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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Feb. 19 2019

Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Feb. 19 2019

Each week we collect the top stories and latest news in food trends and production, making it easy for you to stay current on science and innovation.

Fermented Foods are up 149 percent as long as they’re unfamiliar

Preserving food using microorganisms and the process of fermentation have been around since we started cooking. Most modern fermented foods are a little less intense than the earliest versions, and definitely more delicious. Now, as people begin to gain a better understanding of the human microbiome, they are seeking these foods out, doing everything from drinking apple cider vinegar to making homemade hot sauce to get their daily dose of healthy bacteria. Fermentation has suddenly gone from a relic of yesteryear to a massive food trend. Read more at Forbes

How clean products help firms grow

Clean products not only are beneficial for the environment and our health, but businesses also reap the benefits of more trust from consumers. Clean products appeal to individuals who want to be more aware of what they put into or on their bodies. Sustainable production is often a part of the mix as well. Research indicates that people are fed up with brands that aren't transparent about what they offer. If individuals don't view brands as trustworthy, they're likely to look elsewhere to find a brand that makes them feel more confident. When consumers feel companies are trustworthy, they're arguably more likely than not to support those brands. Read more at The Ecologist

Cargill targets red seaweed through new initiative

Cargill is seeking to address key sustainability challenges for the harvesting and cultivation of red seaweed through a new program, called the Red Seaweed Promise. The initiative aims to enhance producer livelihoods and conserve the marine environment. Cargill said the program also answers food industry and consumer needs for more sustainable food ingredients, with a commitment to source 60 percent sustainable red seaweed by 2025. Read more at Foodbev

Gen Z consumers want healthier, more convenient food

Generation Z's dining habits have impacted the food industry by influencing the production of new, innovative snacks and other convenience items appealing to this on-the-go group. However, a Packaged Facts report noted that even though Gen Z members tend to seek out portable and easy-to-prepare foods, they are also interested in healthy items. Compared to millennials, Gen Z wants more organic, natural foods as well as those that don’t contain additives. They are also more likely to be vegetarians. Read more at FoodDive

What is America drinking?

The Beverage Marketing Corporation deemed 2018 a good year for beverages, according to data from its annual report, “Trends in the U.S. Beverage Market and its Packaging”. Findings from the report said the U.S. beverage market volume grew for the fifth consecutive year—1.2 percent in 2018—and experienced slightly accelerated growth. The report suggests that bottled water continues to be a growth juggernaut, and niche categories such as tea and sports drinks continue to outpace the marketplace, while spirits and wine are outpacing beer, even though there is still growth in the craft beer market. Read more at Packaging World

Which plant-based natural sweetener is the best pick?

A desire for sweet foods is hard-wired into each and every human. But, in light of growing concerns surrounding high-sugar foods and alternative sweeteners, many consumers are looking for a healthier and more natural way to reach the sweetness they’ve grown accustomed to. Read about some of the best options, including stevia, monk fruit, Chinese blackberry and miracle berries. Read more at

Demand for plant-based proteins increasing among foodservice operators

Plant-based proteins are seeing a rise in demand, according to data from The NPD Group. The research firm noted that case shipments of plant-based protein from broadline foodservice distributors to foodservice operators increased by 20 percent in the year ending November 2018 compared to one year previously. Additionally, all census regions showed double-digit growth. Read more at CSNews

Private label: Grocers latch onto key emerging trends to ‘outstrip’ rivals

As private label rises in popularity with U.S. shoppers and becomes an ever more ubiquitous part of the American grocery experience, food retailers must up the ante by embracing what’s new across the board, including products, merchandising and promotions. One of the biggest trends in the space is a shift from imitation to bold innovation, and grocers now understand that a superior private label offering enables them to stand out from the pack. Read more at Progressive Grocer