Weekly News Briefs: KeHE, Rodale, Unilever & More!

There's a lot happening in the natural products industry! Check out more of this week's news.

natural products industry news

KeHE Distributors announced the return of its holiday show. The digital portion of the event will be held June 9-21 on KeHE CONNECT, and the in-person event is scheduled to take place in Chicago, IL at McCormick Place from June 15-16 (KeHE continues to monitor and assess the evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and in-person events, so watch for updates).
“The show is a can’t-miss experience that the natural, specialty and fresh product(s) community looks forward to every year,” said Ari Goldsmith, Vice President of Marketing & Digital Media of KeHE Distributors. “There is no other show in the grocery marketplace that can offer the amount of variety and substantial return on investment that the show successfully provides. For retailers and suppliers, it’s one of the best opportunities to connect directly, face-to-face, saving time and establishing meaningful relationships to not only satisfy business needs, but ultimately satisfy the needs and tastes of consumers across the country who will soon be purchasing these innovative goods.” 

Rodale Institute shared the news that Congressman David Scott (GA-13), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, will join the Institute, local farmers, researchers, and business owners in an event highlighting the role of regenerative organic agriculture and its viability as a scaled solution to addressing the critical issues that the U.S. faces today. Speakers will discuss research that being conducted in Georgia’s Thirteenth District and its prospective uses to protect farmers, the supply chain, and the climate.

Unilever shared the news that it will stop marketing food and beverages to children under the age of 16 (as opposed to the more common 13 years old). Under Unilever’s enhanced principles it will not target children under 16 with any marketing or social media communications; not collect or storing data on children under 16; not use influencers, celebrities or social media stars who are under 16 or primarily appeal to children under the age of 16; provide clear and prominent disclosure of provisions to influencers and limiting child appeal to influencer content; and continue to refrain from promoting our brands or products in schools (with the exception of participation in educational campaigns, when specifically requested). The principles will apply across Unilever’s food and refreshment portfolio, and brands must comply with the enhanced principles by January 2023.

The Planting Hope Company Inc. has partnered with Freshly to provide a Spanish-Style RightRice meal as part of Freshly’s food delivery subscription program. The meal will highlight RiceRice Veggie Rice, a blend of 90% vegetables, paired with green olives, fennel and roasted almonds. Freshly’s lineup of 50+ meals are all nutritionist approved, and designed to contain less sugar and less processed ingredients. 

Nature’s Path reported its new Regenerative Organic Oats (ROO) program in partnership with Canadian Organic Growers. The Regenerative Organic Oats program will devote $100,000 annually to help a network of organic farmers achieve Regenerative Organic Certification. The Regenerative Organic Oats Program will support four farms each year by providing a series of innovative programs, testing, and community building initiatives. 

​​Chlorophyll Water introduced its landfill biodegradable bottles to the market. The bottles have an organic additive and are 100% recyclable, BPA-free, non-toxic, and landfill biodegradable. They come in 20 fluid ounce containers and are biodegradable in biologically active landfills. Its additive contains organic materials, created to influence microbial activity to stimulate enzymes that break down the recyclable bottle. 

Palm Done Right has partnered with Keap Candles and added sustainable scented candles to its portfolio. With this new partnership, Palm Done Right will make sustainably-sourced palm oil accessible to its customers. Keap will be transitioning to sustainable, conflict-free Palm Done Right sourced palm wax in their line of candles. They are available through a subscription or for online purchase. Keap researched for seven years before partnering with Palm Done Right and the entire Keap Candles line will be fully palm wax based beginning in June 2022.

Wicked Kitchen announced the release of its plant-based ice cream to the United States market. Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen boasts the 100% plant-based ice cream as having a rich mouthfeel and no aftertaste. It was created from a lupini bean base with the goal of choosing an ingredient that “has a culinary impact” and offering it to the masses. The brand focused on texture and flavor when creating its ice cream. It was founded by chefs Derek and Chad Sarno and will be available for purchase in 2,200 Kroger stores and additionally Sprout stores across the United States. Flavors include Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Cookie Dough, available in pints. The brand has additionally released Chocolate & Red Berry Cones, Berry White Sticks, and Chocolate & Almond Sticks. All products are also available on Amazon.

Supplier News

NutriLeads has received a letter with no questions from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding their Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) application for immune health ingredient BeniCaros. The FDA had no questions to NutriLeads application for GRAS status for BeniCaros for inclusion in Dietary Supplements, Beverages, and Functional Foods. BeniCaros is the commercial name for the unique polysaccharide (fiber), also known as cRG-I (rhamnogalacturonan-I derived from carrot pomace). A recent clinical trial demonstrated that BeniCaros improved immune response and resilience in a validated Rhinovirus respiratory infection model. Learn more here.

BENEO shared the news of its $54 million investment in a new pulse processing plant. The site, based in Offstein, Germany, will manufacture pulse ingredients, rich in protein, for food and animal feed. Its focus will be protein concentrate, starch-rich flour, and hulls from Faba beans. The new production site expands the brand’s plant-based protein portfolio and helps it meet growing consumer interest in plant-based food and feed ingredients.

Branded ingredients company Maypro has joined the International Probiotics Association (IPA), which  represents the international probiotics sector, bringing together over 100 companies spanning 30 countries from industry, healthcare, academia, research, regulation, and more. Maypro shared in a release that it represents some of the world’s most researched probiotics and postbiotics, including Morinaga’s BB536, M-63 and M-16V, Fonterra’s HN019 and HN001, and Asahi’s L-92. “Some projections estimate the probiotics category alone will top $75 billion by 2027,” says Dan Lifton, President, Maypro Ventures. “Maypro is positioning itself to be focused, educated, involved, and ready to meet our customers’ category needs. As an organization operating internationally, joining IPA is a natural step for Maypro to ensure we understand the global impact of the probiotic market.”

Dolcas Biotech, LLC shared the news of research confirming the long-term safety of its Curagen curcumin formulation, which is 100% turmeric-derived, bioavailability-enhanced, water-dispersible, and rich in active curcuminoids. The company noted that multiple scientific evaluations already have established the oleoresin-based turmeric (Curcuma longa-L.) formulation’s bioefficacy and high bioavailability, and this latest preclinical safety evaluation demonstrated that there is no indication of any general toxicity, genotoxicity or adverse events associated with long-term use. The independently conducted safety evaluation was published in the Hindawi Journal of Biomedical Research International

Cascades announced the expansion of its eco–friendly packaging line with the addition of a 100% recycled PET tray that  is also recyclable. The company said the  innovative design makes the tray compatible with the packaging equipment already used by food processors and retailers. Cascades also shared that, by using recycled PET exclusively, the company  is helping its customers reduce their impact on climate change by 69%. The tray is manufactured at the Cascades Inopak plant, which the company said has benefited from an investment program of over $30 million aimed at supporting the development of packaging made from 100% recycled PET flakes.
The investments are part of Cascades’ plan to grow as a North American leader in eco-friendly packaging, and the new product contributes to the achievement of one of the goals in Cascades’ Sustainability Action Plan: that 100% of its manufactured packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030.

Addressing attendees at an event organized with EURACTIV, Dr. Bernd Haber, Food Supplements Europe (FSE) Board Member, said policy stakeholders and industry organizations should put aside any differences and work together to develop integrated strategies that tackle widespread poor nutrition and soaring healthcare costs. Haber acknowledged that experts have differing views on the importance of supplementation, but stressed that  there were areas where FSE believed food supplements offered the potential to help.
For example, vitamin D: “Many studies that show clearly that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of falling in the elderly population and avoid the resulting costs to healthcare services and the personal misery to so many people. This role has been recognized by the European Food Safety Authority and World Health Organization. So, why is the intake of vitamin D through supplementation not more recognized and promoted in nutrition policy in the EU? This is the type of issue that needs serious discussion today among those involved in developing policy.” The common goal, he said, is to help EU citizens live healthier and happier lives. To that end:”FSE is proposing a collective approach that puts our combined energy and expertise into identifying and implementing policies that deliver on this goal.”

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