Soy to the World

Boca Foodswill launch a new line of products made with organic soy in April and claims it will be the first national manufacturer to introduce an organic line of products in the soy-based meat alternatives category.

National distribution of Boca's organic soy products will begin in early April. At that time, six varieties of Boca Burger meat alternatives will debut, while another two new products in the line will bow in June--Boca Breakfast Patties and Breakfast Links.

Boca notes each product will meet the requirements of the California Organic Foods Act of 1990. In addition, the company will operate under the USDA's new standards for foods made with organic ingredients when fully implemented.

Effective as of February 19 (though full implementation is not until 18 months thereafter), the new standards define organic labeling terms, agricultural practices and substances that can be used in prouction and handling of organic crops and livestock and in the processing of organic products.

Dean Foods Picks 31 Flavors

In a recently announced strategic alliance, Dean Foods will manufacture and distribute ice cream to Baskin-Robbins' franchised retail outlets throughout most of the nation. The exclusive supply arrangement will reportedly give Dean $85 million in additional ice cream sales.

The arrangement may prove only the first for Dean, according to Howard Dean, chairman and chief executive officer of the company. "Our alliance (with Baskin-Robbins) provides the possibility to extend beyond ice cream production and distribution to a broader relationship that involves Allied Domecq's other retail food businesses." Baskin-Robbins is operated and marketed by Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants, a part of the U.K.'s Allied Domecq PLC, one of the world's largest restaurant companies.

The agreement also expands Dean's distribution reach coast to coast. "With this expansion of our business, we have truly become a national ice cream player," said Dean. "We intend to leverage this capability to support continued growth of our regional ice cream brands and to further execute our national ice cream business strategy."

Consumers Find Recycled Packaging Important

In a survey sponsored by the 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance, 89% of consumers believe in the importance of companies doing something good for the environment. Furthermore, 77% feel better about a company using 100% recycled paper- board in its product packaging.

Conducted at malls in four cities (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Edison, N.J.), the survey focused on consumer attitudes toward the environment and recycling symbols in general, while also comparing five pairs of packages. Made of recycled paperboard and virgin paperboard, the packages were judged on issues of quality, attractiveness and performance. Toothpaste, red beans and rice, tea, crayons and deli ham were among the products inspected.

Some 78% of respondents believed a company using 100% recycled paperboard packaging was "forward looking," while 80% feel they themselves are "doing something good for the environment" when they buy products in recycled packaging.

A True Wienermobile?

General Motors Corp. is teaming withHormel Foods use pork and turkey byproducts to help manufacture automobile parts. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Hormel will supply General Motors with a binding agent made from the animal protein collagen.

According to Joel Johnson, president, chairman and chief executive officer at Hormel, the binding agent will be used to form sand molds used for casting metal parts. Known as GMBond, the collagen binder helps reduce costs in manufacturing metal parts, says Richard Schreck, principle research scientist with General Motors.

Toxic chemicals had been used to bind the sand and form the molds, Johnson said. The sand is not recyclable and therefore presents a "severe pollution problem." GMBond represents an alternative to the chemicals, and Schreck notes General Motors' larger casting suppliers may use the GMBond approach.