Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B (Here Everything's Better) has remodeled one of its Austin-based stores to "get a piece" of the growing Latino population in Austin. The newly expanded north Austin store has a "Mercado style" layout, and will offer freshly made tortillas, aguas frescas, and many other specialty foods and services designed to target Latino shoppers in the area.
Nutrition expert Marion Nestle predicts the food politics agenda for 2012. One of her predictions is that "political leaders will avoid or postpone taking action on food issues that threaten corporate interests."
Richmond Pulse reporter Taisa Grant reviews a new report released by California's Contra Costa County health department, "The Impact of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption on the Health of Richmond Residents." The report finds that soda is "particularly addictive" and poses threats similar to those from crack cocaine.
Marketing professional Sebastian Aroca instructs marketers on how to target Latino consumers, particularly online. His suggestions include "[use] Hispanic celebrities to be your brand Ambassadors," and "include digital and video content ... [because] 73% of U.S. Hispanics are on Youtube, and 93% of Hispanics are Google users."
Customers who purchased grapes at Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago area during August and September received buy-one-get-one-free coupons to Disney on Ice. More than twice the number of coupons expected were redeemed during the program, which was aimed at encouraging children to eat healthier foods.
Industry representatives and food advocates struggle to agree on creating easy-to-see and use food labels. The industry prefers a self-regulatory initiative called "Facts Up Front" that provide "just the facts". Health advocates want the "Nutrition Facts Panel Light" that is governed by federal food regulators and has a more interpretive system that provides more guidance on what is healthy.
Nestle exposes the enormous amount of money that just one company, PepsiCo, spends in lobbying to oppose food marketing measures, such as the IWG's voluntary guidelines. In just one quarter, PepsiCo spent $750,00 in its lobbying efforts, combining for approximately $3 million annually.
Kraft encourages adult customers to undergo a "facial screening" at a vending machine and in return they get a free Jell-O sample. The person either texts a code or swipes a bar code with a smartphone and may then select one of six flavors.
On December 1, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to prohibit fast food restaurants from using toys to market high-calorie meals to kids. While Jack in the Box has discontinued its toy incentive nationwide, McDonald's is getting around it by encouraging customers to donate 10 cents to Ronald McDonald House Charities and get a toy with a Happy Meal in return.