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Period: August 7, 2017 to March 12, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Bioengineering Success May Give L’Oréal A Competitive Advantage In China

L’Oréal China Co. has succeeded in reconstructing Chinese skin cells in a Shanghai lab from living tissue donors. The cells will be used by R&D teams to test makeup and skincare products, such as anti-aging serums, whitening creams, and pollution-fighting cleansers, for Chinese consumers – “the most demanding in the world in almost all our product categories,” a company representative said. L’Oréal is the top-selling beauty brand in China, but consumers have begun to turn to local brands for products formulated for their skin type. An industry analyst said the company has recognized the trend and has ”moved to adapt to the different genes to capture the huge potential of the Chinese market.”

"L’Oréal Replicates Chinese Skin in Shanghai-Lab to Better Cater to Regional Consumer", Global Cosmetic News, January 16, 2018

Company’s Edible Produce Spray Extends Shelf Life

California-based Apeel Sciences has developed a plant-based edible skin – dubbed “Edipeel” – that quadruples the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, and reduces need for fungicides and refrigerated produce transport. Edipeel creates an “idealized little micro-climate inside of each piece of produce” that retards spoilage, according to the company founder, who has convinced investors to pump $40 million into the venture since 2012. The company uses materials extracted from plants, usually agricultural by-products such as tomato skins, combines them, then processes them into a water-soluble powder. When mixed with water, the material can be sprayed on produce or the produce can be dipped in it.

"Apeel Sciences Seeks to Slash Fresh Produce Waste with Plant-Based Edible Skin: 'We've created this Idealized Little Micro-Climate Inside of Each Piece of Produce'", FOODnavigator-USA.com, February 12, 2018

Brewery/Bakery Partnership Recycles Surplus Bread Into Brewskis

A New York City bakery is collaborating with a brewery in a project whose overall mission is to cut food – especially bread – waste. Startup brewer Toast Ale uses unsold, but still fresh, bread donated by artisanal bakery Bread Alone, which also donates much of its surplus to churches, food pantries, and other charities. Toast Ale, like all brewers, needs food starch to make its product. The company gets at least some of its food starch from bread donated by Bread Alone Bakery. The starch forms sugars, that are eventually fermented to make beer. According to Toast Ale, it has brewed more than 5,000 gallons of beer in New York, and “saved more than 2,200 pounds of bread."

"Drink Beer to Help Save the Planet? It’s happening in NYC", PIX11, February 24, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Coca-Cola To Launch Its First Alcoholic Beverage, A Chu-Hi In Japan

In a first for the company, Coca-Cola plans to add an alcoholic beverage to its portfolio. Targeted for Japan, the alcopop will tap the country's rising demand for Chu-Hi - canned sparkling flavoured drinks with some shochu, a Japanese spirit. Chu-Hi, an abbreviation for shochu highball, is proving popular with female drinkers as an alternative to beer, although at 3% to 8% alcohol by volume it is substantially stronger Large national beverage companies, Kirin, Suntory and Asahi all have Chu-Hi brands, mostly with strong citrus flavors such as grapefruit or lemon although other fruit flavors are common too. The launch represents Coca-Cola’s efforts to innovate in premium segments at the margins of its core business. Jorge Garduno, Coca-Cola's Japan President, said it’s unlikely this drink will launch outside Japan but the model may prove instructive for other markets.

"Coca-Cola plans to launch its first alcoholic drink", BBC, March 09, 2018

Market News  

Nestlé Deploys Coffee-Serving Robots In Battle Against Starbucks For Chinese Customers

Nestlé has launched a marketing campaign targeting Chinese tourists in Tokyo that features the deployment of a Chinese-speaking humanoid robot with a tablet offering a variety of types, sizes, and strengths of coffee. When the selection is made, the humanoid places the order with another robot that makes the coffee. The cash-free, cashier-free system in the city’s Asakusa shopping district uses Alipay, Alibaba Group Holding's mobile payment system. The experiment is an attempt by Nestlé to expand sales of its instant coffee among the traditionally tea-drinking Chinese as it fights increasing competition from U.S. rival Starbucks.

"Nestle Serves up Robots in Japan to Woo Chinese Customers", Nikkei Asian Review, February 18, 2018

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