Unilever shares reformulation patents to combat freezer emissions in the ice cream sector
Unilever has granted a free non-exclusive license for 12 reformulation patents to the ice cream industry. This initiative follows two successful pilots aimed at optimising its last-mile ice cream freezer cabinets.
The decision to provide access to these patents will enable manufacturers to reformulate products that remain stable at a warmer freezer temperature of -12°C, a departure from the current standard of -18°C.
Extensive research at Unilever’s global ice cream research & development centre has confirmed energy reduction of approximately 25% per freezer cabinet at the warmer temperature of -12°C.
Emissions from retail ice cream freezers currently account for 10% of Unilever’s value chain greenhouse gas footprint. This initiative aligns with Unilever’s Climate Transition Action Plan, which aims to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2039.
‘World-first’ alternative seafood association launched
A new global association, Future Ocean Foods, launched this week, dedicated to accelerating the alternative seafood industry.
The association is launching with an initial membership base of 36 companies across 14 countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Singapore. It will span cell-based, fermentation and plant-based seafood and technology.
Future Ocean Foods’ mission is to promote food security, human health, environmental sustainability and ocean conservation. It aims to unite global stakeholders to foster knowledge-sharing and collaboration, as well as increase awareness of the benefits of alternative seafood for human health and sustainability.
The association will work to increase product trials, deepen market penetration and help to raise the nutritional profile of alternatives with a focus on protein and omegas. Members will work with traditional seafood companies to help diversify their offerings, create sustainable solutions and create new jobs in regions that are reliant on the seafood sector.
Mars acquires British confectionery brand Hotel Chocolat for £534m
Mars has acquired Hotel Chocolat for £534 million, signifying a pivotal development in the premium confectionery sector.
Founded in 1993 by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, each will receive £144 million from the acquisition, underscoring the robust valuation of Hotel Chocolat and affirming Mars’ commitment to investing in premium brands.
The strategic alignment aims to leverage Mars’ operational expertise to navigate the international expansion challenges that Hotel Chocolat faces, emphasising streamlining manufacturing, distribution and logistical intricacies.
Hotel Chocolat’s position in the confectionery market remains untouched post-acquisition. Mars Snacking global president, Andrew Clarke, assured industry stakeholders that there are no plans to alter the iconic recipes that define the Hotel Chocolat brand.
Thirlwell, continuing as CEO, pledged an 80% reinvestment of his windfall back into the company, emphasising a commitment to sustained growth and innovation.
Italy bans the production and marketing of cell-based meat
The Italian Chamber of Deputies has passed a law banning the production and marketing of cell-based meat and the use of meat-related names, such as ‘salami’ or ‘steak’, for plant-based meat products.
Italy made the move in a bid to protect its agricultural history and traditional culinary culture. The stance was first announced in March this year, when Italy’s Agriculture Minister, Francesco Lollobrigida, said that Italy is the first nation to say no to “synthetic” food as laboratory products do not guarantee quality or wellbeing, nor protect Italy’s culture and traditions.
In a statement, the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI) said that the bill, which introduces fines between €10,000 and €60,000 for each violation, will “cut the country off from innovation and block sustainable development”.
The GFI warns that the move will reduce investment, push Italian researchers abroad and hinder the fight against climate change, while other European countries are investing in the sector.
The decision to ban cell-based meat in the country holds particular significance given that Italy is a substantial importer of meat from both European and non-European countries. Supporting the domestic production of cell-based meat could play a crucial role in bridging this gap.
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