Weekly Roundup: Mondelēz opens snacking innovation center, Middle Eastern cuisines trend in US
05 May 2023 --- This week in industry news, Mondelēz International opened the doors to a new US-based global innovation center, with a significant backing of US$50 million to produce and develop its snack brands. Bunge launched a program designed to drive regenerative agriculture across Brazil. At the same time, JBS opened three offices in the country and is on track to increase its environmental services for Brazilian beef cattlemen. Meanwhile, Middle Eastern cuisines are trending among US consumers.
In brief: Business moves
Mondelēz International celebrated the opening of its Global Research & Development (R&D) Innovation Center in New Jersey, US. The facility includes pilot and scale-up capability for cookies, crackers and candy and supports Mondelēz as a global snacking player. The innovation center provides new technologies that propel R&D for its popular snacks, including Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers and Sour Patch Kids candies.
Affiliated Foods, a wholesaler serving more than 800 member stores across the US, accelerated efforts to comply with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s new food traceability rule (FSMA 204) by adopting the ReposiTrak Traceability Network. The move enables Affiliated Foods’ suppliers to seamlessly exchange the complex Key Data Element information the FDA requires for every Critical Tracking Event in its supply chain. The solution allows Affiliated Foods and its suppliers to comply with the FDA’s January 2026 deadline with little disruption to operational procedures.
In brief: Sustainability efforts
Bunge is to create a regenerative agriculture program to support Brazilian farmers in transitioning to low-carbon agriculture, offering technical support, tools, products and services while supporting global efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. The program, which will be provided at no cost for farmers, promotes growth in productivity and reduction of costs through the application of cultivation best practices that improve soil fertility and health, increase CO2 storage in the ground, promote biological diversity, improve water retention and infiltration in the soil and enhance the management of energy consumption and agricultural inputs.
Brinker International won praise for its latest commitment to source only cage-free eggs for all locations globally by 2028. Brinker owns, operates or franchises more than 1,600 casual dining restaurants in 29 countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan.
JBS, the largest food company globally, has included three new locations in the Green Offices (GO) program, which now has 18 service points in Brazil. Located in the cities of Araguaína, Naviraí and Vilhena, the new GOs can more effectively distribute the project’s service capacity per region.
In brief: Launches
MartinBauer, a manufacturer of tea and botanical ingredients for the food, beverage and dietary supplement industries, launched a line of floral ingredients for use in beverage applications. This product line enhances drink offerings by providing exceptional flavor, functionality and fragrance. MartinBauer’s range of ten floral ingredients are available in various product forms, including infusions, concentrates, extracts, powders and fine/specialty/coarse cuts. This allows the ingredients to be tailored to the specific application needs.
Israel-based start-up Sweet Victory’s botanical chewing gum is designed to curb sugar cravings and demonstrates the potential to support weight loss. A consumer study revealed that more than 80% of the participants reported that they had cut down on their intake of sweets and that it helped result in measurable weight loss in almost 90% of the users. The Sweet Victory chewing gum is available in a range of flavors and was developed by the start-up’s founders to create a tasty and convenient solution that can bolster consumers’ resistance to sugary temptations. The active ingredient responsible for this effect is a native Indian natural botanical, gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre), hailed in traditional medicine as the “sugar destroyer” due to its sugar suppression activity.
In brief: Flavors
Wixon revealed its latest insights research – Wixon Innovates – an in-depth examination of the vast array of ingredient combinations and cooking techniques used in Middle Eastern cuisine, all of which contribute to its distinctive flavors. Middle Eastern cuisine satisfies several current US market trends. It is healthy, plant-forward and offers novel yet approachable flavors, says Wixon. Furthermore, nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers are interested in Middle Eastern cuisine and the same percentage of consumers perceive this cuisine as “more healthy.”
In brief: Appointments & retirements
Givaudan has partnered with LEAD Network (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity) to increase gender representation at a leadership level and support its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Givaudan joins over 200 manufacturers and 100 retailers in the LEAD Network, sharing leading practices for advancing women and transforming their businesses.
The Board of Directors of DSM-Firmenich have revealed a restructure of its CEO division as the company completes its merger of equals with Firmenich International SA on May 8, 2023. The existing Co-CEO structure, with each CEO holding additional CFO and COO responsibilities, respectively, will be changed effective September 1, 2023, with Dimitri de Vreeze as CEO and the appointment of Ralf Schmeitz as CFO of DSM-Firmenich.
In brief: Other highlights
Müller has taken the precautionary step of recalling some batches of various Cadbury-branded dessert products because of the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the creation of 12 new USDA Regional Food Business Centers that will provide national coverage coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building to help farmers, ranchers and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources, thereby closing the gaps to success.
USDA also announced a US$420 million Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program to fund innovative projects designed to invest in processing and distribution capacity to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain and strengthen local and regional food systems. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will partner with state and territory departments of agriculture for this program.
By Elizabeth Green
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