Food industry sources say Ben & Jerry's is eyeing an entry into the Indian market within six months, although the company hasn't confirmed the reports. Gaurav Marya, president of Franchise India Holdings, said Ben & Jerry's has begun the process of licensing local franchisees. ?The gourmet ice cream category is growing well and ice cream is replacing anything that needs to be cooked in the dessert space. It is a phenomenal market as the Indian consumer views it as leisure," said Marya.
U.K. food manufacturer Muller has agreed to raise the base price of milk to 47 cents per liter for its direct suppliers, an increase of 3 cents from the current price. The price increase is set to take effect October 15.
Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish immigrant who founded the Chobani yogurt company formerly known as Agro-Farma, has a net worth of $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is the sole owner of the company, which commands 17% of the U.S. yogurt market.
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Peter Hoyt, executive director and CEO of the Path to Purchase Institute, said supermarkets are getting involved in shopper marketing, instead of leaving it to brands. "Shopper marketing was a brand-driven phenomenon," he said during a Supermarket News webinar. "But in the recent past, we've seen more and more retailers embrace the notion that they can leverage all this energy to differentiate the shopping experience."
McDonald's said Wednesday it will add calorie counts for all its dishes to the menu at all U.S. stores next week, ahead of pending federal rules requiring chains of a certain size to add nutritional data to the menu. At the same time, the chain is considering new options including a McMuffin made with egg whites, a grilled-chicken Happy Meal and fresh fruits and vegetables.
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The New York City Board of Health voted 8-0 on Thursday to approve the proposed ban on sales of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, arenas and street carts. The ban, proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hotly contested by the soft drink industry, will go into effect March 12 unless a judge blocks it before then. New York State Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Moesel said, "Proposals like the soda ban discourage new business and hurt our reputation as the dining capital of the world," and anti-soda-ban group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices said it will continue to oppose the measure.
Sales of supermarket-branded shredded cheese outpace sales of branded shredded cheeses two to one, according to data from Roy Morgan Research. Consumers with 12- to 15-year-old children buy at least three times more supermarket-branded shredded cheese than branded, the research finds.
Restaurants are finding more ways to boost beverage-only sales during non-mealtime visits, according to a report from NPD Group. Beverage-only sales increase through the morning and peak in the hours after lunch, driven largely by new products and better marketing of new non-alcoholic beverages including shakes, coffee and bottled water.
Lynn Marmer, group vice president at Kroger, is leading an effort to improve sustainability that has resulted in 19 zero-waste manufacturing plants and a plan to make renewable energy from unsold organic food. The company also recently introduced Simple Truth, "a comprehensive brand of affordable, high-quality products that are organic or free from artificial ingredients and additives," she said.
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Josh Mandel visited the Velvet Ice Cream Co. in Utica, Ohio, on Tuesday to greet customers and tour the manufacturing plant. Mandel emphasized Ohio's need to train skilled workers and pledged support for small businesses like Velvet Ice Cream. "The priority for me is doing everything I can to create a better economic environment for growth and small business jobs,? said Mandel.
Oklahoma City is among the communities using money from a $10 billion preventive health fund created by the Affordable Care Act to pay for programs that teach people about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and help them get into disease-prevention programs. Public-health officials say these programs could create a cultural shift, while critics say they will have only a small effect on influencing behaviors unless they are backed by policies such as taxes on soda or restrictions on marketing to children.
There's still time to submit Dairy Farmer of Year nominations
The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2013 Innovative Dairy Farmer of the Year Award is Monday, Sept. 17. Have you submitted your entry yet? The winner will be honored at the 2013 Dairy Forum, Jan. 27-30 in Orlando, Fla., and the person nominating the winner will receive complimentary registration to Dairy Forum. There is no entry fee or limit to the number of entries, so submit yours today.
Register for White House Small Business Briefing on Monday
IDFA and other organizations are co-sponsoring a small business leadership briefing by Mike Boots, chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, on Sept. 17. Boots will provide an update on the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory process and discuss how pending standards, including provisions in the Clean Air Act, could affect small businesses. The briefing will be held by conference call and participation is free, but registration is required.
Australian dairy farmers are testing direct air transport routes to bring fresh milk from Sydney to Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities. Two of Australia's largest supermarkets have been selling milk at a loss in efforts to draw customers, which has brought down milk prices in the region and cut into farmers' profits, according to this article.