Food News Today transcripts for April 13th, 2011

April 15, 2011

The American Heart Association takes a stand on sugars, a self-serve pancake machine of the future, and a discussion on ‘Mind Genomics’ with Dr. Howard Moskowitz - for April 13th, 2011.

 Good Morning.  Immediately following Food News Today, we continue with a live discussion in our chat room below. Please sign in and join us. Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news. 

In this morning’s Health & Wellness report we take a look at the American Heart Association expanding its clout with a recommendation for sugars. According to the AHA, adult consumption of added sugars has continued to increase since the 80s, a whopping 51 percent in both women and men.  According to the Hartman Group, consumers most associate ingredients with “sugar” as white sugar (96%), then followed by high fructose corn syrup (41%), corn syrup (40%), brown sugar (36%) and honey (21%).  When asked what products moms avoid for their kids when  sugar content is high – 62% said beverages.Although sugars are not harmful to the body in moderation, our bodies actually do not require sugars for optimal functioning. The American Heart Association (unlike the disappointing Dietary Guidelines for Americans) actually sets an upper limit for daily added sugar intake at no more than 100 calories for women and 150 for men.  This is roughly 6 and 9 teaspoons respectively; or approximately 25.2 and 37.8 grams.  For reference one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains eight teaspoons of sugar, or 130. Sugar is implied in heart disease- high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, hypertension, diabetes, decreased immunity, general inflammation and more. We commend the American Heart Association for calling out and recommending the limited intake of added sugars and their relationship to disease- AHA’s transparency is something all health organizations including governmental organizations should strive to replicate.

Ever wish you could make a healthy hot breakfast in minutes that is not a toaster pastry? In Extreme Retail we take a look at a pancake machine that I had the opportunity to use, and taste the product, in Vancouver, Canada.  Say hello to the Popcake machine - the worlds first fully automated pancake machine for commercial use. Just a little larger than a microwave, this machine produces fluffy, identically sized, perfectly-cooked pancakes in seconds. It uses pre-made mix which can be customized to include fruit, vegetables or meat for savory pancakes or even different versions of the batter, including a sweet and savory mix, a buckwheat mix and a gluten free mix.  The pancakes are cooked on a cooking belt, similar to commercial toasters, and as a result they not cooked in butter, oil, fat or grease – and are 97 percent fat. According to the folks at Popcake, over 20 million pancakes are eaten every day around the world. As the blurring of foods for breakfast into other meal occasions continues to grow, and traditional pancakes morf into more savory and filling versions, the popcake machine seems to be in the right place at the right time.  Here in the U.S. the popcake machine can be found at the Holiday Inn Express, in their 24-hour grab-and-go market center. Check it out and imagine the possibilities.

>We hear a lot about cracking the DNA code and the science of the genome and how unlocking it could lead to the elimination of diseases and extending our healthier living by decades. But what about the genome of the mind?  Dr. Howard Moskowitz, author of over 30 books, market research techniques development specialist, joins us via skype to discuss ‘Mind Genomics’, the sequencing of the genome of the consumer’s mind. With what end in mind? According to this former mathematician,  to enable us to identify what sort of preferences and patterns people have; decode how they behave in the grocery store based on economics, emotions and mental constructs and then and categorize them into marketable “types”. 

So the key is simple, all that retailers and brands have to do is know how to connect properly to the consumer.

For Food News Today, I’m Phil Lempert, thanks for joining us. If you have a colleague in retailing, the media or a blogger who would like to also receive our advance email - please send them to to sign up. Next weeks stories will be in your Tuesday email.