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Who is driving innovation in the US food and beverage market?
What are the hottest trends in food and beverage? And are the big bucks really in blue-sky innovation, or have the most successful firms played with an existing concept and just done a better job at executing, marketing and selling it?
Amazon said to launch Pantry to take on Costco, Sam's
Amazon.com is working on a new business called Pantry that will help it expand further into the giant consumer package goods market and take on warehouse club stores Costco and Wal-Mart's Sam's Club, according to three people familiar with the effort.
Related: Amazon rolling out grocery delivery in more cities (Benzinga)
North American food industry: $11 billion in spending — and growing
Industrial Info Resources via MarketWired
By most accounts, the food and beverage industry in the U.S. and Canada had a strong year in 2013. Most companies recorded increases in revenue from the previous year, demand for products was up, and project expenditures were robust. Looking ahead to 2014, planned project expenditures slated for kick-off over the next 12 months already have surpassed figures for 2013.
No farm bill deal as House heads home
There will be no farm bill this year after negotiators met for an hour Friday morning but failed to seal a deal. However, the top Senate and House negotiators were all smiling as they left the room so a deal on the $1 trillion food stamp and farm subsidy legislation could be announced after both houses of Congress return in January.
Related: Farm bill talks in final stretch (Politico)
Senate budget vote no slam dunk
Despite the resounding House approval of the budget bill, the agreement doesn't seem to be a slam dunk in the Senate. While Senate Democrats are confident they can keep their 55-member caucus united, it remained unclear Friday which five Republicans would cross the aisle to break an expected GOP filibuster when the Senate takes a procedural vote on the bill on Tuesday.
Related: GOP Senate hopefuls defect on budget vote (The Hill)
Poll: Low ratings, high expectations for GOP in 2014
A little less than a year before voters head to the polls for the midterm elections, the latest USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows Americans' current views toward Congress and the 2014 prospects for their respective political parties.
Tea party: Boehner has 'declared war' (The Hill)
John Boehner, back on top (for now) (The Washington Post)
Battle over child nutrition reauthorization beginning
While updated legislation won't be considered until 2015, the battle over the next round of federal funding for child nutrition is beginning.
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Advocacy group pushes for statewide GMO label law in Massachusetts
WBZ-TV via Boston.com
Right to Know is pushing for a statewide GMO labeling law in Massachusetts, where five separate proposals are being considered.
Related: Connecticut governor signs 1st GMO labeling bill into law Wednesday (RT)
China, US to hold trade talks next week
Senior U.S. and Chinese officials will hold annual trade talks in Beijing next week, China's Foreign Ministry said Friday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an array of long-held tensions.
USTR agricultural negotiator to step down early next year
Chief Agricultural Negotiator Islam Siddiqui intends to depart the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative early next year, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Thursday.
EU court reverses approval of GMO potato
Europe's second-highest court has overturned a decision by the European Commission to allow the cultivation and sale of a genetically modified potato developed by German chemicals group BASF.
USDA steps up citrus greening fight as GMO fix looks promising
Food Safety News
If there was any way that American-grown oranges could be saved without turning to genetic engineering, Ricke Kress at Southern Gardens Citrus would take it. But, in the real world, he's found no choice but to pursue the strategy that saved Hawaii's papaya crop — genetic engineering for a defense against a more powerful environmental foe.
Elected officials ask for hearing in Iowa on Renewable Fuel Standard
Iowa's elected officials have sent a letter to President Barack Obama, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the federal government to hold a hearing in Iowa on the EPA proposal to cut the amount of ethanol required to be mixed in fuel.
CARB verifies Carrier Transicold reefer unit emissions system
The new optional engine emissions system from Carrier Transicold, capable of reducing diesel particulate mass from trailer refrigeration unit exhaust by more than 98 percent, has received conditional verification from the California Air Resources Board.
Study: Frozen veggies offer more nutrition than fresh
WXIA-TV via USA Today
Your mom may have always told you it's best to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, but a new study by the Food Science and Technology Department at the University of Georgia suggests that may not always be the case.
Related: Freeze-dried strawberries keep nutrients, says study (Food Manufacture-UK)
Editor's note: This story details a study from the University of Georgia commissioned by the Frozen Food Foundation that compares the nutritional value of frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit www.frozenfoodfacts.org.
Global snack trends 2013: 'It was a spicy year'
Fiery flavors, popped chips and retail-ready pack designs were some of the biggest trends for snack makers this year, according to trade heads in Europe and the U.S.
Sysco shows how to distribute food with ruthless efficiency
In an acquisition valued at $8.2 billion, Sysco will buy US Foods, its closest rival in America. There has been speculation for years that these two firms would get together.
Sriracha shortage? Food safety procedures delay shipments
Los Angeles Times
The three hot sauces made by Huy Fong Foods — the target of citizen complaints and city action in Irwindale, Calif. — will need to stay in the factory 30 days before being shipped to ensure the contents of the uncooked sauces are free of microorganisms, according to a California Department of Public Health order.
McDonald's tests McD app to lure younger diners
Bloomberg News via Chicago Tribune
McDonald's is testing a mobile application in 1,000 stores as it tries to lure younger diners at a time when U.S. sales are struggling.
Colorado meat recall expands; health risk considered high
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
Yauk's Specialty Meats, a Windsor, Colo., establishment, is expanding a recall initiated earlier this week, including an undetermined amount of various meat and poultry products that were produced under unsanitary conditions, including rodent activity in the production, storage and retail areas of the property.
Editor's note: Members of the American Frozen Food Institute have access to AFFI's unique Product Recall Insurance Program. Ensure you're protected during a food safety crisis using AFFI's one-of-a-kind program. For more information, please click here.
Inside China's super-sanitary chicken farms
The Wall Street Journal (subscriber story)
Nestled among tiny farms in a rural outpost outside Shanghai is a huge, super-sanitary chicken farm — a bold bet by Tyson Foods Inc. that it can thrive in China by overhauling a decades-old business model.
Creekstone Farms expands beef processing plant
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC announced plans to expand its headquarters/operations in Arkansas City, Ark. The beef processor currently employs 720 and anticipates hiring an additional 300 workers during the next five years.
Bimbo to close Kansas baking plant early next year
Food Business News
Bimbo Bakeries USA plans to cease production at its plant in Wichita, Kan., early next year, shifting production to other more modern facilities, including a bakery that opened in Topeka, Kan., in 2011.
3 marketing lessons from the fast food industry
Some fast food chains have started to step away from tactics perceived as nefarious to build brand equity on unique offerings, transparency and customer testimonials.
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