Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

All news > All Comments

CLEAN LABEL 2.0: Natural flavors and preservatives, pesticide residues, and Non-GMO in the spotlight

Think 'clean label' just means ditching ‘artificial’ ingredients and avoiding anything attracting negative press (warranted or otherwise)? Think again. Today, brands are also questioning whether ‘natural’ flavors, preservatives and sweeteners are really ‘clean,’ whether Non-GMO claims should only apply to what's in the final product, and whether pesticide residues – even at trace levels – belong in ‘natural’ or ‘clean label’ foods. So where will this all lead?

Will the plant-based ‘milk’ debate prompt a wider probe of federal standards of identity?

According to the National Milk Producers Federation – and 34 members of Congress who wrote to the FDA before Christmas - using the term ‘milk’ on plant-based beverages misleads consumers, harms the dairy industry and violates milk’s standard of identity (lacteal secretions from cows). But where does the FDA stand?   

Brexit bites: Marmite maul will spread far beyond Unilever-Tesco

The spat between Marmite-maker Unilever and supermarket Tesco has made many of the front pages in the UK this morning, but this spreads much further than these two gorillas of the world’s grocery industry. SMEs could be hardest hit. 

Could humor be the secret weapon in the GMO debate?

Attacking biotech companies and spurning ‘artificial’ ingredients will usually generate some positive PR for your business, even if food scientists wearily point out that there are greater threats to our health - and the planet - than GMOs and dough conditioners you can’t pronounce. 

So Häagen-Dazs ‘says no to synbio’?

When it comes to reporting the position of some of the world’s biggest food companies on genetically engineered foods, Friends of the Earth, it seems, has been engaging in some pretty creative PR ‘engineering’ of its own.

Smoke signals: Sugar industry needs to embrace moderation (like the rest of us)

Sugar is not like tobacco. So why does the sugar industry keep borrowing tobacco industry terms? versus Nibblr: Let’s bet peanuts…

It takes no genius to realize that if you deliver ready-made, healthy, portion-controlled snacks to the millennial snacker they’ll gobble the concept right up. What it does take a genius to do is to give that concept legs.

Bad science, good politics? Why the GMO labeling lobby is winning the PR war...

Despite recent renewed efforts, the food industry does not appear to be winning hearts and minds when it comes to persuading the public of the merits of GM crops, or why mandatory labeling of ingredients derived from them would be a bad idea.

International Congress of Nutrition: Big food booed for coming…but rude not to?

Thousands of nutritionists gathered in Granada, Spain, last week for the 20th International Congress of Nutrition. It was a huge event with eight simultaneous streams of seminars over a full week.

Campbell’s ‘fresh-brewed’ soup in a K-cup: The next big thing in healthy convenience or an overpriced instant soup?

On paper, it looks like a winner. Why not put Campbell soup in a K-Cup? It’s worked for coffee, tea and hot chocolate. And it beats donuts if you get the mid-afternoon munchies and don’t want to be consumed with guilt for the rest of the afternoon.

Lab grown meat? Surely it's a matter of taste...

I think everybody agrees that in vitro production of meat could have big potential in solving world hunger. But the technology will not be to everybody's tastes ... and until the technical challenges of flavour are addressed I imagine it will be to nobody's tastes!

Has the IOM clarified the message on sodium reduction, or just muddied the waters?

Read the full May 14 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report ‘Sodium intake in populations’ -all 200 pages of it - and the conclusion is clear: Excessive sodium consumption is bad for your heart, and all Americans need to cut back - a lot. 

Our inalienable right to a Big Gulp: But is Bloomberg’s soda ban really an assault on our freedoms?

Americans have rights. To bear arms, to enjoy free speech, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They also have the right - argue opponents of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s super-size soda ban - to drink a 44oz soda containing more than 30 teaspoons of sugar, if they so wish.

Don’t take yer guns to town AB InBev, the Sheriff he’s a-waitin’…

With the US Department of Justice (DOJ) gunning to takedown AB InBev’s $20bn takeover of Grupo Modelo, the firm likely prefers peace talks in the Sheriff’s office to a High Noon-style shootout.

‘This is why I’m drunk’…and straight talkin' US beer trends in 2012

Journalists are loathe to credit rivals with originality, in terms of admitting you were beaten to that big lead or story, but I’m in a charitable mood, feeling a little fragile, the morning after our office Christmas party.

Pharma seeks bigger dose of booming nutra sector

In just a few years the global health and wellness (H&W) products sector will be worth $1 trillion dollars – that’s a lot of billion dollar blockbuster drugs.

Smell a rat? Flawed GM cancer study highlights flawed media approach

A French study on the effects of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize in rats has said little about the safety or otherwise of GM crops – but it has said plenty about how the media can be used to push an agenda.

Breakfast cereal in China: Snap, crackle… and flop

Western breakfast brands don’t often work in China. They need manipulating to appeal to very different tastes, packaging and format preferences and, of course, another language.

Organic nutrition: Does it really matter?

Yesterday a large scale scientific review revealed that organic produce may not be more nutritious than ‘conventionally’ produced goods. But since that isn’t the main reason people buy them, does it really even matter?

Yes on 37? No on 37? Everyone’s a loser…

It doesn’t matter whether you support Prop 37 or oppose it; whatever happens in November when Californians vote on whether or not to label GMOs, everyone loses.

US girls just wanna have fun: Are you kidding PepsiCo?

OK, I confess, I am becoming fun averse. Given a choice between 24/7 full-on ‘fun’ and a cup of cocoa and an early night, as my years advance I’m inching closer to the jar of Green & Black’s and the light switch.

Leather jacket or straightjacket? Energy drinks have an image problem

As reports surface that New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, has subpoenaed Monster and PepsiCo in relation to their energy drinks, we ask whether the segment can keep its leather-jacketed cool...

Move more…but please don’t eat less: Why industry should stress ‘calories in’ to fight obesity

The more we move, the slimmer we will become, right? However, with ballooning obesity rates over the past 30 years, research suggests that this is not the case. US adults are moving more than ever – but eating more than ever too.

Coke won’t kick the can in Bolivia, but must dance diplomatic can-can...

Bolivian officials have swiftly moved to play down reported remarks by the nation’s flamboyant foreign minister that the government would kick Coca-Cola out of the country by the end of the year.

What's the point of dietary guidelines if they don't reflect real-world diets?

Last week, researchers published findings from dietary data collected from thousands of individuals over 40 years, saying that only nine people out of 20,000 ever met the joint guidelines for both sodium and potassium – and even then, only within diets that lacked in other respects. Have we set the bar too high?

Key Industry Events