Five Bulk Material Headlines You May Have Missed in June

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Inflation impacting snack choices consumers are making

Inflation is influencing consumer snack choices, pushing them toward cheaper options and affecting purchasing habits. Consumers tend to prioritize value, which varies individually, and are increasingly shopping online for convenience. The snack bar market continues to grow, driven by consumer demand for health benefits, convenience, and targeted nutrition. Brands need to offer a variety of products, sizes, and price points across different channels to maintain growth. Emphasizing health benefits and creating limited-time offers can help attract and retain customers amidst economic pressures.

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EPA Considers Banning Solvent N-Methylpyrrolidone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule to ban or limit the use of the solvent n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) due to its serious health risks, including miscarriages, reduced fertility, and damage to the liver, kidneys, immune system, and nervous system. The rule would set concentration limits for consumer and commercial products, enforce strict workplace health controls, and ban certain uses deemed unsafe. The EPA is seeking public comments and input from industry stakeholders on the feasibility and effectiveness of these proposed protections.

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Consumers confused about ‘ultra-processed food’

A survey by Innova Market Insights reveals that many U.S. consumers are confused about what constitutes ultra-processed food (UPF). While only 19% admit to daily consumption, misconceptions abound, with 44% equating UPF to fast food and junk food. Health concerns like obesity and diabetes drive some to reduce UPF intake, but many feel these foods are under-regulated. Consumers seek transparent ingredient lists and fewer artificial additives. Brands can address these concerns by balancing taste with natural ingredients and clear communication.

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ICCO figures show cocoa supply chain deficits amid high volatility in global prices

The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has reported higher-than-expected cocoa supply chain deficits, primarily from West African countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast. This has led to significant price volatility, with cocoa prices soaring to $12,000 per tonne in April before dropping to $7,000 and then stabilizing around $9,300. The ICCO projects declines in global production and grindings, complicating the market further. Additionally, global cocoa exports have decreased due to supply tightness, impacting consumer prices and highlighting the need for better pay for farmers.

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FDF raises concerns over steep drop in global exports, including a confectionery sales slowdown

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has raised concerns over a significant drop in global food exports, including a slowdown in confectionery sales. In Q1 2024, food export volumes fell by 20% compared to the previous year, marking the lowest performance in 15 years. Factors such as Brexit-related administrative and logistics costs have heavily impacted small and medium-sized enterprises, leading to reduced or ceased exports to Europe. The FDF calls for greater support for exporters and a more business-friendly environment to help reverse this decline. As a result, food import volumes increased, reflecting broader market challenges.

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