Sharing the stage with other innovation-minded budding entrepreneurs, the Cambridge scientists boasted of a technology that could produce a sweetener that would mimic not just the taste of sugar, but the caramelization and stickiness that makes sugar the go-to additive for the bulk of roughly 74% of packaged foods that are made with some form of sweetener. Their company, Cambridge Glycoscience could claim a huge slice of a market worth at least a $100 billion market, they said. Now, the company has a new name, Supplant, and $24 million in venture capital financing to start commercializing its low-cost sugar substitute made from the waste materials of other plants. By the first century AD Greek and Roman scholars were referencing its medicinal properties and, after the Crusades, sugar consumption traveled across Europe through the Middle Ages.
India's sugar exports could fall by 12% to 5 million tonnes this year as a shortage of containers slows trade and threatens to drive up global prices that are already at four-year highs, industry officials told Reuters. The lower exports from the world's second biggest sugar producer, especially during the first half of 2021, could also allow rival Brazil to increase shipments in the second half of the year when Brazil does the bulk of its exporting. "The container shortage is limiting our exports," said Prakash Naiknavare, managing director of the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories Ltd. "We have signed exports contracts for about 3 million tonnes but managed to ship only around 1 million tonnes."
Kraft Heinz Co and Conagra Brands Inc said they may choose to raise prices this year on some products that use wheat, sugar and other commodities that are becoming increasingly expensive due to high demand. Conagra CEO Sean Connolly said the company, which makes Duncan Hines cake mixes and Marie Callender's pulled pork mac and cheese bowls, will need to implement inflation-justified price increases this year so it can also continue to fuel sales growth through innovation. Ingredient and packaging costs represent 60% to 65% of Conagra's total cost basket, Finance Chief Dave Marberger said on the sidelines of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York virtual conference.