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Start-Up Snack Company Debuts Flagship Product Made From Sprouted Almonds

June 23, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Calif.-based plant-based snack start-up AKA Snacks has launched its flagship sprouted almonds product. Palmonds are soy–free, gluten–free, dairy–free, paleo, and vegan, made from sprouted – not roasted – almonds that are dehydrated and flavored with organic spices, coconut sugar, and coconut aminos, a condiment typically used as a savory alternative to soy sauce. Palmonds, which deliver 10 grams of plant–based protein per serving, are available in salty sweet, cinnamon sugar, sweet barbecue, and spicy nacho flavors, each containing between 250 and 280 calories. AKA Snacks is named for founder and CEO Ashley Kathleen Allyn, who created the brand after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.[Image Credit: © AKA Snacks]
Rebekah Schouten, "New plant–based snack company launches its first product", Food Business News, June 23, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Three Wishes Adds Cocoa Flavor To Line Of Plant-Based Breakfast Cereals

June 23, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
New York City-based Three Wishes cereals, founded in October 2019 by a husband-and-wife entrepreneurial team, has launched a new flavor, cocoa, which joins cinnamon, honey, and unsweetened flavors. Three Wishes cereals are high protein (eight grams per serving) and low sugar (three grams from monkfruit and cane sugar). The grain-free breakfast cereals are made with chickpeas, pea protein, and tapioca, are gluten–free, and free from wheat, dairy, soy, oats, corn, rice and peanuts. The cereals are available on the company website and on Amazon, and in select retailers across the country. [Image Credit: © Three Wishes]
"Three Wishes Cereal Launches New Cocoa Flavor, Original 1971 Willy Wonka Cast is Obsessed", PR Newswire, June 23, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Blake’s Seed Based Broadens Market Reach Beyond People With Food Allergies

June 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Chicago-based snack company Blake's Seed Based’s niche market is consumers with food allergies who need snack bars free from the top eight allergens. It’s a big market: more than 32 million people in the U.S. live with food allergies, 90 percent of whom are affected by the top eight allergens. But company founder Blake Sorenson is positioning his company to attract more than people with food allergies, so he is now focusing marketing on the general health benefits of seeds, while appealing to those looking for an alternative to nut–based and granola bars. Consumers are getting more savvy about seeds, which "are still trending," says Sorensen, and his seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and flax) pack a lot of nutrition per serving (i.e., healthy fats, protein, and fiber). Launched as an online brand, the products can now be found in 1,000 brick–and–mortar stores nationally, often positioned next to category giants such as KIND. Still, the new pandemic-driven stay-at-home lifestyle has forced the company to rethink and strengthen its Direct-to-Consumer marketing strategy: it is building a new website to reflect the change in course.[Image Credit: © Blake's Seed Based]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Blake's Seed Based founder: 'It s important that we re not just an allergen brand'", FoodNavigator–USA.com, June 17, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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As The Pandemic Grinds On, Coke Believes Even More Strongly in Innovation

June 16, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is committed to innovation as a growth engine, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic. By staying local, by reacting quickly to developments, by staying tuned to consumer needs, and by determining “what behaviors are short-term versus those that may stick” as the pandemic drags on, the company will be able to turn challenges into opportunities. An example is hygiene, a particular concern of consumers now. "Building touchless solutions in the away-from-home channel is a big opportunity we need to tap into,” says Coca-Cola CFO John Murphy. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, Coca-Cola vending machines have started to accept bitcoin to reduce the number of contacts consumers need with the machine. [Image Credit: © The Coca Cola Company]
Rachel Arthur , "What does innovation look like in a coronavirus era? Coca-Cola reveals its strategy", Beverage Daily, June 16, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestlé Health Science To Buy Majority Stake In Vital Proteins

June 10, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Nutritional science company Nestlé Health Science (NHSc) announced it will acquire a majority stake in Chicago-based Vital Proteins, a collagen brand and lifestyle/wellness platform offering supplements, beverages, and food products. Vital Proteins will continue to operate as a standalone business, but will become part of the Nestlé Health Science portfolio, giving it access to “a variety of resources to scale their reach and innovation in pursuit of global wellness.” Vital Proteins has 150 SKUs across 35,000 retail stores in North America and Europe, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walgreens, and Kroger. NHSc said Vital Proteins’ products complement its own vitamin, mineral, supplement, and wellness brands, including Atrium Innovations, Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations, and Persona. Founder and CEO Kurt Seidensticker will remain the head of the company. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé Health Science agrees to acquire majority stake in Vital Proteins", Nestlé, June 10, 2020, © Nestlé
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CCEP Q1 Revenue Declines Four Percent

April 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners plc (CCEP) reported that FY 2020 first quarter revenue slid four percent from a year ago to $2.7 million. Challenging comparables, some customer disruption due to a planned pricing strategy, and the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all played a part in driving comparable volumes for the period down four percent. Revenue per unit case increased 1.5 percent, thanks to favorable price and promotions offset by negative channel and pack mix. The company is reducing discretionary spending in trade marketing, promotions, merchandising, incentives, seasonal labor, travel, and meetings, representing a potential fiscal year cost reduction of $218 million to $272 million. CCEP is also delaying some discretionary capital expenditure, resulting in a 2020 capex of about $381 million.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"Coca-Cola European Partners Q1 Revenue Down 4 percent - Quick Facts", Nasdaq, April 28, 2020, © Nasdaq, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Company
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Europe

COVID-19 Bashes Coca-Cola Global Sales Volumes

April 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola reported flat first quarter revenues as global sales volumes slid 25 percent this month due to COVID-19 disruption. Q1 revenues were $8.6 billion, one percent less than the same period last year. Operating income declined by two percent to $2.38 billion. Unit case volumes of sparkling soft drinks declined two percent in the quarter, while juice, dairy and plant-based beverages were down six percent and tea and coffee volume declined six percent. The company said that volume at the end of February was growing by three percent – excluding China – and was on track to achieve its full-year 2020 targets. But disruption due to COVID-19 in global markets from March significantly impacted sales, as social distancing measures and quarantine orders were put in place by governments around the world.  The company expects continued reduction in away-from-home activity will have a “significant impact on second-quarter results.”[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Martin White, "Coca-Cola sales volume declines 25 percent in April due to COVID-19 impact", FoodBev Media , April 21, 2020, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Company
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European Corn/Rice Miller Invests In Two-Year-Old Vegan Snack Start-Up

March 25, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
British snack company Cheeky P’s, which markets a line of vegan, gluten-free, protein- and fiber-rich ”beer snacks” made from roasted chickpeas, has secured an investment from European dry corn and rice miller Dacsa. The two-year-old company, founded by a brother-and-sister team originally from Malaysia, has also nailed down distribution deals with companies like Epicurium, which supplies health stores, convenience stores, farm shops, and pubs around the U.K. Co-founder Gregory Goh said the fresh cash would enable it to extend its product portfolio, grow the team, and expand to more international markets. Dacsa, a rice producer in Spain and Portugal, has nine production plants in six European locations.
"Vegan snack company gets financial backing", March 25, 2020
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Einstein Bros.’s New Bagel-Burrito Mash-Up Launches Nationwide

February 25, 2020: 12:00 AM EST


Colorado-based Einstein Bros. Bagels has launched nationwide a bagel and burrito mash-up dubbed the Bagelrito after testing it successfully at five locations in the Denver area last October. The "big, bold and easy to hold" Bagelrito is made with two cage-free eggs, thick-cut bacon, turkey sausage, three cheeses, hash browns, salsa, and green chilies in a flour tortilla hand-wrapped in Asiago bagel dough and baked fresh. Einstein Bros. Bagels has more than 700 locations in 40 states and the District of Columbia. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Einstein Bros. Bagels]
"After Bagelrito Test Market Frenzy, Einstein Bros. Bagels Launches Ultimate Breakfast Mash-Up Nationwide", PR Newswire, February 25, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Sara Lee Frozen To Acquire Cyrus O’Leary’s Pies

February 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Sara Lee Frozen Bakery announced a definitive agreement to acquire Spokane, Wash.-based Cyrus O'Leary's Pies, known for its signature line of premium quality pies, The company started as a restaurant in 1981 and grew to a nationally distributed gourmet pie brand. Baked with made-from-scratch ingredients, Cyrus O'Leary's fruit and cream pies have earned a national reputation, winning 168 first place awards at the National Pie Championships over the past 20 years. Acquisition of the pie company is the most recent step in Sara Lee Frozen Bakery's plan to expand their presence in the in-store bakery (ISB) category that began with the acquisition of Superior Cake Products, Inc., in August 2019.[Image Credit: © Sara Lee Frozen Bakery]
"Sara Lee Frozen Bakery Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Cyrus O'Leary's Pies", Business Wire, February 24, 2020, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Barilla’s Protein+ Pastas Are Now Made 100 Percent From Plant-Based Ingredients

February 20, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Pasta company Barilla Group announced its Protein+ line is now made entirely with plant-based ingredients, specifically semolina durum wheat mixed with protein from lentils, chickpeas, and peas.  new recipe removes the egg whites from the formula, while maintaining the same great taste and "al dente" texture of traditional semolina pasta, the company says. The new formula includes shorter cook times to achieve al dente texture for all seven varieties: spaghetti, angel hair, thin spaghetti, farfalle, penne, elbows, and rotini. Protein+ pastas have the same amount of protein per serving (10g/2oz serving) as before, but now derived from plant-based sources. The pastas, a good source of iron, thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, and niacin, are non-GMO project certified, vegan-certified, and kosher.[Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Barilla]
"Barilla Reformulates Protein+ Line", PR Newswire, February 20, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Innovation Helping General Mills Advance In An Improving Cereal Market

February 20, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Successful cereal innovations are helping General Mills grow and take market share. In the first half of fiscal 2020 the company had five of the top six cereal launches in the United States and it continues with new launches. It has introduced Trix Trolls cereal and is experimenting with premium products such as its Morning Summit cereal that has almonds as a first ingredient and retails for $13 a box in the club channel. CEO Jeffrey L. Harmening said its fiscal year-to-date retail sales were up 2% on the back of “innovation, great marketing and excellent in-store execution”. He pointed to compelling marketing ideas such as its Cheerios heart health campaign and Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Cinnaverse campaign as examples of combining meaningful innovation with smart marketing. In broader comments, Harmening believes the US cereal market is improving and no longer declining, supported by improving macro and demographic trends with a return to growth in the number of households with kids and a stabilization in breakfast eaten-at-home versus away-from-home.
"General Mills cereal strategy centered on compelling innovation", February 20, 2020
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Sale Of Keebler Snack Business Puts A Dent In Kellogg’s 4th Quarter And 2020 Outlook

February 6, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Shares of packaged-food company Kellogg have rebounded from a pummelling earlier this month when investors expressed disappointment with the company’s latest financial results and the 2020 outlook. Fourth-quarter earnings were $0.42 a share, compared with a loss of $0.24 a year earlier. But for the full year, Kellogg earned $2.80 a share, down from $3.83 a share, blaiming it on one-time charges and the impact of the 2019 $1.3 billion sale of its Keebler snack business. In addition, the company’s 2020 outlook failed to live up to analysts' expectations, sending shares lower. As the company pivots away from its iconic cereal business, whose sales have been soft especially in developed markets such as the U.S., it has been putting more emphasis on snacks and emerging markets. The company’s guidance for the current fiscal year includes an organic net sales increase of 1-2 percent versus last year, below the 2.1 percent Wells Fargo Securities had expected. Many were expecting more than two percent. Last year, organic net sales increased 1.9 percent.[Image Credit: © KELLOGG Company]
Lawrence C. Strauss, "Kellogg Is Tumbling Because Its 2020 Outlook Is Soft", Barron’s, February 06, 2020, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Reporting Strong FY 2019 Revenue Growth, Coke CEO Says “The Right Strategies” Are In Place

January 31, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s organic revenue in fiscal 2019 grew six percent – two points ahead of the initial forecast and at the top end of the company’s long-term growth model. Revenue growth was three percent in North America, 13 percent in Latin America, and five percent in both Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia. Net income attributable to shareowners of Coca-Cola was $8,920 million, or $2.09 a share, a 39 percent increase from $6,434 million, or $1.51 per share, in the previous year. “We see the right strategies taking hold,” CEO James Quincey said, “supported by the right partners, underpinned by a growing and vibrant industry, but we’re just getting started.” CFO John Murphy said the company expects to achieve results well within its long-term growth targets for revenue, profit, and earnings per share for 2020, despite a projected “mild currency headwind.” Investment bank Morgan Stanley said the company offers a “clearly superior” long-term growth outlook versus its consumer product goods peers. Quincey said it is too early to tell what the long-term impact of the coronavirus will be in China, but Coca-Cola has shut down some offices and factories and is supporting the Chinese government as it deals with the crisis.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Jeff Gelski, "Coca-Cola’s organic revenue growth exceeds expectations", Food Business News, January 31, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Nestlé To Implement Nutri-Score Labeling In Five European Countries

November 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced that it will use the voluntary front-of-pack scheme that classifies foods and beverages according to their nutritional profile in five European countries beginning next year. The color-coded Nutri-Score nutrition labeling system – the scale ranges from A (healthier choices) to E (less healthy choices) – will be implemented across brands of its wholly-owned businesses over two years. More than 5,000 products in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland will be relabeled. Cereal Partners Worldwide, the international breakfast venture between Nestlé and General Mills, will also implement Nutri-Score on its product packaging in the same countries.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé announces industry-leading push to use Nutri-Score in Europe", Nestlé, November 26, 2019, © Nestlé
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Coca-Cola Honored For Corporate Transparency

October 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola was recently awarded the top honor for overall corporate transparency in the first edition of the U.S. Transparency Awards that recognize publicly traded companies for the effectiveness of corporate disclosures. such as annual proxy statements, form 10-Ks, and investor relations websites of companies on the S&P 250. "It’s a huge honor to be recognized for the transparency of our disclosure, said Tim Leveridge, investor relations officer at Coca-Cola. BlackRock Inc. came in second, while Southern Company was recognized for the best proxy statement award, AIG for best form 10-K, and Altria Group for the best investor relations website.[Image Credit: © Transparency Award]
"Coca-Cola Wins U.S. Corporate Transparency Award", Coca-Cola , October 22, 2019, © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
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Coca-Cola’s 3rd Q Revenue Up 8.3 Percent Over A Year Ago, Driven By Coke Zero Sugar

October 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s third quarter profit of $9.51 billion largely met analyst expectations, but its reported revenues were 8.3 percent higher than in the same quarter a year ago. The revenue increase is attributed to the strong demand for sugar-free drinks like the Coke Zero Sugar line and for smaller (7.5-ounce) cans, but also for Coca-Cola Plus Coffee and core sparkling soft drink brands. Coke Zero Sugar turned in its eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit volume growth globally. The company reported three percent organic sales growth in North America and Asia Pacific, as well as four percent in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. The best sales performance was in Latin America, up 14 percent on an organic basis. Healthy performance was reported in Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, launched in more than 20 markets, and in Coke Energy, available in at least 25 countries with a U.S. launch set for January. The company expects “at least five percent growth in organic revenues” for all of 2019.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Emma Upshall, "Coke Zero Sugar driving Coca-Cola revenue growth of 8 percent", FoodBev Media , October 21, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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PureCycle Technologies Is Recycling Polypropylene At Scale

September 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Only 3% of polypropylene is recycled in the US, but that might soon change. It’s currently difficult to recycle, and its use as recycled content is limited, but John Layman, a Procter & gamble chemist, has been working on a way to purify it at a molecular level. The result, he claims, is clear and nontoxic pellets, with no odor, which can be turned into bottles that use a fraction of the energy needed for virgin polypropylene. P&G has licensed the technology via a startup called PureCycle Technologies, which ran the process at commercial scale in July this year. The company has signed deals with a number of manufacturers, including Nestlé and L’Oréal, as well as P&G, and has presold over 20 years of output from the capacity of its first plant. It aims to rollout the technology elsewhere in the US, and also Europe. The plant has been able to successfully recycle polypropylene used in almost every application, with the focus currently on recycling the polypropylene from old carpets.[Image Credit: © Monfocus from Pixabay]
Emily Chasan, "There’s Finally a Way to Recycle the Plastic in Shampoo and Yogurt Packaging ", MSN, September 26, 2019, © Bloomberg L.P.
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PepsiCo Outlines Progress On Plastics In Its 2018 Sustainability Report

September 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The 2018 Sustainability Report from PepsiCo highlights progress on its sustainability goals, including updates on plastic waste reduction. PepsiCo announced a new target for virgin plastic: “to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content across its beverage portfolio by 2025”. It also aims to use 25% recycled content in plastic packaging in the same timeframe, and 50% in plastic bottles within the European Union by 2030. From 2020, LIFEWTR® will be sold in 100% recycled plastic bottles in the U.S., and bubly™ will be sold in aluminum. PepsiCo also aims to avoid the use of 67 million single-use plastic bottles by 2025 through its "Beyond the Bottle" initiative, and especially the SodaStream® business.[Image Credit: © PepsiCo]
"PepsiCo Releases 2018 Sustainability Report Highlighting Progress and A Renewed Focus To Help Build A More Sustainable Food System", PepsiCo , September 24, 2019, © PepsiCo
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Nestlé Introduces Nutritional Beverage For Cancer Patients Dealing With Side Effects Of Treatment

September 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

N.J.-based Nestlé Health Science has launched a nutritional drink targeted at cancer patients. BOOST Soothe clear nutritional drink provides protein and calories as well as “a cooling, soothing effect” to help cancer patients get needed nutrition while dealing with certain side effects of cancer treatment, including oral discomfort and taste changes. Up to 80 percent of patients may experience sore mouth or mucositis during cancer treatment; 46-77 percent of patients receiving chemotherapy report changes in taste. The clear liquid drink contains no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, and provides 300 calories and 10 g of protein per serving.[Image Credit: © PR Newswire]
"Nestlé Health Science Launches Unique Innovation for Oncology Patients", PRNewswire , September 09, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coke Korea Names First Woman As CEO

September 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Korea has named its first female CEO to replace 12-year-veteran Lee Chang-yeob. Choi Su-chong, who is said to have “a proven record of growing businesses and managing large transitions,” will be responsible for managing operations as well as building a brand through competitive differentiation. Choi joined Coca-Cola Korea as a brand manager for Sprite and Fanta in 2006 and was promoted to various positions in marketing soda brands. Most recently she was responsible for the launch of new products such as Seagrams, Georgia Coffee, Toreta, and AdeS.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Kwak Yeon-soo, "Coca-Cola Korea names new CEO", Korea Times, September 02, 2019, © koreatimes.com.kr
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Coca-Cola Company
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South Korea

Improved Packaging Sustainability Is A Major Priority Of CCEP

September 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to Joe Franses, VP Sustainability for Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), a major priority for the company is reducing the environmental impact of its packaging. It is working on a number of initiatives to improve the packaging sustainability, including removing unnecessary plastic and developing innovative ways to get its products to consumers. In a recent interview, Franses said the company wants to make sure all packaging is 100 percent recyclable, but the most challenging goal is to “collect a bottle or can for everyone that we sell.”  To achieve these goals Franses said the company is implementing a cross-system working model with Coca-Cola to ensure packaging sustainability. This includes: investing in new manufacturing lines at sites across Europe; increasing capacity for refillable glass bottles and resting new routes to market; and – to encourage use of refillable packaging – looking closely at the different collection and recycling schemes in place in Western Europe – including household collection schemes and deposit return schemes (DRS). [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Liz Gyekye, "5 Minutes With… Joe Franses from Coca-Cola European Partners", Bio Market Insights, September 02, 2019, © Bio-Based World Ltd T/A Bio Market Insights
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Coca-Cola Company
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Europe

Coca-Cola India Is The Innovation Spark Plug Driving Asia-Pacific Region Growth

September 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Asia-Pacific region is a key growth engine for Coca-Cola, but innovation in India is sparking that engine. Coca-Cola India is perceived as “agile and swift when it comes to introducing innovations:” product innovations in India have almost doubled over the last three years.” In a recent interview, Shell Huang, vice-president for R&D, Asia-Pacific, noted that Coca-Cola India has launched nearly 25 new products since 2016, applying an incubation model that cuts development time from the concept stage to the retail shelves to 12 weeks from 2-3 years. Collaborating with the Shanghai R&D Center, Coca-Cola India is currently testing products such as spiced buttermilk fortified with fiber to strengthen its dairy play, a fruit puree product under the Minute Maid brand, and a non-alcoholic malt drink under the Barbican brand. The spiced buttermilk product is likely to be launched nationally in the first quarter of 2020, while the fruit puree product will be launched in select urban markets, Huang said. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "Coca-Cola sees fizz in India’s innovation potential", The Hindu Business Line, September 02, 2019
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Coca-Cola Company
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Asia-Pacific
India

Innovators At Coca-Cola Plan For Industry, Societal Change

August 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
In a recent interview, Matt Hughes, Coca-Cola’s vice president for incubation and a founding member of its Venturing and Emerging Brands unit, pointed to “beverages for life,” water usage, women empowerment, and environmental sustainability as top priorities of the company’s “mission approach to things.” As to specific product areas, Hughes said “plant-based is an interesting space … that is an adjacent area to dairy from a protein perspective.” As it thinks about the future and “where consumers are going to be five or 10 years from now,” Coca-Cola invests time, energy and money to gain expertise in new technologies, marketing and digital platforms, and other areas that can help drive growth. Hughes said he expects Coca-Cola to be as “on-trend” 30 years from now as it is today, and he is very enthusiastic about the prospects for sparkling water Topo Chico and sports hydration beverage Body Armor.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Barb Stuckey, "Coke's Venture Group Looks Out 10 Years at Plant Based & Female Empowerment", Forbes Media, August 28, 2019, © Forbes Media LLC
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Coca-Cola Company
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United States of America

Coke and Pepsi To Leave Plastics Industry Association

August 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have told Greenpeace USA of their decision to withdraw from the Plastics Industry Association. Greenpeace highlights the dichotomy of pledging to end plastic pollution at the same time as supporting bodies that lobby for continued reliance on single-use plastic. Greenpeace says that The Plastics Industry Association uses the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) as a front to advocate against plastic bans in the US. Greenpeace says 15 states have to date passed “pro-pollution preemption laws”. [Image Credit: © Darko Djurin from Pixabay]
Perry Wheeler, "Industry giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo ditching pro-plastics lobbying association", Greenpeace, August 23, 2019, © Greenpeace
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PepsiCo
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DASANI Announces Series Of Plastic Reduction Initiatives

August 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
DASANI’s owner, The Coca-Cola Company, has pledged to make its bottles and cans with an average of 50% recycled material by 2030. In support of this goal, DASANI announced a “robust pipeline” of efforts to lower its plastic footprint. Its HybridBottle, which is made with a mix of up to 50% plant-based renewable and recycled PET, will be available nationally in 20-ounce bottles in mid-2020. It will rollout up to 100 additional DASANI PureFill water dispensers, starting in fall 2019. DASANI will also introduce new aluminum cans and new aluminum bottles. The cans will be introduced in the Northeast this fall with both available nationally in 2020. Other initiatives include adding “How2Recycle” labels to all DASANI packages and ongoing “light-weighting” across its product portfolio.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"DASANI® Takes Steps to Reduce Plastic Waste Through Increased Use of Recycled Materials, Expanded Package Innovation", Coca-Cola , August 13, 2019, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Unilever’s Magnum Ice Cream Launches Some Plastic Jars Made With Recycled Plastic

August 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Magnum said it would be the first ice cream brand to use recycled polypropylene plastic for its packaging. In a limited trial it will launch 600,000 new Magnum jars in Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands, then release over 3 million in 2020 as it goes worldwide. Recycled polypropylene (rPP) has been used before for beauty and hygiene care applications but not for food packaging. To develop a solution, Unilever has worked with chemicals company SABIC since early 2018. Unilever did not indicate the percentage of plastic that is recycled, but acknowledged it uses a ‘mass balancing’ approach. It proclaimed the effort as part of its plan to ensure that by 2025 25% of plastic used in its packaging is recycled.[Image Credit: © Unilever]
"Magnum launches the first recycled plastic jars", Unilever France, August 08, 2019, © Unilever
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Unilever
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France

Sainsbury’s To Remove Hard-To-Recycle Black Plastic Trays From The Chiller Cabinets

July 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s said it will be first among retailers to eliminate the black plastic trays often used for chilled ready meals, in favour of a recyclable tray made from natural CPET. Sainsbury’s says the move, to be completed by November 2019, will reduce the volume of hard-to-recycle plastic by over 1,000 metric tonnes a year. Earlier in the same week, the company announced a trial to take away the single use plastic bags for loose fruit and vegetable, and replace them with reusable drawstring bags.[Image Credit: © J Sainsbury plc]
"Sainsbury's becomes first retailer to remove all black plastic from chilled ready meals", Sainsbury’s, July 25, 2019, © J Sainsbury plc
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Coke Turns In Strong 2nd Q Financials, Paints Rosier Growth Picture

July 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola reported healthy second-quarter 2019 results, as earnings and sales beat Wall Street estimates. Shares were up five percent in morning trading after the company raised its revenue forecast; Coke now expects organic revenue growth of five percent rather than four percent. Second-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share beat the Zacks consensus of 62 cents. The bottom line also improved four percent from the year-ago period, driven by a focus on consumer-centric innovation, solid core brand performance, and improved execution in the marketplace. Currency translations negatively impacted earnings by nine percent. Revenues of $9.997 billion also surpassed consensus estimates and increased six percent year over year. Organic revenues grew six percent. The company raised its revenue forecast, after noting that concerns about economic uncertainty had faded. “We saw some clouds on the horizon, too,” CEO James Quincey said. “But the storm never arrived, so by sticking to our plan, by executing against our strategy, we’ve been able to deliver stronger momentum than even we were expecting.”[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Amelia Lucas, "Coca-Cola CEO: ‘The storm never arrived’ as beverage giant raises revenue forecast", CNBC, July 23, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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100% Valvert rPET Bottle In Belgium Extends Nestlé’s Use of Recycled Plastic

July 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters’ natural mineral water brand, Valvert in Belgium, has introduced a new bottle from 100% recycled PET, It’s the company’s first 100% rPET bottle in Europe. The brand launched a 100% 150cl rPET bottle and a 50% 50cl rPET bottle, with the aim of making the smaller bottle entirely from rPET by the end of the year. In 2018, Nestlé Pure Life launched 100% rPET bottles in North America, and the US spring water brand Poland Spring says it will convert its packaging to recycled plastic by 2021.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Valvert launches water bottle made of 100% recycled plastic, a first for Nestlé in Europe", Nestlé, July 10, 2019, © Nestlé
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McDonald’s UK & Ireland Makes Further Plastic Use Reductions

June 21, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The McFlurry’s ice cream range at McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland will be sold without the single-use plastic lids from September this year. McDonald’s will also use 100% renewable and recyclable cardboard packaging for all main meals and side salads, replacing the plastic containers. The cardboard will contain 50% recycled content. The company says that the changes will reduce plastic waste by nearly 500 million tonnes a year. Its global commitment is to use only renewable or recycled packaging by 2025 and it has started replacing plastic straws with paper straws. [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
"McFlurry gets a makeover in McDonald’s UK latest sustainability drive", McDonald’s UK , June 21, 2019, © McDonald's
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Coca-Cola In Belgium Asks Consumers Not To Buy Its Products Unless It Plans To Recycle Them

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola in Belgium is trying an ambitious approach to raising awareness of the need to recycle plastic, with a summer campaign that asks consumers not to buy Coke products if they aren’t willing to help the company recycle. Some 85% of Coca-Cola packaging in the country is currently recycled, but the company says this rate is not high enough. The campaign is also being adopted in the Netherlands, on TV ads as well as activations in towns and at festivals. Although the campaign ends in September, it will be incorporated in other advertising.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"‘Don’t buy Coca-Cola if you’re not going to help us recycle!’ Coca-Cola launches recycling campaign", Beverage Daily, June 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Aldi UK Replaces Plastic Checkout Bags With Paper Or Compostable Options

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST



Aldi in the UK will from July this year replace plastic bags in half of its stores with paper bags, and biodegradable bags at the other half. After the trial, Aldo will choose the most popular. The Bioplast 100% compostable bags will cost 6p. Aldo is charging 19p for the paper bags. [Image Credit: © Aldi Stores Limited]
Sarah Young, "Aldi announces plans to reduce traditional plastic bags with paper and compostable versions", Independent UK, June 10, 2019, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Hormel Launches National Ad Campaign To Inspire People To “Choose Good”

April 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Austin, Minn.-based Hormel, maker of Natural Choice deli meats, has launched the “Good Feeds Us All” national advertising campaign to “inspire people to choose good whether it's in the food they eat or the actions they take.” The brand will incorporate a Good Feeds Us All national tour to spotlight individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to choose good. However, whether Natural Choice meats are really natural or good has spawned litigation. The D.C. Superior Court on April 8 dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. But in statements disclosed in the court filing, a Hormel executive said the same antibiotics-treated pigs used to make its Spam meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.”[Image Credit: © Lloyd's Barbeque Company, LLC]
"The Makers of Hormel Natural Choice Deli Meats Announce New National Ad Campaign Inspiring Others to Choose Good", PR Newswire , April 19, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Despite Some Blips, Danone Says It’s On Track For Solid Growth In 2019

April 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Despite a couple of disturbing first-quarter setbacks, yogurt giant Danone is sticking to forecasts that call for accelerated sales in the second quarter and three percent like-for-like sales growth for the year. The company faced a consumer boycott in Morocco early in 2018 over its strategy of raising prices to counter falling sales; sales of infant formula in China drooped compared with last year. First-quarter sales rose a modest 0.8 percent to $6.9 billion, compared to 2.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. Nevertheless, the company says it is still on track to achieve three percent like-for-like sales growth for the full year. The major operating divisions – Essential Dairy & Plant-based (EDP), Specialized Nutrition, and Waters – recorded like-for-like sales growth in the quarter. The Waters division grew 3.9 percent, thanks in part to the increased distribution of Evian waters in the U.S.
Martin White, "Danone maintains full-year profit targets following modest Q1", FoodBev Media , April 17, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Meat Companies May Be Misleading Consumers By Claiming Products Are “Natural”

April 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Although American consumers want “all-natural” meats – with no antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives – the USDA says that in meats and poultry “natural” only means no artificial ingredients and minimal processing. Major meat companies, meanwhile, are catering to consumer desires by claiming or implying in advertising that their products are natural. Those claims are legal, as long as they follow USDA guidelines, even if they mislead shoppers. That was basically the ruling of the D.C. Superior Court when on April 8 it dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. But in statements disclosed in the court filing, a Hormel executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.” [Image Credit: © Lloyd's Barbeque Company, LLC]
Richard Binder, "Hormel lawsuit reveals that 'natural' meat might not be", Law.com, April 11, 2019, © ALM Media Properties, LLC
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Becht Resigns As Chairman Of JAB Holding Over Disagreements About Company Strategy

January 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
JAB Holding, owner of coffee giant Keurig Dr Pepper, announced the retirement this year of chairman and co-founder Bart Becht, a few months after he stepped down from its Coty cosmetics business. Becht reportedly resigned because of disagreements with his partners about the scale of the company's dealmaking, preferring that JAB focus on improving operations for the companies that JAB already has stakes in. The company has hired three new executives with consumer products backgrounds: Fabien Simon, Ricard Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski. Anheuser Busch InBev veteran Rittes will open a new office in Brazil to head up expansion in emerging markets. JAB, the investing arm of Germany's Riemann family, was run by Becht with partners Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet. Harf will take over as chairman after Becht's departure. CEO Bob Gamgort will replace Becht as chairman of its board.
Amelia Lucas, "Bart Becht, chairman of Keurig Dr Pepper owner JAB, to retire from the company he helped form", CNBC.com, January 14, 2019, © CNBC LLC
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App-Driven SnackBot Matriculates At California University

January 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo has introduced the first snack delivery robots in the U.S. that provide “great-tasting, healthier snacks and beverages” to college students. The new all-wheel drive “snackbots,” with a 20-mile range on a single charge, arrived at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, Calif.) stocked with snacks and beverages from PepsiCo’s Hello Goodness line, including Smartfood Delight, Baked Lay's, SunChips, Pure Leaf Tea, bubly, LIFEWTR, and Starbucks Cold Brew. The Hello Goodness vending platform, including the snackbot, will be available at 50,000 touchpoints by the end of the year, according to PepsiCo. Users at University of the Pacific can order food and drinks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., via the snackbot app, to be delivered to more than 50 designated spots across the 175-acre campus.[Image Credit: © Robby Technologies Inc]
"PepsiCo's Hello Goodness snackbot is Off to College", PR Newswire, January 03, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestlé R&D Unit Is Developing Beverages Made From Walnuts, Blueberries

December 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé SA hopes to ride the wave of plant-based eating – one of the new so-called “food tribes” that include gluten-free and lactose-free – to a billion-dollar business. In addition to stepping briskly into vegan substitutes for meat, using soy and wheat protein, the company’s research and development center in Switzerland is exploring the potential for a liquid derived from walnuts and blueberries, with a purple hue. There’s also a blue latte featuring spirulina algae in the works. The company says about half of the protein used in its food products, including in pet food, comes from plant rather than animal sources. Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer said, “Vegetarianism has never been this popular before and it’s here to stay, I’m convinced about that.” 
Corinne Gretler, "Nestlé Plans Vegan Push With No-Meat Burger, Purple Walnut Milk", Bloomberg, December 28, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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Coca-Cola Closes Aggressive Acquisition Year With Series A Investment In POS Connectivity Firm

December 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola took the lead in a $10 million Series A investment round in Hayward, Calif.-based restaurant tech company Omnivore, developer of a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform. Other investors were Performance Food Group and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. Omnivore promotes an "end-to-end suite of solutions" to help optimize the digital restaurant experience, such as online ordering, paying at the table, third-party delivery, kiosk/digital menus and analytics. The financing will be used to accelerate current development and growth of proprietary Omnivore products that minimize friction for restaurant brands, third-party technologies, and POS companies, according to a news release.
Eric Mandel, "Coca-Cola backs restaurant tech company", Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 17, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Ioniqa’s Process For Hard-To-Recycle PET Materials Is Gaining Attention From Large CPGs

December 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is supporting Dutch firm Ioniqa Technologies with a loan, to help it develop the technology for producing recycled PET content from PET waste that is typically difficult to recycle. The move is a part of  Coca-Cola’s target of using packaging containing 50 percent or more recycled content by 2030. The  technology allows recycling of colored PET bottles, typically excluded from some recycling processes, to be used in food-grade PET. Unilever announced earlier this year its collaboration with Ioniqa.[Image Credit: © Ioniqa Technologies]
"Coca-Cola supports Ioniqa in its efforts to develop recycled PET", Foodbev.com, December 14, 2018, © Foodbev.com
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Aldi To Replace Polystyrene Pizza Discs With Recyclable Discs

December 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The Aldi supermarket chain in the UK is introducing 100 percent recyclable pizza discs to replace the Polystyrene discs. Earlier this year, Aldi in the US said it would roll out How2Recycle labels across its own brand products over the next two years, and in March the company committed to using 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging for own-label products by 2022. In the UK, it has also stopped offering customers 5p plastic bags, only 9p reusable bags made from plastic waste.[Image Credit: © Lutz Peter from Pixabay]
"Aldi introduces 100% recyclable pizza discs in UK", Packaging Gateway, December 13, 2018, © Verdict Media Limited
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Nestlé Acts To Increase Redistribution Of Its Surplus Food In U.K.

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has partnered with a British anti-food waste charity and a surplus food redistributor in a program to curb food waste by ensuring that more of its surplus food is available for both charitable and commercial use. The company says its arrangement with WRAP and Company Shop will mean that more of its part-processed products can be redistributed instead of being used for animal feed or anaerobic digestion. The approach will increase the levels of charitable redistribution from Nestlé’s U.K. operations by the equivalent of two million meals a year, on top of the products that already go to another redistribution organization, Fareshare. [Image Credit: © Nestle ]
Andy Coyne, "Nestle Launches New Food Waste Initiative in the UK", Just-Food, December 12, 2018, © just-food.com
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KFC To Use Plastic-Free Food Buckets At Australia’s Upcoming Big Bash Cricket League

December 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


KFC, in partnership with Graphic Packaging International, is supplying half a million food buckets using sustainable materials for the Big Bash League 2018, a cricket event in Australia. The move is aligned with the Government’s commitment to ensure all packaging in the country will be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The plastic-free buckets will be made at Graphic Packaging’s plant in the UK and will have a grease-resistant lining. [Image Credit: © KFC Corporation]
Ojaswita Kutepatil , "KFC to launch recyclable buckets for Australia’s Big Bash League 2018", Sharp Reports, December 12, 2018, © Sharp Reports
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Consumers Expect Colors – Artificial Or Not – In Their Foods

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colors are important to food companies because, apparently, they’re important to consumers. Though big food companies like McDonald’s and Kellogg have promised to get rid of artificial dyes, they continue to use – or have reinstated – colorings because consumers want them. General Mills, for example, eliminated artificial colors from Trix, it added them back in last year after consumers demanded a return to the “classic” look. The cheddar cheeses sold by Boar’s Head, Cabot, Kraft, and Tillamook contain annatto, a plant extract commonly used for color.  Because salmon buyers expect salmon to be pink, farmed salmon is often fed synthetic astaxanthin, a version of a naturally occurring compound. It makes economic sense: darker salmon commands an extra 50 cents to $1 per pound when offered next to lighter salmon.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
Candice Choi , "Artificial dyes fading, but food will still get color boosts", Associated Press, December 11, 2018, © The Associated Press
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Coca-Cola CEO Tells Investors Not To Expect Brisk Acquisition Pace To Continue In 2019

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
After initiating six acquisitions in 2018, including the $5.1 billion purchase of U.K. coffee chain Costa Coffee, Coca-Cola will tap the brakes in 2019, according to CEO James Quincey, who said the plan is to spend time absorbing what it bought. Shares of the company are up more than seven percent so far this year, standing relatively strong against broader market volatility, an indication that investors are happy with the aggressive growth plan. Coke now has a market value of $209.8 billion. And while the beverage industry has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks as an avenue for growth, Quincey said Coca-Cola will hold off from including cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound, in any of its products until it is "legal, safe and consumable."
Amelia Lucas , "Coca-Cola CEO: Deal Making in 2019 will likely slow down as company integrates recent acquisitions", CNBC.com , December 11, 2018, © CNBC
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McDonald’s In The Vanguard Of Movement To Reduce Antibiotics In Beef

December 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
With a nudge from the Natural Resources Defense Council, McDonald's announced it has told its beef suppliers around the world to cut back on the use of antibiotics beginning in 2019. Implementation will begin with pilot projects in ten markets around the world, including in the U.S. McDonald’s is the first big burger chain to launch such a policy, though other fast food leaders – Chipotle, Panera, Subway – have either cut antibiotic use in their beef supplies or have committed to do so. A spokesman for the NRDC said: “Nobody in the world sells more burgers than McDonald's, and their actions can shape the future of the industry.” Forty-three percent of medically important antibiotics sold to the U.S. livestock industry go to the beef sector, compared to only six percent for chicken.[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
"McDonald’s Commits To Reducing Antibiotic Use In Its Global Beef Supply", Natural Resources Defense Council , December 11, 2018, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Coke’s Brand Incubator To Undergo Major Restructuring

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Scott Uzzell, president of Coca-Cola’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) business, outlined in a December 4 memo several organizational changes to take effect in January. The changes, including some staff shifts, will “sharpen our focus” related to the current marketing strategy and accelerate the growth of its beverage portfolio. VEB’s role – “futurist, investor, incubator and integrator“ – is to spot the right trends, invest in them, incubate them “and, finally, help integrate them into our broad business system.” With that in mind, VEB will create several new business units that will nurture acquired brands: imported mineral water brand Topo Chico and coconut water maker Zico will move into the Still Business Unit; Hansen’s and Blue Sky Beverage Company will move to the Sparkling Business Unit; and Hubert’s Lemonade and VEB’s Natural Channel Sales Team will be folded into the Minute Maid Business Unit based in Texas. Other brands – Fairlife, Suja, and BodyArmor – will not be affected.
Martín Caballero, "Coca-Cola VEB Set to ‘Sharpen Focus’ on Incubation in 2019", BevNET.com, December 07, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Retiring Coke Chairman Kent Lists Challenges For Global CEOs

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Outgoing Coca-Cola Chairman Muhtar Kent – he’s retiring in April 2019 – says running a global business is tougher than ever because of the competition, of course, but also because of “sociopolitical dynamics,” more unknowns – like Brexit, U.S. trade wars, and currency fluctuations – and “more volatility, constant volatility." But that’s not all that gives CEOs anxiety. Also at work are a “global war for talent” and “digitization," he told CNBC. Kent, a 40-year veteran of Coca-Cola, will be replaced as chairman by CEO James Quincey.
Amelia Lucas , "Coca-Cola chairman: 'More unknowns, more volatility' are making running a global business tougher", CNBC.com , December 07, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Corn Flakes To Beer: Kellogg U.K. Program Cuts Food Waste 12.5 Percent

December 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K. unit of breakfast food company Kellogg is brewing a new business: beer. The company has launched a program, “Throw Away IPA,” that turns rejected corn flakes – too small, too big, undercooked – into beer, the revenues from which are partially donated to Fareshare, a food poverty charity. The English beer, made by Seven Bro7hers Brewery, tastes sweeter than the usual IPA, and has the iconic golden color of its breakfast cereal ingredients. Each Throw Away IPA brew uses roughly 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of rejected cornflakes. Since the program was launched, Kellogg says it has reduced its U.K.-based food waste by 12.5 percent.[Image Credit: © Seven Bro7hers Brewery]
McKinley Corbley, "In Bid to Cut Food Waste, Kellogg’s is Using Their Rejected Cornflakes to Make Beer ", Good News Network, December 07, 2018, © GNN, LLC
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