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• On National Public Radio (NPR), The Salt reports that Coca-Cola has decided to crowdsource the search for a sugar replacement, with the offer of a $1 million prize.

According to the story, Coke “has launched a competition on the crowd-sourcing platform HeroX … seeking ‘a naturally sourced, safe, low- or no-calorie compound that creates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages.”

The goal is to be able to find something to replace sugar, but with lower calories, top satisfy people looking for a diet drink without artificial sweeteners.

• The Indianapolis Star reports that Simon Property Group, which operates shopping malls nationwide, is suing Starbucks “over its plans to shutter all of the Teavana stores” operating in its locations.

According to the story, the mall owners maintain “that their shopping centers rely on each of their tenants fulfilling their lease obligations, including  continuously operating in the space for the entire lease term.

“But when Starbucks announced July 27 that it would be closing all 379 of its Teavana stores, including the 78 stores in Simon shopping centers, the company ‘put its stock price above its contractual obligations, the viability of Simon and its Shopping Centers, other retailers and consumers who count on the Teavana stores’.”

Reuters reports that the trial of three former Tesco executives accused of fraud and falsified accounting has been adjourned until September 25; the trial was scheduled to begin yesterday, and is expected to last as long as 12 weeks, providing a window into how Tesco systematically and systemically overstated revenue and understated costs.

The story notes that “Christopher Bush, who was managing director of Tesco UK, Carl Rogberg, who was UK finance director, and John Scouler, who was UK food commercial director, are all charged with one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of false accounting at Britain’s biggest retailer.”

• The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced that a coalition of industry groups in which it is a member reached a settlement in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in which New York City agrees not to fine or sanction FMI members for alleged non-compliance with calorie and nutrient information menu labeling requirements prior to a May 2018 compliance date established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FMI, along with the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA), Restaurant Law Center (RLC), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) had challenged the city’s decision to require chain stores with 15 or more locations nationwide to disclose calorie counts and full nutritional information in advance of federal regulations scheduled to come out next year.
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