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Period: May 15, 2017 to June 1, 2017
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

Snack Company Intensifies Focus On Allergy-Free Products

Skeeter Snacks (Chicago, Ill.) has renamed itself the Safe + Fair Food Company to serve the 17 million Americans with food allergies. The company, which makes nut-free snacks sold in schools and on JetBlue flights, said its goal will be to develop food brands that are “safe, accessible, fairly priced and delicious.” The company recently acquired Mama Jess Organics, a maker of organic pasta and enchilada sauces, and is itself developing snacks and meals that further its mission of making it “easy and fun to be safe” from allergic food reactions.

"Passionate Entrepreneurs and Industry Veterans Launch the Safe + Fair Food Company", News release, Skeeter Snacks, May 03, 2017

Food Companies Further Spirit Of Obama-Era Nutrition Programs

The Trump administration’s USDA has made it a top priority to eliminate Obama-era nutrition initiatives. The agency has stalled or rolled back nutrition standards for school lunches, and postponed rules that require restaurants to put calorie counts on menus. But the changes are not having much impact on food companies that have gotten into the spirit of Michelle Obama’s programs, though perhaps not for altruistic reasons. Companies have financial and political motivations for making changes: consumers are clamoring for more healthful foods, and in smaller portions. The upshot is that big food firms are working with the nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America to further the Obama legacy, despite what the new crop of regulators says or does. 

"The one piece of Michelle Obama’s legacy that President Trump can’t wreck", The Washington Post, May 11, 2017

Companies Develop Plant Steroid Dietary Supplement Applications

Several companies have collaborated to introduce food and dietary supplement ingredients applications based on a plant sterol ester that has been approved by the EU (EFSA) for use by European food companies. BASF health unit Newtrition partnered with Aenova and Kappa to develop the Vegapure brand of plant sterol ingredient, made with phytosterols known to reduce high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The ingredient is available in several forms, including capsules, sachets and shots.

"BASF, Aenova and Kappa Develop New Dietary Supplement Applications with Phytosterol Vegapure", Nutrition Insight, May 17, 2017

Opportunities For Confectioners In Asia’s Functional Candy Market

Concerns about health among Chinese consumers have both helped and hindered the country’s confectionery industry, according to Mintel data. On the one hand, there is growing anxiety that the Chinese diet contains far too much sugar. This is reflected in a decline in volume candy sales beginning in 2015, a trend not helped by a general economic slowdown. However, Chinese consumers are buying more functional candy, for example throat-soothing or vitamin C candies. This presents a product development and marketing opportunity for confectionery firms, especially those that analyze the demands of demographic segments in Asian countries. One functional ingredient in candy is collagen, an anti-aging protein. Another is iron, already available in candy in Japan and Taiwan. Associated with good health and energy, iron is beneficial for skin complexions, and often taken to prevent anemia. ]

"China’s Sugar Confectionery Market Declines While Functional Candy Grows", News release, Mintel, May 18, 2017

Study Adds To Evidence Of Health Benefits Of Vegetable-Rich Diet

Spanish scientists who analyzed long-term questionnaire data from more than 16,000 study participants found that those following a vegetarian style diet reduced their risk of obesity by half compared to those whose diet was rich in meat and animal fat. The researchers concluded that a “pro-vegetarian” diet tends to shield its adherents from cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The researchers acknowledged, however, that their study was observational and, while it supports current recommendations regarding plant-based diets, does not confirm a cause-and-effect relationship.

"Eating a Diet Rich in Fruit and Vegetables Could Cut Obesity Risk", News release, study presented at the European Congress on Obesity (Porto, Portugal), May 18, 2017

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