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Ireland’s FSA Asks For Opinions On One Exception To EU Nutrition Labeling Regulation

An EU regulation published in December 2014 requires food companies to put nutrition information on prepackaged foods, with some exemptions, as a way to tackle the obesity problem. The rules are set to take effect in December. Meanwhile, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is asking for opinions, via a “national consultation,” on one exemption from the rules having to do with “small quantities.” These generally are foods supplied directly by the manufacturer to the consumer or to local retailers. The consultation is looking for opinions on how to better define the term “small quantities of product.”

"National Consultation Seeks Views on 'Small Quantities' Definition for Nutrition Labeling", News release, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, July 18, 2016

Tesco Extends Sustainability Support To Cocoa Certified By Rainforest Alliance

All cocoa used by Tesco in its in-house chocolate products in the U.K., as well as all cocoa used in other Tesco foods, will be certified by 2018 by the Rainforest Alliance as responsibly and sustainably sourced, the company announced. Certification by the Alliance supports cocoa-growing communities, helps increase farmer income, safeguards soils and conserves wildlife. Other Tesco food products that will contain only certified cocoa include biscuits, cakes, desserts and cereals. Tesco cooperates with several sustainability programs: the Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Cocoa Horizons and Fairtrade.

"Tesco to Source Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Cocoa For All of Its Own Label Chocolate in the UK", News release, Tesco, July 15, 2016

Younger Consumers Drive Global Snacking Trend

A report on global snacking trends finds that increasing numbers of consumers – especially younger folks – are taking their nutrition in “modular” fashion, rather than in the traditional three-squares-a-day scheme. Overall, a third of consumers regularly snack, but 40 percent of Millennials (18 – 34) are routine snackers, according to researcher Canadean. Less than a quarter (23 percent) of people age 65 or older say they snack frequently. The main reasons or occasions for snacking include: energy boost, de-stressing or indulging, watching a movie, attending a sporting event, or socializing.

"Many Millennials Shun Practice of Eating Three Regular Meals a Day", News release, Canadean, July 13, 2016

Happiness Is … A Fruit And Vegetable Diet, Study Finds

British and Australian researchers have determined that the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the happier you’ll become, and fairly quickly. The study, which tracked 12,000 randomly selected Australian adults who kept food diaries, also measured their psychological well-being (i.e., happiness). Psychological benefits of eating up to eight portions of fruits and vegetables a day were found within two years. On the other hand, protective benefits against cancer from a healthful diet may take decades to accumulate. The increase in life satisfaction among the participants was “equivalent to moving from unemployment to employment,” the researchers said.

"Fruit And Veg Give You The Feel-Good Factor", News release, University of Warwick, July 08, 2016

Avoiding Deception When Buying Packaged Foods Requires Buzzword Education

There’s a fine line between outright dishonesty – barred by the federal government – and clever deception when it comes to the use of “unregulated buzzwords” on food packaging. Found frequently on food labels are words like organic – that one is FDA-regulated – natural, fat-free, cage-free, hormone-free, and whole grain. Cage-free, for example, means laying hens aren’t jammed into tiny cages. They can walk around in enclosed areas. But it doesn’t mean they get to wander around outside. That’s what “free-range” means. Another confusing term: only “100 percent whole grain” ensures it’s made from whole grain, while “made with” whole grain means it’s mostly enriched flour.

"Food Labels Like ‘Organic’ and ‘Whole Grain,’ Meant to Clarify, Often Confuse", The Wall Street Journal, July 08, 2016

Big Food Goes On Buying Spree To Acquire Natural/Organic Market Share

Big food companies determined to reverse a slide in sales – thanks to rapidly evolving consumer preferences – are buying younger, smaller, successful firms in the natural and organic sector. U.S. food companies in 2015 spent $116 billion acquiring such companies. So far in 2016, acquisitions have totaled $43 billion. Examples of the trend include Danone’s recent $10.4 billion deal with Silk soy and almond beverage maker WhiteWave. The Denver company’s stock price has tripled since its 2012 IPO because it has successfully tapped into the organic trend. Hormel Foods Corp. paid $775 million for organic-meats company Applegate Farms LLC; and in 2014, General Mills Inc. paid $820 million for organic mac-and-cheese company Annie’s Inc.... More

"Food Giants Set Their Sights on Organic, Natural Companies", The Wall Street Journal, July 08, 2016

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