food business

Gourmet Magazine: the aftermath


Where are they now?

When Conde Nast pulled the plug on Gourmet Magazine, none were more shocked than the magazine’s 180 employees who were cleaning out their desks as we were reading news of the closure in the morning paper. They were cut loose along with the employees of more than 450 other magazines and countless newspapers that folded in 2009. But a stint at Gourmet is something special on a resume, and many former staffers have resurfaced in new and notable capacities. […]

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Cool Coffee for a Hot Planet


There’s fair trade and organic coffee, shade-grown, and even bird-friendly. You can drink it in a recycled cup with organic soy milk and sugar from plants that haven’t been genetically altered.

But still… carbon neutral coffee? […]

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The Champagne Bubble


Champagne has always been prone to cycles of boom and bust. It takes many long years for production to be established, but demand fluctuates with the vagaries of the economy.

Earlier this decade the Champagne industry saw three straight years of record sales, mostly due to exports to the booming economies of China, Russia, and India. Demand was so strong that France’s appellation system approved an historic expansion of nearly forty new growing areas to be added to the Champagne region.

Then the economy stalled. The customer for entry-level luxury wines evaporated. Conspicuous consumption– the bling that had fueled high-end Champagne sales– fell out of fashion. As the euro rose against the currencies of France’s trading partners, demand fell further. It was like a perfect storm for Champagne. […]

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Buzzkill: FDA looks to ban caffeinated alcohol beverages


Last week, the Food and Drug Administration notified a few dozen beverage manufacturers that they have 30 days to provide evidence that beverages with added caffeine and alcohol do not pose a risk to health or safety. While singly the substances are approved, the FDA requires approval for each specific use.

The problem is that caffeine, a stimulant, can mask the intoxicating effects of alcohol, a depressant. The body feels less fatigued, the mind is more alert, the drinker perceives a lessened degree of intoxication, which can encourage more excessive drinking. In fact the opposite is true. […]

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Such a deal!


Wheeling a shopping cart through Costco piled high with enormous bottles of olive oil and 24 can cases of tuna fish.
That’s what most of us think of buying in bulk.
Groupon is looking to change that with its bargain-hunting meets social media mashup. […]

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Community Supported Foods


It started with Community Supported Agriculture.
CSA programs invite consumers to buy advance shares of a local farm’s harvest. Each week of the growing season shares of the harvest are distributed to the participants. What started in 1986 with two small farms in Western Massachusetts looking to improve their pre-harvest cash flow has grown into a full-fledged movement involving more than 12,000 farms in all 50 states.

Now the model is spreading beyond corn and kale with consumers subscribing to everything from sauerkraut to bacon. […]

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Cracking the Code: Egg Essentials


Are you uneasy in the egg aisle?
You’re not alone.
Egg cartons are plastered with stamps and seals and jargon-filled labeling: authority over egg-production standards is shared by a web of federal agencies; compliance is monitored by the states; and a slew of trade, health, and animal welfare associations chime in with their own certifications. Free range versus cage free, natural or organic: we find ourselves paying a premium—as much as 100% over the price of conventionally-produced eggs— for distinctions that can be opaque. […]

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The “healthy” new mini Coke


“The Coca-Cola mini can innovation reinforces the Company’s support for healthy, active lifestyles.”


Sandy Douglas, President,

Coca-Cola North America


Pardon my cynicism, but I’m finding Mr. Douglas’ statement a little hard to swallow.
He was talking about new packaging that the Coca-Cola Company will be introducing this winter. The mini can holds 7.5 ounces of soda, less than two-thirds of the standard 12-ounce can, with 90 calories to the standard 140 calories. […]

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Whatever will you name your bacon?


A documentary film about ice cream trucks. A graduate student who would rather be making chocolate. A sculptor who wants to cast endangered apple varieties in porcelain.

These are some of the projects that have been successfully funded through Kickstarter, an online funding platform that matches artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs with a pool of patrons. […]

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