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FOOD TRENDS/Marketplace/Innovation or FOOD TRENDS/Marketplace/New Formats or FOOD TRENDS/Marketplace/New Products or FOOD TRENDS/Marketplace/New Ways of Eating or FOOD TRENDS/Marketplace/Research or FOOD TRENDS/Advice & Policy/Trend Research & Commentary
Period: October 1, 2013 to November 1, 2013
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Calcium Supplements Are Safe, But The Best Source Is The Diet

To combat osteoporosis, patients should maintain an adequate intake of calcium, but the source of the important mineral is essential to its effectiveness, In fact, say researchers at the University of California San Francisco who reviewed earlier studies, patients and health care practitioners should focus on getting calcium from the diet – e.g., food products fortified with calcium, plus kale, broccoli and bok choy – rather than from supplements. The researchers noted, however, that if patients cannot get adequate calcium from the diet, supplements are safe and not associated with cardiovascular problems, despite recent reports to the contrary.

"Calcium Supplements and Fracture Prevention", New England Journal of Medicine, October 17, 2013

Addictive Breakfast Cereal-Related Games Packed With Ads Target Kids

Food companies have discovered a new form of advertising to catch -- and hold -- the attention of children. “Advergames” combine ads with video games that can be addictive and are easy to access on keyboards and smartphones. From the breakfast food aisle kids can find “Ice Block” from Froot Loops (Kellogg), “Crunchling Adventure” from Cap’n Crunch (Quaker Oats),  and Cookie Crip’s (General Mills) “Cookie Crisp City”. Slate writer Jason Bittel cites recent research (Michigan State Univ.) that analyzed advergames Web sites, identifying 439 products from 19 brands. Most of the products failed to meet government recommendations regarding salt, fat and added sugar content. “Clearly,” Bittel says, “advergames aren't going to disappear anytime soon, though a little bit of regulation could go a long way.”

"Advergames Show Why the Government Needs to Stand Up to the Food Industry", Slate, October 12, 2013

DNA Testing Finds Contamination Of Many Herbal Dietary Products

A study using DNA barcoding to analyze the plant species found in samples of herbal supplements found that 59 percent were contaminated with plant species not listed on product labels. Worse, more than two thirds of the products tested contained plant species that were substituted for the plants listed on label. A third of the products also contained other species that may be filler or simply contamination. The U.S. study also found in some products plant species that were toxic, had side effects or had negative interactions with other herbs, supplements, or medications. The researchers suggested that the herbal industry use molecular diagnostic tools such as DNA barcoding to authenticate herbal products by testing of raw materials.

" DNA barcoding detects contamination and substitution in North American herbal products", BMC Medicine, October 10, 2013

Efforts To Cut Funding Of The Cost-Effective Federal SNAP Program Are Ill-Advised

U.S. pediatricians warn that efforts to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) targeted at low-income children and families are a wrongheaded way to deal with persistent budget and economic woes. In fact, doctors from the Boston Medical Center say, the SNAP program, once known as the Food Stamp Program, is one of the country’s most cost-effective and successful public health programs, “a vaccine against food insecurity and hunger” for young children at the most critical stage of development of body and brain. SNAP benefits for pregnant women are associated with decreased rates of low birth weight; for children, SNAP enhances intake of B vitamins, iron, and calcium; lowers the risk of anemia, obesity, poor health, developmental delays, etc.

"SNAP cuts will harm children in the USA", The Lancet, October 03, 2013

Researchers Report On Beneficial Compounds In “Super Grain” Oats

Oats contain a wide variety of biologically active, nutritious compounds, including carotenoids, tocols (vitamin E), flavonoids and a type of polyphenol known as avenanthramides, ingredients that support its reputation as a complex “super grain”, according to researchers from the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence. There are more than 25 avenanthramides in oats that all behave differently. Compared to compounds in grains like wheat and rye, oats may be more bioavailable and possess more anti-inflammatory properties. Avenanthramides, which are unique to oats, are widely used in skincare products because of their anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects. In addition, oats and oat products that meet the minimum FDA level of beta-glucan can make the health claim for cholesterol-lowering benefits.

"New Research Emerging Around Role for Phytonutrients in Oats", Nutrition Horizon, October 02, 2013

School Districts And States With Policies On Sugary Party Treats Prove Effective

Classroom parties can mean a lot of calorie intake for children over a school year, contributing to the childhood obesity problem. But a new U.S. study finds that school districts and states with policies/laws that discourage sugary foods and beverages are 2.5 times more likely to restrict those foods at school parties than schools without such policies or laws. Even though most policies were stated as recommendations, rather than requirements, policy and law were associated with increased school-level restrictions, which demonstrates the value of policy, the researchers concluded.

"Classroom Parties in United States Elementary Schools: The Potential for Policies to Reduce Student Exposure to Sugary Foods and Beverages", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, October 02, 2013

Despite Healthy Changes, Restaurant Menus Still Feature High-Calorie, High-Sodium Entrées

Though restaurant chains have unveiled healthier menus in recent years, the overall levels of calories and sodium have stayed pretty much the same, a U.S. study finds. The researchers reviewed restaurant Web sites for nutrition information over a year , finding that the many substitutions and reformulations of entrées led to no meaningful nutrition changes overall. Family-style restaurants reduced sodium among higher-sodium entrées, but not on average, and “entrées still far exceeded recommended limits”. Fast-food restaurants cut calories in children's menu entrées. A few restaurant brands made significant changes in calories or sodium, but the vast majority did not, the researchers concluded.

"Changes in the Energy and Sodium Content of Main Entrées in U.S. Chain Restaurants from 2010 to 2011", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, October 01, 2013


Healthy Life Expectancy Should Be Message Of Food/Drink Products Targeting Over-65 Market

The growing global population over age 65 is largely underserved by food and drink products that “reduce the signs of aging” and lengthen healthy life, according to Euromonitor. Products introduced targeting the 577 million people 65 or older address cardiovascular health, bone and joint health, and brain health. Global sales of cardiovascular health products reached $8 billion in 2012, a rise of 34 percent from 2007. Sales of bone health products reached $13.6 billion in 2012, but are likely to fall because Americans are turning away from dairy and juice. “Playing it safe”, bone health products will focus on lower-priced calcium and vitamin D products. Global sales of brain health and memory-positioned products were just $527 million in 2012.

"Lengthening Healthy Life Expectancy", Euromonitor report in Nutraceuticals World, October 01, 2013

Independent Retail Bakers Are Being Swept Away By A Rising Tide Of Market Forces

Concerned about eating a healthier diet, millions of bread and pastry lovers are avoiding independent retail bakeries, with devastating effect. In the Twin Cities, small independents are shutting down, as are larger chain outlets like Sara Lee/Taystee. According to the Retail Bakers of America, the number of stand-alone retail bakeries has plummeted from 30,000 in 1970 to 6,000 today. Industry experts point to a number of forces driving the trend, besides a growing health consciousness: consumer price sensitivity, a thinly spread retail market, consumer indifference to scratch-made baking and gluten sensitivity. "Retail bakeries are slowly going away," says one observer, "and there aren't as many bakers going into the business anymore."

"Competition, tight credit, diet trends force some Twin Cities bakeries to close", Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.), September 29, 2013

Why Do We Eat Junk Food When We're Anxious?

Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2013

Eco-Eating Trends Gain Momentum

MediaPost, August 30, 2013

Market News  

Natural Foods Manufacturer Commits To 100 Percent Non-GMO Food Line By End Of 2013

Food industry researchers say that by 2017 30 percent of all food and beverage sales in the U.S. will be non-GMO foods. Indicative of that trend is a decision by natural foods manufacturer NOW Foods to make sure its entire food line – or 170 products – is non-GMO by the end of December. As of now, only 50 of its products are approved by the Non-GMO Project. The company said some suppliers, while supportive of the decision, are having trouble providing qualified products. A company executive said the switch to non-GMO could mean higher prices for some items because of limited availability.

"NOW Foods: Our entire food line will be non-GMO by year’s end", Nutra-ingredients USA, October 02, 2013

Insights Into Why The Functional Food/Beverage Market Is Booming

Consulting firm Abunda says there are seven key drivers, or “consumer platforms”,  behind the booming – $176.7 billion – global functional food and beverage market. Nothing that “consumers don't think in terms of ‘functional foods’” but more in terms liking or disliking particular products, based on experience with it and a perception of concept simplicity. The seven consumer platforms include: lifestyle antidote (products that provide a health solution and are also flavorful); healthy, fast, convenient breakfasts; anti-aging cosmeceuticals that include topical products and dietary supplements; healthy snacks; energy and mood boosting nutraceuticals; trendy ethical and cultural foods; and foods that reflect concerns for the environment.

"What’s driving growth in functional food and beverages? A convergence of nutrition, convenience and taste", Food Navigator, September 27, 2013

The Great Divide in Health and Wellness in Latin America

Euromonitor International, October 22, 2013

Research, Studies, Advice  

Handheld Biosensing Device Could Help Prevent Spread Of Pathogenic Bacteria

Scientists whose passion is early detection of pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella before it spreads have come up with a novel design for a real-time, hand-held biosensing device. The device is unique because it uses a magneto-elastic biosensor that is low-cost and based on wireless acoustic wave technology combined with a surface-scanning coil detector. The biosensors are coated with a bacteria-specific recognition layer containing particles of a virus that naturally recognizes bacteria. The new system – the U.S. creators are seeking a patent – is a handheld device that can be passed over food to determine if its surface is contaminated.

"Design of a surface-scanning coil detector for direct bacteria detection on food surfaces using a magnetoelastic biosensor", Journal of Applied Physics, October 18, 2013

Americans Think They Eat Nutritious Foods, But Actually Don’t

Though four out of five Americans say they know a lot about nutrition, are eating adequate amounts of nutritious foods, they really aren’t. There is a wide gulf between perceptions of adequate nutritious intake and actual intake, according to research from the International Food Information Council. For example, 68 percent of those surveyed said they were consuming adequate levels of vitamin D, but only 32 percent actually were. Sixty-seven percent said they get enough fiber in their diet, but only five percent actually were. On the subject of functional foods (i.e., those that offer health benefits beyond nutrition), 90 percent agreed that such foods are available. But a third of Americans said they are not consuming enough of them, especially those containing omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, flavonoids or zeaxanthin, to realize any health benefit.

"Perception Does Not Equal Reality When It Comes to Knowledge About Nutrient Intake", International Food Information Council, October 02, 2013

Red grapes, blueberries may enhance immune function

Oregon State University, September 17, 2013


Growing Middle Class Meets Rising Food Prices: How Should Companies React?

The global middle class is growing by 70 million people a year, and food prices are forecast to double over the next 20 years. Those two huge trends, Nielsen says, are joining to create a time of rising demand, economic pressure and “aspirationally driven” buying behavior. The researcher, whose data come from an Internet survey involving 29,000 respondents in 58 countries,  says companies looking to take advantage of this convergence of megatrends should keep in mind that the term “middle class” can’t be defined solely by income – parameters vary from country to country. Instead, they should measure consumer diversity, spending flexibility and the “demand landscape” to understand how to tailor goods and services to meet the needs of consumers in developed and developing markets.

"The Middle Class: State of Mind or Share of Wallet", Report, The Nielsen Company, October 08, 2013

"Healthy Snackers" Reveal Some Interesting Preferences

American consumers who prefer to eat healthy snacks look for good taste first of all, then low sugar and high protein, according to a study by market researcher Lab42. The survey also found that the vast majority of self-described healthy snackers – 86 percent – said snacks are important for losing or maintaining weight. Healthy snackers also said they are willing to pay a premium price for a healthy snack, especially “all natural” snacks (87 percent). Seventy percent said the word “organic” on a snack package meant the snack was healthy, while 64 percent felt the same about the words “all natural”.

"Research Reveals Purchase Decisions and Eating Habits of Healthy Snackers", Nutraceuticals World, September 26, 2013

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