In response to increasing consumer demand for natural ingredients, Mars has pledged to remove artificial colors from its food products over a five-year period. The company said it will work with suppliers to find natural alternatives that still provide vibrant colors for its M&M's and other products.
Consumer demand for functional foods and beverages is driving an increase in new products containing probiotics. Suja Juice Co. added a line of Pressed Probiotic Waters, JUS by Julie debuted the first cold-brew coffee with probiotics, and Bob's Red Mill included probiotics in its new line of plant-based Nutritional Booster Protein Powders.
WhiteWave Foods will use only certified sustainable cocoa in all of its North American products by the end of 2016, the company said. The cocoa will be certified by independent program UTZ. "This furthers our strong commitment to producing food responsibly, and ultimately changing the way the world eats for the better," COO Blaine McPeak said.
Chobani has declined offers from PepsiCo and other interested investors to purchase a majority stake in the company, according to the yogurt maker. Although Chobani has indicated interest in selling a minority stake, Chobani wants to remain independent, the company said.
Tillamook County Creamery Association has teamed with Bob's Red Mill to offer Farmstyle Greek yogurt parfaits with fruit and whole-grain oat granola. The parfaits, which are available at retailers in California, Arizona, Colorado and areas of the Pacific Northwest, come in six flavors including Oregon strawberry with gluten-free honey oat granola, Washington raspberry with honey oat granola and Oregon marionberry with honey oat granola.
Arla Foods has inked a new three-year deal with UK supermarket retailer ASDA that will have Arla supplying ASDA's private-label brand milk and cream. Arla also announced that it will eliminate 500 jobs in an effort to focus more on energy efficiency and global presence.
Finnish company Valio has released new children's yogurt snacks with less sugar in response to demand from health-conscious consumers. Valio Play yogurt pudding products feature 30% less added sugar than other pudding products, while the brand's yogurt boasts 40% less sugar than competing products.
The National Confectioners Association has projected $1.1 billion in candy sales for Valentine's Day this year, representing a 1.6% increase from last year's totals. Over 90% of US consumers would like to get candy or chocolate for the holiday, according to the NCA.
The new Great Bite brand of mints utilizes a playful packaging shape and shark theme to stand out from other offerings on the shelf, explains entrepreneur Glenn Stephens. "The packs all have a 'bite' taken out of them and so do the candies themselves as part of the theme for the branding, 'Great Bite,'" said Stephens. The distinctive brand's concept was revealed at Germany's ProSweets 2016 and "there has been a lot of interest" in selling the mints on the market, Stephens said.
Snack bar brand That's It is adding new spicy flavors of its signature fruit bars and a new on-the-go formulation designed to appeal to millennial consumers. The Zesty line features flavors such as apple, mango and chili, and the Bites line packs chocolate-covered fruit bites in a single-serve pouch. In keeping with the brand's simple theme, all products have fewer than five ingredients.
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