Posted by Abe Sauer on June 18, 2012 09:59 AM
Last week, China's Yili brand of milk was making headlines for its bold moves to place its products in American entertainment, including the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory. Yili made its western product placement debut last year — alongside other Chinese brands — in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. After that plumb role, Yili claims its sales rose at least 20 percent.
What a difference a week makes. The latest headlines for the Yili brand include the terms "unusual amount" and "mercury." It's a scandal that leaves China's milk industry teetering precariously at the point of no return. Or at least, at the point of no return for a generation.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 8, 2012 09:15 AM
Remember the old aphorism about eating oatmeal because it "sticks to your ribs?" Quaker Oats now plans to find out whether that is at least metaphorically true — and, if so, whether there might be a new "satiety" benefit to eating its oatmeal products that could help promote the brand.
That's just one of the objectives of the new Quaker Oats Center of Excellence, a research nexus announced this week by the PepsiCo brand. The company is streamlining and accelerating research around other potential health and nutrition benefits of oats besides it well-documented, government-approved claim to help lower cholesterol levels and thus mitigate heart disease.
Also, Nestle announced that it has centralized its clinical-research efforts at a new unit in its headquarters city of Lausanne, Switzerland, with the aim of rationalizing the planning and management of clinical trials and fundamental research projects so that it's better positioned to gain health claims by the European Food Safety Authority. The new Nestle unit also is expected to help it expand its global reach and better adapt products to gloabl needs, a Nestle executive told NutraIngredients.com.
Both efforts are significant as mainstream CPG giants seek much bigger gains in the world of better-for-you products, just as they for so long have dominated markets for mainstream foods and beverages.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on June 7, 2012 11:55 AM
The last major food that promised to cut weight by inhibiting digestion of fat after ingesting it was potato chips that contained Olestra. And we know what happened with that.
Now, Japan's Kirin Holdings is selling a beverage called Kirin Mets Cola that claims to reduce fat absorption by the body if it's consumed with a meal. Launched in Japan in April in 480ml bottles, Mets Cola became the first cola to receive clearance under Japan's strict new food-regulatory regime, according to BeverageDaily.com.
While it has nothing to do with the New York Mets or baseball, it certainly has a pitch as a "fat busting health drink" for men. No surprise, the cola drink is a runaway hit in Japan.Continue reading...
what's in a name
Posted by Dale Buss on May 31, 2012 04:31 PM
What's in a name? A lot, if you've got an inconvenient one and you want to change it. Would John Denver ever have become beloved, or even reviled, as Henry John Deuschendorf?
Thus you can understand the disappointment of the makers of high-fructose corn syrup this week after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration rejected a request by the corn-refining giants to allow them to change the name of their product to "corn sugar."
The agency said that it defines sugar as a solid, dried and crystallized food — not a syrup. Plus there's already something that technically is a solid corn-based sweetener, dextrose. Thus, the corn refiners are stuck with the moniker — better known by the acronym HFCS — that might as well appear as a skull and crossbones on nutritional labels, the way many American mothers see it.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 25, 2012 11:55 AM
The good folks of Australia are battling hard against the world’s powerful tobacco companies and they aren’t getting a ton of support from some of their brethren across the globe. Australia is planning to ban branded packaging for cigarettes and cigars, and big tobacco isn't having any of it.
The word from Reuters is that “the tobacco industry is providing legal advice to Ukraine and Honduras in their challenges to Australia's new tobacco packaging rules at the World Trade Organization.” These two countries are questioning the move purely for trade reasons since neither owns a big chunk of the Australian tobacco marketplace.
"We know that the tobacco companies, because they have admitted it, are providing legal advice to WTO members in order to encourage them to take action against Australia," said Australian Health Secretary Jane Halton to Reuters.Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2012 12:04 PM
POM Wonderful isn't done fighting the Federal Trade Commission, even in the wake of Monday's smackdown by an FTC administrative-law judge that puts the squeeze on POM's advertising and marketing efforts with regard to health claims. Not by a long shot.
In an extraordinary thumb in the eye of the federal regulatory agency, POM Wonderful greeted online readers of the New York Times and other media websites this morning with a defiant volley of opposition to what the judge handed down.
"FTC v. POM. You be the judge" is the rallying cry for in the brand's FTC response campaign. Clicking on the ad takes readers to a new website, pomtruth.com, which selects quotes from the judge's decision that, taken out of context, appear to favor POM's argument, such as, "Pomegranate juice is a natural fruit product with health promoting characteristics. The safety of pomegranate juice is not in doubt."
Go further and you hit a page headlined: "Out of 600 print and outdoor ads, the judge found less than 2% misleading*. Here are some of the other 98%. ... *And we're fighting for those other 2%."Continue reading...
truth in advertising
Posted by Dale Buss on May 21, 2012 05:35 PM
POM Wonderful today hailed a ruling by an FTC administrative law judge as a big win for the company, which has been embroiled with the federal agency for nearly two years over the Federal Trade Commission's concerns that the creator of the pomegranate-juice craze was getting too boastful about the health benefits of its products.
But the FTC also hailed the decision by Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell as a big win. The judge "found that all respondents" from POM "violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by deceptively advertising that Pom products treat, prevent, or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction and has entered an order against them." So who gets to declare victory?Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 17, 2012 02:09 PM
The U.S. government's campaign to help smokers quit (and keep kids from starting the nasty habit) has led to calls to quit lines more than doubling. The main mind behind the campaign, Dr. Howard Koh, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, has been a force on the anti-smoking front for 20 years. He was involved in everything from the proposal to put highly graphic images on cigarette packaging and the movement to expand health insurance coverage for tobacco cessation.
While he’s been doing that, Australia’s Attorney General Nicola Roxon has also been hard at work trying to end the world’s fascination with cigarettes. While she was Health Minister in Australia, she launched the idea that all cigarette packs in the country should be sold in plain brown paper, which of course sent the legal departments of tobacco companies into a tizzy. As Attorney General, she is requiring that graphic warnings cover the large majority of the packs.
For their efforts, Koh and Roxon are being recognized at event in Washington, D.C. held by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, which works to counter tobacco brands' marketing and frowns on advertising such as characters and other kid-friendly touches, such as Camel's pinkalicious print campaign at right.Continue reading...