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US-China trade relations remain “the biggest millstone around the neck,” says new Rabobank F&A outlook

15 Jan 2019 --- The food and agribusiness sector in China will continue to be volatile throughout 2019, according to the latest RaboResearch China Food and Agribusiness (F&A) Outlook 2019. The sector is facing a slowing economy beset with uncertainties and headwinds, the report notes.

Brexit and packaging: Plastics to be the hardest hit sector in a “no deal” scenario, experts warn

15 Jan 2019 --- The pan-European plastics sector will be the hardest hit in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit scenario, experts are warning. The UK Parliament will vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU Brexit deal later today. MPs are widely expected to vote against the proposed deal, increasing the likelihood of a “no-deal” Brexit. As the historic vote looms large, PackagingInsights asks what a “no-deal” Brexit could mean for the European packaging industry.

Small compounds, big opportunities – nanotechnology in food: Could 2019 be a breakthrough year?

15 Jan 2019 --- Nanotechnology and nanomaterials could offer exciting new benefits to many applications including food, according to the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST). Although there are many applications of nanotechnologies in various industries from electronics to sports goods, only a small percentage of them are currently in the food arena.

A bitter “no deal” surprise? “Hard Brexit would double costs on sugar imports,” Tereos exec warns

15 Jan 2019 --- A “hard” Brexit would have devastating ramifications for the European sugar industry with tariffs of over 100 percent entering into force if no deal is signed prior to the UK’s March 29 exit date from the EU. This is according to Guillaume Planque, Head of Product Management – Sugar & Sweetening Solutions at French-headquartered Tereos, the world’s number 2 sugar producer.

“Lighter formulation”: Fiber thrives amid fat, sugar and salt reduction strategies

15 Jan 2019 --- 2018 saw the introduction and expansion of regulatory pressures in the form of a sugar tax in the UK as the global obesity crisis worsens. In 2019, manufacturers and suppliers are expected to respond to these themes and seek to reduce overall levels of fat, sugar, salt and total calories in a clean and transparent way. The market has become so competitive that manufacturers need to keep their fingers on the consumer pulse. As a result, the notion of “lighter reformulation” has evolved alongside a renewed interest in fiber.

Vegan fast food: The Vurger Co looks to disrupt London’s restaurant scene

14 Jan 2019 --- The “Veganuary” campaign, which runs throughout the month of January, is attracting more people into following a vegan lifestyle or simply cutting down on their meat intake in favor of plant-based alternatives. No longer considered just a “side dish,” vegetables are well and truly at the center of the plate. That is definitely the case for London-based vegan burger chain and start-up The Vurger Co., which now runs two restaurants in the cosmopolitan capital. With its vast plant-based menu focused on burgers, fries, mac ‘n’ cheese and vegan milkshakes, the company is poised to strengthen the profile of vegetables even further. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with Co-Founder and CEO Rachel Hugh who explained how the start-up came about and how it has evolved since receiving crowdfunding back in 2017.

Clamping down on unhealthy food promotions: UK government consults on new price and checkout deal restrictions

14 Jan 2019 --- The UK government has opened a 12-week consultation period asking if there should be more restrictions on how retailers promote food and beverages that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS). It is part of proposed new rules to restrict some retailers from bombarding customers with strategically placed promotions on confectionery, such as price drop offers and multiple buys deals around shop entrances, at the end of aisles and at tills.

Bell Spark Trends 2019: Indigenous and Asian flavors tipped for success

14 Jan 2019 --- Bell Flavors & Fragrances (Bell F&F) has unveiled ten key trends that highlight new innovations within the flavor and fragrance industry, in the company’s fifth edition of its annual Spark trends program. Spark is Bell’s insider resource for new and emerging consumer trends as well as flavor and fragrance inspirations, including indigenous and cultural flavors traditions from Asia, South America and Europe.

Citrus flavors expansion: ADM acquires Florida Chemical Company in US$175m deal

14 Jan 2019 --- Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is set to acquire Florida Chemical Company (FCC), a division of Flotek Industries specializing in citrus-based flavors and fragrances in a deal valued at approximately US$175 million. The transaction, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 and will strengthen ADM’s position in the fast-growing citrus category.

CBD-infused foods tipped for US culinary success in 2019, reveals industry survey

14 Jan 2019 --- Plant-based ingredients, including cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD) ingredients are tipped to be one the hottest overall US culinary trends of 2019, alongside zero waste, new research from the National Restaurant Association has revealed.

Beyond dairy: Chobani launches new plant-based recipe for US market but advocates EU non-dairy labeling rules

14 Jan 2019 --- US yogurt maker Chobani LLC has launched the company's first-ever plant-based non-dairy recipe products which only contain natural ingredients, are low in sugar and are packed with probiotics. By entering the non-dairy space, the company, which spearheaded the US mainstreaming of Greek yogurt, is seeking to capitalize on consumers’ growing interest in plant-based alternatives to products traditionally derived from animal proteins.

Holding steady: Global food prices “broadly stable” in December but 2018 lower than 2017

11 Jan 2019 --- Rising international cereal prices offset declining sugar and dairy quotations in December, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with global food prices remaining “broadly stable” last month. The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 161.7 points in December, compared to a revised level of 161.6 points in the previous month. However, for the whole of 2018, the FFPI was down year-on-year.

rbST free: Kraft Heinz launches Natural Cheese range made from milk without the artificial hormone

11 Jan 2019 --- Kraft Heinz has launched Kraft Natural Cheese, made with milk from cows raised without the artificial growth hormone rbST.

A “no deal” Brexit: European Dairy Association exec warns of “catastrophic” repercussions for highly integrated sector

11 Jan 2019 --- The Secretary General of the European Dairy Association has warned of the “catastrophic” impact that an increasingly likely “no deal” Brexit scenario would have. He foresees repercussions that are far more severe than the Russian ban on dairy imports in 2014, with “a whole new scale of crisis” on the cards. While contingency plans are already in place in terms of stockpiled dairy ingredients, likely consequences will include a temporary consumer price increase on UK sold dairy products in the EU, as new supply chain systems are considered.

Weekly Roundup: Givaudan opens new flavors center in Casablanca, Mane and Akbar Teas partner on tea extracts

11 Jan 2019 --- This week, Givaudan inaugurated a new flavors center in Casablanca, Morocco and French flavor and fragrance house Mane announced a strategic partnership with Sri Lankan tea trader Akbar Brothers. Emmi acquired a blue cheese plant from Great Lakes Cheese Company, in Seymour, Wisconsin, US. Elsewhere, six pectin products from the TIC Gums portfolio received Non-GMO Project Verified status and Baileys, the Irish Cream and premium coffee creamer brand partnered on a new line of coffee creamers with a “reinvented recipe.”

UK retailers suffer worst Christmas in 10 years as Brexit looms, but food offers respite

11 Jan 2019 --- UK retailers have experienced the worst Christmas trading in a decade as sales plummeted during the last festive season before Brexit. Consumers remained cautious despite many of the retailers slashing prices in a bid to encourage spending. However, the food category did show a slight uptick. Supermarket Tesco also defied the trend by posting a trading update with like-for-like sales over Christmas rising 2.2 percent in its UK stores compared with the same period last year.

Lecico takeover by Avril offers organic lecithin expansion opportunities, says MD

10 Jan 2019 --- Lecico’s takeover by major French-headquartered agricultural company Avril will allow the German supplier specialized in lecithins and phospholipids to strengthen its position in the organics space, with increased European production potential. Lecico is currently specialized in organic and non-GM lecithins (soy, sunflower and rapeseeds), as well as special phospholipids (including milk-based) and nutraceutical products.

Are soybean trade tensions easing? China approves DowDuPont GM product

10 Jan 2019 --- China has approved imports of DowDuPont’s genetically modified (GM) soybeans clearing the way for US farmers to expand planting the pesticide resistant Enlist E soybeans. The approval for the soybeans not only poses a challenge to competitor Bayer but also signals that the US and China may be beginning to reconcile trade tensions that have seriously impacted various commodities on both sides for months, including severely damaging the US soybean sector.

Origin, allergies and plant-based eating among key 2019 themes, finds IFIC consumer survey

10 Jan 2019 --- US consumers have a growing appetite for more information about their food and technology is enabling eaters like never before, that is according to Joseph Clayton, CEO of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation. “It’s also driving transparency across the entire food supply chain,” he notes. US consumers also cite broad aspects such as taste, price and familiarity as the top reasons to purchase foods, while also craving a deeper understanding of what they are eating and where exactly it comes from. They want to learn more about the origins of their food and its entire journey from farm to fork, according to the IFIC Foundation.

“Fine cocoa varieties”: Herza launches organic chocolate couverture pieces

10 Jan 2019 --- Herza Schokolade GmbH & Co. KG (Herza) is set to launch new chocolate couverture pieces made from specific fine organic cocoa varieties. The products will be presented for the first time at BioFach 2019 in Nuremberg next month.

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