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Food Companies Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<10111213141516171819>> Total issues:183

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July 01, 2011, to July 15, 2011

Strong Demand For Anti-Aging Skin Care Products Bolsters Beauty And Personal Care Industry

Premium beauty product sales rebounded strongly in 2010, driving the recovery of the global beauty and personal care industry. Also fueling the recovery was “dynamic innovation activity” in skin care, the largest market category, Natural Products Insider reports. The category is expected to grow three percent a year to $100 billion in sales by 2015, one fourth of which will come from sales of anti-aging products. Thanks to the focus on innovation, technically advanced skin care formulations based on stem cell technology and aesthetic medicine are showing up in new cosmeceutical products. A major disappointment, however, has been the slow start of nutricosmetics products, which have not yet surmounted the skepticism of consumers.

60/40+ Program Enhances Health And Nutrition Benefits Of Nestlé Products

Nestlé has sold CHF 36.4 billion worth of products covered by its 60/40+ product development and marketing program over the past three years. 60/40+ products are defined as those preferred by 60% or more over its main competing products, using a large sample of consumers, and which also offer additional nutrition benefits. The program underpins Nestlé’s innovation approach and has helped the company reduce harmful or unhealthy ingredients, such as trans fats and saturated fats, sodium and sugar, in its products worldwide, either through launching new products or by renovating existing ones.

CPG Companies Withdrawing Their Advertising Money From News of the World Following Phone-Hacking Revelations

UK consumer packaged goods companies including Procter & Gamble, Tesco, Asda, and Coca-Cola GB, as well as telecom companies Orange and Vodafone plan to withdraw their advertising from the News of the World following revelations of phone hacking by the tabloid. Other companies, such as mobile service providers 3, T-Mobile, and O2, are reviewing their advertising deals with the tabloid as public outcry grows over the phone-hacking revelations. Advertisers' withdrawals are having a negative impact on News of the World's annual advertising revenue, estimated at £38 million.

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June 15, 2011, to July 01, 2011

Indian FMCG Companies' Margins Benefit From Lower Palm Oil Prices

Lower prices of palm oil offer India's fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies Hindustan Unilever and Godrej Consumer Products some relief from dropping margins. Profit margins of FMCG companies suffered from soaring prices of palm oil, a key ingredient in soap manufacturing, and other raw materials in 2010, with palm oil prices reaching record levels in February. However, prices have dropped about 18% to a seven-month low in June because of increasing inventories, expanding supplies, and falling crude oil prices. Palm oil makes up 16%-17% of HUL's total raw material costs, and 25%-28% for Godrej Consumer.

Market Report Shows Natural Product Retailers Enjoyed Strong Sales In 2010

There was strong growth in natural product sales in 2010 despite adverse economic conditions, according to the report Natural Foods Merchandiser 2010 Market Overview. Sales by natural product stores were up in all categories except nondairy beverage, reaching some $36 billion, or some 44% of the $81 billion natural product market last year. The report said core customers kept buying natural products and others returned to the market. Food and drink sales were up 7.7%, supplements were up 5.9% and personal care and other 6.1%. The Gourmet Guide section reported sales of specialty natural products up 15.6%. 

Survey Shows Busy Mornings Keep Most Americans From Eating Breakfast Daily

Most Americans believe that breakfast is important but are sometimes too busy to have one, according to results of Kellogg's survey of more than 14,000 Americans. Survey's findings show that only 34% of respondents actually eat breakfast every day and that 40% of mothers said their child does not eat breakfast daily. As they get older, the number of children who regularly eat their breakfast declines — while almost all toddlers and preschoolers do, only 77% of young children eat breakfast every day. The numbers decline further to 50% for middle-school children and to 36% for high school students. Kellogg has assembled the Kellogg Breakfast Council to encourage children to eat their breakfast, making the claim that cereal and milk combined can help provide consumers with a nutrient-filled breakfast.

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June 01, 2011, to June 15, 2011

As Multinationals Expand Into Africa, Agencies Follow To Help Grow Consumer Markets

Multinationals continue to expand into Africa - Walmart's is acquiring Massmart, South Africa's largest retailer; Nestlé's plan to invest $1 billion in the continent in the next two years and KFC's plan to increase its present 655 outlets to 2,100 stores across the continent by 2020 – and as they do, advertising and marketing companies are following.  Agencies are acquiring controlling stakes in local marketing companies and also recruiting local marketers. Agencies face challenges locating experienced professionals and also daunting tasks in establishing and growing markets. Unilever, for example, is working to persuade consumers to brush their teeth twice daily to grow the toothpaste market.

Nestlé To Acquire Gastrointestinal Test Maker Prometheus Labs

Nestlé SA announced it will acquire U.S. gastrointestinal diagnostics firm Prometheus Laboratories. The acquisition complements Nestlé’s goal of “pioneering science-based nutritional solutions to deliver improved personalized health care for medical conditions.” The sale price and other terms were not disclosed by the companies, though analysts estimate the deal to be worth $1.1 billion. Prometheus has 500 employees and expects annual sales of $250 million in 2012, according to Nestlé. The company makes gastrointestinal diagnostic products that help doctors diagnose conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Industry Observers Doubtful About Rumors Of P&G’s Plans To Acquire Unilever

Procter & Gamble plans to acquire its biggest rival Unilever, according to recent rumors reported by mainstream media and by online news sites. Industry analysts and merger and acquisition (M&A) experts, however, have expressed doubt and reservation over the rumored $38 billion deal, and have raised the question of whether or not it would be allowed. Analysts also doubt the rumored merger will benefit consumers and markets, asserting that financial factors would be the companies' main priorities. 

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May 15, 2011, to June 01, 2011

Emerging Markets To Contribute 70% Of Unilever's Total Revenue

Harish Manwani, Unilever chairman and president for Asia, Africa, and East and Central Europe, said, in a long and wide-ranging interview, that his company plans to increase emerging market share of Unilever’s total revenues from 53% to 70%. Unilever views developing and emerging (D&E) markets as mission critical for its future growth and plans to allocate more than 60% of research and development (R&D) and brand-development resources in D&E countries. India has emerged as one of the most important D&E markets for Unilever. At the same time, the country provides the company with a large pool of managerial talent, with some 140 Indian managers currently working in senior positions worldwide. Brazil is an equally important market at the moment, but Russia and China remain among the countries where the company is "relatively under-represented", although they are now the company’s fastest growing markets.  Aside from growing its business, Unilever also intends to cut its environmental footprint by half by ensuring that 100% of its raw materials, such as palm oil and tea, come from sustainable sources. Manwani also identifies innovation as key to continuous market development but also highlighted the need to strip out costs as far as possible in order to mitigate the impact of rising commodity prices. 

Modern Trade Accounts For 10% Of India's General Retail

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) estimates that the contribution of modern retail in India was 10% in 2010, from just 5% three years before. In the major cities, the share could be as high as 30%, and it highlights the changing consumer landscape in the country. Companies like HUL tend to gauge brand performance on their shares within modern retail, even if they continue to hold strong positions in general trade. HUL set up a dedicated modern trade account management team in 2003, one of the first FMCG companies in the country to do so.  The move to modern retail shopping is being seen also beyond the big metros, in the tier-2 and tier-3 towns. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates the Indian retailing industry at some $350 billion, and should begin a new growth trajectory as household consumption rises and global retailers arrive to meet demand, encouraged by more liberal conditions for foreign companies seeking joint ventures with domestic companies.

Kraft Seeks To Expand Its BOCA Range Of Soy-Based Meat Alternative Products

Gary Berger, BOCA brand manager at Kraft Foods, said that U.S. retailers are re-locating meat alternatives in the store and giving them more shelf space as more consumers buy non-meat options and the category becomes increasingly mainstream. BOCA is looking to get new consumers to try non-meat products and is working with Weight Watchers to position the brand as a healthy weight management food option. BOCA is facing a growing number of competitors, but believes its healthy soy-based products will enable it to retain its leadership in the meat alternatives market. It defends the safety of its products but has introduced a non-GMO soy range to address concerns of consumers worried about GMO ingredients.

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May 01, 2011, to May 15, 2011

Nature’s Pride Bread Ranked Among Fastest Growing New Products

Retail market researcher SymphonyIRI Group has rated natural bread brand Nature’s Pride the highest of all “Top 10 New Product Pacesetters” among both food and beverage and non-food brands in terms of household product trial. The recently-launched brand was purchased by 11.7 percent of all U.S. households during the 52 week sales period analyzed by the group, and ranked at No. 5 alongside other new products from the Coca Cola, Pepsi and Budweiser companies in SymphonyIRI's "Top 10 Food and Beverage Brands of 2010." The report provides a benchmark analysis of exceptional first-year success for newly launched consumer products. Nature's Pride is the first new brand of bread products introduced by parent company Hostess Brands in several years. 

Cocoa Extracts Show Potential As Weight Management Ingredients

U.S. scientists have found that the polyphenols in cocoa extracts inhibit the action of enzymes essential for digesting carbohydrates and lipids. The findings suggest the possibility that cocoa may someday play a role in weight management products. The researchers tested the effect of three cocoa extracts on various enzymes, including pancreatic lipase, secreted phospholipase A2, and pancreatic alpha-amylase, all of which are important for digestion of fats and carbohydrates. The minimally processed levado cocoa extract, which is high in flavanols, exerted the most inhibitory effect on the enzymes, the researchers found, and is most likely due to their polyphenol content.

Africa's Burgeoning Middle Class Presents A Compelling Marketing Opportunity

Though 61 percent of Africa's population still lives on less than $2 a day, 34 percent are considered part, however, tenuously, of the continent's middle class - 313 million people - and they represent an attractive marketing opportunity for investing countries and companies that are willing to risk the often dangerous political atmosphere. That fact has not gone unnoticed by multinational appliance makers, telecommunications companies and retailers. For example, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa reported recently that Africa has more mobile-phone subscribers than the entire U.S. population. According to a report by the African Development Bank, 21 percent of Africans are well-established in the new middle class, spending between $4 and $20 a day, often on nonessential items.

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April 15, 2011, to May 01, 2011

Campbell Adds New Varieties To V8 Line

Campbell Soup Company announced it is expanding its V8 fruit and vegetable juice line with two new V8 V-fusion beverages. Concord Grape Raspberry and Concord Grape Raspberry Light juices blend grape juice with apple, raspberry, sweet potato, carrot and other juices. Campbell says an 8-oz. glass of either juice provides a full serving (1/2 cup) of both fruit and vegetables. Currently available only in 46-oz. bottles, the products will be sold in 8-oz. cans beginning in July at most U.S. grocery, mass merchandise, convenience and club stores. The company also said it is expanding the V8 V-fusion juice varieties available in 8-oz. cans to include Strawberry Banana Light and V8 V-fusion + Tea Raspberry Green Tea.

Kraft To Sell Premium Gevalia Coffee In Retail Outlets Beginning In August

Kraft Foods announced it is making its premium coffee brand Gevalia -- currently sold only online or through mail order -- available in supermarkets, mass merchandisers and other retail outlets in the U.S. beginning in August. Ten varieties of the global $400 million brand will be available in stores, including ground, whole bean, decaf and flavors such as vanilla and chocolate mocha. The company said three new extra-bold GevaliaT Disc selections will be available in stores in June for Kraft Foods' Tassimo on-demand beverage system. A limited-edition Kona blend T Disc variety will be available online, according to the company.

Nestlé Acquires 60 Percent Stake In Chinese Food Company Yinlu Foods

Nestlé has acquired a 60 percent stake in Chinese food company Yinlu Foods Group for an undisclosed sum. Yinlu Chairman Chen Qingyuan will continue as the top executive under the new ownership arrangement, termed a “partnership” by Nestlé. The acquisition must be approved by Chinese regulators before it is finalized. A well-established household brand in China, Yinlu markets ready-to-drink peanut milk and canned rice porridge, and is a co-manufacturer of ready-to-drink Nescafé coffee in China. Yinlu’s 2010 sales were CHF 750 million (US$843 million). Nestlé has operated in China for more than twenty years, with 23 factories, two R&D centers and 14,000 employees.

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April 01, 2011, to April 15, 2011

“Better For You” Becomes The Watchword Of PepsiCo’s New Product R&D

After reorganizing its R&D organization two years ago, PepsiCo has focused on development of products with “better for you” natural and healthy ingredients that nevertheless take into account aroma, flavor, mouthfeel and consumer preference. In addition to its goal of reducing added sugar in products by 2020, the company hopes to create innovative breakthrough products in areas like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and functional nutrition. The R&D team is taking more of an internal development approach to new products – though still accepting ideas from vendors – and is exploring  human health, sensory science, packaging and material science, and processing technology in its quest to create high-quality, good tasting products with nutritional benefits.

Company’s Functional Beverages Target Health Needs From Morning To Night

Neuro Drinks describes its family of functional beverages as “a full lifestyle” brand that satisfies specific health-related needs throughout the day. Those needs include energy, mental focus, sleep, vitamin D deficiency and others. According to the company, the formulations of each of the eight products are grounded in science overseen by “a scientific group of professionals” who make sure the beverages are both safe and effective. A few of the products make structure function claims, which is legal as long as the container is clearly labeled as a dietary or nutritional supplement. “We follow the regulations,” President Paul Nadel tells Beverage Industry magazine. Each product is “a dietary supplement or nutritional supplement and so we label it accordingly.”

New Nestlé Factory In Germany Expected To Double Production Of HA Infant Formula

Nestlé Nutrition has opened a 23,000 square-meter factory in Biessenhofen, Germany, that will double production of hypoallergenic (HA) infant formula under brands such as Alete and Beba. Officially Nestlé supports breast feeding because breast milk is the “most nutritionally sound first food for babies,” but notes that its HA infant formula is clinically proven to significantly reduce the risk of allergic reactions to milk among babies who cannot breast feed. HA infant formula is based on 100 percent whey protein that is broken down to reduce the allergenicity of protein in cow’s milk. The new factory includes a 23 meter-high state-of-the-art “spray tower,” thermal insulation and a new cooling system that will promote efficient use of energy and water.

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March 15, 2011, to April 01, 2011

Small Australian Organic Food Supplier Takes Woolworths To Court Over Trademark Issue

Organic Marketing Australia, a Sydney-based independent organic food supplier that does business under the name Honest to Goodness, is suing Australian food company Woolworths over the use of the phrase “Honest to Goodness” in a new advertising campaign. According to the plaintiff, a family-owned business started by a husband-wife team in 2002, the use of the Honest to Goodness phrase infringes on its trademark. Woolworths maintains that the term Honest to Goodness is in common usage and can be used freely, although observers note that the way the phrase is used in the advertising campaign comes very close to branding. Woolworths denies that, telling the Sydney Morning Herald: "We will continue to work with the parties involved to resolve this matter."

Dyed-In-The-Wool Organic Food Buyers Keep Organic Co-ops Prospering

Devoted organic food buyers are fueling the prosperity of organic grocery coops around the U.S. According to the National Cooperative Grocers Association, whose members include a 40-year-old Duluth, Minn. co-op and 117 others, sales grew seven percent from 2008 to 2009 to reach to reach a total of more than $1.3 billion in annual sales. The growth seems to run counter to conventional wisdom, which says the first thing cut from shopping lists in times of economic downturn would be more expensive organic goods. But sales at the member-owned Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth grew in each year of the recession, thanks to customers looking to avoid harmful pesticides and fertilizers, and committed to buying locally.

New Beetroot/Apple Juice Blend From Heinz Is Targeted At Athletes

Heinz is targeting sports enthusiasts with a new juice blend rich in dietary nitrate. GO BEET is a combination of beetroot and apple juice that contains no added flavors, colors or preservatives and was formulated to help athletes boost endurance and stamina. According to the company, scientific research has found that that high nitrate levels in beetroot help increase endurance and stamina by allowing muscles to use oxygen more efficiently and to extend the time it takes for muscles to become exhausted. The company recommends drinking one 200 mL bottle of GO BEET each day for three days before intense exercise or a sporting event. One 200 mL bottle should be consumed three hours before exercising.

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March 01, 2011, to March 15, 2011

Heinz Acquires 80-Percent Stake In Brazil's Coniexpress, Reports Third Quarter Results

H.J. Heinz Company agreed to purchase an 80-percent stake in Coniexpress S.A. Industrias Alimenticias, manufacturer of the Quero brand of tomato sauces, paste, ketchup, condiments, and vegetables in Brazil. Aside from greatly expanding Heinz's operations in Latin America, the acquisition of the Quero business, which has annual sales of about $325 million, gives the company its first significant presence in Brazil. Heinz reported 1.5 percent growth in sales for its third quarter ended January 26, 2011, and a 20 percent increase in total net income. Earnings per share rose from continuing operations rose 1.2%, fueled by 14 percent sales growth in emerging markets led by China, India, Indonesia, and Russia, 3.8-percent organic growth in the top 15 brands, as well as sales and volume growth in the North America Consumer Products segment. Heinz has increased its full-year reported EPS guidance and now expects to sales growth of 2-3 percent for the year, revised down to reflect the labor stoppage in Venezuela and slow recovery in the U.S. foodservice industry.

Georgia Tech Research Institute's Automated Bakery System Produces Perfect Buns

The Georgia Tech Research Institute, in partnership with Flowers Foods and baking equipment manufacturer Baking Technology Systems, has developed a production-line system that automatically checks the quality of sandwich buns leaving the oven and changes oven settings accordingly. Existing production lines involve manual testing of buns and adjustment of oven temperature by production workers, a system that is not viable when production involves thousands of buns. Flower Foods has tested at its bakery a prototype machine incorporating the system, which includes a digital camera, imaging software, and automated oven controllers.

Food Manufacturers Change Packaging Because Of Concerns Over Tainted Recycled Cardboard

Health worries over boxes manufactured from recycled cardboard have led food manufacturers in Europe to change their product packaging, the BBC reports. Toxic chemicals known as mineral oils, used in printing inks in recycled newspapers, were discovered in some boxes by researchers who said the chemicals had contaminated the food they contained. Some firms have stopped using recycled cardboard completely, while others are making sure the boxes they use are not tainted by mineral oils, which have been associated with inflammation of internal organs and cancer. Swiss government scientists who analyzed pasta, rice and cereals sold in cartons manufactured from recycled cardboard found mineral oil levels ten to 100 times higher than recommended limits.

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February 15, 2011, to March 01, 2011

Packaged Goods Companies Set To Raise Prices, Keep Marketing Budgets

Packaged goods manufacturers including Procter & Gamble Co., Colgate, and Clorox Co. plan to increase their prices, reduce their price-based promotions, and retain or increase their advertising budgets despite the increase in commodity prices. Buoyed by strong results for high-end products, P&G plans to raise prices to compensate for a projected $1.5 billion increase in commodity costs. Unlike their approach in 2008, manufacturers including Clorox plan to implement smaller, but faster, price increases, and accept lower margins in order to maintain marketing efforts in 2011. Food manufacturers and premium goods companies seem better positioned to weather higher prices than household and personal-care products companies; Kraft, for example, expects to increase its marketing spend by 10%, focused on its 20 power brands that include Planters, Oreo, Trident, Ritz and Oscar Mayer.

Supermarket Free Sample Programs Are Cheaper, More Effective Than Traditional Advertising

Although $94 billion was spent in advertising in 2010, big consumer products companies like Kraft, General Mills and Unilever have found that the most effective way to get people to try products is via supermarket free sample giveaways. It’s expensive to set up and maintain a free sample stand in a store, but the amount spent is nothing compared to the result: actually getting products into the hands of consumers so they can try them. Free samples are in fact a powerful advertising technique and actually much cheaper in the long run than conventional advertising.

Kellogg Helps Consumers Increase Intake Of Health-Friendly Fiber

Kellogg claims that its cereal products can help consumers increase their fiber intake, which a study has revealed can significantly lower the risk of death from heart disease, cancers, and other diseases. Data from a nine-year study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and nonprofit AARP has revealed that a high-fiber diet can reduce the risk of dying from these diseases by 24-56 percent in men and 34-59 percent in women, echoing recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which calls for higher fiber intake. More than 95 percent of Americans do not meet their daily fiber needs.
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