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Period: October 1, 2020 to November 15, 2020
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

Danone Adds Management Positions, Begins Review Of Portfolio

Determined to stick to its strategic goal of three to five percent profitable growth in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the Paris-based food and beverage company is creating two new “macro-regional” chief executive officers, a new chief operating officer, and a new chief financial officer. Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant were appointed macro-regional chief executive officers of Danone International and Danone North America, respectively. Henri Bruxelles was appointed COO of end-to-end design to delivery, a new position. Cecile Cabanis will retire as executive vice-president of finance, technology and data, cycles, and procurement in February 2021, and will be replaced by Juergen Esser, CFO of Danone’s Waters and Africas divisions. The company will also begin a review of assets where performance is not aligned with the rest of the business. The review will start with the company’s operations in Argentina and the Vega brand. 

"Danone making management changes, conducting portfolio review", Food Business News, October 19, 2020

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Soy Sauce Maker Kikkoman Works With Coca-Cola To Create Dashi-Based Beverage

Coca-Cola Japan and Kikkoman have partnered to deliver a ready-to-drink dashi-based beverage served in a can. Dashi is a cooking stock used in Japanese dishes like noodles and the savory pancakes known as okonomiyaki. Go: Good Mmm! Delicious Japanese Dashi is basically a canned serving of dashi, whose recipe was developed by Japanese food manufacturer Kikkoman. It contains bonito, kelp, and flying fish extract to deliver an umami-flavored beverage. The drink, which can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, will be released with a re-release of its predecessors in the Go: Good line: canned corn potage, shrimp bisque, and minestrone soup drinks. 

"Coca-Cola and Kikkoman team up for canned 'dashi' drink", Japan Today, October 11, 2020

Finance, Economics, Tax  

Nestlé SA Says Online Sales Are Strong And Growing

The Swiss multinational says e-commerce sales, driven by COVID-19, increased 48 percent over the first nine months of the fiscal year to reach 12.3 percent of total company sales, up from 8.5 percent in the same time of the previous year. CEO Ulf Mark Schneider said the results indicate that Nestlé is “coming of age” in the digital era of food and beverage, thanks mostly to health concerns brought on by the pandemic. Out-of-home sales, which accounted for about 10 percent of total Nestlé sales before COVID-19, decreased 31 percent. The slide moderated to 26 percent in the third quarter from 55 percent in the second quarter. CFO Francois-Xavier Roger, noting that coffee, pet care, nutrition, and water are most suited to online buying, said Nestlé’s online sales are largely from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, China, and Japan. Nestlé also upgraded its fiscal-year guidance to about three percent organic sales growth from about two percent.

"Nestlé’s e-commerce sales now make up 12 percent of total sales", Food Business News, October 22, 2020

People & Personalities  

Reorganization Initiative Touches Coca-Cola India Businesses

Coca-Cola’s wide-ranging reorganization initiative recently touched its Coca-Cola India, South West Asia operations, including its Indian bottling arm, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd. Along with a flurry of middle management shuffling, the company appointed Neeraj Garg, president of the West Africa Business Unit, as the CEO of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), replacing Christina Ruggiero as of January 1.  Ruggiero was appointed president of Central Operations, North America Operating Unit. 

"Neeraj Garg appointed new CEO of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages", The Hindu Business Line, October 10, 2020

Products & Brands  

Conagra Brands To Showcase New Snacks At NACS Virtual Showroom

The Chicago-based branded food company says it will showcase a hefty list of new meat snacks, seeds, salty snacks, popcorn, and sweet treats in its virtual showroom at the online 2020 “Crack The Code Experience,” sponsored by the National Association of Convenience Stores. Conagra will also feature a selection of merchandising vehicles for convenience stores designed to optimize assortment, placement, and product visibility to spur impulse purchase. An example is the Slim Jim Countertop Caddy Stand Fixture, sized to place at checkout. Among the products to be spotlighted at the virtual showroom are several new flavors and sizes of meat sticks, sausages, and meat jerky; a plant-based jerky; sunflower seeds in new flavors; beer battered onion rings; juicy gels candy; and new varieties of kettle corn and microwave popcorn. 

"Conagra Brands Brings Big Flavor, Bold Protein Snacks Innovation To Virtual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) 'Crack The Code Experience'", PR Newswire, November 02, 2020


Research Suggests Breakfast Cereals Are Getting A Reputation Makeover

Breakfast cereal, long in decline as consumers turned to lower-carb, less processed breakfast foods,  is shaking free from some of its negative stereotypes as consumers look for relief from pandemic-related pressures. The research from General Mills found that these pressures include balancing tighter budgets due to lost jobs, maintaining family health in a time of spreading coronavirus, and preparing every meal at home. When the pandemic forced consumers to reduce the frequency of grocery trips, many people gave shelf-stable options – like cereal – a second look. More than half of the survey respondents (55 percent) said cereal was their children’s top choice for breakfast and one that many parents are confident offering to ensure their families consumed essential key vitamins and minerals. And many cereals now provide whole grain and fiber.

"Cereal shakes off negative stereotypes as the pandemic reshuffles consumer priorities", FoodNavigator-USA.com, October 29, 2020

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