Business Bites: More help is on the way to strengthen nation’s food supply chain

On this week's plate: USDA creates Regional Food Business Centers to enhance food supply chain in the United States; human milk influences creation of functional ingredient for food and beverage products; Fi Africa returns to Egypt for third edition; and more.

4 Min Read
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What’s up next for the food supply chain in the United States? USDA hopes to strengthen and enhance it with the creation of 12 new Regional Food Business Centers, plus former First Lady Michelle Obama recently unveiled her new food-focused company PleziNutrition to offer children healthier eating options. It’s a busy week, so read on for more industry news.

USDA Regional Food Business Centers to assist small- and mid-sized farmers

Strengthening the food supply chain is a top priority across the globe, especially after the hardships presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. USDA recently announced the creation of 12 new USDA Regional Food Business Centers throughout the United States, which will provide coordination, technical assistance and capacity building to help small- and mid-sized farmers, ranchers and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources. The agency first announced the initiative in September 2022, with a goal of strengthening and enhancing local and regional food systems in the country. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack noted how these centers “will create new and expanded local market opportunities, which will improve farm income, create good paying jobs and build greater resilience in our overall food system.”

Sweets & Snacks Convention in Chicago to showcase new innovations

Imagine more than 2 million square feet of snacks and sweets. Now, imagine getting to sample them for three days. All that indulgence will occur at the industry-only Sweets & Snacks Expo, one of North America’s largest candy and snack trade shows taking place May 22-25 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Thousands of confectionery and snack retailers, manufacturers and suppliers attend to showcase the latest innovations and network with other industry experts. A host of new products will be on display, including Nature’s Garden Oat Milk Chocolate Covered Strawberry Almonds, Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle M&M’s Minis (in three varieties: brownie, gluten-free brownie and blondie brownie) and The Hershey Co.’s Reese’s Plant Based Peanut Butter Cups. Click here to register.

Food tech company looks to human milk to create bioactive ingredient

In the 1990s, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the “Breast is Best” campaign to convince more women to breastfeed their babies instead of resorting to formula. Scientific research has shown several health benefits associated with breast milk, including sensory and cognitive development and protection against infectious and chronic diseases. Biotech food tech startup Exosomm developed innovative technology that isolates exosomes—natural particles found in maternal milk that have been proven to aid human health—to create a bioactive ingredient that the company said can potentially support millions of adults with inflammatory disorders. The patented ingredient is made using upcycled whey from the traditional cheese-making process and can be utilized in the formulation of functional food and beverage products. It will be showcased at Vitafoods Europe, May 9-11 in Geneva.

Fi Africa returns to Egypt

Food ingredients (Fi) Africa, launched in 2021 as part of African Food Manufacturing, is the leading food and beverage exhibition on the continent. Co-located with ProPak MENA (Middle East/North Africa), the annual event is a “one-stop sourcing platform” for the latest innovations in ingredients, processing, packaging and logistic solutions. African ingredients are finally getting more recognition from consumers and companies alike, with more options available on the market than ever before. A full agenda of educational programming will offer insight about ingredient technology, food safety and ingredients, plant-based foods and more. This year, Fi Africa will be held May 28-30, in Cairo, with more than 350 exhibitors and close to 10,000 attendees from all over the world expected to attend. Click here to register.

Ines Rosales revamps, expands for olive oil cracker line

Spanish manufacturer Ines Rosales is revamping and expanding its range of olive oil crackers, which was originally introduced in 2019. The Spanish manufacturer, best known for using distinct-tasting ingredients such as anise seeds and manchego cheese, recently launched two new flavors, Smoked Paprika and Sesame Sea Salt, inspired by the flavors of Spain. The line’s revamp includes eco-friendly packaging and enhanced product texture. Utilizing her family’s cherished recipes, founder Ines Rosales launched the company in 1910. Over a century later, the company remains loyal to Rosales’ original recipes and keeping this Spanish-inspired offering in the U.S. marketplace.

Heather Carter and Tedi Delashmet are Food & Beverage Insider's associate editor and content producer, respectively.

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About the Author(s)

Heather Carter

Associate editor, Food & Beverage Insider

With over a decade of diverse professional experience under her belt, Heather has journeyed from the bustling world of local news reporting to the intricate realms of trade publishing. She has covered a wide array of topics, ranging from architecture and design to the food and beverage industry.

During her illustrious career, Heather also ventured into the realm of public relations, where she gleaned invaluable insights into the art of strategic communication and brand storytelling. Yet, her heart has always been anchored in the vibrant world of F&B, a passion deeply ingrained in her roots as the daughter of a seasoned chef. She has always held a profound appreciation for the role food plays in shaping cultures and connecting people.

With each story she tells, Heather seeks to illuminate the profound impact of food and beverage on people’s lives, celebrating its ability to evoke emotions, foster connections and weave the fabric of our shared human experience.

As Food & Beverage Insider's associate editor, she co-publishes a weekly news column, Business Bites, which showcases the latest industry news, highlighting key business updates, food and beverage innovation, industry events and more. Some of her other articles touch on important topics, such as ultra-processed foods, plant-based foods primed to change the food landscape, international flavors and ingredients, as well as better-for-you CPGs. She also frequently covers top trends at various industry events and has moderated first-of-their-kind education sessions at Informa events.

She can be reached at [email protected].

Tedi Delashmet

Content producer, Food & Beverage Insider

Tedi Delashmet is the content producer for Food & Beverage Insider at Informa Markets. Her experience includes feature writing and production, as well as an internship covering Chicago’s culinary landscape. She is based in Los Angeles and expresses her love of storytelling through Hollywood’s creative outlets. 

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