Top 10: Australian Food News briefs

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th October 2018

In the US, Costco will bring poultry production in-house for its popular “loss-leader” rotisserie chickens, representing the first time a retailer there has assumed the risks associated with meat production. In Australia, like some other countries, major supermarkets have long-term supply agreements for products such as dairy.

2. Following the deaths of two customers from allergic reactions, Pret a Manger Chief Executive Clive Schlee said he hoped new food-labelling measures would “set us on a course to drive change in the industry so people with allergies are as protected and informed as possible”. The company will begin a trial of full ingredient labelling from November and in the coming weeks will ensure that “prominent allergen warning stickers are placed on all individual freshly made products” and add additional allergen warning signs in shops.

3. KOGAN has vowed to “break the internet” with the biggest sale Australian online shopping has ever seen. And it starts tomorrow (Thursday). FROM 9am, Aussie shoppers will have the chance to bag a bargain during “the biggest sale Australian online shopping has ever seen”.

4. Heineken this week launched an alcohol-free lager, following Carlton United Breweries’ release last month of a no-alcohol beer, responding to consumers looking to moderate their alcohol consumption. To clearly identify it, Heineken’s iconic green label has been turned blue.

5. Kraft Heinz – the fifth largest food and beverage company in the world – is committing $US100 million to a new venture fund firm called Evolv Ventures, which will invest in emerging tech companies transforming the food industry.

6. A robotic pizza chef has been commissioned by French start-up Ekim from Universal Robots. Pazzi is capable of preparing up to ten pizzas at a time from nearly five million recipes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has three robot arms able to cut and flatten the dough, places elected ingredients, bake, cut and package the pizza.

7. Nestlé announced it closed its joint venture with the Indofood Group last month, while PepsiCo reiterated its stance to not source palm oil – either directly or indirectly – from the company and its subsidiaries, purportedly linked to deforestation and human rights abuses.

8. With a quarter of urban Indonesians avoiding, or intending to avoid, carbohydrates, analysts are predicting a bright future for the nation’s fledgling meal replacement snack bar sector against a backdrop there of rising obesity and diabetes. Snack bars are relatively new in Indonesia.

9. China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng is pushing for harsher penalties, including lifetime bans, on industry players that knowingly flout food safety laws and regulations. Chairing the China State Council’s first food safety commission plenary session, Han emphasised the need to focus on solving China’s food safety issues.

10. An estimated 175 million Americans are gearing up for Halloween festivities this year, and total spending on the holiday is expected to hit $9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween survey. Last year’s survey found similar results, with total spending projected at $9.1 billion.

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