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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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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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SymphonyIRI Will Supply Walmart With Online Planning And Customer Data Management Technologies

July 25, 2011: 10:22 PM EST
Walmart has appointed SymphonyIRI as its technology provider for its Customer Advantage Web-based collaborative planning and customer data management platform. The technology will utilize SymphonyIRI's Consumer Network and Liquid Data technologies and marketing analytics to help Walmart and its suppliers keep track of customers, their shopping behavior, and requirements. Manufacturers will also benefit from the system's features, which will let them understand better and provide for customers' needs. Customer Advantage will allow the retailer and its suppliers to collaborate to upgrade planning, marketing, and expansion planning, according to Walmart and SymphonyIRI.
"SymphonyIRI Group Delivers Next-Generation Shopper Insights for World’s Largest Retailer", SymphonyIRI Group, July 25, 2011, © SymphonyIRI Group
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Subway Fortifies Its Bread With Calcium And Vitamin D

July 26, 2011: 04:30 AM EST
Subway has added bread with enhanced calcium and vitamin D content to its menu lineup and claims that each 6-inch serving of Subway sandwiches provides 30 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium and 20 percent of vitamin D. Subway  move plays to concerns about average poor nutrition: the Centers for Disease Control and the Institute of Medicine have both warned  about Americans' failure to consume sufficient nutrients, saying, for example, that less than 33 per cent of older people get the recommended intake for Vitamin D.
Press Release, SUBWAY, "SUBWAY® Chain Introduces Calcium and Vitamin D Fortified Bread to National Menu", PRNewswire, July 26, 2011, © PRNewswire
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Israeli Company Debuts Tomato-Derived Flavor Enhancer For Multiple Applications

July 25, 2011: 11:46 PM EST
Tomato products specialist LycoRed of Israel has introduced a natural tomato concentrate that enhances the flavor of foods and can replace expensive artificial flavor components and can be used for salt taste enhancement. LycoRed SANTE is the result of an effort by company scientists to separate out and concentrate the taste enhancing components of the tomato, resulting in a natural flavor enhancer suitable for a wide range of applications. The company said that in some cases food companies can save up to 10-20 percent of product cost by replacing expensive ingredients, reduce sodium content “and enable a clean label.” LycoRed SANTE is available as a  liquid or a free-flowing powder, is heat resistant, stable at almost all pH’s and is suitable for ambient, frozen, baked, cooked and fried products.
"LycoRed Boosts Health & Flavor with Natural Salt-Enhancement Ingredient", Press release, LycoRed, July 25, 2011, © LycoRed
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Researchers Urge Greater Use Of Nutrient-Rich Seaweeds In Functional Foods

July 20, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists who reviewed more than a hundred scientific studies found that seaweed and other “macroalgae” are rich in heart-healthy nutrients known as bioactive peptides, which are also found in milk products. The researchers note that food companies are increasingly interested in using bioactive peptides as ingredients in functional foods that are nutritious and have a therapeutic effect on high blood pressure. Seaweeds, which have been eaten in some cultures for centuries, are rich in these bioactive compounds and are easy to cultivate. Among the varieties of seaweed available are Nori in Japan, dulse in coastal Europe, and limu palahalaha in native Hawaiian cuisine. The researchers said “more efforts are needed to fully exploit their potential for use and delivery to consumers in food products."
Ciarán Fitzgerald, et al., "Heart Health Peptides from Macroalgae and Their Potential Use in Functional Foods", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 20, 2011, © American Chemical Society
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Bramton's Simple Solution Adds New Scents

July 19, 2011: 05:13 AM EST
Pet care brand Simple Solution (Bramton Company) has introduced pro-bacteria and enzyme packed Stain + Odor Remover in new scents, Rainforest Fresh and Spring Breeze. The product line  offers an odor-removing system designed to discourage pets from repeat marking, leaving only clean and fresh scents behind. According to the company, Simple Solution Stain and Odor Remover products break down organic proteins to remove unwanted stains. They are formulated to renew carpets, upholstery, bedding, fabric toys, clothing and any water-safe surfaces and are safe for use around pets and children.
"Simple Solution Introduces New Rainforest Fresh and Spring Breeze Scented Stain + Odor Remover", EON Businesswire, July 19, 2011, © Business Wire
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Nestlé Invests In New Zealand Maker Of Kiwi-Based Functional Foods, Drinks

July 14, 2011: 10:21 AM EST
In a move that further entrenches it in the burgeoning medical nutrition market, Nestlé SA announced it will acquire an 18 percent stake in Auckland, New Zealand-based Vital Foods, a producer of kiwi-based functional drinks and dietary supplements used to treat intestinal disorders. Vital Foods, founded in 1991 and financed in recent years by the Nestlé Health Science venture capital fund, said the new funding would allow it to pursue clinical trials (in irritable bowel syndrome) and enter new markets. According to this Reuters report, Nestlé Health Science has targeted three main areas for product and market development: gastrointestinal health, metabolic and brain health.
Silke Koltrowitz, "Nestle invests in kiwi cure for constipation", Reuters, July 14, 2011, © Thomson Reuters
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Nutrient-Rich Onion Waste Could Be Recycled, Researchers Suggest

July 14, 2011: 11:05 AM EST
Researchers in Spain and the U.K. who analyzed each part of the onion have found that valuable nutrients and other substances are lost when half a million tons of onion waste are discarded during processing in European countries alone. Waste includes the dry brown skin, outer layers, roots and stalks, and onions damaged or not big enough for commercial use. They found, for example, that the brown onion skin could be used as a source of non-soluble dietary fiber as well as phenolic compounds and other flavonoids. The two outer fleshy layers of the onion also contain fiber and flavonoids. Whole onions thrown away are a source of prebiotic fructans for digestive health and sulfurous compounds that contribute to cardiovascular health.
Vanesa Benítez, et al. , "Characterization of Industrial Onion Wastes (Allium cepa L.): Dietary Fibre and Bioactive Compounds", Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, July 14, 2011, © Plant Foods for Human Nutrition
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Campbell Soup Plans R&D Center At Its Pepperidge Farm Facilities In Connecticut

July 12, 2011: 06:46 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company plans to invest more than $30 million to build a research and development center at the company's Pepperidge Farm bakery facilities in Norwalk, Connecticut. The planned innovation center will include product development and testing lines, culinary kitchens, laboratories, and conference rooms. Campbell Soup's project also includes plans to upgrade Pepperidge Farm's headquarters, while building an environment-friendly and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified structure.
Campbell Soup Company, "Campbell Soup Company Invests in Pepperidge Farm Innovation Center to Drive Further Growth in Baking and Snacking Businesses", Campbell Soup Company press release, July 12, 2011, © Campbell Soup Company
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Heinz Introduces Soups That Come In Plastic Tubes

July 9, 2011: 07:48 PM EST
Heinz has launched a line of soup products that come in plastic sachets resembling a tube of toothpaste. The portable soups are available in four flavors and come in puree form, which consumers need to dilute with hot water. Heinz emphasizes that the new soups contain natural products, have no artificial colors and flavors, and are low in fat, promoting them as healthier than soups that come in cans or in powder form. Heinz expects the soups in tube to replace soup products that come in tin cans, which have a long history that began with French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's search for a reliable method to preserve food for his armies.
Sean Poulter, "Soup in a tube: Heinz launches green alternative as tin can feels the squeeze", Daily Mail, July 09, 2011, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Heinz Unveils Dilutable Soups In Plastic Tubes In U.K.

July 9, 2011: 05:13 AM EST
Heinz has launched an alternative to the familiar “tin can” of soup in the U.K.: “squeeze and stir” all-natural, low-fat  soups in plastic tubes that resemble toothpaste tubes. As the price of metal to make soup cans rises, the plastic tubes offer a cheaper production option for Heinz. However, consumers are likely to notice an apparent price hike: the 70g soup tube costs 59p ($0.95), or about 0.84p ($0.01) a gram. A 400g can of soup, however, costs 85p ($1.37), or 0.21p ($0.003) per gram. The benefits for Heinz are two-fold: higher unit prices at much lower production costs. “Even taking account of the fact the puree has to be diluted, it would seem the new product is a more expensive option,” the Daily Mail reports.
Sean Poulter, "Soup in a tube: Heinz launches green alternative as tin can feels the squeeze", Daily Mail, July 09, 2011, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Danisco Claims Its OsmoAid Works Better, Gentler Than Other Laxatives

July 7, 2011: 06:59 PM EST
Danisco launched its OsmoAid brand of Lactitol, a disaccharide sugar alcohol that has been used as a laxative for more than 20 years. The company claims OsmoAid works gently and causes no harsh effects usually associated with traditional laxatives. OsmoAid lowers colonic pH and stimulates peristalsis, and increases the osmotic pressure in the intestinal lumen, Danisco says. Danisco also quotes studies showing OsmoAid works better than other laxatives.
Press Release, Danisco, "Danisco launches effective osmotic laxative with better tolerability", Danisco, July 07, 2011, © Danisco
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New Probiotic Processing Technology Is More Gentle On Bacterial Strains

July 6, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
German scientists have developed an eco-friendly technology for gently vacuum-drying less robust probiotic bacterial strains for use during food production. The new method will allow food manufacturers to incorporate underused probiotic strains in functional foods and supplements. The current production process involves freeze drying, which destroys some probiotic bacteria strains and uses a lot of energy. In the newly developed technology – called low temperature vacuum drying (LTVD) – the bacteria remain in a liquid state and easily survive. And vacuum drying requires 40 percent less energy than conventional freeze drying.
P. Foerst, et al., "Combined influence of fermentation and drying conditions on survival and metabolic activity of starter and probiotic cultures after low-temperature vacuum drying", Journal of Biotechnology, July 06, 2011, © The Institution of Chemical Engineers
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Kraft Launches Cauliflower-Based Pasta Product In The US Market

July 6, 2011: 04:30 AM EST
Kraft Foods Inc. launched Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Veggie Pasta, a brand of pasta that includes cauliflower as ingredient. Kraft's move highlights a trend in the food industry wherein companies develop and launch products that include organic and natural ingredients without emphasizing it, claiming the practice helps encourage children to consume more vegetables and healthy foods. Kraft's healthy pasta product includes cauliflower that is freeze-dried and ground before being added as ingredient. Skeptics, such as New York University professor Marion Nestle, however, assert that nutrients are lost when vegetables undergo such a process.
JESSICA MINTZ, "Food companies take veggie cue from sneaky trend", Associated Press , July 06, 2011, © Associated Press
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Strong Demand For Anti-Aging Skin Care Products Bolsters Beauty And Personal Care Industry

July 4, 2011: 12:44 AM EST
Premium beauty product sales rebounded strongly in 2010, driving the recovery of the global beauty and personal care industry. Also fueling the recovery was “dynamic innovation activity” in skin care, the largest market category, Natural Products Insider reports. The category is expected to grow three percent a year to $100 billion in sales by 2015, one fourth of which will come from sales of anti-aging products. Thanks to the focus on innovation, technically advanced skin care formulations based on stem cell technology and aesthetic medicine are showing up in new cosmeceutical products. A major disappointment, however, has been the slow start of nutricosmetics products, which have not yet surmounted the skepticism of consumers.
Irina Barbalova and Ewa Hudson, "Opportunities for Cosmeceuticals", Natural Products Insider, July 04, 2011, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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