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188 posts categorized "Fresh Food"

November 19, 2014

Going Vegan for Weight Loss and Heart Health

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Contributing Analyst

Can a diet totally devoid of animal protein be healthy for humans who are, by design, omnivores? Common sense would suggest not, but research begs to differ. A new study is just out, attesting to the fact that a stint of vegan eating boosts both heart health and weight loss, and without imposing restrictions on caloric intake. Could the annual January diet craze be in for a vegan overhaul? This would indeed be music to the ears of purveyors of carbohydrate foods, may they be potato growers, bakery manufacturers or noodle bars.

Healthier in just one week

Rarely has a diet come under such sustained and fervent criticism as the vegan diet. Not enough iron, zero vitamin B12, too little protein, lack of variety and, perish the thought, no dairy – surely this can’t be a healthy way to live?

However, plenty of evidence, much of it gleaned from population studies that reach back decades, suggests otherwise. For example, there is the oft-quoted Danish example, where, due to post-WW1 rationing, animal protein, fats and alcohol were severely restricted, forcing the population to subsist largely on potatoes, bread, barley and vegetables. As a result, the country recorded the lowest mortality rate from non-infectious chronic disease (this includes cardiovascular disease) in its entire history.

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November 2, 2014

Are Insects the Answer to Global Food Security?

InsectsAnalyst Insight by Media Eghbal - Head of Countries' Analysis

One of the biggest challenges facing global policymakers is how to feed the world’s growing population (expected to reach 8 billion by 2024) and expanding middle class, which has resulted in an accompanying increase in protein demand as consumer diets shift towards meat. The answer could be…insects, which are already being eaten in many parts of the world by an estimated 2 billion people according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Food security is becoming more pressing as extreme weather cycles have played havoc with harvests and crops in recent years resulting in food price spikes, protectionist policies or crop hoarding.

Emerging markets are driving both global population growth and the expansion of the middle class, and demand for meat is growing:

In line with such trends, the FAO released a report in 2013 examining edible insects for the future of food, highlighting the fact that farming of such insects could provide a solution to tackling global hunger and food shortages.  

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October 4, 2014

Americas Packaged Food Trends 2014

Sean KreidlerAnalyst Insight by Sean Kreidler - Research Manager

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Hemisphere Overview

The Americas continue to be a dynamic hemisphere for packaged food consumption in 2014. Both Latin America and North America offer both great opportunities and unique challenges.

The health and wellness trend has driven many North America consumers away from packaged food and processed ingredients. Flat volume growth is pepped up by value-added health-and-wellness-orientated solutions, opening up many avenues for development and product reformulation. Likewise, but still largely in its infancy, Latin America is adopting a greater push for healthier packaged food options. Natural products and local ingredients are becoming a bigger focus. Similarly, companies have been testing international flavours, tying them to the World Cup.

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September 29, 2014

Why do Consumers Prefer Local Products?

Daphne KasrielAnalyst Insight by Daphne Kasriel-Alexander - Consumer Trends Consultant

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“Think globally, act locally,” long the maxim for successful politics stressing a preference for all things local, is emerging as a global trend. Consumers are looking for locally-sourced produce and are interested in regional foods and tradition. For some, the "local" label is becoming a stronger buying criterion than “organic”.

Among other things, the propensity for all things local indicates consumer anxieties. In the political arena, it expresses a local outlook seeking to return to traditional regional and ethnic communities, and in culture there is a growing revival of local music, old dialects and languages. 

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September 20, 2014

Veal: Evolving from “Cruel Meat” to Ethical Choice

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Contributing Analyst

The veal market is undergoing a slow but unstoppable revolution. There is a move away from age-old clashing viewpoints, which saw an unquestioning consumer acceptance of outdated animal rearing practices in traditional veal consuming countries on the one hand, and the outright rejection of veal as “cruel meat” in others. In line with rising animal welfare concerns, traditional veal eaters are starting to modify their expectations, while former veal rejecters are gradually getting used to the idea that veal can be produced humanely, and also that choosing veal represents a step towards sustainability.

Of crates and anaemia

Not all that long ago, from the standpoint of animal welfare watchers, eating veal was regarded just as abominable a culinary habit as the consumption of foie gras. However, unlike the latter, good-quality veal can indeed be produced without undue animal suffering. Great strides have been made in that direction over the last decade, and efforts are still ongoing.

A major milestone was achieved in 2007, when the EU finally outlawed the infamous veal crates, originally designed to restrict the animals’ movement in order to keep their muscles soft. In the US, although still legal, veal crates are used less and less, and the American Veal Association plans to phase them out by 2017.

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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.

Watch on Youtube

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?

  Sarah-B-Banner

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

  SB1

Source: UN COMTRADE

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%.  

Continue reading "White Rice Exacerbates Diabetes Threat in Asia Pacific" »

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Recent Posts

Going Vegan for Weight Loss and Heart Health

Are Insects the Answer to Global Food Security?

Americas Packaged Food Trends 2014

Why do Consumers Prefer Local Products?

Veal: Evolving from “Cruel Meat” to Ethical Choice

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