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Food Science & Innovation Weekly News Round-up - Oct. 11 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.

Dairy alternatives: What does a plant-based product need to survive

Alternative-dairy products have hit the food and beverage space with the force of a juggernaut, and few know this better than Peter Truby. As vice president of marketing for Elmhurst, a maker of plant-based milks and creamers, he’s had a front-row seat to the category’s expansion, and he’s been taking notes. To start, he points to Nielsen data showing that the plant-based milk category grew 3.1% over the past year, even as dairy milk sales dropped 5%. What’s more, the Good Food Institute claims that plant-based milks account for 13% of total retail milk sales nationwide and 36% of consumers now prefer plant-based milks, according to Nutrition Business Journal. Truby and other insiders say the success of plant-based dairy boils down to optionality. Read more at Nutritional Outlook

The food industry reboots inside the Beltway

The trillion-dollar food industry was once unified and used to getting its way in Washington through the collective might of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a lobbying behemoth that became synonymous with so-called Big Food. But consumers have completely changed the game. GMA announced last month that it will change its name to the Consumer Brands Association—a move that comes nearly two years after about a dozen major food companies left the group amid disagreements over how to handle thorny food policy issues like GMO labeling. The rebrand signals the emergence of a new landscape for foodmakers, one in which there is no central, unified lobbying group representing the sector inside the Beltway. Read more at Politico

Next steps for probiotics—digital magazine

Probiotics have become a familiar category for consumers, with product options spanning supplements, foods, beverages, skin care, animal nutrition and more. Sales of prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics—a combination of the two—are estimated to exceed US$3 billion in 2020. Food and beverage is predicted to experience the most growth, whether in traditional refrigerated offerings such as yogurt, kombucha and kefir, or shelf-stable products like baked goods, frozen meals and hot beverages, which use spore-forming bacteria. Learn how innovation, science and evolving strategies will help drive future growth in the probiotics space. Read more at Natural Products INSIDER

Cargill reduces plastic packaging by 25 million pounds

Cargill has reduced the amount of plastic it uses for its vegetable oil bottles and containers by more than 2.5 million pounds (nearly 1,200 metric tons) globally. These plastic reductions are removing nearly 2,900 metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per year from the atmosphere, which is equivalent to removing 616 cars from the road. Plastic packaging is a growing concern for many customers and consumers because of plastic waste pollution and the environmental impact of producing plastic, the company said. The new packaging will help customers who have set goals around plastic reduction or recyclability, as well as reducing GHGs. Read more at Food in Canada

Five tips for educating consumers about the benefits of prebiotics

Consumers are more familiar with probiotics than prebiotics, but brands can take advantage of that knowledge to increase awareness of prebiotics’ benefits. But how does a brand bring the rapidly growing science of prebiotics—and the potential benefits of this nutrient less commonly understood by consumers—into the same limelight as probiotics? And how can these efforts help products stand out for all the benefits they can impart, while being well received by consumers? Read more at New Hope Network

Picking a protein for premium performance

Protein long has held a place in sports nutrition products. When asked the top five benefits linked to a high-protein diet, 53% of respondents in a 2018 global report from HealthFocus International listed physical energy, and another 46% said muscle/health tone. Those were the top two answers in the report called “Global opportunities in protein; New consumer requirements for success.” Whey protein has several advantages as a protein source. It ranks high in essential amino acid scores, stimulates muscle protein synthesis to help build muscle and offers a clean, neutral taste in food and beverage applications. Pea protein is also making inroads, with a strong nutrient profile that is high in lysine and arginine, and has comparable amounts of leucine to some animal proteins. Read more at Food Business News

Consumers are confused about sustainable diets, survey finds

Four in 10 adults aren't sure whether a sustainable diet is the same as an environmentally sustainable one, according to a study by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC). Still, two-thirds agreed that an environmentally sustainable diet can include protein from both animal and plant-based sources. The survey, conducted through interviews with 1,000 people earlier this summer, also revealed 92% of respondents consume animal-based protein, yet 72% eat plant-based protein. Read more at FoodDive

New clean label research shows plant-based burgers bringing new users to the category

InsightsNow, a behavioral research firm, has released its September report on the clean label movement exploring perceptions of ingredients, claims and brands in the plant-based meat patty category. The “Clean Label Research Community Behavior Report​” specifically uncovered key ingredients to include and avoid in formulations for plant-based burgers. It noted that interest in plant-based foods is creating a tectonic shift in clean eating among many shopper audiences. Read more at EIN Newsdesk

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