The Lempert Report Food News: Marketing, analysis, issues & trends and the impact on food and retail environments, specifically for the B2B food world with reporting and commentary on consumer and retailing trends by Phil Lempert. Phil can predict the future —and then help businesses and consumers understand it. For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru®, http://www.supermarketguru.com, Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. To see more of The Lempert Report visit: http://www.thelempertreport.com
The Lempert Report for Thursday May 28, 2009 The cost of healthy eating, a new, premium, boxed wine, nicotine in mushrooms and first, getting to the root of the honeybees' troubles. The challenges to the honeybees are certainly real, and a new report in the periodical Current Biology, finds that farmers worldwide had tripled their reliance on domesticated honeybees over the past half-century. And over the same time frame, the global population of managed honeybee hives has increased approximately 45%, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. While about 35% of Europes food crops rely on bees to pollinate them, last year proved fatal to about 30% of Europes 13.6 million hives. The situation has grown dire enough in the U.S. for Wymans of Maine, a blueberry grower-marketer, to import 5 million honeybees to guarantee pollination of its crop this year. That is about 10,000 hives that will pollinate more than 7,000 acres of wild blueberry crop in Maine and on Price Edward Island. Black Box Wines is trying to change the attitude of wine drinkers. For about $25 for a 3 liter box, Black Box is looking to upgrade the palate, and the amount spent, for those who might already be buying wines in similar packaging from the likes of Franzia. But these wines, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Monterey County Chardonnay, Central Coast Shiraz and California Cabernet are a step above in flavor and have won a number of gold medals. Black Box comes to us from Constellation Wine - the folks you may know better as Robert Mondavi. Eating Healthy: the key It comes as no surprise that women of higher socioeconomic status spend more on better-quality diets, according to a recent study from the University of Washingtons Nutritional Sciences Program. The study, which looked at energy and nutrient intakes for both men and women, found that diets of higher nutrient content were more costly per kilocalorie and consumed by persons of higher educational and income levels. There has been much discussion of late questioning the premise that eating healthy costs more -- this study puts the record straight. According to the research, eating a nutritious diet carries a price premium. Current dietary guidance does not take cost into account. The researchers urge that if we don't address the monetary hurdles, simply telling people to eat more fruit and vegetables won't accomplish the goal. Although income level contributed to spending on higher-priced, healthier items, the biggest predictor of both energy density and energy cost was education level. The two higher education groups spent nearly $1 per 2,000 kcal more than the reference group, those individuals with less than a four year college education -- suggesting that consumers in these categories could have better access to nutrition information. These findings provide a great opportunity for retailers to distinguish themselves, get the word out on health education and participate in the overhauling of our food system; which places too much emphasis on calories over nutrients. The latest Food Safety Nightmare: Nicotine The European Food Safety Authority discovered the presence of highly detectable nicotine levels in mushrooms, which sent red flags sailing in the European Commission. Although this phenomenon currently only concerns Europe, it is still of great interest to consumers and brands in the U.S. Of the wild mushrooms, all of which were imported from China, and was tested by European food companies in 2008, a whopping 99% contained levels of nicotine that exceeded maximum residue limits or MRL -- the safety limit set by individual countries regarding tolerable levels of pesticide residue on foods.
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