— In the I-Own-the-Cookie-Jar department, Reuters reports that Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, is engaged in “negotiations” to acquire the Cada supermarket chain, which is owned by France’s Casino. A month ago, Chavez also engaged in “negotiations” when he expropriated another of Casino’s chains. The Cada acquisition would give Chavez substantial control over the country’s food distribution. Two years ago, food shortages hurt the president’s popularity.
— Product placement scarily becomes the plot when Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble join forces, according to the Loa Angeles Times. The companies announced plans to produce “family-friendly” television programming that will serve as a vehicle to advertise products. A two-hour movie that will air on NBC on April 16. “Secrets of the Mountain” features a single mother and her three children who use P&G’s Duracell batteries for flashlights and feed their dog the company’s Iams pet food, and eat breakfast cereal from Wal-Mart’s Great Value private-label brand.
— Meanwhile, foodanddrinkerope.com reports: “The British government has confirmed plans to allow product placement in television programmes, but foods high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS), and alcohol are excluded.”
— Move over stevia, there’s already a newer natural sweetener in the pipeline, reports foodnavigator-usa.com:
As natural, zero-calorie stevia-derived sweeteners moved into the limelight in 2009, BioVittoria will be hoping that Fruit-Sweetness can tap into the growing interest in this area in 2010. The New Zealand-based company suggests that the sweetener, made from concentrated monk fruit, or luo han guo, could be blended with a range of natural sweeteners, including sugar, Reb A, or fruit concentrates. The sweet components of monk fruit … – are mogrosides. When extracted from the fruit and concentrated, the mogrosides are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Food trend blog: https://johnlehndorff.wordpress.com/
Eat In Eat Out: Food trend forecast 2010: http://americanforecaster.com/
The Pie Calendar 2010: http://magcloud.com/browse/Issue/53186
The Kombucha Report: http://www.teareport.com/