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Florida 127 a sweet ‘Sensation’ in strawberry industry

Florida’s strawberry industry is abuzz as studies show strong potential for the Florida 127, a relatively new strawberry variety marketed under the “Sensation” brand.

“Florida 127 is a promising new cultivar for west-central Florida growers due to its early yield, robust plant habit, and excellent fruit size and eating quality,” according to the Institute of Food & Agricultural Services of the University of Florida.

According to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, the IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center has patented nine Florida strawberry varieties since 1992.Florida12The Florida 127 strawberry is a relatively new variety marketed under the ‘Sensation’ brand. They are grown and marketed under the “Sweet Charlie,” “Rosa Linda,” “Earlibrite,” “Strawberry Festival,” “Carmine, “Winter Dawn, “Florida Elyana, “Florida Radiance” and “Winterstar” names. Although developed for optimum performance in Florida’s winter climate, the association said the varieties are marketed globally.

“We are so fortunate to have the University of Florida land grant university,” said Kenneth Parker, executive director of the Florida Strawberry Growers Association.

IFAS operations are spearheaded by Vance Whitaker, who Parker called “a tremendous asset to this industry.” He added that Whitaker’s predecessor, professor emeritus Craig Chandler, paved the way for the important research currently being conducted.

Florida 127, first crossed in 2009, reached marketplace introduction quickly. A limited volume was released in 2013.

“This is the second year it has been in commercial production,” Parker said. “We have to make sure it meets a high flavor profile.”

Another advantage of the Florida 127 is its ability to maintain high quality during and after shipment. “Consumers want sweeter berries with a longer shelf life,” he said.

Initial feedback about the strawberry variety has been positive. In addition to its sweet taste, Parker said the variety is large and the red color doesn’t darken over time. Whether eaten fresh or used for cooking applications, Parker said Florida 127 is a berry of choice.

Looking at production, Parker said limited acreage currently under cultivation for Florida 127 could bloom to as much as 2,500 acres next season. To illustrate the impact of the variety on the industry, Parker said Florida strawberry growers had approximately 11,000 acres in production for all varieties this season.

The commercialization process for new varieties gives Florida producers a competitive edge.

“Florida growers usually have a three-year competitive advantage [before the variety is generally released],” he said.

UF sells strawberry plants around the world, and Parker said the Middle East and Mexico are two top destinations for these patented plants.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Sweet corn prices remain consistent

Sweet corn prices remain consistent

The Florida sweet corn market is relatively slow in comparison to the peak harvest in the spring season, however prices remains consistent on nearly all varieties. “White coloured corn saw a slight decrease,” explains Jason Stemm, a representative for the Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida. “prices range from $ 14.95 to $ 16.95 for a 48 count crate.”

Texas is the only state which competes with Florida within the sweet corn market.  Domestic sales and processing account for the most sales, as 5% of the harvested corn is exported. “Most corn is sold within the continental United States and Canada, with a small amount being exported to Europe.”

Although acreage for Florida sweet corn has not increased, growers are always searching for new innovations.  The Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida is an organization which consists of growers and shippers within South Florida. “The group is always evaluating new seed varieties and selecting only premium varieties to be sold as Sunshine Sweet Corn.”

During much of the season, Florida is the primary source for fresh sweet corn. However, during the harsh winter months, freezes can occur so the crop is constantly monitored. “Since sweet corn is planted in stages, the impact from freezes may be seen for a couple of weeks, but volumes tend to rebound.”

For more information please contact:
Sunshine Sweet Corn Farmers of Florida
Tel: (321) 214-5200
Fax: 321.214.0210
[email protected]
http://sunshinesweetcorn.com/
http://sunshinesweetcorn.com/retail/shippers

Publication date: 12/12/2014
Author: Kayleigh Csaszar
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Three sweet potato growers in a mash

processing sweet potatoes to baby food and vodka, among other things
US: Three sweet potato growers in a mash
Whoever thinks that sweet potatoes are only available in their original form, should take a look at the company Yamco in North Carolina. The company is property of the cultivation companies Farm PakHam Farms and Burch Equipment and after years of research, in collaboration with the North Carolina State University, has developed a purée of sweet potatoes that retains its colour, flavour and nutritional value. The fresh supply of sweet potatoes from the owners’ cultivation companies is enabling a quick and efficient traceability to the field.



Grower Jimmy Burch on his field of sweet potatoes

No additives or preservatives are used during the process. The company uses a patented “microwave” technology for this. The purée is packaged aseptically, which means there are no freezing or cooling costs. Due to the process the shelf life is extended (to around two years) and the colour and nutritional value maintained. The product is also available organically. “The only ingredient is sweet potato,” says director Bill Heafy enthusiastically. He won’t say how many sweet potatoes are processed each year, but his smile betrays the huge volumes going through the factory. Besides sweet potato Yamco is also producing puréed spinach, pumpkin and carrot at the moment.



John Barnes of Farm Pak

The sweet potato purée is suitable for countless applications, in drinks (for colour, flavour and nutritional value), for baking (as dough and filling for cakes, muffins, doughnuts and rolls), as an energy bar (nutritious ingredient and natural sweetener), for the soup, juice and gravy industry (thickening properties, mouth sensation, flavour and nutrition), as baby food (excellent stand alone dish, or added to other fruit and vegetable purées), as a side (easy to apply to frozen or food service meals).



HAM Farms team

The sweet potato purée is also used as a functional food, as claims can be made of sweet potato purée with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fibre, beta-carotene and potassium. The purée is also sold to the ice cream industry, as a healthy snack, as a meat replacement, as animal fodder and speciality stores process the purée into fudge and other sweets. The aseptic packaging is available in 20, 200 and 1,135 litres. Bill Heafy himself sees the bakeries as the biggest potential for his product.


Vodka
But even more than this is done with Yamco’s sweet potato purée. A few years ago the Covington Gourmet Vodka was born. Grower Jimmy Burch originally sold the purée to the Boston Beer Company, who makes Samuel Adams beer, but decided to see whether he could distil the purée into vodka himself. It worked well, in its début year this vodka one a gold medal during the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


Bill Heafy of Yamco shows the Covington Gourmet Vodka

Covington is the sweet potato variety currently dominating the cultivation in North Carolina. The vodka is available through

InternetWInes.com is believe to be sticking around on the market. The vodka is now available in all ABC stores and in a large number of states in the US.

For more information:
Yamco
310 Kingold Blvd
Snow Hill, NC 28580
[email protected]
www.yamco.net

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Clove oil tested for weed control in organic Vidalia sweet onion

Weed control is one of the most challenging aspects of organic crop production. Most growers of certified organic crops rely heavily on proven cultural and mechanical weed control methods while limiting the use of approved herbicides. A new study of herbicides derived from clove oil tested the natural products’ effectiveness in controlling weeds in Vidalia® sweet onion crops.

“Cultivation with a tine weeder and hand weeding are the primary tools currently used for weed control in organic sweet onion (Allium ceps),” explained scientist W. Carroll Johnson, III. “However, conditions frequently arise that delay the initial cultivation; weeds that emerge during the delay are not effectively controlled by cultivation.” Johnson tested herbicides derived from natural products as a way to control these emerged weeds in organic Vidalia® sweet onion production. Johnson said that, although these types of herbicide have been studied previously, the majority of the studies were performed on warm-season crops and weeds. Vidalia® sweet onion is a dry bulb onion grown in Georgia as a cool-season (winter) crop.

To test the efficacy of the clove oil-derived herbicide, the researcher conducted irrigated field trials at the Vidalia Onion and Vegetable Research Center near Lyons, Georgia. One treatment factor was sprayer output volume, with the sprayer calibrated at 25 and 50 gallons/acre. Herbicide treatments were applied with a carbon dioxide-pressurized tractor-mounted plot sprayer using spray tips of differing sizes.

The other treatment factor in the trials was adjuvants used with clove oil. An OMRI-listed clove oil herbicide was evaluated and applied at 10% by volume spray solution. The adjuvants for clove oil evaluated were a petroleum oil adjuvant at 1.25% by volume, a commercial product containing 20% citric acid at a rate of 0.375% by volume, a commercial adjuvant containing 20% saponins extracted from Yucca schidigera at 0.03% by volume, an emulsified petroleum insecticide at a rate of 1% by volume, clove oil alone (no adjuvant), and a nontreated control.

“The field experiments showed that weed control was not consistently improved by applying clove oil (10% by volume) with a sprayer calibrated at 50 gallons/acre compared with sprayer calibrated at 25 gallons/acre,” Johnson said, adding that occasional improvements in weed control did not affect onion yield, and that adjuvants provided minimal improvement in weed control from clove oil and did not consistently improve onion yield. “All clove oil herbicide treatments, regardless of adjuvant, had difficulty in maintaining an emulsion in the spray tank and needed near-constant agitation. This tendency proved to be very problematic and suggests another disadvantage to using clove oil for weed control in certified organic crop production,” Johnson noted.

“Given the lack of weed response and onion yields to clove oil applied in higher sprayer output volumes and the corresponding increase in clove oil cost when increasing sprayer output volume, we cannot recommend clove oil in organic Vidalia® sweet onion production systems,” Johnson said. The full report of the experiments was published in HortTechnology.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Tarheel 2014 sweet potato harvest will be back to normal

BENSON, NC — North Carolina’s sweet potato harvest, still in full swing at mid-September, is back to normal, and none too soon. After two years in a row of below-average acreage planted due to weather, the 2014 crop is growing on 66,000 acres. That’s the USDA estimate cited by Sue Johnson-Langdon, executive director of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, here. The feds predict that 65,000 of those acres will be harvested, equal to almost half of the nation’s crop.NCSPROUNDUP10614-VICK-PROCESweet potatoes (Suss Kartoffeln) bound for the German market are processed and packed at Vick Family Farm near Wilson. North Carolina is the leading U.S. grower of sweet potatoes, and 20 percent are exported overseas, mainly to Europe.

In 2013, wet weather hampered planting of the seedling sprouts. “We had a rain of biblical proportions in North Carolina,” Johnson-Langdon explained. “That held the crop down to about 54,000 acres planted. This year, we’re up 22 percent in estimated acreage planted, and we’ve had an uneventful growing season, good weather generally. We should have plenty of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving this year.”

The short crop last year resulted in some growers in late August running out of supplies of stored 2013 sweet potatoes before they could harvest and cure their 2014 crop. Curing takes five to 10 days, and then they are stored at 55-60 degrees for up to a year. The favorite variety of sweet potato grown in North Carolina is the Covington, named after a North Carolina State University researcher and industry leader who developed the variety. Johnson-Langdon estimated that 90 percent of the sweet potatoes grown in the state are Covingtons.

The North Carolina Agribusiness Council estimated on Sept. 14 that about 27 percent of the sweet potato crop in the state had been harvested. Planting hit a high in 2011 in North Carolina, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Of 134,000 acres planted nationwide, 65,000 were in the Tarheel state. Yields were 208 hundredweight bags per acre, nationwide and 200 hundredweight in North Carolina. Acreage planted dropped in 2012 to 130,500 nationwide and 63,000 in North Carolina, with yields at 209 hundredweight nationwide and 200 hundredweight in North Carolina.

Joey Hocutt, produce grower at Triple J Produce in Sims, NC, expected to continue harvesting his 1,300 acres of sweet potatoes, including 150 organic acres, until Nov. 18. The weather had been good, he said, and he had 55 workers for the harvest under the federal H2A worker program.

At Vick Family Farms in Wilson, NC, Jerome Vick, who first harvested sweet potatoes in 1985, said Sept. 19 his harvest was “back to normal” after a wet 2013 held down plantings. “We use the same workers to do tobacco and then sweet potatoes, but this year tobacco is a little late and sweet potatoes are a little early, so we’re short on labor. Other than that, we’re seeing good yields and having a good harvest, now about 25 percent complete,” he said.

Charlotte D. Vick, partner and director of sales and marketing, said Vick Family Farms had expanded its sweet potato fields to more than 1,000 acres and is building a new 25,000-square-foot curing and storage facility that can hold 180,000 bushels of sweet potatoes to accommodate demand from the new dehydration facilities nearby.

Ham Produce Co. in Snow Hill, one of the larger U.S. sweet potato growers, is expanding production by 50 percent this year, to 13,000 acres. With its dehydration facility in Farmville (see “Two new sweet potato dehydration facilities to open in North Carolina,” The Produce News, Sept. 22, 2014, page 2) now open, Stacy Ham, vice president, said, “Here we go again, expanding our sweet potato production by 50 percent again this year.” Ham Produce and its 65 full-time, year-round workers started harvesting its crop in late August and will continue into November.

Johnson-Langdon pointed out that value-added processing has resulted in new sweet potato products that have extended shelf life and increased sales. She rattled off examples: microwaveable sweet potatoes and sweet potato chips and fries; vodka and beer; pancake, pie and muffin mix; baby food; juice drinks; and crackers. About 20 percent of the North Carolina sweet potato crop is exported via container ships on a 10-14 day journey to 19 countries, mostly in Europe.

“With the new dehydration plants for sweet potatoes opening in the state in the coming year, our 300 sweet potato growers will be able to sell all their crop, including those too large or small for retail, and new markets will open for pet food, animal feed and juice drinks,” she noted. The dehydration plants will use the 25 percent to 30 percent of the sweet potatoes left in the field and not harvested now, she added.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Tarheel 2014 sweet potato harvest will be back to normal

BENSON, NC — North Carolina’s sweet potato harvest, still in full swing at mid-September, is back to normal, and none too soon. After two years in a row of below-average acreage planted due to weather, the 2014 crop is growing on 66,000 acres. That’s the USDA estimate cited by Sue Johnson-Langdon, executive director of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, here. The feds predict that 65,000 of those acres will be harvested, equal to almost half of the nation’s crop.NCSPROUNDUP10614-VICK-PROCESweet potatoes (Suss Kartoffeln) bound for the German market are processed and packed at Vick Family Farm near Wilson. North Carolina is the leading U.S. grower of sweet potatoes, and 20 percent are exported overseas, mainly to Europe.

In 2013, wet weather hampered planting of the seedling sprouts. “We had a rain of biblical proportions in North Carolina,” Johnson-Langdon explained. “That held the crop down to about 54,000 acres planted. This year, we’re up 22 percent in estimated acreage planted, and we’ve had an uneventful growing season, good weather generally. We should have plenty of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving this year.”

The short crop last year resulted in some growers in late August running out of supplies of stored 2013 sweet potatoes before they could harvest and cure their 2014 crop. Curing takes five to 10 days, and then they are stored at 55-60 degrees for up to a year. The favorite variety of sweet potato grown in North Carolina is the Covington, named after a North Carolina State University researcher and industry leader who developed the variety. Johnson-Langdon estimated that 90 percent of the sweet potatoes grown in the state are Covingtons.

The North Carolina Agribusiness Council estimated on Sept. 14 that about 27 percent of the sweet potato crop in the state had been harvested. Planting hit a high in 2011 in North Carolina, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Of 134,000 acres planted nationwide, 65,000 were in the Tarheel state. Yields were 208 hundredweight bags per acre, nationwide and 200 hundredweight in North Carolina. Acreage planted dropped in 2012 to 130,500 nationwide and 63,000 in North Carolina, with yields at 209 hundredweight nationwide and 200 hundredweight in North Carolina.

Joey Hocutt, produce grower at Triple J Produce in Sims, NC, expected to continue harvesting his 1,300 acres of sweet potatoes, including 150 organic acres, until Nov. 18. The weather had been good, he said, and he had 55 workers for the harvest under the federal H2A worker program.

At Vick Family Farms in Wilson, NC, Jerome Vick, who first harvested sweet potatoes in 1985, said Sept. 19 his harvest was “back to normal” after a wet 2013 held down plantings. “We use the same workers to do tobacco and then sweet potatoes, but this year tobacco is a little late and sweet potatoes are a little early, so we’re short on labor. Other than that, we’re seeing good yields and having a good harvest, now about 25 percent complete,” he said.

Charlotte D. Vick, partner and director of sales and marketing, said Vick Family Farms had expanded its sweet potato fields to more than 1,000 acres and is building a new 25,000-square-foot curing and storage facility that can hold 180,000 bushels of sweet potatoes to accommodate demand from the new dehydration facilities nearby.

Ham Produce Co. in Snow Hill, one of the larger U.S. sweet potato growers, is expanding production by 50 percent this year, to 13,000 acres. With its dehydration facility in Farmville (see “Two new sweet potato dehydration facilities to open in North Carolina,” The Produce News, Sept. 22, 2014, page 2) now open, Stacy Ham, vice president, said, “Here we go again, expanding our sweet potato production by 50 percent again this year.” Ham Produce and its 65 full-time, year-round workers started harvesting its crop in late August and will continue into November.

Johnson-Langdon pointed out that value-added processing has resulted in new sweet potato products that have extended shelf life and increased sales. She rattled off examples: microwaveable sweet potatoes and sweet potato chips and fries; vodka and beer; pancake, pie and muffin mix; baby food; juice drinks; and crackers. About 20 percent of the North Carolina sweet potato crop is exported via container ships on a 10-14 day journey to 19 countries, mostly in Europe.

“With the new dehydration plants for sweet potatoes opening in the state in the coming year, our 300 sweet potato growers will be able to sell all their crop, including those too large or small for retail, and new markets will open for pet food, animal feed and juice drinks,” she noted. The dehydration plants will use the 25 percent to 30 percent of the sweet potatoes left in the field and not harvested now, she added.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

What to expect in the sweet cherry market for the 2015 Chinese New Year?

What to expect in the sweet cherry market for the 2015 Chinese New Year?

With greater volumes than last season and a celebration that will come very “late”. The question is: How much of the Chilean supply will be available for the Chinese New Year (CNY)?

Large volumes

With a record volume of 46,617 tons and an increasing share of the total exported volume, ended the 2013/14 season for the Chilean sweet cherries in the market of China/HK. Despite registering 38% more volume than the previous year, this figure does not reflect the total export potential of Chile, due to the frost last September. Therefore, if no major weather events occur, it is expected that this figure be much higher this season.

A celebration later than usual

Since the date of the CNY, varies according to the lunar calendar, it is not fixed, and it changes to the date with new moon closest to the day in between the winter solstice (Northernt H.) and the spring equinox (Northern H.), that is the new moon nearest to the period between February 3rd and 5th. In 2015 it will be February 19th. In 1996 was the last time when CNY was celebrated so late, being 2007 the nearest year when the CNY was celebrated a day before (Feb. 18th). Should be remembered that until the week before CNY 92% of the total volume of sweet cherries shipped to China/HK arrives.

Higher prices near the CNY, but not as much as last year

During the 2013/14 season Historical prices for Chilean sweet cherries were recorded, especially during the weeks before the celebration of the CNY. Although this could be explained by the growing demand in this market, the uncertainty present at the start of the season, due to poor knowledge of the actual damage caused by the frost could be another reason. The high prices recorded for the first shipments of the 2013/14 season are proof of this.

During the present US season in China/HK, which have just ended, high prices were also recorded, however this has been due to lower production. Therefore it is necessary to strengthen the efforts in fruit quality, distribution and logistics, so that when facing a significant increase in the volumes from Chile, the importers found no quality problems, or don’t get over-stock with fruit.

How will the market behaviour be after CNY?

Last season, the price fell sharply on the three weeks after the Chinese New Year, and then close with high prices for the last batch of good quality. However, after 2015 CNY, the Chinese market would only receive a portion equivalent to less than 1% of the total exports shipped in a regular season, compared with a 4% on average recorded in previous seasons after CNY.

Source: www.iqonsulting.com

Publication date: 9/16/2014


FreshPlaza.com

The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

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The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

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Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

Why Register for FREE?

Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

Why Register for FREE?

Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

Why Register for FREE?

Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

Why Register for FREE?

Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

Why Register for FREE?

Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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Supermarket News

The Lempert Report: Is the alcohol industry getting too sweet? (video)

We’ve noticed a growing trend hitting the shelves recently and it’s one we’re not too fond of: excessively sweet alcoholic drinks … excessively sweet and with an excessive alcohol content

Why Register for FREE?

Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

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