Use antigen tests for screening but with caution: Experts

first_imgPCR tests can take hours or even days to process in labs as testing backlogs remain common in the country.”Certainly, antigen tests can be used in Indonesia as recommended by the WHO in order to replace rapid antibody tests, and screening with [antigen] tests can be more effective and won’t be a burden on PCR tests as the gold standard in diagnostic tests,” he said.Antigen tests use nasal or throat swab samples to detect certain proteins on the surface of the coronavirus. These tests do not require advanced lab equipment and come in the form of paper strips resembling home pregnancy tests.Antibody tests detect antibodies in blood samples – which may only develop weeks after infection and can form differently in people with certain conditions. Amid persistent COVID-19 testing constraints, the government appears to be looking into using rapid antigen tests, which are cheaper and faster although less accurate than the gold-standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Experts are on board but urge caution.National COVID-19 task force spokesperson Wiku Adisasmito said the government was searching for better and more accurate alternatives to its current screening method of rapid antibody tests, whose inaccuracy experts have highlighted, and that it was considering antigen tests.Wiku said on Tuesday that the government was aware of the World Health Organization’s recommended list of rapid antigen test kits, which could provide results in less than 30 minutes. PCR tests detect the virus’ RNA, making them more accurate than the other two tests, but they require specific laboratory safety measures, skilled workers and specific machines.An insufficient number and uneven distribution of facilities that meet these requirements have been cited as reasons behind Indonesia’s low testing rates compared to other countries. Long testing turnaround remains a problem, affecting containment efforts that require people to be tested, traced and isolated quickly.Read also: COVID-19 leaves lab workers grappling with unprecedented testing scalePCR tests that are not subsidized by the government can cost more than Rp 2.5 million (US$168) – prohibitively expensive for many Indonesians. Some 120 million antigen tests costing $5 each will be made available to poorer nations, the WHO announced on Monday.The WHO said earlier that the use of rapid antigen tests could be considered in areas experiencing widespread community transmission, where it might not be possible to administer PCR tests or where test results faced long delays.But experts have said that further confirmation by PCR tests is necessary, especially if someone tests negative but shows symptoms indicative of COVID-19.Studies of antigen test kits of various brands cited by the WHO have shown that their sensitivity ranges between 0 and 94 percent, meaning the chance of false negatives could be high. But their specificity is consistently above 97 percent, meaning the chance of false positives is low.“I agree [about the use of antigen tests] for early phases, during which the viral load is believed to be at the highest level,” said Aryati, a professor of clinical pathology at Airlangga University who also chairs Indonesia’s Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Specialists (PDS PatKLIn) association. “It can be performed both on people with symptoms or without.”Unlike PCR tests, which can detect even fragments of the virus, causing some people to test positive for months after symptoms disappear, antigen tests are believed to best detect the virus in patients with high viral loads. This means up to three days before symptom onset and within the first five to seven days of illness, according to existing, though limited, studies cited by the WHO.Read also: Carry out proper mass testing with PCR, experts sayBut since studies of the virus’ infectiousness over time are limited and require a more sophisticated viral culture, rather than simply relying on predicted viral loads, University of Indonesia microbiologist Anis Karuniawati said it was important to cautiously determine which populations were suitable for antigen tests. She said health authorities should consider what steps would be taken after results came back.”Whether we want it or not, we need a method that allows us to detect [possible cases] even more widely,” Anis said.She said these tests could be used not only where testing was scarce but where quick results were necessary, such as for triage purposes at hospitals. These tests could be performed outside labs, although the transmission risk during the processing of the tests had to be studied first, she said, adding that tests should be performed and interpreted by experts.The PDS PatKLIn has suggested that trained workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) perform the tests and that the samples only be processed at labs with level 2 biological safety cabinets and sufficient cold chain and infectious waste bins.It was important to purchase the tests advised by the WHO, experts said, and those that were not on the list should be validated by Health Ministry labs or other labs planning to use them to ensure their quality – unlike what occurred with the existing and widespread rapid antibody test kits.The WHO has recommended a minimum threshold of 80 percent sensitivity and 97 percent specificity for antigen test kits.”Don’t use just any [brand of test]. Use what’s recommended by the WHO […] There must be quality control and assurance. Don’t jump into using them without the knowledge of clinical pathologists,” said Herawati Supolo Sudoyo from the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology.Topics :last_img read more

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Arsenal to make last-ditch attempt to sign Chelsea star Gary Cahill

first_imgGary Cahill wants to leave Chelsea (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are set to make a last-ditch bid to sign Chelsea defender Gary Cahill to ease the club’s injury crisis.The Gunners lost Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis Papastathopoulos during Friday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, adding to the long-term injuries sustained by Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding.Unai Emery admitted earlier this month that Arsenal can only make loan signings in the January transfer window and do not have funds available to make permanent moves.That’s left the Gunners with limited options and Cahill, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is back on Emery’s radar.ADVERTISEMENT Metro Sport ReporterMonday 28 Jan 2019 1:51 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link834Shares Comment Advertisement Cahill is out of contract at the end of the season ( Reuters)The 33-year-old has made just seven appearances for the Blues so far this term and has played just 21 minutes of Premier League football.AdvertisementAdvertisementChelsea have made it clear to Cahill that he’s free to leave the club and the Mirror claim Emery will make a late bid to sign the defender.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsCahill has attracted interest from Crystal Palace and Fulham but given his contract is up at the end of the season Arsenal are likely to be able to afford to sign the defender for a small fee.Sokratis is set to miss at least the next four weeks of action, though Arsenal are hopeful the jaw injury sustained by Koscielny against United is not as bad as first feared.MORE: Justin Rose sends warning to golfing world after setting PGA Tour record with new clubs Advertisement Arsenal to make last-ditch attempt to sign Chelsea star Gary Cahilllast_img read more

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Marcus Rashford names the most complete Premier League striker

first_imgRashford named his favourite current Premier League strikers (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Marcus Rashford named Sergio Aguero as the Premier League’s most complete striker, despite him playing for Manchester United’s bitter rivals.The 21-year-old England international has become one of the most feared attackers in English football and he’s scored nine goals and provided six assists in 20 league starts for his club this season.While Rashford has made waves in the Premier League, he doesn’t rank himself as the division’s best striker and he named Manchester City’s Aguero, Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the three forwards who inspire him most. Comment Aguero is one of the Premier League’s best (Picture: AMA/Getty Images) Marcus Rashford names the most complete Premier League striker Advertisementcenter_img Kane is highly regarded by Rashford (Picture: MB Media/Getty Images)But of that trio, he believes Aguero is in a league of his own.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I think, probably the most all-round centre forward, is Sergio Agüero,’ he told GQ.‘Even on an off day, he can score you three or four goals. That, for me, is one trait of a centre forward that I would take all day long.‘When you’re not having a good game, but you’re still scoring goals. That is a skill on its own.‘Also Harry Kane, his positioning, his movement – very clever player. I like Aubameyang as well.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsIs Sergio Aguero the best striker in the Premier League?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your results Metro Sport ReporterMonday 18 Mar 2019 5:56 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link569Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

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Man City boss Pep Guardiola reveals how he responded to Liverpool’s late win over Tottenham

first_imgPep Guardiola did not sugarcoat his feelings (Picture: Getty Images)Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he didn’t quite keep his cool when Liverpool secured a late win over Tottenham on Sunday.The Reds went back to the top of the Premier League with their victory over Spurs, which came thanks to a 90th minute own-goal from Toby Alderweireld.City can leapfrog Liverpool again on Wednesday night if they can pick up three points at home to Cardiff in a title race which Guardiola admitted was never going to be easy.However, he hoped it was going to be made a bit easier by Spurs picking up a draw at Anfield.ADVERTISEMENT Phil HaighTuesday 2 Apr 2019 2:40 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link77Shares Comment Toby Alderweireld’s late own goal gave Liverpool three points on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)When asked about his reaction to Liverpool’s win, Guardiola said: ‘When you see them you think “ah s**t” but no one said it would be easy.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘We knew it, I knew it. It is a better challenge. It is an incredible team to fight against them.‘Yesterday I saw how Arsenal play, incredible manager Unai [Emery] and incredible distance.‘Everybody is excited for the next few weeks. It is not so complicated. It is amazing to live this opportunity.’ Guardiola is relishing the challenge (Picture: Getty Images)Pep also confirmed that Sergio Aguero will miss the clash with Cardiff on Wednesday night after picking up an injury against Fulham on Saturday.The problem is not thought to be a serious one, but it is enough to leave their top scorer out of the meeting with the Bluebirds.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityIf, as expected, City beat Cardiff at the Etihad then they will go one point clear of Liverpool at the top, and take them back to level on games played (32).‘Everyone is excited about the next weeks, but we also know we can lose everything,’ continued the Spaniard. ‘It’s amazing to have this opportunity, to be there.’MORE: Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri confirms worrying Marcos Alonso injury newsMORE: Chelsea want Reece James to challenge Cesar Azpilicueta for first-team place next seasoncenter_img Man City boss Pep Guardiola reveals how he responded to Liverpool’s late win over Tottenham Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos thinks it’ll be easier to defend against Liverpool than Burnley

first_img Unai Emery reacts to Arsenal’s 2-1 win over BurnleyTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 7:01FullscreenUnai Emery reacts to Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Burnleyhttps://metro.co.uk/video/unai-emery-reacts-arsenals-2-1-win-burnley-1987794/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Liverpool are being tipped to launch another title tilt this season, but Sokratis believes his partnership with Luiz will be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.‘I have known him for a lot of years,’ Sokratis said of Luiz.‘He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. Advertisement Liverpool have a dangerous front three (Picture: Getty)‘If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard. In the end, we know that it is difficult and we respect Liverpool a lot.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘But I think the best [way] is to go and play our style of game. We will see what happens.’Arsenal will have David Luiz at their disposal at Anfield, a player very familiar with Liverpool after two previous spells with Chelsea. Arsenal earned a 2-1 win over Burnley in their last game (Picture: Getty)Sokratis Papastathopoulos has risked the wrath of Liverpool fans after suggesting the Reds will be easier to defend against than Burnley.Arsenal have two wins from two Premier League games this season, including a 2-1 victory over Burnley in their most recent match.Unai Emery takes his side to Anfield on Saturday and after a tough game against Burnley, Sokratis believes defending against Liverpool will not be as difficult.‘It is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot – but they also play football,’ he said.ADVERTISEMENT Coral BarryMonday 19 Aug 2019 6:49 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link524Shares David Luiz has joined Arsenal’s defensive ranks (Picture: Rex Features)‘I am happy also that we took a player like him, with experience.‘When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good (now with Luiz).‘It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.’MORE: Arsenal preparing incentive-based contract offer to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the EmiratesMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Comment Advertisement Arsenal’s Sokratis Papastathopoulos thinks it’ll be easier to defend against Liverpool than Burnleylast_img read more

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Ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba hits out at Arsenal over Mesut Ozil treatment

first_imgDemba Ba has criticised Arsenal for their stance on Ozil’s comments (Getty Images)‘The content published is Ozil’s personal opinion.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘As a football club, Arsenal has always adhered to the principle of not involving itself in politics.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBut Demba Ba, who is also a practising Muslim and has had two spells in the Chinese Super League, has criticised Arsenal for their stance.‘Not surprised,’ Ba posted on Twitter. ‘Arsenal just keep distancing themselves from the best in general.’China’s state broadcaster CCTV has now removed Sunday’s Arsenal vs Manchester City Premier League match from its schedule after Ozil’s comments.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba hits out at Arsenal over Mesut Ozil treatment Comment A supporter of China’s Muslim Uighur minority thanks Mesut Ozil (Getty Images) Metro Sport ReporterSunday 15 Dec 2019 1:14 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.6kSharescenter_img Mesut Ozil has publicly shown his support for Uighur Muslims in China (BPI/REX)Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba has criticised Arsenal for distancing themselves from Mesut Ozil’s comments about Uighur Muslims in China.In his post on Instagram, Ozil described Uighurs as ‘warriors who resist persecution’ following reports that China has detained at least one million people, mainly Muslims and other minorities, over several years in what have now been exposed as detention camps.But Arsenal moved to distance the club from Ozil’s viewpoint.‘Regarding the comments made by Mesut Ozil on social media, Arsenal must make a clear statement,’ the club posted on Chinese social media site Weibo.ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

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Mikel Arteta issues Arsenal board with three transfer requests for January

first_img Comment Coral BarryTuesday 24 Dec 2019 6:01 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link10.5kShares Advertisement Arteta wants a busy January (Picture: Getty)Mikel Arteta has told Arsenal he wants to sign two central defenders and a defensive midfielder in January, reports say.It is unclear how big a transfer kitty will be available to Arteta in the winter window, but the head coach insisted this week he still needs to sit down with club chiefs and discuss plans for January.Arteta has been hired to try and quell the turmoil at Arsenal, with the club sitting in the bottom half of the Premier League table following a run of just one win in 13 matches.France Football claim Arteta is keen to improve his under-performing squad and has issued the Arsenal board with three requests.ADVERTISEMENT Bournemouth v Arsenal: Mikel Arteta pre-match press conferenceTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 9:07FullscreenBournemouth v Arsenal: Mikel Arteta pre-match press conferencehttps://metro.co.uk/video/bournemouth-v-arsenal-mikel-arteta-pre-match-press-conference-2075672/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Arteta wants two centre-backs and a defensive midfielder to sure up a fragile defence which kept only it’s second clean sheet sine the opening day of the season during Saturday’s stalemate at Everton.AdvertisementAdvertisementArsenal signed two central defenders during the summer, but David Luiz has failed to inspire any confidence and William Saliba was loaned straight back to Saint-Etienne.The Gunners have been linked with RB Lepizig’s Dayot Upamecano, but the 21-year-old’s £70million price tag is putting Arsenal off.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal do have several options in midfield, including Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira, but both men have been linked with January exits.Xhaka’s explosive fall-out with Arsenal fans appears to have sealed his fate at the club and the Swiss has reportedly told his team-mates he will be leaving next month.Arteta called for unity from his players after taking charge and insisted he wanted the players to defend collectively as a team.The Spaniard confirmed ahead of his first game as head coach, at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, that he was scheduled to meet with club transfer chiefs about signings.‘We had many other conversations,’ said Arteta. ‘We have a meeting soon and some ideas but we have to put them together.’MORE: How Arsenal’s squad has reacted to Mikel Arteta’s first training sessionsMORE: Arsenal have no option to recall William Saliba in January transfer windowcenter_img Advertisement Mikel Arteta issues Arsenal board with three transfer requests for Januarylast_img read more

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‘What player is going to want to join Arsenal?’ – Ray Parlour reveals Mikel Arteta’s ‘big dilemma’ this summer

first_imgParlour says Arsenal need investment (Picture: DAZN)‘They need to send money,’ Parlour told Premier League Productions before Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Liverpool. ‘This summer is going to be really important that they do spend money. ‘But the problem that they do have is if you’re not playing European football, what player is going to want to go to Arsenal? ‘That’s the big dilemma facing Mikel Arteta in the transfer window.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityAfter playing a 3-4-3 system in the north London derby, Arteta stuck with the formation for his side’s 2-1 win against Liverpool at the Emirates on Wednesday. Parlour believes the three at the back system suits Arsenal’s players and believes the Spaniard will stick with it moving forward. ‘I was a little bit shocked when they played Wolves that they went man-to- man really,’ said Parlour.‘They played three at the back as well so I was a little bit surprised when he did change it but certainty Kieran Tierney – who is going to be a top player on that left hand side – he has that energy to get up and down to defend as well. He’ll be important.‘Hector Bellerin it suits him on the right hand side. I think he might look at it [the system]. William Saliba will be coming into the club [too].MORE: Jamie Carragher makes huge claim over John Stones’ future during Manchester City’s clash with Bournemouth Advertisement ‘What player is going to want to join Arsenal?’ – Ray Parlour reveals Mikel Arteta’s ‘big dilemma’ this summer Mikel Arteta wants to invest in his squad (Picture: Getty)Arsenal hero Ray Parlour says Mikel Arteta has a ‘big dilemma’ on his hands this summer if the club are unable to offer players European football next term.The Gunners are battling for a Europa League spot and Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Liverpool has put Mikel Arteta’s men to within three points of Wolves in sixth.Arteta has been promised funds to invest in his side this summer but the level of his spending will be determined by where Arsenal finish and a fourth season outside of the Champions League will prohibit the Spaniard from spending big.How Arsenal finish the season could decide Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future, as the Gabon international is pushing for a contract of £250,000-a-week and is keen on playing European football next term.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTBut Parlour believes it the club will have even bigger problems in the recruitment department if they’re unable to offer potential new signings European football. Comment Sean KearnsThursday 16 Jul 2020 12:26 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link743Shares Advertisementlast_img read more

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Snacking gets exotic: on the hunt for unusual flavours

first_imgSnacking is getting adventurous. Not long ago, prawn cocktail crisps seemed vaguely exotic. Now we’re inundated with bizarre flavours for the increasingly bold consumer. Read on to find out who’s scouring the supermarket for exotic new flavours , what exciting new crisps tickle their fancy and whether a chilled superfood bar could bring the ‘food porn’ consumer into the snacking market,This year, we’ve had everything from smoked salmon glitter crisps (thanks, M&S) to pink peppercorn tortilla chips. It’s all helping to inject some excitement into crisps, which have long been ruled by three flavours: ready salted, cheese & onion and salt & vinegar. Yet social media reaction to these wacky new flavours has been divided. The Co-op’s prosecco crisps were branded proof that “middle class people have gone too far”; the M&S offerings were slammed as “pretentious”. So do adventurous flavours really have the potential to win over new shoppers? Or are they simply an answer to a question nobody asked?It seems there is indeed genuine demand for exciting additions to the snack aisle. A fifth of consumers often try new snacks, found a poll of 1,185 consumers commissioned by The Grocer. And when they do go for something new, most are willing to go beyond the standard ready salted or cheese & onion. An impressive 39% of Brits will regularly or always experiment with new and exciting flavours, found the poll by Harris Interactive. That figure rises to 60% of 25 to 34-year-olds.And so brands have rushed to grab the attention of the adventurous young consumer. Tortilla chip brand Manomasa started out pretty wild, with flavours green lemon & pink peppercorn and Serrano chilli & Yucatan honey. But now it’s going even further in its innovation. “We’ve gone from having three flavours to eight, which will become 10 in summer when our new flavours beef barbacoa & dill pickle and chargrilled pineapple & arbol join the range,” says senior brand manager Joanna Murray.Walkers Sensations is also pushing boundaries, with the launch of lime & coriander chutney poppadoms and a wasabi & ginger flavoured crisp last year.Watch: Brits are on the hunt for exotic new snacks Manomasa Chargrilled Pineapple & Arbol and Beef Barbacoa & Dill Pickle Tortilla ChipsLaunching: May 2018Manufacturer: ManomasaThe Grocer can exclusively reveal tortilla chip brand Manomasa’s newest flavours: Chargrilled Pineapple & Arbol and Beef Barbacoa & Dill Pickle (rsp: £2/160g). Ideal for scooping dip, the Chargrilled Pineapple and Arbol chips are ‘cuchara’ (Spanish for spoon) shaped, whilst Beef Barbacoa and Dill Pickle are square. It is perhaps telling that hot chicken wings was the most popular choice. Because hot and spicy seems be the flavour of the moment. Much of the NPD in the market is upping the spice stakes. KP Snacks introduced Hula Hoops Puft Sweet Chilli in January this year, and is set to launch Big Hoops Spicy Chilli in March. “We’re finding that consumers are more tuned into spicy flavours than ever before,” says Vijay Bhardwaj, head of marketing formats at KP Snacks. “The spicy sector is one of the biggest single segments, worth around 10% of the snacks market at £260m RSV. It’s not a niche flavour any more, it’s a mass phenomenon and it’s growing fast at 6.7% year on year.”Having found a winning formula, KP is going the same way with McCoy’s. “We launched McCoy’s Paprika in January, which we’re confident will do well,” says Bhardwaj. “A decade ago nobody had even heard of paprika. It really shows how fast the market is moving; hard-hitting, strong tastes from around the world are driving new flavour territories in snacks.”Other brands are also getting in on the spice-loving crowd. Doritos sought to heat up the market in January 2017 with its dual flavoured tortilla chips, supported through a string of TV and digital advertising the following month. Rolled out initially as a UK exclusive, each tortilla chip in the two-strong range contains mini chilli capsules, which serve up a hit of spice after the initial BBQ or Chipotle Cream flavour.The brand upped its presence in the heat sector even further in July last year with the relaunch of Doritos Roulette, teaming up with Tabasco Sauce to give the hidden spicy chips in the pack an extra kick.Competition in spicy snacks got even more heated in January when Pipers Crisps added Jalapeno & Dill flavour to its range, which the brand states will “satisfy the desire for innovative flavours, particularly relevant for 18 to 34-year-olds, the most significant snack-buying segment”.The new flavour was created to complement a cold beer and lime, says marketing manager Katy Hamblin, who found an emerging demand among snackers for products that can be paired with drinks. “We also launched our Wild Thyme & Rosemary flavour back in September 2016, which was designed to be a perfect match for today’s gins.”Walkers was next to jump on the alcohol accompaniment trend with Max Strong, a new range of spicy crisp flavours ‘carefully crafted to complement different types of popular beer’. Comprising Chilli & Lime, Hot Chicken Wings, and Jalapeno & Cheese, the line was introduced mid-January with a TV ad campaign portraying the packets as magnets for beer.While accompaniments with alcohol seem to be all the rage, crisps that are flavoured with alcohol seem to be more of a hit-and-miss venture. The Co-op’s Prosecco Bubble crisps and the trio of M&S alcohol-inspired flavours – Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Champagne glitter crisps, Bloody Mary & Fizz and Sparkle Winter Berries & Prosecco – provoked their fair share of controversy on social media.The same goes for sweet flavours on crisps. Tesco pushed the boundaries with the launch of limited edition Candy Cane crisps into its Finest range in October, designed to “tap into the trend of combining sweet and savoury flavours”. Yet it didn’t seem to achieve the same mass appeal as classic sweet-and-savoury combo salted caramel (or its other adventurous flavours such as Massaman Curry Crinkle Cut Crisps and Pulled Pork). Opinion was most definitely split on Twitter as some users said they were “intrigued” but other users found them too “bizarre”. Jalapeno & Dill crisps Launched: January 2018Manufacturer: Pipers Crisp CoCurrent snacking trends towards heat and globally influenced flavours haven’t gone unnoticed at Pipers Crisps, which has responded with its new launch Jalapeno & Dill, available in 40g and 150g sharing bags, priced at £1 and £2.20 respectively. Designed to accompany a beer, the brand hopes the flavour will be a hit in bars and pubs as well as retailers.Thanks to our partners Hula Hoops Puft Sweet ChilliLaunched: January 2018Manufacturer: KP SnacksKP Snack’s latest addition to its Hula Hoops lineup contains 71 calories per bag, and taps the growing chilli trend in the snacks market. Spicy is now the second-most popular flavour in the healthy multipacks sector and the fastest-growing, up 14% year on year. Hula Hoops Puft Sweet Chilli multipacks (rsp: £1.60/6x15g) are currently available in Asda, with more listings to be announced throughout the year. Harris Interactive , a full-service digital consultative custom market research agency, polled more than 2,000 consumers for The Grocer for this article. These brands are very much focused on world flavours. But inspiration doesn’t necessarily have to come from far-flung climes. Tayto Crisps is running a flavour competition in Ireland asking customers to vote for its next limited edition packet. Options include Spice Bag, Sunday Roast, Breakfast Roll and Curry Sauce, with the winner due to be announced and added to the range later this year.Kettle Chips is going with a mix of home-grown and exotic flavours in its new Discoveries range, which includes Salted Caramel & Double Cream; New York Deli with Pastrami, Dill Pickle & Mustard; Gressingham Duck, Plum Sauce & Spring Onion, and Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese & Cox Apple Chutney.How where and who?center_img So are these combinations just too out there even for the new adventurous breed of consumer?”My overall feeling is these are novelty products, earning their place in a seasonal assortment but doomed to be on discount to clear stocks after the event has passed,” says Hamish Renton, managing director of food and drink consultancy HRA Global. “Take for example the prosecco crisps. Visually they were interesting with the golden flecking on the surface of the snack and the packaging was congruent with the offer. However, they are challenging due to the sour notes in the prosecco and they trade at a high price point without delivering a knock-out eat. Overall I feel that the prosecco crisps prove the dictum that just because you can doesn’t mean you should – it all feel a little ‘spray and pray’ NPD. For me, the obvious point is that a great combination is a glass of prosecco and a quality savoury crisp which sets up a flavour and texture contrast. Combining the two into a crisp doesn’t really take us forward.Whilst there is clearly a market for snacks in new and adventurous flavours, the appeal of flavour is key, concurs Lucia Juliano, head of research at Harris Interactive. “Brands should be wary not to go too far with their flavours as consumers could be put off. Even if shoppers do buy into these new unusual products, unless brands can get the flavour right there is a high chance that it will stay as a one-off purchase.”The lesson seems to be this: if you want your new snack flavour to be a sure-fire hit, make sure you pack in the spice. The world may not yet be ready for a candy cane crisp.With so many new and innovative flavours and formats launching in the category, the emerging problem for brands and retailers is standing out from competitors. In a year that saw tortilla chips shaped to scoop dip, candy cane crisps and rising levels of heat in snacks, creating something unique and different is becoming increasingly difficult.We posed this dilemma to design consultancy Path, challenging them to come up with a brand new product for the ever-diversifying snack market. Here’s what they came up with.Snacking Creative Challengeoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMheight 705width 940orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMheight 705width 940orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMheight 705width 940orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMheight 705width 940orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMheight 705width 940orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CC 2 <span>Snacking Creative Challenge</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>height</span><span> 705</span><span>width</span><span> 940</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> Adobe Photoshop CC 2</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>height</span><span> 705</span><span>width</span><span> 940</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> Adobe Photoshop CC 2</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>height</span><span> 705</span><span>width</span><span> 940</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> Adobe Photoshop CC 2</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>height</span><span> 705</span><span>width</span><span> 940</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> Adobe Photoshop CC 2</span><span>originaldate</span><span> 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AM</span><span>height</span><span> 705</span><span>width</span><span> 940</span><span>orientation</span><span> 1</span><span>camerasoftware</span><span> Adobe Photoshop CC 2</span>Creative challenge: Bloom BarsIntroducing Bloom bars, a new range of plant-based, Instagrammable snack bars from Path. “We took a look at the healthy snack sector and found a lot of emphasis is put on packaging,” says strategy director Ben Sillence. “The actual products don’t tend to look very exciting. We wanted to upend that by creating a snack bar that looks great and provides a unique flavour combination, targeting consumers who want to taste something new – but not before posting a picture on social media.”Each Bloom bar is made up entirely of fruit or ‘superfood’ vegetables, with a spirulina, coconut and goji berries Green Goodness flavour and Sweet Dream, containing sweet potato, turmeric, lucuma and beetroot. “We selected the flavour combinations based on their health benefits as well as what’s trending at the moment on social media,” explains Sillence, “Whilst the mix of these flavours is something consumers won’t have tried before, they’ll be familiar with the ingredients.”Though the snack aisle is constantly introducing new and exciting flavours, the category hasn’t done much to capture the growing number of ‘food porn’ consumers, says creative director Chris Forecast. “Bloom’s design is an important USP. Ultimately as a healthy replacement for a countline bar, the product had to be consumable on the go, but we wanted to make it more dynamic than the standard rectangle, so we developed a geometric element to make it more visually exciting.”The bar also snaps into six different pieces, making it easy to share as well as allowing consumers to break the product down and create their own snaps for social media. “With a higher-end rsp of between £2 and £3, the bars are aimed at shoppers who are willing to pay a bit extra for a premium healthy snack that provides a new taste experience as well as the perfect Instagram snap.”Stocked in the fresh chilled aisle, Bloom bars would be launched first in smaller outlets including Whole Foods Market, says Forecast, before being introduced in major retailers. Marketing would focus heavily on social media, with adverts, campaigns and competitions encouraging consumers to post pictures of their Bloom bars.While Bloom bars may not hit stores for a while yet, here are some innovations that will soon be available in your supermarket aisle.Innovations in snacking  With its 30,000-strong consumer panel, Kantar Worldpanel, is a leading consumer and shopper insights provider. Kantar provided sales and usage data and analysis for this article. Consumers would have baulked at such adventurous ideas 10 years ago, says Debbie King, director of sales and marketing at healthy snack brand Eat Real (whose range includes jalapeno & cheddar quinoa and kale puffs). But the rise of the millennial shopper has shaken up the category, she says. “The increasingly sophisticated palates of this age group, driven by international travel and food from around the world, mean once unfamiliar or exotic flavours are now widely accepted.”There is definitely a market for the well-travelled young consumer. Yet that doesn’t mean all flavours are going down so well. Asked which flavours they would try out of the following new launches – hot chicken wings, lime & coriander, chipotle & lime, wasabi & ginger and manchego & green olive – consumers had a clear preference in the Harris Interactive poll. An encouraging 49% would try the hot chicken wings flavour, while only 24% would try manchego & green olive. Considering flavour is such a large driver of trial of NPD – 21% said ‘appealing’ flavours were the most important factor, second only to the 28% who were swayed by a free sample – it’s important to get it right. SnackamoléLaunched: January 2018Manufacturer: Born TastyCan anything stop the meteoric rise of avocado? Born Tasty doesn’t seem to think so, launching Snackamolé (rsp: £2.50/117g) in January, a 100g Pure Avocado or Guacamole dip with low fat, high fibre chickpea pop chips. Both dips contain one of the consumer’s 5 a day, and use high-pressure processing methods to eliminate micro-organisms and enzymes that cause avocado flesh to brown, enabling them to retain flavour and nutrients.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Rejects Republican Plan to Cut Education; Releases Emergency Funding

first_img Budget News,  Press Release,  Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today rejected the Republican budget that cuts $95 million from education and is out-of-balance, while directing emergency funding for key services. Last week, Republican leaders walked away from a historic bipartisan budget agreement and passed an irresponsible budget so they could return home to their districts and take holiday vacations.“I’m vetoing the Republican plan to cut $95 million from education, and I’m also vetoing other items that they don’t pay for,” said Governor Wolf. “I’m calling on our legislators to get back to Harrisburg – back to the work they left unfinished last week. At the same time, I’m allowing emergency funding for our schools to get out. I’m also letting funding go out to our human service agencies and to our counties. But this is on an emergency basis only.”“In doing this, I’m expressing the outrage that all of us should feel about the garbage the Republican legislative leaders have tried to dump on us. This budget is wrong for Pennsylvania. And our legislators – the folks we elected to serve us – need to own up to this. They need to do their jobs. This budget is wrong for so many reasons, but especially because it does not balance, increases our deficit and fails to invest in our schools and our future.”Governor Wolf vetoed parts of the budget because Republicans did not pay for their spending and to ensure a more responsible budget, but he is taking action to ensure that schools receive money owed to them through December 31. Governor Wolf limited emergency funding to a half-year appropriation (based on the agreed-to bipartisan budget) for basic education funding, state corrections institutions and medical assistance capitation. In total, the governor released more than $23.3 billion in funding.Further, the governor rejected the legislature’s desired increases for their own funding and instead reverted their appropriations to flat funding from the previous year. Community colleges, state system institutions and other higher education lines are also limited to flat-funding from the previous year. The legislature left for vacation without passing appropriations bills for state-related universities, Penn State, University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln University, Temple University, and the Penn School of Veterinary Science, and other “non-preferred” institutions.Rejecting More Cuts to SchoolsThe Republican budget underfunds education and uses gimmicks that will actually lead to a $95 million cut in funding for our schools. Republicans continue to refuse to adequately fund Pre-K through 12 education and their budget fails to fund $305 million in school construction reimbursements. Instead, they claim to pay for school construction by issuing billions in new debt. However, since the Republican budget fails to take any meaningful steps to fix Pennsylvania’s structural budget deficit – which has already led to five credit downgrades – the commonwealth will be unable to responsibly issue any debt to cover school construction reimbursements this year and likely into the future.The Republican’s failure to provide school construction funding to local school districts and the commonwealth’s inability to responsibly issue debt will lead to a direct cost to the school districts, which will wipe out any marginal funding increases for local school districts. This means that their budget is an effective $95 million cut to school districts after years of cuts under previous Republican budgets.The Republican budget continues the trend of not only underfunding our schools but also fiscal irresponsibility that have led to massive structural deficits and multiple credit downgrades. Now, those decisions will have a direct impact on our ability to pay our bills and issue debt.To view the general fund tracking run, click here.Rejecting Status Quo Fiscal IrresponsibilityAs Governor Wolf has warned for months, Pennsylvania is facing a massive structural budget deficit as a result of years of Republican budgets that were out of balance. This multi-billion dollar deficit cannot simply be wished away. The Republican budget is not balanced and will grow the commonwealth’s multi-billion dollar deficit.This budget spends $30.3 billion dollars without sufficient revenues to pay for it. Assuming that we would certify the current year revenue estimate at the amount recommended by the Independent Fiscal Office earlier this month, if the governor signed this bill, the commonwealth would end the year over a half a billion dollars out of balance with a structural deficit of over $2.3 billion.While Republicans may claim that they have finished the job, they have not. They have not paid for the budget they passed, which would further increase our deficit that stood at $2.3 billion earlier this year. Governor Wolf Rejects Republican Plan to Cut Education; Releases Emergency Funding December 29, 2015 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfWatch Governor Wolf’s remarks on rejecting the Republican plan to cut education (and read the transcript of the remarks).Check out the Twitter Collection of the announcement.BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT 12/29 SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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