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Nespresso Pop-Up Store Opens In Argentina’s Rosario City

May 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has opened a pop-up Nespresso coffee machine and capsule store in a shopping mall in the Paraná River port city of Rosario, Argentina. Nespresso machines brew espresso and coffee from capsules, or pods, that contain single-use amounts of ground beans.
"Argentina: Nespresso to open new pop-up store on 1 June 2017", Esmerk Latin American News, May 22, 2017, © M-Brain
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Nestle
Geographies
Worldwide
Latin America
Argentina

REFORMULATION: Reformulated Coke Brands Are Doing Fine With Less, Or No, Sugar

May 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s positive experience with reducing sugar content of several soft drink brands has encouraged it to extend the practice, according to CEO James Quincey. The reformulated Fanta brand, for example, has cut sugar content by another third, after a similar reduction in 2006. Quincey said cutting sugar content in Sprite (2013) and Dr Pepper (2014) did not hurt sales. It added sweeteners acesulfame (Fanta) and stevia (Sprite) to maintain flavor. In fact, a U.K. Coke exec said this year would be “the biggest in Fanta's history, with a fresh new look inside and out.”
James Rodger, "How Coca-Cola is Changing Sprite, Fanta and Dr Pepper Recipes", Birmingham Mail, May 22, 2017, © Trinity Mirror Midlands
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Coca-Cola Company
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United Kingdom

As Retail Industry Continues To Sag, Walmart Booms

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart bucked depressing retail industry trends in the first fiscal quarter, posting a 1.4 percent increase in revenue to $117.54 billion, slightly less than the $117.74 billion expected by Wall Street. Earnings per share were up by two percent to $1.00, better than analyst expectations of $0.96 a share. The glowing performance in a time of limp retail sales was generally driven by aggressive pricing that increased store traffic by three percent (on a two-year stacked basis) and by successful expansion of its online business. E-commerce sales soared 63 percent, up from 29 percent growth last quarter, mostly due to organic growth and not acquisitions. Same-store sales grew for the 11th consecutive quarter.
"Walmart U.S. Q1 comps1 grew 1.4% and Walmart U.S. eCommerce GMV grew 69%, Company reports Q1 FY18 diluted EPS of $1.00", Earnings release, Walmart, May 18, 2017, © Walmart Stores, Inc.
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Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

It’s Official: McDonald’s Ice Cream Is Clean Label

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s has added its vanilla soft serve ice cream product to the list of menu items that no longer contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The change began quietly last fall, and is now nearly completed at its 14,000 U.S. locations. Vanilla soft serve is used to make cones, McCafe shakes and McFlurry desserts – a total of about 60 percent of the desserts McDonald's serves. In addition, the chocolate and strawberry McCafe shake syrup no longer contains high fructose corn syrup; the whipped topping served on all three flavors of shakes is made with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. [Image Credit: © McDonald's ]
"Sweet Surprise: McDonald's Unveils a Change to its Vanilla Soft Serve", News release, McDonald's, May 18, 2017, © McDonald's
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Sustainable Living Brands Initiative Has Positive Impact At Unilever

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Products that Unilever six years ago designated as “sustainable living brands” – they offer a strong social or environmental purpose – have proven to be generally more successful than the rest of its product lineup, the company says. They have grown 50 percent faster and delivered more than 60 percent of the growth in 2016. Eighteen ended up in Unilever’s top 40 brands. Most successful sustainable living products include Lifebuoy, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Hellmann’s, with high single- and double-digit sales over the past six years. CEO Paul Polman said the results show that “sustainability is good for business” because consumers want sustainable products. A Unilever-commissioned survey found that more than half of all consumers already buy or want to buy sustainably. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
"Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands continue to drive higher rates of growth", News release, Unilever, May 18, 2017, © Unilever
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Unilever
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
United States of America
Europe
United Kingdom
Netherlands

Danone Buys Entry Into Smaller, Quicker, Tuned-In Food Companies

May 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The venture funding unit of France’s yogurt multinational Danone has invested in a four-year-old, two-woman investment firm whose portfolio features small “disruptive food and beverage companies” in the natural and organic market that are “stealing shelf space and sales from established food companies.” AccelFoods of New York is nurturing 30 start-ups that produce everything from “better-for-you” bouillon cubes to calamansi juice drinks to flavored organic pressed teas. Adding Danone to the fund raised another $15 million, for a total of about $30 million. Danone’s investment comes at a time when Danone’s investment in AccelFoods is part of a strategy to boost sales by expanding in the U.S. It also acknowledges that smaller, more agile companies have a better grasp of the fast-evolving tastes of younger food consumers. [Image Credit: © Accel Foods ]
"Danone Announces Investment in AccelFoods", European Supermarket Magazine, May 17, 2017, © European Supermarket Magazine
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Danone
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Barilla Unveils Line Of Microwaveable Pasta

May 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. unit of Italy’s Barilla Group SpA. has developed a quick-cook pasta that delivers a tasty al dente texture within 60 seconds. The microwave pasta has only two added ingredients – sea salt and olive oil – and comes in four shapes: elbows, gemelli, penne and rotini. Ready Pasta is non-GMO certified and has no preservatives. It is packaged in an 8.5-ounce pouch (two servings) and is found in the dry pasta aisle of grocery stores. [Image Credit: © Barilla ]
"New Barilla Ready Pasta Delivers Perfect Pasta in 60 Seconds", News release, Barilla, May 17, 2017, © Barilla Group SpA
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
United States of America
Europe
Italy

U.S. Grocery Chain Owner Delhaize Honored For Diversified Hiring Practices

May 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Retail grocery chain owner Delhaize America was recognized by Web-based “diversity” publisher and event sponsor DiversityInc for its excellence in hiring, retaining and promoting women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT people and veterans. Delhaize, whose grocery chains include Food Lion and Hannaford, was ranked 10th among the top 11 “Companies for Progress,” a subset of the top 50 companies for diversity. It was the only grocery firm to make the top 50. Other retailers among the top 50 were Target (No. 22) and CVS Health (No. 50). CPG companies included Johnson & Johnson (No. 5), Procter & Gamble (No. 13), Kellogg Co. (No. 28), Colgate-Palmolive (No. 35), and McCormick & Co. (No. 45).
"Delhaize America Among Top Companies for Progress", Progressive Grocer, May 17, 2017, © EnsembleIQ
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Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Pizza Doughnuts: In An Age Of Doughnut Creativity, Why Not?

May 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Who says a pizza – despite its name – has to be in the shape of a pie? The West End Bistro in West Haven, Conn., has proven that pizza can look like a doughnut and sell just as well. Their creation – the idea came to the owner in a dream – begins with focaccia dough stuffed with Italian cheeses and shaped into a doughnut. It is then fried and “frosted” with what creator Jeff Lamberti calls “gravy” – pizza sauce – then baked, garnished with greens and served. Photos posted on social media were a viral hit; passels of orders soon followed. Lamberti said they sold two hundred of the junk food delicacies in a recent weekend. "I didn't think that it would take off the way it did,” he said.  [Image Credit: © NBC Connecticut ]
"The Pizza Donut: A Match Made in Junk Food Heaven", WHOtv.com, May 16, 2017, © WHO: A Tribune Broadcasting Station
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Trusted Brands In 40+ Product Categories Listed By Reader’s Digest

May 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An online survey of 5,500 American consumers found that 49 percent are less trusting of brands these days. The survey, conducted by Reader’s Digest, sought to find the most trusted brands in 40 product categories, including food and beverage, beauty and healthcare, retail, etc. According to the company, which awards a “Trusted Brand seal of approval” to products, the survey found that trust outweighs product pricing and trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty. (It doesn’t, however, equate with top sales: Ford is ranked as most trusted car company, but GM is the top seller.) More than half of participants said the Reader’s Digest seal of approval would increase their likelihood of trusting a brand.  [Image Credit: © Reader's Digest ]
"Reader’s Digest Annual Survey Determines the Most Trusted Brands in America", News release, Reader's Digest, May 16, 2017, © Reader's Digest
Domains
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Campbell's
PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Chobani Strives To Be No. 1 In Yogurt, But Not Through Tactics Of “Desperation”

May 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
American yogurt fans have embraced Greek yogurt since Chobani introduced it here nine years ago, but the company is not satisfied. Fifty-four percent of U.S. yogurt sales are in the Greek category, but CMO Peter McGuinness says it is still “underpenetrated” and should be double what it is now. The market figures tell him that two-thirds of the country hasn’t had a Greek yogurt in the last 52 weeks. Chobani, with 20.4 percent of the overall yogurt market, will beat Yoplait and No. 1 Danone through “authentic innovation” within the category, rather than “desperation and discounting,” McGuinness says. [Image Credit: © Chobani ]
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Chobani CMO on Greek Yogurt: ‘We Think the Category Should be double what it is today’", DAIRYreporter.com, May 15, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Other
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Fanta’s Novel Twisted Bottle Debuts In Armenia

May 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Branding makeover of fruit-flavored soda Fanta includes new bottle with ”unique twisted” shape featured in the 500 ml, one liter and 1.5 liter sizes. Bottle debuted in Armenia recently and will be “especially loved and well suited to the taste of dynamic and active Armenian youth,” according to local Coca-Cola (Hellenic Armenia) head. Launch will be accompanied by Fanta giveaways and “dancing celebrations” in capital, Yerevan.
"A refreshing twist: Fanta gets a new look", PanARMENIAN.Net, May 12, 2017, © PanARMENIAN.Net
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Other

Innovation Program Puts Coca-Cola In Touch With Creative Entrepreneurs

May 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Innovation involves connection with partners and customers, as well as with fast-growing start-up companies, according to the head of Coca-Cola’s innovation program, The Bridge. Launched three years ago, the program picks 10 companies with potential each year and gives them access to its massive marketing resources. For its efforts, Coke gets early access to innovative consumer technologies. The program has produced 68 pilot programs, 15 license agreements and four global license agreements. Not content with this early success, Alan Boehme now wants to accelerate the initiative. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Company ]
David Needle, "Coca Cola’s investments in startups is the real thing for innovation", CIO, May 12, 2017, © CXO MEDIA INC., Inc.
Domains
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Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Knorr’s New Quick Meals Are Free Of Artificial Flavors, Preservatives

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever brand Knorr unveiled quick stovetop meals made without artificial flavors, artificial preservatives or gluten. Ingredients are grown on Knorr Landmark Farms and include “responsibly sourced” rice from Arkansas, dairy from the Midwest, and garlic from California. Knorr said its farmers are encouraged to adopt sustainable practices on their farms, such as improving soil quality, reducing water usage, and increasing biodiversity. New Knorr Selects meals include Four Cheese Risotto, White Cheddar Broccoli, Roasted Garlic Alfredo, Rustic Mexican Rice & Beans, Spinach & Artichoke and Asiago Cheese & Cracked Black Pepper. [Image Credit: © Unilever U.S. ]
"New Knorr Selects Bring Quality, Flavor and Convenience to the Table", News release, Unilever, May 11, 2017, © Unilever
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Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

PepsiCo Expands E-Commerce Relationship With China’s Alibaba Platform

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo’s China unit has extended its marketing relationship with giant online and mobile commerce company Alibaba with a new strategic agreement. The company said the pact is an effort to expand its own e-commerce capabilities while enhancing customer online experiences. PepsiCo will take full advantage of Alibaba's platform and data “to carry out more innovative experiments” and “perfect PepsiCo's products and services.” Cooperation with Alibaba began five years ago in the e-commerce segment when PepsiCo established a flagship store on Tmall  It has launched several online marketing campaigns, including the 2016 Super Brand Day, Quaker's co-branded campaign with Tmall, and Kumamon-branded Lay's gift campaign during Chinese New Year. [Image Credit: © PepsiCo ]
"PepsiCo Signs Strategic Agreement with Alibaba Group", News release, PepsiCo, May 11, 2017, © PepsiCo
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PepsiCo
Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
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Asia-Pacific
United States of America
China

Whole Foods Market Names Manbeck Chief Financial Officer

May 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Whole Foods Market, Inc., said it has named Keith Manbeck as executive vice president and chief financial officer effective May 17, 2017. With more than 20 years of experience as financial and operational executive at leading companies, Manbeck joins the retailer's management team implementing an expanded strategy to improve shareholder value. Manbeck was SVP of digital finance, strategy management, and business transformation at Kohl's Corp. since 2014 and, before that, was global VP and CFO for Nike's Direct to Consumer business.
"Whole Foods Market Appoints Keith Manbeck as Chief Financial Officer", Whole Foods Market, May 10, 2017, © Whole Foods Market
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Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Whole Foods Market Suffers Another Quarterly Drop In Same-Store Sales

May 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market posted generally healthy second quarter financials, but endured another quarterly decline in same-store sales. Total sales were up 1.1 percent to a record $3.7 billion for the quarter. Same-store sales, however, slid 2.8 percent, the seventh consecutive quarterly drop. Profit was $99 million (2.6 percent of sales), or an expected $0.37 a share. The company returned $45 million in dividends to shareholders. CEO John Mackey said a key goal is to return to positive same-store sales and earnings growth next year, though the company expects same-store sales to remain depressed this fiscal year. It hopes to trim $300 million in costs this year, and has hired a consulting firm to help it figure out how. Keith Manbeck was named the new chief financial officer. [Image Credit: © Whole Foods Market ]
"Whole Foods Market Provides Shareholder Update on Accelerated Path to Delivering Shareholder Value and Announces Second Quarter 2017 Results", Earnings release, Whole Foods Market , May 10, 2017, © Whole Foods Market
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Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Coca-Cola CEO Quincey Expects Robust Growth – Beginning Next Year

May 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, who succeeds Muhtar Kent, says focus is on “next stage of growth," to be financed in part by cutting 1,200 jobs, saving $800 million. Problems plaguing company have included strong dollar (dampened profit), meager investment in “sparkling” brands, and need to shed bottlers to strengthen lineup of partners. Quincey doesn’t expect profit to rise this year, so focus is on 2018, 2019, and beyond.
Russell Grantham, "Coke’s new CEO: ‘The next stage has to be about growth’ ", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 07, 2017, © Cox Media Group
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Food Waste Repurposed Into Edible, Profitable New Products

May 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The food waste problem is inspiring a lot of creative new product development these days. Among the ingenious products from socially aware entrepreneurs: Foxhole Gin, made with leftover grape skins, flesh and pips from winemaking; Toast Ale, made from surplus loaves of bread mashed into crumbs and mixed with malted barley, hops and yeast; ChicP hummus in four varieties made from discarded wonky fruit and vegetables; Hellmann's Ketchup, a new product made from imperfect discarded red and green tomatoes; Snacktivism snack bars made from excess fruit gleaned from London’s wholesale food markets; Spare Fruit premium crisps made from rescued wasted fruit; and Rejuce fruit and vegetable juices made from rejected produce that is transformed into flavors like Lime, Cucumber, & Mint, and Lemon, Beetroot & Ginger.  [Image Credit: © ChicP ]
Megan Tatum, "How food waste is fueling a new wave of NPD", The Grocer, May 06, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Certification To Transform Unilever Philippines Factory Into “Halal Hub”

May 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fortified with its new halal certification, the Unilever Philippines factory in Cavite will begin producing products across its home care, personal care, food, and refreshment segments for domestic and foreign Muslim markets. The company said the Cavite factory will become the “halal hub” for the Southeast Asia and Australia markets. A new mega-distribution center in Cabuyao, Laguna, expected to be finished by October, would handle distribution and transport of Unilever products manufactured in Cavite and Paco, Manila. [Image Credit: © Unilever Philippines ]
Arra B. Francia , "Unilever PHL to export halal products", BusinessWorld, May 05, 2017, © BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Australia
Malaysia
Philippines

Monster Beverage Posts Sales Increases In First Quarter

May 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Despite persistent production problems, Monster Beverage Corporation posted first quarter net sales of $742.1 million, up 9.1 percent over last year’s first quarter. Net sales for Energy Drinks increased 7.5 percent to $668.6 million for 2017 first quarter, from $621.7 million for same period last year. Net sales for Strategic Brands segment (i.e., NOS, Full Throttle, other energy drinks managed under partnership with Coca-Cola) were $68 million, up 16.4 percent from $58.5 million. CEO Rodney Sacks cited growth internationally, continued realigning of distribution with Coca-Cola bottlers, and potential of new product innovations.
Martín Caballero , "Monster Sees Net Sales Boost in Q1 Earnings", BevNET.com, May 05, 2017, © BevNET.com
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Coca-Cola Edges Into China’s Premium Sparkling Water Market

May 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola will soon see whether it can compete successfully in China’s premium sparkling water market, currently ruled by Evian, Perrier, and San Benedetto. Looking to expand beyond sagging soft drink and juice brands, company has introduced expensive – $9.29 per 750 ml bottle – Valser brand on Tmall online platform. Company already offers low- and mid-range mineral water brands in China.
"Coca-Cola launches US$9 premium bottled water in China", Marketing Interactive, May 05, 2017, © Marketing-Interactive.com. Lighthouse Independent Media Pte Ltd
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FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
China

Changsha Factory Is Coca-Cola’s 44th In China

May 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s 44th factory in China, largest in central China, has begun production of planned nine product lines, including water, sparkling beverages, juice, and juice drinks, all expected to be up and running within three years. New Changsha plant, which belongs to COFCO Coca-Cola Huazhong Beverages Co. Ltd., is culmination of company’s $13 billion in Chinese investments.
"Coca-Cola's Changsha Plant Starts Production", China Retail News, May 05, 2017, © ChinaRetailNews.com
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Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
China

Dean Foods Invests In Flaxseed Milk Producer

May 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and beverage company Dean Foods announced investment in producer of flaxseed-based milk and yogurt products, Boulder, Colo.-based Good Karma Foods. Investment will help Good Karma more quickly expand distribution network in U.S. and accelerate brand building and product innovation. Dean said its sales staff will also support Good Karma's retail channel growth plans. Amount of investment was not revealed, but will give Dean minority equity position in Good Karma, behind 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners. [Image Credit: © Good Karma Foods ]
"Dean Foods and Good Karma Foods Strike Investment and Distribution Deal to Accelerate Brand Growth", News release, Dean Foods, May 05, 2017, © Dean Foods
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Other
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United States of America

Coca-Cola European Partners Needs Solid Summer Sales To Meet Full-Year Goals

May 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The company that resulted from combination of Coca-Cola Enterprises with its Iberian Partners and German division says currency weakness in U.K. dampened first quarter 2017 sales. Coca-Cola European Partners was encouraged, however, by strong net and operating profits that rose by double digits. CEO Damian Gamell called performance “solid,” but warned that reaching full-year targets would require executing marketing and operating plans during critical summer sales season.
Olly Wehring, "Coca-Cola European Partners sees Q1 hampered by UK - results", just-drinks.com, May 04, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Coca-Cola Company
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EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Dunkin’ Sponsors Blue-Colored Monster Energy Drink

May 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The donuts and coffee chain has partnered with Monster Energy to launch a Dunkin’-branded drink called Dunkin’ Energy Punch, available at only a few locations in New England, Miami and West Palm Beach. The blue-tinted beverage is a super sweet combination of blue raspberry (or strawberry) flavoring and a caffeine-loaded Monster Energy drink. 
Augusta Statz, "Dunkin’ Donuts Is Selling A Blue Monster Energy Drink", Simplemost, May 04, 2017, © Simplemost
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PepsiCo
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

CEO Points To Problems, Successes In Monster’s Earnings Call

May 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Monster Beverage CEO Rodney Sacks noted that sales continue to be challenging in beverage industry in first quarter and remain weak, and that currency issues continued problematic. Company continues to make progress in strategic alignment with Coca-Cola bottlers globally. Last fall, Monster launched “an exciting super soda” named Mutant, and will unveil sister product named White Lightning this summer. Another energy drink, Hydro, packaged in PET bottle, will launch in May.
"Monster Beverage (MNST) Q1 2017 Results - Earnings Call Transcript", Seeking Alpha, May 04, 2017, © Seeking Alpha
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Other
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United States of America

China's FMCG Market Grew Slowly In 1Q 2017, Report Says

May 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In China, spending on fast moving consumer goods grew slightly by 1.7 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2017, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Compared with the previous year, the country's GDP grew 6.9 percent, boosted by a government infrastructure focus and a hot housing market. Of the country's top 5 retailers, Sun Art, Vanguard, and Walmart were able to maintain their market ranking during the year. While Carrefour saw its market share drop by 0.1 point, local retailer Yonghui's share grew from 2.6 percent to 3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
outpaced the market by opening more stores Jason Yu, "FMCG growth remained challenging in the first quarter, while local retailers outpaced the market by opening more stores", Kantar Worldpanel, May 04, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Retailers & Private Label
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Asia-Pacific
China

Nestle Revamps Italian Factory To Ramp Up Frozen Pizza Production

May 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Nestlé Group is selling the La Valle Degli Orti (soups), Mare Fresco (frozen fish) and Surgela brands to German frozen food company FRoSTA Group to clear way for Benevento factory in Italy to produce only Buitoni frozen pizzas. Company is investing $52.5 million to overhaul production lines and boost production capacity with cutting-edge technology. Founded in 1963, FRoSTA Group, with facilities in eight countries, will continue development and promotion of Nestlé brands.  [Image Credit: © Nestlé ]
"Nestlé announces the signing of preliminary agreement for sale of frozen food brands", News release, Nestlé, May 04, 2017, © Nestlé Group
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Nestle
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Germany
Italy

Mexican Sparking Water Brand Could See Expanded Production

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Production of sparking water brand Topo Chico could increase significantly if expansion plans of Mexico Coca-Cola and Arca Continental (AC) bear fruit. Coca-Cola acquired Mexican distribution rights last year from AC, hopes to expand distribution in states where AC does not operate. AC executive said Topo Chico distribution could expand in Texas and other states where demand is strong. AC retains control of brand in U.S. and other markets.
"Mexico: Coca-Cola to expand distribution of Topo Chico bottled water", El Financiero, May 03, 2017, © El Financiero
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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
North America
Mexico

New CEO Named By General Mills

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills has named a 23-year company veteran to take over the helm from CEO Ken Powell, who will stay on as chairman until his impending retirement. Jeffrey L. Harmening, 50, will be the new CEO effective June 1. Harmening most recently headed up the U.S. retail business of General Mills, which expanded its position in the natural and organic segment, including the acquisition of Annie's and EPIC Provisions. The company is now the fourth largest maker of natural and organic foods in the U.S. Harmening also served as president of the company's U.S. cereal business and CEO of Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), a joint venture with Nestlé. Powell began his tenure as CEO in 2007. [Image Credit: © General Mills ]
"Jeff Harmening Named Chief Executive Officer of General Mills", News release, General Mills, May 03, 2017, © General Mills, Inc.
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General Mills
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United States of America

Coca-Cola India Has Prospered Under Outgoing Head

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s volume sales in India increased by 176 million cases over past four years, as profit surged 40 percent, market share gained eight percent, according to Venkatesh Kini, outgoing president for India and South-West Asia markets. Kini is being replaced by T. Krishnakumar, CEO of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., company-owned bottling unit. Coca-Cola India has put more focus on non-carbonated beverages like milk-based Vio and coconut water product Zico over last two years.
Sounak Mitra, "Coca-Cola India’s profit surged over 40% in the past four years: Venkatesh Kini", Livemint, May 03, 2017, © HT Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

New Lean Cuisine Meals Are Free Of Artificial Colors, Flavors, Preservatives

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé USA says it is expanding its lineup of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners for women with new dishes and “reinvented classics” boasting ingredients that can be found in the everyday kitchen, but without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The new meals, targeted unabashedly at women, include Garlic Sesame Noodles with Beef, Mango Chicken with Coconut Rice, Roasted Garlic White Bean Alfredo, and Spicy Penne Arrabbiata. Nestlé says the recipes are “developed with women in mind.” They contain only ingredients that provide nutrients or flavor, and they provide women “a great-tasting dish they can feel good about.” [Image Credit: © Nestlé USA  ]
"Lean Cuisine keeps It Fresh in the Freezer with New Chef-Inspired, Modern Flavors", News release, Nestlé USA, May 03, 2017, © Nestlé USA
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Nestle
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Subway U.K.’s New Low-Sugar Drink Options Lower Calorie Intake By 3.7 Billion

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Subway in the U.K. has forged a new beverage contract with Britvic and PepsiCo that means a wider selection of drinks for consumers and a lower overall calorie and sugar intake – as much as 3.7 billion calories by July 2017. Redesigned drinks fountains and refrigerators emphasize the low/no sugar beverage arrays. The changes have already led to significant changes in consumer purchases. Options include no-sugar Pepsi Max or Diet Pepsi, 7Up Free, and Britvic’s lower sugar Orange Tango. Subway says the changes have led to a 30 percent reduction in calorie consumption, or early two million calories per store a year. [Image Credit: © Subway.co.UK ]
"Subway to Cut Almost Four Billion Calories from UK Diets", Food Ingredients 1st, May 03, 2017, © CNS Media BV
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UK's Grocery Market Expands In April 2017 Quarter

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In the UK, the grocery market grew 3.7 percent during the 12-week period ending April 23, 2017, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Marking the fastest growth rate since September 2013, the growth is worth almost ₤1 billion in additional sales for the sector. Kantar Worldpanel head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said all of the country's 10 leading retailers posted growth. Strong sales during Easter also helped the market grow, with shoppers spending ₤325 million on Easter eggs, McKevitt added.
"Britain’s Sweet Tooth Helps Grocery Sales Rise", Kantar Worldpanel, May 03, 2017, © TNS UK Limited
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General Mills Hopes To Patent Promising Protein-Rich Oat Variety

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills has applied for U.S. patent for oat variety it has developed with the same high protein levels as a wild variety (Avena magna) but cultivable using standard farming practices. Avena magna plants are not suitable for mechanical harvesting because processing clogs threshing and de-hulling machines. Company’s high-protein variety has stable fatty acid profile, rendering it less vulnerable to oxidation. Could be used in “high protein granola bars, hot cereals, cold cereals, snack bars, cookies, gluten-free products, snacks, muffins, pancake mix and the like,” company said in application. [Image Credit: © USDA ]
Elaine Watson, "General Mills Seeks to Patent High-Protein Oat Variety", FOODnavigator-USA.com, May 02, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Survey Puts Amazon, Google At Top Of Beloved Consumer Brands List

May 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Digital media and survey research firm Morning Consult says the two “most loved” consumer brands in the U.S. are Amazon and Google, followed by Campbell Soup, Hershey Company, UPS, FedEx, Sony, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Google unit YouTube. The rankings are based on 200,000 interviews that covered 27 consumer brand sectors. In the food and beverage category, beer is led by Heineken, followed by Budweiser and Samuel Adams. Among restaurants, Baskin Robbins is the leader, followed by Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. And Kroger edges out Whole Foods in the grocery category.
Tanya Gazdik, "Amazon, Google 'Most Loved' Brands", MediaPost, May 03, 2017, © MediaPost Communications
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Dr Pepper Snapple Rides “Both Hands Strategy” Into The Future

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Like most beverage companies, Dr Pepper Snapple is paying attention to consumer demands for healthier drinks. But it is also determined not to give short shrift to its core soda products, and especially to its recent acquisition, Bai Brands, which markets antioxidant infusion drinks. The company calls it a “both hands strategy,” but is nevertheless reducing its dependence on soda, pushing into waters, teas and sports drinks as soft drink sales continue to slide industrywide.
Christopher Doering, "Despite bets on fast-growing brands, Dr Pepper Snapple isn't giving up on soda", Food Dive, May 02, 2017, © Industry Dive
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Companies Work With Start-Up To Speed Bio-Based Water Bottles

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bottled water makers Danone (France) and Nestlė Waters (U.S.) are collaborating with start-up Origin Materials to speed commercial scale development of 100 percent bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. The bottles will be made from sustainable, renewable biomass feedstocks, including cardboard, sawdust, and wood chips. Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is 30 percent bio-based, though goal is 100 percent by 2020. Origin has produced samples of 80 percent bio- based PET bottles in California test factory.
"Danone and Nestlé Waters Launch NaturALL Bottle Alliance with California Startup to Develop 100% Bio-Based Bottles", News release, Nestlé , May 02, 2017, © Nestlé
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Heineken Cuts Distribution Ties With Coca-Cola Femsa In Brazil

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dutch brewing company Heineken is leveraging recent acquisition of Brasil Kirin by putting Kirin’s established distribution network to work and jettisoning partnership with Coca-Cola Femsa. Heineken/Coca-Cola deal was supposed to continue for another five years, but Femsa CFO acknowledged the future is cloudy. Arrangement was lucrative for Femsa, which saw beer-related revenues of about $415 million – hefty 18 percent of all Femsa revenue in Brazil.
News Desk, "Heineken ends distribution tie-in with Coca-Cola Femsa in Brazil", Foodbev Media, May 02, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Fiber-Enriched Coke Product Debuts In Japan

May 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s entry into functional beverages market in Japan is not “a health-forward product,” according to registered dietitian, commenting on Coca-Cola Plus. New beverage – which accomplishes “multiple objectives in same formulation,” according to CEO James Quincey – is calorie-free, sugar-free, and enhanced with five grams of fiber. But adding fiber to soft drink “doesn’t make it good for you,” says diet expert Shannon Crocker.
Laura Brehaut , "Coca-Cola, now with added … fibre?", National Post , May 02, 2017, © National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc
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Oscar Mayer Wieners Now Free Of Dubious Ingredients

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food giant Kraft Heinz announced that after listening to customers and “going to great lengths,” its Oscar Mayer Hot Dog brand is now free of processed meat by-products, added nitrates and nitrites, and artificial preservatives. The company also announced a summer ad campaign – a “massive summer mission” – touting a cleaner product with the same taste and the same price. Besides TV, print, digital, social and PR support, the ad campaign will feature six Wienermobiles, including one water-borne in New York Harbor, spreading the news across the country, visiting remote towns, including in Alaska. [Image Credit: © Oscar Mayer Co. ]
"The Oscar Mayer Brand’s Most Iconic Product Undergoes Major Quality Improvements for the Love of Hot Dogs", News release, Kraft Heinz, May 01, 2017, © Kraft Heinz
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Juice Maker Creates Profit From Waste

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The problem for the high-pressure processed juice maker was, What to do with all that leftover pulp? The Forager Project came up with a profitable solution that also helps reduce food waste. Instead of dumping the pulp by-product, also known as pomace, into a landfill, it found a way to press it into different kinds of vegetable-based snack chips. It was a departure – actually quite a leap – for the juice company, but it has worked. It produces three chip varieties (greens, beets and roots). The most-popular green variety will soon be offered in three flavors: chipotle barbecue, (vegan) cheesy and wasabi. [Image Credit: © Forager Project ]
Rachel Cernansky, "With expanding chip line, Forager Project proves food waste can be a valuable resource", New Hope, May 01, 2017, © Penton Media
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Australian Charity Opens Supermarket Stocked With Unsold Food

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australians too cash-strapped to pay for food can take advantage of food charity OzHarvest’s new venture, a “rescued food supermarket,” located in the Sydney suburb of Kensington. The supermarket’s shelves are stocked with donations of leftover perishable food from more than 2,000 commercial outlets. The organization only asks that people who take the free food pay what they can, even if it’s only donated services. Founded in 2004, OzHarvest distributes donated food to more than 8,000 charities. [Image Credit: © OzHarvest ]
Andrea Hogan, "OzHarvest Opens Australia’s First ‘Rescued Food Supermarket’", Australian Food News, May 01, 2017, © Australian Food News
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Coca-Cola’s Mexican Bottler Beats Competitors In Q1 Revenues

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexico-based Coca-Cola bottler Arca Continental sold 264.4 billion cases in Q1 2017, a 5.1 percent increase over same period last year, beating PepsiCo’s Mexican bottler Cultiba (4.1 percent increase) and Coca-Cola Femsa (3.7 percent increase). Arca’s revenues in the quarter totaled $737.36 million, up 14.3 percent over last year, compared to Cultiba’s increase of 9.2 percent and KOF's increase of 11.6 percent.
"Mexico: Arca Continental surpasses main competitors in Q1 2017", Esmerk Latin American News, May 01, 2017, © M-Brain
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Bai’s Success Based On “Unbelieving”

May 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bai Brands, successful marketer of antioxidant infusion drinks, was built on notion of “unbelieving,” or challenging status quo, innovating with passion and purpose. Concept has helped it build big market following, and commensurate sales: $425 million so far this year, three times 2015 revenues. Company was bought by Dr Pepper Snapple last year for $1.7 billion. Latest project is web video series –premiered during New York’s Tribeca Film Festival – profiling people who embody Bai’s concept of unbelieving. 
Dale Buss , "Bai Watch: 5 Questions With CMO Michael Simon", Brandchannel, May 01, 2017, © Interbrand
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Consumers’ Taste For Quick, Fresh Foods Plagues Packaged Food Giants

April 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Struggling packaged-food companies are finding it harder these days to secure retail shelf space as evolving consumer food preferences exert pressure on grocery stores. Fresh food, prepared hot meals, and foods from health trend-conscious start-ups are muscling out products from Kraft Heinz, Kellogg, and Mondelez. Store managers who need to maximize the return on shelf space say shoppers make the choices obvious: they are drawn, for example, to “steamy pasta” at the store’s deli counters rather than “a box of dried macaroni with powdered cheese.” Retail grocery chains all over the U.S. are building stores that emphasize in-store restaurants and fresh meals shoppers can take home over the traditional packaged foods that clog the center aisles.
Annie Gasparro, "Big-Name Food Brands Lose Battle of the Grocery Aisle", The Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Misconceptions Swirl Around Lidl As U.S. Debut Approaches

April 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Kantar retail industry analyst reports that attenders at a recent chain drug store meeting had one topic on their mind: the pending arrival of the first 20 U.S. stores of the German small-format discount chain Lidl.  He was amazed at “the level of misinformation swirling around the retailer.” Potential competitors believe, for example, that Lidl operates down-market stores, targets low-income shoppers from poor areas, and competes mostly with other discounters of its ilk, such as Aldi. In fact, however, Lidl is a mid-market retailer; its stores are austere but pleasant and attractive; shoppers represent all income levels; it underprices competition by double-digit percentages on branded items and sells high-quality private label products; and competes successfully with supermarkets and supercenters.
Mike Paglia, "It's Time to Get Real About Lidl", News release, Kantar US, April 26, 2017, © Kantar, a WPP Plc company
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Tyson Acquires Competitor AdvancePierre Foods For $4.2 Billion

April 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Huge conglomerate Tyson Foods said it is acquiring prepared foods competitor AdvancePierre Foods Holdings for approximately $4.2 billion, comprising $3.2 billion in stock and $1.1 billion in debt assumption. The offer price ($40.25 a share) amounts to a 31.8 percent premium on AdvancePierre’s closing stock price on April 5. Tyson says the acquisition is expands its portfolio of prepared foods and protein-based brands, “contributing to sustainable, long-term growth.” AdvancePierre produces ready-to-eat lunch and dinner sandwiches, sandwich components and snacks. According to Tyson, AdvancePierre’s portfolio fits Tyson’s strategy of expanding fresh-prepared foods for both out-of-home and in-home eating. It will also extend Tson’s operations in convenience and retail segments with “solutions that span all-day parts.” [Image Credit: © AdvancePierre Foods ]
"Tyson Foods to Acquire AdvancePierre Foods for 40 25 Per Share in Cash", News release, Tyson Foods, April 25, 2017, © Tyson Foods, Inc.
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Danish Supermarkets Look For Ways To Cut Food Waste In Half By 2030

April 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Although Danish holding company Dansk Supermarked says only 2.5 percent of the food it buys for its constituent grocery chains is discarded, that still adds up to more than 33,400 tons of mostly edible perishables a year. Seventy percent comprises fruit, vegetables and bread, a lot of which is converted to animal feed or biomass. The company hopes to change all of that, and cut food waste in half by 2030, with the help of new ideas, processes and technology. Its employees will dialogue with customers, suppliers, and organizations fighting against food waste. Customer support is certainly there, the company says: a survey found that 44 percent of Danes believe conquering food waste would go a long way toward reducing man-made climate change.  [Image Credit: © Dansk Supermarked ]
Stephen Gadd, "Supermarket Chain Ups its Efforts to Reduce Food Waste", CPH Post, April 25, 2017, © Online Post
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