It doesn’t matter if you have the best intentions in the world if your customers think your intentions are rotten - and more and more often, consumers are saying they view Big Food in the same way as Big Tobacco.
Whether you are ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ genetic engineering has become a divisive political issue, but remember that we are talking about technology; it shouldn’t be an ideology.
As the New Year dawns, FoodNavigator predicts the top five factors likely to be the biggest drivers of the European food industry in the year ahead.
Acrylamide is a recognised carcinogen that we’ve known is in our food at dangerous levels for a decade. Today, the food industry has tools to mitigate it, but uptake is slow.Industry, beware. This is how scandals are made.
A French study on the effects of Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize in rats has said little about the safety or otherwise of GM crops – but it has said plenty about how the media can be used to push an agenda.
Western breakfast brands don’t often work in China. They need manipulating to appeal to very different tastes, packaging and format preferences and, of course, another language.
Yesterday a large scale scientific review revealed that organic produce may not be more nutritious than ‘conventionally’ produced goods. But since that isn’t the main reason people buy them, does it really even matter?
‘Fat tax’ is a neat thought, but like all simplistic ideas it falls down at the execution, as the progress of the policy in Denmark shows – it simply doesn’t work in practice.
Sourcing cocoa from certified farms can minimise incidence of child labour, but if that’s enough, why else should chocolate manufacturers commit to third-party certification?
Barely a week goes by without another food company being challenged in court over its use of the word ‘natural’ – and it’s just a matter of time before the claim loses its front-and-center on-pack appeal.
Vitafoods celebrates its 15th birthday next week. It’ll be my 11th consecutive May visit to Geneva for the jamboree and promises to be one of the most intriguing chapters with the (partial and belated) resolution of years of ambiguity regarding health claims in Europe.
Anyone who has spent any appreciable amount of time working in the food industry realises that the issue of ‘junk food’ marketing to children is a hydra that rears two heads for every one cut off.
Five years ago the European Union nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) became law. Around the bloc, hopeful EU healthy foods and supplements stakeholders submitted more than 44,000 health claim applications.
Can you make it taste better?" is a question I've been asked time and time again, usually by people who don't actually know what they want and who don't understand the word 'taste' at all – let alone the journey you need to take to make your food taste great!
The European Food Safety Authority last week delivered the fifth batch of article 13, general function health claim opinions bringing the total issued to 2723. There are just 35 to go – to be published next month in a final mini-batch that will conclude the task begun in August 2008.
If the food industry wants journalists and consumers to get real about risk, then it has to get real too.
The United States lists sodium on nutrition labels while salt is more common in the European Union. Salt and sodium are not the same, and a standardized term would only cause confusion.
‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter!’ When it comes to transparency you can’t get much clearer than Unilever’s famous exclamation-turned-margarine-brand. But new labelling rules to prevent one food masquerading as another should distinguish between intent to mislead and innovations that may benefit consumers.
All is not well down on the novel foods farm. If food innovation in Europe is to thrive anew, MEPs and the Council need to get past the recriminations over the failed talks and remove the troublesome question of cloned foods from the negotiating table.
Today is Pancake Day. It is also International Women’s Day. An important date, then, not just for food lovers in countries where Mardi Gras is a big deal, but a day to consider the role – and the potential – of women involved in food provision all over the world.
The food industry has a responsibility to label allergenic ingredients as big and bold as they can – but also not to over-egg the slimmest of slim possibilities that a trace amount of an allergen may have slipped into a product.
When Tunisian street vegetable vendor Mohamed Bouazizi chose to end his life in fiery suicide, no one could have foreseen the firestorm his death would unleash across the Arab world. But, two months later, as the Arab Revolt shows no sign of fading, the lessons to be drawn about food security are becoming abundantly clear.
The food industry should not rage against the idea of professionalised local food systems, nor unleash its lobbying force to uproot them before their green shoots can reach maturity. Rather, it should explore ways to benefit from local foods and, in turn, foster their development.
Jazz singer Nina Simone’s plaintive, “I want a little sugar in my bowl”, will strike the right note with Europe’s beleaguered sugar industry.
It was an Emperor’s New Clothes moment for the US food industry last week, when it was revealed that a major initiative touting its responsible advertising to kids actually allows promotion of many unhealthy foods. Is anyone really surprised?