Monday, November 27, 2017
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I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
Dave Barry

Leading Off  
Book Review: Uncovering The 'Eight Flavors' Of Modern American Culture
WAMU 88.5 - Vanilla, chili, garlic, soy. We'll taste the "Eight Flavors" that writer Sarah Lohman says now define American cuisine and culture. Flavor is a sensation that goes deep, to taste and smell and memory. The flavors that hold and tell the American story go deep, and all over the world. From the black pepper that Yankee sailors brought back from the East to exotic vanilla, to chili and garlic and soy and the Sriracha sauce brewed up in California by a refugee from Vietnam. Historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman finds America in eight defining flavors - and great stories behind each..... Eight popular and enduring flavors emerged: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG and Sriracha." Read.

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WILD Flavors

- Diageo pulls The Hilhaven Lodge Whiskey
- Unilever looks for successor to CEO Paul Polman
How One City's Soda Tax Disastrously Backfired on Businesses and Poor People
Financial Post - The notion that raising the price of sugary or fatty foods will convince people to consume less of them, and hence reduce obesity rates, has exploded in popularity in recent years. Hungary, Mexico and France now have health-related food or beverage taxes. So do many U.S. cities, including Berkeley, Calif., Boulder, Colo., Philadelphia and (starting next year) San Francisco. Despite eager claims from proponents, however, the impact on obesity is measurably zero in all cases..... Beyond the inability of soda taxes to reduce overall caloric intake, however, recent evidence points to the many ways in which food and drink taxes can cause unanticipated and entirely unpleasant side effects. Consider Philadelphia, which this past January imposed a tax of 1.5 cents (U.S.) per ounce on all sugary and diet soft drinks. It was the city council's third attempt at such a policy. Earlier efforts tried to sell the proposal as a health-promotion tool and failed outright. Only when proponents claimed soda tax revenue was necessary to fund pre-kindergarten education did the idea gain political traction. Read.

Egg Man Starts 3-Month Term as 'Responsible Corporate Official'
DeCoster's sentence begins 7 years after Salmonella outbreak that sickened up to 56,000 in U.S.
Food Safety News
- On Thanksgiving eve, 83-year-old Austin "Jack" DeCoster surrendered to federal prison authorities in Massachusetts, about 40 miles west of Boston. DeCoster traveled from his home in Turner, ME, about 170 miles north of the "administratively secure" Federal Medical Center - Devens (FMC Devens), a unit of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The man who was once among the most significant egg producers in the United States will, for the next three months, be BOP inmate No. 02686-029. Instead of heading the dining room table back in Maine for his family's Thanksgiving dinner, DeCoster found himself sharing a meal with unfamiliar faces at the prison for male inmates needing specialized or long-term medical or mental health care. Read.
Around the Net    
Virtual and augmented reality influence consumers' eating experiences
Deniz Ergurel (blog) - Virtual reality can be utilized to make health-promoting more appealing, a new study by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland reveals. According to the recent study, VR immersion had significant effects on brain signals and consumers' evaluations of the pleasantness of their eating situation and emotional responses. Healthy and nutritious foods are one of the key elements that support vitality and wellbeing. Health-promoting foods can be made more appealing by using digital tools to enhance food properties and the consumer experience. This is a novel approach that is raising interest in both the food and health industry. Many technical opportunities remain underused despite the fast development. Read.
Beverage Industry News & Trends       
Beer giants threaten craft breweries - We're living in a golden age for craft breweries. Data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau show the number of U.S. breweries grew from 398 in 2007 to 5,766 in 2015..... Craft breweries are a great example of innovative new small businesses challenging monopolistic incumbents. More than 98% of all breweries are locally owned small businesses. These are the type of businesses that grow our local economies..... But the beer monopolies are clever. Anheuser-Busch InBev and MolsonCoors sell 71% of all beer in the USA, which leaves very little room for craft breweries. Yet mega-brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev still finds new and more innovative ways to take independence away from these small businesses. Read.
Companies, Categories  & Brands    
Halo Top: Less sugar per scoop, but same taste and texture
Food Business News - A brand featuring reduced sugar has moved to the top of the ice cream category, and other frozen food manufacturers have introduced ice cream varieties with reduced sugar as well. Successful new products may depend upon manufacturers finding the right combination of bulk sweeteners and high-intensity sweeteners from ingredient suppliers. Read.
National Beverage: How LaCroix's Growth Surprised Coca-Cola and PepsiCo - It's just water with carbonation--no calories, no sugars, no artificial ingredients, nothing but zeros on its nutrition labels--and something it calls "natural essence oils." But from those sparse raw materials LaCroix has fashioned a super-brand in the burgeoning healthy beverage market. It's a billion-dollar brand for its parent company, National Beverage, as LaCroix puts to shame competing water offerings from some of the titans of the beverage business. Read.
Product Reviews    
New Peanut Brittle M&Ms Actually Taste Like Something VeryDifferent
Review posted by Kristyn Pomranz at Bravo (blog) - So we were pleasantly surprised when we found out that this season's limited edition M&Ms flavor was something a little surprising -- seasonal, yet perennial; classic, yet contemporary; unexpected, yet obvious -- peanut brittle! ..... Listen, we love peanut brittle. It's salty! It's sweet! It's chewy! It's crunchy! It's got all the flavors and textures we look for in a candy. And then shoved inside an M&M? Forget about it! What could be more delicious? Read.
World Report    
China: P&G and Nestle Stand to Gain From China's Lower Import Taxes - China's new plan to slash import taxes on a wide range of consumer goods promises to boost the prospects of multinationals in the Chinese market, with everything from Procter & Gamble Co.'s diapers to Diageo Plc's whiskey becoming more affordable to local consumers..... The new policy follows President Xi Jinping's call at the October Communist Party conclave to meet citizens' demands for improved living standards and better quality products in the world's largest consumer market. Read.
Finland: This Bakery Wants You to Try its Latest Delicacy: Crushed Insect Bread
TIME - One Finnish company is at the forefront of what it calls is a food revolution: bread made from insects. Finnish bakery and food service company Fazer started rolling out loaves of bread this week with flour made from dried and crushed crickets, which the company says is the first insect-based bread of its kind available to consumers. The bread contains more protein than normal wheat bread, according to Fazer, with each loaf containing about 70 crickets. "It offers consumers with a good protein source and also gives them an easy way to familiarize themselves with insect-based food," Fazer's head of innovation Juhani Sibakov said in a statement. Read.
India: Food Experts Predict the Biggest Trends of 2018 to Look Forward To
NDTV Food - 2017 has been a great year with a lot of buzz in the food industry - from the rise of pop ups to regional food making a comeback and much more. As we come to a close, we can't wait to embrace the trends that the New Year promises to bring. So, what should you be looking forward to in 2018? We asked industry experts to give us cues on what they think will be the biggest food trends of 2018 and here's what they share. Gear up, foodies! Read.
UK: Busy lifestyles lead consumers to skip breakfast - research - Consumers are increasingly skipping breakfast as a result of their on-the-go lifestyles, according to food industry research company Technomic. In its 2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, Technomic revealed that less people are breakfasting now than in 2015, coming largely at the expense of at-home breakfast occasions. The research shows that fewer consumers now than two years ago say that skipping breakfast is unhealthy, meaning that snacks or beverages could increasingly be considered suitable replacements for a full morning meal. Read.
- Philippines: Lower tax urged on sugar sweetened beverages
- Sri Lanka: Coca-Cola Sri Lanka Introduces Sprite Zero

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