NOSH Press Clips: Lights, Camera, Kale!

Carol Ortenberg

CEO’s Celebrated
The Harvard Business Review released its annual “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” report this week. Previous years’ reports have looked solely at stock market numbers, in 2015 the publication also worked with investment research firm Sustainalytics and hbr-categoryexamined each company’s “environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.”

While consumer goods represented the largest selection of CEOs in contention, no food or beverage company leaders made the list. Ironically, John Mackey of Whole Foods Market (43 on the list) as well as Hugh Grant of Monsanto (down seven to 66) broke the top 100; they are on opposing sides of the GMO debate.

Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks?
Is it possible for a leader at a big CPG company to shift focus and help create a truly healthy packaged food brand? The New York Times recently had their annual “Food for Tomorrow” conference where the keynote examined “Can Big Food Get Healthy” and this week the publication examined some of the individuals who have chosen this new path.

The question that remains to be seen is if these leaders can find more success taking the strategic know-how that they learned in big food and apply it to less processed, healthier products. One notable veteran profiled is Jeffrey Dunn, former President of Coca-Cola, who now works with Campbell’s on driving its line of fresh foods (including Bolthouse brand products).

False Alarm in Chocapocalypse
Never underestimate a Brit’s desire for a taste of home. Vanity Fair takes a look at the terror Hershey instigated when it cracked down on importers bringing in authentic English-produced Cadbury Chocolates into the US. Hershey owns the rights to produce the chocolate treats in the US but (to the horror of Europeans) doesn’t use the same recipe or ingredients.

While fans stockpiled months of chocolate waiting for the chocapocalypse, happily the import of the goodies doesn’t seem to be totally wiped out.

What’s Really In Your Hot Dog?
Clear Foods, the first consumer food guide that evaluates food at the molecular (DNA), issued their first report, answering the age old question of how the sausage really gets made. The group analyzed 345 samples of sausages and hot dogs from 75 brands and 10 retailers and included a variety of types (vegetarian, chicken, etc).

The results were startling. In total, 14.4 percent came back with “problematic” results. Human DNA was found in two percent of samples. Vegetarian samples not only had human DNA in two-thirds of the products but 10 percent contained meat. Furthermore there were issues with nutrition labels across all samples (such as overstating the amount of protein) and inaccurate calorie counts.


The Future of Food is Now
This week included the celebration of “Back to the Future Day” — a nod to the date in Back to the Future II that Marty McFly and Doc jump over 20 years to. When released, the movie had some fun predictions of what food would look like in 2015. Salon went through and discovered where writers got it right and where they were perhaps a bit too futuristic.

While spin-bike powered restaurants (Soulcycle take note) and rehydratable pizza aren’t quite there yet, we do have technology powered gardens (aerogardens), Pepsi Perfect (even if only in a limited run, and cars powered by discarded food products (used fryer oil).

Is Kale the Next Kardashian?
The M&M’s are pretty adorable, Chester is still repping Cheetos and Tony is full of energy from sugary Frosted flakes. But how do you make asparagus, artichokes and apples sexy?

The Produce Marketing Board has decided it’s time for veggies and fruits to have their 15 minutes of fame and as such, announced a strategic alliance with Entertainment Resource & Marketing Association (ERMA) to “bring fresh produce center stage through television shows, movies and online entertainment” through product placement. While actually eating produce would be ideal, the PMB states they simply want to see more produce sitting in character’s kitchens and scenes in retailers’ produce sections.

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