Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Dec 3-10)

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Dec 3-10)

Related tags Latin america

From the stevia specialist PureCircle looking to move beyond sweeteners to Nestlé’s new Institute of Packaging Science and Cargill’s big Asian food system mega-trends to watch, 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. Growth in US private label market

The US private label market is growing at a rate four times faster than national brands in nearly all grocery store categories, according to Euromonitor International.

Despite such impressive growth, there is even more room to expand because US penetration rates for private label still lag behind those in Europe, said the market researcher.

“Despite the improvements in store brand performance, the competitive landscape of the US grocery market currently stands at a critical moment in time,”​ said Euromonitor.

Indeed, IRI data indicates that private label makes up a 39.4% dollar share of retail sales in Europe compared to a 14.9% share in the US.

Moving forward, private label offering need to work on differentiation and building consumer loyalty: “It is not enough to simply compete in price as store brands have traditionally done. Now, retailers must demonstrate that their private label brands can truly compete with national brands in terms of product quality and innovation,” said Euromonitor.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

2. PureCircle moves beyond sweeteners…

Stevia © Getty Images joloei
Stevia. Image © Getty Images / joloei

Stevia pioneers PureCircle are eying the potential of the plant beyond the sweetener space, with the launch of stevia-derived proteins, soluble fibers, and antioxidants in the second half of 2019.

PureCircle CEO Maga Malsagov told our sister publication NutraIngredients-USA​ that the processes to extract protein, fiber, and antioxidants are covered by patents, both those that have been granted as well as those that are still pending.

“Our introduction of these important new ingredients is the result of our stevia innovation,”​ added Malsagov.

Data from Mintel earlier this year showed that the number of global new product launches containing stevia grew by 10% in 2017, beating aspartame as a high intensity sweetener.

3. Exploding expectations for oatmilk demand

Demand for Swedish oatmilk brand Oatly in the US is “vastly exceeded our expectations”, US general manager Mike Messersmith told our US edition last week​.

Oatmilk commands a sizeable portion of the plant-based milk market in some European markets, but it is relatively new to many American consumers

Oatly launched in the US in coffee shops in late 2016 with a 3% fat barista edition, and later entered grocery stores with original (2% fat), low-fat, and chocolate SKUs. The brand is now in “roughly 2,000 grocery stores and several thousand coffee shops”​ said Messersmith.  

The company also announced it is increasing capacity at its new manufacturing plant in Millville, New Jersey, which will be completed by the spring of 2019.


4. Kerry anticipates demand for acrylamide-reducing solutions

French Fries © Getty Images EJGrubbs
© Getty Images / EJGrubbs

Moving to Europe now, and news that Irish taste and nutrition ingredient specialist Kerry has signed a licensing agreement to manufacture, sell and distribute Renaissance BioScience Corp’s non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme, Acryleast.

The ingredient is described as a natural yeast enzyme that reduces acrylamide by up to 90% across food and beverage products including biscuits, crackers, French fries, crisps, coffee and instant food. It is a clean label solution that requires minimal changes to the manufacturing process and has no impact on taste, aroma and texture, according to Kerry.

“We passionately believe in a ‘from food, for food’ philosophy and are driven to find natural solutions to customers’ challenges. For us, it was essential to find a clean, non-GMO alternative that both producers and consumers could trust to reduce acrylamide in the right way,” ​Mike Woulfe, Kerry VP of business development for enzymes, told our European edition.

For more on this, please click HERE​.

5. Nestlé creates Institute of Packaging Science

Food and beverage giant Nestlé is will create the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, in Lausanne, Switzerland to address the growing packaging waste problem.

The institute will include a laboratory and facilities for rapid prototyping, with a focus on “the discovery and development of functional, safe and environmentally friendly packaging”​, said the company.

The company is aiming to research recyclable, biodegradable and compostable polymers, functional paper, new packaging concepts and technologies to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging, which will be tested in different product categories before rolling it out across its global portfolio.

“It will work closely with academic partners, start-ups and suppliers. New materials will then be tested and applied across categories at Nestlé’s Product Technology Centers (around 30 worldwide), before rolling them out commercially,” ​a Nestlé spokesperson said.

For more on this, please click HERE​.


6. Cargill outlines Asian food system mega-trends

Cargill has announced six megatrends for Asian food systems, with urbanization, obesity, transparency, and sustainability on the list. The complete list includes:

1) The dominance of urbanization: Asia’s urban population will increase by 578mn to make up roughly 50% of the global urban population by 2030.

2) Diets becoming increasingly energy-dense: Many of those calories will come from protein, fat and sugar instead of traditional carbohydrates.

3) The increasing double burden of obesity and undernutrition: Liberalization of trade is expected to affect obesity rates negatively, and undernutrition rates positively.

4) R&D as a key driver or agricultural development: R&D investments for agriculture in Asia is expected to continue to rise, though at less-than-ideal rates.

5) Increased interest in food systems transparency and sustainability: Transparency and traceability is becoming increasingly important to both developing and developed Asian countries, but for different reasons. In developing countries like Vietnam and Myanmar, consumers are worried about food safety. In developed countries though, sustainability concerns are what drive the need for transparency.

6) Food politics: The Cargill report predicts political clashes over resource allocation as well as water scarcity.

To read more about this report, please click HERE​.

7. Singapore explores sugar tax

Soda and sugar © Getty Images piotr_malczyk
© Getty Images / piotr_malczyk

Our final news to note this week concerns considerations in Singapore​ for the introduction of a sugar tax and a complete higher-sugar drinks ban.

The country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently seeking public opinion on these measures. According to a statement on its website, it is also considering mandatory front-of-pack nutrition labels and more stringent advertising regulations.

If Singapore were to completely ban higher-sugar drinks it would be the first country in the world to implement such a measure.

On the sugar tax, MOH stated: “The objective of [SSB tax], if introduced, is not for revenue generation, but to shape the behaviour of manufacturers and consumers."

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