Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Jan 7, 2019)

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Jan 7, 2019)
From the continued growth of the organic category in the US to Roquette's optimism around plant-based milk for pea protein and regulatory developments to watch in APAC, a lot has happened over the past seven days. Here’s a round-up of the top seven global food and beverage news items to get you updated!


1. Nielsen says organic is ‘an age-old growth driver that’s here to stay’

Organic products are increasingly gaining traction across Latin America, and in the U.S. the category goes from strength to strength.  According to Nielsen, 2018 witnessed a 9.5% increase in annual household spend on organic products compared to 2017. Organic products sales hit $21bn in sales for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 24 2018.

“Gone are the days when organic products catered to a singular or specific audience. Today, organics have hit the mainstream,”​ Nielsen said.

“Not only are organic products boosting our industry’s top-line, they are being purchased more by all generational and age cohorts. That said, some segments of our population are leaning into organic more than others.”

“At a time when the FMCG industry overall has experienced flat volume consumption, this growth is huge,”​ added Nielsen.

For more on this news, please click HERE​.

2. Ninth Circuit dismisses plant ‘milk’ case

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a dismissal of a class action alleging Almond Breeze almond milk should be labeled as ‘imitation milk’. The court argued that reasonable consumers would not assume that it is nutritionally equivalent to dairy milk from the packaging.

In an amicus brief to court, Good Food Institute (GFI)attorney Nigel Barrella argued that the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act’s ‘imitation’ provision does not apply to products such as almond milk, adding that requiring Almond Breeze to be labeled imitation milk would open a Pandora’s Box:

“Rye bread and cornbread would be ‘imitation bread,’ just as rice noodles and cellophane noodles would be ‘imitation noodles,’ and turkey bacon and veggie bacon would be ‘imitation bacon’ — the list goes on. The absurdity of this interpretation speaks for itself."

For more on this, please click HERE​.

3. FDA and USDA to share oversight for cell-based meat

US regulatory agencies only recently decided how they would regulate the cell-based meat category, which is still in its infancy. The FDA and USDA recently proposed a joint regulatory framework for cell-based meat: The FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation, while the USDA to oversee the production and labeling of food products from the harvested cells.

“The November 16 announcement set some basic parameters, but all the difficult questions still have to be addressed and resolved,” ​Robert Hibbert, a partner at law firm Morgan Lewis, told our US edition​.

Consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called for FDA to require food additive petitions for novel ingredients, “as GRAS notifications are inappropriate where a consensus among knowledgeable experts regarding the safety of an ingredient or input, by definition, does not yet exist”​.


4. Roquette looks to plant milk category for future pea potential

Pea protein could make waves in the booming plant-based dairy alternative category, according to French pea protein supplier Roquette.

Pascal Leroy, head of Roquette's pea and new proteins business, told our European edition: “[Plant-based milk] is a big market, and there’s more innovation to come.”

“Pea protein is still a young product – a teenager at beginning of its development – so there is still a lot to discover. We’re still at the beginning of a journey and there is a lot to create together with manufacturers. Soy is 70 years old [but] people have only been using pea protein for the last 5 to 10 years.”

Innova Market Insights predicted back in 2017 that the market for dairy alternative drinks would reach $16.3 billion globally in 2018 – more than doubling its size since 2010.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

5. Processed meat under fire over nitrate cancer risk

In Britain, a coalition of scientists, medical professionals and politicians called for nitrates to be removed from processed meats, because of the link between the additive and the development of bowel cancer.

A joint statement, which was also signed by a cross-party group of MPs, read: “There is a consensus of scientific opinion that nitrites in processed meats result in the production of carcinogenic nitrosamines – and therefore increase cancer risk for those who regularly consume traditional bacon and ham.”

“We are concerned that not enough is being done to raise awareness of nitrites in our processed meat and their health risks, in stark contrast to warnings regularly issued regarding sugar and fatty foods.”

For more from our European edition, please click HERE​.

6. Ingredion extends Inside Idea Labs to EMEA

Ingredients giant Ingredion has extended its virtual dairy lab​ Inside Idea Labs to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The virtual dairy lab, which is the second to be launched by Ingredion after beverages, showcases technical resources including sample formulations, white papers and responses to questions customers frequently ask about topics such as formulating clean label dairy products, reducing protein and removing fat.

For more about Ingredion’s Idea Labs, please click HERE​.


7. Regulatory developments to watch in APAC in 2019

Our Asian edition published a useful summary of six regulatory developments in APAC that will have an impact of the food and beverage industry this year.

The six developments are:

  1. More sugar taxes on the table for South East Asia
  2. Plastic waste bans impact packaging decisions
  3. Halal regulation updates in Indonesia
  4. China tightens the use of vegetable oil
  5. Harmonization of ASEAN Food Standards
  6. Governments will play a major role in sustainability efforts

For additional insights from the FoodNavigator-Asia team, please click HERE​.

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