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Unilever Applies Zero-Based Budgeting To Adjust Operational Margins

Unilever says it is further applying zero-based budgeting to reset its operating margin goals. The new target for the “core operating margin” will be between 40 and 80 basis points a year from 2017 to 2019. The company’s current goal is annual growth of 20 to 40 basis points. CFO Graeme Pitkethly said the company will continue to improve the mix of the business with “margin-accretive innovation” and a focus on margin in the ice cream and home-care categories. Zero-based budgeting cost savings and savings from organizational changes should be about €1 billion by 2019. [ Image credit: © Unilever ]

"Unilever Sets New Margin Target with Help from Zero-Based Budgeting", Just-Food, November 30, 2016

Mondelez Signals Importance Of E-Commerce To Its Growth Plans

The departure of chief media and e-commerce officer Bonin Bough has led to organizational changes that affect Mondelez’s e-commerce and marketing strategies. Jeff Jarrett will now head global e-commerce under chief growth officer Tim Cofer, who said the move demonstrates that e-commerce is “a key priority and growth pillar” and signals the company’s strong belief in the value of direct-to-consumer channels. The e-commerce team will have complete responsibility and accountability for its revenue, margin and operations. According to Cofer, the goal is to build an e-commerce snacks business worth $1 billion by 2020. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia ]

"Mondelez Separates E-Commerce from Marketing Following Bonin Bough Exit", The Drum, November 28, 2016

Cargill Expands Poultry Processing Operations In Asia-Pacific Region

Increasing customer demand in Thailand for Cargill’s chicken products has spurred the Minn.-based company to spend $50 million expanding its poultry processing facilities in the country. Cargill Protein Southeast Asia, which employs 13,500 workers in 14 locations in Thailand, said the expansion will create 1,400 new jobs. Construction on the addition to a current factory has begun, and the larger facility should be operational early in 2018. Through joint ventures, Cargill recently opened a poultry processing plant in the Philippines and a fully-cooked chicken production facility in Indonesia. [ Image credit: © Cargill ]

"Cargill Invests $50 Million to Expand Poultry Processing Operations in Thailand", News release, Cargill, November 24, 2016

Dr Pepper Snapple Takes Strategic Step Away From Soft Drinks

In a move that signals a strategic decision to diversify its product line away from sugary soft drinks and toward healthful beverages, Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) said it will acquire Princeton, N.J.-based Bai Brands, LLC. Bai’s better-for-you product lineup includes high-growth premium antioxidant infused beverages such as Bai Bubbles, Antiwater, and Cocofusions. The cash price of $1.7 billion includes a tax benefit of about $400 million financed through new unsecured notes and short-term commercial paper. DPS invested in Bai in 2015 and has been a distribution partner since 2013. DPS CEO Larry Young said the relationship with Bai “contributed greatly” to its allied brand portfolio in the last six years. [ Image credit: © Dr Pepper ...  More

"Dr Pepper Snapple Group To Acquire Bai Brands, LLC", News release, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, November 22, 2016

PepsiCo Continues To Expand Product Line Beyond Soft Drinks

Looking to extend its line of healthful beverages while reducing reliance on flagging soft drinks, PepsiCo confirmed it is acquiring a California maker of fermented probiotic and kombucha drinks. PepsiCo – whose CEO recently referred to carbonated beverages as “a thing of the past” – has been a minority owner of KeVita for nearly four years. KeVita offers 24 flavors of Sparkling Probiotic Drink, Master Brew Kombucha and Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic. PepsiCo has been increasingly investing in non-soda drinks, including bottled water, ready-to-drink teas, and probiotic juices. Fortune magazine estimates KeVita’s worth at around $200 million. [ Image credit: © KeVita ]

"PepsiCo Acquiring Probiotic Beverage Maker KeVita", Media Post, November 22, 2016

Juice From “Wonky” Fruits Is Good For Consumers And The Environment

Ugly, misshapen fruit – deemed unsaleable by producers and grocers – is being diverted away from British landfills and into recyclable bag-in-box containers by a new company known as Wonky Fruit. The short-term goal of the British company is to save 300 tons of malformed fruit by April 2017 and turn it into “the most sustainable juice brand in Europe.” If successful, the initiative would reduce fruit waste by 70 percent. According to the company, its low carbon footprint juice boxes do not require refrigeration, and are compact and easy to transport and store. The juice itself is all natural, free of “nasties” such as powders, oils, infusions, or acids. [ Image credit: © ]

"Cardiff, United Kingdom: Wonky – Drinks that Give Wonky Fruit a Chance! Help us to Save 300 ", News release, Wonky Fruit, November 21, 2016

British Grocery Chain To Use Special Packaging To Improve Potato Shelf-life

Sainburys will soon be using special packaging that keeps potatoes from turning green and bitter. The fully opaque and breathable bags prevent exposure to light, the main cause of greening. Too much light triggers the release and buildup of a chemical known as solanine. Potatoes are the most commonly wasted vegetable in the U.K., where 730,000 tons are trashed by households annually. Sainsburys is certain the new packaging will improve the shelf-life of spuds. The new packaging is one of the food waste solutions under the company’s “Waste less, Save more” initiative. [ Image credit: © EatByDate LLC ]

"New Sainsbury’s Packaging Tackles Potato Discolouration", Packaging News, November 17, 2016

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