Sabra has spent millions of dollars making hummus mainstream in the U.S. Now, it wants the Food and Drug Administration to rule on what is and is not hummus.
The word "hummus" means chickpea, and Sabra wants the FDA to rule that new, chickpea-free dips like black bean hummus and edamame hummus should not get to use the name.
Instead, the company wants the FDA to define hummus this way: "The semisolid food prepared from mixing cooked, dehydrated, or dried chickpeas and tahini with one or more optional ingredients," says Greg Greene, Sabra's director of marketing.
If it succeeds, the FDA will issue what's called a Standard of Identity. Lots of foods have these, determining what can be labeled juice, or mayonaise, or this one for milk: "The lacteal secretion of an animal."
The National Milk Producers Federation has been fighting names like soymilk and almond milk for years now. To milk producers and Sabra, these FDA definitions help avoid customer confusion.
It's also, of course, about money: If you've invested a lot marketing milk or hummus, you don't want some newcomer stealing your identity.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is leading a delegation to Cuba this week to, in its words, "develop a better understanding of the country’s current economic environment."
“One thing it will do is open people’s eyes to some of the opportunities that may be down there, ” says former Deputy Secretary of State and National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. Negroponte, who is not on the trip, now heads the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and recently signed a public letter the Society sent to President Barack Obama, asking him to ease U.S. sanctions on Cuba while continuing to push for human rights reforms.
Why all this attention to Havana now? It’s partly because the administration has already eased up a bit.
“We should broaden out what is in our national interest to do with Cuba,” says Ted Piccone, acting vice president of the Brookings Institution’s foreign policy program. “It’s in our interest to have better relations with the country.”
A Texas A&M study says if the U.S. ended travel and financial restrictions on Cuba, the U.S. would be $1.1 billion richer.
Driven in part by Michael Lewis' recent book, regulators are taking hard looks at the widespread practice of ultra-high frequency trading in financial markets.
Lewis' book argues that regular investors lose out when technology gives some traders the ability to jump in and out of trades with lightening speed. The fast folk say there's nothing wrong with what they do. At the center of Lewis' book is an upstart financial trading system out of New York City called IEX that looks for ways to use technology to insulate clients from high speed traders nibbling on the edges of their prices. Now the Wall Street Journal says IEX is in talks to raise several hundred million dollars in cash to turn itself into a full-fledged financial exchange with all the necessary regulatory permissions and safeguards. IEX isn't commenting about this, but the head of Market Operations at this maverick out was willing to talk about his efforts to thwart the fast boys, as he sees it.
Don Bollerman, Head of Market Operations at IEX, joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss.