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Business Bites: Mars buys Trü Frü, Winter Fancy Food Show returns, US officials push front-of-pack claims

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On this week’s plate: Trü Frü joins Mars’ snacks lineup; Specialty Food Association plans for Winter Fancy Food Show; government officials question front-of-pack food claims; and much more.

Mars acquires whole-fruit snacking brand Trü Frü

Who doesn’t love fruit covered in chocolate? Mars knows just how much you do. The family-owned company recently acquired Trü Frü, a better-for-you, whole-fruit snacking brand known for its chocolate-covered fruit. Founded in 2017, the company is headquartered in West Valley City, Utah, and has approximately 50 employees. Trü Frü joins Mars’ platform of health and wellness brands, which includes KIND and Nature’s Bakery. Trü Frü will operate as a separate business within Mars like those brands; the business will be led by current CEO, Brian Neville, to maintain its current legacy.

 

The Winter Fancy Food Show is right around the corner

Are you looking to make new contacts in the specialty food market? If so, the Winter Fancy Food Show—hosted by the Specialty Food Association from January 15 to January 17, 2023, at the Las Vegas Convention Center—is the place to be. The three-day event, consisting of networking, educational events, trendspotting, and sampling the newest and best specialty foods from hundreds of exhibitors in more than 40 categories, will feature innovative food and beverage products from all over the world. Thousands of producers, buyers, retailers, brokers, distributors and other industry professionals attend the annual event to foster new connections and grow their businesses. The show returns after a one-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

 

U.S. government officials urge FDA to establish front-of-pack food nutritional labeling system

Packaging claims are a big deal, especially in the F&B world. And so is transparency. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) led their colleagues in calling on FDA to establish a front-of-package nutrition label system for food products sold in the U.S. Dozens of countries have already taken steps to adopt front-of-package nutrition labels. While FDA is working on redefining the “healthy” nutrient content claim and implementing a voluntary “healthy” symbol, the members expressed concerns the changes would lead to a price premium for healthier products, making them less accessible to many Americans.

 

BASF and StePac create sustainable packaging for shelf-life extension of fresh produce

The next generation of sustainable packaging for the fresh produce sector is on its way. This collaboration is from BASF and StePac Ltd. Supplying StePac with its Ultramid Ccycled, a chemically recycled polyamide 6, BASF will provide the company greater flexibility to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a higher sustainable standard. Colombian passion fruit exporters Jardin Exotics S.A.S. will be the first to use the new packaging brand Xgo Circular. Supplied as film for horizontal form fill-and-seal, the packaging’s MAP properties will slow the ripening process and preserve the quality of the fruit during the long sea voyage from Colombia to Europe.

 

Hershey’s and Quaker top American Customer Satisfaction Index for food manufacturers

Customer satisfaction is important, especially when it comes to food and beverage products. New results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) Nondurable Products Study 2021-2022 found that top brands like Hershey’s and Quaker ranked high amongst consumers for satisfactory experiences. In the study—based on interviews with 6,076 customers, chosen at random and contacted via email between October 2021 and September 2022—customers were asked to evaluate their recent experiences with products provided by the largest manufacturers in terms of market share, plus an aggregate category consisting of “all other” companies (smaller) in each industry.

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