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SugarCreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions

Why You Need a Copacking Partner That’s Concerned about Sustainability

Posted by SugarCreek

Dec 21, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Last week, 195 nations approved a global climate change accord at the COP-21 Paris Climate Conference, committing to lowering greenhouse gas emissions to stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. Here in America, food manufacturing companies are already taking historic steps to reach new emissions reduction targets and support sustainability. Climate change poses a major threat to global food security. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released a new report on the risks that climate change poses to global food security, including the challenges facing food manufacturers in adapting to changing climate conditions. Companies from General Mills and Walmart are taking steps in food manufacturing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sustainably source key ingredients.

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Topics: Sustainability

Low-Fat, Full-Fat, Non-GMO: What the Heck Do Grocery Shoppers Want from Dairy?

Posted by SugarCreek

May 15, 2015 2:30:00 PM

In the beginning, there was Dairy. Dairy held dominion over much of American food culture. And Wisconsin did rejoice.

But eventually, Dairy faltered.

First, the people looked to Low-Fat Dairy. And Low-Fat Dairy begat Non-Fat Dairy, which in turn begat Non-Dairy Aisle. And Non-Dairy Aisle begat Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Cashew Milk, Coconut Milk, Flax Milk and Hemp Milk, and those were all the issues of the Non-Dairy Aisle.

Then Non-Fat Dairy once again begat. And thus was born Non-GMO Dairy, which in turn begat Organic Dairy, Probiotic-Enhanced Dairy, Antibiotic-Free Dairy, Artisan Dairy, Local Dairy, Sustainable Dairy…

Heads spinning? Yeah, ours too. The dairy(-ish) sector has undergone near-Biblical upheaval over the past 20 or so years. Never has so much proliferation been accomplished by so many dairies to accommodate segments comprising so infinitely few.

But let's look at the overall market in context. What are the common factors in the denominator?

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Topics: Sustainability, Retail

Will Millennials Go for Fast & Fresh Brands Lagging on Sustainability?

Posted by SugarCreek

Apr 9, 2015 2:30:00 PM

News flash: Millennial foodies demand foods produced by sustainable means. Oh, you knew that? Then why isn't your brand living the sustainable mantra? Too many food brands recognize the appeal of sustainability and market to it, but fail to live up to expectations. In an era when a bit of research is as easy as typing up a query on one's smartphone, however, disingenuousness doesn't play well.

If price and perceived quality are close enough so as not to be distinguishing factors, sustainable production is likely to become the deciding factor in a young adult's food purchase decision, according to Jeff Fromm, the co-author of Marketing to Millennials. Moreover, if your food company lacks transparency, be prepared to lose ground to your competition.

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Topics: Sustainability, Millennial Consumers, Retail

3 Sustainability Leaders Leaving the Food Industry in the Dust

Posted by SugarCreek

Mar 16, 2015 2:30:00 PM

According to the 2014 GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey, three major brands are leading the charge toward sustainability. Unilever, Nestle and Coca Cola have long been in the forefront of food and packaging development and marketing; now, they’re scoring top ratings for sustainable practices. And with the increasingly influential Millennial demographic looking to purchase from brands on sound, ecological footing, top ranking may just be the boost these big brands need to help them stay top of mind in a market flooded by smaller, artisan and fair-trade competitors.

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Topics: Sustainability

Carnitas or Conscience? What Do Consumers REALLY Want?

Posted by SugarCreek

Mar 2, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Apparently, when Chipotle says they source ethically, they mean business. In January, following an internal audit that revealed a large supplier of the chain's pork was not living up to its standards for raising hogs, Chipotle pulled the plug on its "carnitas" offering at more than 1,700 locations.

According to Chipotle's internal policies, pork suppliers, "must raise pigs with access to the outdoors or in deeply bedded barns to improve their comfort. The standards also prohibit the use of antibiotics," reported Kimberlie Clyma, for Meat + Poultry, but apparently, one of those suppliers demonstrated "inconsistencies in the chain’s animal welfare protocol."

Chipotle has said it will not resume the sale of pork at the affected locations until an alternate supplier can be identified, or the original supplier comes into strict compliance. But how have consumers reacted to the restaurant's decision? Has there been backlash against the move, or have customers lauded it for sticking to its principles?

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Topics: Sustainability, American food culture

Expert Examples: How Food Industry Giants Build Their Brand Story

Posted by SugarCreek

Jan 27, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Building a brand story isn't just about creating snappy advertisements and designing innovative food packaging. It's also about cultivating an image of your impact on the community. This has never been more important. Millennial consumers— now the largest age demographic— are more inclined than any other cohort to base their purchase decisions on impressions of a company's ethics.

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Topics: Innovation, Sustainability

Sustainability Will Be a Major Concern for Food Brands in 2015

Posted by SugarCreek

Jan 16, 2015 3:00:00 PM

There's no question that sustainable agriculture and local sourcing of ingredients have become a hot topic in food product development. As the world's population increases, we must find new and more efficient ways of meeting its demand for food. Unfortunately, any increases we make in supply in the short term often result in downward pressures on food supply in the long term.

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Topics: Sustainability

Is There Value in Packaging that Targets Specific Snackers?

Posted by SugarCreek

Jan 1, 2015 2:30:00 PM

They're a small, but growing portion of the snacker market, the purposeful snackers. You might call them the "ethical" snackers. They're the people who prefer, says Nielsen, specialty foods with sustainably-sourced, fair trade and/or organic ingredients. And they are quite the segment.

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Topics: Sustainability

What's the Deal with "Clean" Foods?

Posted by SugarCreek

Dec 18, 2014 2:30:00 PM

Though there has not been any firm, published evidence linking the ingestion of "clean" foods made using genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), there has nonetheless been a significant public backlash against genetically-modified foods. That, in turn, has led to a clamor for farmers to refrain from growing GMO crops and to move back toward using crops grown by conventional means— and for food product manufacturers not to use any GMO ingredients in their supply chains.

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Topics: Trends, Sustainability

These Meat Substitutes Could Fool the Most Dedicated Carnivore

Posted by SugarCreek

Nov 27, 2014 2:30:00 PM

As far back as the early 1960s, some scientists and nutrition experts predicted a coming worldwide protein shortage, and they may have been right.

With over one-third of Earth's arable land already dedicated to animal-based protein production, and given that the world's human population is expected to exceed 9 billion individuals by 2030, we may very well be facing a protein production crisis.

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Topics: Technology, Sustainability