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Period: December 15, 2015 to January 1, 2016
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Companies, Organizations  

Kellogg Strengthens Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goals

Kellogg Company’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets will cut GHG by 65 percent across its operations by 2020, the company announced. The targets also call for suppliers to cut their GHG emissions by half within 35 years. Since 2008, Kellogg says, it has reduced GHG emissions from its manufacturing facilities by 12 percent. The new targets are an extension of the 2020 global sustainability goals set in August 2014. The overall goal of the targets, which are in accordance with “others in Paris,” is to reduce GHG emissions to “limit the Earth's temperature increase to two degrees Celsius."

"Kellogg Company Announces New, Ambitious Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Goals Across Manufacturing and Agricultural Supply Chains", News release, Kellogg Company, December 08, 2015

Nestle’s Bulcke Optimistic About Growth, But Warns Country About Pay Limits

In an interview with a Swiss newspaper, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke said the company will stick to its medium- to long-term growth targets of five to six percent in a tough market environment. But he also warned that the company might leave Switzerland if the country imposes limits on executive pay and immigration that hamper staffing decisions. Referendum votes in Switzerland in 2013 and 2014 that urged immigration quotas and ceilings on executive compensation constitute threats to business, Bulcke said. But similar recent votes that failed indicate “wisdom is returning.”

"Nestlé CEO says won't revise targets, leaves board move open –paper", Reuters, December 12, 2015

Unilever Expected To Appoint Leena Nair As Global HR Boss, Reports Say

Unilever is reportedly set to announce the appointment of Leena Nair as its global chief human resources manager. Should the appointment become final, Nair would replace Douglas Baillie, highlighting a growing trend among the world’s top multinationals of grooming Indians as their global HR managers. Since joining Hindustan Unilever as a summer trainee in 1992, Nair has made a number of significant achievements, including becoming one of the first women managers to choose a factory stint, becoming the first woman on HUL’s management committee, and the company’s youngest executive director eight years ago.

"Unilever likely to name Leena Nair as its global HR chief", Economic Times, December 15, 2015

The top 17 food brands millennials love

Business Insider, November 29, 2015

Fortune’s Blue Ribbon Companies 2015

Fortune , December 15, 2015

Unilever Names Two New Directors

Tempo.co, December 16, 2015

Market News  

Merger Of Dow And DuPont Would Create Three Independent Companies

An all-stock “merger of equals” – massive chemical firms Dow and DuPont – would lead to the creation of three independent, global publicly-held companies. The new entities would include a pure-play agriculture company, a pure-play material science company; and a specialty products company. The combined company would be called DowDuPont and have a total market cap of about $130 billion. According to Dow and DuPont, the new agriculture company will unite the current seed and crop protection businesses. The new specialty products company will include DuPont’s nutrition and health, industrial biosciences, safety & protection and electronics & communications businesses, as well as the Dow electronic materials business.

"DuPont and Dow to Merge", Nutraceuticals World, December 14, 2015

Wheat Farmers To Benefit From Ardent Mills' Organic Acreage Initiative

Banking on continuing strong demand for organic wheat-based products, food ingredient company Ardent Mills has launched an initiative to help wheat farmers double their organic acreage within three years while providing them a “robust supply chain.” Demand for organic wheat flour is growing not only among consumers, but also among restaurants and food companies. Ardent calls this a “significant opportunity for growers” to take advantage of an emerging market and add value to their wheat production by becoming organically certified. Ardent has been selling organic wheat flour since 1996.

"Ardent Mills to Help Farmers Double U.S. Organic Wheat Acres by 2019", News release, Ardent Mills, December 15, 2015

Kellogg's future isn't about cereal anymore

Business Insider UK, December 09, 2015

Weetabix unveils ‘Weetabix Protein’

The Food & Drink Innovation Network, December 21, 2015

Marketing & Advertising  

Weight Watchers Hopes New Strategy Will Help It Gain Members And Revenue

The 52-year-old Weight Watchers diet company, which has experienced a steady slide in members, sales, and stock price, has figured out that though middle-aged women want to lose weight, they want to do it by lifestyle change, rather than deprivation. So, with Oprah Winfrey’s money and advice, that is what the company is now providing. Instead of a diet plan, Weight Watchers has launched “Beyond the Scale,” a program offering revamped food guidelines, a focus on fitness, and motivational tools to “find and fuel inner strength.” The new program has worked so far for Oprah, who has lost 20 pounds since her $43 million investment. The company hopes it works for itself, too, but in reverse. It needs to gain back the 1.4 million members – and several billion dollars in revenue – lost since 2013.

"Weight Watchers’ Plan: Don’t Call It a ‘Diet’", The Wall Street Journal, December 06, 2015

Retail Industry Is Experiencing A Quiet, But Profound, Makeover

Transformative new technologies, hotter and more exotic restaurant spices, and major shifts in food and consumer goods buying patterns will be the key themes in retail in 2016, according to experts. Restaurants will exploit the Sriracha hot sauce phenomenon with ever spicier concoctions, but also with more exotic ones: Indian ghost pepper from India, Southeast Asian sambal, Korean gochujang, and North Africa’s harissa, sumac and dukka. Millennials are gravitating away from status-badge consumer goods toward unique brands from niche and specialty retailers. Consumers can expect to see ever wider implementation of mobile wallet schemes that make the checkout experience super-fast. And brick-and-mortar stores, including grocers, will adapt dynamic pricing technologies – used routinely online – that allow prices to be changed quickly depending on demand, inventory levels and sell-by dates.

"From secret entrances to the next Sriracha, here’s what experts predict will be hot in retail in 2016", The Washington Post, December 24, 2015

Big food firms are climate smart but social media stupid

FOODnavigator-USA.com, December 11, 2015

Starbucks is 2015 Mobile Retailer of the Year

Mobile Commerce Daily, December 22, 2015

Announcing the 2015 Mobile Marketer Awards

Mobile Marketer, December 24, 2015

Nestle India eyes double digit growth for Maggi noodles

The Economic Times, December 28, 2015

Products & Brands  

E. Coli Outbreak May Sabotage Chipotle’s “Buy Local” Tradition

Thanks to a severe E. coli outbreak, Chipotle Mexican Grill is making some major changes in its supply chain practices that could adversely affect its seven-year-old “buy local” commitment. The outbreak, whose cause has not been pinpointed, sickened 43 people and led to the temporary closing of restaurants in six states for deep cleaning. The health scare has hurt the company’s stock price, which dropped 11 percent in October and 9.5 percent in November, and slowed sales. In response, Chipotle has tightened safety standards, especially ingredients testing, for produce suppliers. Smaller local suppliers may not be able to meet the elevated standards, the company acknowledged, putting a crimp in its promise of using food grown locally.

"Chipotle Tightens Standards Amid E. Coli Outbreak, Putting Buy-Local Pledge in Jeopardy", Bloomberg Business, December 03, 2015

Upgrade Of U.K. Ice Cream Factory Boosts Production, Reduces Carbon Footprint

The U.K.’s R&R Ice Cream has upgraded its Leeming Bar factory in North Yorkshire that boosts production capacity by more than 20 percent. The $37 million renovation of the factory results in 22 production lines that will produce about 250 million liters of ice cream annually. Effluent treatment capacity will increase by 150 percent to 1.5 million liters a day. The 30,000 tons of waste produced at the plant will be used at a local anaerobic digester producing biomethane for a gas network. The factory produces R&R’s brands Cadbury, Fab, Oreo, Rowntrees and Yoomoo, and own label products for other major U.K. companies.

"R&R Ice Cream completes £25m update at Leeming Bar factory", The Grocer, December 22, 2015

Announcing the 2015 Mobile Marketer Awards

Mobile Marketer, December 24, 2015


What’s Hot In The Whole Foods Market Crystal Ball Of Food Trends

Joining other end-of-year clairvoyants of the comestibles industry, Whole Foods Market experts have created a list of hot trends to keep an eye on in 2016 (and look for on Whole Foods shelves). At the top is uncommon protein sources, including ”once-overlooked” meat cuts like sirloin top, pork T-bone chop and Denver steaks, and seafood like farmed paiche and wild-caught blue catfish. The availability of these exotic fish will ease pressure on salmon, tuna, and shrimp. Other key trends: wine in a can, plant-based ingredients (like quinoa protein) in hair care products, fermented foods and products, non-GMO-fed verified foods, non-tomato heirloom products, alternative and wheat-free flours, and lots of bizarre flavors from Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.

"Whole Foods Market Experts Forecast Top 10 Food Trends For 2016", News release, Whole Foods Market, December 21, 2015

No More Advertising Nesquik As Nutritious For Kids, Britain’s ASA Orders Nestle

The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority has forced Nestlé to drop ads for its Nesquik flavored drink powders that tout it as a “great start to the day” and nutritious for children. At the request of the Children’s Food Campaign, the ASA specifically banned Nesquik bunny ads that promote a product to children that is loaded with sugar (11 g, or 23 g when served with a cup of milk). Nestlé acknowledges the bunny ads appeal to children, but the message is to eat a balanced diet. The ASA has supported Nesquik’s nutritional claims in the past, but anti-sugar trends have begun to hold sway. The Nesquik ads were found on Asda’s house milk bottles.

"Nestlé can no longer claim Nesquik is a ‘great start to the day’ following ASA ruling", The Drum, December 23, 2015

Intelligence Report: Social Platforms 2015

L2 Think Tank, December 21, 2015

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