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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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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
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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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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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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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L'Oreal USA Partners With Organovo To Create 3-D Printed Skin Tissue For Product Testing

May 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal USA said it has entered into a research partnership deal with 3-D bioprinting technology company Organovo Holdings, Inc. By leveraging Organovo's NovoGen Bioprinting Platform and L'Oreal's expertise in skin engineering, the partnership aims to develop 3-D printed skin tissue for product testing and evaluation, as well as on other areas of advanced research. Also, the partnership highlights the application of Organovo's technology within the beauty industry for the first time.
"L’Oreal USA Announces Research Partnership with Organovo to Develop 3-D Bioprinted Skin Tissue", L’Oréal USA, May 05, 2015, © L’Oréal USA
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Nielsen Honors 12 “Breakthrough Innovation” Consumer Products

May 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Nielsen has been analyzing a lot of consumer product launches – 20,000 since 2008 – but has honored as “breakthrough innovators” only a tiny few, in fact only 0.5 percent of them. Honorees need to deliver a new value proposition, generate $50 million in sales the first year and at least 90 percent of first year sales in the second year. Many of this year’s winners were in the food category: Atkins Frozen Meals, Lunchables Uploaded, Müller Yogurt, Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwiches, and Tostitos Cantina Tortilla Chips and Salsa. Four of the winners were beverages, one was a household product (batteries), one was a family of hair care products, and one was a lightweight cat litter.
"Nielsen Announces 2015 U.S. Breakthrough Innovation Award Winners", News release, Nielsen.com, May 05, 2015, © The Nielsen Company
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Flood Of Well-Financed Food Start-Ups Will Lead To A “Bubble”

April 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A certain “recklessness” is entering the food business, one related to the disastrous (to investors) tulip market bubble of the 17th century when inflated tulip bulb prices sank like a stone. Food historian Robyn Metcalfe says a new bubble is coming, largely due to the fact that investment capitalists are not subjecting food industry start-ups to the same careful scrutiny they devote to other start-ups. Instacart, for example, raised $220 million with a $2 billion valuation on revenue of $100 million. “At least it had revenue,” says Metcalfe. Unfortunately, a lot of food business startups have yet to produce any revenue. We should welcome the plethora of food start-ups, says Metcalfe, but “let’s get ready for the food bubble.”
Robyn Metcalfe, "The Coming Food Bubble", Tech Crunch, April 22, 2015, © AOL Inc.
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FOREO Announces MODA Make-up 3D-Printing System

April 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Swedish beauty and personal care brand FOREO introduced MODA, the world's first digital makeup system. Integrating 3D printing and facial-scanning technology in a mobile app, MODA lets users personalize their make-up look and recreate it in 30 seconds by sticking their face into the 3D printer. Similar to Grace Choi's Mink, a make-up producing 3D printer, MODA does more by 3D-printing the makeup and applying it directly on the user's face. According to FOREO VP of communications Justin Wang, the idea for MODA was developed to help busy people look and feel their best. It is aimed at consumers who want the “latest looks and trends at the touch of a button,” Wang added.
Brittany Waterson, "Face the Future: 5 Questions on the MODA 3D Makeup Printer", brandchannel.com, April 10, 2015, © brandchannel.com
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Food Innovation Awards Cover The New Foods Waterfront

March 25, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Among the winners of this year’s World Food Innovation awards were a pre-cooked, reheatable egg product (Yowk, convenience food category); a children's chilled ready meal (mini nom noms, best new children’s food, best new food concept); Edible Alcoholic Pastilles (best confectionery); and a package with permanent slippery surfaces for viscous liquids (Liquiglide, best packaging design). Awards were also given for snacking innovations, breakfast foods, condiments or marinades, food ingredients, convenience foods, and a slew of other categories. The awards were announced at the U.K. food and drink exhibition, IFE.
Nathan Pearce, "World Food Innovation Awards 2015 Winners Announced At Ife", EatOut Magazine, March 25, 2015, © EatOut Magazine
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Mondelez Hopes Gum Sales Will Improve With Strategy Targeting Generation Z

March 19, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
With its chewing-gum sales stalling, Mondelez International is trying a somewhat arcane marketing strategy to revitalize Trident products among post-millennials in an era of social media and smart devices. Gum revenue was down three percent in 2014, though market share grew or remained stable in four of six markets. The company thinks the key reason for this sales decline is that Generation Z spends too much time on its smartphones, reducing personal human contact and eliminating daily rituals like gum chewing. So Trident commissioned a Japanese designer to create clothing that blocks radio signals. Whether the strategy is boosting gum sales is known so far only to Mondelez.
Seb Joseph, "Mondelez’s Trident mines fashion and privacy shared themes to get closer to Gen Z", The Drum, March 19, 2015, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Sephora Opens Retail Innovation Center In San Francisco

March 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailer Sephora unveiled its Sephora Innovation Lab in San Francisco, California. In addition to its physical facilities, the innovation center will include programs that promote a culture of innovation development and deployment, as well as developing the company's next generation of digital technology leaders. According to the company, the Lab team will take care of “sourcing, developing, evaluating, testing and eventually launching new offerings and technologies.” After teaming up with Google and Apple in the past, Sephora said it is evaluating strategic partnerships with other technology firms in the future. Some of Sephora's recent technology initiatives include Beacons personalization alerts, Pocket Contour digital makeup application, and augmented reality.
"Sephora Announces Innovation Lab to Usher in the Future of Retail ", PRNewswire, March 05, 2015, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Selfie-Based Digital Contouring Advice Service Helps Sephora Customers

March 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Sephora has launched a service on its mobile Web site that allows smartphone users to upload a selfie for automatic analysis and subsequent personalized makeup application tips. The service was created for use with Sephora’s Pocket Contour Class app with help from startup company Map My Beauty. Sephora recently identified contouring as a trend taking hold, but the technique is difficult to master. The new service resulted from Sephora’s recognition of a need to "educate and empower" customers to create the contoured look themselves.
Chantal Tode, "Sephora shapes mobile personalization with tailored, step-by-step experience", Mobile Commerce Daily, March 05, 2015, © Napean LLC
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L'Oreal Wins Place On Fast Company's List Of Top 50 Innovative Companies

February 9, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Cosmetics company L'Oreal is included in Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World list for 2015. Highlighting the leading companies in innovation, the list recognizes L'Oreal's “pioneering legacy in scientific innovation,” which dates back to its founding by a French chemist more than 100 years ago. In 2012, L'Oreal opened its Connected Beauty Incubator, a U.S.-based division of the company's research operations focused mainly on technological innovation.
"L’Oreal Named One of Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World"", L'Oreal, February 09, 2015, © L'Oreal
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FMCG Product Awards Suggest Big Trends For 2015

February 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Brand Genetics identified nine FMCG trends for 2015 from the recent consumer product innovation awards. The awards were based on voting by 10,000 consumers in the U.K., but Brand Genetics says the trends are global. Among the key trends defining FMCG products are: convenience (“the mega-trend of 2015”); “on-the-go”; products offering health benefits; indulgence that is also “good for you”; the continued rise of private label brands; products “made for me”; a premium experience even from mass market brands; the increasing popularity of fruit as a sugar replacement; and tech-enhanced products.
Andrew Christophers, "FMCG / CPG Consumer Trends 2015 - Product Innovations of the Year", Brand Genetics, February 04, 2015, © Brand Genetics
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2014 Innovations Likely To Influence Beauty Product Development In 2015, Experts Say

January 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Factors, such as product customization, Internet-born brands, Asian trends, drove innovation in the beauty market in 2014 and are likely to play leading roles in product development in 2015. Although already a prevailing trend for the cosmetics industry for the past few years, the customized approach to innovation was even more highlighted in 2014 by product launches by both multinational companies and niche players. UK's niche brand Geneu, which uses DNA testing to help create customized products, is one of the best representatives of this trend. The Internet also gave birth to a new type of beauty brands, such as The Dollar Shave Club, Glossier, and Beautycounter.
Nicole Tyrimou, "Three Key Drivers for Innovation in Beauty in 2015", Euromonitor International, January 23, 2015, © Euromonitor International
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Oregon Milling Company Focuses On Crickets, Rather Than Grain

January 20, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A Portland, Ore.,-based company is betting its future on bug-derived protein – specifically, high-protein flours made from crickets. After euthanizing the farm-grown (and highly sustainable and enviro-friendly) crickets, they are sorted, cleaned, then baked, dehydrated, or freeze-dried to remove moisture. They are milled into fine grain flours that can be mixed into smoothies, cookies, bread, protein bars, etc. Cricketflours.com offers an array of products – starting at $15 -- including Peruvian chocolate cricket flour, chocolate peanut butter cricket flour, and an all-purpose flour for traditional baking. The target markets are athletes, people with wheat allergies, and people concerned about the environment.
Allison Jones, "4 Questions for Oregon's First Cricket Flour Entrepreneurs", Portland Monthly Magazine, January 20, 2015, © SagaCity Media
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ClickStick Provides Smart Way Of Dispensing Deodorant

January 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
PhD students Gilad Arwatz and Carla Bahri developed ClickStick, a smart electric deodorant applicator. Combined with a mobile application, ClickStick can dispense the right amount of gel deodorant its user needs based on personal requirements and level of being active. Financed by some 1,400 supporters from the crowd-funding site Kickstarter, the first batch of the applicators will be launched in May 2015.
Michelle Yeomans, "A new deodorant that may be smarter than you..", Cosmetics Design Europe, January 08, 2015, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Carrefour Gains Recognition At Innovation Awards

December 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Carrefour won awards at the 2014 LSA Innovation Awards. Recognizing Carrefour's achievements in innovation, the awards highlighted the retailer's advertising campaign for its 2014 spring and summer Tex collection. Also, the awards jury honored the Design Carrefour team for a flexible ice-tray and the “Smart Desk” product.
"Carrefour and its partners win awards at the LSA Innovation Awards", Carrefour, December 22, 2014, © Carrefour
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Beiersdorf Re-Launches High-Tech Suggestion Box

December 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Cosmetics company Beiersdorf is once again reaching out to suppliers, scientists and others who have innovative ideas, suggestions for new raw materials or advanced technologies. The company has launched a revised, more secure version of its Pearlfinder innovation platform, a collaborative site where registered users – dubbed cooperation partners – can share suggestions and new ideas confidentially. The company says the platform has been in operation for four years, and many new cosmetics ideas have come from other industries. Ingredients for its Nivea Q10 anti-wrinkle product came originally from the food industry. It has also found potential research areas from the paint industry and biotechnology.
"Beiersdorf Strengthens Open Innovation Initiative with Relaunch of Pearlfinder", Beiersdorf , December 15, 2014, © Beiersdorf AG
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Rinser Brush Electric Toothbrush Helps Rinse The Mouth

December 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The Rinser Brush electric toothbrush comes with a feature that helps its users rinse toothpaste off their mouth and teeth. With one push of a button, the toothbrush's motor pushes water up in a “smooth laminar-flow plume” into the mouth. Available for pre-order, the electric toothbrush is priced at $35.
Liana Bandziulis , "This Clever Electric Toothbrush Is Like a Bidet for Your Mouth", Wired.com, December 05, 2014, © Condé Nast
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U.K. Research Center To Work With Unilever On Design Innovation

December 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is partnering with the U.K.’s Northumbria University to research new ways to meet the company’s packaging, water use and energy sustainability goals. Northumbria’s new “design-led innovation center” will keep Unilever abreast of the latest academic research and thinking on innovative designs that would serve to reduce its environmental footprint while doubling its business.
Lucy Whitehouse, "Unilever partners with British university to strengthen innovation", Cosmetics Design, December 02, 2014, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Tech Savvy Small Farmers Stay Ahead Of The Agribusiness Competition

November 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Effective farming is no longer just about the right seed, soil or fertilizers. To succeed these days, farmers need to be able to apply technology advances, including data collection and analysis, to farming methods to maximize productivity. Smaller family farmers like Kip Torn use sensors, GPS data, cellular modems, self-driving tractors, iPhone irrigation apps, etc., to navigate the boom-and-bust cycles of farming and to grow and compete with big agribusiness. While less tech-savvy neighbors have faded away, Tom’s farm has grown from 700 acres in the 1970s to 20,000 acres today.
Quentin Hardy, "Working the Land and the Data", The New York Times, November 30, 2014, © The New York Times Company
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L’Oreal Allowed To Market Reconstructed Skin Tissue In China

September 29, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oréal was granted a business license in China that will allow it to market its reconstructed Asian skin models through Shanghai Episkin Biotechnology. L'Oréal began producing reconstructed skin in 2008, using several different technologies that rebuild human epidermis tissue from Asian keratinocytes. The reconstructed skin is used to test cosmetic products and ingredients for safety, eliminating the need for animal testing. The Chinese Episkin model is produced by the L’Oréal Advanced Research laboratories in China.
"L’Oreal Obtains A Business License For Reconstructed Skin Models Episkin In China", News release, L’Oréal , September 29, 2014, © L’Oréal
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Smog-Absorbing Clothing Technology Promises Cleaner Air

July 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at the Catalytic Clothing project have been developing an air-pollution-fighting laundry detergent designed to coat clothing with titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Based on the same technology that has been used in creating smog-consuming buildings and roads, the clothing with the nanoparticles absorbs smog from the surrounding air and transforms it into an environment-neutral byproduct. The detergent is currently in development with a leading laundry product manufacturer.
"This Smog-Eating Laundry Detergent Turns Your Clothing Into Air Purifiers", Fastcoexist.com, July 22, 2014, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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Carrefour Trials Proximus Technology For Anonymously Tracking Shoppers' In-Store Movements

July 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Carrefour plans to test a technology from Proximus designed to determine the locations of shopping carts and baskets being used by shoppers inside its stores. Aimed at collecting data on shoppers’ in-store behavior, the tests will be conducted at three Carrefour stores in Madrid. Proximus’ technology is designed to anonymously track shoppers’ movements through the store and not to identify the shoppers themselves, according to Proximus cofounder and CEO Jorge Garcia Bueno.
Claire Swedberg, "Carrefour to Use Bluetooth Beacons to Track Carts, Baskets", RFID Journal, July 21, 2014, © RFID Journal LLC
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Nestlé Sees Personalized Vitamins On The Horizon

June 26, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Nestlé company health research unit has joined forces with a Massachusetts-based analytical technologies firm to research the possibility of creating “made-to-measure” vitamin combinations customized for individuals. The first phase of their research will develop tests that can accurately measure levels of vitamins and other nutrients in blood and urine. Current analytical techniques aren’t sensitive enough, Nestlé says, are too slow, and lack the ability to measure a wide variety of molecules. Nestlé and Waters Corporation hope to come up with technologies that measure nutrients “in a quick, accurate and robust way”.
"Nestle takes first step towards made-to-measure vitamins", News release, Nestlé, June 26, 2014, © Nestlé
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Firm Wins DuPont Awards For Food Package Innovations

June 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Beamis Company, which supplies packaging for food, consumer products and healthcare, has won two DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. The company was recognized for the Hillshire Brands Heat Fresh package and the Fugini standup pouch for vegetables. The Hillshire Brands Heat Fresh package combines proprietary films and innovative features to control moisture, heat, and pressure during microwaving. The package keeps sandwich bread soft while heating the rest of the product. The Fugini standup pouch for vegetables uses barrier films to provide a light, strong, and flexible replacement for metal cans. The lighter sustainable packaging reduces logistics costs and is easier to store, handle, and open.
"Bemis Receives DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation", News release, Beamis Company, Inc., June 03, 2014, © Beamis Company, Inc.
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Wisconsin Bakery Continues Tradition Of Product Innovation

May 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An entrepreneur who fell in love with a single product produced by a Green Bay, Wis., bakery eventually bought the store in 1994. That single product made by Not By Bread Alone – sausage bread – is still made using the original recipe, but is offered in different forms, e.g., muffins and mini-muffins, snakes for Halloween, wreathes for Christmas, etc. The store has since expanded to accommodate café-style eating, offering a large variety of sandwiches, breads and other baked goods. The still popular sausage loaf, filled with sausage, mozzarella cheese, and seasonings, sells for $7.00 (small) or $12.00 (large).
Daniel Higgins, "Not By Bread Alone's menu lives up to its name", Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette, May 13, 2014, © Press-Gazette Media
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Panera Opens Test Bakery In Connecticut

May 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The Panera Bread Company has established a test bakery that experiments with its current products and also tests product innovations and “staffing models”. Located in New Haven, Conn., the test bakery allows customers to watch baking staff as they work during the day. The company expects to roll out a new sprouted grain bread offering that was tested at the New Haven bakery. It will be sold at all Panera locations as a bagel flat beginning this month. The company will also roll out a staffing model system-wide that permits bakers to interact more with customers during the day.
"Panera Bread Reveals Test Bakery", News release, Panera Bread , May 13, 2014, © Panera Bread
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Revolutionary Bread Mix Provides An Answer To Almost Every Dietary Concern

May 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Florida-based bakery says it’s ready to shake up the bread industry with a bread mix that addresses a myriad of health problems – celiac disease, gluten intolerance, insulin resistance, hypertension, obesity, need for more protein, etc. Smart Baking Company will deliver its Smart Loaf mix to health food stores after its crowd-funding “kick starter” program finishes on May 21. The Smart Loaf mix will be high in protein and fiber, gluten free, zero carb and low in sodium. At 80 calories per service, the quick baking bread – just 60 minutes from start to loaf – is targeted at people who want to avoid wheat, starch and sugar, the company says. And to those who don’t own baking pans: the package serves as the pan.
"World's First Zerocarb and Gluten Free Bread Mix", News release, Smart Baking Company, May 07, 2014, © Smart Baking Company
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Celebrity Chef Goldman Unveils “Cake-In-A-Jar” To Satisfy Decadent Tastes

April 29, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The idea of making meals in a jar – breakfasts, soups, salads, pasta dishes, etc. – has been floating around for awhile, and lots of recipes are available. Now a celebrity chef has dreamed up a meal-in-a-jar in the dessert category: layers of buttercream cake hand-packed into Mason jars. TV personality Duff Goldman’s Cake-In-A-Jar is shipped in 2-pack, 4-pack and 6-pack sizes with a personalized note from the chef himself. The cakes are available in four flavors, including vanilla topped with vanilla buttercream, confetti with vanilla buttercream, chocolate with chocolate buttercream and chocolate chips and marble with chocolate and vanilla buttercream. Six-packs range in price from $42 to $60.
"Duff Goldman Launches Cake-In-A-Jar At Duff's Cakemix In Los Angeles ", News release, Duff's Cakemix, April 29, 2014, © Duff's Cakemix
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Carrefour Opens NFC-Equipped Hypermarket Near Paris

April 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
France’s leading retailer Carrefour opened its Villeneuve-la-Garenne hypermarket equipped with 55,000 near field communication shelf-edge labels. Designed to allow shoppers to scan product information, the NFC technology also lets customers pay for their purchases at the point of sale with contactless terminals. Carrefour also developed the mobile app C-où, which lets shoppers prepare their shopping lists before coming to the store located near Paris. The app also guides shoppers around the store, helping them find products on their list with geo-tagged NFC shelf edge labels.
Rian Boden , "Carrefour equips new digital hypermarket with NFC", NFC World, April 09, 2014, © SJB Research Ltd.
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Carrefour Introduces Virtual Clothes Shopping Experience

March 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
French retailer Carrefour, in partnership with technology innovator Clear Channel, is introducing “My Virtual Look by Tex”, an imaging experience that allows customers to use a screen to "try on" Tex brand clothes. Shoppers stand in front of the screen and select clothes by swiping through the collection with their fingers. They are then scanned and filmed in the clothes and appear on the screen “wearing” the items they have selected. The clothes are viewable from all angles. Customers can then snap a photo and share it with social media friends. According to Carrefour, the innovation “saves time and makes shopping for clothes easier”.
"Carrefour is breaking new ground with the first virtual fitting rooms created in partnership with Clear Channel", Carrefour, March 19, 2014, © Carrefour
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Walmart To Fund Research Projects On Innovative Manufacturing

March 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart and its philanthropic arm have partnered with big-city mayors to create a manufacturing innovation fund. Walmart said the fund will award grants of $100,000 or more to research and academic institutions, think tanks and other non-profits with ideas for improving the manufacturing process. In the first year, grant awards will focus on innovation in textiles manufacturing and common manufacturing processes that apply to a broad range of consumer goods, including small motor manufacturing and tooling for injection molding, the company said. Partnering with Walmart in the initiative are the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
"Walmart, Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors Launch $10 Million U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund", Wal-Mart, March 13, 2014, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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L Oreal's Focus On New Product R&D, Building The Beauty Infrastructure In India, Is Paying Off

February 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal has spent years paying attention to new product development at the same time that it strengthens the infrastructure of the beauty business in India. The “ground level strategy” strategy is paying off. The company is now the sales leader after helping to upgrade salons – turning some into nationwide chains – and establishing 50 academies, annually training 150,000 hairdressers. Meanwhile, L’Oreal’s product R&D effort has led, for example, to creation of the hugely successful Garnier Color Naturals line, inexpensive creme hair dyes for the Indian market that can be stored after opening. The company promises that the future will bring more innovation to the market, some "breakthrough announcements” of "totally new formulations” in the next two years, according to managing director Jean-Christophe Letellier, solidifying its leadership position.
Dibeyendu Ganguly, "L'Oreal builds Indian business painstakingly; now ready for the big leap", The Economic Times, February 28, 2014, © Times Internet Limited
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Oral-B Launches Bluetooth-Enabled Electric Toothbrush

February 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Oral care brand Oral-B will unveil the Oral-B SmartSeries Bluetooth 4.0 interactive electric toothbrush at the Mobile World Congress 2014. To be displayed in the GSMA Connectivity City exhibition venue during the mobile technology trade show, the toothbrush the company claims will provide consumers control over their oral care. Packaged with the SmartSeries Bluetooth 4.0 mobile app, the toothbrush uses two-way communication, provides expert dental care guidance, offers personalized brushing settings, and stores oral care data. Oral-B also said the toothbrush app will help promote better brushing, keeps consumers informed, and is available for free in both iOS and Android versions.
"Oral-B® Debuts World’s First Available Interactive Electric Toothbrush at Mobile World Congress 2014", Procter & Gamble, February 21, 2014, © Procter & Gamble
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Retailers Seek Faster Growth By Combining Physical Stores With Online Operations

February 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Startup company Storefront offers brands an online marketplace that it claims combines the benefits of having a physical store with the advantages of online-only retail operations. Storefront’s concept allows brands to avoid overhead costs, including long-term leases, while offering consumers engaging, physical selling experiences. Before ecommerce had become widespread, brands would have to compete with each other for shelf space and access to customers. Online retail has weakened brick-and-mortar retailers, while empowering anyone with a product and a website to build their own sales channel. Online retailers, however, have discovered how physical stores can help drive sales and expand reach to new customers. Even online retail giant Amazon.com is reportedly planning to launch its own brick-and-mortar operations.
Dan Reich, Contributor, "How Retail Is Evolving In An On-Demand Economy", Forbes, February 11, 2014, © Forbes.com LLC
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P&G Technical Innovation Leads To Safer Hair Dyes

January 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
P&G says one of its technological innovations will have “far-reaching benefits” for consumers of hair coloring products. The ME+ molecule is an advancement that reduces the risk of severe allergic reactions to hair dyes. According to the company, its research and modeling techniques led to an alteration in the molecular structure of the long-used pPD molecule to become the ME+ molecule, combining color performance and reduction in the risk of allergy. Colorists, hairdressers and technical experts who have tested ME+ say it provides permanent gray coverage and color intensity.
"Take a Closer Look at 3 Exciting Behind-the Scenes Innovations", News release, Procter & Gamble, January 31, 2014, © Procter & Gamble
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New Line Of Crest Toothpastes Satisfies Consumer Need For “Experiential Purchases”

January 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
P&G’s Crest brand has introduced a new toothpaste line – Crest Be – and new flavors that, according to the company, provide cavity protection, cleaning, fresh breath and whitening. The new flavors are Mint Chocolate Trek, Vanilla Mint Spark and Lime Spearmint Zest. According to the company, Crest Be was developed “out of the research and insights that consumers are looking for experiential purchases”. Crest Be toothpastes will be available the first week of February and will retail for $4.99 in drugstores and mass retailers nationwide.
"Crest Introduces New Line with Most Unexpected and Fun Toothpaste Flavors Yet!", Procter & Gamble , January 28, 2014, © Procter & Gamble
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Retailers Prepared For IoE Likely To Benefit From Much Wider Connectivity, Cisco Says

January 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Internet of Everything will bring $14.4 trillion in overall value for the private sector and another $4.6 trillion for the public sector over the next 10 years, with the retail industry accounting for 11 percent of the total IoE value in the private sector, according to technology company Cisco. Fast moving and representing an explosion in digital connectivity, from 10 billion things currently connected to the Internet to 50 billion in 2020, IoE is forecast to have some tremendous impact on the retail market, including on customer experience, innovation, employee productivity, supply chain, and asset utilization. Retailers ready to adopt IoE-related technologies are likely to realize various benefits, including the use of interactive displays that help shoppers study and purchase products, ability to customize marketing and advertising based on customer preferences and conditions, and video collaboration tools that can promote interaction between experts and customers.
Joseph Bradley , "The IoE-Ready Retailer: Connecting Sellers and Shoppers Like Never Before", Cisco, January 22, 2014, © Cisco Systems
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Online Grocers Continue To Address Negative Comparisons With Traditional Supermarkets

January 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Online grocery shopping has had limited appeal, restricted by negative consumer perceptions of selection, price and delivery options, but competition in the market is changing that. This Wall Street Journal writer organized a shopping comparison and found that some online services are performing close to offline stores in terms of selection and convenience, and also price, driven by the expansion of online retailers like Peapod and FreshDirect, as well as the launch of AmazonFresh. Walmart has been trialing its Walmart To Go service in two cities, and further impetus is coming from new services, such as Instacart. Having others choose your food still puts off many from using online services, but for others it’s an advantage. There remain a number of issues still to address, such as minimum orders, what to do with all the delivery boxes, and product substitutions, but the retailers are taking notice and competition will help ensure these problems are ironed out.
Geoffrey A. Fowler, "Do Online Grocers Beat Supermarkets?", Wall Street Journal, January 07, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Resealable Packaging Company Says It Is Delivering An Essential Product

January 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
British packaging producer Flexico Group says its resealable package products are right for the times, if recent industry studies are to be believed. A DuPont report on packaging innovations, for example, states that recloseable packages have had “the greatest impact on people’s lives in the last 25 years,” even greater than the microwave oven and recyclable packaging. Another study by  Abis reported that almost all – 98 percent – consumers believe resealable packaging is both useful and practical, while 68 percent agreed resealable packaging is essential. More products should be available in recloseable packages, the company says.
"Reclosable packaging is named the top packaging breakthrough in 25 years", Food & Drink Innovation Network, January 03, 2014, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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