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5@5: Is 'clean' the new 'natural'? | Behind LaCroix's branding

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.

'Clean eating' goes mainstream: What does that mean exactly?

The term "clean" is appearing in cookbooks, product pitches and advertisements, but the lack of a standard definition has caused somewhat of a divide among the good food community (similar to terms like "natural" and "healthy"). Panera, for example, says its food is "100 percent clean" because it has no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives. Meanwhile, the magazine Clean Eating focuses on a diet full of vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and other foods consumed the way nature delivered it—or at least pretty close. Others don't like the term all together. Read more at San Francisco Chronicle...


The secret history of the LaCroix label

The sparkling water brand has become an obsession among bloggers and millennials more than three decades after its founding, thanks at least partly to health-conscious consumers' gravitation toward less sugary beverages. But its splashy packaging, characterized by bright colors, script font and a swirly background, is what's made LaCroix stand out on the shelf. Read more at Bon Appetit...


Failed brand ambassadors

A shift from what Gallop calls a material economy to an experience economy means branding strategy looks much different today than it did even a decade ago. One of a company's most valuable ambassadors are the people who deliver the experience—its employees. Yet most companies lag in this "internal branding;" only two in five U.S. employees strongly agree that they know what makes their company's brand different from competitors'. So how can a brand develop a workforce that understands and embraces its brand promise? Read more at Gallup...


Sri Lanka's 'kithul' palm syrup: An ancient sweetener in need of saving

The sweetener kithul has a vital place in Sri Lankan cuisine. But its cultivation is risky, requires investment and takes time to yield returns, and many harvesters are increasingly looking to other, more lucrative professions. Read more at NPR...


Jersey Mike's introduces gluten-free subs

Wild Flour Bakery is providing gluten-free sub rolls to more than 63 Jersey Mike's locations in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. The restaurants have dedicated pans for baking them, and employees wear gloves to hopefully reduce chances of cross-contamination. Read more at Parsippany Focus...

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