The Organic Produce Summit held this week in California featured education sessions, expos and tours to highlight the organic foods industry. Part of the educational sessions discussed opportunities and headwinds in the organic supply chain, and the potential for organic items in grocer produce departments.
Ready Pac Foods' barbecue-themed Bistro Bowl has returned to stores in the wake of strong customer demand and will be available into September. "After seeing how positively consumers reacted to this salad last summer, we had to bring it back for a second year," says Priscila Stanton, Ready Pac vice president of portfolio marketing.
Public health departments in the Midwest are investigating more than 90 cases of cyclospora infections, some of which are linked to McDonald's salads and Del Monte vegetable trays. Illinois and Iowa have reported cyclospora cases associated with McDonald's, while Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have noted Del Monte-related cyclospora cases.
More than 40 companies have voiced support for the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices that PMA and United Fresh Produce Association have created, including Walmart, Kroger and Costco. "Public launch of the charter supported by key endorsers should drive further collaboration, momentum and endorsement," said PMA President and CEO Cathy Burns.
Forty-six states and one territory have received $32.5 million in funding from the Food and Drug Administration to help implement the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. "We praise the FDA for making their largest funding commitment to date as we work cooperatively [toward] the proactive and integrated food safety system envisioned by Congress in 2011," said Barbara P. Glenn, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Target has brought its Drive Up curbside delivery service to 200 more stores in the Midwest and South, with a goal of adding it to almost 1,000 stores in time for holiday shopping. To use the service, customers fill out an order online then are notified when it is ready, pulling into a designated parking space for pickup.
Goodby Silverstein & Partners' new push for Cheetos features a national competition where consumers who find snacks resembling the shapes of real objects will win prizes related to their discoveries. People can submit photos of their finds to a dedicated site and prizes totaling $100,000 are up for grabs during the 10-week contest, which is being promoted on TV with "What Do You See in Your Cheetos?" ads.
General Mills is bringing more than a dozen new products to grocery shelves, such as gluten-free snack crackers from the Annie's Homegrown line and a Hot & Spicy variety of Bugles. Other upcoming products include a Ghost Pepper flavor of Chex Mix, Nature Valley Granola Bites and Sweet Hawaiian varieties of Pillsbury crescent rolls and biscuits.
While many Napa Valley, Calif., producers have focused on cabernet sauvignon, Duckhorn Vineyards continues to make excellent merlots after 40 years, Tom Hyland writes. "Our championing of merlot has played a key role in establishing luxury merlot as one of Napa's great wines," said CEO Alex Ryan.
The concept of sandwiching negative feedback between positive statements can leave people feeling confused or tricked, writes Markus van Alphen. People appreciate hearing compliments and criticism directly and separately so they know where they stand, he argues.