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Period: October 1, 2018 to November 1, 2018
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

Hershey Rolls Out New Omnichannel That Blurs Online and Offline

Hershey Co. has a ‘digital’ strategy that is centered on four components, search, content, conversion, and community. It is designed to enhance the company’s competitive advantage and help it succeed in the emerging omnichannel marketplace and holds that there is no offline and online division, but rather a continuum between the two. The initial goal is to convert a purchase, but the long-term goal is repeat purchases and to earn a place on the consumers digital shopping list. Hershey is also experimenting with digital impulse sales.  

"Inside Hershey’s digital strategy", Food Business News, August 30, 2018

Land O’Lakes Launches Digital Tool To Help Farmers Get More Sustainable

Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN is to launch Truterra Insights Engine, an interactive digital platform to help farmers and food companies measure their sustainability in real time. The platform combines agronomic expertise and technical capabilities from several contributors, including the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and combined with other tools can help farmers measure the economic and environmental benefits of their sustainability efforts. It also helps them identify farm management options. The company claims Truterra Insights Engine is better suited to farmers since it was created by a farmer-owned cooperative.

"Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN debuts first-of-its-kind digital platform to support farmer-led stewardship", PR Newswire, September 24, 2018

McDonald’s Removes Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, Colors From Menu Items

Hoping to attract more health-conscious consumers to its restaurants, McDonald's is getting rid of the artificial ingredients in its menu items. Seven classic burgers – the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and Big Mac – will no longer contain artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. The changes apply to the bun, the cheese, and the sauce, but not to the pickles. Ingredients eliminated include the artificial preservative calcium propionate from buns and the preservative sorbic acid from its American cheese. Th company is also removing potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and calcium disodium EDTA from the Big Mac Special Sauce without "sacrificing that signature taste."

"McDonald's removing artificial additives from its burgers", CNN Money, September 27, 2018

Starbucks Is Getting Ready To Build A New Standalone Princi Bakery In Seattle

Starbucks has filed a site plan with Seattle’s construction and inspection department for a $1.1 million, 40-seat second standalone Princi bakery. A 231-square-foot outdoor patio would hold an additional 15 seats. Besides the first standalone bakery,  Princi operates two bakeries in the city within a Roastery and Starbucks headquarters. Standalone Princi bakeries are centered around the ovens that make fresh pastries and pizza onsite throughout the day. The menu also offers baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, cornetti sandwiches, focaccia sandwiches, and Italian cakes, tarts and other desserts. The new bakery would be the third standalone Princi in the U.S.

"Records reveal Starbucks is planning a second stand-alone Princi in Seattle", Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, Washington), September 27, 2018

Nestlé USA Forms New Partnerships With Innovative Food Start-Ups

Nestlé USA announced three new partnerships with innovative food start-ups as part of the TERRA Food & Agriculture Accelerator founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank. The partnerships are with with Jackson's Honest, Miyoko's and Here, each of which is “creating on-trend foods focused on plant-based nutrition, simple labels and fresh ingredients.” Chicago-based Here Foods turns fresh produce ingredients grown by independent farmers into products like cold-pressed juices, spreads, dips, and salad dressings. Jackson’s Honest sells more than 20 Non-GMO Project verified snacks, including potato chips, tortilla chips, and grain-free puffs cooked “low and slow” in organic coconut oil. Miyoko Creamery makes non-dairy cheese, butter, and other products from organic nuts, legumes, and other plant-based ingredients.

"Nestlé USA Partners with Start-ups Disrupting the Healthy Snacking and Plant-based Foods Categories", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018

Fast-food, Restaurant Chains Wooing Millennials Spurn Processed Cheese

Fast-food and fast-casual restaurant chains bowing to the demands of the Millennial generation are spurning the century-old sandwich favorite processed American cheese – made with sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, natamycin, modified food starch, and milk – in favor of premium cheeses that contain no synthetic or artificial ingredients. Wendy’s, for example, offers asiago, AW's Canada locations use real cheddar, McDonald's replaced its Big Mac American cheese with a version that contains no artificial preservatives, and Panera Bread is now using a four-cheese combo of fontina, cheddar, manteau and smoked gouda to make its grilled cheese sandwich. The result is higher sales for the restaurants, and a significant drop in American cheese sales for the fourth straight year. U.S. sales of processed cheese, including brands like Kraft Singles and Velveeta are projected to drop 1.6 percent this year.

"Millennials Kill Again. The Latest Victim? American Cheese", Bloomberg, October 10, 2018

Target Is Testing App That Highlights Foods Nearing “Best Used By” Dates That Sell At A Discount

A Canadian start-up that developed a food waste app is being tested at select Target stores in the Midwest and with the Loblaw (Canada) grocery chain. The Flashfood app pinpoints food close to the "best used by" or expiration dates so that users can pay via the app and then pick up the deeply discounted food at the store. Flashfood takes a cut of each sale. Stores benefit by selling food that would otherwise be tossed into the dumpster, and consumers benefit by getting lower-priced food that is still perfectly edible. Target’s goal is to reduce overall retail waste by 70 percent by 2020, and is moving forward with strategies that include waste-stream audits and an in-store tracking program to prevent wasted food at some of their stores,

"App aimed at cutting food waste wins pilot at select Target stores", Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 21, 2018

Market News  

New Coca-Cola Vegetable Juice Tops List Of New Product Debuts

Coca-Cola will introduce a tomato juice blend into the convenience store channel early in 2019. Minute Maid Tomato Juice Blend – a mixture of tomato, carrot, celery, cucumber, and beet juices – joined several other new Coca-Cola products unveiled at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show in Las Vegas. The company also showcased a cold-brew coffee, Far Coast, due to hit store shelves in January in three flavors: Single Source Ethiopian, Signature Blend - Latin America and Café con Leche - in resealable aluminum bottles. Other unveilings: smartwater alkaline and smartwater antioxidant; a fruit juice puree “snack” dubbed Simply Smoothie in three flavors; and Sprite Lymonade (lemon-lime flavor) set to launch in February.

"The Coca-Cola Co unveils vegetable juice as new products put in spotlight", just-drinks.com, October 11, 2018

Fairlife Debuts RTD Milk-Based Smart Snacks

Dairy milk beverage producer Fairlife has launched a line of RTD between-meal smart snacks made with Fairlife ultra-filtered milk. The milk is cold-filtered to remove lactose, but provides 50 percent more protein and 50 percent less sugar than regular milk. The milk snacks, available in chocolate, French vanilla, and creamy strawberry, contain calcium plus 15 grams of protein and five grams of dietary fiber in an eight-ounce (8-oz) bottle. No artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, and no artificial colors fare used. Smart snacks are available in select Walmart stores, on Amazon.com, and with limited distribution nationwide. The suggested retail price is $2.29 for a single serve eight-ounce bottle and $24.99 for a multipack of 12. In partnership with The Coca-Cola company, Fairlife ultra-filtered milk and Core Power high protein shakes are distributed in the U.S. and Canada.

"Fairlife Satisfies Snack Cravings with Launch of Fairlife smart snacks", PR Newswire, October 17, 2018


Coke CEO Sheds Day-To-Day Duties To Focus On The Big Picture

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey is handing over day-to-day management duties to newly-named chief operating officer and 21-year Coke veteran Brian Smith, 62. He will also take on the title of president, which is held by Quincey. The promotion will take effect in January. The company also named new chief financial officer John Murphy, Asia-Pacific president, who will replace Kathy Waller, 60, in March. The management moves will permit Quincey to focus on the company’s overall strategic direction as more consumers shun sugary soft drinks. Chief Technical Officer Ed Hays, who is retiring in March, will be replaced by Nancy Quan, who holds the same post for Coke’s North America division.

"Coca-Cola makes new appointments in management shake-up", The Financial Times , October 18, 2018

Products & Brands  

Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola On Shortlist In Bidding For GSK Consumer Portfolio

As negotiations for the Indian GlaxoSmith-Kline nutrition portfolio, including Horlicks, begin to heat up, Nestlé, Unilever and Coca-Cola are among companies shortlisted for a second round of bidding. Other food and drinks companies that have shown interest in the auction include PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, General Mills, Danone, and Kellogg’s, as well as India’s ITC and private equity buyout funds like KKR. It’s not clear how many bidders are still in the running. 

"Coke, Nestlé for second round in Horlicks race ", The Economic Times, October 01, 2018


Australian Coca-Cola Unit Commits To Full Recyclability By 2025

Australia’a Coca-Cola Amatil has promised that all bottles, cans, plastic wrapping, glass, and cardboard will be fully recyclable by 2025 and compliant with the National Packaging Targets announced by Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price. The company will also focus on removing unnecessary single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the implementation of recycled alternatives. The recently announced packaging targets include 70 percent of Australia’s plastic packaging to be recycled or composted by 2025 and 30 percent of packaging to be made from recycled content.

"Coca-Cola Amatil to make all packaging recyclable by 2025", Packaging Gateway, September 28, 2018

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