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"Natural" and "Super Premium": Valuable Pet Food Claims?

Cast your eye down the pet food aisle at your local grocery store, or wander through the relevent section of a nearby pet store, and two label claims will stand out: “natural” and “super premium.” Pet foods from all brands—and at all price points—will lay claim to those designations, and […]

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Don’t Throw the Past Away: Marketing Old New Products

I confess: I’m obsessed with tomatoes, particularly in the late summer and fall. Much of my summer has been dedicated to conducting a sustained defensive action against the local squirrels to preserve my plants—a war which, I am happy to report, I am currently winning. I come by this obsession […]

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Fruit, Not Labor: How to Market Functional Foods

As a category, functional foods is among the biggest trends in the food industry, as consumers seek products with added nutrition and food companies attempt to differentiate their offerings. For marketers, these products pose a challenge: talking about benefits which are often couched in confusing (or outright offputting) scientific jargon. […]

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Cupcakes and the Lifecycle of Trends

Every consumer trend has a lifecycle, and food trends are no exception. Many observers have recently proclaimed that cupcakes’ time is up. Is that true? And what does the answer mean for manufacturers and retailers of similar products? A combination of influential bakeries and a high-profile cameo in 2000 on […]

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Low-FODMAPs: the Next Gluten-Free?

I have become spam. My family and friends think I was hacked because I sent them an email saying “I lost 10 pounds in just one week!” But I actually did lose ten pounds in a week . . . and here’s how you can, too! I’ve been gluten-free for […]

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Instant Coffee & the Problem with Single-Sector Marketing

Smithsonian.com’s K. Annie Smith recently published a fascinating post on the improving market share of traditional instant or ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee. In the United States, those brands haven’t fared well recently; the rise of Starbucks and the specialty coffee trend have shifted consumer tastes in a more high-end direction, and […]

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Superfoods: Marketing and/or Mysticism

Perhaps no label has more power over the health-focused consumer than that of “superfood,” a whole food said to have uniquely valuable nutrition benefits. One food after another has been labeled a superfood, from blueberries to açai berries to kale, resulting in booming sales. A recent study identified newly-popularized superfoods as […]

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Trends to Look for at IFT14

Trends inform and inspire all of our work. In the food industry, this means knowing when cupcakes are “out” and doughnuts are “in”; what’s happening with the FDA’s decision on the GRAS designation of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs); and what the next hot protein ingredient will be (could it be microalgae […]

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TREND: TRANS-FREE REFORMULATION

As a Girl Scout Cookie order form was shared around the office this year, there was a noticeable absence of a “no hydrogenated oils” banner from fan favorite Samoas, Tagalongs, and the ever-popular Thin Mints, which, together, make up 57% of Girl Scout Cookie sales. We couldn’t help but ponder […]

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5 Steps to Feeding 9 Billion

9,000,000,000. Nine billion. If you pay attention to news about food and the environment, you’re probably used to hearing that number, which represents the likely size of the global population by the middle of the century, up two billion from where we are now. The biggest concern about this growth […]

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Stomaching the Unfamiliar: How Food Trends Take Shape

NPR’s food blog The Salt recently reported on a pop-up restaurant in Washington, D.C., serving a menu devoted to insects. Sponsored by an exterminator and called the “Pestaurant,” the eatery features grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms, and ants. As it happens, we talked last year about whether eating bugs could be one […]

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