Press Clips: California Kills Cancer Warning Label for Coffee

California Kills Cancer Warning Label for Coffee

California coffee cups will not need to include cancer warning labels after state regulators issued an exemption, Bloomberg reported this month.

The announcement comes more than a year after the California Superior Court ruled that packaged coffee products must carry a warning label because it contains trace amounts of the carcinogen acrylamide, which is produced during the roasting process. The controversial ruling was met with swift criticism from the coffee industry, with the National Coffee Association calling it “a mockery” of California’s Proposition 65 law, which requires such labels for any toxic substance.

According to Bloomberg, dozens of coffee roasters and retailers were named in the initial lawsuit — filed in 2011 by the nonprofit Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) — including Starbucks, Target, Nestlé USA, and Whole Foods Market. Despite the lack of evidence establishing a link between coffee and cancer, Judge Elihu Berle ruled the defense failed to adequately argue that coffee posed no health risks.

Although packaged and brewed coffee is now exempt from Proposition 65, “the litigation against the coffee makers and retailers is still pending,” Bloomberg reported, as the case was “put on hold” while regulators decided whether or not to move forward with the warning requirement.

Fast Company: Food Waste Brands a ‘Booming Business’

Americans waste 70% more food today than they did in the 1970s. But as food waste grows, so have the number of food and beverage companies upcycling it to make their products.

Earlier this week, Fast Company reporter Adele Peters took a look into the rising popularity of brands that salvage discarded produce and byproduct to use in their own product lines, including WTRMLN WTR, Render, and Coffee Cherry Company.

According to the report, consumers may be willing to pay more for food and drinks which use upcycled ingredients, giving brands an incentive to promote awareness and call attention to their efforts to prevent food waste.

“As that awareness spreads, there’s going to be consumer pressure to buy those types of products,” Nik Ingersoll, cofounder and CMO of Barnana, told Fast Company. “I think people are just more conscious in the way they consume things. And on the brand side, I think that it makes for a compelling story to tell when you’re preparing your ingredients in that way. So I would anticipate it continuing to grow a lot. I think we’re still very early on.”

Cuvée Coffee Creates Fake Influencer

Marketing through social media influencers can instantly provide high exposure for brands looking to reach young consumers. But rather than trying to get their drink in the hands of a Kardashian, Texas-based Cuvée Coffee went viral via rising Instagram star and middle-aged construction worker Omar Madani, whose account @justaconstructionguy has amassed more than 534,000 followers since it was created in May.

But, as Buzzfeed News reported last week, while Mandani is a real person his viral fame wasn’t pure happenstance. The account is the work of Cuvée Coffee owner Mike McKim and marketing agency Bandolier Media, which sought to create an online persona for an influencer that felt “genuine.”

McKim told Buzzfeed the campaign was inspired by the popularity of Cuvée’s Austin cafe with local construction workers. He said he approached Madani with the idea and Bandolier paid him for a professional photo shoot.

“We started talking about construction guys, and so [Bandolier Media] reached out to Omar and said, ‘Do you want to have some fun?’” McKim told Buzzfeed. “And he said ‘What’s social media? Instagram? Huh?’ He said, ‘I don’t know how to do it,’ so we said, ‘All right, we’ll help you; let’s just have some fun with it.'”

Walmart Prepares to Launch Home Grocery Delivery Service

Already the largest grocer in the United States, Walmart now wants to get inside your home — literally.

The retailer announced this month the launch of InHome Delivery, a new grocery service that will allow a delivery person to enter consumers’ homes and stock the pantry via smart entry technology. Consumers will be able to monitor deliveries via a camera included with the service.

InHome Delivery will be available in Kansas City, Mo., Pittsburgh, and Vero Beach, Fla. starting in the fall before expanding to more regions.

According to Fortune, the project puts Walmart in direct competition with Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery program. While Amazon currently dwarfs Walmart in ecommerce sales, the latter’s existing brick-and-mortar infrastructure will serve as a pre-existing distribution network that could give it an edge.

Walmart currently offers grocery pickup at 3,100 stores nationwide, Fortune reported, and will offer same-day grocery delivery — separate from InHome — at 1,600 stores by the end of year.

JAB Wrestles with its Nazi Past

JAB Holding Company — the family owned Luxembourg-based conglomerate representing a multi-billion dollar portfolio of companies including Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), Peet’s, Krispy Kreme, Stumptown, and Pret A Manger — is known for being protective of its internal business operations. But now the company is having a very public reckoning with its Nazi past.

The New York Times reported last week on JAB’s role in supporting the regime of Adolf Hitler during World War II when it was under the management of “fervent” Nazi Albert Reimann Jr., whose children now control the company.

According to the Times, JAB has faced backlash in recent months over its past support for fascism, with some employees claiming that customers have personally accused them of “working for Nazis.”

But today, the company is working to shed light on the past and make amends for its former owner’s actions, including donating $11.3 million to a foundation to fund projects that “honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and of Nazi terror.”

“In history, businesses have enabled populists,” JAB chairman Peter Hard, whose own father was a Nazi, told the Times. “We mustn’t make the same mistake today.”