News

  • 15 Jul
    Mexico – Kerry launches new world-class taste facility

    Mexico – Kerry launches new world-class taste facility

    Kerry, the world-leading taste & nutrition company, has announced the opening of its new taste facility in Latin America, which will serve mainly Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Andean region. Located in Irapuato, Mexico, the new state-of-the-art facility will significantly increase Kerry’s capacity in the region and further support customers in delivering local and sustainable taste solutions.
    This new site expands Kerry’s offerings across a number of food and beverage categories, including refreshing and alcoholic beverages, snacks, meat, dairy and bakery. It will also play an important role in enabling Kerry’s ambition to bring sustainable nutrition solutions to more than two billion people by 2030 around the globe, say the company. Aligned with the company’s commitments under their Beyond the Horizon strategy, the facility incorporates world leading processes and technologies that will support the company’s environmental goals. These capabilities, combined with expertise across sustainable innovation, marketing insights, research, development and applications, and sensory science, will enable Kerry to co-create with customers, exciting products that will be consumed across the region.

    “COVID-19 has impacted consumer behaviour and taste preferences across Latin America, and companies need to be in a position to understand and respond to these evolving dynamics. This new taste facility allows us to deliver on consumer demands across the region and we look forward to working with customers to bring innovative taste solutions to satisfy consumer needs and create a world of sustainable nutrition,” said Marcelo Marques, President and CEO of Kerry Latin America.
    Commenting on the announcement, Edson Cortes, Taste Lead for Kerry Latin America, added: “Mexico boasts 35% of the taste market in the Latin America region and presents solid opportunities for growth and innovation. With sustainability at the core of our Taste portfolio, this site will also enable us to deliver tailored solutions for customers in the regions. This important investment positions Kerry as the leader in the flavours market in Latin America as we seek to consolidate our position in the market and deliver great taste solutions with our customers.” Kerry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Jul
    Europe – Soft drinks industry poised to slash added sugar by 10% in Europe as industry sets new 2025 target

    Europe – Soft drinks industry poised to slash added sugar by 10% in Europe as industry sets new 2025 target

    The Union of European Soft Drinks Associations (UNESDA) has revealed its enhanced health and nutrition targets to help Europeans manage their intake of added sugars from soft drinks with a pledge to reduce sugar by a further 10% by 2025. The new targets will represent a 33% overall reduction in average added sugars over the last two decades, building on past sugar reduction milestones that the industry achieved from 2015 to 2019 (14.6% reduction on average) and from 2000 to 2015 (13.3% reduction on average).

    Nicholas Hodac, Director-General of UNESDA, says these new goals are “very ambitious,” and the soft drinks industry will accelerate the speed and scale of its sugar reductions.  “However, we are very confident that we will deliver on our new pledge. We will do so through increasing our efforts on the reformulation of existing products and innovation of new products, including using low-calorie sweeteners.”

    Further, UNESDA will introduce products in smaller pack sizes to support portion control and continue to invest in the promotion of no- and low-sugar products to drive consumer choice toward healthier products. The European Association of Sugar Manufacturers, CEFS, stands behind the objective of the Farm to Fork Strategy.

    Currently, no soft drinks are advertised anywhere in Europe to children younger than 12 years old, where the audience consists of more than 35% of this age group. However, taste is a key driver of consumer preference, and it is important to raise the acceptance of beverages with lower sweetness. Kerry’s solutions, such as TasteSense Sweet, address side effects from sweeteners and enhance mouthfeel attributes while delivering balanced taste and sweetness from interactions with taste receptors. Manufacturers adopt various strategies in response: reformulate their main brand along healthier lines or keep the original but develop an alternative offering a healthier option, for instance, 30% fewer sugars.  FoodIngredientsFirst

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Jul
    Global – Refresco announces acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN

    Global – Refresco announces acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN

    Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, announce it has entered into an agreement to acquire HANSA-HEEMANN. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

    HANSA-HEEMANN, headquartered in Rellingen, Germany, is a family-owned, independent beverage manufacturer with five production sites spread across Germany. The vast majority of HANSA-HEEMANN’s volume (60%) is in mineral water, with the remaining 40% of its volume in carbonated soft drinks (CSD). HANSA-HEEMANN serves three different market segments: private label, own brands, and contract manufacturing for A-brands. HANSA-HEEMANN employs over 800 people with an annual revenue of approximately EUR300 million.

    Water is the largest category within the non-alcoholic beverage market. The landscape is highly competitive and rapidly changing with many smaller local and regional players who maintain a strong foothold. Branded players with a wide range of water products are looking for opportunities to grow with retail discounters. In addition, the focus on sustainability continues resulting in for example, increased demand for recycled PET and reduction in operational carbon footprint. Refresco

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Jul
    US – Suspension of OJ Brix Level Sought

    US – Suspension of OJ Brix Level Sought

    For most months during the 2020-21 Florida citrus season, oranges did not meet the federal minimum standard of 10.5 degrees Brix for NFC OJ according to a slide shown during Florida Citrus Mutual’s recent annual meeting, the average Brix level for oranges during the season was 10.45. Brix is a measure of the sugar content of juice. Consequently, Mutual, the state-wide grower association, will lead an effort to have the federal Food and Drug Administration temporarily suspend enforcement of the minimum Brix level. The low Brix levels were not the only concern during the past citrus season. Mutual CEO Mike Sparks reported there were increased imports of Mexican OJ in 2020-21. He said Mutual will continue to monitor those imports and other trade issues “for any improprieties.”

    Sparks also had good things to report about the season. He said US Department of Agriculture purchases of OJ totalled USD132 million, and that US OJ sales skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said there have been improvements to the federal H-2A program which allows the use of seasonal temporary workers. The vast majority of Florida citrus is harvested by H-2A workers.

    Florida Legislature appropriated more than USD32 million for a variety of citrus programs in Florida. One of the programs funded by the Legislature is the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program. CRAFT Executive Director Kristen Carlson reported that the program has funded 106 projects in 15 Florida counties. CRAFT offers growers financial incentives to plant new trees that will be produced using specific HLB mitigation strategies. “The most important measure of success (in the CRAFT program) will be the fruit production reported by the grower,” Carlson said.  CitrusIndustry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 15 Jul
    Brazil – Dominance over Europe after approval of the EU-Mercosur agreement?

    Brazil – Dominance over Europe after approval of the EU-Mercosur agreement?

    The Spanish citrus sector is monitoring the final approval of the EU-Mercosur agreement, which is still pending its final ratification for environmental reasons. Companies, cooperatives, and agricultural organizations are worried about this change in the rules of the game between the European bloc and the bloc formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Bolivia (the latter country is in the process of joining), as they fear the South American citrus will invade the European continent; especially the citrus from Brazil, the world’s leading orange producer –a fruit that accounts for 90% of Brazil’s citrus cultivation– and a very powerful country in the orange juice industry.

    “The agreement would liberalize citrus juice imports into the EU, particularly of 100% squeezed juice, which could lead to the disappearance of the European juice industry, consequently unbalancing the fresh market and strangling the European citrus-producing sector,” stated the president of the Citrus Management Committee (CGC), Inmaculada Sanfeliu.

    Spain transforms around 1.3 million tonnes of citrus fruit into juice each year. Brazil is the second-biggest producer of oranges in the world, with a production of up to 20 million tonnes. It exports over 1 billion euro in orange juice to the EU a year.

    Sanfeliu has warned that the EU-Mercosur agreement threatens the value chain of the orange sector. He also said that these minimum prices will constitute an attack against the profitability of the Spanish sector. The Spanish citrus industry -a sector that has been affected for years by the EU trade agreements with South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey- has not been taken into account in the negotiations. Levante-emv

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    Global – Transparency on sustainable juice through new JuicyChain Foundation

    Global – Transparency on sustainable juice through new JuicyChain Foundation

    Eckes-Granini and Refresco have established the new named ‘JuicyChain Foundation’. This is a non-profit organization with the purpose of making the global juice supply chain more sustainable. The foundation will manage and further develop the JuicyChain, which is an open source block-chain-based traceability and transparency platform.

    The new platform, based on The New Fork’s open food chain platform, was designed to create added value for all parties involved in the juice supply chain: from growers to processors, bottlers, brand owners, retailers and consumers, say the Foundation. JuicyChain supports a move towards a significant increase in availability of sustainable juice in the marketplace. All companies in the juice industry can join and share information about sustainable juice easily and efficiently. Consumers and other stakeholders will be able to examine provenance and sustainability data by scanning a unique QR code on a finished juice product.

    The New Fork has developed the platform blueprint and are the JuicyChain Foundation’s IT Provider. This block-chain-based platform brings transparency to the efforts to increase the sustainability of juice in the industry. Coert Michielsen, CPO at Refresco says: “By teaming up with others we can move faster towards a common goal of more sustainable juice supply chains and promote the uptake of sustainable juice across the supply chain.” Refresco

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    UK – Drinking beetroot juice may promote healthy ageing

    UK – Drinking beetroot juice may promote healthy ageing

    A new study has found that drinking beetroot juice promotes a mix of mouth bacteria associated with healthier blood vessels and brain function. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Redox Biology’. Beetroot – and other foods including lettuce, spinach, and celery – are rich in inorganic nitrate, and many oral bacteria play a role in turning nitrate into nitric oxide, which helps to regulate blood vessels and neurotransmission (chemical messages in the brain).

    Older people tend to have lower nitric oxide production, and this is associated with poorer vascular (blood vessel) and cognitive (brain) health. In the new study, by the University of Exeter, 26 healthy older people took part in two ten-day supplementation periods: one with nitrate-rich beetroot juice and another with nitrate-free placebo juice, which they drank twice a day.

    The results showed higher levels of bacteria associated with good vascular and cognitive health, and lower levels of bacteria linked to disease and inflammation. Systolic blood pressure dropped on average by five points (mmHg) after drinking the beetroot juice. “We are really excited about these findings, which have important implications for healthy ageing,” said lead author Professor Anni Vanhatalo, of the University of Exeter.

    “Previous studies have compared the oral bacteria of young and older people, and healthy people compared to those with diseases, but ours is the first to test nitrate-rich diet in this way,” added Vanhatalo. “Our findings suggest that adding nitrate-rich foods to the diet – in this case via beetroot juice – for just ten days can substantially alter the oral microbiome (mix of bacteria) for the better. Maintaining this healthy oral microbiome in the long term might slow down the negative vascular and cognitive changes associated with ageing.”

    The researchers ran tests to identify clusters or ‘modules’ of oral bacteria that tend to thrive together in similar conditions. A module (Prevotella-Veillonella) that has been associated with inflammation was reduced after nitrate supplementation, including a decrease of Clostridium difficile (which can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea).

    Much research has been conducted into the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome, but far less is known about the oral microbial community, which plays a crucial role in “activating” the nitrate from a vegetable-rich diet. Siasat

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    Europe – Tethered ‘caps’ could make a difference to waste management

    Europe – Tethered ‘caps’ could make a difference to waste management

    SIG has announced that tethered caps will be launched for its beverage cartons in Europe in the second half of 2021, ahead of the July 2024 deadline set by EU regulations. In addition, customers choosing the company’s SIGNATURE packaging solutions will receive tethered caps made from polymers linked to renewable, forest-based materials.

    SIG’s tethered caps will be launched initially for the closures used for its most popular packs in Europe. The tethered domeTwist will be available for SIG’s carton bottle combidome, as well as tethered combiMaxx and tethered combiSwift options for SIG’s core family-size carton portfolio. Together, these account for around 90% of SIG’s European closures by volume.

    The new tethered caps are designed to be used with existing SIG filling lines and closure applicators, with no major capital expenditure required by customers. Indeed, compatibility with existing SIG filling lines and customers’ existing packaging designs, secondary packaging and logistics was reportedly a key consideration in the design of the caps.

    When the pack is opened for pouring, the cap can be firmly fixed at the desired position by pressing it down until it clicks. This means the consumer can pour from the pack without the cap getting in the way and without needing to hold down the cap with their fingers. To close the pack, the cap is simply lifted slightly before closing in the usual way. PackagingEurope

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 May
    US – Measuring OJ Marketing Success

    US – Measuring OJ Marketing Success

    For years, the Florida Department of Citrus measured the success of its orange juice marketing programs by comparing year-over-year data, Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Steve Johnson stated in a recent message to growers. The Citrus Commission is the governing board for the FDOC.

    “Then the (COVID-19) pandemic stopped everyone in their tracks,” Johnson stated. “Suddenly consumers were turning to 100% orange juice with renewed fervour.” But now, Johnson added, “Consumers are no longer stockpiling food for fear of lockdowns or scarcity. The sales increases experienced in those early days were not only unsustainable but unlikely to be repeated again. To compare today’s sales to those of last year would lose sight of the actual momentum gained over the course of a year. So, instead, we’re looking at the big picture provided by a 3-year comparison report with figures from 2019, 2020 and 2021 for a true sense of the momentum we have achieved.”

    Johnson reported that for the 4-week period ending March 20, average sales of total OJ are up by 3.38% compared to 2019 values. He said not-from-concentrate (NFC) OJ is “a driving force” in that increase. NFC sales are up 6.52% compared to 2019, while average sales of reconstituted OJ are down by 2.7%.

    “Looking at the 2020-21 season as a whole, which began in October, sales continue to be up 5% over 2019-20,” Johnson added. “This is due to the inclusion of pandemic months within the time period. The current season is up 7.77% when compared to 2018-19 values.” He noted that NFC sales are up 8.6% and reconstituted sales are down by 1.5%.

    “While we continue to have momentum that is carrying us above 2019 sales levels, it won’t stay that way without effort on our part,” Johnson wrote. “The need for further investment in marketing activities to keep Florida OJ top of mind is critical as consumers return to their pre-pandemic routines … The department is planning for that and more as they look ahead to the next year.” Florida Department of Citrus

    By Caroline Calder News
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