Sara Langen

McCormick releases food cravings study data

Ice cream, chocolate, BBQ ribs, and steak are some of the foods consumers crave most, according to Crave It!™, a study sponsored by McCormick & Co.

The data revealed differences between men and women and differences by region. Men crave steak and ribs, while women long for chocolate candy and ice cream. Northeasterners crave pretzels and pizza, while Southeasterners crave cheese and BBQ ribs. Midwest and Northwest cravings are for steak, while Southwesterners crave tortilla chips and hamburgers.

McCormick sponsored the study to further understand consumer food and flavor cravings. The study was conducted by Moskowitz Jacobs Inc., a market research company, and the Understanding & Insight Group, a business, strategy, and product development firm. More than 4,000 people participated.

Both men and women reported taste to be the number one driver of cravings. When asked what else drives their cravings, men reported aroma, women said texture.

The study results also divided consumers into three groups. The Classics tended to crave simple, authentic, and natural foods. Imaginers reported increased cravings depending on how food was described. The Elaborates tended to crave extras such as toppings or numerous sides.

For more information, visit McCormick Flavor, based in Hunt Valley, Md., produces a full line of flavor systems, for the food and beverage industry

CSPI endorses current GMO foods
The Center for Science in the Public Interest announced that it believes genetically engineered foods currently on the market appear to be safe.

That said, the group recommended stricter government oversight of these crops. The statements were included in the cover story in the November issue of CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter. The story advised people not to fear eating food that contains genes from another plant or bacterium and stated that current genetically engineered crops, including soybeans engineered to resist herbicides and corn and cotton engineered to kill insect pests, benefit farmers and the environment by increasing yields, reducing the use of pesticides, and lowering costs.

CSPI is based in Washington, D.C. More information is available at or by calling 202-332-9110.

General Mills celebrates Pillsbury acquisition
On November 1, General Mills, Inc. celebrated its first official day as a new global company following its acquisition of worldwide Pillsbury operations from Diageo plc.

To commemorate the first day of trading as the new General Mills, company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Sanger rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, while the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Trix Rabbit, and other General Mills mascots handed out “blue chip” cookies to traders on the floor.

“We’re combining the best talent from Pillsbury and General Mills, which will increase the breadth and depth of our consumer foods marketing and management expertise,” Sanger said.

Included in the company’s new business portfolio are Pillsbury refrigerated baked goods; Yoplait yogurt; Old El Paso Mexican dinner kits; Totino’s frozen pizza and snacks; Betty Crocker dessert, dinner, and side dish mixes; Green Giant frozen and canned vegetables; Progresso ready-to-serve soups; and Big G cereals. General Mills, based in Minneapolis, Minn., will now have more than 30 brands.

Consumers warming up to irradiation
Consumers may be changing their views on irradiation.

According to new survey results released by New-York-based research firm Porter Novelli, consumers are making a connection between the ability of irradiation to eliminate anthrax and other harmful bacteria and its potential use in protecting the food supply. The survey shows that consumers increasingly view it as an acceptable precautionary measure.

The firm surveyed 1,008 U.S. adults in early November 2001. The results showed that consumers have moved from trepidation to support for the technology, with 52% saying that the government should require irradiation to help ensure a safe food supply. In another Porter Novelli survey last year, only 11% of consumers said they would buy irradiated foods if they were available.

 renamed its Nutraceuticals business unit Cargill Health and Food Technologies. The decision comes after the joining and expansion of the nutraceuticals and the specialty food ingredients business units. Cargill Health and Food Technologies develops, processes, and markets science-based, health-promoting ingredients for the food and dietary supplements industries worldwide. Cargill is an agricultural processor based in Minneapolis, Minn.

Crown Iron Works Co. has announced a joint venture with Wuhan Friendship Engineering Corp., a Chinese engineering firm specializing in oilseed processing systems. The joint venture, to be known as Crown Friendship Engineering, will offer a line of oilseed and oil processing equipment in China. Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Crown Iron Works provides high-capacity, high-efficiency oilseed processing technology. 

Davisco Foods International has announced plans to invest $40 million to build a mozzarella cheese plant adjacent to its food ingredient plant in Lake Norden, S.D. Land O’Lakes will market the cheese produced at the new plant and partner with Davisco in milk procurement for the plant. Davisco’s existing Lake Norden facility currently processes whey to produce specialized food ingredients, including whey protein isolates. Construction will begin early next year and take approximately 15–18 months to complete. Davisco, based in Le Sueur, Minn., is a privately held, family-owned dairy business. Land O’Lakes, Inc., based in Arden Hills, Minn., is a national, farmer-owned food and agricultural cooperative.

Firmenich Flavor Division has announced the opening of its new International Foods and Flavors Expertise Center in Geneva, Switzerland. The center, which cost 30 million Swiss Francs, is organized around three activity segments: Sweet Goods, Beverages, and Savory Foods. The 11,600 -square-meter center includes nearly 160 employees in the fields of applied research, product development, sensory analysis, marketing, and global divisional management and administration. Firmenich is a privately-held manufacturer of flavors and fragrances.

Fiske Food Ingredients, has completed a 1-million-euro investment program in its United Kingdom headquarters and distribution facility. The site, located in Milton Keynes, became operational in September. It provides a consolidated base for Fiske’s sales and technical support staff, in addition to a 40,000-sq-ft logistic facility that will handle a wide range of ingredient products. Fiske is the food industry distribution arm of Royal Vopak, which provides logistics and distribution services worldwide. 

Flavor & Fragrance Specialties announced the opening of FFS Korea, Inc. Located in Seoul, Korea, FFS Korea will serve as the company’s base for its Asian operations. Based in Mahwah, N.J., Flavor & Fragrance Specialties manufactures flavors and fragrances. 

Frito-Lay, has announced that it will invest $40 million in a new manufacturing plant in Kashira, Russia, south of Moscow. It will make potato chips and other snacks. The plant will employ 350 people and bring Frito-Lay’s total investment in Russia to $60 million. Frito-Lay is a snack foods processor based in Plano, Tex.

Allied Starch & Chemical announced the appointment of four new executives. Edward G. Ludwig is the new Vice President of Marketing. His primary responsibility is new business development. Richard C. Tumm was promoted to Sales and Marketing Manager. He was previously Sales Manager. Susan Hatfield was appointed Regional Sales Manager, New England Region. Joe Burger was also named Regional Sales Manager, Western Region. Allied Starch & Chemical is based in Darien, Conn. 

Archer Daniels Midland Co. merged its Moorman’s Inc. and Consolidated Nutrition operations into a single animal feed subsidiary, ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc. and named Mike Foster President of the new subsidiary. Foster joined the company in 1997 when ADM acquired Moorman’s. The subsidiary will be headquartered in Quincy, Ill. The company also appointed Steve O’Brien Division Sales Manager for the Nutraceuticals Division. He previously served as Operations Manager of the company’s vitamin E and vitamin C plants. Graham Keen was named Brand Development Manager for ADM’s Protein Specialties and Nutraceuticals Divisions. He transferred from one of the company’s European subsidiaries. Based in Decatur, Ill., ADM processes agricultural products worldwide. 

Cargill’s Emulsifers & Texturizers Business Unit, based in Minneapolis, Minn., appointed Jens Heiser President of its newly formed lecithin business. Heiser has more than 30 years of marketing and sales experience in the lecithin business. He was formerly president and CEO of Lucas Meyer GmbH. He will lead a new sales and marketing team based in Hamburg, Germany. 

Custom Industries appointed Christopher Kidd Sales Manager, Western Region. Prior to joining Custom, he was Senior Account Manager with Ashland Chemical’s Fine Ingredients Division. Based in St. Louis, Mo., Custom Industries supplies specialty ingredients to the cereal, bakery, and snack industries.

Instron Corp. appointed James O. Garrison President and Chief Executive Officer. He replaces James M. McConnell, who is retiring from the company after serving in the position for over 11 years. Garrison was previously President, CEO, and owner of H&R 1871, Inc., a producer of single-barrel, single-shot shotguns. Instron, based in Canton, Mass., provides testing equipment designed to evaluate mechanical properties of materials and components.  

International Specialty Products appointed Sharrann E. Simmons Vice President, Marketing and Product Development–Pharmaceutical, Food Ingredients, and Beverage. She previously served as Director of Sales, North America for FMC Corp. Based in Wayne, N.J., ISP is a worldwide supplier of performance-enhancing products for a variety of industries.

Betschart receives AACC award 
The American Association of Cereal Chemists has presented one of its highest honors, the William F. Geddes Memorial Award, to former president Antoinette Betschart.

The award acknowledges members whose work and commitment to the association are extraordinary. Betschart, a recognized authority on the nutritional value of cereal grains and legumes, is Director of the eight-state Pacific West Area of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. She is also the recipient of numerous awards and is a frequent speaker.

AACC, based in St. Paul, Minn., is an international association of cereal and food science professionals.

AICR releases new breast cancer brochure
The American Institute for Cancer Research is offering a new free brochure, Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer, that provides guidelines and tips on how to control dietary and other lifestyle factors that affect a woman’s risk for the disease.

Research indicates that the incidence of breast cancer can be reduced through changes in diet. The brochure outlines which foods women should eat and which foods they should avoid, such as avoiding foods high in saturated animal fat and eating many fruits and vegetables.

Other lifestyle factors, such as exercise and alcohol and tobacco consumption, are also addressed in the brochure. To obtain copies, call 800-843-8114, ext. 25.

AICR, based in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s third-largest cancer charity and focuses exclusively on the link between diet and cancer.

Gallagher receives ADA award
American Dietetic Association past president Ann Gallagher has received the association’s highest honor, the 2001 Marjorie Hulsizer Copher Award. 

The award, named for an early 20th century pioneer in the field of dietetics, recognizes career achievements and contributions to the ADA and the dietetics profession.

Gallagher, a registered dietitian, is President of F.A. Gallagher and Associates, which provides consultation to long-term care facilities, retirement communities, group homes, and other geriatric care providers. She is also a frequent lecturer on nutrition and long-term care. 

ADA, based in Chicago, Ill., is a 70,000-member organization of food and nutrition professionals.

Assistant Editor