[email protected]: Food purveyors catch attention with bizarre brand swag | Why companies use natural flavors

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

The crazy merchandise Cheetos, Coke and KFC and other food companies sell to get attention

A Taco Bell bodysuit? Little Caesar’s headphones? In-N-Out air fresheners? In this competitive food retail environment, some food manufacturers and restaurants are taking creative and unexpected routes toward catching consumers’ attention—and winning their loyalty. Coke says it sells more than 500 million branded products each year, including power sticks, straw dispensers and backpacks. Read more at CNBC…

 

Is ‘natural flavor’ healthier than ‘artificial flavor’

Consumers like "natural," but as the clean label movement has progressed, some have even questioned why companies use what's labeled on their packages as "natural flavors"—oils, resins or other extracts derived from natural sources for flavoring purposes. If you’re going to make a product that's lemon flavored, why not just use lemons? One justification for that might have to do with waste. Flavor chemist Gary Reineccius notes that if you’re using all of your fruit to flavor a beverage or a snack bar, for example, there isn't as much left to use for other things. “It would be exceedingly expensive,” he says. “Then what do you do with the byproduct you create after you’ve sucked all the juice out?” Read more at NPR…

 

One step beyond organic or free-range: Dutch farmer’s chickens lay carbon-neutral eggs

A Dutch farm claims its operation complies with not just the highest animal welfare standards, but also the lowest possible environmental impact, to the point that it is carbon neutral. At Kipster Farm, the facility is fitted with solar panels that provide more than enough energy for it, and the chickens are fed with food scraps collected from nearby bakeries. Read more at The Guardian…

 

Katherine Paul fights for organic food and soil

The associate director of the Organic Consumers Association is helping build momentum for the regenerative agriculture movement and turning up the pressure on brands like Ben & Jerry’s to make sure they aren’t greenwashing. Read more at Press Herald…

 

Little follow up when FDA finds high levels of perchlorate in food

Perchlorate is a known hormone disruptor and a food contaminant that can have adverse health effects. The FDA tests about 280 food types for the chemical, but an investigation by the Environmental Defense Fund raises some questions about how it reports the results of those tests. Read more at EDF Health… 

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