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Period: August 15, 2016 to September 1, 2016
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Company’s Allergen-Free Frozen Snacks Hit Northeast Supermarket Shelves

Incredible Foods said its line of non-dairy, allergen-free frozen treats are now available in supermarkets in New England, New York, and other mid-Atlantic states as far south as Washington D.C. Food allergies affect more than 15 million Americans, including one in every 13 children under 18 years of age, or about two children in every classroom. The low-calorie – 25 to 35 calories each – “perfectly free” frozen treats contain no dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, or shellfish. In addition, they are gluten-free and kosher. The bite-sized snacks comprise a vanilla core covered by a layer of real cherry and blueberry, cocoa or salted caramel.

"perfectly free Allergy-Friendly Frozen Treats Hit Shelves of Major Supermarkets in New England, NY, NJ, Mid-Atlantic States", News release, Incredible Foods, July 13, 2016

Trend Toward Sugar Substitutes Takes Hold In N.Z.’s Soft Drink Industry

Last year, two of New Zealand’s big soft drink manufacturers began offering their flagship colas with the sweetener stevia substituting for sugar. Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) launched Coca-Cola Life; Frucor Beverages followed with Pepsi Next. Both brands contain fewer calories and could have a major impact on cola carbonates generally, and strong growth expected in low-calorie cola carbonates. Euromonitor expects that low-calorie colas will account for almost 50 percent of total cola sales within four years. Energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices are also expected join the no-sugar bandwagon. With that in mind, Euromonitor sees increased efforts to find other sugar substitutes besides stevia.

"Commitment from New Zealand Manufacturers to Reduce Sugar Content in Soft Drinks", Blog post, Euromonitor International, August 07, 2016

Well-Intentioned Government-Funded School Meals Programs Are Making Kids Fat

Low-income students in the Northeast, South, and rural U.S. who participate in federally-subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs are at the greatest risk of becoming overweight, a study has found. The researchers noted that the meal programs are well-intentioned, but are actually contributing to the obesity epidemic among schoolchildren. According to the study, nutrition standards of the subsidized meals programs need to be raised, but in a way that makes the food acceptable and appetizing to children. The study was based on data collected from 21,260 students whose dietary habits were monitored from kindergarten to eighth grade.

"The Influence of School Nutrition Programs on the Weight of Low-Income Children: A Treatment Effect Analysis", Health Economics, August 11, 2016

Toothpastes Come With Toxic Chemicals, Report Says

Toothpastes and mouthwashes sold in the US contain potentially toxic chemical ingredients that pose serious health risks to consumers, according to the Cornucopia Institute. Data from the organization's report, "Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste?," revealed so-called "natural" toothpaste are not necessarily free of these toxic chemicals. Some leading "natural" brands are manufactured by mass-marketed brands, such as Tom's of Maine, which is owned by Colgate-Palmolive. Toothpastes sold in European markets have safer formulations, compared with their US counterparts. According to the Cornucopia Institute, the American Dental Association is "heavily subsidized" by the personal and beauty care industry, raising a conflict of interest.

"Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste", The Cornucopia Institute, August 16, 2016

Big Food Needs To Adjust To Needs Of Millennials To Stay Competitive

A new report by business management consultant A.T. Kearney and The Hartman Group, a food and beverage industry researcher, finds that the largest companies are experiencing slow growth because of the success of small and medium-sized purveyors of products that meet younger consumers' needs. Big Food is growing at a rate of 1.8 percent a year compared with 11 to 15 percent growth for smaller companies. The key to success? Products are delivered when and where Millennials shop and with transparency and authenticity in sourcing, production, and marketing. To compete, big food companies need to provide real food that maintains heart health, digestive health, and higher energy levels.

"Major Food Industry Players Struggle as Smaller Companies Gain a Competitive Edge", News release, A.T. Kearney, August 17, 2016

U.K. Unveils Details Of Plan To Deal With Childhood Obesity

The British government has crafted a plan to fight childhood obesity that asks food and beverage manufacturers to voluntarily trim sugar levels by 20 percent within five years, and five percent in the first year. “Other levers” will be applied if the voluntary targets are not met. The plan includes a two-level sugar tax that treats sugar content of five grams per 100 milliliters differently from sugar content of eight grams per 100 milliliters. The plan does not include a ban on advertising sugary drinks. Lastly, the plan stresses exercise in school, calling for primary school children to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.

"Sugar Tax Included In Strategy To Tackle Childhood Obesity", Retail Week, August 18, 2016

India’s Food Safety Regulator Announces Initiatives To Promote Safe Food

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has unveiled a set of initiatives to promote safe food in a variety of venues. The ten initiatives, launched on the anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, will target homes, schools, offices, trains and railway stations, restaurants and religious facilities. FSSAI, for example, will provide a comprehensive guide to households and create a dedicated website for safe and nutritious food at home. It will  prepare a list of high fat, sugary and salty junk foods to ensure food safety and nutrition in schools. And it will require businesses that provide mid-day meals to be licensed by the FSSAI.

"FSSAI Announces Initiatives to Promote Safe Food Culture", The Economic Times, August 23, 2016

Studies Show Some Oral Care Practices Just Aren’t Worth The Time Or Expense

A review of the evidence regarding current dental health practices finds only a few are effective. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, using a rotating powered toothbrush, prevents gingivitis and cavities. Using fluoride varnish or sealants can be powerful tools to prevent cavities in children. But the evidence just doesn’t support a lot of other common practices. Flossing, though it does seem to prevent gingivitis and is cheap and easy to do, does not prevent cavities. Really questionable practices include expensive (and often painful) scaling and polishing, yearly dental X-rays, semiannual teeth cleanings, filling cavities with costly bonded amalgams, and interdental (WaterPik) brushing in addition to tooth brushing.

"Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Accepted Wisdom About Teeth", The New York Times , August 29, 2016

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