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September 10, 2014

The Positives and Negatives of Social Media for Packaged Food Companies

Packaged food companies are using social media as a means to monitor what consumers are saying about their brands and to engage with their customers through suggestions. For example, PepsiCo's Lays brand holds a yearly contest where consumers suggest new flavors for their chips/crisps and contest voting is done via social media. However social media can also cause backlash for companies as well; for example, word spread on Twitter in 2013 about the CEO of Barilla Group's anti-gay remarks, leading to a public apology by the executive.

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August 26, 2014

Fresh Food Producer Bodies Need to Get More Involved in Children’s Education

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke

Children know less and less about food. Urbanisation and the demise of smallholder farming are the key culprits. The classroom has to take over from educational summers spent at grandparents’ farms. And, although the industry is already making a rash of commendable efforts, more could be done to move fresh foods to the forefront of children’s minds, by making it, for example, an integral part of history, social science, languages and, of course, science subjects.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

Surveys highlighting schoolchildren’s woeful lack of knowledge in the area of food provenance surface at regular intervals. The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), a multi-stakeholder, partly industry-funded, not-for-profit organisation that disseminates nutrition information to health professionals and the general public, conducts one of these annually, and its May 2014 findings were pretty much in line with those of previous years: one quarter of 5-8-year-olds believed that bread came from animals and cheese from plants. In older children, such misconceptions, although less prevalent, were still surprisingly common. Also, 17% of primary school children in the BNF survey thought that fish fingers were made from chicken, while one in 10 believed bacon to be derived from sheep.

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August 14, 2014

Grass-Fed Beef Faces a Few Bumps in the Road

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Consulting Analyst

At a time when the US beef market is struggling with declining volumes and consumers are starting to care increasingly about ethics, sustainability, animal welfare and nutrition, differentiation offers a way forward for beef producers. The emergence of grass-fed beef is a clear manifestation of this trend. However, before grass-fed has any chance of becoming a mainstream choice, several hurdles need to be overcome. Sourcing is one of them, as illustrated by the current supply troubles experienced by rapidly growing fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Chipotle Leads the Way

Chipotle Mexican Grill has been in the news again this spring, not only for defending its drive to exclusively offer grass-fed beef in all of its restaurants but also for deciding to source this product from the distant shores of Australia. According to Chipotle founder Steve Ells, due to the number of its outlets having mushroomed from 800 back in 2008 to the current 1,600, domestic supplies were no longer sufficient.

In line with the company’s much publicised “food with integrity” philosophy, it is committed to serving “responsibly raised” beef, free from hormones and antibiotics and raised with high animal welfare standards. And the strategy seems to be working so far. Our consumer foodservice data show that Chipotle’s sales rose from US$1.3 billion in 2008 to US$3.2 billion in 2013, enabling it to jump from 35th to 17th in the chained consumer foodservice rankings over that period. However, by sourcing its beef from abroad, it may be committing a serious faux pas, a point which we shall return to shortly.

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August 12, 2014

Who Will Gain Most from Russia’s Food Import Sanctions?


Headlines abound about Russian agricultural sanctions against the EU, Norway, USA, Canada and Australia. Russia’s biggest food imports include meat and poultry, vegetables, fruits and tree nuts and dairy products all of which contain some food products covered by the sanctions. So just who will fill the gap left by the banned countries?

Russia’s Imports of Food Stuffs by 2 Digit HS Code: 2013



Key: 01 Live animals; 02 Meat and edible meat offal; 03 Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates; 04 Dairy produce; birds' eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included; 05 Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included; 06 Live trees and other plants; bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage; 07 Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers; 08 Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons; 09 Coffee, tea, mate and spices;  10 Cereals; 11 Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten;  12 Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder; 13 Lac; gums, resins and other vegetable saps and extracts;  14 Vegetable plaiting materials; vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included; 15 Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products; prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes; 16 Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates; 17 Sugars and sugar confectionery; 18 Cocoa and cocoa preparations; 19 Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk; pastry cooks' products; 20 Preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants; 21 Miscellaneous edible preparations


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August 9, 2014

White Rice Exacerbates Diabetes Threat in Asia Pacific

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Contributing Analyst

According to an eminent diabetes expert, white rice is one of the root causes of Malaysia’s rocketing obesity figures, which are fuelling the country’s diabetes crisis. The trouble is that healthier alternatives, such as brown rice and low-carb noodles, are not catching on just yet in Malaysia, and nor are they, for that matter, in other Asia Pacific countries. Public health needs do not automatically translate into consumer demand, and a push from the industry will be needed to open up these markets to healthier alternatives and curb the virtually exclusive reign of white rice.

Malaysia is Asia Pacific’s “Fattest” Country

In May 2014, the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet published a new systematic analysis on overweight and obesity involving 188 countries, which identified Malaysia as the most “obese country” in the Asia Pacific region. According to the new data, 48.6% of Malaysian women and 43.8% of men are either overweight or obese. For comparison, in neighbouring Indonesia, the incidence is 30.6% and 21.4%, respectively, whilst it is 39.7% and 32.1% in Thailand. 

Excess body weight is the number one predisposing factor for type 2 diabetes, and Malaysia’s prevalence is high: 11.5% of the population aged 20-79 years has type 2 diabetes, compared to a global average of 8.4%, which roughly coincides with the incidence in Asia Pacific overall. In fact, only Singaporeans have higher diabetes rates than Malaysians in Asia Pacific. Incidentally, the US, which continues to lead global overweight/obesity charts, is slightly behind Malaysia, with a diabetes incidence rate of 11.0%.  

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August 8, 2014

Who are the Major Losers of Russian Sanctions?


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The Russian government’s announcement of sanctions on some food stuffs imported from the EU, Norway, USA, Canada and Australia will hit some countries harder than others. Yet the impact on the Russian economy may be even more significant.

Who will pay the price?

Of those facing the ban, the EU has the closest trade ties with Russia. Russia was the destination for 2.6% of EU exports in 2013. This ranges from just 0.4% in Portugal, to a hefty 19.1% in Lithuania. Of those facing sanctions, the countries’ most dependent on agricultural exports (in terms of the proportion of their exports which are composed of food and live animals) are Denmark, Lithuania and Cyprus.

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August 4, 2014

Competing to Feed Asia


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Population growth and increasing incomes, which have in turn led to changes in diet, have given rise to one of the world’s greatest challenges – and biggest opportunities – feeding Asia.

Demographics and Income Drive Demand

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July 31, 2014

¡No te pierdas nuestra presentación en el Food Technology Summit & Expo 2014!


Nombre del evento: Food Technology Summit & Expo 2014
Para más información: www.ftsexpo.com 
Fecha: 1 al 2 de octubre, 2014
Día, fecha y hora de nuestra presentación:  Jueves 2 de octubre, de 12:15 a 13:15, Centro Banamex, México DF

Acerca del evento:  La Séptima Edición del Food Technology Summit & Expo reúne a más de 150 empresas líderes proveedoras de aditivos, ingredientes y soluciones para la industria de Alimentos y Bebidas de México y Centroamérica con el objetivo de hacer negocios y branding. El evento recibe la visita de más de 8 mil asistentes que la consolidan como la más importante en la región. Asimismo, el Food Technology Summit & Expo ofrece un completo programa de capacitación que incluye un Congreso Internacional y un Ciclo de 21 Conferencias Gratuitas de Innovación Alimentaria.

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July 29, 2014

Euromonitor to Speak at World Food Moscow 2014

WorldFood Logo

Date: September 15-18, 2014

Location: Expocentre, Moscow, Russia

Presentation: September 17, 2014

Speaker: Georgij Grebinskij, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International

Topic:  Confectionary market overview in Russia and Europe

About the event:Over the last 20 years, World Food Moscow has grown to become a major meeting place for the food and drinks industry and a vibrant source of products for the Russian market. Exhibitors are grouped in nine main sectors, ensuring visitors can easily find products of interest, compare them and talk to their manufacturers. WorldFood Moscow attracts a huge audience of wholesalers, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs. This means that exhibitors can fulfill two major objectives at the same time: find a reliable distributor, whilst also gauging demand for their product in this evolving market.

Over just four days, exhibitors see thousands of visitors and develop partnerships which will see their products stocked in shops and supermarkets all over Russia. It’s a prime opportunity for suppliers to pitch themselves against their competitors and demonstrate their strength in the market. To register, please visit the website.

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July 5, 2014

Gluten-Free Mania to Liven Up Fresh Food

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Consulting Analyst

Gluten-free eating is taking the world by storm. But it is not just all about gluten-free pasta, bread and biscuits. Exciting new opportunities are also emerging for fresh food, including starchy roots, vegetables and pulses. The new generation of gluten-free consumers is really not that difficult to cater for as it cares less about purity and more about choice and variety. For fresh food industry players, this means training their focus on foodservice, particularly in countries where packaged gluten-free food sales are already high.

Gluten - the Enemy of Wellness

Our health and wellness data show that global value sales of gluten-free packaged food soared by 75% over the 2008-2013 review period, reaching US$2.1 billion in 2013. In the past, the only people avoiding gluten were those individuals suffering from coeliac disease, an auto-immune condition in which the consumption of gluten causes the body to attack its own digestive tract.

Nowadays, however, a growing number of consumers are eschewing gluten because they believe that their bodies are sensitive to this cereal protein in some way. They attribute a wide variety of persistent symptoms to gluten sensitivity, such as persistent fatigue, skin rashes, weight gain, digestive complaints (including irritable bowel syndrome), poor memory and hormonal imbalances.

In essence, a branch of modern health and wellness philosophy which is continually gaining in popularity is that any unexplained symptoms may be down to a food intolerance, and gluten is one of the first candidates for an experimental elimination diet.

Continue reading "Gluten-Free Mania to Liven Up Fresh Food" »


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Recent Posts

The Positives and Negatives of Social Media for Packaged Food Companies

Fresh Food Producer Bodies Need to Get More Involved in Children’s Education

Grass-Fed Beef Faces a Few Bumps in the Road

Who Will Gain Most from Russia’s Food Import Sanctions?

White Rice Exacerbates Diabetes Threat in Asia Pacific

Who are the Major Losers of Russian Sanctions?

Competing to Feed Asia

¡No te pierdas nuestra presentación en el Food Technology Summit & Expo 2014!

Euromonitor to Speak at World Food Moscow 2014

Gluten-Free Mania to Liven Up Fresh Food