Barry Callebaut has finalized its acquisition of Australia's GKC Foods, an industrial chocolate producer. The deal increases Barry Callebaut's presence in New Zealand and Australia, the countries with the highest per capita chocolate consumption rate in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a company statement.
Mars is examining possible additional health benefits related to cocoa's flavonols, which are known to improve blood vessel function, with two studies, according to Catherine Kwik-Uribe, Mars' director of research and development and scientific and regulatory affairs. One study has revealed intake of Mars' CocoVia supplement increased the brain's neuron count, while results from another study focused on whether flavonols reduce the risk of certain health issues are expected in early 2021, she said.
Aeroponic growing uses only small amounts of water and requires little labor, but high operational costs have been a stumbling block, according to Cultivation Bioengineering scientist Joseph Chidiac. New technology including precision sensors and atomizers could help solve those challenges, especially in the cannabis industry where higher product prices offset higher costs, said Seth Swanson, director of Global Plant Sciences at AEssenseGrows.
Bread & Butter Ventures launched in Minnesota this week with a plan to invest in global startups in the areas of food and agriculture, health care and software. One of two managing partners, Brett Brohl, previously led the St. Paul, Minn.-based Techstars Farm to Fork accelerator program.
South Africa's Western Cape province is facing potential water shortages as crop demands grow and climate change threatens the supply. Consulting firm Agrimotion has been working with fruit farmers in the area on precision agtech that helps the farmers manage their water supply through drought conditions.
Men's cosmetics and skin care brand Stryx is entering 2,000 CVS stores by the end of the year with its concealer, gel cleanser and tinted moisturizer. The line is intended for covering blemishes and is formulated specifically for men's skin, said co-founder Devir Kahan.
The Crown Coalition, of which Unilever's Dove brand is a founding member, is celebrating the first anniversary of passing legislation in California that bans race-based hairstyle and texture discrimination. The coalition has declared July 3 as National Crown Day to celebrate Black people's natural hair and encourage people to sign a petition to expand legislation to other states.
Grain-free cereal brand Three Wishes has recruited three cast members of the 1971 "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" film, including Peter Ostrum who played main character Charlie Bucket, to appear in an ad for the brand's newest product. The actors recreate their roles to promote the high-protein, low-sugar brand's debut of a cocoa flavor.
Swiss Miss is releasing a hot cocoa flavor featuring Lucky Charms marshmallows. Pouches of the co-branded variety are available at retail in six-count packages.
Areas of growth in the juice and smoothie category include lower-sugar brands such as Simply Smoothie and canned varieties with Dole's Pineapple leading the segment with a year-over-sales increase of nearly 18%, according to IRI. Refrigerated lemonade sales have increased by 8.8% while cherry juice performed well in the shelf-stable category with a nearly 7% sales increase over 2019.