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USDA Fights Food Stamps at KFC and Taco Bell

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 18, 2011 12:01 PM

Pretty much everybody is hurting for cash these days. And that has led to the U.S. government’s food-stamp program having a fresh influx of members. 

In August, a new record was set of participants when it reached 45.8 million Americans, an increase of 8.1 percent form 2010. Way to go, America! In 2010, the program “distributed a record $64.4 billion,” according to Bloomberg. So there are plenty who’d like a piece of that pie.

The United States Department of Agriculture runs the food-stamp program and folks there were apparently none too pleased when they heard the news that Yum! Brands Inc. was planning to let its KFC and Taco Bell franchises accept food stamps. Now, the USDA “is encouraging states not to give Yum a green light," Bloomberg reports.Continue reading...

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No Junk Food Ads? No Jobs, ANA Says

Posted by Dale Buss on July 11, 2011 12:30 PM

On the day that the Obama administration had to ruefully acknowledge that the unemployment rate is rising again – to 9.2% in June – the US Association of National Advertisers tried a clever tactic that attempted to leverage renewed fears about joblessness to advance what probably ranks as the ANA’s No. 1 public-policy concern these days.

The ANA produced a study purporting to show that a cross-agency federal proposal to curtail marketing of certain products to kids could translate to the loss of at least 74,000 American jobs in the retailing, marketing and manufacturing of foods and beverages that the government believes contribute to childhood obesity.Continue reading...

private brand

Safeway Seeks to Better Define “Natural” Foods

Posted by Dale Buss on June 21, 2011 05:00 PM

It’s a long-running conundrum for better-for-you food and beverage marketers: How do you leverage a “natural” positioning for new, healthful products compared with marketing new “organic” items?

USDA standards have defined and regulated organic labeling for several years now, but the meaning of “natural” is something that still remains unaddressed by regulators and, consequently, by marketers.

American consumers remain vastly confused by the two terms, with studies showing that they tend to credit many more important nutrition and health attributes to products labeled “natural” than they do to those labeled “organic” – even though the latter are the only ones consumers really can count on.Continue reading...


Join the Debate: Is the New USDA Healthy Eating Logo a Waste of Time?

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 3, 2011 05:45 PM

This week the U.S. government abandoned the classic food pyramid that visualized its healthy eating recommendations.

Now, the dietary guildelines are being rebranded, using a plate icon designed to symbolize and simplify the recommended daily amounts of food. Will the new system succeed where the food pyramid didn't?

Tell us what you think in this week's debate forum.

brand news

In the News: Walmart, EA, Chrysler & more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 3, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Acer faces rising tablet challenge.

American Family tops insurance-satisfaction ranking.

Bing, Google and Yahoo partner on web standards.

Chevron boosts Gulf of Mexico production.

EA launches Origin, a consumer gaming platform.

Facebook testifies that Ceglia e-mails were forged.

Fiat buys rest of US government stake in Chrysler.Continue reading...

health matters

USDA Rebrands Healthy Eating Guidelines With Plate Icon

Posted by Dale Buss on June 2, 2011 05:00 PM

There are a few oddities, but — as we previewed yesterday — the US Department of Agriculture's simplified new icon that replaces its food pyramid logo should help Americans understand nutritional recommendations much better than the last form of MyPyramid did.

First Lady Michelle Obama helped unveil the rebranded icon (dubbed MyPlate, it replaces MyPyramid) today, along with a website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, a move that was greeted with endorsements from just about every quarter of the food and beverage industry, the regulatory apparatus, and academia.Continue reading...

health matters

USDA Food Pyramid About to Crumble

Posted by Dale Buss on June 1, 2011 05:00 PM

The next effort by the federal government to get Americans to eat better: junk the iconic food pyramid in favor of a new healthy-eating logo and visual systems that looks more like a dinner plate.

That makes sense. With the original pyramid conceived decades ago, consumers were supposed to favor foods depicted in the icon’s wide base, such as whole grains and vegetables – as the “basis” of a healthy diet.

The allegedly worse-for-you stuff, such as fats and meats, were relegated to smaller portions near the top of the pyramid. But not surprisingly, this confused many Americans. Isn’t the best stuff supposed to be at the pinnacle of anything? Besides, geometry is a tough subject.Continue reading...

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Teenage Drama in White House's "Tough" New Food-Ad Guidelines

Posted by Dale Buss on April 29, 2011 02:00 PM

Michelle Obama is trying to woo kids to put down the cheeseburger and get moving in her Let's Move healthy kids campaign — even co-opting Beyonce in her anti-obesity campaign's latest effort: a May 3rd "dance-in" in America's public schools.

But the White House wants to put teeth in those efforts by regulating food advertising, yesterday announcing proposed federal guidelines for marketing food to kids. The biggest issue to come out of the "tough new rules," as the Wall Street Journal described them — when does a minor become impressionable by advertising?Continue reading...

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