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BY LUCAS WITMAN According to market research company BCC Research, global sugar and sweetener sales topped $77.5 billion in 2012, and sales continue to increase at an annual rate of 4.6 percent. At the current growth rate, it is expected that sales may hit $97.2 billion by 2017. Natural and artificial sugar substitutes make up an impres- sive 13.5 percent of all sugar and sweetener sales ($10.5 billion an- nually). Despite their increasing popu- larity among consumers, artificial sweeteners have recently received a great deal of negative public at- tention, with some health experts Not updated since the early 1990s, consumers could soon see some changes to the common Nutrition Facts label that appears on all pack- aged foods sold in the United States. This news comes as the Food and Drug Administration an- nounced that it has sent two pro- posals to the White House detailing the changes it is considering insti- tuting. Although the FDA has not yet made the two proposals public, nor has the agency issued an official comment regarding its plans, ab- stracts of these proposals are avail- able on the agency's website. The abstract for the first pro- posal states that in an effort to "as- sist consumers in maintaining FDA Proposes Changes to Decades-Old Nutrition Facts Labels Continued on PAGE 6 UPDATE: WFF Show Wrap-Up SEE PAGE 16 SPECIAL FEATURE: Jams, Jellies & Preserves SEE PAGE 20 HOT PRODUCTS: SEE PAGE 22 Continued on PAGE 8 Continued on PAGE 4 healthy dietary practices," the FDA intends to modernize the content of the Nutrition Facts label as well as the label's format and appearance. The abstract does not detail the spe- cific changes being considered but states that "new scientific evidence and consumer research has become available in the last 18 years that can be used to update the content and appearance of information on the Nutrition Facts and Supple- ment Facts labels so that con- sumers can use the information more effectively to select foods." The FDA's second proposal specifically concerns updating serv- ing sizes for foods that can be rea- sonably consumed in one sitting. According to the abstract, the agency is considering updating the regulations concerning serving size. "If finalized, this rule would pro- vide consumers with nutrition in- formation based on the amount of food that is customarily consumed, which would assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary prac- tices," the abstract reads. The ab- stract also states that the FDA is considering updating the definition of "single serve" packages. In addi- tion, the agency is considering in- stituting dual column nutrition labeling, detailing information for both the serving and the container. The Nutrition Facts labels cur- rently present on food packaging were first required on May 8, 1994. The labels were mandated by the Nutrition Labeling and Ed- ucation Act, which was passed in 1990. The labels, which detail serving size, servings per con- tainer, calories, fat (including sat- urated fat), cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals, have not been updated since this standard model was first instituted. To read the abstracts of the FDA's proposals, visit www.reginfo.gov/public/, and ac- cess the Regulatory Review page for the Department of Health and Human Services. Specialty Food Assoc. Honors Vanguards with Leadership Awards Natural Sweeteners Step in as Consumers Grow Concerned about Artificial Alternatives attacking substances such as as- partame, saccharine, sucralose and Acesulfame-K as contributors to an assortment of health mal- adies. A recently published study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, for example, ar- gues that the consumption of ar- tificial sweeteners (in particular, artificially sweetened beverages) corresponded to a heightened level of obesity among those stud- ied. Experts argue that this may be due to the fact that consump- tion of artificial sweeteners fuels the body's craving for sweet foods, ultimately compelling the indi- vidual to consume more calories. With little definitive scientific proof one way or the other that the consumption of artificial sweeteners is safe and beneficial or ultimately damaging to the body, consumers are forced to navigate a sea of contradictory ar- guments in making their dietary decisions. The public is at once faced with arguments that artifi- cial sweeteners are a healthy alter- native for diabetics hoping to limit their sugar intake and opposing arguments that these products may actually be worse than sugar for diabetics. Consumers are too often left alone to decide which ar- gument they are going to believe. BY LUCAS WITMAN There is nothing particularly revo- lutionary about foods with func- tionality. Athletes have been downing Gatorade for over thirty years, and nutritive bars have been a pantry staple among health con- scious snackers for decades. How- ever, the market for functional foods and beverages has never been more robust than it is today. And with dozens of new products being Tastes Good and Good For You: Functional Food and Beverage Companies Break the Mold introduced every month, specialty food companies need to work hard to stay current in this dy- namic, ever-evolving product category. "If you notice what's happening in the natural health aisles, it's that those aisles are changing," said Jeff Hilton, co-founder and partner with branding agency BrandHive. "There's been a whole explo- sion of new dosage and delivery forms. Some of this has been in the supplements arena, and some of this has been in beverages. But the point is that the retail land- scape is changing." BY LUCAS WITMAN On Sunday January 19, in a cere- mony held on the first evening of the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, the Specialty Food Association honored three gour- met food industry notables with the organization's second annual Leadership Awards. Winners in- cluded Tyler Gage, co-founder and Co-CEO of Brooklyn-based Runa Tea, Ron Rubin, CEO of Novato, Calif.-based Republic of Tea and Caryl Levine, co-founder and co-owner of Richmond, Calif.-based Lotus Foods. The Specialty Food Associa- tion's Leadership Awards were de- signed to honor the innovative and influential entrepreneurs who have served to guide the gourmet industry to the position of promi- nence that it occupies today. "These leaders are taking their passion for food far beyond the production of great products to improve communities, develop innovative practices and pioneer new food business models," said Ann Daw, President of the Spe- cialty Food Association. Preceding the presentation of VOLUME 79, NUMBER 3 MARCH 2014 n $7.00 TRADE SHOW BUZZ n Natural Products Expo West Grows Along with its Industry PAGE 4 GIFTWARE n Zing Anything PAGE 9 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n "Clean, Lean and Sexy" and also Delicious: Company Brings Tasty Snacks to Those with Food Sensitivities PAGE 11 RETAILER NEWS n Wine and Food Lovers Slow Down to Savor the Selections at WineStyles Tasting Station PAGE 12 SPECIALTY DISTRIBUTORS & BROKERS n ConAgra Foods Named Food Processing's 2013 Processor of the Year PAGE 14 News ..............................................2 Ad Index .......................................23 Smorgasbord ................................23 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ®

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