Four reasons to check out FERN’s SXSW panel on Big Food

Next week, FERN is headed to Austin, where I’m moderating two panels at SXSW! One of them — The Future of Big Food: What’s at Stake? — will take on big questions about where Big Food companies are headed. As eaters increasingly want transparency about ingredients, healthier options, and more sustainable packaging, where does that leave manufacturers? And will new labeling regulations shift the grocery environment? (No paywall)

Healthy eating is ‘the new norm for our kids,’ says First Lady

Having launched a drive against child obesity in 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated the early signs of progress this week and told a White House audience, "I intend to keep working on this issue for the rest of my life."

Report: Meal-kit customers sign up, but don’t stick around

Ninety-percent of meal-kit customers unsubscribe within six months of signing up for the service, says Fast Company, after analyzing data gathered by the market-research firm 1010data. The firm’s data indicated that only about half of customers of Blue Apron remain in the program after the first week, with numbers falling off quickly from there. The dropout rate is similar for other meal-kit companies, like Plated and HelloFresh.

Obama’s last fight with Big Food: Salt

The Obama administration will propose voluntary levels on sodium in processed foods as early as this summer, in "one of its last fights with Big Food," says Politico, citing current and former administration officials.

One-quarter of consumers skeptical of food companies

The portion of consumers who care passionately about, are dissatisfied with, and are distrustful of how food is made, packaged and sold zoomed to 24 percent from 10 percent in two years, becoming a "mainstream segment that manufacturers cannot ignore," said Food Navigator, citing a Food 2020 report by public relations firm Ketchum.

Big Food seeks approval from “mom bloggers”

"Moms rule," says Eater in a survey of the mom blogosphere in which highly connected mothers offer personal advice on parenting, including recommendations on food.

Demand for fresh, local food pinches Big Food

The big-name international food companies "are in the position of having to rework, reshape and re-imagine themselves" in response to consumer demand for fresh, local and organic foods, says the Guardian.

The Food Babe and her critics

"In an age when consumers have become increasingly suspicious of processed food, the Internet has become a powerful platform for activists who want to hold Big Food accountable," begins a story at the NPR blog The Salt about Vani Hari...