test

August 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British retail grocery chain Sainsbury’s is testing a device dubbed a “Fresh Pod” that sits in a household refrigerator and absorbs ethylene gas emitted by fresh produce as it ages, helping to keep it fresher four times longer. The technology, already in use in many commercial fridges, could help reduce the average £700 ($900) of food binned by U.K. homes every year. A village council in the U.K. won £32k ($41k) from Sainsbury’s to test the devices among its citizenry as part of the company’s five-year food waste initiative. [Image Credit: © Fresh Pod ]
Megan Tatum, "Sainsbury's to Fund Thousands of Food Waste-Cutting Fridge Pods in Suffolk", The Grocer, August 01, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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New Coke Ads Deliver Recycling Message Through Animation

July 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new Coca-Cola stop-motion ad showing in the U.K. uses more than 1,500 recycled Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Smartwater and Honest Tea bottles and cans to get across the notion that the packaging is not only recyclable, it is recyclable over and over. The pun-packed ads, created by Ogilvey & Mather Berlin, tell of a romance between a Coke Zero Sugar bottle and a Fanta bottle who are separated, but continuously re-united, via recycling. The ads, to be shown in movie theaters and on social media platforms throughout the summer, are expected to reach 35 million Britons by the end of the year.
Simon Gwynn, "Coke dishes out verbal pun-ishment in quirky animated love story encouraging recycling", Campaign Live UK, July 29, 2017, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Active Organic Chickens Offer Perdue Some Major Benefits

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Poultry producer Perdue Farms is spurning traditional ways of growing chickens. Some long-time opponents – namely, animal welfare advocates – seem to approve. Representatives of the Humane Society of the U.S., Compassion in World Farming, and Mercy for Animals were positively impressed during a recent tour of facilities. They saw windows and light, and chickens flapping their wings and running around. The bright, airy environment and activity of the birds are very different from current methods of raising poultry. But Perdue acknowledges it’s not all about chicken welfare. The meat from more active, organically grown chickens is higher quality, more tender, and a different color. “Activity is the key,” says CEO Jim Perdue.
Dan Charles, "Perdue Farms Signs Up For A Chicken Welfare Revolution", National Public Radio, July 27, 2017, © npr
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PepsiCo Partners With Recycling Advocate

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo is collaborating with and funding the nonprofit Recycling Foundation’s efforts to increase recycling rates through local and national work. Less than half of recyclables in U.S. homes are being collected: 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year. The Recycling Partnership has helped more than 400 local communities improve curbside recycling for 17 million households. Last year, PepsiCo announced it would strive to redesign all its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025, and to partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates. [Image Credit: © PepsiCo ]
"PepsiCo Joins the Recycling Partnership", News release, PepsiCo, July 27, 2017, © PepsiCo, Inc.
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Growth Returns To Asian FMCG Market

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
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, © Kantar Worldpanel
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