Prepared foods

The report warned that SMEs would be adversely hit by additional administrative costs of mandatory labelling

Mandatory origin labelling: Costs outweigh the benefits, says EC

By Niamh Michail

Mandatory labelling for dairy could push up production costs by nearly 50% and limit consumer freedom of choice - the current status quo is the most suitable option, say two Commission reports that have been welcomed by the food industry.

Plant-based alternatives to meat include soy, cheese, eggs, nuts, mushrooms and pulses with advances in food technology meaning taste and texture is almost on a par with real meat.

Flexitarians fuel innovation in vegetarian food

By Niamh Michail

Vegetarians are enjoying a wide range of packaged food– but it's their flexitarian friends who are fuelling innovation in the taste and texture of plant-based meat alternatives.

Taxation necessary to offset rising cost of a healthy diet

By Niamh Michail

The price of fruit and vegetables in the UK has tripled in the past 30 years, while the price of ice cream has halved – a pattern being repeated across the developing world which is fuelling the global obesity crisis.

Over 80% of food companies said they were exposed to water risks which could have a substantive impact on business operations, according to a 2014 CDP survey.

Food industry unprepared for water shortages

By Niamh Michail

The food industry – the most water-intensive business on earth - is unprepared for global water shortages, according to a report which ranks the best and worst offending companies for their water management.

As big name brands lower their prices to compete with own brands, consumers may go back to buying the premium labels they enjoyed pre-recession, warns Canadean. Own brands should focus on quality to retain their new-found consumer base.

Brand rivalry deepens in post-crisis Europe

By Niamh Michail

Own-brands have enjoyed a boom in crisis-hit Europe, winning new consumers with both price and quality – but big brands are resorting to aggressive pricing and promotions to win back their old consumer base.

Food prices are likely to stay under downward pressure due to large supplies and a strong US dollar, the FAO says

FAO: Global food import costs to hit five-year low

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS

Global food import costs are set to reach their lowest level in five years during 2015, even as volumes remain the same or rise slightly, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Food companies face the challenge of increasing both production and sustainability through innovation without alienating consumers.

Is consumer scepticism stifling industry innovation?

By Niamh Michail

It is time for the food industry to demonstrate that the natural, healthy food we eat is the result of food science and innovation, says one expert – but opinion is divided over how to achieve this.

Put yourself on the innovation fast track by attending New Frontiers in Food & Drink on June 26 in London

True food innovation means ‘disruptive’ change

By Rick Pendrous

Breakthrough innovation is marked by a total transformation of an organisation and is completely different to developing food or drink products that just follow the latest fad or trend, according to a leading consultant.

The review looked at different ways of modifying initial food choices and found three key elements in each context: Make healthy foods convenient, attractive and normal.

Three ways to encourage healthy eating anywhere

By Niamh Michail

Yes we can: By making healthy food choices Convenient, Attractive and Normal companies and policy-makers can foster healthy eating habits in all contexts, say researchers.

Reformulation to reduce fat, salt and sugar for some brands but not others means that consumers cannot rely on smell or taste as reliable predictors of energy content

Too much variety may be fuelling the obesity crisis

By Niamh Michail

Big differences in the calorie content for one food type distorts expectations of satiety and energy content leading to overeating - a feature of Western diets that is fuelling the obesity crisis, say researchers.

Ross (left): a due diligence defence could be used if bribery is identified

Food and drink firms should 'beware bribery threat'

By Nicholas Robinson

Manufacturers must take the threat of bribery more seriously by putting in place measures to safeguard against it, a legal expert has advised. The warning comes as new figures suggest a third of food firms have no protection in place against such illegal...

Organic NPD vital to survive mainstream 'healthification'

By Niamh Michail

The organic sector has cultivated a culture of ethical awareness among consumers that conventional manufacturers are now cashing in on – and new product development is vital for the sector to retain its value, say experts.

Chilled pasta took 28% of the total Western European pasta market last year, compared to 25% five years earlier

Packaged food sales increase in ‘two-speed’ Western Europe

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS

The Western European packaged food market has grown 5% since 2009, with chilled pasta, sustainable foods and frozen yoghurt leading the way, according to Euromonitor International – but Europe is still a divided market.

Confusing food labels are named and shamed on Twitter

By Niamh Michail

A Spanish consumer rights group has launched a naming and shaming Twitter campaign after it found one third of consumers surveyed has bought the wrong product due to confusing food labels.

When companies try to be cool: A lesson in 'wackaging'

By Niamh Michail

Wackaging – using cute and quirky language on a product’s packaging – seems to be everywhere. But with consumers becoming increasingly cynical, should manufacturers stop trying to be cool?

Permira, the owner of the Birds Eye brand, will retain a 9% stake after the acquisition.

UK’s Birds Eye brand Iglo sold for €2.6bn

By Joyeeta Basu

Europe’s largest frozen foods business Iglo Group has been bought by a pair of US investors for €2.6bn, at 2.4 times return on the original investment made by parent company Permira.

Nutrition labelling alone not effective in comparison study

Front-of-pack labels are equally effective - but none works alone

By Niamh Michail

Front-of-pack labelling can be useful but health policy-makers are naïve if they think that this alone will result in healthier food choices, say researchers -  environment, motivation and psychology must be actively influenced too.

How to restore consumer confidence after a food scandal

By Niamh Michail

Accountability is key to rebuilding consumer confidence in the industry following a food scandal  - a company’s response to accusations of contamination is almost as important as its actual role in causing it, according to a new study.

The company's confectionery sales surged at Easter, it said.

Early Easter sweetens sales for Nestlé

By Joyeeta Basu

Nestlé has reported a better than expected sales jump of 4.4% with sales totalling CHF 20.9bn (€20.25bn), boosted by sales of bottled water and chocolate.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of French consumers said low-salt and low-sugar products were a priority for foods eaten on the run

French consumers seek healthier on-the-go foods

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS

France may be notorious for its leisurely lunch breaks but less structured ways of eating are taking root, with a third of consumers saying they often eat on the run, according to an Ipsos poll.

Japan’s low carb consumption makes it lightest of all G8 nations

Japan

Japan’s low carb consumption makes it lightest of all G8 nations

By RJ Whitehead

An analysis of the G8 nations has highlighted striking differences in calories and other macronutrients purchased from packaged food in these countries with Mediterranean and Japanese diets being the healthiest, according to Euromonitor.

The acquisition will help Solina expand its business scope in Western Europe, said the company

Solina Group acquires Paulig flavours division

By Joyeeta Basu

France's Solina Group will acquire the industrial flavouring division of Paulig to increase its presence in Nordic countries and Russia, the company has said.

Is baby food creating fussy eaters?

Is baby food creating fussy eaters?

By Niamh Michail

Fostering children's willingness to try new flavours and foods has clear benefits for the food industry -  yet researchers say baby food manufacturers may be inadvertently creating picky eaters.

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