McCormick Announces Top Flavors and Food Trends for 2014 
Marking its 125th year as a food industry innovator, McCormick & Company, a global leader in flavor, kicked off a yearlong celebration of the tastes that bring us together with the unveiling of its McCormick Flavor Forecast 2014: 125th Anniversary Edition.

The report, developed annually by McCormick experts around the world, highlights five top food trends and more than a dozen emerging flavors predicted to impact the way we eat in the coming years. First launched in 2000, this anniversary edition explores how today’s unparalleled connectivity is driving faster-than-ever adoption of new trends and tastes around the globe.

Here are the top five trends:   
  • Chilies Obsession: Food lovers everywhere are seeking out their next big chile thrill.
  • Modern Masala: Indian food is finally having its moment, breaking free of its traditional confines with modern interpretations.
  • Clever Compact Cooking: Proving that big flavors can come from small spaces, cooks in urban kitchens are making the most of what’s available.
  • Mexican World Tour: Mexican flavors are making their way around the globe, with people everywhere discovering new aspects of this bright, casual cuisine.
  • Charmed by Brazil: The world’s attraction to Brazilian cuisine is heating up, thanks to its seductive mix of global and native influences.

The five top five flavors are:
  • Aji Amarillo: A hot Peruvian yellow chile with bold, fruity flavor.
  • Kashmiri Masala: An often homemade blend of spices from northern India featuring cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and ginger.
  • Tea: Not just for sipping anymore, this natural ingredient is making its way into rubs, broths and marinades.
  • Chamoy Sauce: A unique Mexican condiment—made from apricot, lime, chilies and spices—just beginning to gain a following in the U.S.
  • Cassava Flour: Also known as manioc or tapioca flour, this gluten-free alternative is a Brazilian staple prized for its versatility.

Signature Brands Selects New TPM Tool
Signature Brands, maker of dessert decorating products, will adopt the TradePro Retail Enterprise Trade Promotion Management (TPM) solution from AFS Technologies, Inc.

Based in Ocala, Fla., Signature Brands “makes every day special” for their consumers with their extensive line of Betty Crocker and Cake Mate dessert decorating products, Paas Easter egg decorations, Pumpkin Masters® carving kits, and holiday popcorn gifts.

AFS Technologies said the AFS TradePro Retail Enterprise technology will provide Signature Brands with the capabilities to enhance their deduction management processes by improving visibility and increasing the timeliness and accuracy of settlements. The manufacturer will also have the ability to measure trade spend effectiveness in real-time to maximize trade investments, monitor promotions and make more strategic and profitable business decisions. In addition, AFS said a partnership with a software solution provider solely dedicated to the consumer goods and food/beverage industries will provide Signature Brands with global best practices and proven implementation processes.

Tastykake Celebrates 100 Years with USO Partnership
One hundred years ago, on February 25, 1914, a baker and an egg salesman opened a bakery in Philadelphia and began selling delicious small cakes. That bakery’s now famous Tastykakes are still the sweet treat of choice for Philadelphians and a growing legion of fans around the country. To mark its centennial, Tastykake is celebrating with a yearlong “Birthday Moments” initiative in partnership with the USO and new, limited edition Birthday Kake Cupcakes.

The company has a long history of military support. During World War II, the bakery shipped snack cakes to employees stationed overseas, and the tradition of sending Tastykakes to America's troops continues today.

New Corporate Name for Del Monte Pet Products
Big Heart Pet Brands is the new corporate name for Del Monte Foods’ Pet Products business.

The company’s brand portfolio includes a number of iconic and beloved brands, including Milk-Bone, Meow Mix, Natural Balance, Kibbles ‘n Bits, and 9Lives, among others. The development of the new name and identity was unveiled late last month, follows the company’s sale of its Consumer Products division to Del Monte Pacific Limited.

CBX, a New York-based branding agency, used its rigorous naming methodology to help Big Heart Pet Brands arrive at a name that would be unique within the pet category, yet remain relatable and relevant for all audiences. The name Big Heart Pet Brands aims to showcase the company’s desire to nurture the bond between pets and the people who love them.

“Big Heart Pet Brands doesn’t believe in owning pets. They believe in loving them. We strongly believed the name should live up to this core belief,” said Rachel Bernard, Strategy Director at CBX New York, “The objective to show an unparalleled passion for pets truly inspired us—the result is a unique name that we believe advances the strategic vision of this category leader.”

CBX also developed a new visual system for the company. At the core of the visual system is a dynamic new “heartpaw” logo that reinforces the company’s love for pets and desire to continually create better solutions for them. The logo is designed to represent both a pawprint – to root the company in the pet category – and a heart to convey the bond between pet and pet parents.

CPG Executive Changes
Among the recent executive changes in the CPG industry:

  • At Diageo North America, Claudia Schubert becomes President, Control States and Canada; Stephen Rust is President, Reserve and DC&E; and Aren Korte becomes General Manager, DC&E.
  • Retailer Owned Food Distributors & Associates appointed Park City Group Director of Business Development        Christina Romas to their seven-member Advisory Council.   

VideoMining Launches Redesigned and Expanded Website
VideoMining Corp., the leading provider of in-store behavior analytics, is pleased to announce the re-launch of its newly redesigned and expanded corporate website at

The new website has been completely overhauled to enhance the user experience, providing easy navigation and a clean layout on virtually any device. The site also offers vastly expanded content and enhanced communication options to provide users with greater understanding of the company and its advances in the field of shopper analytics.

“This new website enhances our ability to communicate with both current and prospective partners,” noted Dr. Rajeev Sharma, VideoMining Founder and CEO. ”We look forward to the new opportunities the site presents for collaborating with both retailers and manufacturers to win shoppers through big data on in-store behavior.”

New sections on the website include a Clients section, featuring Case Studies of work that VideoMining has publicly presented with its clients, and Solutions pages, which look at some of the practical applications of VideoMining’s behavioral research. The website offers greater ability to communicate with users through an enhanced homepage layout, a simplified contact page, and a blog featuring thoughts from some of VideoMining’s team members.

For more information on VideoMining, consult the new website at, or contact the company directly at or (800)898-9950.

‘Facts Up Front’ Launches Consumer Education Campaign
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) unveiled its national consumer education campaign to bolster awareness and understanding of Facts Up Front. The nutrient-based labeling system will be supported by a national advertising campaign to further educate consumers on the initiative and help them make informed food decisions for their families.

Facts Up Front labels bring important information from the Nutrition Facts Panel, found on the back and side of packages, and displays it in a simple and easy-to-use format on the front of America's favorite food and beverage products.

“A recent literature review by the FDA tells us that front-of-package labels are most effective when reinforced by an education program,” said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of GMA. “With more than 50 companies voluntarily implementing Facts Up Front on their branded and private label products, it’s important for shoppers to know this tool is out there and that they understand how to use it. With Facts Up Front, we’re simplifying nutrition so everyone has the essential information needed to help build more healthful diets.”

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin remarked, "Our research tells us that more than two-thirds of shoppers read food labels, looking for information related to sodium content, sugar, fat and calories. Food retailers listen to their customers and the Facts Up Front Program gives these shoppers the information they're looking for in a convenient, easily accessible format."

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                                                                         Mid-March 2014