Plant Based Food Options Are Sprouting Profits For Retailers

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Plant Based Options Are Sprouting Growth for Retailers

FMCG AND RETAIL | 06-13-2018

From a consumption perspective, many would argue that there’s never been a better time to be a shopper. That’s because there’s something for everyone and every taste. And when it comes to nutrition, 37% of Americans say they’re following a specific diet this year, which is up from 35% last year and 29% in 2016. And with consumers narrowing their foci, brands and retailers need to stay tuned in—or risk missing out.

Once convenience is tossed into the mix, consumer choices expand into an ever growing universe of new, different or better. The food category has become ‘complicated’. Retailers persist in showing customers pictures of products on sale with no ‘why behind the buy’ story to give context to the purchase decision.

Retailers who do educate before selling, gain predictable and consistent profits. Content marketing has been tested and proven to outperform any other marketing program using sales circulars or ads. That’s the good news for retailers. This is the most fertile area for growth these days.

Amid the various nutrition programs on the market today, plant-based diets are gaining particular prominence. Notably, a Nielsen Homescan survey last year found that 39% of Americans are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods. To meet their goals, however, many shoppers aren’t looking to traditional plant-based staples like tofu, brown rice and granola. In fact, sales of traditional plant-based options were down 1.3% in the year ended April 7, 2018.

That’s not to say that growth in plant options is absent, however. Within the plant-based food space, innovation is booming, and an array of plant-based alternatives are posting significant sales growth.

In looking across the U.S., 6% of Americans say they follow a strictly vegetarian lifestyle, while 3% follow a strictly vegan lifestyle. Regardless of motivations, the number of consumers adopting vegetarian or vegan lifestyles is increasing, predominantly among young and diverse consumer groups. In looking across demographic groups, ethnic and young consumers express higher intentions to eat more plant-based foods:

African Americans are 48% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to incorporate plant-based foods.
Asian Americans are 47% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to incorporate plant-based foods.
Hispanic consumers are 46% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to incorporate plant-based foods.
Caucasian Millennials are 47% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to incorporate plant-based foods.

From a total store perspective, plant-based food options are no small potatoes. As of 2017, 19.5% of food and beverage dollars came from products that met a plant-based diet. And as a result of consumer interest, vegan (which excludes produce) and produce sales growth is outpacing total food and beverage sales.

Vegan and produce growth
In addition, vegan and produce options increased their dollar share by nearly 2% between 2014 and 2017.

Vegan and produce dollar share
Vegetarian and vegan offerings aren’t limited to solid foods, however, as most of us are well aware of the rise in dairy alternatives, particularly milk substitutes. And from a consumption perspective, Americans are going nuts for almond milk, which has posted a three-year combined annual growth rate of 8.2%.

Whether it be due to health, ethics or sustainability, the proportion of U.S. consumers that adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet is growing. And that presents notable opportunity for brands and retailers looking for ways to capitalize on specific needs and desires among consumers opting for plant-based food and beverage options, particularly in cases where no or few options currently exist.

METHODOLOGY
The insights in this article were derived from the following sources:

Nielsen Retail Measurement Services
Nielsen Product Insider, powered by Label Insight, Latest 52 weeks ended Dec. 30, 2017
U.S. Homescan Panel Protein Survey, April 2017
The Nielsen Global Health and Ingredient-Sentiment Survey, 2016
Nielsen 2018 Health Shopper Survey

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Soil Samples Contain Antibiotics Effective Against Resistant Bacteria

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New Family of Antibiotics That May One Day Be Used Against Drug-resistant Bacteria,

02/15/2018 http://smartbrief.com/branded/0CFA9D5B-9285-47DF-A018-5ED9E96C0C0B/E53E0A04-B1AE-463F-8EFC-B6FC6159D02F

The dirt under your soles might just hold the key to your immune defenses against bacteria resistant antibiotics. No wonder organic farmers spend so much time building their soil. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned by paying attention to dirt.  .

Natural compounds in soil collected from around the US are a new family of antibiotics that may one day be used against drug-resistant bacteria, according to findings published in Nature Microbiology. The compounds are called malacidins, and the study says they’ve been shown to destroy drug-resistant infections, such as MRSA, in rats.

US scientists have discovered a new family of antibiotics in soil samples.

The natural compounds could be used to combat hard-to-treat infections, the team at Rockefeller University hopes.

Tests show the compounds, called malacidins, annihilate several bacterial diseases that have become resistant to most existing antibiotics, including the superbug MRSA.

Experts say the work, published in Nature Microbiology, offers fresh hope in the antibiotics arms race. Drug-resistant diseases are one of the biggest threats to global health. They kill around 700,000 people a year, and new treatments are urgently needed.

Drugs from dirt

Soil is teeming with millions of different micro-organisms that produce lots of potentially therapeutic compounds, including new antibiotics. Dr Sean Brady’s team at New York’s Rockefeller University has been busy unearthing them.

They used a gene sequencing technique to analyse more than 1,000 soil samples taken from across the US. When they discovered malacidins in many of the samples, they had a hunch it was an important find.

They tested the compound on rats that they had given MRSA and it eliminated the infection in skin wounds. The researchers are now working to improve the drug’s effectiveness in the hope that it can be developed into a real treatment for people.

Dr Brady said: “It is impossible to say when, or even if, an early stage antibiotic discovery like the malacidins will proceed to the clinic. “It is a long, arduous road from the initial discovery of an antibiotic to a clinically used entity.”

Prof Colin Garner, from Antibiotic Research UK, said finding new antibiotics to treat gram-positive infections like MRSA was good news, but would not address the most pressing need. “Our concern are the so called gram-negative bacteria which are difficult to treat and where resistance is on the increase,” he said.

“Gram-negative bacteria cause pneumonia, blood and urinary tract infections as skin infections. We need new antibiotics to treat this class.”

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Six Questions About Cellphone Radiation Risk and Your Health

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Cellphone Radiation and Your Health

While many communities are just beginning to deal with the impacts of radiation in our built environment, like smart meter technology, LED street light bulb replacement, dark skies, ordinances from light pollution, In Europe many of these laws are already on the books.

.As other communities begin to grapple with radiation issues from our built environment like smart meters, LED streetlight conversions and dark skies ordinances, the city of Berkeley, California won a major decision in a federal appeals court, allowing the city to go forward with its ordinance requiring cellphone retailers to provide consumers with information about safe cellphone use.

The court denied a request by the the mobile phone industry’s lobby, CTIA-The Wireless Association, which had fought the city’s attempts to educate its citizens.

Meanwhile the Berkeley’s ordinance, in effect since March 2016, requires the following notification:

To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cellphones meet radiofrequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.

Last month, under court order, the California Department of Public Health released draft guidelines on cellphone safety that outlined the health risks from cellphone radiation. For an in depth history, check out The Environmental Working Group. Assess your risks, look at the science, and follow other trends impacting public policy and our health and well being.

Parents For Safe Technology have been reporting the legislative track on this issue in addition to many other technology and public safety related issues. France is imposing a total ban of cell phones in school. What should we know to be informed? Please see EWG’s Cellphone Radiation FAQs.

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The 2017 Top Dirty Dozen List Of Produce With The Most Pesticides

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178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products were found on the thousands of produce samples analyzed.

The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

Key findings:

  • Nearly all samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.

  • The most contaminated sample of strawberries had 20 different pesticides.

  • Spinach samples had an average of twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop. Three-fourths of spinach samples had residues of a neurotoxic pesticide banned in Europe for use on food crops – it’s part of a class of pesticides that recent studies link to behavioral disorders in young children.

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Environmental Working Group

WASHINGTON – Strawberries remain at the top of the Dirty Dozen™ list of the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues.

EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

“If you don’t want to feed your family food contaminated with pesticides, the EWG Shopper’s Guide helps you make smart choices, whether you’re buying conventional or organic produce,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior analyst. “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic. If you can’t buy organic, the Shopper’s Guide will steer you to conventionally grown produce that is the lowest in pesticides.”

Lunder said it’s particularly important to reduce young children’s exposures to pesticides. The pesticide industry and chemical agriculture maintain that pesticides on produce are nothing to worry about, but doctors and scientists strongly disagree.

“Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children’s exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. “EWG’s guide can help by giving consumers easy-to-use advice when shopping for their families.”

Landrigan, Dean of Global Health and Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai, was the principal author of a landmark 1993 National Academy of Sciences study, Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. The study led to enactment of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act that set safety standards for pesticides on foods.

For the Dirty Dozen list, EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. In addition to strawberries and spinach, this year’s list includes nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes.

Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Pears and potatoes were new additions to the Dirty Dozen, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last year’s list.

By contrast, EWG’s Clean Fifteen™ list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues includes sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them.

“From the surge in sales of organic food year after year, it’s clear that that consumers would rather eat fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic pesticides,” said Lunder. “But sometimes an all-organic diet is not an option, so they can use the Shopper’s Guide to choose a mix of conventional and organic produce.”

 

Are Managed Bees Making Wild Bees Sick?

Bee pollinating flower
Bee pollinating flower

Wild pollinators have been under assault around the world. Crop production has turned to shipping bee hives to farms to offset the impacts of declining wild populations. So how’s that working out?

Peter Graystock a post doc researcher at UC Riverside’s Department of Entomology says this practice is spreading to wild bee populations, putting them under additional stress.

A new paper outlining the problem and offering solutions is online at the International Journal of Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife

Read the paper online here.

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