sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 01:47 PM
If Coca-Cola and Cargill aren't on the horn already, they should be. Coke is staking the future of calorie-reduced soft drinks on stevia, and ingredient giant Cargill is staking its future in that segment on stevia-based ingredient systems.
Meanwhile, PepsiCo is approaching the future of calorie reduction in soda from a different direction. CEO Indra Nooyi recently pooh-poohed the long-term usefulness of stevia, so her company reportedly has steered toward an intriguing alternative: a new chemical called S617 that cuts the amount of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup required in beverages to obtain the same sweet taste.
One thing is for sure: Both soft-drink giants have to do something. US soda consumption last year declined by 1.2 percent, which brought the category back down to 1996 levels, according to Beverage Digest. And even diet-soda consumption has begun to hit the skids as American consumers appear increasingly concerned about artifical sweeteners and are turning away from soft drinks to alternative beverages as a whole.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2013 12:46 PM
American commercial sponsors of US Olympics teams have long helped the home-country effort in lots of ways beyond buying ads on TV telecasts, ranging from employing olympians while they're training to broad efforts to boost American hopes such as that launched for the 2012 Summer Olympics by Procter & Gamble.
And with US medal hopes suffering a number of blows in the weeks before the games begin in February in Sochi, Russia, it may be all the more important for brands to do their parts to be helpful to American olympians.
One example of that assistance will come from Blue Diamond Almond Growers, which is an official sponsor of the US Ski, Snowboarding and Freeskiing teams heading into olympics season. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 29, 2013 06:12 PM
Now in its 12th year, the Electrolux Design Lab charges design-oriented entrants to create sustainable solutions for the home and beyond.
This year's competition, which opens March 1, focuses on creating healthy homes and offers a six-month paid internship and a 5,000 euro prize for winning design.
“Homes become more important as the challenges in the urban environment grow and as a result we want our homes to be the center of relaxation and peace of mind,” said Stefano Marzano, Chief Design Officer, Electrolux. “Design Lab is one way for Electrolux to build an innovation culture. In 2014 we are looking forward to receiving creative ideas on the theme Creating Healthy Homes, to help shape the future of people’s everyday lives into a positive direction and present propositions that envision healthy and sustainable lifestyles.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2013 10:20 AM
Sales of almonds and almond products are going nuts around the world, and Blue Diamond is both driving and benefiting from the surge: Its branded consumer business in North America, for example, increased by 30 percent to $469 million in the fiscal year just ended.
Overall, at least four factors are benefiting the global almond trade even though this year's crop was basically flat in California, which accounts for about 80 percent of global supply: good news on health, consumers' retreat from soy milk, a rising consumption boom abroad, and Blue Diamond's branded efforts.
Evidence continues to mount surrounding the healthful properties of nuts, such as a new study keyed by Harvard that shows a link between nut consumption and longer life. Meanwhile, as more American consumers abandon soy milk as their chief non-dairy alternative, almond-milk sales (such as Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze line) have picked up most of the slack—and actually began outselling soy milk in overall US sales earlier this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2013 04:32 PM
23andMe, the brainchild of Google co-founder Sergey Brin's estranged wife, Anne Wojcicki, has received a lot of press for its surprisingly accessible genetic mapping service, but the latest headlines aren't in praise of the mail-order spit test. In fact, the FDA has demanded that the company cease marketing of its $99 kit, citing the risk of false results that could lead consumers to undergo unnecessary health procedures.
In a stern letter issued on Monday, the company, whose stated mission is “to be the world's trusted source of personal genetic information,” was told to “immediately discontinue marketing the PGS until such time as it receives FDA marketing authorization for the device."
The company’s saliva-based test identifies 240 genetic traits and can provide information such as if biological children are at risk for inherited health conditions, personal genetic health risks and likely drug responses. But the warning given to the Google- and Johnson & Johnson-backed company is just the latest as a heated debate continues over direct-to-consumer genetic testing and claims made by 23andMe.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 07:09 PM
It's World Toilet Day again, but this is no occasion for bathroom humor. Lack of sanitation is one of the biggest scourges in the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines, and it's a broad global problem every day as well. Celebrities ranging from Bill Gates to Matt Damon are tweeting today just to let us know how seriously they take the observance.
The fact is that an estimated 2.5 billion people, or about one in three global denizens, doesn't have access to a toilet or to sustainable sanitation. That means, according to one measure, more people have cell phones than have an adequate toilet. In India, the United Nations said, about 1.1 billion people—about half the population—defecate in the open.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 15, 2013 06:02 PM
McDonald's retains its long-term growth goals despite its troubles in 2013. But the chain certainly is tweaking how it plans to reach them, with new efforts ranging from selling McCafe coffees in supermarkets with Kraft to its first Happy Meal tie-in with the National Football League. And along the way, McDonald's is trying to figure out how it lost the "quick" in its quick-serve.
CEO Don Thompson said at the company's investor conference this week that McDonald's has suffered from an iffy consumer economy, and labor- and commodity-cost pressures. The company also has been hamstrung by its own poor execution in areas that have included the less-than-stellar sales performance of its steady menu of new Limited Time items, such as Mighty Wings chicken wings.
But the most problematic area for McDonald's may be that its US customer service has suffered recently, in part because it has introduced too many of those new menu items, too quickly, for its operations to adjust efficiently.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2013 12:51 PM
It's no longer enough to just go for a run. Athletes and first-steppers alike are more data driven than ever, feeding off of fitness apps that tell them how many steps they've taken, their heart rate, calories burned and so on. After all, if it can be measured, it can be improved.
Following the runaway success of personal fitness trackers like Nike's FuelBand, main competitor Under Armour has announced that it has acquired MapMyFitness for about $150 million. It may not have cost UA too much, but the addition of the new technology will lift the company to a whole other level in the fitness business.
The one differentiator that will set UA apart (and perhaps above) competitors? MapMyFitness analyzes data from multiple mobile device brands and operating systems, unlike Nike's FuelBand, which works exclusively with Apple's iOS.Continue reading...