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General Mills invests in organic to boost sales, ‘do the right thing’

General Mills’ splashy commitment last year to double the number of organic acres it sources from by 2019 not only is a strategic business move to boost sales, but part of a larger effort to “do the right thing,” according to the company’s organic ambassador. 

Increased research, consumer education & land access top organic industry’s wish list for Farm Bill

Increased funding for research to improve production tops the organic industry’s wish list of policy actions that it wants legislators and regulators to consider as they begin in earnest the long process of reauthorizing the Farm Bill, which is slated for 2018. 

Plant-based protein a 'strategic growth platform' says Maple Leaf Foods as it strikes $140m deal to buy Lightlife Foods

Four months after Tyson Foods took a 5% stake in plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat, Canadian packaged meats giant Maple Leaf Foods has struck a $140m deal to acquire plant-based protein maker Lightlife Foods from Brynwood Partners.

Seafood manufacturers tackle causes of low consumption with new flavors & convenient packaging

Building on the momentum of FDA’s recent guidance that women and children should eat more fish, several seafood manufacturers are launching new products that could help the industry come closer to clearing the remaining barriers that have long blocked sales in the US.

Is food deflation easing? Food-at-home index flat in January

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food-at-home — a proxy for grocery-level inflation — was flat in January, after months of declines, with higher prices in eggs, dairy, meat, fish & poultry offset by lower prices for fruits & vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, cereals and bakery products.

Snacking Innovation Summit trend-watching: Mini-meals, tapas-style eating, and hero SKUs

The trend towards continuous grazing throughout the day will create new ‘multi-temperature’ snacking opportunities for manufacturers as a ‘tapas-style’ approach to eating gains momentum, predicted panelists at the FoodNavigator-USA/BakeryandSnacks snacking innovation summit.

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Paid influencers make big impact with small budget in hot sauce category

From restaurants’ fixation with ghost peppers to the presence of sriracha on dining tables across the country and chili pepper in everything from snack chips to hot chocolate, it is probably safe to say that America is obsessed with all things spicy. 

Bone broth sales more than tripled in 2016, albeit off a very small base

The bone broth category (shelf-stable and refrigerated) is pretty small in the scheme of things, but it’s growing rapidly, with US retail sales more than tripling to $19.7m in the 52 weeks to Jan 22,* fueled by a small but highly engaged set of health conscious consumers, Paleo enthusiasts and Whole30 fans, says one fast-growing player.

Legislators & industry tackle food waste by easing donation guidelines & tightening expiry labeling

Legislation aimed at redirecting food that would be wasted to hungry Americans would make it easier for stakeholders to donate food and reduce the risk that consumers prematurely throw away food that they erroneously believe has spoiled.

High prices, consumer confusion & store placement hold back organic from full sales potential

Sales of natural and organic products may be steadily increasing – and even outpacing that of the overall food industry – but three main barriers continue to hold them back from their full potential, suggest new research. 

Pasta Chips, Bow Ties, on course to generate revenues of $15m in 2017

From edgy to mainstream: Finding the sweet spot in the snacks market

Snack brands that want to break through the $2-3m revenue barrier have to appeal to mainstream shoppers as well as trend-setters in New York or L.A. says serial snacking entrepreneur and CPG veteran Jerry Bello, who says his latest innovations – Pasta Chips and Bow Ties – are on course to generate combined revenues of around $15m in 2017.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA AT THE 2017 WINTER FANCY FOOD SHOW

KRAVE Jerky general manager: It’s our flavors that differentiate us

When KRAVE burst onto the scene in 2010, its all-natural credentials, premium packaging and gourmet flavors gave it a unique point of difference in the sluggish meat snacks market. Since then, however, scores of new entrants have started muscling in on its territory. So how can it stay ahead of the curve?

Consumer food safety education must be reinforced to ‘reap the rewards’ of FSMA, FDA official says

As the deadlines for regulations painstakingly developed under the Food Safety Modernization Act begin to go into effect, compliance by producers, suppliers and manufacturers alone will not be enough to stop food borne illness outbreaks, a top FDA official warns. 

Meal kits may increasingly bite into grocery meat sales, Nielsen data suggests

It's been a tough few years for the meat sector, said Meagan Nelson, associate director for fresh growth and strategy at Nielsen. Despite the many new roadblocks for the category (think non-meat protein competition and meal kits), there are strategies grocery stores and meat producers can embrace to drive consumer purchases.

Seafood group ramps up educational resources

The nonprofit Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) has announced the availability of new online education programs and resources aimed at teachers and individuals to promote the benefits of a seafood-rich diet. 

FDA & USDA push forward plan to update how genetically modified organisms are regulated

FDA and USDA push forward a strategy to modernize how genetically modified organisms are regulated that was created in part with the Executive Office of the President under the Obama Administration even as President Trump took office with the promise to undo much of what his predecessor advanced. 

‘Final advice’ on fish consumption from FDA & EPA could boost seafood product sales

New guidance and an easy-to-use reference chart from EPA and FDA encouraging Americans – especially pregnant and nursing women and parents of young children – to eat more fish could boost sales of seafood products, including ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare options.

News in brief

Sonny Perdue must 'expand market opportunities for all types of agriculture,' says NFU

It’s been a long time coming, but President elect Trump has chosen his agriculture secretary - former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue – pleasing some food and farming associations, but alarming Friends of the Earth.

Final rule clarifies animal welfare standards under organic seal even as its own fate is uncertain

Even though a final USDA rule strengthening animal welfare standards squeaked into the Federal Register today before the new administration takes control of country, the rule may not be safe from repeal, like so many others finalized under Obama’s leadership. 

$2.5M from Aqua-Spark will help Love The Wild transition to 100% aquaculture farmed fish

With an investment of $2.5 million from Aqua-Spark, startup seafood meal kit maker Love The Wild hopes to change the way Americans eat fish and perceive aquaculture farming, which has a notoriously bad reputation. 

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