The American Heart Association and Aramark are launching a new community engagement program in three key cities — Philadelphia, Chicago and Houston — as part of their Healthy for Life® 20 By 20 initiative to improve the diet and health of millions of Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020. The pilot program, taking place throughout the spring, will track and measure the impact of attitudes and behaviors of primarily single mothers or single heads of households responsible for food and meal decisions for their families.
“Less than two percent of all Americans meet the AHA’s definition of ideal cardiovascular health due primarily to poor diet. By bringing this high impact program to underserved communities and educating people to make healthier food and lifestyle choices, we hope to watch alarming statistics like this one eventually fade away,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., Professor of Nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, an American Heart Association volunteer, and a world-renowned cardiovascular nutrition expert.
“We continue to make measurable progress with Healthy for Life 20 By 20 and are excited to launch this next important phase of the initiative to help build a culture of health at the individual, community and national levels,” said Eric J. Foss, Aramark Chairman, President and CEO. “Our goal is to use the learnings from this pilot program to impact the health and well-being of tens of thousands of families in underserved communities across the country.”
The program is designed to help people make better food and lifestyle choices through culturally relevant and family-centric cooking, as well as curriculum based nutrition education focused on teaching easy ways to make healthy and affordable meals.
“The most exciting part of this pilot program is our opportunity to impact and measure the change in attitudes and behaviors with heads of households who make the food and meal decisions for their families,” said Kim Stitzel, Senior Vice President of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation, American Heart Association. “We have created measurement criteria that will chart the knowledge and behaviors of participants, allowing us to then use this information to replicate the most successful aspects of the program and scale it nationwide.”
The teaching methods include lesson plans, hands-on activities, take home resources and questions, group discussions and progress reports centered on successes and struggles. Participants will learn how to budget, shop and prepare healthy meals, and increase their level of comfort and knowledge of healthy ingredients, cooking skills and recipes.
Five long-time Aramark Building Community partners will play a vital role in the implementation and overall success of this 12-week pilot: Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc., Episcopal Community Services, and Federation of Neighborhood Centers in Philadelphia; Casa Central in Chicago; and Neighborhood Centers in Houston. Following the pilot period, successful solutions will be replicated for broader impact across the country in partnership with the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a network of more than 500 community-based social service organizations.
The Healthy for Life 20 By 20 initiative, which was launched last August, builds on existing work by both organizations and underscores the American Heart Association’s focus on its healthy living and prevention goals for 2020. In addition to activating community engagement programs, the initiative continues to grow and expand through healthy menu commitments across Aramark’s businesses, consumer health awareness and education initiatives, as well as thought leadership and research.
Fexy Media has acquired Simply Recipes, the popular, award-winning cooking and recipe blog founded by Elise Bauer. Currently the highest indexing cooking site for women, aged 21-49, Simply Recipes joins Fexy Media’s expanding food-focused brand portfolio, propelling it to become one of the top 10 food and lifestyle-based digital media companies. Fexy’s portfolio also includes: Serious Eats, Roadfood, The Food Lab, and Relish. This is the sixth acquisition for Fexy since its formation in late 2014.
Simply Recipes was established in 2003 and quickly grew into one of the most highly trafficked online resources for home cooks interested in quality scratch cooking. The site reached 6.5 million unique monthly visitors in November 2015. In response to a growing trend among Millennials to search for the “best recipes” in their favorite food categories, Simply Recipes focuses on inspired, well-tested recipes that help home cooks be successful in the kitchen. The blog effectively uses social media to reach audiences looking to find consistently great recipes and learn new cooking skills.
“Simply Recipes started as a way to document and share our family’s favorite recipes and has become a trusted resource for millions of people around the world who love to cook,” stated Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes Founder. “Being part of Fexy Media will help us reach even more people who share our passion for home cooking.”
Meijer is expanding its partnerships with healthcare providers and hospital systems, which includes adding a relationship with a health system in Wisconsin and a fourth health system in Michigan, to increase community access to services through in-store and store campus medical clinics.
This year, Meijer will join forces with Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin health network to open in-store clinics at the Waukesha and Sussex Meijer stores, and Sparrow Health System in Lansing, Michigan, to open similar clinics at Meijer stores in the Lansing area. The clinics will offer convenient, affordable access to care for many minor health problems, such as cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, and ear, sinus and urinary tract infections, Meijer Health and Wellness Director Jacquelyn DeBruler said.
The effort is the latest way Meijer is strengthening its commitment to health and wellness by providing its customers with opportunities to lead healthier lifestyles through access to service and care.
“Meijer is committed to expanding convenient access to health care providers,” DeBruler said. “These partnerships give us an opportunity to connect local providers and patients, ultimately meeting people where they are.”
Illnesses rarely present themselves at convenient times, DeBruler said and these medical clinics provide a great solution for customers. The clinics are staffed by the partnering healthcare provider or hospital systems’ physicians or physician assistants, and offer a variety of clinical and acute care services.
The retailer began establishing these types of partnerships several years ago, which resulted in four in-store medical clinics, seven hearing centers and 75 optical centers. “We know that access to immediate medical care is very important to our community,” said Florence Steinberg, Director of Business Development for Bronson Healthcare. “That means making sure we are doing all we can to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Having Bronson FastCare inside a Meijer store helps area families get expert medical attention quickly and without having to go out of their way.”
“Patients constantly praise how quickly we are able to see them and how convenient it is to have us right there in the store,” said Melanie Harrison, FNP-C, Practice Manager for Reid Urgent Care and Reid Ready Care Clinic. “Many patients have their family members do the shopping while they are at our clinic. They also love that they can leave our clinic and take a few steps to the pharmacy to get their prescriptions filled.”
Additionally, Meijer partnered with Spectrum Health in November 2015 to open a full-service Meijer retail pharmacy on-site at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Spectrum Health has also purchased property from Meijer in front of its stores in Ionia and Grand Haven to build medical centers. Construction on the center in Ionia is slated to conclude this spring.
The Ad Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council have launched “Save The Food,” a major national public service campaign to combat food waste from its largest source—consumers, who collectively waste more food than grocery stores, restaurants or farms. The initiative hopes to encourage consumers to reduce the amount of food they trash in their homes, thereby saving the water, energy and money that are lost along with it.
“As it turns out, we can’t blame the epidemic of food waste on our kids’ aversion to vegetables. We’re all culprits here, tossing out staggering amounts of food in kitchens nationwide,” said NRDC President Rhea Suh. “But with small steps, we can save large amounts of food —and along with it, money and precious natural resources. The more food we save, the more we can share with hungry Americans, the more we can reduce climate pollution, and the more water won’t go to waste.”
In the U.S., 40 percent of all food goes uneaten each year, at a cost of $162 billion annually. Consumers are responsible for 40 percent of this waste—more than any other part of the supply chain. It’s a problem that costs the average family of four roughly $1,500 per year.
This waste also has massive environmental impacts. Food is the single largest component of solid waste in U.S. landfills, and about 25 percent of our nation’s fresh water is used to grow food that gets trashed. On top of that, if global food waste was a country, it would have the largest carbon footprint after the U.S. and China, as a result of carbon pollution created from growing, cooling, transporting and disposing of uneaten food.
“Altering consumer awareness and perception around the issue of food waste could have significant environmental, social and economic impact on our country,” said Lisa Sherman, Ad Council President & CEO. “By taking just a few simple steps around food storage, preservation, and use, the home cook has an incredible opportunity to reduce waste and minimize their environmental footprint.”
The ‘Save the Food’ PSAs were developed pro bono by SapientNitro. The TV ad chronicles the life of a single strawberry—from the farm to the supermarket to its ultimate destination: the trash. Michael Giacchino’s Academy Award Winning soundtrack from the critically acclaimed movie “Up” serves as the music for the spot thanks to a donation from Disney. In addition to the TV spot, the campaign includes out of home, print and web advertising, all of which are running entirely in space and time donated by the media. The integrated campaign also includes new social communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and support from key partners including Getty Images, BuzzFeed, Social Native, Upworthy and notable influencers like chef Tom Colicchio.
“The new creative addresses a basic disconnect in our homes. No one likes to waste, but the vast majority of Americans don’t think about food waste as a problem,” said Gary Koepke, Chief Creative Officer for North America of SapientNitro. “The Save The Food campaign not only highlights the amount of food we waste in America, but also the effort and resources it takes to bring food into our homes. Ultimately the campaign will help change our social norms and behaviors around food waste.”
All campaign assets direct audiences to SaveTheFood.com, where they can learn more about the consequences of food waste and find resources on how to reduce the amount of food they waste themselves. This includes tips on making use of leftovers, properly storing different foods, and developing meal and shopping plans.
“It’s not just good food getting thrown away that upsets me as a chef,” said Tom Colicchio, head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series Top Chef, chef/owner of Craft restaurants & ‘wichcraft, and co-founder of Food Policy Action. “It’s that everything that goes into producing that food—the land, the water, the climate pollution, the labor, and the love it takes to get it to the plate—all of it also gets wasted. We have a great opportunity to fix this problem. Stopping food waste starts at home.”
The new campaign will be unveiled today at the 2nd Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C., before top food industry academics, policy-makers, farmers, chefs, and other stakeholders.
The effort is the latest step in a national trend to examine and reduce food practices that result in waste. This past September, the Obama Administration announced the nation’s first-ever food waste reduction goal, calling for a 50 percent cut by 2030; days later the U.N. set a similar target internationally. A report released last month by ReFED – a collaboration of over 30 business, government, investor, foundation and nonprofit leaders – identified consumer education campaigns as one of the best ways to cut U.S. food waste and put the country on track to its reduction target.
“Consumer awareness and education is the most important solution to reduce wasted food,” said Priceline.com co-founder Jesse Fink, now food waste evangelist and Trustee of the Fink Family Foundation, seed funder of Ad Council and ReFED initiatives. “The Ad Council campaign will be the major contributor to attitude and behavioral change.”
Nature’s Path, the largest organic cereal brand in North America, is announcing that two of the company’s facilities – in Blaine, Washington, and Delta, BC, Canada – have been certified at the Gold Level by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. As a leader in green business and sustainable food manufacturing, Nature’s Path is the first and only cereal company in North America to become Zero Waste certified by the council.
“We live by the mantra ‘Leave the earth better than you found it,’ and feel we owe it to future generations to be good stewards of the land and adhere to our triple bottom line,” said Jyoti Stephens, Sr. Director, Human Resources and Sustainability, Nature’s Path. “We strive to be as environmentally sustainable as possible in everything we do and being Zero Waste is an important initiative for us. After all, at Nature’s Path we love to make delicious, organic breakfast and snacks, not waste!”
Beyond making sense from an environmental standpoint, Zero Waste programs make business sense as well; the company estimates annual savings of $288,000 at the Blaine facility and $56,000 at the Delta facility. In addition, diverting waste from landfills in turn supports local green businesses including local recycling companies.
Nature’s Path’s Blaine and Delta facilities currently divert 95 percent of waste from landfills, for a combined total of 2,875 U.S. tons each year (equivalent to 1,643 midsize cars or 14 blue whales), surpassing the criteria of diverting 90 percent. The company conducts independent, third party waste audits every two years.
The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council defines Zero Waste as “…designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”
“Nature’s Path is a leader in creating a zero waste economy for all. We were very impressed with what they have accomplished and their ongoing direction; the company is clearly committed to the goal of zero waste as part of their overall sustainability initiatives,” said Stephanie Barger, Founder and Executive Director. “We enjoyed seeing how simple the process and ingredients are, and how comprehensive Nature’s Path programs have become. The company has clearly created value through Zero Waste in their operation.”
For its certification process, the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council provides a third party evaluation of policies, processes and programs related to zero waste and validates the information through documentation review and a site visit. Two of Nature’s Path’s three plants have met the zero waste criteria, and the third plant in Sussex, Wisconsin, is on track to be certified by the end of 2016.
Torie & Howard’s organic Chewie Fruities® fruit chew candy is strengthening its national retail penetration across a variety of channels as consumers continue to reach for organic options for themselves and their families.
Chewie Fruities candy now is being carried by all 88 OTG Management airport stores through Nassau Candy of Hicksville, New York, and by Pharmaca stores in the western U.S. through UNFI of Providence, Rhode Island, said Torie Burke, company Co-founder. Specialty grocers Lucky’s Market, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, and Harmon’s Grocery of West Valley City, Utah, also have added Chewie Fruities through UNFI, Burke said.
All Torie & Howard candy is USDA Organic, and kosher certified, contains no artificial dyes or flavors, preservatives, or genetically engineered ingredients, and also is free from major allergens, including soy, wheat, gluten, nuts, and dairy. Chewie Fruities are made in the USA and available in three of the same sophisticated flavor duos of Torie & Howard’s organic hard candy, plus a flavor assortment. A serving of the organic- and kosher-certified candy provides the daily requirement of Vitamin C. Chewie Fruities candies are individually wrapped in gusseted 4-ounce peg packs with a suggested retail price of $3.99. They ship six to a case and 48 to a master case, and a display shipper is available.
The 2-ounce tins of the organic hard candy have a suggested retail price of $3.99-$4.99 and are available eight per case with 12 cases to a master case. Also available are a Halloween hard candy assortment packaged in 10-ounce lie-flat bags and a 6-ounce handbag gift package, both with suggested retail prices of $6.99 to $7.99. Floor displays are also available. More information may be found online at www.TorieAndHoward.com or by calling 1.888.826.9554.
SIAL Canada, held April 13 through 15 at Montreal’s Palais des Congrès, had a record number of visitors this year, drawing 17,300 food industry professionals from more than 60 countries. Show organizers were jubilant. “This constitutes growth of 17 percent as compared to 2014,” said Xavier Poncin, Executive Director at SIAL Canada. “SIAL Canada has confirmed its unique position as a major North American one-stop-shop tradeshow, offering equal parts innovative food products, equipment and services!” Essence Desserts’ Assorted Chocolates with Sorbet and Ice Cream Centers, a Canadian product, took home the show’s grand prize.
The event kicked off with the official opening with Canadian and international dignitaries, including U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce A. Heyman, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Perre Paradis, Parliamentary Secretary of the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food Jean-Claude Poissant and others. The first day was also marked by the Networking Event of the Agri-Food Industry, organized by the Agri-Food Export Group, with 400 guests attending from all over Canada and the United States. It was an opportunity to hand out a number of prizes, including the SIAL Innovation’s grand prize.
With “Food-Service Costing and Increasing Profitability” as a topic, the first edition of SIAL Food Hub was a success: 50-odd food-service professionals gathered to discuss a major issue of the day. Over several hours, 11 guest experts put together a variety of recommendations which, in a few weeks, will be published as a white paper and made available to participants.
The OLIVE D’OR extra-virgin olive oil contest attracted more than 100 participating oils from 15 countries. The 12 best extra-virgin olive oils submitted by producers from around the world were selected to be named the Golden, Silver or Bronze Drops in their respective categories.
Executives from IRI, Geometry Global and Integer will deliver presentations on the current state of snacking and what trends are shaping the future at the 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo, hosted by the National Confectioners Association. The snack-focused sessions will take place at the trade show’s new Discovery Theater located in Skyline Hall. The Sweets & Snacks Expo will take place May 24-26 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.
“In addition to the business done on the show floor, we want to provide Expo attendees with the latest insights they can use to make informed business decisions,” said Barry Rosenbaum, Expo Chairman and President of Nassau Candy Distributors, Inc. “With snacking clearly on the rise, we feel strongly that these category thought leaders will provide attendees with a unique learning experience.”
IRI’s Sally Lyons Wyatt, Executive Vice President & Practice Leader, client insights will present on the state of the snack industry, providing the latest research on segment growth and opportunity development. Lyons Wyatt is an authority on consumer eating and shopping trends with more than 25 years of industry experience.
Geometry Global’s Director of Multicultural, John V. Burn, will examine how shifting demographics will impact shopping behavior over the next five years and specifically its impact on the snack category. Burn’s experience on multi-cultural snacking includes serving as managing director Brazil for SAB Miller in Latin America and general manager for Travel Retail of Diageo.
The Integer Group’s Craig Elston, Executive Vice President, Insight & Strategy will provide attendees with insights on how the growth of online purchasing can be an opportunity for the candy and snack industry. Elston, having spent a vast majority of his career in integrated strategy roles, will share the latest online shopper research and how brands and retailers can capitalize on burgeoning trends.
NCA’s 2016 Sweets & Snacks Expo will set an all-time record in volume of confectionery and snack products with more than 720 companies showcasing nearly four acres of product innovation. The show floor expanded into a second hall, the new Skyline Hall, to accommodate the growing exhibitor base and plans to welcome more than 16,000 industry professionals from nearly 90 countries.
Category experts from Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., Canadean, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology, LLC, Consumer Technology Association, Natural Marketing Institute and Progressive Grocer are also set to speak at the new Discovery Theater.
For more information, visit sweetsandsnacks.com.
Urbani Truffles USA has announced the opening of its newest venture, Truffle Lab NYC. The Lab will act as a creative concept, test kitchen and tasting room with an ultimate goal of bringing new experiences to truffle lovers in the heart of the big city.
Under the guidance of the Vice President of Global Marketing Sabrina Notarnicola and former Master Chef Season 5 finalist, Chef Christine Berni-Silverstein, as Culinary Director, Urbani curated a luxurious experience with top design and kitchenware suppliers including Snaidero Kitchens & Designs, Gaggenau, Cosentino Group, Listone Giordano, Agnelli USA & Bormioli Rocco USA.
“Together we have transformed our New York showroom into a haute cuisine destination that will inspire and engage world-class chefs, truffle lovers and food enthusiasts alike,” said Giammarco Urbani, CEO of Urbani Truffles USA. “Our Lab will allow everyone to come together to taste, explore, and learn about the mystique behind the truffle.”
Truffle Lab NYC will host international culinary events, premier wine dinners, cultural soirees, private events and truffle-based cooking demonstrations. Guests of the truffle tasting room will savor truffle creations and observe demonstrations on how to handle and harness the highly-celebrated earthy and aromatic ingredient to enhance any recipe. The Lab will also be welcoming top chefs from all over the world to showcase their truffle technique and creativity.
Truffle Lab NYC plans to schedule events weekly starting May. For more information on upcoming events, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.247.8800.