2012-07-31 23:00
Progressive Grocer

Today’s market is comprised of 82.5 million mothers representing $2.4 trillion in spending power. Millennial moms (individuals born between 1977 and 1996) are becoming more prominent shoppers, and are digitally engaged. These moms are working to balance caring for the children and building their own careers. Traditional marketing efforts are giving way to digital marketing for this group. In this article, Produce for Kids, an organization that works with produce companies and retailers to encourage healthy eating among families, provides tips on how to engage millennial moms.  

Three social media platforms are important for Produce for Kids – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. They also integrate messages between the three. According to the Nielsen study The American Media Mom, moms spend one-third of their time on Facebook, which is higher than the average American who spends a quarter of his or her time on Facebook.

The Produce for Kids Facebook page has nearly 4,000 fans that regularly contribute to the conversation. Some content provided on Facebook include grocery gift card giveaways, articles written by the Produce for Kids board, recipes, event information and sharing of partner initiatives. Produce for Kids has found Twitter to be a great way to spread important messages, introduce moms to the campaigns and promote year-round parenting resources. Pinterest offers a quick visual resource for moms. Retailers and suppliers can create boards with products, advertisements and recipes that moms can follow, “repin” or share with their followers.

There are 18.3 million moms who read blogs every month. Connecting with mom bloggers to promote campaign, giveaways, contests or products is another great way to build awareness.

2012-07-01 23:00
The Wall Street Journal

ADS shared information about research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research with members in June. The study found that higher-fat salad dressings poured over fresh green salads promoted the absorption of more vitamins and nutrients into the digestive system than low-fat dressings. The study was also picked up in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal

The salad dressings were prepared with a canola oil, soybean oil, and butter base at three different fat levels. The dressings, which contained 3 grams, 8 grams or 20 grams of fat per serving, were poured over fresh-vegetable salads. Before each salad testing, the study’s participants were placed on a seven-day diet to reduce their blood carotenoid levels. Blood samples were taken before and after the salads were consumed.

When all three fats were considered, the participants absorbed significantly more carotenoids from eating salads with dressings containing 20 grams of fat than the salads with dressing containing 8 or 3 grams of fat. Canola-based dressings triggered higher carotenoid absorption at low-fat levels than soybean oil and butter, which required more fat to achieve high carotenoid absorption. Canola oil also promoted higher absorption for all carotenoids except lycopene.

2012-06-30 23:00
Prepared Foods

According to research conducted by the NPD Group, the number of consumers using private label food and beverage products continues to rise, but consumers are losing their enthusiasm for value foods. Private label food’s share of household services was 18% in 2000 and reached 27% in 2011. Satisfaction with private label foods meeting consumers’ needs has dipped from 32% in 2009 to 24% in 2012.

Researchers believe consumers have turned to private food labels as a necessity to save costs. The report finds that two-thirds of consumers believe that store brands’ quality is much better today than it was five years ago. However, consumers’ store brand awareness and identification remain quite low. Consumer loyalty to private label is strongest in the categories that are mostly used as ingredients, such as flour or butter.

2012-05-31 23:00
Food Technology

Consumer demand for more authentic and sophisticated ethnic food continues to rise. According to Mintel’s Ethnic Foods – U.S., 87% of consumers made ethnic dishes at home. Also, according to American Express Market Briefing, three in ten consumers chose independent ethnic restaurants when dining out for dinner. Since consumers under age 34 are the most likely to dine out or cook ethnic foods at home, the outlook is strong for the foreign foods.

Chinese, Mexican and Italian remain the top three cuisines among consumers. In 2011, 70% of consumers made Italian meals at home, 63% Mexican and 51% Asian. One quarter made Cajun/Creole dishes at home. And one in five consumers made German, Greek, French or Indian dishes.

Consumers are looking to specialty/gourmet stores and aisles for more authentic ethnic ingredients and lesser known ethnic foods. The fastest-growing Asian sauce flavors are ginger, plum, oyster, peanut, Ponzo, and hoisin.

Mintel reports that in 20ll 63% of meal preparers used soy sauce, 49% used teriyaki and other Asian sauces, 14% used chili sauce, 9% used duck sauce and 9% used wing sauce. Curry, black bean and tzatziki sauces are gaining in popularity among consumers.

Watch for greater use of ethnic condiments by consumers such as black garlic, raita/raitha, chimichurri, Sriracha, chutney, soy sauce, green tea powder, curries and wasabi peas.

2012-05-20 23:00
Supermarket News

Research from Mintel reveals that consumers want a quick and easy way to identify healthy products that are also good for the environment. About 40% of U.S. consumers say they look for symbols on packaging to note an item is healthy. About 34% of moms say they are spending more time than last year reading nutrition labels. If a product contains natural ingredients, it should be clearly explained on the package in an ingredient statement.

Retailers and manufacturers need to understand wellness has a broad meaning to consumers and goes well beyond dieting. Nearly two-thirds of consumers want to support brands that help the environment. 65% of consumers said they bought a food or beverage with an eco-friendly package claim. Although it is critical to tap into the wellness trend, retailers and manufacturers have to be careful not to seem as if they’re telling consumers what to do. They have to be a partner, and not a dictator.

2012-05-03 23:00
ID Report

Americans are turning to flavors from other countries to dress up their plate. Here are six sauces that are frequently appearing on restaurant menus:

  • Gastrique: The classic French reduction of sugar and vinegar, this sauce is a favorite for chefs seeking a marriage between sweet and sour. Most often it is used in cooking and cocktails.
  • Romesco: A traditional Spanish red pepper and ground almond sauce that hails from the Catalan region. In the U.S., romesco is appearing in dips, BBQ sauce, marinades and more.
  • Poutine: French fries smothered with brown gravy and melted cheese. A Canadian dish, this sauce has transitioned from the food truck to restaurants.
  • Umami in a Bottle: Once only recognized as a component in ketchup or soy sauce, now it is being heralded as “the fifth taste” and is coming into its own as a condiment.
  • Sriracha: This fiery Southeast Asian sauce is gaining momentum among Gen Y consumers.
  • Aioli: A French-inspired condiment of garlicky mayonnaise adapts well to the addition of other flavors such as basil, chipotle, parsley, harissa and avocado. 
2012-04-23 23:00
Australian Food News

This article summarizes research findings from Innova Database, which examined new sauce product launches globally over the past five years. According to Innova, the sauce market is seeing an increase of limited edition products with more unusual flavors or featuring premium ingredients such as balsamic vinegar or a specific type of tomato.

The range of barbecue sauces is growing in many markets. New barbecue products are typically introduced in the summer season, but year-round usage is also encouraged. There is increasing usage of unusual ingredients and spicier flavors in sauces, such as wasabi and tequila.

In terms of packaging trends, there is greater variety of formats including single-serve products for smaller household sizes. Sachets and pouches are replacing traditional glass jars.

Nearly 45% of cooking sauce products and 38% of table sauce products introduced in 2011 featured health claims of some kind. More than 50% of salad sauces and dressings introduced in 2011 featured health claims of some kind. For sauce product launches in 2011, 30% of these new sauces featured the claims “natural” recipes and “no additives/preservatives.”

Asia has the largest global sauces market, with very high per capita consumption levels in comparison to Europe and North America. Europe accounted for nearly half of global sauce product launches in 2011.  Asia accounted for a little less than 20% of global sauce product launches. North America accounted for about 14% of global sauce product launches.

2012-04-23 23:00
The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women is one of 11 Baltimore schools that have introduced salad bars. This move to add salad bars is part of a citywide trend in Baltimore and the entire state of Maryland to provide students with more healthful meals. In addition to the salad bars, these schools will receive a permanent water tap station as part of a campaign by cable television network HBO to highlight the nation’s obesity epidemic.

HBO is partnering with school districts and organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to install 100 salad bars and 100 water tap stations in schools across the country.

Schools are a key partner in reducing the obesity trend as children consume half their calories there. A recent survey from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that 94 percent of school meals do not meet federal nutrition standards.

In the Baltimore schools, salads will be standard with every meal, starting with the basics of introducing fruit and vegetables to students. This past year, Maryland served 25 million breakfasts and 70 million lunches as part of the free and reduced-price meal program. Currently four out of ten students qualify for free or reduced lunch.  

The state is working to ensure that each student meal, which is possibly the only meal some students have all day, is more nutritious. The USDA will begin requiring changes in school lunches in July. The changes will be phased in to require schools to offer more nutritious food and tailor portion sizes and calories to the students’ ages.

2012-03-26 23:00
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

KIPP South Fulton Academy is receiving 1 of 15 salad bars going to schools in the metro Atlanta area before the end of the school year. The school is a public and tuition-free charter middle school that serves approximately 320 students. The salad bar was funded by the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation (AFYF) as part of the national Let’s Move Salad Bars to School program. AFYF pledged more than $40,000 to fund the salad bar, and other donors have been working together to fund salad bars for additional schools.

The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative is working to place 6,000 salad bars in schools around the country by 2013. More than 1,200 salad bars have been delivered to schools nationwide, with commitments for 400 more. There are still 1,200 more schools on the waiting list that need funding. Funding also includes training for the cafeteria staff to help children eat more healthy foods. Companies have partnered with groups that focus on school children (i.e. Healthy Kids Georgia and Georgia 4-H) to find creative ways to bring salad bars to schools. Georgia has the second highest childhood obesity rates (40%) behind Mississippi.

2012-03-18 23:00
Supermarket News

Market research firm Mintel International released the “2012 Dining Out Report” last month. The report examined restaurant and menu trends, and consumer attitudes and habits to predict the future of the restaurant industry.

According to the report, 65% of U.S. restaurant diners expect to spend the same amount at restaurants in 2012. 12% of U.S. restaurant diners expect to spend more when dining out. Mintel estimates the U.S. restaurant industry will be worth $416.4 billion in 2012. There’s growing consumer interest in where food comes from, and an increased desire for fresh, unprocessed food.

Restaurant owners are listening to their customers and delivering their wants and needs. In the future, chefs will likely focus on local sourcing and regional food cuisine. The new menu labeling law by the FDA that will require chain restaurants to disclose caloric and nutrition information may have an unexpected impact on dining out trends. Forty percent of survey respondents said they will make no changes in how they dine out, based on the new caloric information. Thirty-three percent of respondents said they will make healthier, low-fat choices.


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