Sugar-free chocolate sales surge amid pandemic
In the process of attempting to bring more moments of happiness into their hunkered down COVID-19 daily routines, many consumers are seeking moments of indulgence from candy—with an emphasis on everyone's favorite comfort food, chocolate. According to IRI data analyzed by The Food Institute, in the 52-week period ending August 8, chocolate candy dollar sales in the U.S. were up 5.8%, reaching nearly $12.8 billion. Sugar-free chocolate fared especially well over that 12-month span, spiking 27.4%, to roughly $225.64 million.
Are young people really eating less meat?
A recent study from the World Resources Institute (WRI) finds young people in the United States and United Kingdom are purchasing and eating more meat than older age groups, despite simultaneously saying that they prioritize environmental factors when making dietary decisions. According to the Institute, these findings are not necessarily surprising. “People always report themselves to be more virtuous and more ethical. And there is always a gap between intention and action,” Edwina Hughes, Engagement Leader for WRI’s Cool Food Initiative told Food Tank.
These popular tuna species are no longer endangered, surprising scientists
Here's some good news to kick off your week: Several important tuna species have stepped back from the edge of extinction, namely two bluefin species, a yellowfin and an albacore. This unexpectedly fast recovery speaks to the success of efforts over the past decade to end overfishing, although researchers caution that many other marine species remain imperiled. More accurate data thanks to improved technology has also allowed for better assessments and management decisions, and scientists are hopeful about the future of sustainable fisheries as a result. National Geographic reports.
Wild Earth launches cell-based pet food as it raises a fresh $23M
Plant-based pet food brand Wild Earth has revealed plans to expand its product line into pet food made with cell-based meat—and get it on shelf as soon as next year. The announcement comes on the heels of a new $23 million funding round from a group of investors that includes Mark Cuban. But Wild Earth is just one of several pet food companies looking at cell-based meat as a potential ingredient; startup Because Animals, for instance, is working on cat food with meat made from mice cells which it also plans to have in the market by 2022. Learn more at The Spoon.
The end of pandemic safety-net programs may cause rural food insecurity to rise
Higher rates of food insecurity are expected to materialize in rural U.S. counties as federal benefits including federal unemployment assistance and eviction moratoriums end. The extreme and widespread need has been there throughout the pandemic, but now more individuals will be forced to access food through emergency food assistance programs. And it's worth noting that the biggest reason for food insecurity in many of these areas is lack of access to food—not just in how far away from food residents in those counties live, but in access to affordable food. Civil Eats has the scoop.