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Fast Food Sweets

For One Day, Krispy Kreme Is Offering A Limited Edition Mars Doughnut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme

Later this week, NASA’s Peserverence Rover lands on Mars and, in honor of the momentous occasion, Krispy Kreme has created an exclusive Mars Doughnut that will be available for one day only. 

The Mars Doughnut will feature a Chocolate Creme-filled Doughnut that’s dipped in red caramel swirl and topped with crumbled chocolate cookie pieces. 

Additionally, the rover will carry the names of the 11 million folks who worked hard on this galactic launch. In honor of these men and women, Krispy Kreme is giving away a free doughnut to anyone who participated in this launch. All they’ll have to do is present a NASA-issued Perseverance “boarding pass” at their local Krispy Kreme on Feb. 18 to get their free Mars Doughnut. 

For everyone else, the Mars Doughnut will be available for one day only, Feb. 18, at participating Krispy Kreme locations nationwide. 

Categories
Food Policy Packaged Food

Uncle Ben’s Is No More: Brand Name Will Be ‘Ben’s Original’ Starting In 2021

Photo courtesy of Mars, Inc. Background by David Tonelson // Shutterstock

In the past few months, products like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, whose branding is based on racial stereotypes, have pledged to change their imagery and logos. Mars, the parent company to Uncle Ben’s, is now giving us a preview of what that will look like for the rice brand.

The products will now go under the name “Ben’s Original,” and will be used to attempt to “create a more inclusive future,” according to a press release. While the orange and blue colors will stay the same, the imagery on the packages, as well as the name, are officially retired.

“We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the previous brand, and as we announced in June, we have committed to change,” said Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers, said in the press release.

Mars isn’t just changing its packaging in response to the current global Black Lives Matter protests. The company has also partnered its new brand with the National Urban League to create a scholarship fund for aspiring black chefs. They will also work together to support other underserved communities globally.

One of those communities is in the hometown of Ben’s Original, Greenville, Mississippi. Mars is pledging to invest in the local community by increasing food accessibility and security while enhancing educational opportunities for students in the area.

As for the rice products themselves, they will have the new packaging and brand name starting in 2021 as Uncle Ben’s branding is phased off of shelves.

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Now Trending

Get Ready, All Your Favorite Chocolate Might Soon Be More Eco-Friendly

If you’re wondering what the next big environmental kick in the food world might be, just look down at your candy bar.

We probably don’t think about what happens to our candy wrappers when we gobble up that chocolate and toss the plastic in the trash, but there are companies that have actually been thinking about it.

Over the years, gourmet chocolates have tried their hand at compostable chocolate wrappers, like in 2013, when Hnina produced its “guilt free” chocolate with biodegradable wrapping.

In 2015, Alter Eco chocolate really got the ball rolling, as it became known for producing an environmentally-friendly chocolate wrapper that “you can bury in your back yard.”

Since then, the build has slowed a bit, but Seattle Chocolate just jumped on the trend in a big way, launching compostable wrappers for its truffles, and a plan for a full switch by 2020. Their new truffle wrappers are made with cellulose, a naturally abundant organic material derived from eucalyptus trees that are sustainably harvested.

On a larger scale, big players such as Mars and Nestle have a goal of making all their candies with biodegradable packaging by 2025, according to the Huffington Post UK.

Mars in particular has made some pretty big leaps, teaming with Rodenburg Biopolymers in 2016 to create a Snickers concept wrapper made of potato starch waste, and being given top honors from the Global Bioplastics Awards.

The changes in our candies might not be immediate, but you will probably start seeing gradual changes turn into dramatic changes, as we saw when restaurants jumped on the plastic straw ban trend over the last year.

So don’t be surprised if within the next couple of years your Kit Kat and M&M’s packaging start feeling a little different than what you’re used to. The changes are coming, and like we saw with straws, they can come in a blink of an eye.

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Design Entrepreneurship Products Technology

The Next Big Food Disruptor Could Come Courtesy Of Mars

The biggest names disrupting the world of food today all began as startups. I’m talking companies like Impossible Foods, who helped revolutionize the world of burger alternatives, or Chipotle, who shook up fast food with their healthier, customizable restaurant model dozens of other chains have since replicated.

While we don’t have a crystal ball to see who that next big name could be, food giant Mars is hoping to be a part of their success with their new Seeds of Change accelerator. This four month program provides young startups with up to $50,000 in total funding while acting as a growth launchpad.

Photo courtesy of Mars

Announced recently at Expo West, the accelerator is now accepting applications for its first cycle of 10 companies. The program will take place in the USA (for 6 startups) and Australia (for another 4).

For those young companies that get in, Mars will give $25,000 in grant money, no questions asked. There’s up to an additional $25,000 up for grabs for each startup as well, with that money going towards research, marketing, or whatever other functions the business really needs to scale.

Seeds of Change Accelerator director Gary Arora is looking for mission-driven businesses that fit within multiple of five different “core pillars” that make up various values at Mars. These include flavors from around the world, plant-based products, easy meal solutions, responsible food made sustainably and transparently, and items that artisanally crafted.

Arora noted that companies of any size can make it into the accelerator, the major requirement being that a product has been developed and sold, even if that just translates to a few thousand in sales.

Mars is really looking to experiment with this, and there’s no guarantee of success in such a risky venture. Those that flourish within the accelerator and beyond, though, could find themselves at the forefront at the future of food with backing from one of the world’s largest food titans. Thus, we all should be paying close attention to the Seeds of Change program to see what results come out of it.

Applications for the accelerator are open through May 31st.

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Packaged Food Sweets

Getting This Mars Wrigley Candy Internship Is Like Winning Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket In Real Life

Charlie Bucket, the titular character from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is the kid we all wanted to be growing up. Getting to tour a magical candy wonderland and then own it for ourselves? That’s childhood dream goals right there. For those who’ve always desired the Willie Wonka experience, there’s now a chance to get your own “Golden Ticket,” no chocolate bar lottery required.

Mars internship

Photo courtesy of Mars Wrigley

The real-life equivalent of Wonka’s Golden Ticket is a special Mars internship where you go behind the scenes of the colossal candy company. The perks of being Mars’ new “Confectionery Connoisseur Intern” are numerous, and all of them will satisfy your inner sweet tooth’s wildest desires.

In the intern role, you’ll sample chocolates and confectioneries the world doesn’t even know about yet, tour several of the candy giant’s factories, and even develop your own chewing gum flavor. Oh, and the internship is fully paid, with a signing bonus of a year’s supply of candy. Talk about a dream gig.

The best part of the job, though, may be the rewards you get outside of the seemingly never ending flow of sweets. Between the tours, tastings, and interviews available, you’ll amass a ton of info on how to run a massive candy empire. Maybe one day, you can take that experience and become the world’s next Willy Wonka, who knows? (Purple suit optional, of course.)

Mars’s internship will be based at their Global Innovation Center in Chicago, but you’d be traveling for a good chunk of the 8-12 week period. To apply, use the following link and search for “Confectionary Connoisseur” to find the application.

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Alcohol Drinks News Toasty

Budweiser Wants To Make Beer On Mars, Space Tests Start This December

We haven’t set a single foot on Mars yet, but it looks like we might see beer on mars before a human.

In early March, the vice president of Anheuser-Busch said that they had aspirations to be the first beer on Mars, and while it sounded like a cute idea, Budweiser is actually going to work with the International Space Station to create a “microgravity brew.”

SpaceX will be transporting goods to the ISS Dec. 4, and among those goods will be 20 barley seeds, along with other key Budweiser ingredients, as beer on Mars might one day be a reality.

“Budweiser is always pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are inspired by the collective American Dream to get to Mars,” Ricardo Marques, vice president of Budweiser said. “We are excited to begin our research to brew beer for the red planet.”

While the Budweiser ingredients are up in the space station, they’re going to conduct two experiments. The first will be for seed exposure, where they’re going to let the barley seeds live on the space station for 30 days, to see how they react in outer space. The second experiment will be seed germination. In this test they will water and feed the seeds for two weeks, just as they would on Earth, to see if they can grow at a similar rate (typically 6-10 inches).

Aside from being a fun trivia question in the future, it would be nice to have beer on Mars, just in case we ever actually start living that Martian life.

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Health News

Scientists Find A Potato That Can Grow On Mars And Fight World Hunger

Remember that scene from The Martian where Matt Damon was living off of potatoes he grew on Mars?

That actually might become a reality in the very near future (the potatoes part, that is).

Researchers at Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology planted 65 different varieties of potatoes in an emulated version of Mars’s soil to see if any could viably grow. Four were able to grow, but one thrived better than others and demonstrated a strong possibility that we could grow this potato — now dubbed the “Unique” potato — on the Red Planet.

Unlike the movie, where the potatoes were just grown in the soil, the researchers grew the potatoes initially in a controlled environment identical to that on Mars. After initial testing, they planted the potato varieties in a desert environment with a mixture of crushed rock and nutrients to see which grew best. The Unique potato stood out among the rest, according to Food Processing-Technology.

“The extraordinary efforts of the team have set the bar for extraterrestrial farming,” said NASA Ames planetary scientist Chris McKay about the project. “The idea of growing food for human colonies in space could be a reality very soon.”

Apart from the viability of potatoes on Mars, the research also had a secondary purpose: to publicize potatoes as a way to combat global hunger. Potatoes are actually a great crop to grow in harsh soils, and provide iron, vitamin C, and zinc. With global warming conditions as they are, we need some agricultural solutions, and fast.

This research means that we may have an alternative: growing potatoes in harsh, arid climates, including desert-like areas… and Mars.

Yes, potatoes on Mars may be the key to solving world hunger. It’s literally an out-of-this-world solution, but pressing times call for innovative answers.

Categories
Alcohol Beer Drinks News Technology

Budweiser Intends To Be The First Beer On Mars

Traveling to Mars may be a while away, but Budweiser is already looking to make sure beer is there when we arrive.

According to Adweek, the company announced their intentions to produce their brew on the “Red Planet” at a South By Southwest (SXSW) panel this past weekend. Budweiser VP Ricardo Marques and marketing innovation VP Val Toothman went into detail on possible barriers to developing the equipment necessary to make beer on Mars a thing.

Since there’s very little gravity on the red planet, the Budweiser panel acknowledged that a key obstacle would stem from working with Mars’s “microgravity” to make this brew happen. Other challenges include the notable lack of water on the planet and how ingredients like hops would be affected on Mars.

We already know that it’s possible to grow barley and hops in Mars’s soil, as research from a couple of years ago in simulated soil proved to be a success. Scientists have also been able to capture carbon dioxide and purify it, which may be a method used to carbonate the alcoholic beverages developed in Mars colonies.

While there are no specifics as to how they will do it or if it’s possible as of right now, the Budweiser panelists appeared to be optimistic.

“When we can enjoy a few ice-cold Buds on the Red Planet, that will be the moment when we can truly realize our dreams of space colonization.”

The team hopes to have the brewing technology needed to make this a reality ready within the next decade or two, which is apparently when we’ll have the ability to colonize Mars. Having it completed by then ensures that “Budweiser is the beer that people are toasting with on Mars when we get there.”

Because nothing says that humans have settled on a planet like us drinking a bunch of booze to celebrate.