Friday, May 25, 2018

Previous Morning Cup - Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Contact Editor & Publisher Bob Messenger at 847-312-1799

Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can't accept your imperfections, that's their fault.
Dr. David M. Burns

Leading Off  
So Many Diets... So Little Time
Column posted by Bob Messenger, Editor, The Morning Cup (E-mail) - There are so many diets out there (Keto, Paleo, South Beach, Jenny Craig, blah-blah), you need a calculator to keep count. And you know what? Most are a bunch of hooey. Yeah, you can lose weight in a hurry with some of these diets, but most times the pounds you lose come right back, eventually. The only REAL diet is moderating your food consumption. That can work forever. But hard to do, I suppose, in a country where food is so abundant and available.
-- Putting pineapple on pizza is like putting ketchup on ice cream. No one does that, right? And putting bug parts, charred animal bones and duck feathers in popular foods we eat is like, well, gross, but apparently the norm. Read the story here.
-- New Product Idea? Cheetos Dust, which can be sprinkled on a variety of dishes. My granddaughter recently made something she called 'Cheetos Chicken', fried chicken breasts dusted with crushed Cheetos. Pretty darn good, actually. And I'm not a Cheetos fan!

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WILD Flavors

Chocolate, Cinnamon, and Unicorns: Inside the Last-Ditch Effort to Save Sugary Cereals (press release) - Kellogg is digging into its bag of tricks to get Americans excited about cereal again. For the first time in 10 years, Kellogg is launching a new Froot Loops flavor -- Wild Berry. A purple star will join the cereal's blend of bright red, blue and green rings for a "berry-inspired mix." The update to Froot Loops is Kellogg's latest effort to revive consumers' shrinking appetites for sugary cereals. But instead of running away from sugar, Kellogg is leaning into its classic brands..... Kellogg is trying to rebrand cereal as an anytime-of-day meal that fits in the morning, as an afternoon snack or an evening desert -- "Whatever Froots Your Loops" is the new tag line for the Froot Loops brand. It is selling bagged cereals to make them more snackable. "The companies are likely diversifying their marketing strategies to try to capture new occasions," AllianceBernstein analyst Alexia Howard said. "Everybody is trying to reposition themselves into the snacking space." Read.

Big Food's Exodus of Leaders is a Symptom of Larger Crisis
CNBC - Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison is out, and -- with that -- the fifteenth CEO of a packaged food company has left their job since the beginning of 2016. The parade of departures -- which includes Kellogg's John Bryant and Mondelez International's Irene Rosenfeld -- underscores the challenges to iconic food brands that had been grocery store staples for decades. They struggle to create growth in the face of upstart rivals, rapidly changing trends and their own slower-paced cultures. If they want to buy growth, there are limited and expensive options. They are also a victim of their predecessors' success. The scale that once gave CEOs power at the grocery store and yielded cost savings now makes it harder to casually shift away from legacy businesses. Campbell could cut down on soup production, but it would still have the fixed costs of stocking and shipping. It is, therefore, a challenge for a CEO to gather support from a company to shift its focus from namesake money-makers to bets on growth... Read.

Ferrara Candy CEO: 'We're Unapologetically and Exclusively Focused on the Confection Space'
"So if we think about Butterfinger, we know exactly where we want that to play and win, so if we think about an investment strategy that consists of all of the elements I spoke to earlier, including additional innovation and additional brand support, but the same is true for Crunch, SweeTarts, Trolli and Black Forest, as we think about some of our larger leading brands. But then we have a whole series of emerging growth brands like Nerds, LaffyTaffy, Now and Later, that also enjoy and have enjoyed historical growth ... Baby Ruth, 100 Grand ... that we think are just on the tipping point, on the verge of additional breakthrough growth."
Todd Siwak, chief executive officer of Ferrara Candy Co., quoted at Food Business News. Read.
Around the Net    
Organic Consumers Are Happy With Their Choice
Pork Magazine - Despite the presence of pesticides in equal amounts, organic consumers won't switch. A recent study found pesticide levels in organically grown foods is equal to that of conventionally grown foods. That's right, consumers are paying more for organic foods to avoid pesticides but it's not helping. Think they'll switch to conventionally grown foods? Not likely, according to NPD's National Eating Trends... Read.
- Albertsons is buying Thrifty ice cream, a West Coast staple
Beverage Industry News & Trends       
Wine is growing - but in a more challenging environment - California wine sales in the US reached $35.2bn in 2017, up 3% from the previous year, and representing a 15% rise in the past decade. But the industry must deal with rapid changes in the retail landscape, and a diverse range of consumers, to enjoy continued success. One consistent trend is premiumization, according to California wine industry body Wine Institute, which says that California's wines are well-positioned for growth in this category. Read.
Brand Management/Marketing    
Quick responses, transparency build trust in brands
Food Business News - Responding quickly and being transparent are two ways consumer product goods companies may gain trust in their brands from consumers, according to the 2018 edition of BrandSpark International's Most Trusted Awards released May 23. "While trust in the brand is anchored in personal experience, it is increased by transparency, fair pricing and the endorsement of other consumers," said Robert Levy, president and chief executive officer of New York-based BrandSpark International, a market research firm. "Establishing trust is also important for brands that want to innovate as our study shows that 71% of shoppers try new products from brands they trust the most." Read.
Category Update: Meal Kits    
Kroger buys Home Chef, maker of meal kits
MarketWatch - Kroger Co. is buying Home Chef, the largest private meal-kit company in the U.S. by sales, its second deal in as many weeks aimed at bolstering the supermarket chain's online business. The deal -- $200 million initially and up to $700 million if Home Chef hits performance targets -- comes about a week after the Cincinnati-based grocer took a roughly $250 million stake in British online grocery operator Ocado Group PLC. The companies are poised to open a series of automated warehouses for grocery delivery in the U.S. Read.
Category Update: Peanut Butter    
Is peanut butter actually good for you? - It's an easy grab and a favorite food for many families -- but is peanut butter actually good for you? Peanut butter has a boost of protein, but that doesn't mean it is always a good choice for a healthy diet. According to parents, their 7-year-old eats peanut butter four to five times a week. Americans overall eat about four pounds of peanut butter per person per year..... "A lot of the fat in peanut butter is actually good fat -- it's healthy for you," said Julia Calderone. "So if you're going to choose a low fat peanut butter, you might be missing out on some of the benefits that make it especially good for you." Read.
Category Update: Snack Foods    
Are impulse snack purchases under siege? - Nearly 70% of in-store snack purchases are unplanned -- indicating that impulse snack shopping is a shared habit among most consumers, Euromonitor senior analyst Jared Koerten said at the Sweets & Snack Expo in Chicago... "It doesn't matter if you cut the data by income, it doesn't matter if you cut the data by age -- it's a universal trait among shoppers,"​ Koerten said. Impulse snack purchases are still seen most clearly in the convenience channel, which holds a 16% share of all snacks sales and has grown by 27% since 2012, significantly faster than the market average. Read.
Companies, Categories  & Brands    
Litehouse Releases Organic Spoonable Dressing Line
ProjectNOSH - Litehouse, Inc., a 100 percent employee-owned company and the No. 1 Refrigerated Salad Dressing (RSD) brand in the U.S. and Canada, is putting a spin on its classic, creamy dressing flavors with new Litehouse Organic Spoonables. Serving up a delicious organic option for traditional dressing flavors like Ranch and Caesar, Litehouse Organic Spoonable dressings are Certified USDA Organic, Certified Gluten Free and non-GMO. Read.
Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs: This Family Egg Farm Just Waged War With the FDA Over the Word 'Healthy' - Jesse Laflamme spent years trying to save his family's third-generation egg farm from bankruptcy, including waking up every day at 4 a.m. to rouse stubborn hens. Today, with $177 million in annual revenue, Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs is the No. 2 egg brand in the country--yet it's once again staring down impossible odds: getting the FDA to change its rules on what it considers "healthy." ..... To Laflamme, the CEO of Pete & Gerry's, the FDA's delay is insult to injury. "It's so antiquated and out of touch. The idea that a toaster pastry--a Pop Tart--is healthy or that Jell-O is healthy is crazy... We know we are shortchanging ourselves by not being able to say eggs are healthy," says Laflamme. "This is stupid and it's time to fight back." Read.
Vermont Coffee Company announces 100% renewable biogas-powered coffee roastery -Vermont Coffee Company has started using 100% renewable biogas to roast its coffee, with thermal and electric energy sourced from renewable methane. The organic coffee company says it is the first US coffee roaster to achieve this goal, that has taken a long time to achieve. Read.
Fish & Seafood    
Scientists say fish feel pain. It could lead to major changes in the fishing industry
Washington Post - Fish feel pain. Read that sentence again: Fish feel pain. The idea that fish suffer runs counter to almost everything Americans have been taught about creatures of the sea. That their brains are not complex enough to experience pain. That their behaviors when stressed -- such as wriggling violently on a hook -- are just unconscious reactions, disconnected from the suffering of sentient beings. That they're, more or less, unfeeling little meat sticks that don't deserve animal welfare protections. Read.
Flavors & Ingredients: The Suppliers    
Kerry eyes up growth of protein juice, water and energy drinks - With protein seeing continued interest from mainstream consumers, a new world of 'protein refreshment' is emerging, says Irish dairy and ingredients supplier Kerry - with increased demand for protein boosts in lighter, refreshing beverages such as water, juice and energy drinks. Coupled with that is increased demand for plant-based, clean label products: the plant protein market is forecast to be worth more than $15.3m by 2022. Read.
- Chr. Hansen launches new starter cultures designed for white cheese
Food Safety    
Stop & Shop Issues Frozen Broccoli Recall After Test At Connecticut Store Sparks Listeria Concerns
Hartford Courant - Frozen broccoli contaminated with potentially dangerous "listeria monocytogenes" bacteria has been found at Stop & Shop's store on Ellington Road in South Windsor, and the chain is recalling the product. State food inspectors found the listeria-tainted, 16-ounce "Private Brands Frozen Broccoli Broccoli Cuts" during a routine test of sample products at the store... Read.
- Uno Foods Recalls Ham and Cheese Calzones Due to Misbranding
Foodservice Industry /News & Trends    
NRA Show 2018 Reflects the Importance of Technology in Foodservice
CSNews Online - Thousands of new products, services and equipment were on display at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Show, ready to meet the needs of every type of foodservice operator. But for the foodservice industry at large, and the convenience store market in particular, the most significant trend seen was innovative technology that can help retailers step up their offerings, or just do better with what they already have. Here's a roundup of the technology highlights spotted by Convenience Store News at the show... Read.
- Chipotle moving headquarters from Colorado to California
Pet Food Industry News & Trends    
Merrick dog treats recalled due to elevated thyroid hormone
Food Safety News - Merrick Pet Care has announced a voluntary recall of certain Castor & Pollux and Merrick Backcountry dog treats after one of the products was found to contain elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone. The problem was discovered as a result of a consumer complaint lodged with the US Food and Drug Administration. Read.
World Report    
Canada: Canadians deeply divided over genetically modified food, study shows
Financial Post - If there's one clear finding that emerges from a new study on genetically modified food in Canada, it's that Canadians are confused about it. A survey of consumer attitudes about genetic engineering plant-based and animal-based foods released Thursday finds that the majority of Canadians -- 56.3 per cent -- believe that genetically modified (GM) food is thoroughly tested before it reaches consumers, compared with just 16 per cent who disagree. Read.
India: Can Pepsi regain youngistaan?
Economic Times - Ahmed El Sheikh, 51, first expat chief executive and president of PepsiCo India, where Indians have been at the helm for nearly three decades, is the proverbial outsider. "India is not a country, it's a continent - it is complex and large." Egyptian-origin Sheikh's first cut about his new challenge seems quintessential expat narrative. While he's worked in complex markets such as Egypt and Jordan, the mandate for Sheikh is to hit the ground running... Read.
- Costa Rica coffee farmers brew up a carbon neutral future

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