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Target, Other Large Retailers Use Predictive Analytics To Fine-Tune Marketing

February 16, 2012: 04:08 AM EST
Target and other large retailers now use predictive analytics to collect and analyze customers' personal and purchasing-related data and in the process develop effective and targeted marketing strategies that enable retailers to target consumers with uncanny accuracy. Companies' ability to understand and predict consumers' shopping habits is made possible by academic and corporate researchers' focus on habit formation as a neurology and psychology subject.
Charles Duhigg, "How Companies Learn Your Secrets", The New York Times, February 16, 2012, © The New York Times Company
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Retail
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Procter & Gamble Uses Online, Mobile Marketing To Drive E-Commerce, In-Store Sales

February 16, 2012: 03:53 AM EST
Underscoring its emphasis on digital marketing, Procter & Gamble worked with Google to make use of online and mobile marketing to help increase its online and in-store sales. P&G also partnered with Walmart, and Google to market Febreze Home Collection brand of candles and scented products by geo-targeting people conducting online searches to provide “news” about the collection.
Dale Buss, "P&G to Rely More on Digital Marketing to Boost Brand Sales", CPG Matters, February 16, 2012, © CPG Matters
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Germany, Italy Lead Europe In Purchases Of Fine Fabric Detergents

February 15, 2012: 03:13 AM EST
Euromonitor research has found that while fine fabric detergent sales in Germany and Italy slid by 2.5 percent  in 2011, spending in those two countries still remains above the Western European average. The main reasons seem to be the high disposable incomes and continued popularity of designer label clothing. Fine fabric detergents accounted for nine percent (Germany) and 11 percent (Italy) of total laundry value spend in 2011. The Western European average is only six percent. Looking to the future, Euromonitor said fine fabric detergent providers should be paying close attention to the market opportunities emerging in rapidly-growing economies like China and India.
Lee Peart, "High Fashion Fuels Fine Fabric Detergent Demand in Germany and Italy", Euromonitor International, February 15, 2012, © Euromonitor International
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Germany
Italy

L'Oreal Launches iPhone App Promoting Line Of Foundations

February 13, 2012: 06:14 AM EST
L'Oreal launched the True Match application for iPhone smartphones to headline the company's mobile marketing campaign promoting its True Match line of foundations. The mobile app includes questions designed to help consumers choose their makeup shade and find the nearest stores selling the L'Oreal product.
Lauren Johnson, "L’Oreal drives in-store makeup sales via mobile app", Mobile Commerce Daily, February 13, 2012, © Napean LLC.
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Continuing Higher Prices: Just One Food Industry Trend For 2012

December 20, 2011: 11:52 PM EST
Supermarket Guru sees food prices continuing to rise in 2012, thanks to greater demand for exports and global weather and other environmental conditions, plus higher fuel, feeds, packaging and food safety costs. A growing sense of community, perhaps driven by food blogs and ubiquity of mobile devices, is fueling a trend toward group food experiences. Aand aging baby boomers – all 76 million of them – are driving the popularity of healthy foods and beverages. A few more of the 10 key trends for 2012: rising consumer interest in the origins of their food supply, increased use of mobile devices to obtain food information and bargain offers, and the rise of ethnic food trucks as a replacement for gourmet and specialty stores.
Phil Lempert, "2012 Food Trends to Watch", Supermarket Guru, December 20, 2011, © Phil Lempert/Consumer Insight, Inc.
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P&G Partners To Advance Smartphone Barcode Scanning Technology

December 19, 2011: 03:49 AM EST
Procter & Gamble says it is partnering with mobeam inc. to bring a fully mobile electronic couponing solution to market. Mobeam makes electronic coupons presented on a phone or other mobile device scannable so shoppers can use phones or handhelds at check out instead of paper coupons. Couponing has become a huge business – $3.7 billion in North America alone – as consumers search for greater value and savings. Smartphone coupon use has not been possible, however, because screen barcodes cannot be read by laser scanners. Mobeam technology converts the barcode data into readable light beams. The P&G partnership will test efficient methods for consumers to redeem – and retailers to accept – POS coupons.
"Mobeam Partners with Procter & Gamble to Reinvent the Coupon", News release, P&G, December 19, 2011, © Procter & Gamble
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L’Oréal To Build Research Center In Rio De Janeiro

December 19, 2011: 03:40 AM EST
L’Oréal says it will build a research and innovation center on Bom Jesus Island in Rio de Janeiro. The L’Oréal Group, which has been operating in Brazil for 50 years, is hiring local specialized talent and scientific partnerships with the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro to pursue the work. The company will invest €30 million ($39 million) in building the center, and expects to create 150 direct jobs by 2015. A memorandum of understanding with the city of Rio is to acquire land with a total surface area of over 28,000 square meters. According to the company, the center will serve to accelerate the growth of innovative products tailored for the Brazilian and Latin American markets.
"L’Oréal Enters Deal To Build A Research And Innovation Center In Rio De Janeiro", Press release, L’Oréal, December 19, 2011, © L’Oréal
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Retail Stores Borrow From The Online Marketers’ Textbook: High-Tech Shopper Tracking

December 14, 2011: 02:02 AM EST
Use of sophisticated technology to track customer shopping and purchasing behaviors has been a tool of online marketers for many years. But now brick-and-mortar retailers are getting into the act, putting security cameras and mobile phone tracking to work to gain consumer shopping intelligence. The sophisticated technologies give retail store – from discount chains to luxury stores – the ability to analyze collected data and adjust marketing strategies on the fly. A brand manager for premium pen maker Montblanc says such intelligence led his company to deploy more salespeople to a particular department or moving high-margin merchandise to high-traffic areas in a store. The tactics seem to be working. Brick-and-mortar retailers have been able to boost sales and retain market share.
"Big Brother Is Watching You as Stores Seek Better Data: Retail", Business Week, December 14, 2011, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Innovators Need To Master The Key Constraints To Creativity

December 13, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A Vanderbilt University management professor says successful innovation comes from the mastering of the basic constraints that can work against entrepreneurs and other innovators. Noting that constraints are “the parameters within which you must work,” David Owens says those parameters are “actually a blessing” for a creative person. Knowing which constraints are at play in a situation can foster innovation instead of dampening it. The six major constraints include the failure to communicate innovative ideas, a destructive group dynamic, and the lack of: organization innovation strategy, market acceptance, or technological feasibility.
David Owens, "Six Ways We Kill Innovation Without Even Trying", Press release, Vanderbilt University, December 13, 2011, © Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School
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New Outdoor Marketing Technologies Encourage Greater Consumer Involvement In Brands

November 24, 2011: 01:32 AM EST
Marketing Week provides numerous examples of how companies are applying interactive technology to outdoor marketing campaigns to boost and extend consumer awareness of brands through “experiential” activity. Smart outdoor media lengthens “dwell time” for brands such as Heineken, Lynx, Green Giant and British Airways by persuading consumers to interact with, for example, digital out-of-home (OOH) screens and other displays. According to Marketing Week, revenues tied to digital OOH reached £101 million ($156 million) in 2010. About 16 percent of the outdoor marketing expenditures last year were focused on OOH. A growing number of consumers – 60 percent according to a recent survey – want more interaction with digital OOH screens. Forty-seven percent are eager to download discount vouchers from OOH screens to their mobile phones.
Laura Snoad, "Smart media network enters great outdoors", Marketing Week, November 24, 2011, © Centaur Media plc
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New Technology Reduces Salt Content Of Desalted Cod By Half

November 18, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Spain have developed a technology that can reduce the amount of salt in already desalted cod by as much as 50 percent while preserving sensory qualities. The desalted cod is especially appropriate for persons with high blood pressure. According to the researchers, the new method involves replacing some of the sodium in the fish with potassium after the original desalting process. The fish retains its flavor and texture and contains enough salt that it can be stored under refrigeration for as long as necessary.
M. Aliño, A. Fuentes et al., "Development of a low-sodium ready-to-eat desalted cod", Journal of Food Engineering, November 18, 2011, © Elsevier Ltd.
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New App For Mobile Devices Tells Consumers Which Eco-Labels Are Truthful

November 15, 2011: 10:05 PM EST
Consumer Reports has introduced an app for smartphones and other mobile devices that tells consumers which green product labels are verifiably meaningful and truthful. The new Eco-Label app, available on iTunes, provides reviews of label terms like “hypoallergenic,” “natural,” and “organic”. The Eco-Label App lets consumers search for information by alphabetical label index or by product, including foods, cleaners, and personal care products. The app also provides a label "report card," which offers clear guidance on which labels make truthful and meaningful claims, and which do not. The app costs $.99 and is located under the Utilities category in the App Store, according to Consumer Reports.
"New Eco-Label mobile app for iPhone and iPad decodes green product labels and claims", News report, Consumer Reports.org, November 15, 2011, © Consumers Union of U.S.
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Walmart To Award $1.5 M In Grants To Local Nonprofit Nominated On Facebook

November 14, 2011: 03:05 AM EST
Walmart has launched a campaign on Facebook that allows users to nominate nonprofit organizations from local communities to receive a slice of a $1.5 million grant pie during the holiday season. The "12 Days of Giving" campaign will accept submissions of local organizations that are providing basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing and baby supplies. For the campaign, which runs through November 30, Facebook users need to provide a 200-word description, with photos, of a local nonprofit that describes the organization’s impact on the community. Winners of the grant money will be announced on Facebook daily from December 12-23.
"Walmart Launches "12 Days of Giving" Campaign on Facebook", News release, Walmart, November 14, 2011, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Dean Foods Forms Joint Venture With Jam Producer Hero Group

November 4, 2011: 07:09 PM EST
Dairy product producer Dean Foods announced a 50/50 joint venture with Swiss-based Hero Group, producer of fruit and infant nutrition brands Hero and Beech-Nut. Dubbed Hero/WhiteWave, the new venture will take Dean's WhiteWave business into the jam and chilled fruits business for the first time. Hero has had success with chilled-fruit products in Europe, and believes that North American consumers will be receptive to the products. According to reports, the two companies will develop new healthful products, while sharing technology, manufacturing and distribution capabilities. Dean also announced healthy financial results for the third quarter, with earnings per diluted share on an adjusted basis doubling to $0.28 from a year ago.
Karlene Lukovitz, "Dean Foods Partners With Hero On New Chilled Fruits", Mediapost Publications, November 04, 2011, © MediaPost Communications
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Sustainability Remains An Important Driver In Packaging Innovation – Study

November 1, 2011: 05:03 AM EST
Though sustainability has grown steadily over the past five years as a driver of innovation in packaging, momentum appears to have slowed, according to a study by Packaging Digest. “Slippage on key questions,” editorial director John Kalkowski says, doesn’t mean packagers no longer feel sustainability is important. The emphasis is growing, but at a slower pace. Respondents who say they are moderately familiar with sustainability issues slipped to 80 percent from 83 percent last year. But that’s much higher than the 52 percent at the same level in 2007. Forty-one percent said the emphasis on sustainability remained the same, and 55 percent said it had grown in their companies. Respondents cited economic conditions as a major reason why some businesses had scaled back their activities in sustainable packaging.
"Sustainability Shown as a Driving Factor in Packaging Decisions", News release, Packaging Digest, November 01, 2011, © Packaging Digest
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Henkel Debuts At 5th Among Consumer Goods Companies On Newsweek's Green Rankings

October 19, 2011: 03:41 AM EST
Henkel appears for the first time on Newsweek's Green Rankings, ranked at 65 and scoring 61.7 percent on the Global 500 list of leading companies. Henkel ranked fifth among consumer goods companies. Newsweek's Green Rankings assess the environmental performance of the world's largest publicly traded companies. The rankings are based on a company's actual environmental footprint, management of that footprint, and sustainability communications. The rankings, which provide a cross-industry framework for comparing environmental commitment and performance, were developed with the help of two environmental research organizations, Trucost and Sustainalytics.
"Henkel listed in Newsweek Green Ranking", Henkel, October 19, 2011, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Global Food Waste Problem Could Be Reduced With Better Information, Advanced Technologies

October 13, 2011: 07:34 PM EST
A research scientist at Norway’s SINTEF Technology and Society says a lot of the Western world’s food supply is wasted by food producers, consumers and restaurants who believe that food has run out of shelf life, when in fact “it is perfectly OK.” According to Jan Ola Strandhagen, a third of the world’s supply of food could be saved using advanced technology – and a change in attitude – before it reaches the waste bin. Information from the retail food sector about consumer buying habits, and how much food ends up in store trash bins, would allow “surgical precision” in the production of food. That kind of information would influence the logistics of food distribution: “when and where, and in what quantities, individual products are delivered to retail outlets.”
"The Food Wasters", Alpha Galileo, October 13, 2011, © Alpha Galileo Foundation
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Simple Changes In School Lunchroom Design Can Lead To Healthier Food Choices

September 29, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Cornell University scientists shows that children are more likely to eat fruit in a cafeteria setting if the fruit is displayed in colorful bowls. Moving the fruit increased sales by 104 percent, and is just one of many simple, cheap, and effective tools that lead schoolchildren to choose healthier food. The research was conducted as part of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement at Cornell’s Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN). With the White House, BEN created the Chef’s Move to Schools program as part of the national fight against childhood obesity. The BEN center has analyzed many school lunchrooms, finding layouts and designs that hindered student's selection of nutritious foods. The lunchrooms were revamped with easy, low-cost/no-cost environmental changes that resulted in an increase in healthy food choices.
Brian Wansink, "When Chefs Move the Fruit", News release, presentation at the American Dietetic Association Conference, September 29, 2011, © Cornell Food & Brand Lab
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Business Growth Depends On Innovation, P&G CEO Tells Cincinnati

September 27, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
P&G CEO Bob McDonald told a Chamber of Commerce luncheon that the Cincinnati, Ohio, area lags in business start-ups and patents issued on a per capita basis and needs to ramp up spending on innovation. Business, financial and economic growth depends on investment in innovation by businesses and organizations, he said, and there’s no better time to invest than during economic downturns. He suggested several ways the region could foster innovation, including: speeding up start-up activity at research institutions, supporting collaborations with “pillar” companies, working together to strengthen support infrastructure, recruiting new talent, aligning public policy with an industry cluster strategy, and boosting investment in local start-ups. “It’s time to make Greater Cincinnati a leader … when it comes to innovation,” he said.
Chelsey Levingston, "P&G CEO calls for more investment in innovation", Hamilton (Ohio) Journal-News, September 27, 2011, © Hamilton Journal-News
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Companies Start To Reward Failure To Encourage Risk Taking And Innovation

September 27, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
To encourage risk taking and innovation some companies are moving to reward failure where they see ideas that failed but that had potential. The advertising agency Grey, for instance, has a "Heroic Failure” award that is given to an employee who demonstrated edgy risk. Companies are also trying to create cultures more conducive to innovation and experimentation. P&G has set up a separate division called FutureWorks to partner with vendors in an atmosphere supposedly that will encourage bolder innovation; Grey New York has a "no meeting zone" every Thursday morning; others have mediation or nap rooms. As author Judy Estrin says "Failure, and how companies deal with failure, is a very big part of innovation."
SUE SHELLENBARGER, "Better Ideas Through Failure", Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2011, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Nestlé Expands Confectionery Development Facility In U.K.

September 23, 2011: 09:49 PM EST
Nestlé announced that it is enlarging its U.K.-based Product Technology Centre, where new confectionery products are developed and existing ones are reformulated. According to the company, the Technology Centre is also charged with deploying newly-developed technologies to Nestlé’s global operations so that confectionery products are produced safely and effectively while meeting the consumer needs. Centre Director Stefan Palzer says the expansion of the facility will allow the company to “accelerate and intensify confectionery product development” using sustainable and high quality raw materials, advanced manufacturing processes, and reliable equipment.
"Nestlé extends global Product Technology Centre for confectionery", Press release, Nestlé, September 23, 2011, © Nestlé
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National Starch Creates A New Language To Describe Food Textures

September 23, 2011: 10:00 PM EST
National Starch has come up with a unique set of words, including some newly-coined ones, to better describe the consumer food texture experience. The new Texicon food texture language was created to “translate the consumer texture experience into measurable scientific terms,” according to National Starch. By using the new language, National Starch customers can quickly target and achieve the right texture in their products. Among the new words being used are “crinchy,” which describe food that is between crunchy and crispy, and “flumpy,” which describes mayonnaise as it comes from the jar. The Texicon language applies to a range of low- and high-moisture systems, such as baked snacks, creamy dressings, barbecue sauces, yogurt, sour cream, etc.
"National Starch introduces food texture language", News, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), September 23, 2011, © Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
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New Cargill Stabilizers Help Yogurt Makers Control Costs, Maintain Taste And Texture

September 19, 2011: 06:22 AM EST
Cargill has introduced a customizable functional stabilizer system that allows yogurt makers to keep raw material costs down while providing the creamy products consumers expect. According to the company, Vitex AYS stabilizers feature modified food starch and hydrocolloids that create “a cost-effective alternative to gelatin” while maintaining yogurt flavor and texture. A Vitex AYS product manager said the rising cost of gelatin and starch was the motivating force behind development of the stabilizers. 
"Cargill launches new functional system to help dairy food makers contain costs", Press release, Cargill, September 19, 2011, © Cargill, Inc.
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New Extraction Process Can Reclaim Antioxidants Left Behind In Grape Processing Waste

September 8, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have come up with an eco-friendly way to extract the antioxidants left behind when the skins, stems and seeds are filtered away during grape juice and wine production. About half of the beneficial antioxidants are left behind during the filtering process. By reclaiming the nutrients from the waste material – about 15 million tons are generated annually in the U.S. – the researchers believe they could benefit the health product industry. The new technology – known as subcritical water processing – uses pressurized water to extract the antioxidants, rather than expensive and potentially toxic organic solvents. The extraction method is not only more efficient, and “greener,” the resulting antioxidant compounds are smaller and more effectively adsorbed by the body.
Jerry King, et al., "Researchers Design 'Green' Extraction Method for Antioxidants in Grape Skins", News release, University of Arkansas, September 08, 2011, © University of Arkansas
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Beverages
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Unilever Partners With Games Service To Push Antiperspirant Ads To Avid Canadian Gamers

September 8, 2011: 03:02 AM EST
The WildTangent games service and Unilever’s Degree brand antiperspirant are partnering to provide free access to premium games on the channel for a limited time. WildTangent targets male hardcore gamers who like fast-paced, adrenaline-charged games. The Unilever campaign will deliver French and English versions of games to Canadian consumers who engage with a Degree Adrenaline Series video commercial. Players will be able to enjoy free unlimited, uninterrupted play during the campaign courtesy of Degree Men Adrenaline Series. WildTangent’s BrandBoost platform allows brands such as Degree to dynamically target video advertising to Canadian users via “contextually relevant games.”
"Unilever's Degree Brand Launches Branded Game Channel With WildTangent in Canada", Reuters.com, September 08, 2011, © Thomson Reuters
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Redemption Of Digital Coupons By Mobile Phone Users Grows By Triple Digits

September 7, 2011: 05:48 AM EST
The popularity of couponing has not waned as the economy sputters toward a recovery. Mobile couponing, though a small segment of the total digital couponing segment, has nevertheless experienced significant growth, up 117.6 percent since last year, according to eMarketer. In a new report the analyst firm estimates that nearly 20 million American adults will redeem a mobile coupon this year, including coupons or codes received via SMS, applications, mobile web browsers, and other methods. The company says that by 2013 use of mobile-based digital coupons will nearly double, with 16.5 percent of all adult mobile phone users in the U.S. redeeming a coupon.
"One in Ten Mobile Users Redeem Coupons", eMarketer, September 07, 2011, © eMarketer Inc.
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UVB Exposure Supercharges Mushrooms With Vitamin D

September 7, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in the U.S. have developed a simple commercial processing technology – exposure to ultraviolet light – to  boost the vitamin D content of mushrooms without affecting other nutrients. Though not many natural foods are rich in vitamin D, and vitamin D fortification has its limitations, mushrooms are high in the vitamin. Comparing button mushrooms exposed to UVB rays to mushrooms exposed to natural sunlight and those grown in the dark, the researchers found that the vitamin D content of the UVB group was 700 percent higher than that of mushrooms grown without light. Moreover, the UVB rays did not harm other nutrients in the mushrooms, such as vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, niacin, etc.
Ryan R. Simon, et al., "Vitamin D Mushrooms: Comparison of the Composition of Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) Treated Postharvest with UVB Light or Sunlight", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, September 07, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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Natural Bug Repellant Can Be Incorporated Into Food Packaging

September 4, 2011: 09:59 PM EST
An Israeli company has developed a package coating and spray derived from natural plant extracts that repel insects. According to Bio[pack] co-founder Shlomo Navarro, the compound is natural, safe and long-lasting. In addition, bugs are unlikely to develop a resistance to it. The product, which combines numerous natural repellant compounds, is being used as a repellant in factories and warehouses to keep food safe during production and storage. And the compound can be incorporated into plastic, aluminum wrap, cardboard and other types of food packaging to repel insects on store shelves. The company says its product is being evaluated by U.S. government agencies for marketing in the U.S.
David Shamah, "Non-toxic solution keeps bugs out of food", Israel21C, September 04, 2011, © ISRAEL21c Foundation
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Protective Biopolymer Coating For Bacteria Could Benefit Probiotics Companies

September 5, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
One of the problems faced by probiotics manufacturers is protecting beneficial bacteria as they navigate the harsh acidic conditions of the stomach on their way to the intestines. Now researchers in the U.K. have developed a protective biopolymer coating that taxis probiotics to the intestines unharmed. The researchers say the biopolymer could provide a major boost for the probiotics industry, which in the U.K. is valued at £200 million ($319 million) a year. The novel biopolymer is completely biodegradable, but remains intact in the stomach. It continues to the intestine, disintegrates and releases the bacteria. In the lab, lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains survived in simulated gastric juices for four hours when coated with the polymer.
Dr. Iza Radecka, et al., "New Polymer Research Could Boost Probiotics Industry", News release, presentation at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference, September 05, 2011, © Society for General Microbiology
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PureBrands CEO Expects Dissolvable Tongue Strips To Become A Billion-Dollar Business

August 31, 2011: 09:04 PM EST
Warren Struhl, CEO of a company marketing dissolvable tongue strips that deliver a fast jolt of caffeine and B vitamins, tells FoodNavigator-USA that his product and others like it could become a $1 billion market within three years. Sheets Energy Strips from PureBrands have already won the backing of NBA star LeBron James and other celebrities, while response from retailers (Walmart, CircleK, GNC) has been “overwhelmingly positive.” Struhl expects to launch a family of similar dissolvable strip products next year. The energy delivery version costs much less than energy shot drinks while delivering 200 percent of daily value of vitamin B6 and B12, 100 percent of vitamin B5, and 100 mg of caffeine per two-sheet serving.
Elaine Watson, "Entrepreneur: Energy strips could be worth $1bn in 3-5 years", Food Navigator, August 31, 2011, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Home Fragrance Market Distinguished By Tough Competition, Attention-Grabbing Innovation

September 1, 2011: 03:30 AM EST
The competition is getting tough as home fragrance product marketers unveil new entries that cater to the demands of increasingly sophisticated consumers. Market data show that sales of home fragrance products at supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers (excluding Walmart) were essentially level – at about $850 million – during the year ending in July 2011. Upcoming new offerings include Halloween and fall season-focused candles; exotically fragranced candles and room mists; and spray, aerosol and plug-in air fresheners. Products are coming in high-end scents – vanilla bean fused with lavender? – and in novel shapes, like pillar candles. Meanwhile, Febreze is on a roll: air freshener revenue over the past 12 months hit $1 billion, and the brand was featured in 37 new product releases.
Melissa Meisel , "Love Is in the Air", Happi.com, September 01, 2011, © Rodman Publishing / HAPPI
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Malt-O-Meal Partners With Terracycle In Cereal Bag Recycling Program

September 1, 2011: 01:34 AM EST
The Malt-O-Meal Company, maker of ready-to-eat and cooked breakfast cereals, has partnered with Terracycle in a program to reduce waste created by box packaging. The company offers its cereal products in plastic bags that result in 75 percent less consumer waste and save energy and fuel in the process. Its recycling initiative with Terracycle is designed to keep the cereal bags out of landfills. Terracycle collects hard-to-recycle materials and transforms them into usable products like messenger bags, fencing, coasters, stationery products and trash cans. For the program, consumers join the Cereal Bag Brigade and ship used bags to TerraCycle. Shipments from schools earn points that can be redeemed for $0.02 per bag.
Megan Dobransky, "Should We Bag the Cereal Box?", Earth911, September 01, 2011, © Earth911.com
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Dean Foods Rolls Out Brand Of Chocolate Milk With Less Added Sugar, No Corn Syrup

August 30, 2011: 11:08 PM EST
Food and beverage company Dean Foods has launched a better-for-you chocolate milk made with white milk, but containing 20 percent less sugar, 40 more calories than regular milk per serving, and no high fructose corn syrup. Fat-free TruMoo contains 130 calories per serving and 10 grams of added sugar. Previous chocolate milk formulas made with high fructose corn syrup contained up to 180 calories and 16 grams of added sugar. Dean Foods said the nationwide launch follows successful retail and school testing in the Northeast and Pacific Coast regions. According to the company, Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia reversed a chocolate milk ban to bring TruMoo chocolate milk into school cafeterias. Wendy's restaurants also offer TruMoo coast to coast.
"Dean Foods Launches TruMoo® Chocolate Milk Nationwide With Lower Sugar, Fewer Calories, No High Fructose Corn Syrup", Press release, Dean Foods, August 30, 2011, © Dean Foods
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Taura To Exhibit New Line Of Vegetable-Derived Ingredients For Snack Makers

August 31, 2011: 01:18 AM EST
Taura Natural Ingredients announced it will be exhibiting innovative snack food ingredients that incorporate fruits and – for the first time – vegetables at the Food Ingredients Europe (FiE) conference in Paris in November-December. Processed using the URC (ultra rapid concentration) technology, the ingredients are formulated from 100 percent fruits and vegetables. The product line includes purees and non-deionised juices that allow snack manufacturers to create a range of nutrient-rich, clean label composite products such as fruit pieces, flakes and pastes for use in applications such as muesli, cereal or snack bars, baked goods, cereals and confectionery.
"Taura to highlight opportunities for combining fruit and vegetables at FIE 2011", Press Release, Taura Natural Ingredients, August 31, 2011, © Taura Natural Ingredients
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Virtual Shopping Offered By Tesco In South Korean Subway Station

August 25, 2011: 02:17 AM EST
Retail grocer Tesco Homeplus announced it is opening what it says is the world’s first virtual store in a Seoul, South Korea, subway station. Commuters can point their Homeplus app-enhanced smartphones at the virtual displays of 500 products on the walls of the Seonreung station, scan the barcodes using their phones, and add the product to their virtual shopping cart. Selected products are then delivered to their homes, often the same day. If shoppers scan their grocery selections before 1:00 p.m., items will be delivered the same evening, according to the company. The initiative is part of a Tesco company strategy to increase market share in South Korea without adding physical stores.
"Tesco Opens World’s First Virtual Store", News release, Tesco PLC, August 25, 2011, © Tesco PLC
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US Cosmetics Industry Sees A Good Year For Sustainable Packaging In 2011

August 24, 2011: 04:28 AM EST
Several US companies have introduced sustainable packaging technologies for cosmetics and personal care products in 2011. Notable examples include Eco Vision that received a US patent for its Eco Jar biodegradable packaging for cosmetics, Pantene that launched the Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion line of hair care products with bottles made mainly from plant-based plastic and Colbert Packaging which improved the design of its EnviroGuard consumer product packaging that includes no plastics.
Pooja Kondhia, "2011 means the year of sustainable packaging", Cosmetics Design, August 24, 2011, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Coriander Oil Shows Potential As Natural Antibiotic

August 23, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Portuguese researchers report that coriander oil is toxic enough to a variety of harmful bacteria to be used in foods to prevent food-borne illnesses. The researchers tested coriander oil against 12 bacterial strains, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Bacillus cereus and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Solutions containing 1.6 percent coriander oil killed or reduced the growth of the tested bacterial strains. According to the researchers, coriander oil damages the membrane surrounding the bacterial cell, inhibits essential processes and ultimately causes cell death. They suggest that in addition to use in the food industry, coriander oil could be used as a natural alternative to antibiotics in lotions, mouth rinses and pills.
Filomena Silva, et al., "Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) essential oil: its antibacterial activity and mode of action evaluated by flow cytometry", Journal of Medical Microbiology, August 23, 2011, © Society for General Microbiology
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Google Releases Mobile Catalog-Shopping Application For Tablet Computers

August 22, 2011: 10:19 PM EST
Google has launched its Google Catalogs application that allows consumers to browse in one app catalogs from a range of retailers on their iPad tablet computers. The app includes interactive videos and additional content, links to online stores help in finding nearby retail outlets.  Google plans to release an Android version of the application soon.
Chantal Tode, "Sephora enhances shopping experience via Google Catalogs app", Mobile Marketer, August 22, 2011, © Napean LLC
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Eurofragrance Creates Scent That Evokes Smell Of Outer Space

August 23, 2011: 01:12 AM EST
Following the idea of author Roberto Alvarez del Blanco, Eurofragrance created a scent that recalls the smell of outer space. Eurofragrance perfumer Bettina Perisson and her team worked with astronauts who discussed the fragrance that adhered to their space gear after space walks. The odor is included as a scratch and sniff card in in Alvarez’s book "Neuromarketing: The Perfect Fusion." 
Abby Penning, "The Scent of the Stars", GCI Magazine, August 23, 2011, © Allured Business Media
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Scientists Develop Fast, Effective Technology For Identifying Microbes In The Food Chain

August 20, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Norwegian scientists have come up with an effective, fast and economical method of identifying infection sources such as bacteria, yeasts and molds in the food chain. Microorganisms that cause spoilage and deterioration can be found anywhere in the food processing system – for example, in the tubes that carry milk to cartons, or suspended in the air as sausages are being packed, etc. The new detection method is based on spectral readings of microbes collected from foods. Each microbe has a unique spectral profile that acts like a fingerprint for identification purposes. Using a spectrometer, scientists can detect microbes in finished food products and trace them back to the various steps in the production process.
Henri-Pierre Suso, et al., "Spoilt Food Soon a Thing of the Past?", Press release, The Research Council of Norway, August 20, 2011, © The Research Council of Norway
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School Foodservice Supplier Expands Product Line With Healthier Offerings

August 17, 2011: 09:33 PM EST
Frozen food supplier Schwan’s Food Service says a major product development investment has resulted in a 50 percent expansion of its product line with more than 50 healthier foods that meet proposed USDA School Meal Rules, as well as the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) guidelines. The new products contain at least 51 percent whole grains, less than 35 percent calories from fat, no more than 10 percent calories from saturated fat, zero grams of trans fats and less than 600 mg of sodium. New products being offered include reformulations of its most popular school pizzas. The company claims to hold a 70 percent market share in the foodservice pizza category.
"Leading School Food Supplier, Schwan’s Food Service, Serves Up Industry’s First Portfolio of Products to Meet Proposed USDA School Meal Rules", The Schwan Food Company, August 17, 2011, © Schwan's Shared Services, LLC
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P&G Launches Facebook-Based Healthy Mouth Ad Campaign For Crest, Oral-B Brands

August 18, 2011: 01:29 AM EST
Procter & Gamble is taking an innovative approach to cross-media marketing and brand promotion, using consumer-generated media (CGM) in a new oral care advertising campaign. The social media word-of-mouth campaign for the Crest and Oral-B brands – “Life Opens Up” – is designed to show the relationship between a healthy mouth and “living life to the fullest.” The campaign involves a contest in which consumers share their stories, via a two-minute video, about how their healthy mouths helped them open up to life and the world. Participants can watch and vote on submissions on the P&G campaign microsite and on the Facebook pages of Crest, Crest Whitestrips and Oral-B. The Facebook campaign is supported by TV spots, online videos, digital display ads and a blog.
Tessa Wegert , "The Right Way to Use CGM", Clickz.com, August 18, 2011, © Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC
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Snack Factory's Online Marketing Efforts Drive Snack Brand's Facebook Presence And Sampling Rate

August 16, 2011: 07:11 PM EST
Social coupons and viral marketing enabled Snack Factory to grow its snack brand Pretzel Crisps' Facebook fan base from 14,000 to 62,437. The online marketing campaign aimed to attract more customers and encourage them to try the snack brand. A $1 off coupon campaign developed by Buddy Media for the brand increased the number of Facebook fans from 6,800 to 13,700 in February. Pretzel Crisps then launched a buy one, get one free promotion, but relied only on viral marketing instead of announcing it, which led to further growth and a 95% redemption rate.
"Case Study: Snack Brand Doubles Facebook ‘Likes’ Through Social Coupon", eMarketer, August 16, 2011, © eMarketer Inc.
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Revamped Tesco Direct Web Site – A La Amazon.com – To Launch In Early 2012

August 16, 2011: 12:53 AM EST
After an extensive and expensive revamping of its Web presence to personalize the shopping experience, U.K. online retailer Tesco Direct will relaunch in early 2012, according to a report from Marketing Magazine. The "multimillion-pound" overhaul will transform the Tesco Direct site from “manual merchandising” to an automatic “algorithmically merchandised” format that approximates the Amazon.com experience, the magazine said. Customer content will be tied closely to recommendations and data feeds describing sales and top-rated products. Tesco says it is broadening its non-food offerings by thousands of products, a part of a major expansion taking place over the next two years. The renovation of its site signals a “major step in Tesco's digital evolution,” a source told the magazine.
Rachel Barnes, "Tesco revamps Direct to create 'Amazon-style' offering", Marketing Magazine, August 16, 2011, © Haymarket
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Eliminating Harmful Bacteria From Produce Is A Tougher Challenge Than Once Thought

August 15, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers report that proper sanitization can eliminate Salmonella and E. coli bacteria from the surface of fruits and vegetables, but can’t reach pathogens that infest the inner tissues. In their study, which used a technology known as immunocytochemistry, the researchers found a form of E. coli in tissues of mung bean sprouts, as well as Salmonella in peanut seedlings, after the plants' seeds were planted. The seeds could have been tainted before or after planting through contaminated soil or water, they suggested. The pathogens were found in every major tissue, including the plant tissues that transport nutrients. The only solution, they said, is to cook foods to temperatures known to kill the pathogens, especially in the inner tissues.
Amanda J. Deering, et al., "Identification of the Cellular Location of Internalized Escherichia coli O157:H7", Journal of Food Protection, August 15, 2011, © International Association for Food Protection
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New “Stimulift” Technology Enhances Effectiveness Of L’Oréal’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream

August 14, 2011: 11:16 PM EST
L’Oréal Paris has launched a new version of its anti-wrinkle cream Revitalift based on what it calls Stimulift technology. According to the company, the new formula targets the skin’s eight natural lifters that are altered by the aging process, leading to tissue disorganization and a loss of elasticity and tone. Wrinkles become more noticeable and the skin loses firmness. L’Oréal’s high end product re-tightens, re-pulps and stabilizes the skin by stimulating the skin’s “self-lifting” capacity. “Firmer and less wrinkled, the skin itself naturally participates in the process,” the company says.
"Skin Care innovation", The Nation , August 14, 2011, © Nawaiwaqt Group of News Papers
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Scientists Discover Natural Antibiotic That Could Protect Foods From Deadly Microbes

August 4, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Minnesota have patented a newly discovered, naturally occurring peptide produced by a harmless bacteria that could be added to food as a potent weapon against deadly foodborne bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria. According to scientists, the lantibiotic they discovered is the first natural preservative that destroys so-called “gram-negative” bacteria, typically the harmful kind. The substance could protect many foods – meats, processed cheeses, egg and dairy products, canned foods, seafood, salad dressing, fermented beverages, etc. – from a broad range of disease-causing microbes. Lantibiotics are easy to digest, nontoxic, and nonallergenic. And dangerous bacteria have a hard time developing a resistance to them.
Dan O'Sullivan and Ju-Hoon Lee, "Researchers Discover Natural Food Preservative That Kills Food-Borne Bacteria", Press release, University of Minnesota, August 04, 2011, © University of Minnesota
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Start-Up Turns Recycled Shipping Containers Into High-Tech Pods For Local Food Production

August 2, 2011: 06:45 PM EST
Growing consumer demand for fresher fruits and vegetables has fueled interest in locally grown produce among grocery retailers and other food service providers. A start-up company is taking advantage of the trend by introducing an innovative way to provide fresh produce on or very near store premises. PodPonics, an Atlanta-based company that recently raised $725,000 in seed funding, has created what it calls a “disruptive technology” that grows fresh produce economically in refurbished shipping containers called "grow pods." The 320 sq ft pods, outfitted with organic hydroponic nutrient solutions and computer-controlled environmental systems, can produce an acre's worth of produce and can be stacked for efficient use of space.
Ariel Schwartz, "Localize It: Podponics Grows High-Tech Organic Produce In Shipping Containers", Fast Company, August 02, 2011, © Mansueto Ventures LLC
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Grape-Derived Polyphenols Protect Skin From Harmful Effects Of UV Radiation

July 29, 2011: 06:43 PM EST
A study by Spanish scientists has found that certain polyphenol compounds (flavonoids) extracted from grapes can reduce the formation of “reactive oxygen species” (ROS) in human skin cells exposed to long-wave (UVA) and medium-wave (UVB) ultraviolet radiation. UV rays activate ROS compounds, which in turn oxidize macromolecules such as lipids and DNA and stimulate certain reactions leading to cell death. The polyphenols in grapes, however, inhibit formation of ROS compounds, thus protecting the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. The scientists say their findings support the use of grapes or grape derivatives in sun protection products.
Cecilia Matito, et al., "Protective Effect of Structurally Diverse Grape Procyanidin Fractions against UV-Induced Cell Damage and Death", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 29, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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Nestlé Launches “Cocoa Plan” In Indonesia

July 27, 2011: 04:20 AM EST
Nestlé has launched its “Cocoa Plan” to create a sustainable supply chain for the cocoa industry in Indonesia, the third largest cocoa producing country in the world after Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. Launched in 2009, the Cocoa Plan is designed to improve the quality and quantity of cocoa yields, and in turn better quality cocoa. According to Nestlé, the plan also benefits cocoa farmers by providing them with long-term security and training expertise. Nestlé will invest more than $4 million over four years in Indonesia to train farmers, provide plant expertise, and support supply chain transparency. The plan will also focus on projects related to nutrition education, water, and rural development, while protecting the environment.
"Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan extends to Indonesia", Press release, Nestlé, July 27, 2011, © Nestlé
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