To-Go Ware is helping save the planet one fork at a time with sustainable bamboo cutlery...
Nov 07, 2008 Read More
What people won’t do for themselves, scientists are trying to do for them. A team led by food expert Peter Wilde at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, is experimenting with modified foods that trick the body into feeling full. Their aim: slow the digestive system to trigger a signal that suppresses appetite, and make it easier for people to diet, according to a recent Associated Press account. With research in its early stages, some in the medical community encourage this as a potentially good strategy to help combat our growing obesity epidemic. So far, science’s range of approaches to help beat back fat has been wide and filled with open questions. Chemical injections, implantable devices and gastric bypass surgery are all invasive. In a different example, Frito-Lay began to use Procter & Gamble’s olean (the fat replacer known as olestra) in its Wow! potato chips a decade ago. It inhibited the body’s absorption of certain vitamins and increased the odds of experiencing cramps, diarrhea, bleeding, stained underwear or incontinence, said The Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Nov 07, 2008 Read More
Gasoline prices fell back to the mid-$2 range per gallon after a $4-plus summer put a major crimp in shopping patterns. Shoppers began to consolidate trips, make fewer store visits, plan their purchases more carefully, and implement numerous other savings strategies. While some media reports suggest U.S. consumers will quickly revert to their gas-guzzling, freer-spending ways once they believe fuel prices will stay at current levels or even recede further, Supermarket Guru believes otherwise. The collective shock to consumer confidence drove that measure down to the lowest levels in decades, retailing was horrendous in the third quarter, and scar tissue formed on the buying part of the consumer brain. Like our elders who are able to recall their tough times vividly, people won’t soon forget the economic turbulence of 2008. Especially with winter heating costs upon us, and some early snows already falling, people in the short term will find warmth in the cold cash in their wallets, and long term will appreciate the security that savings bring.
Nov 07, 2008 Read More
Giant Eagle today launched a new program in Columus Ohio which offers their customers greater discounts and may well be one of the most powerful loyalty programs. The retailer has turned their success at the pump with “fuelperks” into one very smart and timely program – and now using the opposite benefit: buy gas and save on food. Customers scan their Giant Eagle Advantage card at their GetGo pumps and for every 10 gallons of fuel the customer earns a 1% discount at Giant Eagle stores. Discounts actually add up across visits and they can redeem a discount of up to 20% in one purchase on a net purchase of up to $300. The example they used internally is as follows: Mom fills up her minivan once a week (18 gallons) Dad fills up his fuel efficient car once a week (12 gallons) Household grocery spending is now $175 per week. Over a one month period this family buys 120 gallons of gas which would earn a 12% discount . This brilliance of this program is tied in to their front end, which displays to the cashier the amount of points accumulated and then prompts the cashier to ask the customer if they would like to redeem their discount on the current purchase; or just to remind them that their points may expire soon – and it would be a great opportunity to do a “stock up” run and save even more. The retailer is running a full blown ad campaign to support it: TV, radio, billboards, newspaper and even in local editions of national magazines including TIME. And to further show how this chain “gets it”…when a consumer watches their foodperks video on their website they automatically get a 5% discount. Imagine the impact when a shopper can save $60 on top of any other coupons or promotions. Smart marketing and smart relationship building. Check it out at www.foodperks.com
Nov 06, 2008 Read More
What Barack Obama's election will most likely mean for the food world? Farmers will survive and prosper. And we are talking about small farmers. His initiatives include establishing a new program to identify the next generation of farmers and ranchers, development of the needed skills and a tax incentive to bring new farmers into agriculture and help them afford their first farm. Obama and Biden have both pledged their support of family farmers and their right to fair access to markets and transparency in prices of larger farms. Organic farming gets a boost with funds to help defray the costs of certification and a reform of crop insurance that eliminates the penalty for organic farming. A war on E.coli with new food safety regulations for factory farms. Country of Origin Labeling support which is likely to force expansion to more foods, and an effort to make all foods traceable. Renewable energy tax credits - over $150 billion over the next decade to encourage development, which is sure to make our supermarkets and manufacturing plants more cost efficient; and includes incentives for farmers to conduct sustainable agriculture. The end of tax breaks for companies that have transferred U.S. jobs overseas Additional funds for education, including nutrition and fitness programs and school lunch funding. A new USDA and FDA. We should expect a major overhaul in their processes and hopefully a renewed effort to recruit the best and the brightest. Technology comes to the food world, finally. Obama has shown his technology side with extraordinary web based campaigning and social networking; look for the same to manifest in traceability, nutrition and all things food. Our economy and the cost of fuel are without a doubt two of the biggest drivers of the food world, and while no one person can reverse the current economic situation, we can only hope and support that the new administration will put into action the change and promises our industry needs to grow and prosper.
Nov 05, 2008 Read More
After almost two years of non-stop campaigning and being inundated with almost non-stop cable "news" coverage of this Presidential election, the time has come. The time to get out and vote and make your choices on local, state,and federal issues ... and of course, on who will be our next President and Vice-President. I remember when I was growing up that Election Day was special. My parents took me to the polls which were just around the corner from our house, and located in the basement of the Fewsmith Church on Union avenue in Belleville, New Jersey. I stood outside the "curtain" and listened to our neighbors discussing how this year's election would change everything for the better. Those elections rarely did. But this election just might be the one that does. What is the most important observation that I have gleaned from these tension filled months is that we have more people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds involved - and that's a great thing. But the opportunity for involvement cannot stop tonite as the stars twinkle over the White House, our challenge is to now be sure that we keep these tens of millions of new voters involved in the day-to-day business of our country and our government. If not, this great opportunity will be little more than a failed experiment in cable news anchor hubris. Your vote today is just the beginning, not the final activity that gets dusted off in four years. We need major changes to take place that will effect our food world: food safety, health care, renewable agriculture practices, a wake-up call to the FDA and USDA, nutrition education, sustainability, traceability, balance of trade, and of course a renewed economy. How can we get involved and force the change? That is what our votes should be about.
Nov 04, 2008 Read More