Panera Bread will serve only "clean bacon," which is free from artificial preservatives, flavors, sweeteners and colors. It will also be sourced from pigs that meet Panera's animal welfare standards for reduced confinement and antibiotics, reported St. Louis Business Journal.
Seven-Eleven Japan Co. expects to open thousands of new stores in the U.S., increasing its tally from the current 8,500 to 20,000 locations. The U.S. unit believes it can boost its average daily sales per shop to between $7,800 and $8,800 from some $5,000 at present. The company plans to accelerate new store openings in Japan as well, bringing its total to more than 20,000 locations in 2017, reported The Japan Times.
All Nippon Airways Co. will begin shipping fresh meat and vegetables on long-haul flights using a coolant that keeps food products fresh for several days. The new service will allow clients in Japan to ship produce to Europe and the U.S., reported The Japan Times.
Introducing babies to certain foods early may help cut the risk for food allergies, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that early introduction could head off 24 cases of egg allergies per 1,000 people and 18 cases of peanut allergies per 1,000 people, and the benefits were present but less pronounced for fish, reported HealthDay.
Maine's wild blueberry crop was better than expected this year despite a drought. The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine reported the state most likely hit its five-year average of about 93 million-lbs. Irrigation and a strong year for pollination buoyed Maine's crop, reported Seattle Times.
Florida orange production could sink by another two-thirds in the next 10 years if solutions for citrus greening don't arise, according to researchers from the Florida Department of Citrus and University of Florida. Florida growers would harvest 27.3 million boxes of oranges in the 2026-2027 season if no solutions are found, compared to 81.6 million orange boxes harvested in 2015-2016 season, reported The Ledger.
Sixty-two percent less food is wasted at Blue Apron's food prep facility and by consumers than when the same meals are cooked with grocery store ingredients, according to a study by nonprofit BSR on behalf of Blue Apron. Researchers found the Blue Apron facility threw out 5.5% of food, while grocery stores threw out 10.5%. On the consumer end, cooks threw out 7.6% of the food in Blue Apron meals, and would throw out an estimated 23.9% to make the same meal otherwise, reported Fast Company.
Giving low-income Americans discounts on produce while disallowing sugar-sweetened items may improve diets, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers found that participants ate more fruit and fewer treats when given a food benefit program that offered a 30% discount on fruits and vegetables and prohibited the purchase of sugary foods, reported HealthDay.
A California bill that regulates greenhouse gas emissions tied to dairy cows and landfills was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Dairy farmers will be required to reduce methane emissions from manure to 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. Farmers will be aided by $50 million from the state to purchase dairy digesters, which use methane from manure to generate energy that's sold to electrical utilities, reported Modesto Bee.
Legislation passed in the House would protect consumers' rights to leave negative reviews on sites like Yelp. A Senate bill, passed in 2015, is similar to the House bill, but the two would need to be reconciled before heading to President Obama's desk. Both bills ban business contracts for goods or services that don't allow negative or truthful reviews, and would allow FTC to enforce the law, reported Yakima Herald-Republic.
California strawberry growers shipped about 139 million flats as of Sept. 18, a 2.7% increase from the same date in 2015, according to the California Strawberry Commission. Production reached 770,000 flats or higher per day during the Aug. 29 through Sept. 5 timeframe except for Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, when only 30,314 and 26,457 flats were shipped, respectively.
A total of about 10.6 million-lbs. of tomatoes were harvested through Sept. 17, according to the Processing Tomato Advisory Board. As of Sept. 10, 374,146 loads were delivered, down from 421,796 during the same time period last year. Fresno County accounted for 36.8% of statewide deliveries.
General Mills is making changes to its products as the values of customers shift, according to CEO Ken Powell. The company plans to add more protein to its Yoplait Greek 100, and is in the process of switching to chicken raised without antibiotics for its soups. Sales rose for Cinnamon Toast Crunch after the company added more cinnamon, and Cocoa Puffs sales grew 20% in the most recent quarter after the company made the cereal "more chocolatey," reported St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can spread to humans through poultry, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. While it was previously known that people working with livestock were at risk for MRSA infection, researchers found the bacteria can also spread through eating or handling contaminated meat, reported Science Daily
Dollar stores and off-price chains are on an expansion kick, claiming half of the top spots on a list of the 10 retailers adding the most new store square footage in 2016, according to commercial real estate and analytics firm CoStar. Dollar General plans to open 900 more stores in 2016 and 1,000 in 2017. Family Dollar plans to add about 4.3 million-sq. ft. of retail space in 2016, while Dollar Tree will add about 3.2 million-sq. ft., reported Chicago Tribune.
The merger of Walmart and Jet.com represents an opportunity to establish the biggest truly price-focused brand in the e-commerce world, according to Bill Bishop, chief architect of Brick Meets Click. What both companies have in common is a reputation for price central to their brands in a way that most other competitors in the e-commerce field do not, Bishop noted. This holds the promise of distinguishing its offerings, particularly in areas like grocery where shoppers can be particularly price sensitive, reported Supermarket News
PepsiCo is launching Tropicana Essentials Probiotics, a move to expand the brand to the rapidly growing functional juice subcategory. The line is part of a bigger push by PepsiCo to use innovation to fuel growth. In second quarter 2016, new products comprised about $5 billion, or 9%, of the company's sales, reported Fortune.
Consumers can be divided in three groups when it comes to meat consumption, according to Midan Marketing. The groups are those who believe animal protein is superior to plant protein, those who perceive the benefits of protein but are not particularly interested in where they get it and those who try to incorporate protein as a way to enhance their lifestyle, reported The Shelby Report.
Maine's lobster industry is on pace for its best year ever, selling $103 million worth abroad in the first half of 2016, more than twice the $48.3 million it sold over the same period in 2015. State trade officials credit this year's 113% jump in midyear exports to huge growth in sales to Canada and a 43% growth in exports to China, reported Press Herald.
Sucralose is not linked to cancer, according to a study in Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal. Researchers performed a comprehensive review of existing studies, finding that even when consumed in quantities far exceeding daily recommendations, sucralose did not demonstrate carcinogenic properties, reported Science Daily.
China will accept U.S. beef imports again, reversing a ban instituted after an outbreak of mad cow disease in 2003. Chinese officials will still limit U.S. beef imports, only allowing in cattle younger than 30 months. USDA estimates this year's Chinese imports of beef and veal will be double that of 2013, reported Time.
U.S. commercial red meat production totaled about 4.4 billion-lbs. in August, up 14% compared to the year-ago period, according to USDA.
U.S. poultry certified as wholesome totaled about 4.2 billion-lbs. in August, up 8% from the year-ago period, according to USDA.