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German Grocery Store Sells Only Wonky Produce, Expired And Surplus Foods

February 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A grocery store that sells only ugly or surplus food products, from vegetables to beer, has opened in the German city of Köln (Cologne). The founders of The Good Food grocery store are dedicated to the idea of eliminating food waste in the world. It is the first such store to open in Germany, and the third in the EU. The store is unusual for a couple of reasons. The food it sells was otherwise bound for landfills because it may be misshapen, or too large or too small, or past its sell-by date. This includes non-perishable products from big manufacturers. And there are no fixed prices: consumers decide how much the products are worth. [ Image credit: © The Good Food bei RTL Aktuell ]
Irene Banos Ruiz, "First German Supermarket Sells Waste Food Only", Deutsche Welle, February 06, 2017, © Deutsche Welle
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Clean Label Frozen Treats May Lead To Sales Growth

February 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The food industry has gotten the message from consumers that sugary, nutrition-free and calorie-packed ice cream is no longer acceptable They are now making healthier, “yet still decadent,” frozen treats, says researcher Packaged Facts. Today there are a growing number of ice creams and frozen desserts that eschew soy, gluten, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, and genetically modified ingredients, not to mention much less fat and sugar. Some of the new products are organic. Consumers are apparently pleased with the results. Ice cream and other frozen treats are a mature market – 85 percent of households buy ice cream routinely. Sales have been steady in recent years. But Packaged Facts says the new attention being paid to clean label frozen desserts could spark a revival of sales growth. 
""Free From" Ice Cream Trending in $28 Billion Market", News release, Packaged Facts, February 06, 2017, © Packaged Facts
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A Closer Look At Major Food Retailer, Restaurant Chain Clean Label Policies

February 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A consumer watchdog organization has analyzed the clean label initiatives of four big restaurant chains and nine supermarket chains finding that all have committed to excluding additives, such as synthetic food dyes and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Except Whole Foods, the supermarket chains have limited their commitments to one or more lines of their house-brand products, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Other findings: none of the clean label lists limit sodium or added sugars; all exclude many artificial ingredients that CSPI considers safe; and restaurant policies do not include “riskiest” beverage ingredients such as added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic food colors. One interesting CSPI observation: “clean label products are not necessarily healthful.” 
Lisa Lefferts, "Clean Labels: Public Relations or Public Health?", Report, Center for Science in the Public Interest, February 01, 2017, © CSPI
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Hormel Investigates Pig Supplier Accused Of Animal Cruelty

January 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A video created by an animal rights group showing alleged cruelty to animals at an Oklahoma pig farm has spurred an investigation by Hormel Foods Corp., which buys meat from the farm. The company also suspended operations at the Maschhoffs farm. The two-minute video shows dozens of pigs and piglets confined in crowded spaces without benefit of veterinary care. Hormel said it would send third-party auditors to investigate the claims made by Mercy for Animals in the video. [ Image credit: © Hormel ]
S. Sangameswaran, "Hormel Stops Operations at Supplier Farm After Video Shows Animal Abuse", Reuters, January 31, 2017, © Reuters
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Company’s Cage-Free Eggs Showcased In Inflatable, Transparent Carton

January 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Taiwanese egg company committed to cage-free eggs has developed a special packaging technology that showcases the health and freedom of its products. The new egg carton is made of a transparent PVC material that inflates to cushion individual eggs. The eggs from Happy Egg company are available in purse-shaped packs of three, or in individual packs decorated especially for local festivals and events, such as birthdays, Christmas and Chinese New Year. [ Inflatable egg carton, Image credit: © Packagingoftheworld.com ]
"Inflatable Egg Carton Promotes Cage-Free Eggs", Springwise, January 30, 2017, © Springwise Intelligence Ltd
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App Helps Volunteers Find, Deliver Salvageable Food Donations

January 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Add to the list of technologies created to help reduce food waste an Uber-like app from a Pittsburgh, Pa.- based nonprofit known as 412 Food Rescue. Food Rescue Hero, available free on iTunes and Google Play, helps its 1,000 volunteer drivers (or walkers or cyclists) find salvage food considered unmarketable and deliver it to shelters and charities. Hero lists salvage opportunities at grocery stores and restaurants and the target charities who distribute the food, provides details on the donations, and lets volunteers pick the donation that works best for them. There is even a navigation system that guides volunteers to the pick-up locations and destinations.  [ Image credit: © 412foodrescue.org  ]
Dana Cizmas, "412 Food Rescue Mobilizes Volunteers with Uber-Like App", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 25, 2017, © PG Publishing Co., Inc.
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London Restaurant Chain Tests Produce Preservation Technology

January 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new technology that could cut down on food waste is being tested in a small chain of London restaurants. The innovation is essentially a small rectangular filter sheet that is placed on or next to fresh fruit and vegetables to absorb ethylene gas produced by ripening produce. (Ethylene is also used commercially to speed the ripening of green tomatoes, bananas, etc.) Canteen restaurants hopes the technology will extend the shelf-life of its produce and reduce the amount that is routinely tossed away after over-ripening. [ Image credit: © It's Fresh ]
Francesca Gillett, "London Restaurant Canteen Trials New Food Waste Technology to Keep Food Fresher for Longer", Evening Standard, January 25, 2017, © Evening Standard Ltd.
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Pop-Up Restaurant At Selfridges To Offer Meals Created From Surplus Foods

January 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
U.K. department store Selfridges is operating a rooftop pop-up food waste restaurant for a month featuring “reinterpretations” of classic British foods like cabbage cores, cover crop sprouts and pork from waste-fed pigs. The restaurant, sponsored by U.S. consumer electronics firm Sonos and digital music provider Spotify, follows a format created by Manhattan chef Dan Barber. The temporary eatery will take surplus foods from farmers, fishermen, distributors, butchers, artisanal producers and retailers to create a full menu with daily specials. It will also serve special cocktails and offer a “tea experience” created by pastry chefs.
Emma Weinbren, "Selfridges to Launch Pop-Up Food Waste Restaurant Wasted", The Grocer, January 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Hellman’s Fulfills Cage-Free Egg Pledge Three Years Early

January 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mayonnaise maker Hellman’s, a Unilever brand, announced that after a reorganization of its egg supply chain – involving 331 million eggs annually – all of its mayonnaise and dressings brands are now made with eggs from cage-free hens. The change in U.S. brands comes three years ahead of the company’s commitment announced in 2010. It affects 170 million jars, 30 million squeeze bottles, and 1.3 million egg-laying hens annually. A Humane Society spokesman said “Hellmann's move shows just how in synch the company is with its customers."  [ Image credit: ©  Wikimedia Commons ]
"Hellmann's Mayonnaise And Mayonnaise Dressings Now Use 100% Cage-Free Eggs In The U.S.*, Three Years Ahead Of Schedule", News release, Unilever U.S., January 23, 2017, © Hellman's U.S.
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Head & Shoulders Introduces Shampoo Bottle Made From Recycled Plastic

January 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble said its Head & Shoulders haircare brand will start using a recyclable shampoo bottle made from up to 25 percent recycled beach plastic. Developed in partnership with recycling firms TerraCycle and SUEZ, the shampoo bottle will be launched in France in summer 2017 as a limited-edition Head & Shoulders packaging exclusive to Carrefour customers. Also, P&G said that by end of 2018, in Europe, more than 500 million bottles per year will include as much as 25 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
"P&G’s Head & Shoulders Creates World’s First Recyclable Shampoo Bottle Made with Beach Plastic", Procter & Gamble, January 19, 2017, © Procter & Gamble
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Grocery Chain Partners With Company That Sells “Wonky” Produce

January 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Midwestern grocery chain has decided its customers are ready for “ugly” – and cheaper – fruits and vegetables. All 242 stores in the Hy-Vee Inc. family have begun to sell what is sometimes called “wonky” produce that is usually discarded because it is misshapen. Hy-Vee is working with large produce company Robinson Fresh and will offer Robinson’s Misfits line of imperfect produce. Misfits produce is sold at a lower price, benefiting customers while helping to reduce produce waste. [ Image credit: © Hy-Vee Inc.  ]
"Hy-Vee introduces 'ugly' produce to fight food waste", News release, Hy-Vee , January 18, 2017, © Hy-Vee Inc.
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Europe’s Lawmakers Back Aggressive Approach To Recycling, Landfilling, Food Waste

January 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The environmental panel of the European Parliament amended a draft legislative “waste package” to raise waste recycling from 44 percent to 70 percent and reduce landfilling to five percent. The Environment Committee also voted to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Forty-two organizations in 15 countries support the aggressive new proposals; 47,000 people have signed petitions backing them.  The new targets would be legally binding among member countries. The committee’s package will be put to a vote by the full House at the March 13-16 plenary session in Strasbourg.  [ European Parliament; image credit: © Rama  ]
Rebecca Smithers, "Campaigners Call on EU to Halve Food Waste by 2030", The Guardian, January 18, 2017, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.
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Unilever To Use 100% Recyclable Plastic Packaging By 2025

January 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said all of its plastic packaging will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. In the next three years, Unilever will be reducing the weight of its plastic packaging by 30%, a commitment given under its Sustainable Living Plan.  The company also announced it has renewed its membership to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) and will continue supporting the New Plastics Economy Initiative as part of its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goal 12 that focus on sustainable consumption and production. Unilever CEO Paul Polman called on the consumer goods industry to move towards a circular economy. Polman said the industry needs to do much more to help make sure plastic is managed responsibly and efficiently post-consumer use. According to EMF, only 14% of plastic packaging used globally is recycled, while 40% ends up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems. [Image credit © Nick White]
"Unilever commits to 100% recyclable plastic packaging by 2025", Unilever, January 14, 2017, © Unilever
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LVMH Pushing To Make Its Operations More Sustainable

January 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Even luxury brands are concerned about moving toward more sustainable production processes and LVMH has made significant progress. It has a corporate framework, LIFE (LVMH Initiatives for the Environment), that address nine environmental challenges. Its assessment takes a full life cycle perspective and each brand’s strategic plan now folds in a LIFE plan that includes five year actions and targets. One of the more innovative elements centers on the company’s carbon reduction strategy. It requires all of its brand houses to spend €15/ton carbon emitted on abatement or related research efforts. In the first year of the program the company invested some €6 million behind this effort. LVMH is communicating its sustainable credentials through using a distinctive symbol a “Butterfly Mark,” which is a first in the luxury industry. [Image credit © Cultura RF]
Andrew Winston, "An Inside View of How LVMH Makes Luxury More Sustainable", Harvard Business Review, January 11, 2017, © Harvard Business School Publishing
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Indian Restaurant In Scotland Charges Fee For Wasted Buffet Food

January 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New environmental rules in Scotland require food waste from large restaurants to be recycled. Private refuse services charge fees for emptying recycling bins. To keep the fees manageable, a Dundee Indian restaurant has begun charging customers who leave too much food on their plates after the all-you-can-eat buffet. The £2 per person fee is addded to the £14.99 price of the meal. Management of Taza Indian Buffet realized it was tossing away about 600 kg of uneaten food every week. Now, when customers are seated, they are given a menu and a measuring card with a four-inch square cut out of the middle to measure leftovers. The card explains that the £2 fee will be charged if leftovers don’t fit within the square.  [ Image credit: © Taza Indian Buffet  ]
Gavin Madeley et al., "Eat Up or Face a Fine! All-You-Can-Eat Indian Restaurant Starts Imposing Penalties on Diners Who Leave Too Much after Growing Tired of Throwing Away 600kgs of Leftovers a Week", Mail Online, January 11, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Startup Turns Unsold Fruits, Vegetable Into Hummus

January 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A food waste-focused start-up is transforming leftover fruit and vegetables into a variety of flavored hummus products, and is using crowdfunding to pay for expansion into new markets. Hannah McCollum’s idea came when she noticed that current hummus products were bland and unhealthy, and tons of food was being wasted in the foodservice industry and in homes. She launched ChicP, which produces flavored dips using ugly or unmarketable vegetables rejected by supermarkets. The company offers several flavors, including banana and cocoa; beetroot, horseradish and sage; and carrot, ginger and turmeric. ChicP is using U.K. retailer Tesco's crowdfunding website to raise money to reach more retailers and suppliers in Europe and overseas. [ Hummus party; image credit: © ChicP ]
Emma Jane Cash, "Waste Not, Want Not: UK Start-Up Turns Leftover Food into Hummus", FOODnavigator.com, January 11, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Chinese Consumers Are Adapting Priorities As China Changes

January 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In an interview, Delon Wang, Manager of Asia Pacific Trends at Mintel, warned that the rapid growth seen in China’s consumer goods industry might slow as economic growth decelerates and the population adapts priorities to the new China, focusing for example on buzzwords like ‘ancient’ and ‘old’. Mintel’s Global New Products Database indicates that product claims including the word "ancient” on packaging grew 56% in the first half of 2016 within China’s beauty and personal care and food and drink and categories. Wang said that consumers are demanding authenticity, and they are increasingly concerned about health and the environment. Value remains another key attribute for consumers. More consumers are also looking at opportunities to be entrepreneurs themselves in a bid to improve financial security during turbulent economic times, and many are choosing subscription purchasing for their fitness and beauty items. Brand loyalty is highest among the middle-class consumers (68% versus 50% for consumers overall). Other factors at work within China include technological advance – such as the Internet of Everything and smart devices – and retail innovation and evolution, such as pop-up stores.
Natasha Spencer, "China’s cosmetics and consumer trends in 2017 part I: A change of pace", Cosmetics Design, January 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Walmart CEO Sees Big Challenges Ahead For Retailers, And Big Opportunities

January 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon believes strongly that retailers need to adapt quickly to rapidly advancing technologies that have accelerated the pace of modern living, particularly when it comes to shopping, purchasing, and taking delivery of products. These technologies will create unprecedented opportunities for retailers. Looking ahead 10 years, he says customers will be able to fulfill everyday needs easily through stores, e-commerce, pick-up, delivery, thanks to sophisticated technologies. Retailers will need to adjust to the fact that customers globally will see what people in other countries have, and will want it too. Lastly, embedded social and environmental sustainability will require tighter collaboration among retailers, NGOs, governments and educational institutions so that customers, associates/employees, shareholders, communities, and suppliers will all benefit. “I can’t think of a more exciting time to be in retail,” McMillon concluded.[Doug McMillon, Image credit: © Shane Bevel (Walmart corporate), Wikimedia  ]
Doug McMillon, "3 Predictions for the Future of Retail – from the CEO of Walmart", Blog entry, Walmart CEO, January 09, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Jennie-O Sausage Is Now Leaner, Cleaner

January 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sausage-maker Jennie-O has changed the formulation of its turkey product to contain less fat (six grams) and less sodium. The company now claims the product is “all natural” with a “simple, clean ingredients” that include turkey, salt, sugar, spices and rosemary extract. In addition, the 110 calorie sausage is “minimally processed” and is free of BHT, BHA and other common preservatives. [ Image credit: ©  Jennie-O ]
"Jennie-O Introduces All Natural Turkey Sausage With Simple, Familiar Ingredients, No Preservatives", News release, Jennie-O, January 09, 2017, © Jennie-O
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Starbucks Puts Food Waste To Good Use In New Line Of Lattes

January 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks has introduced a new latte line that not only tastes good but is eco-friendly. The new espressos are flavored with a syrup made from the husks of coffee cherries that are normally discarded when the beans are harvested. The company uses the syrup to flavor the Cascara line – the Spanish word means “husk” or “shell” – that is subtly sweet with hints of maple and brown sugar without being fruity.  [ Coffee cherries; image credit: © Jonathan Wilkins  ]
Carly Stern, "Good to the Last Drop! Starbucks Unveils New Latte Made with the WASTE of a Coffee Plant - and It's Surprisingly Delicious", Mail Escapes, January 06, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Mass And Premium Continue To Drive Growth In Color Cosmetics

January 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to Euromonitor International, the color cosmetics market was worth US$57 billion globally in 2015, driven by growing incomes for women in growth markets like India and China. Nearly two-thirds of the market (64%) was mass products in which consumers came from across the income spectrum, with some consumers limited to the mass market through income constraints and others choosing mass options over premium, with a new wave of mass “fast fashion” cosmetics brands that align with trends and rely on high volumes. Premium continues to grow faster than mass, and Euromonitor expects to see a CAGR for the premium segment of 4% over the next five years, versus 3% for mass. It also expects North America to be the first majority-premium color cosmetics market by 2020. The color cosmetics market will continue to encounter broad consumer megatrends, for example in the form of sustainability and healthy living. And customization remains a major opportunity for brands in this category, with brands catering for different skin tones, religions and cultures.  
Hannah Symons, "Reinventing Colour Cosmetics through Novel Growth Concepts", Euromonitor International, January 05, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Produce Distributor Renames Its Vegetable Trimmings And Sells Them As “SparCs”

January 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian company believes that renaming the edible trimmings of vegetable processing – carrot tops, snapped-off green bean stems, etc. – transforms them from trash to saleable food. In much the same way that slimehead fish were renamed orange roughy, vegetable trim was renamed “SparCs” (pronounced sparks), which is actually scraps spelled backwards with a little stylization. Produce and specialty foods distributor Baldor says its Fresh Cuts program offers pre-sliced, diced or otherwise prepared vegetable trimmings – branded as SparCs – that it has saved for human or animal consumption, and kept from the landfill.  [ Image credit: © Tim Jewett ]
Maura Judkis, "How One Company Eliminated Food Waste: The ‘Landfill can no Longer be an Option.’", The Washington Post, January 05, 2017, © The Washington Post
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Taco Bell Commits To Cleaner Ingredients In Menu Items

January 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Taco Bell announced that early this year it will remove all antibiotics used in human medicine from its chicken served in U.S. restaurants. By 2018 it expects to remove all preservatives and other additives from its food, and will serve only eggs from cage-free chickens, by 2018. The company reduced sodium content in its food by 15 percent in 2008, and now promises to reduce sodium by another 10 percent by 2025. [ Image credit: ©  Taco Bell  ]
"Taco Bell Rings In 2017 With New Year’s Commitments", News release, Taco Bell, January 03, 2017, © Taco Bell Corp
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Burt’s Bees Extends Product Line Into Functional Foods

January 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Personal care company Burt’s Bees has entered the functional food market with protein shakes targeted at consumers seeking beauty from "the inside out." The company that has specialized for three decades in selling natural lip and skincare products has developed three protein shakes – Daily Protein, Protein +Gut Health with Probiotics, and Protein + Healthy Radiance with Antioxidant Vitamins A, C & E – that provide 15 grams of protein per serving from peas, rice, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and oats. General Manager Jim Geikie said the move into functional foods “is a natural extension for us.” The shakes range in price from $29.99 to $39.99. Each contains 16-18 servings per tub. [ Image credit: ©  Burt's Bees  ]
"Burt's Bees Enters New Category with Plant-Based Protein Shakes", News release, Burt's Bees, January 02, 2017, © Burt's Bees
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Unilever, Coca-Cola And Lush Feature In Warc Brand Purpose Readership List

January 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Warc’s annual readership data indicates that a number of brands featured in articles on purpose-driven marketing over the last year. Warc said that Lush’s discussion of its mission and strategy was a particularly popular article, and the company says that it’s important to be both open and honest about where it buys its ingredients, how it runs its business, and the claims it makes. Unilever also featured, with one talking about its initiatives in brand activism, which goes beyond “beautiful narratives”. It also featured in another, in a report from the Guardian Changing Media Summit 2016 on how Unilever and Coca-Cola build brand purpose.  
"Best of 2016: Purpose", Warc, January 02, 2017, © Warc
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Consumer Magazine Assesses Current Food And Drink Trends

January 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and nutrition experts at Consumer Reports evaluated food trends and advised on which should become a part of a healthy diet and which can be ignored. A few dark chocolate chips, for example, added to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast once or twice a week could boost memory and concentration. But consumers should avoid calorie-packed chocolate cake, cookies, and brownies for breakfast. Jackfruit’s texture is similar to shredded meat. As a meat alternative, it is low in sugar but also very low in protein, And the ”pulled-pork” sandwiches made with jackfruit come with sugary sauces. The magazine looked at other food and beverage trends, including: plant waters (maple, artichoke, cactus, and cucumber); riced cauliflower; alternative pastas (chickpeas, lentils, other legumes); savory yogurts; fermented foods, “ugly produce;” purple foods; and power bowls. [ Image credit: ©  The Jackfruit Company ]
Trisha Calvo, "Eat This! The Healthiest Food Trends for 2017", Consumer Reports, January 01, 2017, © Consumer Reports
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Natural Personal Care Products Gain Traction In Traditional Retailers, Benefit From Key TrendsNatural Personal Care Products

December 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Non-toxic beauty is moving to the mainstream as strong sales growth – in 2015, natural and organic personal care grew 8 percent in natural retail – cause traditional retailers to make space available for natural products. It’s also gaining traction with high-end outlets as some natural products push into prestige, suggesting its penetration will continue to grow. New Hope identified nine important trends in natural personal care. These include a shift in consumer sentiment, with consumers increasingly buying natural products not because of what they avoid, but because of what they offer. Innovation and improvements now means naturals are making claims and offering benefits that consumers want.  Another important shift came with the FDA’s 2016 ban of triclosan and 17 other chemicals used in hand and body washes marketed as "antibacterial," which is causing some traditional products to reformulate, often in a naturals direction, shining a development light for other products.  Last, research is starting to show the potential of naturals. One example is growing understanding about how microbiomes matter, especially for skin health. Research is underlining the importance of gut health and ‘good bacteria’ on the skin in promoting healthy skin. Products with topical probiotics will emerge and could bring large benefits. [Image credit © Peter Muller]
Jessica Rubino, "9 natural personal care predictions for 2017", New Hope , December 30, 2016, © Penton Media
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Burger King’s Parent Company Promises To Get Rid Of Antibiotics In Chicken

December 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Restaurant Brands International, parent company of Burger King and donut chain Tim Hortons, has announced plans to reduce antibiotic use in its chickens. The company, which has been under pressure for months from public health advocates, has now updated the “responsibility” page of its website to explain the new commitment to curbing the use of antibiotics “deemed by the World Health Organization as ‘critically important’ to human medicine." The changes will be implemented in the U.S. this year and in Canada next year. [ Image credit: ©  Burger King Canada ]
Tom Polansek and Lisa Baertlein, "Burger King, Tim Hortons to curb antibiotics used in chicken", Reuters, December 29, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Green Beauty Provides Brands With New Opportunities, And Challenges

December 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A blog post from Euromonitor International says that developments in digital social communication allow consumers to get better information on the health impact of beauty product ingredients and also their social and environmental impact. This provides new opportunities for new product formulations, positioning and benefits.’ Green beauty’ has many social and environmental perspectives, but consumer preference for ingredients that are derived naturally is still a key driver. ‘Healthy beauty’ is getting a broader remit, with beauty brands extending into fitness and relaxation. ‘Clean labeling’ is another food and beverage trend with relevance for beauty, and beauty brands are seeking a simpler, more back-to-basics approach: fewer and more natural ingredients. The focus on ingredients also provides opportunities for brands looking to conform to certain religious values, and the demand for halal-certified beauty products has seen steady growth in some markets with affluent Muslim populations. The impact of environmental pollution on skin is opening up opportunities for beauty products that address these concerns, but proving efficacy in this respect remains a challenge for brands. In a broader operational sense, consumers want to know that brands are also serious about corporate and social responsibility, and brands are looking, for example, to develop affordable alternatives for ingredients used in regions where water is scarce. ‘Green beauty’ faces many difficult challenges, but demand will be there for green beauty products that can meet the requirements of the more conscious consumer, but without compromising on performance.
Ildiko Szalai, "The Broadening Meaning of ‘Green’ Beauty Opens New Growth Platforms", Euromonitor International, December 28, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Grocers In Kentucky Cooperate With Gleaners To Reduce Food Waste, Feed The Poor

December 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Kentucky organization has enlisted the cooperation of Costco and other grocery merchants in its efforts to glean unsold foods – usually perishable goods pulled from shelves before the sell-by date – and donate them to charities that distribute them to the needy. GleanKy volunteers pick up the unsold products and cart them to local shelters, soup kitchens, churches and other organizations that operate food pantries. GleanKy says it has gleaned anywhere from 200 to 1,200 pounds of unsold food in a day: sometimes 500 pounds of potatoes, sometimes 400 pounds of bananas, etc. Besides Costco, volunteer gleaners gather produce from grocers like Lucky's, Good Foods Co-op, Fresh Thyme, Fresh Market and Whole Foods Market. [ Image credit: ©  GleanKy.org ]
Janet Patton, "400 Pounds of Extra Blueberries? No Problem; GleanKy gets Food to those Who Need It", Lexington Herald Leader, December 22, 2016, © Lexington Herald Leader
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Solving The Food Waste Problem By Extending The Shelf-Life Of Produce

December 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The shelf-life of fresh produce is notoriously short, a fact that contributes to the growing food waste problem. But a start-up company may have developed an effective solution. Edipeel is an ultra-thin plant-based ultra-thin coating for produce that slows water loss and oxidation, two of the leading causes of spoilage. Apeel Sciences says odorless, tasteless, and invisible Edipeel extends "the typical edible shelf life" of fresh foods by two to five times. The extracts used to make the product are made from recycled agricultural byproducts, further reducing food waste. The Edipeel powder is reconstituted and applied through a spray-on or dipping process to create the thin protective coating. The company is applying to the USDA for organic certification. [ Image credit: © Apeel Sciences ]
Derek Markham, "Produce Covered with this Invisible Plant-Based Edible Coating Stay Fresh Twice as Long", TreeHugger, December 21, 2016, © Narrative Content Group
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Online Hub Will Help Disseminate U.S. Food Waste Solutions

December 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
More than a year ago, the USDA and EPA announced a food waste reduction target of 50 percent by 2030. The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a collaboration with those agencies, as well as with 10 private sector and nonprofit groups, to create an online hub to exchange of food waste solutions and information, encourage coordination, and reduce duplication of effort. “Further With Food: Center for Food Loss and Waste Solutions” (furtherwithfood.org), set to launch in January 2017, will feature practices for preventing, recovering, and recycling food loss and waste; educational materials; research results; and information on existing government, business, and community initiatives. [ Image credit: © The Rockefeller Foundation ]
"12 Organizations to Launch Online Hub Offering Food Waste Solutions", News release, The Rockefeller Foundation, December 21, 2016, © The Rockefeller Foundation
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Campbell’s New Soups Are “Clean Label”

December 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company has jumped on the “clean label,” wholesome ingredient bandwagon with a new line of soups made with “carefully selected and sourced” ingredients, including kale, quinoa, barley, beans, sweet potatoes and whole grains. The chicken meat contains no antibiotics. In addition, the Well Yes! soups contain no artificial colors, flavors, or ingredients, or modified starches. The cans themselves are not lined with BPA and are recyclable. The first nine soups in the family include black bean and red quinoa, chicken noodle, hearty lentil with vegetables, minestrone with kale, and roasted chicken and wild rice. [ Image credit: ©  Campbell Soup Co. ]
"Campbell Soup Company Launches New Well Yes! Brand", News release, Campbell Soup Company, December 20, 2016, © CSC Brands, L.P.
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Cargill Adds New Emulsifier To Product Line With Unique Benefits

December 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Deoiled canola lecithin is an emulsifier with some unique advantages for food manufacturers seeking to meet consumer ingredient demands. According to  Cargill, which just added deoiled canola lecithin to its product line, the ingredient is a versatile emulsifier and dispersing agent that can be used in chocolate and confectionery, bakery and convenience foods. Dispersibility, functionality, taste and color are comparable to soy and sunflower lecithin. Added advantages include the fact it is non-GMO option, may be used in organic products, and need not be declared as a major food allergen. [ Deoiled lecithin, image credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill introduces canola lecithin for label-conscious consumers", News release, Cargill, December 20, 2016, © Cargill, Incorporated
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Sustainability Remained A Key Theme For Unilever In 2016

December 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
If there’s one message that Unilever is pushing at the moment above all others, it’s sustainability, and 2016 provided plenty of evidence, with a raft of corporate social responsibility initiatives and sustainability awards. With another 400 added during the year, it now boasts 600 zero waste to landfill sites, and it announced two major campaigns, one aimed at removing sexist and stereotype-based advertising and one from Dove to promote diversity and realism in marketing. Unilever admits it’s not all about altruism, but a strategic necessity. It claims that its brands that are in line with its sustainable living plan are growing faster. Its public image was, however, damaged as a result of a spat un the UK with Tesco over Brexit-related pricing. Also this year, it announced a new factory in Cuba, opened a new one in Ethiopia, is looking for sites in Colombia, and investing more in Nigeria. But, Unilever was relatively quiet on the acquisition front, although the Dollar Shave Club deal caused quite a stir.  
Georgina Caldwell, "2016 in review: Unilever – set on sustainability", Global Cosmetics News, December 19, 2016, © Global Cosmetic Media Limited
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With Cheese Sales Off The Charts, Manufacturers Tackle Clean Label Concerns

December 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Cheese is big business in the U.S., perhaps a reflection of the opinion that any food is better if topped with cheese. A dairy industry trade group says cheese sales in the U.S. reached $23 billion in 2015, and could hit $28 billion by 2020 – a hefty 24 percent growth rate over five years. So why do Americans consume an average of 34 pounds of cheese each year? High protein content, for one reason, and an increasingly positive attitude toward dairy fat. Cheese also tends to have high quality ingredients, is rich in calcium, comes in a wide variety of formats, is convenient as a snack, and is relatively affordable. Manufacturers are also paying closer attention to consumer demands for transparency in ingredient labeling – non-GMO and natural colors – especially when it comes to cheese-based snacks.
Maxine Weber, "Cheese strives for more transparency, clean label ingredients", Snack and Bakery, December 15, 2016, © BNP Media
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Antibiotic-Tainted Seafood From China Is A Major World Health Problem

December 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ninety percent of the antibiotics administered to pigs in China passes undegraded in urine and feces into ponds used to raise fish that are exported globally. Despite ten years of FDA testing and seizure of seafood tainted with antibiotics, it keeps arriving at U.S. ports, restaurants and grocery stores. It’s simply too difficult to police the dishonest seafood companies and distribution networks that move the dirty seafood around the world. Microbes increasingly resistant to antibiotics lead to the creation of “superbugs” for which there is no treatment. In fact, a year ago scientists discovered a colistin-resistant gene in China that can transform a dozen or more types of bacteria into superbugs. The gene has since been found in patients, food, and environmental samples in more than 20 countries, including the U.S. 
Jason Gale et al., "How Antibiotic-Tainted Seafood from China Ends Up on Your Table", Bloomberg Businessweek, December 15, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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How Insect Larvae Can Turn Food Waste Into Chicken Feed

December 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The process starts with the collection of food waste – in this case, leftover pulp from a juice factory – that is stored in a room the size of a shipping container that also contains, according to University of Colorado research ecologist Phil Taylor, about 20,000 black soldier flies whose only job is to mate and reproduce. The offspring comprise ravenous larvae (i.e., maggots) that are harvested at a certain size and weight, killed, and turned into chicken feed. Leftover castings, called frass, are processed into fertilizer. Taylor’s goal is to grow the business to the point where tons of larvae are processed into protein-rich feed for large-scale chicken farms and fish farms. He’d also like to put small-scale insect refineries in municipal waste facilities across the country. [ Black soldier fly larvae. Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons ]
Luke Runyon, "For These Entrepreneurs, Cutting Food Waste Starts In a Maggot Bucket", National Public Radio, December 13, 2016, © npr
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Trends In Cosmetics For 2016

December 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Looking back over the year, the author highlights some of the trends observed in cosmetics ingredients. 2016 was a year for product aesthetics with manufacturers using a variety of materials to make a sensory statement, but it’s also increasingly important to hit the market with new products fast and first, but without compromising on quality, compliance or appeal. The popularity of natural and organic has been sustained, but consumers are also expecting to be allowed more customization opportunities, and material suppliers will meet this by giving brands greater flexibility. 2016 also saw launches with increasingly sophisticated science incorporated, especially meeting anti-aging demand for skin care products, and hair care was also a huge growth area for materials this year, offering solutions for hair and scalp problems.
Belinda Carli, "Top 6 Cosmetics Trends of 2016", SpecialChem, December 13, 2016, © SpecialChem
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Marketers Must Rethink Their Approach For Gen-Z Consumers

December 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for predictions for the coming year, and Kantar Millward Brown have weighed in with their thoughts on how companies  will have to market to Generation-Z, the post-Millennials group. This group wants creative content led by mobile, and marketers will have to create strong brand experiences for them, including sophisticated and brand-centric programmatic targeting, rather than more intrusive media that risks ad blocking. Kantar Millward Brown provides six takeaways: brands will re-think for the digital space, emphasizing issues such as authenticity and transparency; brand experience is increasingly key; content marketing will gain momentum, particularly on mobile, with marketers innovating and experimenting in content and formats; advertisers and their agencies will need more sophisticated and blended targeting approaches to drive brand effectiveness; the advertising industry will be forced to respond to ad blocking; and advertisers and agencies will be given more opportunity to leverage media synergies.
"Media & Digital Predictions 2017", Kantar Milward Brown, December 01, 2016, © Kantar Milward Brown
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U.S. Food Companies Need To Commit Strongly To Non-Deforestation Beef

November 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A report by a group of scientists who examined U.S. food companies that sourced beef from South America found that 13 of them had no deforestation-free policies or procedures in place. Beef production is the main  contributor to tropical deforestation worldwide, predominantly in South America, and especially in the Amazon rain forest. It’s not easy to guarantee that beef comes from non-deforestation companies, however, because cattle can be shifted from ranch to ranch to meat packer, making it difficult to monitor. But the Union of Concerned Scientists says food companies should work with meatpackers, ranchers, and the government to develop a plan to end beef industry deforestation practices. U.S. companies rated on the strength of their deforestation policies in the report include Mars, McDonald’s, Walmart, Nestlė, Hormel, Wendy’s, Jack Links, Subway, Burger King, ConAgra, Kroger, Safeway and Pizza Hut.
Stacey McFadin, "13 U.S. Companies Failing on Deforestation-Free Beef", Food Tank, November 29, 2016, © Food Tank
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Swiss Chocolate Maker Plans 100% Sustainability In Supply Chain By 2025

November 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Chocolate and cocoa product manufacturer Barry Callebaut has launched a comprehensive strategy – “Forever Chocolate” – to tackle what it calls “key sustainability challenges” in the chocolate supply chain by 2025. The company acknowledged that despite its ongoing efforts, only 23 percent of the cocoa beans it sources are from sustainability programs. The goal is to get that level to 100 percent over the next 10 years. The strategy comprises other related goals: eradication of child labor from the supply chain; lifting more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty; and becoming carbon and forest positive.
"“Forever Chocolate”: Barry Callebaut targets 100% sustainable chocolate by 2025", News release, Barry Callebaut, November 28, 2016, © Barry Callebaut
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New Technology Helps Distribute Donated Food While Tracking Tax Breaks

November 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Two MIT business school graduates, together with a techno-savvy friend, last year won $50,000 to nurture their food-matching platform, Spoiler Alert. In November, the start-up raised $2.5 million in seed funding, then partnered with wholesale food giant Sysco Corp. The Spoiler Alert platform, adopted now by 200 businesses and nonprofits in the New England region, connects food distributors with food-rescue organizations. Using the platform, organizations and food companies cut down on wasted food and spur food donations by making them easier to track. But Spoiler Alert is even more valuable because it helps companies navigate newly-expanded federal tax breaks for organizations that donate food. That makes it easier for small businesses to donate, and for farmers to determine fair market value of inventories. [ Image credit: ©  FoodSpolierAlert.com ]
Janelle Nanos, "Spoiler Alert: It Makes Sure Nothing Goes to Waste", Boston Globe, November 27, 2016, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Slow Moving Tesco Will Finally Remove Microbeads From Own-Branded Products

November 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Acknowledging that it has been slow to react to growing worries about microbeads in personal care and household products, Tesco announced it will phase them out from all its own brand products before year-end. Ten of its personal care products and 10 household products will be affected. Tesco claims it is responding to growing consumer concerns over long-term environmental impact that microbeads have in oceans and ecosystems generally. It is encouraging suppliers to use natural alternatives, such as ground coconut shells that can be effective in face scrubs, or removing microbeads entirely. UK ministers indicate that microbeads (actually tiny pieces of plastic) will be banned from personal care products by the end of 2017. It is currently unclear if other categories will be affected. [ Image credit (C) Tesco plc ]
Adam Vaughan, "Tesco to phase out microbeads from its products by end of 2016", The Guardian, November 24, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Advanced Technologies Can Help Consumers, Businesses Avoid Food Waste

November 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Research data suggest that a large amount of the £17 billion of food waste generated in the U.K. annually could be avoided if consumers and businesses behaved differently. Newly developed technologies can help with behavior change. The Wrap charity says 58 percent of the 1.9 million tons of surplus food created by industry is avoidable, and emerging tech solutions could play a major role. British trade publication The Grocer outlines eight of the “most exciting innovations solving food waste.”  Among them: an app that allows businesses to share information about their surplus food with registered charities; a robotic “chef” that boosts efficiency and precision in food production; and a tech solution called Winnow that foodservice operations can use to track and monetize food wasted in their kitchens.
Megan Tatum, "How is New Technology Tackling Food Waste?", The Grocer, November 24, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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“Pay As You Feel” Food Waste Market Opens In U.K.

November 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.’s first “food waste market” in Leeds stockpiles and sells edible food discarded by supermarkets because of expired “sell by” dates. Needy shoppers purchase the food on a “pay as you feel” basis, with money or work. The Real Junk Food Project, which operates cafés around the world on the same basis, opened the grocery, and hopes to replicate it all over the country. New food waste markets are planned for the English cities of Sheffield and Bradford.
"UK’s First Food-Waste Supermarket Opens near Leeds", Eco-Business, November 23, 2016, © Eco-Business
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After Reports Of Food Waste, Meal Delivery Firm Fires Co-Founder

November 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The co-founder of a San Francisco-based meal delivery start-up was replaced as CEO after news reports that the company wastes money on marketing and makes more food than customers use – as much as 16 percent wasted. Munchery denied it wasted food, noting that it was proud of the fact that any unsold food is donated to charities for redistribution to the poor. Nevertheless, the company replaced co-founder Tri Tran with new CEO James Beriker, a former chief executive of Simply Hired.
Riley McDermid, "Munchery CEO Replaced as it Grapples with Reports it Wastes 16% of Food Made", Business Journals, November 22, 2016, © American City Business Journals
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L'Oreal And Unilever Sign Open Letter On Climate Change

November 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Over 300 companies operating in the US have signed an open letter to world leaders in support of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Signatories include L’Oréal USA, Seventh Generation, and its new owner, Unilever. The companies fear that ignoring low-carbon imperatives will jeopardize the economy’s growth prospects, and they pledge to help meet the commitments of the agreement. The letter is partly a way of bringing President Elect into the climate change debate in response to signals that Donald Trump will appoint advisors that deny climate change. The letter, posted on lowcarbonusa.org, says that the Paris Agreement will encourage the investment in low-carbon technology required to deliver clean energy and prosperity for everyone.
Deanna Utroske, "In an open letter to Donald Trump, cosmetic and personal care corporations stand up for Paris Climate Agreement", Cosmetics Design, November 21, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Restaurant Goers Want Natural, Local, Sustainable, And Delicious

November 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A market research survey has found that 60 percent of restaurant diners who choose meat or poultry say the “all natural” claim is important to them. All natural covers a lot of ground, but for the most part it includes concerns about animal welfare and sustainability, and whether the animal is fed a grass or vegetarian diet. In this respect the concern is linked to the impact of the animal’s diet on the quality, taste and healthfulness of the dish. Local sourcing is very important these days as well. The researcher says the percentage of consumers who make an extra effort to buy local should crack 50 percent in a couple of years, in the face of widening concerns about where food comes from. Locally grown meat and poultry, for example, are at the top of consumer priority lists.
"Food Transparency and Knowledge: 2 Trends Shaping Meat & Poultry Market", News release, Packaged Facts, November 21, 2016, © Packaged Facts
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Juice From “Wonky” Fruits Is Good For Consumers And The Environment

November 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ugly, misshapen fruit – deemed unsaleable by producers and grocers – is being diverted away from British landfills and into recyclable bag-in-box containers by a new company known as Wonky Fruit. The short-term goal of the British company is to save 300 tons of malformed fruit by April 2017 and turn it into “the most sustainable juice brand in Europe.” If successful, the initiative would reduce fruit waste by 70 percent. According to the company, its low carbon footprint juice boxes do not require refrigeration, and are compact and easy to transport and store. The juice itself is all natural, free of “nasties” such as powders, oils, infusions, or acids.
"Cardiff, United Kingdom: Wonky – Drinks that Give Wonky Fruit a Chance! Help us to Save 300 ", News release, Wonky Fruit, November 21, 2016, © Wonky Fruit
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