FAO Food Price Index registered another decline in November

» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 160.8 points in November 2018, down 2.1 points (1.3 percent) from October, the lowest since May 2016, and nearly 15 points (8.5 percent) below its level in the corresponding period last year. The decline in November was led by much weaker vegetable oil, dairy and cereal prices. Meat values also fell, though slightly, while sugar prices firmed.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged almost 164 points in November, some 1.7 points (1.1 percent) below October and 11 points (7.1 percent) down from November 2016 average. Large nearby export supplies weighed on wheat prices while intensified export competition put downward pressure on maize quotations. New crop arrivals continued to weigh on rice export quotations despite some support provided by demand from the Philippines and expectations of lower fragrant rice production in some key exporting countries.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 125.3 points in November, down 7.6 points (5.7 percent) month-on-month, marking the tenth consecutive monthly fall and a twelve-year low. The decline reflects weakening prices across the vegetable oil sector. International palm oil quotations posted a marked drop, fuelled by both persisting large inventories in leading exporting countries and the recent contraction in global mineral oil prices. At the same time, soy oil and sunflower oil values weakened amid, respectively, abundant supplies across the US, the EU and several emerging markets and positive production prospects in the Black Sea region.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 175.8 points in November, down 6 points (3.3 percent) from October, representing the sixth consecutive month-on-month drop. At this level, the index is 13.9 percent below its value in the corresponding month last year and 18.3 percent below its highest level reached this year (in May). In November, international price quotations of butter, cheese and Whole Milk Powder declined, driven by large stocks coupled with increased availability of export supplies, especially from New Zealand. By contrast, Skim Milk Powder prices partially recovered in November, mainly on stronger import pace by buyers seeking immediate deliveries.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 160 points in November, marginally lower than its slightly revised value for October, and 7.4 percent below its level in the corresponding month last year. In November, international price quotations for poultry, pig and ovine meat continued to ease, with ovine meat falling the most, while those of bovine meat marginally recovered. Notwithstanding increased demand from Asia, ovine prices declined, underpinned by high export supplies from Oceania.  Pigmeat price quotations fell for the third consecutive month, reflecting availability of large export supplies from main producing regions and continued trade restrictions imposed on account of African swine fever outbreaks. Poultry meat prices remained under pressure due to slack demand. By contrast, after five months of declines, bovine meat prices rebounded slightly, supported by somewhat limited spot supplies and firm demand from Asian markets.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 183.1 points in November, up 7.7 points (4.4 percent) from October, marking the third consecutive monthly gain. The increase in sugar price quotations mostly reflects production developments in Brazil, where according to the latest estimates, sugar output in the Center-South region is heading to a 27 percent decrease from last year. In addition, the share of sugarcane used to produce sugar is seen to have dropped to 35.8 percent from 47.4 percent in 2017, with the bulk of the cane harvest directed to ethanol production. However, the cut in Brazilian gasoline prices last month prevented sugar prices from rising even further, by diverting some sugarcane away from ethanol production.

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.

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UK to introduce tax on non-recycled plastic packaging by 2022

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Food and beverage companies will be taxed on plastic packaging that contains less than 30 percent recycled content, the UK Chancellor Richard Hammond announced yesterday in the 2018 Budget speech. The tax aims to “transform the economics of sustainable packaging” and posit the UK as “as a world leader” in tackling the scourge of plastic littering across the world and its oceans.

The new tax will come into force in April 2022, following a period of consultation on the detail and implementation timetable.

“Where we cannot achieve re-use, we are determined to increase recycling so we will introduce a new tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging which contains less than 30 percent recycled plastic,” noted the Chancellor in his speech.

Hammond chose not to introduce the much-debated “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups, noting that this tax in isolation would not “deliver a decisive shift from disposable to reusable cups across all beverage types.” However, he indicated that this topic would be revisited if “sufficient progress is not made.”

UK management and plastics recycling company Veolia has welcomed the proposed tax: “The Chancellor focused on delivering a level playing field for manufacturers and the recycling sector, helping to bolster the circular economy and protect our common environment. The tax announced has the potential to ensure recycled content becomes the currency of production,” says Richard Kirkman, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Veolia UK & Ireland.

“Industry, government and consumers have mobilized this year to tackle the plastic challenge and Veolia’s intention is clear – by opening two domestic recycling facilities in the last 12 months and committing to invest £1 billion in infrastructure in the next five years we are backing UK recycling.”

“To make the UK a waste-to-resources heavyweight we must also remove confusion for consumers and encourage investment in domestic infrastructure to secure a circular approach for the next generation,” he adds.

The PFF Packaging Group has also expressed support for the measure. Speaking after yesterday’s Budget, Group Managing Director Kenton Robbins said it was a very positive move towards increasing sustainability but urged retailers to also play their part by ensuring they’re confident that their packaging suppliers can meet and exceed that criteria.

“We anticipated this happening quite some years ago and so implemented a number of measures to ensure that our products contained a high proportion of recycled content,” he commented.  “Most of our food packaging products now contain up to 80 percent, sometimes 90 percent, rPET recyclate which of course, in turn, makes them fully recyclable.

“However, we firmly believe that over the next few years the major supermarkets and food retailers will play a significant role in transforming the economics of sustainable packaging so we urge them to check that their suppliers are capable of delivering at this level,” he adds.

UK recycling has faced pressures recently, such as a potential investigation into allegations of illegal conduct as well as mounting costs following China’s restrictions on imports of mixed paper and plastics. At least 20 percent of UK councils have felt a direct impact from the, with some noting increased recycling costs of US$647,000 (£500,000) since the restrictions, a poll by the Local Government Association (LGA) revealed. Veolia and Unilever recently entered a collaboration focused on developing a global circular plastics economy.

The EU’s majority approval of a ban on single-use plastics attracted global attention recently. Representatives of EU national governments are expected to meet soon to agree on their joint position. The three-way negotiations between governments, the European Parliament, and the European Commission could then start as soon as early November.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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Consumer holiday spending to increase from last year

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According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the holiday season this year, up 4.1 percent from the $967.13 they said they would spend last year.

A recent survey of consumers, paired with NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, shows that holiday retail sales in November and December will rise. Holiday shoppers are expected to spend a majority of their money in three categories: gifts ($637.67); non-gift holiday items such as food, decorations, flowers, and greeting cards ($215.04); and non-gift purchases that take advantage of deals and promotions throughout the season ($154.53).

“The holidays are just around the corner and consumers are ready to shop,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers expect strong demand this year, and are prepared with a wide array of merchandise while offering strong deals and promotions during the busiest and most competitive shopping season of the year.”

Most holiday shoppers (60 percent) are waiting until at least November to begin browsing and buying items for the season. Sales and discounts are the biggest factor in which retailers customers choose (71 percent), with quality and selection of merchandise the next-biggest (60 percent), followed by free shipping (47 percent) and convenient location (45 percent).

The most popular item on wish lists for the holidays is gift cards (60 percent). Food will undoubtedly be another popular selection during holiday shopping, so bakeries and other foodservice establishments are wise to prepare accordingly.

Source: Bake

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Puratos and Bakkersonline join forces

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Puratos and Bakkersonline join forces to offer artisans access to a platform combining online and in-store shopping

Puratos, the international manufacturer of ingredients for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors, combines strengths with Bakkersonline, a promising Belgian start-up. This is a major step in the digital transformation of Puratos which will allow its artisan customers to easily create a personalized webshop and benefit from online selling opportunities. Bakkersonline will benefit from a global exposure, offering its services to more customers worldwide.

Contributing to the digital transformation of artisan bakers, patissiers and chocolatiers

Bakkersonline offers a complete and tailor-made solution for bakers, patissiers and chocolatiers to leverage and embrace digital technologies. The platform allows artisans to create in a fast and professional way a personalized webshop where their customers can easily order. Consumers get an overview of the available product offering,  clear product descriptions and allergen information. They can pay online and choose when to pick-up their order. There is also the possibility of setting-up a loyalty system to reward returning customers.

For artisans, Bakkersonline  generates additional sales and enables a more efficient production planning and stock management, while minimizing waste.
For consumers, the platform offers the convenience to pick up products purchased online at the time and location of their choice.

An innovative service for a better customer and consumer experience

The mission of Puratos is to help customers in being even more successful in their business by inventing, producing and supplying high quality ingredients. In addition to the available product ranges, Puratos also provides its customers with excellent technical and marketing support

New technologies emerge every day, yet Puratos’ objective to help customers create the best products remains intact. Puratos believes that providing convenient, digital services to its customers will enable them to focus their time on creating even better bakery, patisserie and chocolate items.

From a promising start-up to an international company

Today Bakkersonline counts over 350 customers in Belgium and the Netherlands. Last year over 131.000 orders were placed on the platform

For more clarity and increased positive communication impact also internationally, the platform will soon be rebranded “Bakeronline.com”.

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Halloween celebrations prompt fiendishly fine confectionery ranges

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Spooky themed chocolates and sweets marking Halloween have remained a firm favourite with British consumers, according to latest research from Mintel.

The organisation’s findings from 2017 showed that 40% of UK households offered confectionery to ‘trick or treat’ visitors as part of party celebrations with friends and family.

Last year, a total of £419 million was spent on marking the occasion, which was up 5% on the previous Halloween, as the event continues to grow in popularity and is celebrated around the world, with the US and Britain among key hotspots.

Manufacturers have been quick to respond with special edition sweets including Nestlé producing a Scaries Smarties in autumn brown and orange, representing a first for the brand.

Meanwhile, Cadbury has released its Goo Heads series, which is available in skeleton, pumpkin, Frankenstein, Dracula or were-wolf variants. The creepy creations are each filled with gooey white fondant encased in a Cadbury chocolate shell.

For its part, Tangerine Confectionery has created its 450g branded Barratt Halloween Bucket that includes Refresher Rolls, Dip Dabs, Mini Wham Bars, Mini Fruit Salad Bars, and individual 30g bags of Dolly Mix, Cola Bottles, and Shrimps and Bananas.

There has also been plenty of creativity from artisan confectionery producers, with many local confectioners and bakery stores producing their own horrifically fine offerings, including a special ghoulish fun range of skulls and ghosts developed by chocolatier Paul A Young.

Though confectionery tops the list for Halloween treats, for many traditionalists, the event is not complete without a pumpkin, yet only a fifth (18%) of Brits bought one last year, rising to 24% of those living in the South West, and 33% of 25-34’s.

Around one in seven (15%) Brits spent money on fancy dress, while 14% splashed out on decorations and 11% purchased special food and drink for the home.

Chana Baram, retail analyst at Mintel, believed there was plenty of anticipation from industry and consumers alike surrounding this year’s celebrations.

She commented: “Halloween continues to grow in popularity benefiting from the booming leisure market, and is a perfect opportunity for retailers to create experiences for customers. Once again, sales are set to increase as retailers dedicate more shelf space and merchandise to this key seasonal event. Food and drink prices have been rising over the summer months; as this is the biggest category for Halloween, we expect it will help boost sales

“Confectionery is the biggest purchase for Halloween and even those who do not take part in the celebrations are likely to buy sweets or chocolates for any visiting trick-or-treaters. We are also seeing more evidence of retailers promoting some everyday products as being appropriate for Halloween.

“Fashion and beauty retailers are doing this by putting outfits together that can double up as a costume idea, or makeup that is perfect for creating a Halloween look. This has proved a very effective way to entice Millennial consumers, in particular, who are buying more beauty products for Halloween.”

Traditionally a season for orange and black, today’s environmentally friendly Brits are keen to stay green, as some 75% of Halloween spenders say they would reuse Halloween costumes/decorations. Looking to up their game, 40% of Halloween purchasers use social media for inspiration.

Source:  confectioneryproduction.com

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Technology Brings Creativity in Wafer Production

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The challenges in making wafers are multifaceted – aside from new product shapes, we are challenged with continuously increasing production standards. Technology solutions work to not only solve them all but also to enable unlimited wafer-creativity.

Energy savings and enabling manufacturing facilities to go green are very much key for wafer producers, as they are in all fields of the baking industry. Global wafer expert HAAS identifies many aspects to challenges in this segment, not only related to product shapes, but to aspects transforming the industry entirely: lowering emissions, and energy consumption, fulfilling special execution requests according to internal standards, industry 4.0, and many more.

“The market for sweet wafer snacks is relatively saturated, which is why we are offering innovative new product ideas to inspire our customers,” HAAS said. “Consumers like variety and snacks with a playful side to them, so wafers in various shapes are always an interesting option, especially when it comes to seasonal varieties. We have already developed different wafer snacks in special shapes to accommodate fluctuating market needs,” the specialist added.

Challenges Everywhere

Preserving the integrity of the wafers throughout production is paramount for this product. “The way integrity of the wafers is ensured depends on the product,” HAAS said. “An important factor is determining the right batter recipe – our food technologists work with our customers to find the right recipe for their production line to ensure high-quality wafer sheets.”

Cutting wafers into shape should only result in the desired shape, and no material wasted and broken. After being discharged from the cooler, flat wafer blocks can be either cut individually or stacked to cut multiple blocks at the same time. HAAS explained: “The blocks are cut by pressing them through cutting frames arranged at 90-degree angles. By changing the cutting frame, we can easily cut new products on the same equipment.” After the cutting of the wafer book, it is even possible to precisely guide every individual product directly to the wrapper of the packaging machine.

With the free-shape cutter FF-AWDM, flat wafers can be cut into any desired shape, such as stars, letter, and animals, to name but a few. “Hollow wafers can be either cut or punched, depending on the product. We work closely with our customers to make their product dreams come true and to tailor their wafer lines to their specific needs,” added the equipment specialist.

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes

When the hot wafer sheet leaves the oven, it has to get in shape very quickly before it is cold. As soon it is cold the sugar crystalizes and the wafer sheet is not flexible anymore. “The process of shaping does take place very quickly. At the biggest WALTER plant JU C 20-306, five wafer sheets per second leave the oven and enter the rolling unit to get their conical form. For wafer cups, WALTER has a wafer bowl press and for wafer rolls, there is also a special tool. Our customers can produce different products with one oven just by changing the equipment for shaping,” Bartels explained for us.

“Due to the added sugar the sugar wafers are very solid. Furthermore the transfer from one unit to another is very smooth and all units are synchronized. The wafers are perfectly guided to the stacking belt where the packaging takes place,” WALTER says.

Cleaning

The baking plates for all flat and almost all hollow wafers can be cleaned with a laser cleaning unit. Cleaning the baking plates with a laser is a very clean process: it cleans gentler and much faster than dry ice, more reliably than a brush and environmentally friendlier than chemicals. There is no need for additional clean-up and no residue remains.

“We are currently working on product innovations such as savory wafer snacks. Using local ingredients such as buckwheat in Europe, quinoa in South America, chick peas in Asia, millet in Africa, oats in Australia and corn in America, we also cater to special nutritional needs such as gluten-free or protein-rich requirements,” HAAS adds.

Source: World Bakers

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Favorite Candies Will Cost More in 2019

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The increasing cost in some ingredients and in cargo transportation is forcing the most recognized candies and chocolate manufacturers in the United States to raise the prices of their products in 2019.

Mondelez, makers of Oreo cookies and Hershey Co., announced they will increase the price of their products and candies at the beginning of 2019, while Nestlé USA is also considering this possibility.

The president and CEO of Mondelez, Dirk Van de Put, said in a conference call that they are working to address several problems in their business in North America that continue to impact the results.

The company said that North America, its second largest market, continued to see a decline in sales with a 2% drop in organic revenue growth.

Mondelez reported that they plan to raise the prices of cookies, chewing gum and candies in the United States. The new round of price increases will take effect early next year in the form of direct increases, adjustments to promotional deals and smaller packages that fetch a higher price per ounce, the Wall Street Journal reported.

For its part, Hershey Co. CEO, Michele Buck, announced that they will charge more for their chocolates next year to face the decline in their profit margins in the last quarter.

The makers of Reese’s and Kisses chocolates will raise their prices by 2.5% on average, as announced in the conference call about their earnings in the third quarter.

Buck said that both consumer spending and the strengthened economy have helped make it easier for retailers to raise the prices of their candies.

The Financial Times said that the industry’s willingness to raise product prices shows that inflation in the global scenario is beginning to increase, which will generate more financial burdens for households.

In an interview with Food Dive, Nestlé USA CEO Steve Presley said his company could increase the prices of some of the products in 2019, as the world’s largest food manufacturer faces rising costs while consumers can now be more willing to absorb higher prices.

“Clearly, we are looking at the price, and we have always done it, we just have to do it in a way that the consumer can afford and we can move it in the market,” Presley told Food Dive.

Source: Abasto

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Mondel?z International Launches SnackFutures™ Innovation Hub to Lead the Future of Snacking

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Mondel?z International announced today that it will launch a forward-thinking innovation hub called SnackFutures to capitalize on changing consumer trends and emerging growth opportunities in snacking around the world. SnackFutures will be uniquely structured to bring together internal talent, an ecosystem of external partnerships and dedicated funding across three integrated mandates:

  • Invention of new brands and businesses in key strategic areas;
  • Reinvention of small-scale Mondel?z brands with large-scale potential, and;
  • Venturing with start-up entrepreneurs to seed new businesses.

Mondel?z International is targeting SnackFutures to contribute $100 million to revenue growth by 2022.

“Discovering and unleashing innovative ideas in snacking that will delight consumers and drive growth is a key element of our new strategy,” said Tim Cofer, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer of Mondel?z International. “We are launching SnackFutures, a new forward-thinking innovation hub, to capitalize on new trends, and mobilize entrepreneurial talent and technologies to build and grow small brands with large-scale potential. SnackFutures will unlock snacking growth opportunities around the world that respond to emerging trends and changing consumer preferences.”

SnackFutures will officially launch in November 2018 with a cross-functional team of leaders, led by Cofer, with targeted expertise in brand marketing, consumer insights, research and development, innovation and corporate development. SnackFutures is seeking creative, entrepreneurial individuals and partners with great snacking-related ideas or capabilities to join them in this endeavor. For the program’s initial innovation projects, SnackFutures will seek entrepreneurs, suppliers, nutritionists, food and technology engineers and other potential partners to collaborate on opportunities in three key strategic areas:

  • Well-being snacks and ingredients
  • Premium snacks and ingredients
  • Digital platforms and capabilities

SnackFutures’ mission is aligned with Mondel?z International’s purpose of empowering people to snack right by offering the right snack, at the right time, in the right way.

Check back on www.snackfutures.com for more information and further updates on how the company will enroll partners and contributors.

About Mondel?z International

Mondel?z International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in approximately 160 countries around the world. With 2017 net revenues of approximately $26 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as Oreo, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum. Mondel?z International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains a number of forward-looking statements. Words, and variations of words, such as “will,” “expect,” “target” and similar expressions are intended to identify the company’s forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements about the company’s SnackFutures innovation hub and its potential to unlock growth opportunities and contribute to the company’s revenue growth. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s control, which could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the company’s forward-looking statements. Please see the company’s risk factors, as they may be amended from time to time, set forth in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K. Mondel?z International disclaims and does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by applicable law or regulation.

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UK flour could be fortified with folic acid ‘to reduce birth defects’

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The UK government plans to consult on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid in a move to reduce birth defects.

Public health minister Steve Brine announced that a consultation will be launched in early 2019 to consider the evidence around folic acid fortification as well as the practicality and safety of the proposal.

The government said evidence suggests that expectant mothers can take folic acid during pregnancy to “significantly reduce” the risk of foetal abnormalities such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

Women who are trying to become pregnant are advised to take a daily supplement of 400 micrograms of folic acid before they conceive and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the UK Department of Health said. However, around half of pregnancies in the UK are unplanned, so many women are missing out on these nutrients early in their pregnancy.

The plans to fortify flour with folic acid are thought to be an effective way of reaching those with the lowest folate intakes – for example, younger women from the most deprived backgrounds.

The consultation will also consider if there are any risks to other members of the general public. These include whether additional folic acid in the diet will mask the diagnosis of conditions such as pernicious anaemia, which is a deficiency in the production of red blood cell.

Public health minister Steve Brine said: “All women should be able to access the nutrients they need for a healthy pregnancy and in turn, reduce the risk of devastating complications.

“We have been listening closely to experts, health charities and medical professionals and we have agreed that now is the right time to explore whether fortification in flour is the right approach for the UK. My priority is to make sure that if introduced, we are certain it is safe and beneficial for all.”

The Federation of Bakers, the trade association representing bakeries in the UK, has welcomed the announcement.

In a statement, it said: “The baking industry has always been responsive to consumer needs and therefore remains committed to responding positively to today’s announcement of a consultation on fortifying with folic acid.”

England’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies added: “The evidence shows that fortifying flour with folic acid is a practical way of reducing folate deficiencies in pregnant women and reducing birth defects.

“However, as with any intervention of this kind, we need to be certain it is also safe, and that means considering what the wider implications would be for the rest of the population who eat flour.”

Source: Foodbev

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