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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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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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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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Retailers & Private Label
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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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Coca-Cola Company
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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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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
North America
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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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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
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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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Kraft Foods
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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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Nestle
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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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Coca-Cola Company
Nestle
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PepsiCo
Unilever
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Asia-Pacific
India

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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Coca-Cola Company
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Asia-Pacific
Australia

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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Nestle
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PepsiCo
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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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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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Nestle
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Latin America
Brazil

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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General Mills
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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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Nestlé Acquires Majority Stake In South America’s Terrafertil Plant-Based Beverages Company

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has acquired a majority stake in Terrafertil, a South American provider of natural, organic, plant-based foods and healthful snacks and a global producer of goldenberries. Terrafertil collaborates with hundreds of small growers and local communities in Colombia and Ecuador to hand pick and carefully dry the goldenberries to ensure quality. The company was founded in 2005 in Ecuador by five entrepreneurs and has expanded to the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and the United Kingdom. It is also present in 17 other markets through third-party alliances. The company continues to operate independently and will be managed by two of its three founding brothers, David and Raul Bermeo.
"The Nestlé Family welcomes Terrafertil", WEBWIRE, September 06, 2018, © WebWire
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Coca-Cola A Major Contender For Kraft Heinz Consumer Products In India

September 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is competing against Indian pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila Group to purchase the Indian consumer portfolio of Kraft Heinz for approximately $1 billion. The portfolio includes the children’s milk drink Complan. At one time, suitors included Tata Group, Wipro Consumer, Dabur India and Danone, companies that have been shortlisted along with Coca-Cola and Zydus Cadila. Other contenders have included Nestlé, Emami, and ITC. Some potential purchasers have expressed concerns about the future of products like Complan as consumer preferences continue to evolve. Coca-Cola India is also pursuing GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer nutrition business, which owns malted milk brand Horlicks. The asking price is reportedly $4 billion. Coke’s strategy is to acquire established or high-potential brands in India’s non-soda beverage space, especially health-based hydration that includes glucose and milk-based drinks.
Ratna Bhushan and Arijit Barman, "Coca-Cola, Zydus Cadila battle for Kraft Heinz India brands", The Economic Times, September 06, 2018, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Acquires U.K. Coffee Shop Chain Costa In Bid For A Share Of The Booming Coffee Market

August 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Gambling on the continued popularity of coffee, and apparently undeterred by the prospect of competing against Starbucks Coca-Cola has acquired British coffee-shop chain and roastery Costa – with its 3,800 cafés – in a deal worth $5.1 billion. A few analysts were skeptical of the deal, noting that 2,500 of Costa’s locations are in the U.K. and wondering why the soft drinks giant would enter the unfamiliar world of bricks-and-mortar retail. But Coke CEO James Quincey said the acquisition amounted to a wager on the burgeoning global coffee business: a “coffee strategy, not a retail strategy.” The company has no current plans to open Costa coffee shops in the U.S., but will bring Costa coffee vending machines and beans to U.S. gas stations, college campuses, and quick-service restaurants. 
Jennifer Maloney in New York and Ian Walker in London, "Coke Adds Coffee to Its Drinks Mix in $5.1 Billion Deal", The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2018, © Dow Jones & Co., Inc
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Coca-Cola Company
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United Kingdom

Coca-Cola Hopes To Make The Most Of Growing Chinese Interest In Functional Drinks

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s China business says “the next big thing” among Chinese consumers – especially the growing class of middle-income consumers – is functional beverages beneficial for health and wellness. With that in mind, the company expects to offer more juice products, beverages containing fiber, and even drinks based on traditional Chinese medicine, according to Curt Ferguson. Coca-Cola began riding the trend when it rolled out new products like sugar-free Sprite with fiber in March, two RTD tea products in North China and South China in the second quarter, and a bottled water range containing fiber in June. A fiber-rich Coca-Cola Plus version for China debuted in August. Bottled water, RTD tea, carbonates, juice drinks, and functional drinks were the biggest sellers in the $84 billion Chinese beverage industry. 
Shi Jing, "Coca-Cola embarks on 'healthy' growth route", China Daily, August 30, 2018, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Coca-Cola Company
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Hershey Rolls Out New Omnichannel That Blurs Online and Offline

August 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hershey Co. has a ‘digital’ strategy that is centered on four components, search, content, conversion, and community. It is designed to enhance the company’s competitive advantage and help it succeed in the emerging omnichannel marketplace and holds that there is no offline and online division, but rather a continuum between the two. The initial goal is to convert a purchase, but the long-term goal is repeat purchases and to earn a place on the consumers digital shopping list. Hershey is also experimenting with digital impulse sales.  [Image Credit: © THE HERSHEY COMPANY]
Keith Nunes, "Inside Hershey’s digital strategy", Food Business News, August 30, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Other
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Perdue To Begin Offering Lower-Priced Organic Chicken Products

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Maryland-based Perdue Farms announced its Simply Smart Organics chicken products – including frozen and refrigerated whole grain, gluten-free, and lightly breaded nuggets, strips and tenders – will be available next month at about half the cost of other organic brands. The company says the new organic products will be more affordable relative to other similar products, without compromising organic standards, convenience or taste. The line of chicken products can already be found in stores, but beginning in October they’ll carry the USDA certified organic seal. U.S. sales of organic broiler chickens were up 78 percent in 2016 from the previous year, totalling $750 million, according to the USDA.[Image Credit: © Perdue and its affiliates or subsidiaries]
Sara Swann, "Perdue organic chicken line targets affordability", Salisbury Daily Times, August 28, 2018, © www.delmarvanow.com
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Starbucks, Nestlé Join Hands In Major Marketing Alliance

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé and Starbucks have closed a deal that grants Nestlé perpetual worldwide rights to market Starbucks consumer packaged goods and foodservice products outside of the company’s coffee shops. Dubbed a “strategic milestone” for Starbucks by CEO Kevin Johnson, the deal involves the marketing of Starbucks roast and ground coffees, whole beans, instant coffee, portioned coffees, and tea brands, including Teavana. Nestlé’s coffee portfolio in the North American premium roast, ground, and portioned coffee business will be strengthened by the deal, the company aid, and will also lead to global expansion in grocery and foodservice for Starbucks, through Nestlé. About 500 Starbucks employees in the U.S. and Europe will join Nestlé in Seattle and London.
"Nestlé and Starbucks close deal for the perpetual global license of Starbucks Consumer Packaged Goods and Foodservice products", Nestlé, August 28, 2018, © Nestlé
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Nestle
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Nestlé Waters Expands Delivery Service With Acquisition Of Maryland Water Delivery Firm

August 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Conn.-based Nestlé Waters NA has expanded its ReadyRefresh beverage delivery service for homes and businesses to the Eastern U.S. by acquiring the customers of Dayspring Water (Trappe, Maryland). The deal extends the service to the Eastern shore of Maryland into Delaware, down the Maryland shoreline, and into Virginia. ReadyRefresh delivers Deer Park water, Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, S.Pellegrino sparkling water, and other brands in various sizes and flavors. It offers expanded delivery hours, flexible frequency options (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.) and a shopping website. The ReadyRefresh service is also available in Sacramento, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Atlanta, Ga. The transaction closed on July 27, 2018.
"Nestlé Waters North America Expands ReadyRefresh Beverage Delivery Service to Eastern Atlantic through New Trappe, Maryland Branch", PR Newswire , August 28, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestle
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United States of America

General Mills Drops “Natural” Claim For Granola Bars

August 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

General Mills will no longer claim on its Nature Valley granola bars that they are 100 percent natural, according to a news report. The company recently settled a 2016 lawsuit that said that oats used in the bars contained the herbicide glyphostate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto product Roundup that has been connected to cancer. Tests by an independent lab found .45 parts per million glyphosate in the Nature Valley products. The company reportedly settled instead of going through "the cost and distraction of litigation" and instead will focus on making sure products have 100 percent whole grain oats.[Image Credit: © General Mills]
Brett Molina, "General Mills drops '100% Natural' on Nature Valley granola bars after lawsuit", USA Today, August 24, 2018, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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General Mills
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Coca-Cola In Dispute With Brazil Over Loss Of Tax Breaks

August 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
To settle a truckers strike in May, the Brazilian government raised $3.4 billion by cutting soft drink manufacturers’ tax breaks. Needless to say, this did not sit well with the 59 members of the Brazilian Association of Soft Drink Manufacturers (Abir), which includes Coca-Cola, Inbev, and PepsiCo. Now Coke is threatening to stop production in the Manaus Free Trade Zone – and shift it to another country with better tax incentives – unless Pres. Michel Temer restores the breaks. A bill establishing the tax on industrialized products at 15 percent could be introduced before Temer's mandate is over, but the government would like to punt the problem to the next president. Moving out of Brazil would mean a loss of 15,000 jobs in the soft drinks bottling industry there.
Julio Wiziack & Maeli Prado, "Coca-Cola Threatens to Leave Brazil If Free Trade Zone's Subsidies Are Not Returned", Folha de S.Paulo, August 21, 2018, © Folha de S.Paulo
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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
Latin America
Brazil

Campbell Expands Vegetable Juice Line With Functional Hydration Product

August 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company announced it is adding another variant in its line of vegetable- and fruit-based beverages, to be introduced solely on Amazon and Walmart.com on August 23. V8 +Hydrate will reach store shelves in November at a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a six-pack of 8-ounce cans. According to one report, Campbell’s V8 +Hydrate is targeting both the sports drink market and flavored waters, while tapping into several trends, including the growing popularity of functional and plant-based products, which account for nearly 20 percent of total U.S. food and beverage dollars. The new drink gets natural electrolytes from sweet potato juice, and is blended with natural fruit flavors (strawberry cucumber, coconut watermelon, and orange grapefruit). It is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, gluten-free, has no artificial sweeteners or added sugar, and delivers 45 calories per 8-ounce can. 
Karlene Lukovitz, "V8 +Hydrate Is Campbell's First All-Online Launch", MediaPost, August 21, 2018, © MediaPost Communications
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Perrier Launches Mineral Water & Juice Drinks In L.A.

August 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Stamford, Conn.-based Nestlé Waters announced that carbonated mineral water brand Perrier has introduced a line of Perrier & Juice drinks in the Los Angeles area. The new products feature Perrier mineral water mixed with fruit juices and a “touch of sugar.” Three flavor combinations – strawberry & kiwi, peach & cherry, and pineapple & mango – are available, all enhanced with apple and lemon juices. The beverages are being sold in 8.45 fl oz slim can four-packs and 11.15 fl oz sleek cans at select retailers in the Los Angeles area. On August 18, the company sponsored what it called a Perrier Gym & Juice pop-up at The Americana, a shopping, dining, entertainment and residential complex in Glendale, California, featuring five “hyped-up Y7 Vinyasa sessions,” a Perrier & Juice drink bar, live DJs, swag giveaways, and “photo experiences.”
"Perrier Brings Bold and Tasty Refreshment to Los Angeles with the Launch of Perrier & Juice Drink", PR Newswire, August 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola FEMSA Backs Out Of Bottling Operations In The Philippines

August 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola’s Bottling Investments Group (BIG) announced it is taking control of bottling operations in the Philippines after Mexico’s Coca-Cola FEMSA said it would divest its 51 percent stake in Coca-Cola Philippines after a five-year stint. FEMSA has been dealing with labor problems in the Philippines since late 2016, and there are unconfirmed reports that the company has had a tough time complying with a new tax reform law that increased levies on sugar-sweetened beverages. BIG works to ensure that global bottling operations receive the appropriate investments and expertise to succeed. According to Coca-Cola, the takeover would ensure a smooth transition of the Philippine bottling operations for customers, business partners, consumers and workers.

Othel V. Campos, "Coca-Cola FEMSA sells 51 percent stake to U.S. bottler", Manila Standard , August 17, 2018, © manilastandard.net
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Coca-Cola To Acquire Minority Stake In BodyArmor Sports Drink Company

August 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is buying a minority stake in the sports drink start-up BodyArmor, and may soon begin distributing its products. The move is seen as another attempt to break Gatorade’s hold on the sports beverage market. Queens, N.Y.-based BodyArmor is backed by pro athletes Kobe Bryant, Mike Trout, and James Harden. Dr Pepper Snapple Group has a 12.5 percent stake as well as a distribution deal. Coca-Cola may also strike a distribution deal with BodyArmor, a move that would allow Coke to assume full ownership. Like hydration rivals Gatorade (PepsiCo) and Powerade (Coca-Cola), BodyArmor is rich in electrolytes, but uses coconut water, has less sodium and more potassium. It is marketed as a natural beverage that contains no artificial colors or high-fructose corn syrup. BodyArmor is expected to have about $400 million in revenue this year and could be valued at $2 billion.
Jennifer Maloney and Cara Lombardo, "Coca-Cola Invests in BodyArmor as It Chases Gatorade", Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2018, © Dow Jones & Co., Inc
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Water Is The Key Component Of A Healthy Life, Survey Finds

August 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Water is the most important part of a healthy life, according to a study commissioned by Nestlé Waters NA. Twenty-seven percent of consumers and 32 percent of experts rank water higher than sleep and healthy foods. The study surveyed a total of 6,142 American consumers and experts on water-related topics. Water conservation efforts were found to be a key priority for Americans, with more than half of consumers (55 percent) and experts (60 percent) saying they think about their water usage on a daily basis. But an average of 42 percent admit that they do not conserve water, but are willing to do so. [Image Credit: © Nestlé Waters North America Inc.]
"Americans Say That Clean Water Is the Most Important Factor to Living a Healthy Lifestyle, According to Second Annual Study from Nestlé Waters North America", PR Newswire, August 14, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Nestlé Waters Adds Functional Variants To Levissima Range In Italy

August 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters is extending its Levissima mineral water brand in the Italian market with the launch of a functional water range in three flavors and variants offering added potassium (muscle function), magnesium (tiredness and concentration), or zinc (stress). Levissima + is marketed as a hydration solution that also can “perform additional functions.” The company’s Italian unit said early feedback from the market has been "strong," with other varieties scheduled to launch in 2019.
Lucy Britner, "Nestle Waters unveils functional water Levissima + in Italy", just-drinks.com, August 14, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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To Reduce Product Line Complexity, Coke Is Targeting “Zombies” For Liquidation

August 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has developed a guide for executives in its various markets to identify underperforming products – dubbed “zombies” – that should be axed.  So far in 2018 the company has flagged 125 “underperforming SKUs for elimination” in in the Middle East and North African region alone. Sixty percent have already been dropped from the portfolio. The process of developing “zombie reviews” is a subcategory of innovation, according to CEO James Quincey, that requires ruthlessness. According to Quincey, product line complexity needs to be reduced to ensure the sales force is focused, the supply chain is efficient, and the innovation pipeline gains more space and visibility at the point of sale.
Rachel Arthur , "Coca-Cola steps up the zombie hunt: More than 100 products identified for elimination", Beverage Daily, August 13, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Uses Crowd-Funding Platform To See If Swiss Sparkling Water Could Succeed Here

August 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hoping for quicker feedback, Coca-Cola is bypassing its usual product R&D process, choosing instead to test the U.S. market for Swiss sparkling water Valsar on the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform. The company is showcasing Valsar, acquired in 2001, at Atlanta-area restaurants during August to determine whether it could add the product to its American bottled water portfolio. A company exec said consumer beverage preferences are changing rapidly, so the company’s innovation team “is challenged with taking risks, testing, iterating and cycling through ideas quickly,” hence the Indiegogo experiment. If it works, innovation chief Dave Preston says, his team will consider using it on other Coca-Cola brands.
Eric Mandel, "Coca-Cola piloting Swiss sparkling water in Atlanta", Atlanta Business Chronicle, August 12, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Dunkin' Donuts Launches First Gluten-Free Pastry: The Fudge Brownie

August 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin' Donuts’ new, gluten-free fudge brownie is made with potato starch instead of wheat flour containing gluten, rendering it safe for anyone who has celiac disease, a wheat allergy, or a gluten intolerance. The brownies are packaged in a plastic wrap, similar to store-bought snack cakes, to guard against gluten contamination in the bakery case. Courier Journal staffers who tried the snack said “there was something different about it,” but not different enough to keep them from trying it again. One reported described the brownie as a dense "sucker punch of chocolate" that was "pretty darn good." [Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]
Maggie Menderski, "Dunkin' Donuts' gluten-free pastry packs a fudgy punch", Louisville Courier Journal, August 03, 2018, © Louisville Courier Journal, Part of the USA Today Network
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Coca-Cola India Invests In Apple Cultivation For Its Fruit-Based Beverages

August 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India is partnering with an Indo-Dutch agribusiness to expand apple cultivation – via 110 orchards – in the northern hilly state Uttarakhand to locally source pulp for its fruit-based drinks. Project Unnati Apple was created as a catalyst to help India achieve self-sufficiency in apple production. The country ranks second in terms of area under apple cultivation, yet it imports the fruit and its concentrate as the average productivity per hectare is low. Coca-Cola has been investing in fruit-based beverages as consumers worldwide switch to more healthful beverages. In India the company agreed to nearly $2 billion to source fruits locally while diversifying its portfolio. Researcher Euromonitor expects sales of sodas in India grow at 3.4 percent by 2022, half the pace of the previous five years.
Sharleen Dsouza, "Coca-Cola Turns Apple Grower In Push Beyond Sugary Sodas", BloombergQuint, August 03, 2018, © BloombergQuint
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Following String Of Acquisition Flops, Starbucks Tries Again With Italian Bakery

August 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks hasn’t had much success in buying and locating companies either within its stores or as stand-alones. One memorable flop was the bakery Boulange. But Starbucks is trying again, and with another bakery: Princi, a small but high-end chain launched in 1968 in Italy that has no U.S. locations yet. Starbucks has committed to making the brand the exclusive food partner at its global Reserve and Roastery locations. A Princi has opened inside the Shanghai Roastery and in the first Reserve store at the Seattle headquarters. Princi will also be included in upcoming Roastery locations in Milan and New York. Starbucks plans only a few Roastery locations around the world, but possibly 1,000 Reserve stores. Stand-alone Princi locations will also open in two major markets: New York and Chicago, where there are Roastery locations. [Image Credit: © Princi.com | Starbucks]
Daniel B. Kline , "As Starbucks Ramps Up A New Bakery Line, It's Hard To Forget Its String Of Second-Brand Failures", Motley Fool, August 02, 2018, © The Motley Fool
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Kraft Heinz Commits To Environmentally-Friendlier Packaging By 2025

August 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Kraft Heinz Company has committed to making its packaging 100 percent recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and it will also work towards reducing the amount of packaging. The CEO, Bernardo Hees, said that the company needs to look at how its greenhouse emissions are generated throughout the supply chain, and not just from direct operations. The initiatives are a part of its ‘Growing a Better World’ program it announced in 2017.[Image Credit: © The Kraft Heinz Company]
Alexandra Deabler, "Kraft Heinz announces 100 percent of packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025", Fox News, August 01, 2018, © FOX News Network, LLC.
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New Marketing Chief Takes Over At Nestlé Waters NA

July 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA marketing head Antonio Sciuto, credited with transforming the company’s digital strategy, has resigned and will be replaced by Yumi Clevenger-Lee. The change in leadership comes in the midst of a mushrooming sparkling water marketing war among Nestlé, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and smaller marketers such as La Croix. Nestlé is the market leader, after private label brands, commanding a 13.3 percent share in the U.S. Private labels have 31.2 percent of the market. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have 3.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, but have been spending heavily on marketing and have been gaining. Nestlé's share fell by 1.3 points in the year-to-date period through mid-June. Clevenger-Lee had been marketing director for the Latin American division of Cereal Partners Worldwide, a joint venture between Nestlé and General Mills.
E.J. Schultz, "Nestle Waters taps new CMO amid sparkling water ad war", Advertising Age, July 31, 2018, © Crain Communications
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Hormel Removes Carrageenan From Line Of Natural, Organic Deli Meats

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel’s Applegate brand of natural and organic meats announced it has eliminated the controversial ingredient carrageenan from its deli meat products after consumers complained about it.  Carrageenan is a sulfated polysaccharide derived from seaweed that is used as a thickener and stabilizer in foods. The USDA now allows the use of carrageenan in natural and organic foods. Hormel also requires a no-antibiotics policy on the farms that produce meats for its Applegate products. [Image Credit: © Hormel]
"Applegate Does Deli Better with Ingredient and Packaging Updates ", Hormel Foods Corporation, July 26, 2018, © Hormel Foods Corporation
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Dunkin Donuts Is Way Smaller Than Starbucks, But Better Loved By Customers

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts is doing a lot of things right, a fact reflected in its most recent quarterly financial report showing higher-than-expected earnings and revenues. Starbucks, however, with 25 times the revenue of Dunkin’, “has lost its mojo” and Wall Street “is losing faith” in its management team, according to Forbes. At least part of the problem is the fact, confirmed by data from LikeFolio's consumer insights, that for the first time Dunkin’ Donuts happiness levels are higher than Starbucks. Other key factors at play: Dunkin' Donuts is growing its customer base and adding stores, while Starbucks is closing locations; purchase intent mentions for Dunkin’ Donuts are at multi-year highs; Starbucks has a serious employee morale problem; Dunkin’ is more inclined to give customers – rather than environmental activists – what they want; and Dunkin’ Donuts has delicious donuts, rather than pastries. [Image Credit: © Starbucks]
Andy Swan, "5 Reasons Dunkin' Donuts is Dominating Starbucks", Forbes.com, July 26, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Court Squashes Suits Seeking Human Rights Disclosure Labels On Foods

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A federal appeals court has ruled that California consumer laws do not require food companies to put disclaimer labels about supply-chain issues on their products. The 9th circuit court’s decision ends class action suits that have sought to force companies to disclose possible human rights violations within the supply chain. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that forced child labor occurs in the harvesting of cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast and the collection of fish and shrimp in Thailand. Companies such as Mars and Nestlé have acknowledged that such abuses occur, but plaintiffs in the class action suits say such efforts do not go far enough.
Glenn G. Lammi, "Demands For On-Label Disclosure Of Possible Supply-Chain Abuses Fail In Ninth Circuit", Forbes.com, July 25, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Coca-Cola Profit Soars 64 Percent In Quarter; Plans Tariff-Induced Price Hikes

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola reported a second quarter profit of $2.3 billion – a 64 percent increase from a year ago – on an organic revenue increase of five percent (excluding currency swings, acquisitions and divestitures), helped by growth in sales of concentrates and higher prices for products. Overall sales slid eight percent from last year to $8.9 billion, thanks to divestiture of bottling operations. The company said it is raising prices on carbonated drinks in North America in response to rising freight rates and metal prices – “some broad-based push on input costs,” said CEO James Quincey – spurred by tariffs on Chinese imports. Drink volumes rose two percent, driven by double-digit growth in Coca-Cola-branded products. Volumes were up two percent in carbonated soft drinks and four percent for water, enhanced water and sports drinks.
Jennifer Maloney, "Coke Raising U.S. Soda Prices, Citing Tariffs", Wall Street Journal , July 25, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Coca-Cola UK Presents List Of Features Of Ideal Deposit Return Scheme

July 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners has revealed the characteristics of what the company believes is a deposit return scheme that is workable and likely to succeed in the UK. According to the company, a DRS for recycling cans and bottles should be “easy for public to recycle and no penalty for doing the right thing and should have “good financial management and fraud control.” Also, the company said a good DRS should have a “common approach covering the whole of Great Britain” and should be managed by a “not-for-profit management company.”[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola European Partners]
Paul Sanderson, "Coca-Cola sets out its view on what constitutes a good deposit return scheme", REB Market Intelligence, July 16, 2018, © Hanicke Robins Sanderson Limited
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Danone Introduces Fermented Milks, Yogurts Inspired By International Recipes

July 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone has launched a range of fermented milks and yogurts in the U.K. that it says are “inspired by authentic recipes” from around the world. The two fermented milks (250 g, $1.95) in the Danone of the World lineup include an Indian-style Lassi drink and a Turkish-inspired Ayran drink. Among the yogurts are a Greek-style Straggisto yogurt (140 g, $1.30), a fat-free, high protein Icelandic-inspired Skyr yogurt (140g, RRP $1.30), and a Lebanese-style Laban yogurt, (250g, $1.95). A Danone spokesperson said the new products represent “a real market growth opportunity for retailers.”
Andrew Sykes , "The Danone of the World yogurts launched", Retail Times, July 16, 2018, © RetailTimes.co.U.K.
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Coca-Cola Introduces Functional Probiotic Soft Drink To Japanese Market

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola Japan has introduced its third product in the “Fanta Double Plus” line of functional soft drinks that contain "vitamins and seasonal ingredients". Limited edition Fanta Yogurtropical, containing vitamin B and “lactic acid bacteria” debuted in July at $1.26 per 16-ounce bottle, and 49 calories per 3.4-ounce serving. The range also includes Fanta Pineapple GABA, containing gamma-aminobutyric acid and vitamin B.

"Coca-Cola Japan's Fanta Yogurtropical - Product Launch", just-drinks.com, July 10, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Starbucks Imposes 5p “Latte Levy” On Single-Use Paper Coffee Cups In UK

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coffeeshop chain Starbucks has started charging customers 5p for single-use paper coffee cups in the UK. Part of the company’s efforts to reduce the use of 2.5 billion disposable cups each year, the “latte levy” was rolled out nationwide after a three-month trial in London. Customers who use reusable mugs receive a 25p discount off any Starbucks drink, while in-store customers encouraged to use ceramic cups instead.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]

Rebecca Smithers, "Starbucks introduces 'latte levy' of 5p on single-use paper cups", The Guardian, July 10, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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