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Weight management and digestive wellness will heavily influence food purchases in 2015

Consumer desire to effectively manage their weight and improve their health through food will continue to influence new product development and sales in 2015, according to New Nutrition Business, a food- and nutrition-focused market research firm. 

Mudd+Wyeth take the nutrition bar category off-leash with YaffBars

To make it in the crowded energy and nutrition bar category, a company needs a great tasting product, top-notch packaging, persistence, fortitude and differentiation, says Mark Brooks, founder of Mudd+Wyeth, a lifestyle company for dogs and their owners. 

NPD watch: Green tea cereal, meat bars and bread for women

Antioxidant-rich cereals, protein-packed snack bars and bread tailored to women’s nutritional needs were just some of the product innovations identified by Datamonitor Consumer during 2014.

The biggest rise was in products making non-GMO or GMO-free claims

Non-GMO, gluten-free, Kosher, vegan, all-natural… What can we learn from claims made on new products in the US in 2014?

Non-GMO, Kosher, gluten-free, ethical, environmentally-friendly, lactose-free, vegan, no additives/preservatives, and on-the-go claims are all gaining more traction on US food labels; while growth in ‘all-natural’- antioxidant- and low/no/reduced sugar/sodium/fat claims has been pretty flat over the past six years, according to Mintel.

Patent Watch

General Mills eyes patent hat-trick for ready-to-bake gluten-free doughs

General Mills has filed three patents for gluten-free doughs that it has developed in ready-to-bake format to offer an alternative to dry mixes.

Gen Z, culinary cannabis, and tea: Top 10 trends for 2015 in specialty foods

The Specialty Food Association has released its Top 10 trends for 2015, with some eyebrow raising predictions on the list. 

Strap: Big interview, Steve Gill, CEO, Talenti

Talenti CEO on why he got into bed with Unilever: ‘Now we can put more flavors and more sizes in front of more consumers, more quickly’

Does selling up mean selling out? Not if you go in with your eyes open, says the boss of Talenti, who has just jumped into bed with Unilever,  but says the premium gelato brand will retain its autonomy, its integrity, and its management team, post the acquisition.

Monsanto exec: GMOs are not the Holy Grail. What they are is an important tool if used properly

Genetically engineered crops are not a magic bullet and some weeds have become resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (RoundUp) used with selected GM crops, said Monsanto’s chief technology officer Dr Robert Fraley in a debate on Wednesday. But that doesn’t mean the whole ag-biotech experiment has ‘failed’ and that we should throw out the GM baby with the bathwater.

Free breakfast in the classroom could “level the academic playing field,” education advocates say

Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day and serving it to students for free offers significant benefits even though a recent study found it did not improve academic performance as hypothesized, health and education advocates argue. 

Rabobank: Agri commodity prices expected to trend lower or remain stable in 2015

Agri commodity process will trend lower or remain stable in 2015, predicts Rabobank, which says favorable growing season conditions through 2014 coupled with moderate consumption growth have improved stocks of crops including soybeans, corn and cocoa.

Gluten-free mug muffin start-up hungry to invigorate market

Gluten-free microwaveable muffins plug a market gap where major food firms are slow to innovate, claims a start-up looking to upscale its muffin pot concept.

Sodium reduction

Advanced technology eases sodium reduction efforts

Advances in technology can help firms more quickly and easily reduce sodium in breads and grain-based packaged foods – a previously repetitive and expensive trial and error process, according to Janice Johnson, food applications leader in salt at Cargill.

Sprouting for ‘superior’ gluten-free bread: Study

Sprouted brown rice flour can increase the protein, lipid and antioxidant activity in gluten-free breads, finds research.

Oldways Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers conference

Sprouted flours are ‘the next big thing,” baker Peter Reinhart predicts

Sprouted grain flour is gaining traction with food manufacturers and consumers alike thanks to its sweeter taste, longer shelf life, increased nutrient bioavailability and overall better baking experience, claims Peter Reinhart, a chef and cookbook author. 

‘Robust’ evidence for GM crop benefits, says meta-analysis

Genetically modified crops offer ‘large and significant’ benefits in both developed and developing countries, according to a new meta-analysis.

The gluten-free category still has room to grow in entrees & decadent desserts, Elevation Brands CEO says

Even though Ian’s Natural Foods specializes in gluten-free foods, the CEO of Elevation Brands is not worried about a negative impact on the firm if the gluten-free fad ever fades because he says the Framingham, Mass., firm’s products hold broad consumer appeal. 

Oldways Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers conference

Schools need manufacturers’ help to meet new whole grain requirements

The higher cost and lack of familiarity with whole grains are complicating some schools’ efforts to comply with requirements to serve 100% whole grains that went into effect last July, according to school dietitians.

General Mills to shut and sell US cereal plant

General Mills will shut down and sell its first cereal manufacturing plant under the $40m cost-cutting program announced earlier this year. 

Oldways Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers Conference

Pseudoscience, taste & cost hinder sales of whole grain products

Consumers’ perception of whole grains have come a long way, but with most Americans consuming only 15% of the recommended daily intake of them, whole grains still have several barriers to overcome before they are fully integrated into the average person’s diet.

The gluten-free diet “fad” may be unsustainable

The increasing number of U.S. adults reducing or eliminating gluten from their diet who are not diagnosed with celiac disease likely is an unsustainable fad, clinical researchers argued at the Whole Grains Council Oldways Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers conference in Boston Nov.  10-12. 

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