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Package Sensor Technologies Will Help Reduce Food Waste

July 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A presentation at a recent food science meeting outlined how “intelligent packaging” of food will help reduce food waste. Michigan State University adjunct professor Claire Sand said innovative packaging equipped with a variety of sensors will communicate shelf life, freshness and quality to consumers. Some, such as time-temperature indicators, are already in use on seafood and other food packages. New degradation sensors that detect spoilage can measure product decay and change color to warn consumers.  “We’re very close to being able to do this for a multitude of foods,” Sand told the Institute of Food Technologists symposium.
"New Sensors on Packages Can Detect Spoiled Foods", News release, Institute of Food Technologists, July 19, 2016, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Sephora Updates Mobile App With Virtual Lash Try-On Feature And Augmented Reality Tutorials

July 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora said it has added new features to its Sephora Virtual Artist application. Available for download on the Sephora App, the features are a new false lash virtual try on, which is added to the lip function, and step-by-step cosmetics tutorials using augmented reality technology. According to the company, Sephora Virtual Artist uses a smartphone's camera to map the location and shape of a user's facial features. Sephora's partner, ModiFace, developed the facial visualization and skin analysis technology.
"Sephora Virtual Artist Expands With New Features For Virtual Lash Try On And Live Tutorials", MultiVu, July 06, 2016, © MultiVu
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Ohio State University Researchers Develop Bottle That Empties To The Last Drop

June 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ohio State University researchers have developed a bottle that lets soap products, including shampoo, hand soap, and laundry detergent, pour out completely to the last drop. Described in a paper to be published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society on June 27, 2016, the patent-pending technology involves lining a plastic bottle with microscopic y-shaped structures that hold the soap droplets above tiny air pockets. Research leaders and engineers Bharat Bhushan and Philip Brown found a solution that works on polypropylene, the most commonly used plastic in packaging of food and household products.
"A shampoo bottle that empties completely -- every last drop", EurekAlert!, June 26, 2016, © AAAS and EurekAlert!
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ModiFace Launches Beauty Advisor Bot For Facebook Messenger

June 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Technology firm ModiFace launched a beauty advisor bot for Facebook Messenger. Offering a hint of what the future of beauty shopping looks like, the bot is programmed to help shoppers choose lipsticks by brand, color, or shade name from a lineup of 20,000 products. Designed to direct customers to where they can buy their favorite lipstick, the beauty advisor bot answers most questions related to lipstick options. ModiFace sees lipsticks as a test platform for the bot technology and sees more complex applications for the technology in the future.
Rachel Brown , "ModiFace Launches Facebook Bot for Beauty Customer Service", Women's Wear Daily, June 22, 2016, © Fairchild Fashion Media
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British Research Project To Develop New Gels From Surplus Potatoes

June 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Several British universities and research institutes will benefit from a $3.7 million grant supporting development of personal care gels, creams and other products from discarded starchy vegetables like potatoes. The food industry throws away millions of tons of vegetables that are unsold for one reason or another each year. Also contributing to the problem are surplus supply and processing waste. The researchers will investigate how nature’s catalysts –  enzymes – can be used to make starch-based gels using nanoscale fibers. The new gels could be used across the pharmaceutical, beauty, home product and food industries. Participating in the research are the University of East Anglia, the John Innes Center, the University of Bath, and the University of Exeter. 
"£2.8 million project to make new types of gel from waste food", News release, University of East Anglia, June 16, 2016, © University of East Anglia
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Wal-Mart Enlists Five Elements Robotics To Help Develop Robotic Shopping Cart

June 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is collaborating with robotics company Five Elements Robotics to develop a shopping cart that would help shoppers look for items on their lists. Robotic shopping carts can help brick-and-mortar retailers to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and other retailers, according to Five Elements Robortics founder and CEO Wendy Roberts. Wal-Mart has been investing in technology to improve customers' shopping experience and compete with online retailers.
Spencer Soper and Shannon Pettypiece, "Wal-Mart Experimenting With Robotic Shopping Cart for Stores", Bloomberg , June 15, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Will Long-Awaited Vegan “Impossible Burger” Supplant The Ground Beef Patty?

June 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The first product of a well-funded Silicon Valley food start-up is about to debut in local restaurants, the first salvo in a so-far secret war against the beef industry. After six years of research, Impossible Foods has created an expensive – $20 a serving – vegan version of the ground beef patty. The product is the result of reverse engineering and analysis of beef to create a mixture of proteins, fats, vitamins and amino acids from plant sources, the only one sold raw for cooking. It contains more sodium and saturated fat than ground beef, but no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics. It will hit grocers’ shelves in a few years, once the price problem is solved. And the taste? Food writer Kurt Soller says it is “complex: fruitier, funkier and more barnyardy” than conventional veggie burgers. And it smells just like cooked beef.
Kurt Soller, "The Impossible Burger is Ready for Its (Meatless) Close-Up", The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Carrefour Argentina Deploys Caja Ya System To Shorten Shoppers' Wait Time

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Carrefour Argentina has implemented Caja Ya, a customer queue management system developed to shorten shoppers' waiting time when paying for their purchases. Designed to ease the flow of customers, the system of electronic queues generates shifts and screens with information on waiting times. Shoppers can pick up the device upon entering the store, take their turn by scanning the bar code at a Consultation Point.
""Caja Ya" (Checkout), Carrefour’s new service in Argentina", Carrefour, June 13, 2016, © Carrefour
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Procter & Gamble Joins American Academy Of Dermatology; Focuses On Laundry Care Products' Impact On Sensitive Skin

June 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble attended the American Academy of Dermatology's 2016 annual meeting and exhibition. Although it has been attending the AAD show for just four years, Procter & Gamble through its company researchers have been working on “free” and gentle formulas for laundry detergent and fabric care products for more than 10 years. According to P&G Fabric & Air Care principal scientist Mary Begovic Johnson, laundry care products can cause skin problems, such as dermatitis.
"You’re So Sensitive!", Household And Personal Products Industry, June 13, 2016, © Rodman Media
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Alexia Says Non-GMO Project Verification Will Finish Within 12 Months

June 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A ConAgra food subsidiary that makes frozen French fries and other potato side dishes says it will phase out GMO ingredients over the next 12 months. Alexia Foods says the project, which entails Non-GMO Project verification, is 90 percent complete. The company also announced two new side dishes – flavored sweet potato fries and truffle fries – made with organic potatoes Alexia products are available at natural, gourmet, club, grocery and mass retail stores.
"Alexia Announces Non-GMO Commitment And New Innovations", News release, Alexia Foods, June 11, 2016, © Alexia Foods
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Smart Products Sell Because People Are Stupid

June 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers are buying personal care products with built-in smart technology because people are dumb. Procter & Gamble's Oral B Genius 9000 toothbrush comes with technology that tells the user whether he is brushing his teeth properly and what the weather is like outside. For people who love working out, the Elvie pelvic floor contraption functions as a personal trainer. Unilever is testing its Peggy smart clothes peg, which includes a built-in thermometer and hygrometer, in Australia. For women, there is the smart tampon, which is attached to a wire that connects to a sensor clipped to the underwear. This tampon alerts the user's phone whenever it is time for a new one.
Lucy Kellaway, "We need smart products because we are stupid", Financial Times, June 10, 2016, © The Financial Times Limited
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Procter & Gamble Invents Device For Cleaning Oral Care Products And Tools

June 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. received a patent for an electrical device designed to clean oral care devices, including mouth guards, artificial teeth and removable braces, retainers, and anti-snoring mouthpieces. Invented by company scientists Mario Elmen Tremblay, Alan David Willey, Luisa Navarro Cerda, and Alexander Doll, the device is likely to be marketed by P&G's Oral-B division. Powered by a wall outlet or ordinary batteries, the device includes an electrical current supply and an electrolytic cell to generate chlorine dioxide gas. According to P&G, there is a need for the device because of the problem of residue buildup on dental appliances, such as dentures, orthodontic bridges, and retainers.
Barrett J. Brunsman , "P&G invents electrical device to clean everything from false teeth to anti-snoring mouthpieces", bizjournals.com , June 08, 2016, © American City Business Journals
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Inventor Comes Up With Toothpaste Pod That Makes Tubes Thing Of Past

June 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Irish-American inventor Wayne Solan has developed the Poppits, a soluble toothpaste pod. Designed to melt in the mouth in five seconds, Solan’s invention eliminates the need for toothpaste tubes. Each year, 1 billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfills. Currently on community-funding site Kickstarter, Poppits requires $50,000 to manufacture the first batch.
Ben Schiller , "Goodbye Toothpaste Tubes: This Edible Pod Melts In Your Mouth When You Brush", Fast Company , June 07, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Kolibree Joins Ubisoft To Launch Rabbids Smart Brush Line Of Toothbrushes For Kids

June 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kolibree partnered with game developer Ubisoft to launch the Rabbids Smart Brush line of toothbrushes for children. Featuring characters from Ubisoft's Rabbids game and television series “Rabbids Invasion,” the toothbrush line will help children improve their tooth brushing habits and prevent cavities. Kolibree's 3D motion sensors in the electric toothbrush handle let the toothbrush function as a game controller. Also, the partnership features an interactive obstacle race game designed to make tooth brushing an enjoyable experience for children.
"Kolibree and Ubisoft® Team Up to Help Kids Prevent Cavities", Business Wire, June 06, 2016, © Business Wire
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Clever Technologies Turn Food Waste Into Eco-Fashion

June 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Turning food waste into fashion isn’t going to solve the huge global leftover food problem. But it will help a little, while teaching consumers about the importance of recycling, upcycling, and reusing food. Among the basic food-based clothing innovations being reported are: coffee grounds turned into fabric (Ecoalf’s process turns processed coffee grounds into a nano-powder that can be spun with polyester polymers into fabric); salmon skin into leather (Tidal Vision’s tanning process results in belts, wallets, and handbags); and coconut ash mixed with polyester makes coat insulation (Nau’s coconut-based fiber will possibly replace goose down and other clothing insulation).
Katherine Martinko, "How leftover foods are being turned into green fashion", TreeHugger, June 02, 2016, © Narrative Content Group
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Beauty And Personal Care Companies Create Ingredients As Good As Those From Nature

June 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Manufacturers of beauty and personal care products are developing more nature-identical materials that can be used as ingredients in place of natural extracts, botanicals, and actives. These efforts are driven by concern about sustainability and depletion of natural resources, the need for reliable consistency, price, and other related factors. Among the more popular ingredients is the Erasa XEP-30 Extreme Line Lifting and Rejuvenation Concentrate, introduced in 2015 and winner of the 2016 Breakthrough Face Product award from totalbeauty.com, and created by BioMimetics Laboratories chief scientist Jules Zecchino. Helped by available extraction processes capable of creating new materials that uses and improves those available from nature, manufacturers create nature-identical ingredients, including antioxidants and preservatives with various applications, such as anti-aging skincare and haircare.
Christine Esposito, "Virtual Reality", Household And Personal Products Industry, June 01, 2016, © Rodman Media
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Target Tests Robotic Store Clerk In San Francisco

April 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Target is testing a robot in one of its stores in San Francisco. Built by Simbe Robotics, the robot named Tally can move by itself around the store while checking for misplaced, mispriced, or low-stock products. In September 2015, Target partnered with startup incubator Techstars to invest in and mentor companies developing retail-related technologies. Other retailers, including Lowe’s subsidiary Orchard Supply Hardware and Best Buy, are also testing robots with retail applications.
Jonathan Vanian, "Target's New Robot Helper Is Busy At Work On Aisle 3", Fortune, April 28, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Vapor Communications' Cyrano Gives Scent To The Digital

April 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Vapor Communications sees applications for its Cyrano digital scent speaker in the health and wellness market. Based on a concept developed by Harvard professor and company founder David Edwards, the Cyrano is wirelessly controlled through an iPhone app. Designed to work in relatively small spaces, the device fires up sequences of scents the company describes as mood medleys. Available with a starter kit collection of “Natural Moods” cartridges, the device is priced at $149.
Edward C. Baig, "Cyrano lets you smell what's on your iPhone", USA TODAY, April 28, 2016, © USA Today
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Japan Tests AI For Food Waste Reduction

April 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Japanese weather services provider says it is determined to apply artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to reduce the 6.4 million tons of edible food that is thrown out annually. The Japan Weather Association (JWA), working with retailers, food producers and other companies, has developed a system that predicts food demand. It analyzes weather information, sales data, and other factors to project trends. Companies can use the information to scale back excess production and cut inventory losses. Included in the research is data on several dozen products, including cold ramen sauce, tofu, coffee and carbonated drinks. Adjusting production by using the data could reduce wasted noodle sauce by 40 percent and discarded tofu by 30 percent.
Kazuki Nagoya, "AI could solve Japan's food waste problem", Nikkei Asian Review, April 28, 2016, © Nikkei Inc.
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Omo Introduces High-Tech Clothes Peg In Australia

April 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s laundry care brand Omo launched the Peggy, a high-technology clothes peg. Described by the brand as internet-savvy, the clothes peg is designed to send the owner’s mobile phone a message when the washing is dry or send an alert when it is likely to rain. Peggy features sensors designed to detect UV light over clothes and can measure outdoor humidity and temperature.
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson, "Omo creates smart clothes peg that warns you when your washing is dry and when it’s about to rain", News , April 18, 2016, © News Limited
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Shiseido Opens NYC Makeup Center Of Excellence

April 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Shiseido Co., Ltd.’s US-based subsidiary, Shiseido Americas Corporation, opened a Makeup Center of Excellence in New York City. According to the company, the facility will be used to promote innovation in color cosmetics. Company officials said the center of excellence will develop new color brands and play a leading role in “transformational projects” within the makeup segment.
"Shiseido Americas Corporation Opens Makeup Center Of Excellence In New York City", Area Development News Desk, April 15, 2016, © Halcyon Business Publications, Inc
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UK Scientists Create Toothpaste That Fixes Holes In Teeth

April 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, a team of scientists has developed a toothpaste that repairs the tiny holes in teeth and ultimately can be used as fillings. Led by University of London’s Dental Physical Sciences chairman Robert Hill, the team incorporated BioMinF, which binds to the teeth, into the product, enabling it to fill any decay and slowly release a combination of calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. Also, the ingredient, known as a bioactive glass, will be used to make varnishes for protecting children’s teeth.
Sean Poulter, "The toothpaste that repairs holes in your teeth", IOL.co.za, April 13, 2016, © Independent Newspapers
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Scientists In Japan Create Complex Skin Tissue In Laboratory

April 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists from Japan’s RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology and partners from Tokyo University of Science and other Japanese institutions have succeeded in growing complex skin tissue in the laboratory. Also, they were able to implant these 3-D tissues into living mice, with the tissues properly connecting with other organ systems, including nerves and muscle fibers. According to the report published in Science Advances journal, these achievements make it possible to create skin transplants for burn and other people who need new skin. Researchers used chemicals to transform cells from mouse gums into stem-cell-like iPS cells.
Riken, "Growing skin in the lab", EurekAlert!, April 01, 2016, © American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
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Metro Tests InFarm's Modular Farming Technology

March 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
InFarm partnered with retailer Metro to evaluate its modular self-contained farm in a supermarket in Berlin. According to InFarm, the indoor farming technology is efficient enough to make the cost of operating a vertical farm affordable on a micro scale. Designed to make the most of available space, the technology enables the growing of produce in a single area. Some of the advantages offered by the system include elimination of transportation, storage, and refrigeration costs, as well as reduction in water and fertilizer use.
Adele Peters, "At This Supermarket, The Produce Section Grows Its Own Produce", Fast Company, March 23, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Procter & Gamble Applies For Patent For High-Tech Toothpick

March 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. filed a patent application for an oral care applicator designed to clean teeth, remove stains, and freshen breath. Invented by Jayanth Rajaiah and Connie Marie Roetker, the device resembles a toothpick and is designed to dispense a flavored formula, likely to include fluoride to prevent cavities. Likely to be marketed under the company’s Oral-B and Crest brands, the device will help consumers lessen the need to use floss, mouthwash, gum, or mints between brushings.
Barrett J. Brunsman , "P&G seeks patent for a high-tech toothpick", Cincinnati.COM, March 17, 2016, © American City Business Journals
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Accelerating Innovation The Unilever Way

March 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has partnered with crowdfunder Indiegogo to collaborate with aspiring entrepreneurs seeking money to fund innovative ideas. Through its innovation platform Unilever Foundry, the company adds the possibility of crowdfunding investment to help speed development of solutions to sustainability challenges presented by Unilever brands. Ideas for solutions will be considered by the Indiegogo community and then shown to a panel of Unilever experts. The best will have an opportunity for an Indiegogo funding campaign, and further support from Unilever.
"Unilever Foundry And Indiegogo Launch Crowdfunding Partnership To Accelerate Innovation", News release, Unilever, March 09, 2016, © Unilever
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The Goodwell Company Offers Consumers A Toothbrush That Lasts Forever

January 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
E-commerce startup The Goodwell Company is selling a $29.99 sustainable toothbrush that company founder Patrick Triato says is designed to last forever. Designed to be compostable, several accessories for the toothbrush include head replacements, floss, and tongue scrapers. These can be bought as a one-time purchase or through a subscription service offered by the company. Oral care sales are forecast to expand at 3.1 percent per year in the next five years, according to market research firm IBISWorld; however, the company faces serious competition in the market from major brands, including Procter & Gamble’s Oral-B.
Joanna Weinstein, "This Startup Hopes its Toothbrush Will Last You a Lifetime", Entrepreneur, January 06, 2016, © Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
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P&G Launches Febreze Smart Home Air Freshener

January 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble introduced a connected Febreze home-air-freshener plug at the 2016 CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas. Designed as a remote-controlled air freshener that homeowners can manage using their smartphones, the device includes a motion sensor, multi-colored LED light, and a temperature and humidity sensor. Designed to be also integrated with the Nest smart thermostat system, the Febreze plug can take advantage of the air conditioning for optimal dispersion of the scent.
Stacey Higginbotham , "P&G's Sci-Fi Air Freshener Make Your House Smell Smart", Fortune.com, January 06, 2016, © Time Inc.
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L'Oreal Introduces Smart Skin Patch That Measures Skin's UV Exposure

January 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty brand L’Oreal introduced a smart skin patch, which can monitor the skin’s exposure to harmful UV rays, at the 2016 CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas. To be launched in 16 countries, including the UK, this summer, the product will be offered for free. Developed by the company’s technology incubator department, the patch includes a photosensitive blue dye, which changes colors when exposed to UV light.
Zoe Kleinman, "CES 2016: L'Oreal unveils super-thin smart skin patch", BBC, January 05, 2016, © BBC
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Unilever Uses Company’s Crowdsourcing Engine To Power Sustainability Foundry

December 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Crowdsourcing software vendor Spigit says it is working with Unilever Foundry to help the company attract and connect innovators in sustainability. California-based Spigit is the Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) platform that provides a single entry-point and connection mechanism for individuals, start-up companies and corporations who want to partner with Unilever Foundry and tackle its “challenges.” Applicants submit ideas to: improve global nutrition, imagine the “shower of the future,” boost access to toilet and sanitation solutions, and reinvent the laundry process to use less water. Since its founding in June 2015, Unilever Foundry IDEAS has received 300 proposals from entrepreneurs around the world.
"Spigit Powers Unilever Foundry IDEAS Innovation Platform", News release, Spigit, December 03, 2015, © Spigit
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Japanese Chemical Company's New Fiber Paves Way For Wearable Skin Care

December 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Teijin Frontier, a subsidiary of Teijin Ltd., developed a new textile fiber, which contains a skincare ingredient. Described as a “wearable cosmetics” clothing range, the polyester fibers contain malic acid that helps retain the skin’s low acidity to keep the skin healthy. Also, the fiber releases compounds that interact with the skin’s moisture to improve beauty.
"Japanese chemical maker develops fiber for "wearable cosmetics"", Global Post, December 01, 2015, via Xinhua News Agency , © Xinhua News Agency
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Chip In A Bottle Heralds New Era Of Smart, Reusable, Drink Containers

November 18, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian company whose goal is to reduce the tons of waste generated by disposable coffee and other beverage cups has developed a “SmartBottle.” An  embedded chip allows a merchant to scan the owner’s bank information prior to filling. The SmartBottle can hold cold or hot drinks; it fits in handbags, backpacks, car cup holders and bike bottle holders. The SmartBottle is available online in several colors for $25.28.
"‘SmartBottle’ allows customers to fill up and pay with bottle’s microchip", Australian Food News, November 18, 2015, © Australian Food News
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Hershey Kisses And Bars Transition To “Familiar” Ingredients

November 12, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Hershey Company announced that, for the 2015 holiday season, it was introducing Kisses and Chocolate Bars made with “simple ingredients” and without artificial flavors. The idea behind the move is to provide consumers with chocolate candies containing ingredients that are “familiar.” The new products are made with fresh milk from Pennsylvania farms, pure cane sugar, natural flavors, and cocoa beans “sourced responsibly from West Africa.” The packages for the simpler chocolates feature the SmartLabel, a mobile tool with a QR code providing product information such as nutrition facts, ingredients, and allergen alerts.
"Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars with Simple Ingredients Roll Out This Holiday Season", News release, The Hershey Company, November 12, 2015, © The Hershey Company
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Robot Comes Ready To Banish More Human Workers From Retail Stores

November 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Silicon Valley startup Simbe Robotics introduced Tally, a robot designed to help retail companies monitor their store shelves. Designed to perform inventory tasks faster than humans can do, the robot can finish scanning a CVS, Walgreens, or a small grocery store in 30 to 40 minutes, according to CEO Brad Bogolea. Tally can record data on 15,000 to 20,000 products in an hour, Bogolea said. Simbe Robotics is selling Tally as a service and is considering selling the information it gathers from store shelves.
Matt McFarland, "Why this robot may soon be cruising down your grocery store’s aisles", The Washington Post, November 10, 2015, © The Washington Post
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Kroger Creates Grocery Store Designed For The Future

November 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger expanded its Click List click-and-collect service to cover 184 stores. Based on the Express Lane online ordering platform developed by Harris Teeter, a grocery chain acquired by the company in 2014, Click List allows convenience-minded customers to buy groceries online, then pay and collect their goods at a pickup window at an appointed time. Kroger’s previous technology investments include QueVision, a technology platform that uses sensors and predictive analysis. Installed in 2012, QueVision keeps store managers updated about the number of customers currently in the store, in real time.
Kate Taylor, "Kroger is building the grocery store of the future", Business Insider, November 08, 2015, © Business Insider Inc
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General Mills Hopes Investing In Small Start-Ups Will Pay Off Big

October 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills has changed the strategy for its internal new venture development unit 301 Inc. The three-year-old unit will emphasize investment in small regional start-ups that have the potential to make big – and innovative – waves in the food industry. The idea is to provide capital to the start-ups to help smooth their way to significant market share. One example of the new strategy involves plant-based food maker Beyond Meat. General Mills took a minority stake in the company two years ago, and since then has helped it solve supply chain challenges. Beyond Meat is working on new products that General Mills hopes will reach grocery shelves early next year.
John Kell, "General Mills is starting a VC for food startups", Fortune, October 22, 2015, © Time Inc.
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Unilever Calls For Innovations Aimed At Reducing Laundry Water Use

October 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced an innovation challenge through its Foundry IDEAS online platform which aims to reduce laundry water consumption. With laundry accounting for 19 percent of water consumption in Nigeria and with 4 billion people forecast to be affected by water shortage by 2025, the need to reduce water use when doing the laundry is quite urgent, the company said. According to Unilever, consumers who wish to participate in the challenge are encouraged to develop ideas for “new products, devices, services, communication tools or experiences.”
"Reinventing laundry to be less water-dependent", Unilever, October 15, 2015, © Unilever
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Household Care
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EMEA
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Innovation Is Key To Unilever’s Bright 3rd Q Sales Picture

October 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever says its 3rd quarter sales boomlet is due to success in its innovative ice cream and personal care brands and in its e-commerce business. Sales in the period grew 9.4 percent to £9.9 billion (€13.4 billion), and underlying sales grew 5.7 percent. Sales in Europe grew by 2 percent. Food sales rose 1.6 percent while personal care and refreshment were up 6.2 percent and 8.5 percent respectively. The company said innovations like Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Core helped fuel double digit growth, along with the premium Magnum Pink and Black brand. In addition, e-commerce globally is growing at 20 percent a year and now accounts for seven percent of the overall business.
Leonie Roderick, "Unilever credits beauty and ice cream innovation for Q3 growth", Marketing Week, October 15, 2015, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Whole Foods Market Partners With Infor To Create Cloud-Based Retail Management Platform

October 14, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market partnered with technology firm Infor to build and install Infor CloudsuiteTM Retail, a cloud-based retail management solution. Designed to increase the speed and efficiency of the shopping process while improving the quality of customer experience, the platform combines cloud-based automation and updated processes designed for strategic merchandising and supply chain management. Through the partnership, Whole Foods Market will function as a testing ground for Infor’s technology.
"Whole Foods Market partners with Infor to build next-generation cloud retail management suite", Whole Foods Market, October 14, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Innovation
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Retail
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Henkel Researchers Develop Device For Studying Hair Damage

October 13, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel scientists partnered with the University of Manchester to create a method of studying different types of hair damage related to different chemical treatments, based on analysis of movement patterns of hair tresses. Lead author Erik Schulze zur Wiesche, presenting the group’s findings at the IFSCC conference in Zurich, said the age of the hair and the impact of chemical treatments can affect significantly how the hair moves. According to the scientists, their method uses a device that can automatically detect hair movements to analyze the swinging characteristics of hair strands.
Andrew McDougall, "Henkel scientists develop novel method to assess hair condition", Cosmetics Design , October 13, 2015, © William Reed Business Media
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Market Analysts Identify Factors Driving Skincare Market To Next Level

October 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Several trends are driving growth in the beauty care and skincare markets, according to market analysts. In the United States, 54 percent of women say they prefer buying skincare products that are natural, according to the Green Beauty Barometer survey. With demand for environment-friendly sun care products showing steady growth, manufacturers are launching green products. For example, Antaria Limited launched the ZinClear XP CoCo ingredient, which can be used in sun care, skincare, and cosmetics applications. In Asia, sales of facial skincare products are forecast to reach almost $40 billion by end of 2019, with skin-lightening products accounting for more than a third of sales.
Lisa Doyle, "Next-level Natural Skin Care", GCI Magazine, October 11, 2015, © Allured Business Media
Domains
Innovation
Sectors
Beauty
Personal Care
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Worldwide

Swedish Inventors Launch Successful Kickstarter Campaign For Laser Razor

October 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Sweden-based inventors Morgan Gustavsson and Paul Binun launched a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter for the Skarp Razor. Designed to shave hair with a laser, Skarp Razor raised $650,000 in its first 10 days on the fundraising website. Gustavsson and Binun aim to release the laser razor by March 2016, with a retail price of $159.
Julie Bort, "A futuristic razor that shaves hair with a laser has raised nearly $4 million on Kickstarter", Business Insider, October 10, 2015, © Business Insider Inc.
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Kroger Tries Smart Shelf Technology At Ohio Store

October 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Kroger is installing and testing smart shelf technology at its Cold Spring store on Crossroads Boulevard near Cincinnati, Ohio. Without revealing the cost of developing and installing the technology, the retailer said future applications could include providing nutrition information on demand, as well as allowing shoppers’ smartphones to link up with the shelf. Each of the Edge smart shelf comes with a plastic screen, with a small digital device inside that projects pricing and other data onto the screen. Kroger said it has already tested video and no-motion ads that reportedly boosted sales results.
Alexander Coolidge, "Kroger tests ‘smart shelf’ technology", Cincinnati.com, October 02, 2015, © www.cincinnati.com
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Skincare Industry Embraces 3D Bioprinting Technology

September 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
3D bioprinting technology for creating skin in the laboratory is finding growing awareness and adoption in the skincare industry. Aiming to drastically change the status quo in cosmetic testing, three of the sector’s largest companies are launching their respective ventures in 2015. L’Oreal’s US-based technology incubator partnered with Organovo, Germany-based BASF is collaborating with France-based Poietis, while Procter & Gamble has called for proposals from Singapore’s academics.
Andy Extance, "Cosmetics deals push skin 3D bioprinting", Chemistry World, September 24, 2015, © Royal Society of Chemistry
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Unilever Opens Innovation Incubation Center In Shanghai

September 12, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever China partnered with the Shanghai Technology Entrepreneurship Foundation for Graduates to open The Unilever China Foundry, the company’s global innovation incubation program, in Shanghai, China. With Unilever investing at least €1 million per year, the Foundry project will accept business proposals aimed at helping the company in terms of smart technologies and marketing methods. Initial focus of the proposals will be on five leading requirements, including digital-enabled anti-counterfeiting technologies, smart vending platforms, and interactive packaging.
"The Unilever China Foundry lands in Shanghai", Shanghai Daily, September 12, 2015, © Shanghai Daily
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Forbes Says Whole Foods Market Is A Top Innovator

September 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Forbes magazine has ranked Whole Foods Market the 50th most innovative company in the world. To come up with the rankings, the magazine calculates each company’s income from various businesses, then the net present value of cash flows, to derive a current enterprise value (EV). Forbes says companies with an EV higher than the base value have an “innovation premium” built into their stock price. Whole Foods’s innovation premium is 46.85 percent, putting it at No. 50 out of 100, and the only retail grocer to make the list of 100 companies.
"Whole Foods Market Named One of World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies in 2015 by Forbes", News release, Whole Foods Market, September 08, 2015, © Whole Foods Market
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Innovation
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Retail
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Gillette Develops Razor That Dispenses Shaving Cream

June 16, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble's men's grooming brand Gillette is developing a razor that dispenses shaving gel or lotion while being used. Gillette filed for a patent covering such a product, with inventors on the filing, including Kelly Bridges, Michael Bruno, and Steven Bourque. Also, the company filed a patent for a razor cartridge designed to work with the new shaving product.
David Harris, "Gillette's new secret weapon? A shaving cream-dispensing razor", Boston Business Journal, June 16, 2015, © American City Business Journals
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Innovation
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Personal Care
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The Body Shop Says To Use Newlight's AirCarbon As Packaging Material

June 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The Body Shop partnered with Newlight Technologies for a research and development project aimed at integrating AirCarbon materials into packaging of products sold by the beauty retailer. Unlike today's plastics, AirCarbon are not made from fossil fuels. AirCarbon is a thermoplastic material developed by Newlight over 10 years of R&D and is made by “combining air with carbon.” According to The Body Shop, its R&D partnership with Newlight Technologies continues a tradition of leadership in sustainability in the beauty industry.
"The Body Shop and Newlight Form Research and Development Partnership to Launch AirCarbon To The World Of Beauty ", PRNewswire, June 08, 2015, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Procter & Gamble Seeks To Develop Bioprinting Technology

June 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Co. partnered with Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research in a research project aimed at developing a technology for printing human skin tissue. With a total budget of $44 million, the five-year project seeks to create skin tissue that would be used to test the efficacy and toxicity of new products instead of animals. P&G is the latest consumer goods company to start researching into bioprinting. Its competitor L'Oreal has partnered with Organovo to develop a similar technology.
"Here’s why P&G is investing in 3-D printing human skin", Cincinnati Business Courier, June 02, 2015, © American City Business Journals
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Genetic Engineering Results In Cattle Whose Beef Is Rich In Omega-3s

May 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A team of Chinese scientists using genetic engineering techniques has developed a variety of beef cattle whose meat is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, normally found in oily fish. The researchers introduced a gene -- isolated from a nematode worm – that codes for enzymes involved in the conversion of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. The experiments were not without problems, however. Eleven of 14 calves that received the gene (fat1) died before they were four months old from a common cattle infection. Further research is needed to determine the cause, and to perfect the gene transfer process.
Gong Cheng et al., "Production of transgenic beef cattle rich in n-3 PUFAs by somatic cell nuclear transfer. ", Biotechnology Letters, May 11, 2015, © Springer Science+Business Media
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