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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 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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Coca-Cola Company
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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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Unilever Invests €100,000 To Solve Single-Use Plastic Sachet Problem

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has set its sights on eliminating single-use plastic sachets for laundry products, piloting a technology in which it is investing €100,000. The crowd-sourced plastic-free tablet, which uses a plant-based coating, emerged from the company’s “Rethink Plastic” Hackathon. Other ideas from the event included a subscription model for detergent in ceramic or glass bottles, and soluble sheets of detergent, or ‘Laundry on a roll’. Teams from Unilever will look at some of these other ideas. [Image Credit: © Unilever]
"Unilever to invest €100,000 in a crowdsourced solution as part of its drive to rethink plastic packaging", Unilever, December 06, 2018, © Unilever
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Starbucks Says Plastic-Lined Coffee Cups Can Be Converted Into New Cups

December 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffee chain Starbucks says it has converted 25 million of its coffee cups into new cups as part of a pilot scheme introduced earlier in 2018, overturning conventional wisdom that the plastic lining means they couldn’t be recycled. Mike Mueller of WestRock, the company that recycled the cups, said the company is aiming to raise awareness about how it can be achieved and scaled. Other initiatives used by Starbucks include charging a small fee to its London customers for single-use cups, and it is working on a cup that can be easily recycled and composted. Customers in most stores can expect a discount if they bring their own reusable cup.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]
Kat Smith, "Starbucks Proves That Single-Use Coffee Cups Can Be Recycled", LIVEKINDLY , December 06, 2018, © LIVEKINDLY Media Inc.
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Sale Of Cannery SPC Would Free Coca-Cola Amatil To Focus On Beverage Growth

December 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Australian bottler Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has decided to divest the loss-making SPC fruit and vegetable cannery it purchased in 2005 after years of struggling to make it profitable. Analysts believe the sale would give CCA the cash it needs to invest in new business areas, such as acquisition of some parts of Lion Dairy & Drinks, and right itself after some setbacks. Earnings for 2018 are likely to be hurt by weaker beverage sales in Australia, soft demand in Indonesia, and the impact of container deposit schemes that have forced the price hikes in several states and Canberra. The company is expected to concentrate on growing categories like energy drinks and flavored milk and smoothies, increasing marketing efforts for what he called “sleeping beauties and blockbuster” lines, and introducing more enhanced and premium options.
Richard Whitehead , "SPC sale could provide much-needed impetus for Coca-Cola Amatil", Beverage Daily, December 05, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kellogg Europe Executive Outlines Bio-Based Cereal Pouches Goal

December 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
According to Rupert Maitland-Titterton, Kellogg Europe’s senior director of sustainability and corporate communications, the company is working towards its pledge to ensure 100 percent of its packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. An interim goal is to develop bio-based cereal pouches, recyclable in all Kellogg’s markets, to replace oil-based pouches by the end of next year. Although it’s up to consumers to contribute to the recycling process, he says, food companies must work with stakeholders, including suppliers and waste management companies, to design packaging that can be recycled and to improve the infrastructure. Kellogg Europe has started an audit of recycling structures in its largest 25 markets. Kellogg is one of the 250-plus signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to eliminate single-use plastic. Maitland-Titterton believes this scale of collaboration is crucial and that the food industry can’t solve it alone.[Image Credit: © KELLOGG Company]
"How Kellogg Europe is targeting a sector-wide shift to sustainable packaging", edie.net, December 04, 2018, © edie.net
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Campbell To Sell Bolthouse Farms, Continue Exit From Fresh Foods Business

December 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup is casting its net wide for potential buyers of its money-losing carrot, smoothie and fruit beverage company Bolthouse Farms, continuing its withdrawal from the fresh food industry that proved to be a poor fit.  The company distributed the financial books for Bolthouse, and has begun the process of divesting its Garden Fresh Gourmet business, purchased in 2015 for $231 million. Among the potential buyers for Bolthouse is former Bolthouse CEO Jeffrey Dunn, who has talked to private equity funds to help raise money to fund a bid. Campbell paid $1.55 billion for Bolthouse Farms in 2012, when the brand had more than $100 million in earnings before interest depreciation and amortization.
Lauren Hirsch , "Campbell launches sale of Bolthouse Farms business", CNBC.com, December 03, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Pakistan Expects Another $1.4 Billion In investment From PepsiCo, Coca-Cola

November 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The office of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement saying that PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have committed to investing an additional $1.4 billion in the coming years. The country is beset with economic and financial problems, especially a swelling current account deficit that has pushed it to seek loans from China and Saudi Arabia and a bailout from the International Monetary Fund. According to the prime minister’s office, PepsiCo will invest another $1.2 billion over the next five years, while Coca-Cola will invest $200 million on top of the current $500 million. Despite Pakistan’s economic woes, consumer goods companies see the world’s sixth most populous country (208 million people) as a promising market.
Asif Shahzad, "Pepsi and Coca Cola pouring $1.4 bln into Pakistan - government", Reuters, November 28, 2018, © The Thomson Reuters
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Coca-Cola Drops Out Of Competition For GlaxoSmithKline’s Nutrition Business

November 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé India and Unilever are the only companies vying for GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business in India now that Coca-Cola is said to have backed out of the lengthy due diligence process. Bids for GSK’s Indian nutrition business, which includes the popular Horlicks malted milk beverage, are believed to be in the $3.1-3.5 billion range. Earlier this year, GSK launched a strategic review of its nutrition business globally. The review is expected to be concluded in December.
Ratna Bhushan, Arijit Barman, "Nestlé seeks to pip Unilever to grab GSK’s consumer nutrition business as Coca-Cola opts out", The Economic Times, November 19, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Coca-Cola Switches Emphasis From Marketing To “Growth”

November 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s head of creative Rodolfo Echeverria has broadened the vision of the marketing department from product awareness and award-winning advertising to growth – by better satisfying consumer beverage needs. In March 2017 the company replaced the chief marketing officer position with the chief growth officer position to execute the basic strategy of becoming a “total beverage company.” The idea is to launch and acquired beverage products that consumers around the globe really want. Diversification has been a challenge, Echevarria admits, mainly because it is necessary to preserve a strong identity for each product, “an edge, a differentiating point that is relevant to the people or relates to that brand.” Meeting the challenge has benefited marketing, however, by “forcing” employees to be more curious.
Molly Fleming , "How getting rid of the CMO ‘broadened’ Coca-Cola’s marketing approach", Marketing Week, November 14, 2018, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Kellogg Plans To Back Out Of The Cookie Business

November 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg Company plans to sell its cookie and snack fruit businesses to concentrate on its core product lines. On the auction block will be Keebler, Famous Amos, and Mother's and Murray cookie brands along with the Stretch Island fruit snack brand. In January 2019, the company will begin to revamp its organizational structure to improve core product market share. Kellogg hopes the move will provide “top-line growth” for the company. The structural changes will include consolidation of its morning foods, snacks, and frozen food businesses – representing about 80 percent of U.S. revenue – into single product categories. The company is also: placing a new emphasis on e-commerce; reorganizing its sales teams and making changes in its supply chain.[Image Credit: © Kellogg NA Co]
Dawn Geske, "Kellogg Company Looks To Sell Keebler, Famous Amos Cookie Brands", International Business Times News, November 13, 2018, © IBT Media Inc.
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Coca-Cola’s Environmental Policy Leader Outlines The Company’s ‘World Without Waste’ Strategy

November 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dr. Ben Jordan, senior director of environmental policy for Coca-Cola, says the company is progressing its aim to reduce its impact on the environment. Speaking at an event in Kuala Lumpur, he outlined Coca-Cola’s ‘World Without Waste’ vision, to eliminate packaging waste and address the issue of marine debris. Jordan says the company has since August 2017 had a team of over 30 globally working on the program, which comprises three pillars: Design, Collect and Partner. Coca-Cola aims to use only 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. It also aims to make sure the consumer does recycle the packaging, and stresses the need to work with partners, like bottlers and NGOs, to make sure it happens. [Image Credit: © Andrew Martin from Pixabay]
Elena Koshy , "Coca Cola envisions 'a world without waste' with their new packaging vision to combat their massive ecological footprint!", New Straits Times , November 03, 2018, © New Straits Times, New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd. A part of Media Prima Group.
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Coca-Cola Company
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Asia-Pacific
Malaysia

Coca-Cola’s Top “People Officer” Dons Global Ventures Hat

October 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s recent acquisition spree led to the creation last month of the Global Ventures group to make sure acquisitions, investments, and partnerships are connected and globally scaled. Heading up the new unit is Jennifer Mann, the company’s “chief people officer,” who has been vice-president and general manager of Coca-Cola Freestyle and chief of staff. In announcing the change, CEO James Quincey said Mann’s unit “will focus on ensuring we get the maximum value from acquisitions and investments” and will also “partner with colleagues around the world to identify and nurture the next series of fast-growing opportunities.”
Jeff Gelski, "Coke creates Global Ventures group to handle recent acquisitions", Food Business News, October 31, 2018, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Global Companies Join The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nearly 300 organizations have has joined a global initiative to eliminate plastic waste. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment signatories include recycling companies, packaging producers and  retailers. It was announced at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s 'Our Ocean' conference in Bali, and was launched in collaboration with UN Environment. The initiative has three main aims: eradicate unnecessary plastic and move away from single-use packaging; work towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025; and to circulate plastic by increasing the volume of plastics that can be converted into new products or packaging. CPG companies that have signed up include Johnson & Johnson, SC Johnson, Danone, L’Oréal, Mars, PepsiCo, Unilever and Coca-Cola. Other signatories include Walmart, Target, Carrefour, Metro AG, Lidl, Ahold Delhaize, H&M, Amcor and Novamont.  [Image Credit: © New Plastics Economy]
Beth Wright , "Inditex, M&S, Target join pledge to end plastic waste ", Just-style.com, October 29, 2018, © Just-style.com
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Other
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide

PepsiCo Strengthens Its Commitment To Using Recycled Material In Packaging

October 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo has pledged to use 25 per cent recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025, building on its 2016 ‘Performance with Purpose’ sustainability initiative that aims to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable, biodegradable or compostable by 2025. The company says that its work with partners will ensure PET beverage bottles will incorporate 33 per cent recycled PET material by 2025. In the EU, it is aiming for a 50% target. The new target also builds on its commitment to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s  New Plastic Economy initiative. PepsiCo has also announced it had entered a multi-year supply agreement with Loop Industries, Inc., which develops sustainable plastic. PepsiCo will start to use Loop™ PET plastic, which contains 100 per cent recycled material, in its product packaging by early 2020. [Image Credit: © New Plastics Economy]
Matt Mace, "PepsiCo to use 25% recycled content in plastics packaging by 2025", edie newsroom, October 29, 2018, © Faversham House Ltd
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PepsiCo
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Nestlé China Doubles Pace Of New Product Launches

October 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé China has launched several innovation projects this year, twice the number launched in 2017, tailored specifically for Chinese consumers. China’s nutrition, health, and wellness market is Nestlé’s second largest globally. The company’s innovation team is pursuing more than 100 ongoing projects that will deliver “more choices through a variety of healthy products over the next two years.” Nestlé has launched the second generation of its “AI family nutrition assistant” XiaoAi with more than 300,000 pieces of new nutrition, health and wellness interactive content, including personalized recipe recommendations, calorie calculation, and voice ordering. The company also launched its MyNutrition App, Nescafé Shop in Office, and BabyNes’ Smart Milk Powder Leveling Kettle.
"Nestlé China Accelerates Innovation", Nestlé China, October 26, 2018, © Nestlé
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Nestle
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
China

Two Global Companies Partner To Develop Plastics Recycling Technologies

October 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is teaming up with Veolia, a waste management company, to develop technology to increase plastics recycling. The partnership will first focus on India and Indonesia, on collecting and recycling  waste and re-using recycled material. As a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact, Unilever is also working on the Pact’s 2025 targets, such as ensuring 70 per cent of all packaging is either recycled or reprocessed, and that all packaging has 30 per cent recycled content. Veolia, in partnership with RECOUP, a plastics recycler, produced a study that found consumers might pay extra more to increase the amount of their products that contain recycled material. It also found, however, that the infrastructure required to achieve this in the UK needs to be improved considerably. [Image Credit: © tkremmel from Pixabay]
Kate Dickinson, "Veolia and Unilever team up to tackle plastic waste", Resource.co, October 25, 2018, © Resource Media Limited
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Unilever
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India
Indonesia

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

October 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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,[Image Credit: © flashfood]
Catherine Roberts, "App aimed at cutting food waste wins pilot at select Target stores", Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 21, 2018, © StarTribune
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FOOD COMPANIES
Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Global Drinks Makers Seek To Dilute EU Plastics Legislation

October 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Some large beverage companies are reportedly trying to limit European Union legislation on plastics reduction. A letter signed by Danone, Coca-Cola, Nestlé and PepsiCo urges EU states to postpone proposals that would force companies to ensure bottle caps can’t be detached. The EU is considering plans for tethered caps to be mandatory by 2025. The four signatories of the leaked letter counter-propose a commitment to recycle 90 per cent of plastic bottles by 2025. Some of these companies have been identified as the heaviest contributors to plastic pollution. The companies argue that tethered caps shouldn’t be compulsory unless 2021 recycling targets aren’t met, but critics say the EU’s aims aren’t difficult to achieve and the companies are just using classic delaying tactics. [Image Credit: © goranmx from Pixabay]
Ben Chapman, "Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestle attempt to water down new plastics laws, leaked letter reveals", The Independent, October 19, 2018, © Evening Standard Ltd
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Coke CEO Sheds Day-To-Day Duties To Focus On The Big Picture

October 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.
Alistair Gray in New York , "Coca-Cola makes new appointments in management shake-up", The Financial Times , October 18, 2018, © The Financial Times Limited
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Fairlife Debuts RTD Milk-Based Smart Snacks

October 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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New Coca-Cola Vegetable Juice Tops List Of New Product Debuts

October 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.
Andy Morton, "The Coca-Cola Co unveils vegetable juice as new products put in spotlight", just-drinks.com, October 11, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Fast-food, Restaurant Chains Wooing Millennials Spurn Processed Cheese

October 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
Lydia Mulvany and Leslie Patton, "Millennials Kill Again. The Latest Victim? American Cheese", Bloomberg, October 10, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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Seventh Generation Introduces ‘Game-Changing’ Innovation In Laundry Detergent Packaging

October 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Unilever’s Seventh Generation detergent brand has launched what it claims is a game-changer. The 23oz bottle contains 100 per cent recycled PET and uses 60 per cent less plastic and 50 per cent less water than a typical 100oz bottle, for the same number of laundry loads. The product also features EasyDose™, a new automatic dosing technology in the cap. The EasyDose™ Ultraconcentrated Laundry Detergent was launched as an online exclusive. [Image Credit: © Seventh Generation, Inc]
"PepsiCo, Seventh Gen, CLF Bring Sustainable Plastics Closer to Reality", Sustainable Brands, October 10, 2018, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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Lidl In Ireland And Northern Ireland Is Eradicating Its Use Of Black Plastic

October 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Lidl announced it is eliminating black plastic in packaging before Christmas from its fruit and vegetables in all of its stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It will be withdrawn from fresh fish products by February next year, and its poultry and fresh and cured meat products will follow by August. Lidl also announced that it had stopped selling single-use plastic items, such as straws, plastic plates, cups and cutlery. They will be replaced by biodegradable items. The retailer added that it continues to test unpackaged fruit and vegetables. Over a quarter of its fresh produce has no packaging. [Image Credit: © Lidl UK GmbH]
"Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland Remove Unrecyclable Black Plastic Packaging", Packaging Europe, October 08, 2018, © Packaging Europe Ltd. A Rapid News Communications Group Company.
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Nestlé USA Forms New Partnerships With Innovative Food Start-Ups

October 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé USA Partners with Start-ups Disrupting the Healthy Snacking and Plant-based Foods Categories", PR Newswire, October 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestlé, Unilever, Coca-Cola On Shortlist In Bidding For GSK Consumer Portfolio

October 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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. 
Ratna Bhushan, Arijit Barman, "Coke, Nestlé for second round in Horlicks race ", The Economic Times, October 01, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Australian Coca-Cola Unit Commits To Full Recyclability By 2025

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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, © Verdict Media Limited
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Asia-Pacific Is Ramping Up Efforts To Reduce Single-Use Plastic

September 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
There is a growing awareness of single-use plastic in the Asia-Pacific region, with governments and companies acting to reduce the volume of plastic waste. However, there are also concerns that too little is being done, and too slowly. In India, PepsiCo has committed to using 100% compostable, plant-based packaging for some of its snack brands, and Nestle plans globally to make 100% of its packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025. Unilever has a similar target. In South Korea, supermarket chains Lotte Market, E-Mart, Mega Mart, Homeplus and Hanaro Mart, announced plans to reduce the number plastic shopping bags and encourage the use of reusable ones. In Singapore, a new zero-waste store opened in May 2018. Unpackt uses no packaging, inviting customers to bring their own containers. Governments too are acting. In India, the state of Maharastra introduced a ban on single-use plastics, and the whole country aims to be free of single-use plastics by 2022. A senate inquiry in Australia has recommended a national ban on single-use plastics, following state bans of single-use bags in Victoria and New South Wales. [Image Credit: © Unpackt]
Pearly Neo , "Tackling APAC’s plastic waste crisis: How Pepsi, Nestlé and Lotte are stepping up", Food Navigator ASIA, September 28, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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McDonald’s Removes Artificial Preservatives, Flavors, Colors From Menu Items

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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."[Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Jordan Valinsky , "McDonald's removing artificial additives from its burgers", CNN Money, September 27, 2018, © Cable News Network
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Starbucks Is Getting Ready To Build A New Standalone Princi Bakery In Seattle

September 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation DBA Princi.]
"Records reveal Starbucks is planning a second stand-alone Princi in Seattle", Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, Washington), September 27, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Land O’Lakes Launches Digital Tool To Help Farmers Get More Sustainable

September 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
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.[Image Credit: © Land O’Lakes, Inc.]
"Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN debuts first-of-its-kind digital platform to support farmer-led stewardship", PR Newswire, September 24, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Multinational Corporations Support Campaign To Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution

September 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Multinational corporations, including Coca-Cola and Walmart, pledged their support for the Ocean Plastics Charter signed by Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in June 2018. Despite an abstention by the two other G7 nations, United States and Japan, several non-G7 nations supported the plan to achieve 100 percent plastics recyclability by 2030. An announcement by Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKena to create a new partnership with businesses to reduce plastic waste secured support from several companies, including Loblaws, Walmart, and IKEA, and Nestle Canada. Separately, Unilever announced the launch of a not-for-profit venture to reduce consumer and business waste.[Image Credit: © kakuko from pixabay]
"Coca-Cola, Walmart to cut plastic pollution in oceans", Phys.org, September 20, 2018, © AFP
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Analysts Predict Nestlé Will Divest Skin-Health Business To Focus on Beverages, Food

September 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé may be planning to divest its $2.79 billion skin-health business as a way to placate an activist investor who believes the company should focus on food and beverages. Selling the unit could generate $4.1 billion, according to analysts, but the company did not comment on the speculation. Investor Daniel Loeb took a $3.5 billion stake in Nestlé last year and has since pressured the company to sell its investment in L’Oréal SA and in the skin-health arm set up in 2014 after Nestlé assumed full control of Galderma. CEO Mark Schneider has said the key to reviving stagnating growth is to focus on core areas with growth potential like coffee, pet care, water, and infant nutrition. Regarding coffee, the company recently bought the rights to market and sell Starbucks coffee and tea products in grocery and retail stores, and last year bought a majority stake in U.S. premium coffee chain Blue Bottle.
Saabira Chaudhuri and Brian Blackstone, "Nestlé Sharpens Focus on Food and Beverages With Review of Skin-Health Unit", The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Coca-Cola Looks For Opportunities In CBD-Infused Beverage Market

September 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has issued a statement confirming that it is “closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD (cannabidiol) as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.” The company is one of many that are monitoring the development of CBD-infused beverages, or have – like Molson Coors Co. and Constellation Brands – invested in the segment. Bloomberg reported that Coca-Cola is discussing the possibility of new products with Aurora Cannabis Inc. of Vancouver, Canada.
Tonya Garcia, "Coca-Cola says it's 'closely watching' the opportunities in CBD-infused beverages", MarketWatch, September 17, 2018, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Nestlé removes stabilizers in UHT milks in Brazil

September 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
In an effort to “simplify” the ingredient lists for its products, Nestlé’s Brazilian unit has removed the stabilizers used in the UHT (ultra-high-temperature pasteurization) long-life milks sold in the country under the brand names Ninho and Molico. The company said it is the first country where it has done this. In the U.S., Nestlé has removed GMO ingredients from its Buitoni products, and artificial colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and GMO ingredients from six ice cream brands. It plans to eliminate artificial flavors and reduce the salt levels in pizzas and snacks sold in the U.S. 
Dean Best, "Nestlé removes stabilizers in UHT milks in Brazil", just-food, September 14, 2018
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How Companies Are Working To Meet Demand For “Free From” Foods

September 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As American consumers increasingly seek out foods that are “free from” gluten, antibiotics, pesticides, and genetic modification – sales of which are poised to grow 15 percent by 2022 – food manufacturers are taking extraordinary measures to ensure they are meeting that demand, changing the way they procure, process, and package food. General Mills Inc., for example, which was forced recall gluten-free Cheerios – oats do not naturally contain gluten – because wheat flour got into a facility in California. The company built a special eight-story sorting plant to make sure gluten particles from neighboring fields did not end up in their oat-based cereals.[Image Credit: © General Mills Inc]
Jen Skerritt, Megan Durisin and Craig Giammona, "`Free-From' Foods Are Changing the Way Your Meals Are Produced", Bloomberg News, September 09, 2018, © Bell Media
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KFC Initiative On Single-Use Plastic in Macau and Hong Kong

September 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
KFC outlets in Hong Kong and Macau will stop automatically giving out plastic straws and lids for customers eating in the store, but will provide them if asked. They will also be added to takeaways and select items. KFC made the decision following a trial in which most customers were happy not to have a plastic straw or lid. Greenpeace has acknowledged the move but added that plastic straws and lids are just a fraction of the plastic disposables used by the chain. The environmental group estimates that KFC uses some 42 million plastic disposable items each year, but even this is less than some local chains, according to Greenpeace.[Image Credit: © Christopher on pexels.com]
Naomi Ng, "KFC to ditch plastic straws and drink lids for dine-in customers in all of its Hong Kong and Macau restaurants", South China Morning Post , September 07, 2018, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd
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