What’s in the news about food choices
- Local food is becoming more mainstream, with fast-casual restaurants, online grocery shopping, and UK public sector food using locally-sourced food
- Soda giants plan to cut calories in soda over the next 10 years
- FDA rules on gluten-free labeling have come into effect
- In the past decade, more people are avoiding grains and sugar and fewer are avoiding fat – it’s now rare to see a diet book that advocates severely reducing fat
- The popularity of fermented foods is rising – this ties in with an increasing number of diets recommending fermented foods
Here are links and summaries for recent news and opinion about food choices.
Local foods – confusion, infrastructure
One in five consumers mistakenly thinks ‘local’ means ‘organic’ Jul-14-14 Food Navigator USA
The terms “local” and “organic” have become increasingly coveted characteristics for packaged foods and beverage in the North American market, as evidenced by a growing number of marketing campaigns touting local and organic foods—not to mention the impressive sales figures for each category.
UK public sector sourcing plan backs local food industry Jul-21-14 Food Navigator
UK prime minister David Cameron has announced plans to boost the British farming industry by sourcing public sector food locally.
Locally sourced fast-casual menus feed fresh, transparency, quality trends Jul-30-14 SmartBlog
Today’s consumers expect fine-dining menus to boast locally sourced ingredients and change with the seasons, and now the locavore trend is fueling changes at less-pricey fast-casual chains such as Mad Greens, Salata, Sweetgreen, and Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless.
E-commerce operator shops farmers’ markets Aug-6-14 Supermarket News
Online operator Fresh Nation takes orders for items available at farmers’ markets, shops the market for the products and then delivers them to consumers’ homes.
Low fat, low calorie – French fries, soda
Burger King to phase out lower-fat French fries Aug-13-14 New York Times
In a potent reminder that what consumers say they want and what they actually eat are often very different things, the Burger King Corporation said on Wednesday that about two-thirds of its stores would phase out Satisfries, the low-fat, low-calorie item that was introduced less than a year ago.
Soda giants to help consumers cut calories Sep-24-14 Progressive Grocer
The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group and the American Beverage Association (ABA) have worked out a landmark agreement with The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, to decrease beverage calories in the American diet by 20% by 2025.
Food avoidances / free-from – gluten, GMOs, sugar, carrageenan
Shoppers least concerned about gluten, most concerned about GMOs Jul-16-14 Supermarket Guru
Nationwide survey to find out which ingredient shoppers feel is currently most needed to be addressed by the food industry. GMOs (21%), antibiotics (17% ), sugar (12%), high fructose corn syrup (12%). Sodium, artificial colors, and trans fat each received 6% of the votes, and 5% said BPA was their top concern. Under these items came allergens (4%), artificial flavors (4%), and calories (3%), saturated fat (2.5%). Coming in last place was gluten (2%), which perhaps people think has already been addressed.
Gluten-free food labels must now comply with FDA rules Aug-5-14 USA Today
Under the new federal definition, food that carries a “gluten-free” label must contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten, “a virtually undetectable amount” of gluten. FDA officially published its labeling rules in August 2013. Manufacturers had a year following the publication announcement to bring package labels into compliance.
Infographic: What foods are consumers avoiding? Aug-6-14 Food Business News
Soft drinks, fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrates, red meat. Since 2002, the percentage of customers avoiding grains and sugar has grown, while fewer are banning fat.
WhiteWave pulling carrageenan from Silk, Horizon Aug-21-14 Food Navigator USA
Citing mounting consumer pressure, WhiteWave Foods says it will remove carrageenan from its Silk and Horizon brands. The seaweed-based ingredient has been the subject of criticism among natural-food advocates who claim it causes gastrointestinal inflammation and other problems.
Other – produce consumption, cilantro, fermented foods
Most kids eat fruit, veggies daily: CDC Jul-16-14 HealthDay
More than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92% dig into vegetables (including French fries) in a 24-hour period, a new U.S. health survey reveals. But consumption of fruits and vegetables — sources of valuable nutrients — declines as kids move from preschool to high school, according to the survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And whether kids’ vegetable and fruit consumption meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans wasn’t addressed in the report.
Hate cilantro? It may be your genes Aug-19-14 News Observer
There are many components that make up the aroma of cilantro, including the soaplike smell that cilantrophobes often complain about. For these people, the soapiness tends to overpower the plant’s more pleasant, savory aroma. Those who enjoy cilantro are better able to detect the pleasant components than the unpleasant ones.
Popularity of fermented foods rising Aug-26-14 Gourmet Retailer
Fermented foods have found a rising tide of popularity due to the convergence of the desire for spicier, bolder flavors and a growing focus on global foods that represent authentic preparations, according to a new report from Packaged Facts.