On this week’s plate: Kraft Heinz sets ambitious goal to greatly reduce plastic use globally in less than a decade; a large-scale, dedicated, plant-based event in the United States is scheduled for September in New York; the former FDA deputy commissioner of food policy & response accepts new position with technology company; and more.

Heather Carter, Associate editor

August 7, 2023

5 Min Read
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Industry events are increasingly focusing on plant-based products. Plant Based World Expo North America, sister to the Plant Based World Expo Europe held in London each year, is making its way back to New York to showcase the newest innovations in the growing sector. Also in this week’s news, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) members approved new pet food label requirements—the first packaging update in more than 40 years—which will highlight nutrition information, ingredients, and storage and handling instructions. There’s more to devour below.

Kraft Heinz announces goal to reduce plastic use 20% globally by 2030

In an effort to be more sustainably sound, Kraft Heinz recently announced a new initiative. The household brand has set out to reduce the use of virgin plastic—new, unused plastic material created from resin produced from natural gas or crude oil—20% in its global packaging portfolio by 2030. This reduction details the company’s commitment to decrease the use of fossil fuels, discover more sustainable packaging solutions (as it aims to make 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025), and progress toward its goal of halving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050. To achieve this feat, Kraft Heinz is expanding its existing work with the U.S., Canada and UK Plastic Pacts to increase the recycled content used in its packaging, with a goal of replacing 15% of its U.S. polyethylene terephthalate (PET) portfolio with post-consumer recycled content by 2025. The food company also detailed other recycling plans, such as revamped packaging for Kraft Real Mayo and Miracle Whip, which will transition some jars and squeeze bottles to 100% recycled content in the United States beginning in 2024 (eliminating approximately 14 million pounds of virgin plastic).

Plant Based World Expo North America returns to the Big Apple

Calling all plant-based food companies looking to make meaningful connections and grow their businesses. Plant Based World Expo North America is the place to be. Launched in 2019, the annual event aims to connect plant-based businesses with other manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and business service providers to develop, source and distribute plant-based products. This year’s edition is taking place Sept. 7-8 at Javits Center in New York, where more than 4,000 attendees are expected. I’ll be there seeking out the latest innovations in better-for-you products, as this is “where the next era of plant-based begins,” according to event reps. Hundreds of exhibitor booths will be available to explore and a full education schedule is planned. If you are interested in attending, register here.

Former FDA official joins Wiliot as strategic advisor

Frank Yiannas, who was instrumental in instituting Rule 204 of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA 204), recently announced a new venture. The former FDA deputy commissioner of food policy & response joined Internet of Things (IoT) technology company Wiliot as a strategic advisor. In his new role, Yiannas will assist the startup with its visibility platform that is designed to help food companies and retailers to maintain FSMA 204 compliance. Wiliot’s battery-free IoT Pixels can attach to any food product or packaging to connect it to the Internet and embed it with intelligence. Once attached, products push out item-level information to equip food companies with the real-time data that’s now required as part of FSMA 204. Yiannas will also advise Wiliot on how to best leverage its platform within the food safety ecosystem to achieve enhanced food safety and traceability, working with executives, solutions development leaders, and sales and marketing teams.

AAFCO approves new pet food labels

New labeling changes approved this week by AAFCO will modernize pet food labels, including those on treats and supplements, which highlight standardized nutrition information, clear ingredient statements, as well as proper storage and handling instructions. The effort to revamp companion animal food labels so they more closely resemble those of human food began in 2015. AAFCO and key stakeholders worked together to develop the revised Pet Food Model Regulations. AFFCO’s role in pet food regulations is simply to establish model language that may be adopted into law. FDA, which oversees regulatory actions, is active in AAFCO. Cindy Hazen reports more in her story on Food & Beverage Insider.

CPG veteran assumes role as first CEO for Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Cravings, food and lifestyle brand founded by celebrity model and television personality Chrissy Teigen, recently appointed its first-ever CEO. Danyel O’Connor, who brings a strong track record of shepherding CPG brands into new phases of growth, will be responsible for growing and leading the brand’s ventures alongside Teigen. A graduate of Harvard Business School’s program for leadership development, O’Connor most recently served as EVP of sales and marketing for Good Foods, a food and beverage company focused on eco-friendly initiatives and food safety. She has a diverse background in the industry, with experience in new product development, product positioning, marketing, consumer behavior, profit and loss statement (P&L) management and sales.

“The Cravings brand is deeply rooted in the community that Chrissy has built, and one of our biggest opportunities is to bring our products to a larger, more multi-generational audience in the center of the grocery store,” O’Connor said in a statement to Food & Beverage Insider. “By growing our baking mix portfolio and expanding into adjacent categories, we’ll resonate with every type of home baker, regardless of experience level.”

Heather Carter is the associate editor of Food & Beverage Insider at Informa Markets. She has worked in B2B publishing for nearly a decade, covering a variety of topics, from tile to bedding to the food & beverage industry.

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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'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].

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