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Sales Up At Unilever During First Six Months Of 2016

Unilever posted first half sales growth of 4.7 percent with sales volume up 2.2 percent. Sales were up 5.4 percent at constant exchange rates, but down 2.6 percent at current exchange rates. Sales grew eight percent in emerging markets, while sales volume up 2.9 percent. CEO Paul Polman said the sales figures reflected ”consistent, competitive, profitable and responsible growth” in a tough global environment. The company said consumer demand is still weak, sales volumes continue to lag, and market volume growth is negative in Europe and in North America. Growth in personal care and foods improved growth and maintained ”strong profitability.” Profit margins in home care and refreshment improved.

"Consistent, competitive and profitable growth in challenging markets", Earnings release, Unilever, July 21, 2016

HUL Cuts Ad Spending In 1Q Of FY 2017

Hindustan Unilever Ltd spent Rs 879.73 crore on advertising and promotions in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2017, about Rs 13 crore lower than the Rs 892.73 crore it spent in the same quarter of the previous year. According to the company, its A&P spending is at 11 percent of sales, down 60 basis points. Starting in April 2016, HUL has revamped its businesses by grouping them under the home care, personal care, foods, and refreshments categories. Also, the company has adopted the Indian accounting system in reporting financial results since the first quarter of FY 2017.

"Ad spends at Hindustan Unilever shrink marginally in Q1-2017",, July 19, 2016

Tesco To Sell Only Cage-Free Eggs By 2025

U.K. grocery retailer Tesco said it will stop selling eggs from caged hens by 2025. It made the decision following a focused review of its egg-sourcing strategy, which included meetings with suppliers, industry experts, and other interested parties. The decision follows other sustainability initiatives, including a Fair For Farmers Guarantee for dairy farmers, guaranteed high-value contracts for U.K. potato farmers, and sustainable farming programs for lamb farmers and cheese producers.

"Tesco to stop selling caged eggs by 2025", Tesco, July 13, 2016

ConAgra’s Spinoff Of Lamb Weston Continues As Top Execs Are Named

ConAgra Foods has picked Thomas Werner to be CEO of the Lamb Weston potato business, which the company earlier announced would be spun off. Timothy McLevish will be the new executive chairman of Lamb Weston. Jettisoning Lamb Weston ends ConAgra’s involvement in the foodservice business selling to restaurants and other commercial customers. The company will instead sharpen its focus on marketing its many grocery store brands, which include Peter Pan peanut butter and Gulden’s mustard.

"ConAgra Names CEO, Chairman of Potato Business Spinoff", The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2016

Kroger Commits To Cage-Free Eggs By 2025

In its new sustainability report, which includes six new goals, Ohio-based Kroger Co. has pledged to transition to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025. The nine-year transition will ensure that eggs are readily available, safely produced, and affordably priced, the company said. The company also said it promises to buy 90 percent of its seafood – and all of its wild-caught seafood – from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. Regarding the cage-free trend, CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries (Colo.) said its nearly 200 restaurants will transition to serving cage-free eggs by 2022; Sonstegard Foods (S.D.), which earned a zoning permit for the half-million bird cage-free facility in February, has submitted plans to... More

"Kroger Makes Sweeping Changes To Eggs It Sells", Cincinnati Business Courier, July 11, 2016

Kellogg’s Adds Granola To Raisin Bran

Kellogg Company has expanded its Raisin Bran breakfast cereal line to include two granola-based varieties. Two flavors of Raisin Bran Granola will be available at 200 calories a serving with bran flakes, raisins and granola oat clusters: Raisin & Honey Granola and Cranberry Almond Granola, both low in fat, high in fiber. The company said its market research found now only that an increasing number of people were eating granola, its own Raisin Bran customers were eager to have granola blends that did not sacrifice the traditional flavor of the bran flakes and sweet raisins. 

"Kellogg's Merges Two Breakfast Favorites - Raisin Bran And Granola To Create A Delicious New Pairing", News release, Kellogg Company, July 07, 2016

Campbell Soup Backs “Weak” U.S. GMO Label Bill

The Campbell Soup Company backed federal legislation that mandates food labels listing GMO ingredients. The labels might also feature a QR code pointing to a weblink with more detailed GMO information. The national legislation pre-empts state laws, such as Vermont’s, that require GMO labeling. However, GMO labeling advocates say the bill is weak because it exempts many ingredients, including oil made from genetically engineered soy and most sugars, starches and purified proteins. It also exempts beef, pork, poultry and eggs if source livestock consumed genetically modified feed. Critics say the Vermont law, which took effect on July 1, is much tougher than the U.S. legislation, which was passed by Congress on July 13 and awaits... More

"Campbell backs national GMO labels as act passes Senate hurdle", Just-Food, July 07, 2016

Chobani’s Olympics Ads Emphasize Need For Good Foods To Be Great

U.S. yogurt maker Chobani has come up with a new ad theme and campaign as the Rio Olympics approach. Instead of “Naturally Powering Team USA,” used for the London and Sochi games, the theme is: ”You Can Only Be Great If You’re Full Of Goodness.” More than 40 videos have been prepared for the campaign. They include commercials, digital video profiles, workout routines and cooking segments featuring the athletes it is sponsoring. An ancillary theme of the campaign, which is managed by the Opperman Weiss agency, is the “No Bad Stuff” phrase Chobani has been using to stress that its yogurts contain no artificial ingredients or GMOs.

"See The Spot: Chobani Stresses Goodness In Olympics Push", Advertising Age, July 07, 2016

Busy Low-Carb Fans Can Now Get Atkins Meal Kits

People who are into the low-carb approach to weight loss can now get a week’s supply of appropriate foods directly from Atkins Nutritionals at prices ranging from about $70 to almost $98 a box, either as one-time online buys or on a subscription basis. The Meal Kits include frozen meals, snacks, menus, and shopping lists. The frozen food kit contains a variety of Atkins frozen foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Easy Peasy kit ($97.99) includes frozen meals, meal bars and shakes. All kits include the Atkins meal kit guide, the new Atkins Made Easy book, the Atkins carb counter and the recipe booklet. The company says the kits are targeted at low-carb aficionados “with busy lifestyles.”

"Atkins Launches First Line Of Meal Kits", News release, Atkins Nutritionals, July 07, 2016

Minnesota Meat Processor Expands To Satisfy Demand For Organic, Natural Products

A Minnesota-based meat processor is expanding its ability to process organic and natural meat products with a new $2 million wholesale plant on 16 acres. The facility will be able to handle direct-market meats as well as specialty, smoked, and cured meats, jerky, hams and sausages for wholesale and retail customers. The increased capacity should result in speedier processing time and lower transportation costs for farmers. The new Valley Natural Foods facility will process naturally and humanely raised, grass and organic-grain fed, and locally produced meats, all of which are in greater demand. It will be one of a few certified, organic multi-species beef and meat processors in Minnesota.

"Valley Natural Foods to Open New Meat Processing Plant to Meet Growing Demand in Southern Minnesota", News release, Valley Natural Foods, July 07, 2016

Can Dunkin’ Donuts Succeed In San Francisco, Home Of Beloved Mom-And-Pop Shops?

Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts tried expanding to California 30 years ago but failed – the last stores closed more than 10 years ago, trounced by a “reversed Walmart effect.” In the San Francisco Bay area especially, there’s an abundance of cherished mom-and-pop doughnut shops that have given fits to national chains like Dunkin’ and Krispy Kreme. But, with much ballyhoo, and some instant success, Dunkin’ is back in the Golden State, and once again faces competition from those entrenched family-run businesses like Stan's Donut Shop. San Franciscans – who love to eat out and discover unique eateries – are loyal to the mom-and-pop shops because their products are high quality and affordable, and they offer a good “old school”... More

"For Dunkin' Donuts, Small Shops Could Be Big Competition", The Mercury News, July 06, 2016

Food Industry Scrambles To Remove Artificial Colors From Products

The food industry is working hard to remove artificial colors from its products, not because of a government mandate – the feds say the colors are safe – but because of a consumer mandate. Buyers of candy, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and other products no longer want to see the words Yellow 5, Blue 1, or Red 40 on food ingredient labels. The new concerns are traceable to studies that link artificial colors – dubbed “neurotoxins” – to childhood hyperactivity disorders. So food and beverage companies and restaurant chains – Kraft Heinz, Mondelez, General Mills, Kellogg's, Nestlé, Mars, ConAgra, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, etc. – are phasing out fake colors, replacing them with real colors. It’s a tricky process that hopes to satisfy... More

"Food Companies Are Phasing Out Artificial Dyes, But Not Fast Enough For Some", Chicago Tribune, June 24, 2016

Companies, Organizations  

Unilever Spain Appoints Antonio Casanova As EVP

Unilever Spain named Antonio Casanova its new executive vice president for the local market. He will succeed Jaime Aguilera, who was appointed as EVP for Unilever in Central and Eastern Europe. Casanova will continue performing his current duties at Unilever Jeronimo Martins, the company’s joint venture in Portugal.

"Antonio Casanova Named New President Of Unilever Spain", European Supermarket Magazine, July 19, 2016

Hindustan Unilever Announces Key Changes To Management Committee

Hindustan Unilever Limited announced the resignation of Punit Misra as Management Committee member, executive director, and vice president of sales and customer development. Current vice president of HUL’s Skin Care business, Srinandan Sundaram, will succeed Misra. Srinandan joined HUL as a management trainee in 1999 and rose through the ranks, occupying executive posts of increasing responsibilities and importance.

"HUL announces new appointment to Management Committee", Hindustan Unilever, July 18, 2016

Press Release  

Unilever Reports Profit Gains Despite Revenue Decline In 1H Of 2016

Unilever PLC said profit increased 2 percent to €2.51 billion, or $2.77 billion, in the first half of 2016, although revenue declined 2.6 percent to €26.3 billion due to currency volatility. Underlying sales grew 4.7 percent, with volume rising 2.2 percent. At constant exchange rates, sales increased 5.4 percent and 2.6 percent at current exchange rates. According to the company, emerging markets sales grew 8.0 percent, with volume rising 2.9 percent. Core operating margin was at 15 percent, pushed by an increase of 80bps in gross margin.

"Unilever Reports Second quarter and half-year 2016 results", Unilever, July 21, 2016

HUL Reports Strong Growth And Profit Gains In 2Q 2016

Hindustan Unilever Limited said its domestic consumer business grew 4 percent for the second quarter of 2016. Operating profit rose 7 percent to Rs. 1,543 crores, with margin expanding by 70bps. Profit after tax increased 6 percent to Rs. 1,128 crores, with net profit growing 10 percent to Rs. 1,174 crores.

"Hindustan Unilever Limited JQ 2016 Results Presentation", Hindustan Unilever , July 18, 2016

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