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Can General Mills overcome the Annie’s acquisition backlash?

General Mills has defended the future of Annie’s natural and organic snacks under its ownership, but two experts say the company will have to work hard to beat the critics.

Ocean's Halo capitalizes on groundswell of popularity for seaweed chips with organic version

In a sign of how much American palates have changed, Ocean’s Halo Seaweed Chip is building on the success of its original seaweed chip line with a reformulated organic version that will launch at this week’s Expo East trade show in Baltimore.

Best practices in ingredient marketing

Anderson Partners: Ingredient suppliers have a brand story to tell, too

Ingredient suppliers are taking on expanded roles in the packaged food and beverage industry beyond just selling ingredients, from research and development to consulting. 

What new gluten-free product launches, market analysis tell us

The gluten-free definition has been standardized; now what?

Aug. 5 marked the deadline for manufacturers making voluntary gluten-free label claims to ensure they meet the FDA’s definition of a gluten-free food (less than 20 parts per million of gluten). And while gluten-free product launches have risen every year during the past five years, the growth of the market appears to be leveling off. 

COMMODITY REPORTS: USDA

USDA forecasts record global wheat crop

The USDA has said global wheat supplies for 2014/15 will hit record highs, which is good news for stability but quality will be critical for industry, says an analyst.

Retailers are going to reduce the space given to legacy brands

Boulder Brands: Large-cap 'legacy' food & beverage brands face 'Armageddon'

Leading CPG companies are like huge ships that cannot change course quickly enough to address evolving consumer trends, claims the boss of Boulder Brands (which owns the Udi’s Gluten-Free, Earth Balance and EVOL brands). But unless they make some bold strategic decisions now, they face retail ‘Armageddon’.

DIGGING INTO WHEAT TRENDS WITH ARDENT MILLS: PART II

Protein rush: Grain-based products must catch up, says Ardent Mills

The grain-based industry is late to the protein game and they need to catch up because opportunities are vast, says Ardent Mills’ director of consumer insights.

Chia and psyllium: Sterilization and adulteration show importance of choosing suppliers carefully

Recent pathogen outbreaks in raw chia powder and concerns over whether some psyllium is actually food grade highlight the ongoing importance of selecting suppliers wisely, says the CEO of BI Nutraceuticals.

Bread in terminal decline? 'We’re actually very positive about the future of grain-based foods,' says Ardent Mills

Lackluster sales of packaged bread & ready-to-eat cereals might suggest that years of carb-bashing and changing lifestyles have finally driven some grain-based categories into terminal decline. However, flour milling giant Ardent Mills begs to differ.

Meet the 20-something entrepreneur behind quinoa-fueled snacking startup eatKeenwa: ‘You’ve got to be tenacious'

“My background is in sales, so I’m used to dealing with disappointment,” observes the founder of quinoa-based snacking brand eatKeenwa. But for every door that’s been shut in Blake Niemann’s face in the past 18 months, another one has opened. And his tenacity is paying off.

‘The unique characteristics of oatmeal’: Quaker Oats-funded study shows that instant oatmeal keeps hunger at bay from breakfast until lunch

Eating instant oatmeal for breakfast may help to manage hunger better than the leading oat-based, cold cereal, says a new study funded by Quaker Oats with implications for weight management.

News in brief

Diamond Foods bets big on ready-to-eat popcorn as category tops $600m

The US ready-to-eat popcorn category has been “growing in the double-digits for the past 3-4 years” and is now worth “north of $600m in annual [retail] sales”, according to Diamond Foods CEO Brain Driscoll, who says new launches under the Kettle and Pop Secret brands will hit stores this month.

'All-natural’ frustration for Whole Foods: Judge refuses to toss suit over SAPP in baked goods

Three months after a federal judge in California gave the preliminary thumbs up to a $3.4m settlement of a class action lawsuit accusing Trader Joe’s  of falsely advertising products as ‘all natural’, a fellow judge has allowed most claims in a similar lawsuit against fellow retailer Whole Foods Market to proceed.

60-second interview: the day job

What do you do? Blake Waltrip, CEO of Ancient Harvest

In the latest iteration of FoodNavigator-USA’s What do you do interview series, we talk with the boss of organic ancient grain specialist Ancient Harvest about the challenges of long-distance (work) relationships, his move from banking to CPGs and what it takes for a product to hit it big.

Cereal entrepreneurs seek to engage kids in effort to improve category's nutrition

The founders of Bitsy’s Brainfood, which has launched a new line of childrens’ breakfast cereals to go with its cookies, used their experience as mothers and working with kids in eductation and nonprofit organizations to drive their goals for the brand, which is to improve the nutrition of the category in a fun, engaging way.

EWG slams added sugar in kids' cereals; Gen Mills says it's leading the way in sugar reduction

A recent analysis of more than 1,500 cereals, including 181 marketed for children, by the Environmental Working Group found that a person eating an average serving of cereal a day for a year ends up consuming 10 pounds of sugar.

Justice OKs Ardent Mills venture with caveats

The US Department of Justice will allow the formation of Ardent Mills, the largest US flour miller, to proceed if the companies involved sell four competitively significant mills. The massive venture would combine the flour milling assets of ConAgra Mills, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, and Horizon Milling, a joint venture between Cargill and CHS. 

Guest article: Mischa Popoff, author, Is it Organic?

GUEST ARTICLE: Phantom menace of GMOs keeps organic industry off target

I worked for five years as a USDA-contract organic inspector after growing up on an organic grain farm in Saskatchewan. I had the pleasure of inspecting over 500 organic farms and processors, but I began questioning this career path when I realized the organic movement was becoming little more than a political movement, relying increasingly on imports, and aimed at taking farming back in time.

Special edition: Organics & Non-GMO

BI Nutraceuticals boss: If you believe GMOs are safe and provide value, get out there and champion the cause

If biotech’s big guns want to seize the initiative in the GMO debate, they should ditch their defensive strategy (telling consumers why they don’t need GMO labels) and go on the offensive, launching a positive campaign about the merits of GM crops, according to one healthy ingredients supplier.

Hain Celestial: Rudi’s Organic Bakery will be our next $100m brand

There are significant opportunities to grow the Rudi’s Organic Bakery brand, both through increasing distribution and taking it into new categories, says its new owner, Hain Celestial. 

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