Not all salty snackers look like Homer Simpson

Not all salty snackers look like Homer Simpson

Nearly everybody eats salty snacks at one time or another. More than 90% of households in the country report using a salty snack in the past 30 days. Potato chips are eaten by 85% of American households. Corn/tortilla chips/cheese snacks rank next in popularity (72% of households), followed by popcorn products (71%) and pretzels (55%).

Although salty snacks are a ubiquitous part of American diets, some of us crave salty snacks much more than others do. There are 50 million Americans who say th...


Veterinary insurance in America: Marketing to a nation of pet parents

Veterinary insurance in America: Marketing to a nation of pet parents

1. “Ah, the little things our pets do. And somehow we still love them.”

2. “Oh, no, he didn’t. Oh, yes, he did.”

3. “Toy ingestion $3,000.”

We can’t get enough of the adorable things our pets do. But sometimes those cute things can be costly.

More and more pet owners are turning to pet insurance to help cover the rising costs of pet health care. Still, pet insurance penetration levels remain low in North America, particularly compared to European countries such as the U.K. and Sweden, wh...


More ebb, less flow in sales of seafood in the U.S.

More ebb, less flow in sales of seafood in the U.S.

Consumption of seafood in the United States continues to decline incrementally, according to the recently released Fisheries of the United States, 2012 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

According to NOAA data, Americans on average consumed 14.6 pounds of seafood in 2012, compared with 16.5 pounds in 2006 - a 14% drop. Incremental decline has been evident since the Great Recession.

The report notes that while most fish caught in the U.S. is consumed as seafood, ...


Is breakfast juice finally getting its due at restaurants?

Is breakfast juice finally getting its due at restaurants?

With coffee and tea getting so much attention among foodservice players, other stalwart beverage sales drivers such as juice may be getting overlooked. But Packaged Facts’ proprietary June 2013 consumer survey results published in Foodservice Breakfast Trends in the U.S., 2nd Edition suggest that foodservice juice purchases are alive and well, thank you: the last time foodservice breakfast users (who had gotten breakfast/breakfast snacks in the past 30 days) got breakfast or a breakfast snack fr...


Food additives are ground zero in shift to natural ingredients

Food additives are ground zero in shift to natural ingredients

Processed food manufacturers are finding themselves in a confounding situation. The processed food industry’s turnover from artificial to natural ingredients continues with a vengeance, and food additives are ground zero. Consumers’ preference for clean labels has continued to expand, and the food additives industry is running hard to keep up. For example, major industry R&D investment is driving the release of new naturally sourced colors applicable to a growing number of food categories. The i...


Goodbye to trans fats

Goodbye to trans fats

As expected, the FDA is (at a very measured pace) closing the door on trans fats. Our understanding of the role of fats and oils in the diet has advanced considerably since the simplistic 1980s and 1990s focus on reducing dietary fats altogether (Nabisco’s Snackswells brand is usually cited in this context). That made sense to a degree because fats are higher-calorie than protein or carbs, and because saturated and especially trans fats aren’t healthy.

But that doesn’t mean that anyone ever go...


Border skirmishes in the coffee aisle

Border skirmishes in the coffee aisle

As a sign of the ever more competitive environment in the food industry, the supermarket and fast food industries are increasingly border crossing in search of sales growth.

A recent example, as reported in the Wall Street Journal (October 30, 2013): McDonald’s teaming up with Kraft to test market McCafe packaged coffee in k-cups for retail grocery sales.

This new partnership involves a “the competitor of my competitor is my friend” dynamic. A tough quickservice restaurant environment had ea...


Current good manufacturing practice and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for food for animals

Current good manufacturing practice and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for food for animals

To help prevent food-borne illness in pets and the owners who handle pet foods, the FDA is proposing new regulation of the production of animal food. The Proposed Rule comes in the wake of the melamine-related pet food recalls of 2007 and, since that date, of a growing number of illnesses and pet deaths that may be associated with jerky pet treats, mostly involving imports from China. The Proposed Rule, which has a comment period that ends February 26, 2014, follows upon the Food Safety and Mode...


Label fatigue

Label fatigue

U.S. consumers are increasingly seeking out foods that simply read as fresh and “real,” in addition to inherently healthier foods with positive nutritional qualities. From this perspective, extensive technical nutritional content information on packaged food and beverage products, whether in the mandatory Nutritional Facts Panel or in the currently contested front-of-package labeling schemes, is somewhat beside the point. Consumer interest in knowing as much as possible about the ingredients in ...


More Mediterranean on the menu

More Mediterranean on the menu

Food from Italy, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Turkey and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea have long been popular in the U.S., but today’s curious eaters are digging deeper to find new dishes and turning to new outlets for fresh and healthful meals.

At the National Restaurant Association Show in 2013, the popularity of this fare was on display in everything from tapas-centric heat-n-serve foods, flatbreads and wraps, to Mediterranean-inspired stuffed meat and cheese items.

Newly p...