by SNEB member Ellen Schuster, MS
This ‘n that: Submit comments, info on listening sessions ahead of September White House conference on nutrition, hunger and health (https://health.gov/our-work/nutrition-physical-activity/white-house-conference-hunger-nutrition-and-health). 2023 Farm Bill work begins at first Michigan hearing (https://www.farmprogress.com/farm-bill/1st-senate-farm-bill-hearing-held-michigan); more on the Farm Bill (https://frac.org/blog/the-road-to-the-2023-farm-bill); Farm Bill background (https://sustainableagriculture.net/our-work/campaigns/fbcampaign/what-is-the-farm-bill/). Florida won’t participate in the Youth Behavior Risk Survey as 2 other states mull not participating (https://www.edweek.org/leadership/some-states-back-away-from-a-major-student-well-being-survey-why-and-what-it-could-mean/2022/05). New June PBS show – The Great American Recipe celebrates diversity (https://www.tastingtable.com/860551/what-to-expect-from-pbss-new-show-the-great-american-recipe/). Dr. Marion Nestle’s upcoming memoir, Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics, available Oct. 4; interview (https://www.foodpolitics.com/2022/05/the-latest-on-slow-cooked-my-forthcoming-memoir/).
Lucky Charms in the news: Over 7,000 say they were sickened after eating Lucky Charms, the FDA investigates (https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2022/05/07/over-7300-lucky-charms-cereal-illness-complaints-on-iwaspoisonedcom-fda-investigating/); health departments in at least 4 states (NY, MI, AK, KS) conduct interviews (https://nypost.com/2022/04/20/fda-taps-states-in-lucky-charms-probe-company-hands-out-coupons/). The latest podcast of Food Safety Talk, May 11, 2022 addresses the Lucky Charms complaints (about 30 minutes in, 19 minutes total): (http://foodsafetytalk.com/food-safety-talk/2022/5/11/food-safety-talk-261-teams-is-dog-poop).
Food retailers in the news: More independent grocers add SNAP to e-commerce (https://www.supermarketnews.com/online-retail/more-independent-grocers-add-ebt-snap-payments-e-commerce-offerings). TikToker compares Dollar Tree in different locations – items on hand and other characteristics – in a poorer vs. higher income neighborhood (https://www.dailydot.com/irl/dollar-tree-neighborhoods-tiktok/).
Mobile food and a new food word game: New survey data finds 49% of 18 – 34 year olds use meal kits weekly and 71% surveyed looked for meal kits that had a collaboration between chefs and local farmers (https://progressivegrocer.com/meal-kits-moving-mainstream). Ice cream ‘on demand’ in Los Angeles (https://www.grocerydive.com/news/robomart-unilever-ice-cream-truck/623310/). A new food word game – Phoodle – that comes with fun facts and a weekly recipe (https://www.foodandwine.com/news/phoodle-food-words-wordle-game).
Food in the news: The Heirloom Collard Project looks to save rare collard greens (https://www.npr.org/2022/04/24/1093167996/gardening-collard-greens-seed-savers-heirloom-collard-project-food-recipes). New chocolate bar replaces dairy with oats (https://vegnews.com/2022/5/lindt-vegan-chocolate-bar). How one food company deals with supply chain disruption…reformulate, reformulate, reformulate – sometimes 20 times in 1 year (https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/general-mills-cpg-reformulates-products-ingredients-shortages/622423/). Drinks: A new marketing term? Pure Tea has a ‘subtly sweet’ bottled tea that is lower in sugar – about 1 teaspoon of sugar 20 calories for 18.5 oz. or 75% less sugar than its sweet tea – it contains sugar and stevia
(https://www.worldteanews.com/products-equipment/pure-leaf-launches-three-lower-sugar-iced-teas-summer-2022). The tea contains sugar and stevia. Alcoholic drinks-to-go become permanent in many states (https://restaurant.org/education-and-resources/resource-library/cocktails-to-go-becoming-permanent-fixture-across-us/). Panera’s new fruity lemonades with caffeine – 20 ounces have about 260 mg caffeine (https://www.fastfoodpost.com/panera-pours-three-new-charged-lemonades-made-with-guarana-and-caffeine/). Why McDonald’s Coca-Cola tastes so good: the temperature, water quality, amount of syrup (taking into account ice melting) and more (https://thetakeout.com/why-mcdonalds-coke-tastes-better-1848594098). Cereal: A cereal made for adding…orange juice (https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/30/business/tropicana-orange-juice-cereal-crunch-trnd/index.html).
Marketing food: Cereal and Crocs, no, it’s not a typo. Now you can buy crocs with cereal-based charms (https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/retail/2022/05/01/cereal-crocs-cinnamon-toast-crunch/9585852002/). ‘Wacky’ ice cream flavors – pizza, everything bagel and others – continue to hit the shelves. Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen ice cream makes their Kraft Mac ‘n cheese available through the end of May and other flavors for a limited time at Walmart at $4.98/14 oz. These flavors are considered a ‘disruptive activation’ in the marketplace. Get ready for Grey Poupon Dijon w/pretzels ice cream coming in June. A recent innovative ice cream contest at a dairy food trade show included savory ice cream flavors like miso and spicy Thai peanut (https://www.wsj.com/articles/weird-ice-cream-flavors-churn-up-discord-11651767171). A deeper dive into how Kraft Heinz approaches the development and marketing of these new foods (https://www.fooddive.com/news/kraft-heinz-marketing-strategy-macaroni-cheese-ice-cream/623154/).
HERE’S AN INTERESTING IDEA…
A Starbucks Community Store may be coming to your neighborhood. There are 150 such stores globally and one in Alabama has a retail job skill training for youth. Stores partner with the local community to develop food and economic security, health programming and more (https://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-food/starbucks-open-1000-community-stores-2030).