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Will Long-Awaited Vegan “Impossible Burger” Supplant The Ground Beef Patty?

The first product of a well-funded Silicon Valley food start-up is about to debut in local restaurants, the first salvo in a so-far secret war against the beef industry. After six years of research, Impossible Foods has created an expensive – $20 a serving – vegan version of the ground beef patty. The product is the result of reverse engineering and analysis of beef to create a mixture of proteins, fats, vitamins and amino acids from plant sources, the only one sold raw for cooking. It contains more sodium and saturated fat than ground beef, but no cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics. It will hit grocers’ shelves in a few years, once the price problem is solved. And the taste? Food writer Kurt Soller says it is “complex: fruitier... More

"The Impossible Burger is Ready for Its (Meatless) Close-Up", The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2016

Candy Is Dandy Among Americans, Especially Families With Kids

Despite America’s growing interest in eating more healthful foods, the country still has a healthy sweet tooth. Candy sales are surging: during the 52 weeks ended April 30, sales topped $21.5 billion, reflecting a yearly growth rate of two to four percent since 2011 and putting candy third in growth behind new age beverages and salty snacks. Major candy holidays – Easter, Halloween, etc. – account for a lot of those sales (i.e., $3.5 billion). But everyday candy sales hit $18 billion, proving that Americans, especially families with kids, are indeed candy lovers. The biggest buyers are parents of 3-7 year olds (63 percent) and 8-12 year olds (65 percent). Sales drop to 54 percent among teens (13-17).

"America's Sweetest Treat Is Delivering Candy Crushing Growth", Market report, Nielsen, June 10, 2016

Brands Need To Figure Out How To Deal With FDA’s New Label Rule On Added Sugar

The FDA’s recently updated Nutrition Facts food label now contains an entry for “added sugars.” As scientific evidence mounts showing the link between sugar consumption and conditions like obesity and diabetes, consumers will have information on both the amount and recommended daily value of added sugars. Food industry analysts say the increased visibility could lead to a consumer shift away from sugars in the same way they shifted away from trans fats in the mid-2000s. Food formulators are already taking note of changing consumer attitudes. But the new FDA requirement takes effect in 2018, so brands have time to figure out how “to meet the needs of the sugar-conscious consumers of the future.”

"Sugar transparency", News release, J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, June 09, 2016

Dirty Words Used To Expand The Conversation About Organic Seed

Five agrichemical companies control most of the seeds that are used to grow our crops, according to the Clif Bar Family Foundation, which recently launched the Seed Matters initiative to tout the benefits of high-yielding organic seed as opposed to the nutrient-poor GMO seeds developed by industrial agriculture. The problem is, consumers aren’t really aware of the importance of the seeds used in farming. To rectify that, Seed Matters hired an ad agency to develop Mr. Seed, a foul-mouthed animated organic seed character, to get its point across. That point is that “public funding is at stake” and seed is rapidly becoming consolidated and privatized. There has to be a broader conversation – even if it’s laced with obscenities – about... More

"Why This Animated, Foul-Mouthed Organic Seed Is Talking Dirty About Your Food", Fast Company, June 09, 2016

Euromonitor Starts Tracking Ethical Food Labeling, A Nearly $1 Trillion Industry

Euromonitor has responded to the social media-driven trend toward ethical consumerism by creating a 26-market database, Passport Ethical Labels, that quantifies packaged food and beverage product labels by three categories: people/values, the environment and sustainability, and animal welfare. Consumers, of course, have no intention of stopping consuming because of concerns about the Indonesian rainforest, slaughter houses, chicken sheds, pig farms, dubious food additives, etc. They still want convenience, but also a less guilty conscience. The newest data show that the global market for ethical labels on branded packaged foods, soft drinks and hot drinks totaled $794 billion in 2015, three-quarters of which comprised environment-... More

"Passport Ethical Labels – Key Findings", Blog, Euromonitor , June 08, 2016

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