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Senomyx And PepsiCo Negotiating Over Possible Sweetener Research Collaboration

June 24, 2010: 11:23 PM EST
Flavor ingredient maker Senomyx, Inc., said it is negotiating with PepsiCo over a possible multi-year collaborative research program whose purpose would be to develop and market new artificial sweet enhancers, natural sweet enhancers, and natural high potency sweeteners for non-alcoholic beverages. PepsiCo will pay Senomyx an upfront nonrefundable fee of $7.5 million that would be applied toward a licensing charge if the two companies finalize a definitive agreement. The formal negotiation period will be 60 days. "Senomyx shares PepsiCo's commitment to providing consumers with healthier, great-tasting products," the Senomyx CEO said.
Senomyx Inc, "SENOMYX SIGNS LETTER AGREEMENT WITH PEPSICO REGARDING POTENTIAL COLLABORATION RELATED TO THE DISCOVERY, DEVELOPMENT, AND COMMERCIALIZATION OF NEW SWEET FLAVOR INGREDIENTS", Senomyx website, June 24, 2010, © Senomyx Inc
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Arla Begins Commercial Production Of Protein Found In Human Breast Milk

June 24, 2010: 10:55 PM EST
Arla Foods Ingredients has begun commercial production of osteopontin (OPN) for use as an ingredient in infant formula. Human milk is rich in OPN, containing around 140 mg per liter. But only 20 mg of OPN is found in bovine milk, which is used to make most infant formula. According to the company, adding OPN to formula makes it “more like human milk in terms of nutritional profile.” OPN is extracted from bovine milk using a patented process that has been stepped up to industrial scale. The company said 30 tons of whey are required to extract one kilo of the protein, which is currently sold to infant nutrition manufacturers in Asia. The protein may also contribute to dental health, the company said.
Arla Foods, "New protein available for infant nutrition", Arla Foods website, June 24, 2010, © Arla Foods Ingredients
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U.K. Functional Foods Market Is Growing, But At A Slower Pace Than In 2009

June 24, 2010: 01:02 AM EST
The functional foods market in the U.K. grew by 9.6 percent in 2009, according to market researcher Key Note, and will continue to grow over the next five years, but at a slower rate. Sales growth in 2009 was slower than in 2005-2006 mainly because of a leveling off of sales of yogurt drinks and soy milk and a slackening of sales of cholesterol-lowering margarines and functional breads. Sales of probiotic yogurts and fortified breakfast cereals were strong enough to keep overall growth positive. Through 2015 the market is likely to grow by 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent a year depending on the impact of some adverse pressures, including doubts raised about product health claims, and a recession-caused drift away from premium-priced products to discount or private label brands.
Key Note, UK, "Functional Foods 2010: Functional Foods Market Assessment", Key Note website, June 24, 2010, © Key Note Ltd
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Whole Foods Store Creates Local Garden To Supply Its Own Produce

June 23, 2010: 01:30 AM EST
A Whole Foods Market store in Richmond, Va., will cultivate a one-acre garden plot in a residential community to grow some of its own produce to be used at first in its own prepared foods and the salad bar. With approval from the county, it also plans to sell produce directly to customers. The community garden, the first created by the Texas-based company, is divided into five sections and includes areas for composting, an orchard, space for individual plots and for demonstration and educational programs. Whole Foods will use most of the garden itself, but individuals eventually might be able to rent small areas as well. The land for the garden was donated by the retail and residential development's management company.
Louis Llovio, "Whole Foods grocery to grow produce for itself", Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, June 23, 2010, © Media General Communications Holdings, LLC
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Global Obesity Epidemic Opens Market Opportunity For Weight Management Products

June 23, 2010: 12:29 AM EST
The convenience-based Western diet has attracted an ever increasing number of prosperous, more sedentary Asian professionals to such a degree that obesity has become significant problem. That trend, and a burgeoning consumer interest in active health management, provides a significant market opportunity in countries like China and India for weight management ingredients, according to market researcher Frost & Sullivan. Revenues in the market, which includes satiety ingredients and appetite suppressants, fat burners (thermogenic ingredients) and other products, were $7.5 billion in 2008 and are expected to hit $13.9 billion by 2015. Success in the global weight management ingredients market depends on finding innovative ways to prolong ingredient lifespan, working toward securing favorable legislation, and introducing new ingredients, the report says.
Frost & Sullivan, "Frost & Sullivan: Rising Obesity Rates Drive the Global Weight Management Ingredients Market", Frost & Sullivan, June 23, 2010, © Frost & Sullivan
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Novel Process Facilitates Creation Of “Natural” Personal Care Products In The Lab

June 23, 2010: 12:32 PM EST
Chemists have known for years how to synthesize valuable scent compounds, such as that of a rose, in the lab so that perfumes could be manufactured in large quantities. The problem is, these chemically-derived compounds can’t be labeled as “natural.” Now a U.S. chemical engineer has developed a way to use enzymes to efficiently catalyze chemical reactions to create things like scents for perfumes, or to avoid the introduction of inactive ingredients in drugs. The chemical structure, technically a lyophilizate of an enzyme and fumed silica, can be used to make all-natural personal care products and purer pharmaceuticals in the laboratory. The researcher says he has patented the process and has received interest from several companies.
Peter Pfromm, et al., "K-State chemical engineer patents enzymatic preparation to make natural ingredients in the lab", News release, Kansas State University, June 23, 2010, © Kansas State University
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Unilever Implements Vending Machines That Deliver Ice Cream For A Smile

June 23, 2010: 03:53 AM EST
SapientNitro says it has harnessed several advanced technologies – 3G, facial recognition and Facebook social media – to create a “smile-activated vending machine” for Unilever’s diverse ice cream products. When someone comes near the machine an “attractor screen” draws the person “into the world of augmented reality, according to SapientNitro. Once near the machine, the person is prompted to smile and the facial recognition “smile-o-meter” measures it. A photo is snapped and uploaded using 3G technology onto Facebook with permission. The person chooses a free ice cream by activating a touch-screen interface on the machine. Unilever’s ice cream brands include Wall’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Good Humor, Breyers and Klondike. The machines will be rolled out globally over the next 18 months, according to the company.
Sapient, "SapientNitro Unveils World’s First Ever Smile-Activated Ice Cream Vending Machine for Unilever", Sapient website, June 23, 2010, © Sapient Corporation
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P&G To Extend Gain Brand to Dishwashing, Expects 3-5% Organic Growth This Year

June 22, 2010: 11:32 PM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. is extending its Gain brand to the dishwashing category with a new Gain liquid product slated for launch within a year. The move comes as P&G’s revenue starts to recover from the recession, partly because of the company’s strategy of lowering prices of its most popular brands and products. Gain is one of P&G’s 22 billion-dollar brands. Other planned product launches include a major rollout of Gillette’s premium-priced ProGlide shavers, which have already debuted in the US. P&G expects organic sales growth of 3-5 percent for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
DAN SEWELL, "P&G takes Gain into the kitchen, affirms outlook", Business Week, June 22, 2010, via Associated Press, © The Associated Press
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Nestlé’s Expansion Plans In Emerging World Markets Include Healthier Food Products

June 22, 2010: 11:14 AM EST
Nestlé’s plans to focus heavily on serving increasingly affluent consumers in regions such as Asia and Latin America include a makeover of its product lines to include healthier foods enhanced with vitamins and minerals. Sales of its enriched milk products have already accelerated. "One key concern of the people in emerging markets is to stay healthy," executive vice president for Asia Frits van Dijk said. Sickness in Asia, Africa and the Middle East is not just a matter of increased healthcare costs. It also can mean loss of income. Nestlé says that by 2020 emerging world markets will comprise 45 percent of overall sales.
GORAN MIJUK, "Nestlé Bets on Emerging Markets", The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2010, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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General Mills Debuts New Variety Of Total Cereal With Omega-3s

June 22, 2010: 10:24 AM EST
General Mills is jumping on the omega-3 bandwagon with the introduction of Total Plus Omega-3s cereal, each serving of which provides 100 percent of the daily value of 12 vitamins and minerals along with 10 percent of the daily value of omega-3 ALA (160 milligrams). The cereal is a combination of whole grain flakes, flax clusters and honey-sweetened almonds. The omega-3 ALA in the cereal comes from ground flax. Noting that “omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in helping to maintain a healthy body, the company said that nearly half of adults want to add omega-3s to their diets. The cereal also provides 16 grams of whole grain, along with calcium and vitamin D, in each serving.
General Mills, "General Mills Introduces Total(R) Plus Omega-3s Honey Almond Flax Cereal ", Business Wire, June 22, 2010, © Business Wire
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Ancient Barley Variety Offers Healthy Grain Choice To Bakery Industry

June 22, 2010: 03:20 AM EST
Barley has not fared well in the bakery industry in recent years, mainly because of its better tasting and higher yielding competitors, wheat and rye. But barley is a healthy grain, and the ancient variety of barley, such as the newly launched StoneAge brand from Kampffmeyer Food Innovation, is even healthier. Light in color and mild in taste, StoneAge barley is lower in fat than other grains, rich in cholesterol-lowering beta glucans, easy to process, and because of a high amylopectin content, promotes a longer shelf life for baked goods. A product manager at Kampffmeyer Food Innovation said, “The rediscovery of this ancient barley variety offers the bakery industry and small traditional trade bakeries the ability to produce healthy yet tasty baked goods with a high barley content.”
Nutrition Horizon, "Kampffmeyer Launches Barley from the Stone Age", Nutrition Horizon, June 22, 2010, © CNS Media BV
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New Stabilizer Blend Reduces Fat Content, Processing Costs, In Baked Goods

June 22, 2010: 04:23 AM EST
Reduced-fat bakery products usually require expensive added processing or specialty ingredients that push up manufacturing costs. Cargill may have a solution to that problem. Next month it will debut a new stabilizer blend that allows replacement of half the oil or fat in baked goods while maintaining the original taste and texture. CitriTex doesn't require any special processing or hydration, can be added during the mixing process at any time, and is cost-neutral compared to soybean oil, according to the company. Citritex is being introduced in a reduced fat muffin prototype at the Institute of Food Technologists Food Expo in Chicago from July 18 to July 20. The muffin has 44 percent less fat and 15 percent fewer calories than a regular muffin.
Cargill, "Cargill's CitriTex™ GSG 71 stabilizer blend helps food manufacturers reduce fat by up to 50 percent, while maintaining the great taste associated with full-fat products", Cargill website, June 22, 2010, © Cargill
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Higher Doses Of Plant Stanols Are Even More Effective At Cutting Cholesterol

June 21, 2010: 03:46 AM EST
Several clinical trials have shown that consuming about 1.5 to three grams of cholesterol-like compounds known as plant sterols and stanols a day reduces cholesterol levels. Now Dutch and German researchers have found that consuming up to nine grams a day – four times the current recommended intake (two grams) of plant stanols – is an even more effective way of reducing cholesterol. According to the study, which used Raisio's Benecol product in its testing, nine grams of stanols a day cut LDL cholesterol by 17.4 percent without impairing antioxidant defenses. “Interestingly,” the researchers, said, “at these intakes, effects were not very different from those obtained by the pharmaceutical cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe, which lowers LDL cholesterol by 15-25% … “
Ronald P Mensink, Arienne de Jong, Dieter Lütjohann, Guido RMM Haenen and Jogchum Plat, "Plant stanols dose-dependently decrease LDL-cholesterol concentrations, but not cholesterol-standardized fat-soluble antioxidant concentrations, at intakes up to 9 g/d1,2,3", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 21, 2010, © American Society for Nutrition
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Chinese Researcher Create A Genetically Modified Cow That Produce Omega-3 Rich Milk

June 17, 2010: 10:48 AM EST

Researchers from China’s Inner Mongolian University were able to create a genetically modified cow that they hope will produce milk that is rich in omega-3. This is the world’s first genetically modified cow that has this trait and it is one of two genetically modified cows but it is the only one with this trait. Chief researcher Dr. Guang-Peng Li said the cow is still too young to produce milk but they analyzed an ear tissue sample and found the cow’s omega 3 fatty acid level to be 10 times more than in normal cows. Dr. Li’s long term goal for his transgenic cattle research is to get several fat-1 cattle that express high levels of omega-3 in order to produce cattle products that are healthy for humans.

Joanna Cosgrove, "Cloned Cows Produce Omega 3 Milk", Nutraceuticals World, June 17, 2010, © Rodman Publishing
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Probiotics Reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Among Critical Care Patients

June 17, 2010: 02:06 PM EST
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), which is increasingly caused by pathogens associated with antimicrobial resistance, is a complication experienced by 30 percent of critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation. VAP patients have increased morbidity, mortality and hospital costs, longer intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays. A new U.S. study, however, has found that patients who ingested probiotics daily were able to reduce VAP by almost half. They tested 138 critically ill patients who received either a placebo or the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus twice daily. The probiotics decreased VAP infections by half and reduced the amount of antibiotics needed. The researchers cautioned that their findings are preliminary and should not be generalized to all ICU patients.
Lee E. Morrow, MD, MSc, Marin H. Kollef, MD, Thomas B. Casale, MD, " Probiotic Prophylaxis Of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: A Blinded, Randomized, Controlled Trial", American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, June 17, 2010, © American Thoracic Society
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Nestlé Brasil’s New Floating Store To Reach 800,000 Remote Consumers

June 17, 2010: 11:52 PM EST
Nestlé Brasil is aiming to reach an additional 800,000 consumers in the country by launching a floating supermarket, which will spend a day in each of 18 municipalities in the Amazon Lowlands region. Starting 1 July, its 100m² shop floor area will offer more than 300 Nestlé products. Nestlé Até Você a Bordo (Nestlé Takes You Onboard) aligns with Nestle Brasil’s strategy of a region-specific approach to consumers in the country. It also builds on other initiatives aimed at reaching remote and low-income consumers in classes C to E, such as Nestlé Até Você (Nestlé Comes to You), a door-to-door sales program involving over 7,000 resellers and 200 microdistributors in 15 states, as well as helping the company deliver its commitment to creating shared value, by helping the resellers, typically women, earn additional income.
Nestle, "Nestlé Launches First Floating Supermarket in the Brazilian North region", Nestle website, June 17, 2010, © Nestle
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The Search Is On For Effective, And Legal, Natural Preservatives

June 17, 2010: 11:38 AM EST
The natural foods market is picking up steam as more consumers look to either eliminate chemical-based ingredients and/or add more natural ones to diets. To adapt to the push for “pure and simple,” food formulators need to be aware of what natural preservatives that might substitute for the tried-and-true, but not even remotely natural, ones. With synthetic antioxidants BHA and BHT probably on their way out, the demand for natural antioxidants is rising. Nitrates and nitrites in processed meats might be replaced with anti-bacterial vinegar, lactate and lemon powder. Other natural preservatives include bacterial fermentates such as nisin and natamycin. A word of caution: ingredients added as preservatives may not pass regulatory muster, natural or not.
Renée Gan, "Natural Product Protection", Food Product Design, June 17, 2010, © Virgo Publishing
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Health Canada OKs Use Of Plant Sterols In Some Food Categories

June 16, 2010: 11:15 AM EST
Health Canada has given the green light for food manufacturers in Canada to add approved levels of Archer Daniels Midland Company’s CardioAid® plant sterols to a range of food and beverage products, including mayonnaise, spreads, dressings, yogurt and juices. Evidence indicates that plant sterols, or phytosterols, can help stop cholesterol being absorbed by the body. The Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates that some 40 percent of adults in Canada have high cholesterol. ADM launched CardioAid in the 1990s and it’s now available as a powder and in a water-dispersible form. Health Canada’s approval follows permission from China’s Ministry of Health to use CardioAid plant sterols there, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has indicated that it does not object to CardioAid being used in 19 food categories. Health Canada also provided guidance for health claims relating to the use of plant sterols to lower cholesterol.
ADM, "Health Canada Clears The Way For The Use Of Plant Sterols", ADM website, June 16, 2010, © ADM
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Hain Celestial Buys UK Food-To-Go Manufacturer

June 16, 2010: 10:28 AM EST
US-based natural and organic food producer Hain Celestial Group, Inc. has completed the acquisition of the UK’s Churchill Food Products Limited, which makes food-to-go items, in a move designed to restore Hain’s UK operations to profitability by next year. The deal is expected to help expand Hain’s customer base for food-to-go in the UK and as well as spark innovation for its Daily Bread brand. Terms were not disclosed. The two companies will review their businesses to identify synergies, and employees will be consulted about any proposals that should result from the strategic review.
Hain Celestial, "Hain Celestial Acquires Churchill Food Products", Hain Celestial website, June 16, 2010, © Hain Celestial
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Roquette Succeeds At Making Pea Protein Palatable As Functional Ingredient

June 14, 2010: 02:51 AM EST
The use of vegetable proteins in functional foods has been slow to develop, mainly because of taste and odor problems. But vegetable proteins, including those extracted from the pea, offer nutritional, functional and even ethical advantages. And now Roquette has come up with a pea-derived protein, marketed as “Nutralys,” that has neutralized taste and odor, and is non-GMO, highly nutritional, easily digestible, and made from a reliable, traced source. Containing 85% protein, Nutralys is the main ingredient in a new vegetable drink – Vegetal Booster – that also contains water, maltodextrin and fiber. “With Nutralys S85F, Roquette opens up new prospects for development in the world of vegetable-derived products, in particular for certain food applications such as dairy, dietary and slimming products and those dedicated to sports,” according to Food Ingredients First.
"Pea Protein Innovation Opening Up New Application Opportunities", Food Ingredients First, June 14, 2010, © CNS Media BV
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Healthy Foods Compete With Hot Dogs And Peanuts At Today’s Ballparks

June 11, 2010: 09:49 AM EST
It’s no longer your granddad’s ballpark, especially when it comes to food sold at the concessions of the newly-built or renovated arenas. Stadiums all around the country have added not only more interesting and delicious fare to the standard menu of beer, peanuts and hot dogs, they’ve added more nutritious food as well. Health and medical journalist Mark Fuerst notes that the new Yankee Stadium sells fresh-made sushi and vegetarian Asian noodles, while Nationals Park’s (Washington, D.C.) "healthy plate" carts sell grilled vegetable and turkey wraps, hummus and vegetables. According to Fuerst, with the evolution of major league baseball into a big business, ballparks have modernized their menus to include fresh fruits, local produce, salads, and even vegan and vegetarian versions of burgers and hot dogs.
Mark Fuerst, "Healthier Foods Up to Bat at Today's Major League Ballparks", Heart Insight, June 11, 2010, © American Heart Association
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Kashi Joins With Burt’s Bees To Present Holistic Health Educational Tour

June 8, 2010: 01:27 AM EST
Natural food company Kashi has joined forces with natural personal care company Burt’s Bees to present its national "Day of Change" tour, a free annual event designed to teach people about the importance of holistic health and natural living. Attendees can visit four interactive sessions to sample Kashi foods and Burt’s Bees products, attend classes and participate in other activities. In the “Explore Here” session, for example, visitors take part in interactive displays and workshops on sustainability, how to look for natural ingredients in natural foods and products, and holistic health and wellness. The tour visits 17 cities through September and features more than 50 events at each site.
"Kashi Company Kicks Off 2010 Day of Change(TM) Tour in Partnership With Burt's Bees", PR Newswire Association LLC, June 08, 2010, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Disposable Toothbrush Helps Prevent Bacterial Infections

June 7, 2010: 03:30 AM EST
A scientist in Saudi Arabia has invented a disposable toothbrush that uses microbiology to ward off bacterial infections. Noting that toothbrushes become contaminated with bacteria and fungi after one day’s use, Dr. Eman Kamil, an assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, said her invention prevents those harmful germs from entering the stomach and intestinal tract and compromising the immune system. The toothbrush can be used by anyone, but is targeted especially at people with diabetes, hepatitis, cancer and other serious illnesses. Dr. Kamil says the toothbrush is high quality and affordable, and comes with five disposable heads. “I hope to get people on all types of budgets to use this toothbrush and stay healthy,” she says.
Fouzia Khan, "A disposable toothbrush that protects the immune system", Saudi Gazette, June 07, 2010, © The Saudi Gazette
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New White House Program Pairs Chefs With Schools To Improve Student Nutrition

June 4, 2010: 09:47 PM EST
First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the “Chefs Move to Schools” program, a nationwide initiative to involve chefs in improving the nutrition of school lunch menus. The program, led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pairs chefs with participating schools in their communities to create healthy meals that meet dietary guidelines and budgets. Another goal is to teach young people about nutrition and making balanced, healthy choices. ConAgra Foods sous chef Evan Brockman joined other chefs at the White House to inaugurate the program. "By helping schools create healthier menus and programs that give children the tools they need for lifelong healthy habits, I believe chefs like me can make a real difference," Brockman said.
"ConAgra Foods Chef Volunteers for the First Lady's "Chefs Move to Schools" Initiative ", ConAgra, June 04, 2010, © ConAgra Foods, Inc
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Three Key Consumer-Driven Trends Offer Opportunities For Retailers

June 4, 2010: 10:10 PM EST
Retailers in the natural food industry need to be aware of three consumer-driven trends that present unique opportunities to engage shoppers, boost loyalty and increase sales. First among these is the emergence and growth of private label products, which consumers turned to during the recession but have stuck with because they have been accepted as “real brands.” A Nielsen report predicts further growth by store brands, perhaps a gain of a 1.5 percent share. Maintaining health and wellness is a major concern of the aging boomer generation, and boomers are proactive about their health. Eating healthy is considered an effective preventative measure. Lastly, the growth of digital connectivity has made possible innovations like mobile price checking, product research and mobile purchasing, all novel ways to connect with consumers.
Jeff Weidauer , "Promoting Store Brands Via Technology", Natural Products Marketplace, June 04, 2010, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Organic Marketers Need To Link Price To Ethics, Fairtrade, Sustainability Issues

June 4, 2010: 08:18 PM EST
Consumers in the U.K. and Europe have been more likely to leave organic produce on the grocery shelf, apparently confused about why it costs so much. But the global market is perking up, apparently because some organic marketers have caught on to the fact that consumers are willing to spend more for organic food if ethical and environmental messages are clearly communicated. Marketers, therefore, need to make consumers aware of the value of sustainability and fair-trade produce and link that value to price. A growing awareness of climate change, third world debt and other ethical issues among consumers will make it easier for marketers to sell organic produce that is ethically sourced, supports indigenous peoples and has low ecological footprints, according to writer Elizabeth O’Keefe.
Elizabeth O’Keefe , "Organics sector makes slow but sure progress", FPJ Fresh Info, June 04, 2010, © Lockwood Press Ltd
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Aluminum-Free Deodorant Uses Peptides To Control Perspiration

June 4, 2010: 04:09 AM EST
People with sensitive skin or an aversion to applying aluminum to their underarms have long searched for an aluminum-free deodorant that effectively stops the wetness that encourages odor-producing bacteria. Now a Madison, Wisc.-based company has introduced an aluminum-free product that it claims does exactly that. According to the company, Klima Hyper-Dri is made with tiny peptides, called pentapeptides, that penetrate the pores in underarm skin to form a barrier to perspiration. The product also contains “natural essential oils” – allantoin, lavender, tea tree and lemon – that act as antibacterial agents to prevent odor. The company says that 96 percent of customers who have tried the product would use it again or recommend it to a friend.
"World’s First Aluminum-Free Antiperspirant", I-Newswire, June 04, 2010, © I-Newswire.com
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Food-Grade Distiller Grains Enhance Protein, Fiber Content Of Flatbreads

June 3, 2010: 11:22 AM EST
In a discovery that could help improve human nutrition around the world and create a new market for corn producers, U.S. researchers have found that the protein and fiber content of whole wheat Asian unleavened breads called chapathi fortified with food-grade distiller grains is significantly enhanced. Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are a co-product from processing corn into ethanol. That means that corn producers everywhere could have a huge new market if food manufacturers were to begin using DDGS to fortify products in human diets. Lab studies found that using DDGS to make up 10 percent of the dough in chapathi boosted the fiber from 2.9 percent to 7.8 percent, while protein increased from 10.5 to 12.9 percent. In the U.S., DDGS is usually fed to livestock.
Padu Krishnan, "Ethanol Co-products Boost Nutrition in Asian Flatbread", News release, South Dakota State University, June 03, 2010, via Newswise, © South Dakota State University
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Unilever Debuts Margarine Made With Cholesterol-Lowering Plant Sterols

June 1, 2010: 05:35 PM EST
Unilever Canada has launched a reduced-calorie margarine made with plant sterols that have a cholesterol-lowering effect. According to the company, plant sterols, which occur naturally in vegetable oils, nuts, grain products, fruits and vegetables, lower cholesterol by partly blocking its absorption in the intestines. “More than 180 clinical studies have proven that the plant sterol ingredient in Becel pro.activ significantly lowers cholesterol,” the company says, “up to 15 per cent starting within three weeks when combined with a move to a healthy diet.” A Unilver scientist says that the two grams of plant sterols provided in five teaspoons of Becel pro.active are equivalent to the amount found in 425 tomatoes or 70 slices of whole grain bread. The new margarine is available in Canada.
"Becel Launches First Food Fortified with Plant Sterols in Canada", Canada News Wire, June 01, 2010, © CNW Group Ltd.
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Skincare Ingredients Suppliers Busy As Consumers Focus On Protection, Rejuvenation

June 1, 2010: 03:38 AM EST
Though overall facial treatment sales, and premium product sales in particular, have declined in recent years, sales of anti-aging cosmetics are picking up as consumers seek to rejuvenate skin and smooth wrinkles and facial lines. Industry experts say a key reason for the staying power of anti-aging products is rising consumer awareness of the need to defend the skin from the negative effects of environmental stress, such as sunlight, pollution and smoking. Sunscreen is not enough to do the job, which is why active ingredient suppliers are focusing on oral and topical products containing antioxidants, d-alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, retinoids and peptides. Suppliers are also offering new anti-aging actives that target men’s skin, as well as cellulite, wrinkling, and hair problems.
Tom Branna, Editorial Director, "All Things Active", Happi.com, June 01, 2010, © Rodman Publishing / HAPPI.
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Close Attention To Consumer Buying Patterns Could Boost Grocery HBC Sales

June 1, 2010: 04:04 AM EST
The sluggish economy has had a negative impact on grocery store health and beauty care (HBC) sales, as consumers demand more at lower prices. Grocery chains have reacted by cutting back on the variety of HBC products they offer in an effort to boost sales volume in other areas. But experts say stores can lure back shoppers who have turned to retail outlets for HBC products by focusing on consumer-centric marketing: taking a close look at shopper purchase patterns to determine which merchandise and services have the greatest appeal. One such pattern, for example, is the upsurge in private label HBC products. Another is natural HBC. Companies are seeing significant sales growth in natural cough, cold and allergy lines, as well as skincare and feminine hygiene products.
Deena M. Amato-McCoy, " Time to shine", Grocery Headquarters, June 01, 2010, © Grocery Headquarters
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Candy Companies Say Their Products Are Getting Healthier

May 28, 2010: 05:38 AM EST
Candy makers don’t believe they are contributing much to America’s obesity problem. Candy, after all, accounts for only two percent of the daily American diet. Nevertheless, they are responding to consumer and governmental pressure to fight obesity. At a recent candy expo, many companies touted the healthful aspects of their products, such as nutritious ingredients, reduced portion sizes and lower calorie levels. And Mars, Hershey and Nestle USA joined a coalition that has promised to trim 1.5 trillion calories from products by the end of 2015. But critics are skeptical, noting that confectioners have always said their candy bars are healthy because they contain peanuts or milk. "A candy bar is typically a lot of calories and not a lot of nutrition," a consumer advocate said. "That's really the bottom line."
P.J. Huffstutter, "Healthful sweets: Treats of the future?", Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2010, © The Los Angeles Times
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Consumers Offered More Exotic Yogurt Varieties In Steadily Growing Market

May 27, 2010: 06:41 PM EST
The variety of yogurts and different cultures available in the market is growing rapidly, contributing to a steady growth in sales. Despite a sluggish 2009, yogurt sales grew 32 percent over the past five years, and topped $4 billion, market researcher Mintel reported. New varieties of yogurt are very different from what Americans are used to. They include Greek-style strained yogurts, drinkable kefir, and nutrient-dense Icelandic yogurts whose tartness can be shocking to consumers used to the sweetness of traditional yogurts. Some of the new yogurts are expensive, thanks to the use of organic milk and other ingredients. Siggi's, for example, comes in seven non-fat flavors and costs $2.50 for a 6-ounce carton. Mainstream brands, even some organic varieties, typically sell for under a buck.
Michelle Locke, "Yogurt lovers getting more choices", MSNBC, May 27, 2010, © msnbc.com
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Food Companies, Restaurants Did Not Replace Trans Fats With Saturated Fats

May 27, 2010: 06:34 AM EST
Food companies and restaurants have responded to public and governmental pressure by reducing unhealthy trans fat content in foods. Some have wondered whether those reformulations actually boosted saturated fat content to replace the trans fats. But U.S. scientists who investigated reformulated foods found that products that were reformulated generally did not replace trans fats with saturated fats. The researchers, who gathered information on 83 reformulated products from various sources, including FDA food-composition databases, found that trans fat content was cut to less than half a gram per serving in most of the foods. After reformulation, saturated fat content was also lower, unchanged or only a little higher in 65 percent of the supermarket products and 90 percent of the restaurant products.
Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., Harvard Medical School, Letter to the Editor, "Food Reformulations to Reduce Trans Fatty Acids", New England Medical Journal, May 27, 2010, © Massachusetts Medical Society
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Maintaining Customer Trust Is Crucial As Mineral Make-Up Products Proliferate

May 27, 2010: 03:21 AM EST
As more and more mineral make-up products arrive in the marketplace – there were 150 product launched in the U.S. alone in 2009 – cosmetics firms need to be sure they are not diluting public trust with inferior products. Datamonitor says, for example, that new products with low mineral content could end up being harming the credibility of the market category. With big companies like L’Oreal and Estée Lauder entering the market, competition is growing intense. Companies need to maintain customer trust by being completely up front about product ingredients and their benefits. Companies successful at building and maintaining customer trust have used tactics like selling mineral make-up products through the QVC shopping channel and infomercials, and by creating a presence on social media sites like Facebook.
Katie Nichol, "Consumer trust vital for mineral make-up brands in competitive market", Cosmetics Design, May 27, 2010, © Decision News Media SAS
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China’s Prosperity Creates An Obesity Problem – And A Slew Of Business Opportunities

May 25, 2010: 03:32 AM EST

China’s fast-growing economy has spawned increased prosperity and a major problem with obesity and associated health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, thanks to more sedentary lifestyles and diets containing more meat and processed food. The obesity problem in turn has created numerous new business opportunities for entrepreneurs and big companies with products or services to help the Chinese fight fat. Sales of soy and fruit bars are soaring. Weight Watchers China has opened a center in Shanghai and plans more there and in other cities. Fitness companies like Bally are launching gyms and health clubs, adding to the 3,000 currently in existence. And that means fitness equipment suppliers are thriving as well.

Frederik Balfour, "Chinese Fight Growing Girth With Weight Watchers, Soyjoy Bars", Bloomberg Businessweek, May 25, 2010, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Modern Breed Of Vending Machine Inhabits Space Between Retail And Web

May 25, 2010: 03:48 AM EST
Modern vending machines are high-tech, interactive and being used to sell new and surprising products, including gold, strawberries and underwear. Tech savvy consumers are comfortable with touch-screen interfaces and a high-degree of self-service. Vendors can tap less economic niches and locations – vending machines can cost less than an employee, are open 24/7 and can have high sales per square foot: while a mall might generate about $330 a square foot/year, vending machines can generate $3,000-$10,000. Studies suggest the traditional vending machine business for soda and cigarettes is in decline, but modern machines are bridging a gap between online shopping and bricks-and-mortar retail.
Stephanie Rosenbloom, "The New Touch-Face of Vending Machines", New York Times, May 25, 2010, © The New York Times Company
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US Data Shows New Food Product Introductions Declined In 2009, Private Label Gains

May 24, 2010: 03:29 AM EST
After a 23% increase in new product introductions for the US between 2006 and 2008, Mintel International Group reported a 20% drop in 2009. The decline in brand new products is driven by SKU reductions on the part of retailers and a decline in new product launches from smaller manufacturers. Notably, while private label launches also fell last year, they did so at a slower rate than those for brands. Mintel highlighted PL’s increasing share of new food products, which has jumped from 16.6% in 2006 to 24.7% in 2009. Lynn Dornblaser, director, CPG Trend Insight, Mintel International Group, points to PL’s growing power: “There's less loyalty to brands, because benefit loyalty is replacing brand loyalty. Consumers want their needs met. If PL can respond, consumers are less likely to go back to brands.”
DAVID ORGEL Editor-in-Chief david.orgel@penton.com , "How Private Label Gains in New Products Contest", Supermarket News, May 24, 2010, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Rite Aid Launches Wellness-Focused Membership Discount Program

May 24, 2010: 01:00 AM EST
Rite Aid has launched what it calls the “Wellness+” customer loyalty program combining members-only discounts with health and wellness-related benefits. Rival CVS has had a similar program in place for nine years, claiming a membership of 64 million. Customers who register for the program in stores, online or over the phone receive a discount coupon and wallet or key chain cards to swipe at checkout. Customers are rewarded for purchases with both member-only shopping discounts and health and wellness benefits that increase the more they shop or fill prescriptions. Benefits include 24-hour, toll-free access to pharmacists, discounts off private-label products, and accrued points on pharmacy and non-prescription and prescription purchases. The company tested the program in four markets over the last six months.
Tim Binder, "Rite Aid Field Report (May 24, 2010)", In-Store Marketing Institute, May 24, 2010, © In-Store Marketing Institute
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Pectin From Kiwi Fruit Makes Prebiotic Superior To Inulin

May 23, 2010: 07:48 PM EST
Scientists in New Zealand have found that kiwi fruit pectin’s ability to increase certain good bacteria in the digestive tract makes it a better prebiotic than inulin and kiwi fruit fiber could be used as microencapsulation material or act as “bioactive packaging to deliver probiotic bacteria.” The researchers said re-solubilized monoK pectin tested the best against citrus pectin, guar gum and inulin. MonoK pectin was superior at increasing the adhesion of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and reducing adhesion of the harmful bacterium Salmonella typhimurium. Only inulin and citrus pectin enhanced the adhesion of Bifidobacterium bifidum, however. Kiwi pectin “may also provide edible packaging that can be tailored to deliver bioactives such as phytonutrients, vitamins or even pharmaceuticals directly to the gut,” the researchers said.
Shanthi G. Parkara, Emma L. Redgateb, Reginald Wibisonob, Xiaoxia Luoa, Eric T.H. Kohc and Roswitha Schröderb, "Gut health benefits of kiwifruit pectins: Comparison with commercial functional polysaccharides", Journal of Functional Foods, May 23, 2010, © Elsevier B.V.
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Savory Snack Companies Overcome Technical Challenges To Create Healthier Products

May 20, 2010: 05:48 AM EST
With consumers clamoring for savory snacks that are a little exotic, tasty and healthier, food companies have revved up their innovation engines to deliver products that meet all three criteria. But adding functional ingredients to create healthier extensions of product lines, or to create new products, while maintaining taste and texture is no easy task. Several companies, however, seem up to the challenge. The Sensible Portions chips and cracker line from World Gourmet Products, for example, includes "better-for-you" options made with whole grains, soy protein, vitamins, iron and fiber, but no trans fats. Bean Brand Foods’s omega-3-rich Beanito chips are made from pinto or black beans mixed with whole grain rice and flax seeds. And Corazonas Foods is offering "heart-healthy snacks" like its lower-fat potato chip made with plant sterols.
Mark Anthony, Ph. D., Technical Editor, "How to Build A Healthier Savory Snack", Food Processing, May 20, 2010, © Food Processing
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Toothpaste With CoQ10 Reduces Gingivitis In Clinical Trial

May 20, 2010: 03:51 AM EST
Perfect Smile said recently that its brand of fluoride toothpaste containing CoQ10 was tested in a clinical study that found significant improvement over regular fluoride toothpaste in reducing gingivitis. According to the company, the toothpaste, which contains MicroActive CoQ10 from BioActives LLC, significantly reduced the presence of harmful bacteria and gum swelling. The company said several studies have concluded that CoQ10 applied directly to the gums or taken as a supplement can provide measureable improvement in treating gum disease. The MicroActive form of CoQ10 dissolves during teeth brushing, the company said, to spread evenly. It is also readily absorbed “as compared to other forms of CoQ10 used in other brands of toothpaste."
"Perfect Smile MicroActive CoQ10 Toothpaste Improves on Fluoride", News release, Perfect Smile, May 20, 2010, © Perfect Smile
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Popularity of “Greek” Yogurt Grows Steadily, Capturing Significant Market Share

May 19, 2010: 04:10 AM EST
Greek yogurt, whose main distinguishing characteristic is its thicker texture, has grown steadily in popularity since its introduction to the American market by Greek company Fage 12 years ago. It now comprises 10 percent of all yogurt sales, according to IRI market research. Fage started by selling its brand in gourmet grocery stores. Whole Foods began selling it in 2003, and big grocery chains like Safeway now offer it. Whole Foods now offers a dozen Greek yogurt brands, and American yogurt companies Dannon and Yoplait have launched their own versions. The odd thing about the phenomenon is that there’s nothing particularly “Greek” about Greek yogurt. "The name 'Greek yogurt' is kind of like 'Brazil nut,' " says a yogurt company executive. "It's just an American marketing term."
Anna Tong, "For yogurt fans, Greek is the word", The Sacramento Bee, May 19, 2010, © The Sacramento Bee
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Pledge By Food Industry To Trim Calories From Products Has Two Big Flaws

May 19, 2010: 03:58 AM EST
The recent pledge by big food companies to trim 1.5 trillion calories from products by 2015 may keep the regulatory wolf at bay, but it isn't going to make Americans healthier or slimmer, writes Melanie Warner. One problem is that cutting calories in a food does not necessarily make it healthier. “Just because you’re eating a Pop-Tart that now has fewer calories doesn’t mean that it’s better for you.” It still lacks essential nutrients. Another problem is that big restaurant companies did not join the initiative, and they are much bigger contributors to the obesity problem than food companies. Americans, after all, spend half of their food dollars at restaurants, especially the fast-food variety. Without participation by the restaurant industry, efforts to fight obesity “are going to fall flat.”
Melanie Warner, "Food Industry's Calorie Reduction Pledge: Smart Marketing, but Dumb Nutrition", BNET, May 19, 2010, © CBS Interactive Inc.
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Kraft Foods Extends Novel Ingredients Collaboration With Medisyn Technologies

May 18, 2010: 09:07 PM EST
Kraft Foods and Medisyn Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of novel pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, have extended their collaboration agreement aimed at identifying and developing new food ingredients. The deal is in line with Kraft’s strategy to work more with other organizations as part of its innovation effort, and it expands the scope of the collaboration beyond just health and wellness to food quality, safety and performance.
"Kraft Foods and Medisyn Technologies Expand Collaboration to Discover New Ingredients", Medisyn Technologies, May 18, 2010, © Medisyn Technologies, Inc.
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Company Says New “Bio-Beverages” Support Immune System, Detoxify, Resist Inflammation

May 18, 2010: 08:52 PM EST
Our World Network, Inc., has unveiled two “bio-beverages” containing the juices of seven kinds of berries and three types of sea vegetables. YouthJuice and YouthJuice Restor are functional foods that provide antioxidants, resveratrol, ellagitannins, fucoidans, and Vitamin D3 to support the immune system, eliminate toxins, and resist harmful free radicals and inflammation. The company says the beverages were developed from research funded by a Canadian government grant. Each 25-ounce bottle is derived from seven pounds of elderberries, red raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, blackcurrants, cranberries, kombu fucoidan, bladderwrack and sea Lettuce. The beverages also contain 18 vitamins and minerals that support healthy immune function.
"Drinkable Functional Foods Provide Extraordinary Antioxidant Benefits", PR Newswire , May 18, 2010, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Monsanto’s Healthier Soybean Oil Steadily Clearing Regulatory Hurdles

May 18, 2010: 08:52 PM EST
Calling it “an important regulatory milestone,” Monsanto Company announced that the U.S. FDA has issued a response letter to a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) notification that supports the use of oil from the company’s Vistive Gold soybeans in the development of healthier snack and other foods. The company is working its way through the regulatory process, having submitted paperwork to the USDA, FDA, and agencies around the world. According to the company, Vistive Gold oil is more stable for frying, snack food production and baking applications, has lower levels of saturated fat and no trans fats.
"Improved Soybean Oil Achieves Milestone That Will Advance Development of Foods With Reduced Saturated Fat and No Trans Fats", PRNewswire-FirstCall, May 18, 2010, © Monsanto Company
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Powdered Fruit And Vegetable Supplements Are A Good Source Of Nutrients, Dietician Says

May 18, 2010: 05:45 AM EST
A nutritionist recommends eating powdered fruit and vegetable supplements if people somehow can’t get healthy nutrients from eating fruits and veggies every day. To make the supplements, registered dietitian and medical school professor Sheah Rarback says, fruits and vegetables are juiced then dried at low temperatures. Water, sugar and fiber are removed in the process, leaving only the nutrients. Rarback cites a recent study showing that healthy men and women who ingested either of two different powdered fruit and vegetable supplements had lower levels of inflammatory markers and higher levels of antioxidant vitamins in their blood than a placebo group. Getting the nutrients from real food, she says, but the powdered supplements are a scientifically-supported alternative in a pinch.
"Powdered Fruit, Veggie Supplements Fill Nutrient Gaps", Natural Products Insider, May 18, 2010, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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USDA: Strong Demand For “Local” Food, Number Of Farmer’s Markets Doubles

May 17, 2010: 07:00 AM EST
A USDA economic research report surveying available literature on local food systems says that direct-to-consumer sales of local food continues to grow, with most small farmers based near metropolitan areas in the Northeast and West Coast. Between 1998 and 2009, the number of local farmer’s markets nearly doubled from 2,756 to 5,274 – supporting available data showing that consumers are willing to pay more for the perceived benefits of locally grown food. However, the USDA reports that there remains no consensus among companies, consumers and local food markets about the definition of the term “local” itself with respect to the geographic distance between production and consumption.
Steve Martinez, Michael Hand, Michelle Da Pra, Susan Pollack, Katherine Ralston, Travis Smith, Stephen Vogel, Shellye Clark, Luanne Lohr, Sarah Low, and Constance Newman , "Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues", Economic Research Service, USDA, May 17, 2010, © USDA
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Lower Sodium Heinz Ketchup Makes A Quiet Debut In Six Cities This Summer

May 13, 2010: 08:59 PM EST
Risking the possibility of angering die-hard fans of its flagship product, H.J. Heinz Co. is cutting the sodium content of its ketchup in an effort to make the product healthier. The newly reformulated ketchup, which apparently tested well among consumers in its hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa., will begin appearing on grocery store shelves in six cities this summer, without a lot of noisy fanfare. According to the company, the new version will be the lowest sodium ketchup on the U.S. market at 160 mg, 15 percent less then the old version. The company also offers organic, reduced sugar and no-salt-added ketchups, and is working on a version, dubbed Simply Heinz, that contains sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.
Teresa F. Lindeman, "Ketchup shake-up: Heinz cuts salt in new recipe", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 13, 2010, © PG Publishing Co., Inc.
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