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    Natural Products Expo East

    Natural Products Expo East kicked off today and runs through Saturday in the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The event has two main components – Education and Events (runs today through Saturday) and a trade show (running tomorrow through Saturday). According to last year’s survey 70% of attendees have a role in purchasing products in their company. With a reach of 25,000 industry members the event is the largest buying audience for natural, organic, and healthy products on the East Coast. Opportunities to meet face-to-face with buyers, brokers, distributors, researchers, and more, allows for a wide range of activities and opportunities.

    FoodEssential’s own Chief Product Officer Ronak Sheth was a featured presenter this morning. Sheth’s presentation utilized LabelINSIGHT to investigate the growing influence of specialty diet food tribes such as Vegan and Paleo, as well as the rise of protein as a nutritional trend. Check out the entire presentation here to learn what's hot on shelves now and what the next big thing is!


    Food by the Numbers

    100+: Number of descriptive terms in a honey flavor wheel created by the University of California, Davis. Using a panel of around 20 tasters including food chemists, beekeepers, supertasters, and honey enthusiasts, the team was able to create the wheel to categorize the many unique tastes of honey.

    3:1: Ratio of parents of school-age children who support strong national nutrition standards for food and beverages sold to students during school according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association. The report coincides with the Department of Agriculture’s implementation of “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards, the first guidelines update in 30 years.

    1,638,093: Number of person-years, covering 65,215 women, from 1991 to 2009 that were part of a research project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that found that consuming two or more servings of fish per week was associated with a reduced risk of hearing loss for women.

    15 tons: Amount of coconut product packaged daily by Trailblazer Foods over a ten-week period beginning in July. The Food Navigator article highlights FoodEssentials LabelINSIGHT data to bring clarity to the surging coconut market – such as noting that coconut oil is the most popular form of coconut used in CPG products.

    $300 billion: Growth opportunity outside of North America from 2014-2020 for non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages according to Coca-Cola. Ahmet Bozer, executive VP of Coca-Cola, estimates that half the world’s population has consumed a Coke in the last 30 days

    100 grams/daily: The amount of protein consumed by the high protein group in research conducted by Boston University School of Medicine which found this high protein group had a 40% lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to those with low protein intake.

    20%: Decrease in the price of dairy products according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization report on the global food price index. Overall, the index is at its lowest level in four years, with decreases in almost all categories with the exception of beef.

    1,000 days: Window, beginning at conception, that is the most important time for obtaining appropriate levels of Vitamin E according to Maret Traber, a professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. The study discusses varying views regarding the need of Vitamin E and highlights the fact that 90% of men and 96% of women likely do not consumer the suggested amount of Vitamin E.

    10%: Amount of children aged 12-19 who exceed the suggested Health Canada maximum caffeine intake level for their age group in a given day according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study also found that caffeine consumption has declined among children from 2001-2010.

    54%: Amount of the increased risk from smoking in developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) due to the interaction with sodium intake according to a study in the journal Rheumatology.


    Food Giant: A Summary

    Food GiantFood Giant offers some health and wellness functionality throughout its three platforms; however, it could improve drastically.

    Here are some ideas as to what they could do:

    Product Database: Food Giant should consider creating an online product database that presents structured product data, perhaps in the form of attributes (low fat, gluten free, contains nuts, etc.). The product database could connect with and add expansivity to the mobile platform. It could, also, be utilized in numerous initiatives, such as shelf tags.

    In Store Dietitians: Other major grocers like Hy-Vee employ retail dietitians that serve a range of customer needs including dietary consultation, store tours and health screenings. 

    Shelf Tags: Retailers like Walmart (Great For You!) and Hy-Vee (Nuval) incorporate shelf tags within their stores. Shelf tags provide product transparancy and increase the ease of one's shopping experience. 

    Advanced Virtual Features: Articles, Videos, Podcasts, Product Lists, Product Database, Product View, Etc.

    Dietary Needs: Online resources should include information on special diets.

    Recipe Filtration: Users should have the option to filter recipes based on product attributes; this would requore a product database.

    Classes/Presentations: Health and Wellness classes/presentations in stores. 

    Health Screenings: In store health screenings. 

    As retailers look for ways to evolve and respond to ever-changing consumer demands, a complete and robust product database presents itself as a necessity rather than a luxury. Retailers that have a complete and up-to-date product database, one that is encompassing of every product's ingredients, nutritional information, as well as certification and marketing claim attributes, find themselves in a place to be proactive - in a position to win in the marketplace. Knowing what is happening today places you in a better position tomorrow.

    Be sure to tune in next week!

    A Live View Into The Marketplace


    Food Giant: In Stores

    Food Giant

    Food Giant offers several features in stores but lacks in terms of health and wellness; it could use some development.

    Here's what they've got:


    • Stamps
    • Rug Doctor
    • Lottery Tickets
    • Money Orders
    • Delivery
    • Double Coupons
    • Coupon Policy
    • Gift Cards
    • Western Union Fax
    • Deli
    • Bakery

    While Food Giant provides health and wellness features online, it falls short in stores.  

    Tune in tomorrow for Food Giant: A Summary!

    A Live View Into The Marketplace 



    Food Giant: Online

    Food GiantThrough features like its healthy living page, Food Giant offers relevant web-based health and wellness functionality.

    Check it out:

    Healthy Living Page: Web page containing ChooseMyPlate information, a BMI calculator, "Fight Bac", the "Heat It Up" and "Chill Storage" charts, as well as the Ingredients Exchange.

    ChooseMyPlate: Contains USDA ChooseMyPlate dietary information.

    BMI Calculator: Calculates BMI.

    Fight Bac: Information on fighting bacteria and sanitary practices. 

    Heat It Up Chart: Chart on safe internal temperature for meat consumption.

    Chill Storage Chart: Information on storage life for perishable, refrigerated products. 

    Ingredients Exchange: Lists ingredients that can substitute for others in recipes.

    Grocery List: Create a text grocery list (no product database).

    Recipe Box: Add recipes to box, add ingredients to shopping list (no product database)

    Food Giant's online platform provides basic health and wellness features; however, further incorporating product data - and a database - would lead to the evolution of their health and wellness initiative and set them apart from other retailers of similar size.

    Tomorrow, we will cover Food Giant's in store platform. See you then!

    A Live View Into The Marketplace


    Food Giant: Mobile App

    Food GiantFood Giant offers a mobile app with features related to health and wellness.

    Check it out:

    Shopping List: Consumers may use this feature to build a shopping list (no product view, no database; text only).

    Recipes: Access recipes - the same that are available through the online platform - on your phone; this feature contains a search function.

    Weekly Specials: Access your Food Giant Store's weekly specials and deals. 

    Cooking Tips: Tips and articles on cooking.

    Location Services: Locate the Food Giant store closest to you.

    Sync: Sync your mobile app with your Food Giant account; this allows users to access their saved shopping lists and recipe boxes.

    See Food Giant's Description Here: Food Giant Mobile App

    While limited (and lacking a product database), Food Giant's mobile app offers health and wellness features such as recipes and cooking tips. Tune in tomorrow to see how the in store platform compares! 

    Tomorrow - Food Giant: Online

    A Live View Into The Marketplace




    This Week: Food Giant

    Food GiantHey readers!

    This week we’re going to take a look at Food Giant's online, in-store and mobile application platforms - in terms of health and wellness.

    Each day we will cover one platform and include a list and brief description of the features it provides.

    Tomorrow, we will go over the Mobile Platform.

    A Live View Into The Marketplace


    Food by the Numbers

    $820 million: Value of Annie’s, a natural and organic food producer, as determined by an agreement with General Mills to acquire the company. Annie’s, which had net sales of $204 million in the last fiscal quarter, would greatly expand General Mills’ natural and organic portfolio (including brands such as Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen) which had net sales of $330 million in the last fiscal quarter.

    13: Number of agricultural products that account for 80% of the world’s diet and food trade according to a United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) study. The study also shows that the amount of food traded between 1986 and 2009 more than doubled as the global food network became 50% more interconnected

    50%+: Percent of baby food sales that are organic according to Hamish Renton, a food marketing expert at EHL Ingredients. Baby foods, according to Renton, are a main driver to the growth in the organic market, which he values at £1.7 billion.

    38%: Percent of those aged 55 or above that look for “natural” foods according to a report from Canadean. The same group looked for “organic” food only 13% of the time, echoing results of a 2000 UK study that showed as people age they increasingly look for “natural” foods. The report also indicated that 60% of those looking for “natural” foods do so for health reasons.

    27%: Percent of people who say they are concerned with the amount of cholesterol in their food according to Harry Balzer of the NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks US eating habits. In 1992, that number was 44% - suggesting that there has been a significant rethinking of cholesterol. The change has resulted in new purchasing behaviors, perhaps most notably by the surge in butter sales (reclaiming much of the lost sales to margarine).

    15: Number of Perdue’s chicken hatcheries (all of them) that are no longer going to inject chicken eggs with antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become more common, leading many to question the practice that is used to prevent the spread of viruses in hatcheries following vaccine injection (the antibacterial is injected at the same time). Perdue has attempted to adopt the practice several times over the past 12 years and is now confident that the number of infections and chicken deaths will no longer necessitate the use of the antibacterial injection.  

    3x: The increase in weight loss of those on a low-carb diet enjoyed relative to low-fat dieters according to a Tulane University study. The study followed dieters in their early-20s to mid-70s that consumed a similar number of calories for one year. The study found those on the low-carb diet consumed 28% of their daily calories from carbs while those on the low-fat diet consumed 40-45% of their calories from carbs. The low-carb dieters lost an average of 12 pounds while the low-fat dieters lost 4 pounds on average. 

    250: Different flavor and aroma compounds in vanilla – just one of which is vanillin. This knowledge led April Fulton and Eliza Barclay, authors of an NPR article on vanilla, to encourage ditching the phrase “plain vanilla.”

    2.8%: Percent of women aged 50-79 in a study led by Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD. of Albert Einstein College of Medicine that met or exceeded the United Stated Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) recommended 4,700 mg of potassium daily. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 3,510 mg; however, still only 16.6% of women in the study met this criteria (the intake average was 2,611 mg/daily). The study found that women who ate the most potassium lowered their general stroke risk by 12% and 21% for those who did not have hypertension. For those women with hypertension, increased potassium did not lower stroke risk, leading the study’s authors to conclude that higher potassium intake is critical before high blood pressure presents itself as an issue.

    2.25 billion: Cups of coffee consumed daily according to estimates by the International Coffee Organization. An international research team studied caffeine in coffee to determine its evolution. The research found that coffee’s caffeine enzymes are more closely related to other genes in coffee plants than the caffeine enzymes in tea and chocolate suggesting that caffeine developed independently in coffee.


    Relay Foods Introduces New Nutrition Label Powered by FoodEssentials

    Relay Foods, an online grocer headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, recently redesigned their nutrition labels included in their product descriptions (example), using a version of FoodEssential’s Enterprise API. The partnership with FoodEssentials was formed with the intent to change Relay Food’s nutrition labels in order to create a better customer experience by presenting the information in a more useful and applicable manner.

    The new nutrition label allows customers to more easily see and understand product ingredients, ingredient counts, daily values and marketing claims through its unique structure. The use of visual cues, e.g., using sugar cubes to illustrate the amount of sugar in products, and interactive features, e.g., adjustable serving sizes, makes the information more digestible and fun for the consumer.

    FoodEssentials is proud to team with Relay Foods as their data partner and is excited to see the platforms and tools that have been created using LabelAPI and LabelINSIGHT. Annie Geile, FoodEssential’s Vice President of Customer Success, described Relay Foods as, “A great client to work with,” noting, “They (Relay Foods) are very innovative in their approach and work at a fast pace, similar to a start-up mentality. This has made them a great partner, since we approach problems in a similar fashion.”


    Winn-Dixie: Mobile App

    Winn-DixieLike the online platform, Winn-Dixie's mobile app is loaded with multiple features, some related to health and wellness.

    Check them out:

    Coupons: "Load online coupons directly to your Shopper’s Card and your shopping list."

    Product View: "View products to build a list quickly and browse specials"

    Weekly Ads: "Weekly Ad prices updated automatically every Wednesday"

    Item Categorization: "Your items are automatically categorized for easy in-store use"

    Special: "Customize your settings to see all the specials in your local store"

    Location Services: "Use your current location or search by zip code or [city, state] combination to find the closest Winn-Dixie."

    Shopping List: Create a shopping list through product view or text additions.

    Winn-Dixie's mobile app has recieved positive reviews, for good reason; however, improving the product view feature would take it to the next level. We look forward to seeing how Winn Dixie's mobile app will evolve in the future.

    Tomorrow, keep an eye out for "Winn-Dixie: In Stores!"

    A Live View Into The Marketplace