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<<12131415161718192021>> Total results:2960 References Per Page:

Coca-Cola Appeals To India’s “Active Healthy Living” Market With Hydration Drink

December 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India has launched an “active hydration” beverage in the country. Aquarius marks the expansion of Coca-Cola beyond carbonates, waters, teas and juices to a category “that has the potential to grow exponentially in the coming years.” New Coca-Cola drinks introduced in recent years include VIO in 2016, FUZE iced tea in 2015, and Coke Zero in late 2014. The target market for Aquarius is the “active healthy living and 24x7 lifestyle” segment, the company said. Aquarius is non-carbonated, low-calorie, and enriched with sodium, calcium and potassium. It will be offered in 400 ml packs. [ Image credit: © Coca-Cola Company  ]
"Coca-Cola India launches its First Active Hydration Product – Aquarius in India", News release, Coca-Cola India, December 27, 2016, © The Coca-Cola Company
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FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

Grocers In Kentucky Cooperate With Gleaners To Reduce Food Waste, Feed The Poor

December 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Kentucky organization has enlisted the cooperation of Costco and other grocery merchants in its efforts to glean unsold foods – usually perishable goods pulled from shelves before the sell-by date – and donate them to charities that distribute them to the needy. GleanKy volunteers pick up the unsold products and cart them to local shelters, soup kitchens, churches and other organizations that operate food pantries. GleanKy says it has gleaned anywhere from 200 to 1,200 pounds of unsold food in a day: sometimes 500 pounds of potatoes, sometimes 400 pounds of bananas, etc. Besides Costco, volunteer gleaners gather produce from grocers like Lucky's, Good Foods Co-op, Fresh Thyme, Fresh Market and Whole Foods Market. [ Image credit: ©  GleanKy.org ]
Janet Patton, "400 Pounds of Extra Blueberries? No Problem; GleanKy gets Food to those Who Need It", Lexington Herald Leader, December 22, 2016, © Lexington Herald Leader
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Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Fast-Food Restaurants Hope To Match Success Of Pizza Delivery Chains

December 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Competition from supermarket food, sluggish traffic, and even the grueling presidential election have all dampened restaurant sales. But not pizza chain sales, which are booming. The demand for pizza has pushed share of Domino’s Pizza up 45 percent, and Papa John’s up 60 percent. Analysts point to several key reasons for this: pizza is first of all cheap and fast. And thanks to smartphone apps and ordering technology on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Apple TV, pizza is increasingly easy to order. These factors together have insulated pizza chains from the woes afflicting restaurants that rely on walk-in or drive-through traffic. But that may be changing. McDonald’s and other fast-food eateries are testing delivery service, and may soon develop the kind of customer loyalty programs that have worked so well for Domino’s and Papa John’s. [ Image credit: © Papa John's  ]
Leslie Patton, "Nobody Is Eating Out Anymore, They're Just Ordering Pizza", Bloomberg Pursuits, December 22, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
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United States of America

Campbell’s New Soups Are “Clean Label”

December 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company has jumped on the “clean label,” wholesome ingredient bandwagon with a new line of soups made with “carefully selected and sourced” ingredients, including kale, quinoa, barley, beans, sweet potatoes and whole grains. The chicken meat contains no antibiotics. In addition, the Well Yes! soups contain no artificial colors, flavors, or ingredients, or modified starches. The cans themselves are not lined with BPA and are recyclable. The first nine soups in the family include black bean and red quinoa, chicken noodle, hearty lentil with vegetables, minestrone with kale, and roasted chicken and wild rice. [ Image credit: ©  Campbell Soup Co. ]
"Campbell Soup Company Launches New Well Yes! Brand", News release, Campbell Soup Company, December 20, 2016, © CSC Brands, L.P.
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Campbell's
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Cargill Adds New Emulsifier To Product Line With Unique Benefits

December 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Deoiled canola lecithin is an emulsifier with some unique advantages for food manufacturers seeking to meet consumer ingredient demands. According to  Cargill, which just added deoiled canola lecithin to its product line, the ingredient is a versatile emulsifier and dispersing agent that can be used in chocolate and confectionery, bakery and convenience foods. Dispersibility, functionality, taste and color are comparable to soy and sunflower lecithin. Added advantages include the fact it is non-GMO option, may be used in organic products, and need not be declared as a major food allergen. [ Deoiled lecithin, image credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill introduces canola lecithin for label-conscious consumers", News release, Cargill, December 20, 2016, © Cargill, Incorporated
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Other
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Canada

Sustainability Remained A Key Theme For Unilever In 2016

December 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
If there’s one message that Unilever is pushing at the moment above all others, it’s sustainability, and 2016 provided plenty of evidence, with a raft of corporate social responsibility initiatives and sustainability awards. With another 400 added during the year, it now boasts 600 zero waste to landfill sites, and it announced two major campaigns, one aimed at removing sexist and stereotype-based advertising and one from Dove to promote diversity and realism in marketing. Unilever admits it’s not all about altruism, but a strategic necessity. It claims that its brands that are in line with its sustainable living plan are growing faster. Its public image was, however, damaged as a result of a spat un the UK with Tesco over Brexit-related pricing. Also this year, it announced a new factory in Cuba, opened a new one in Ethiopia, is looking for sites in Colombia, and investing more in Nigeria. But, Unilever was relatively quiet on the acquisition front, although the Dollar Shave Club deal caused quite a stir.  
Georgina Caldwell, "2016 in review: Unilever – set on sustainability", Global Cosmetics News, December 19, 2016, © Global Cosmetic Media Limited
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Unilever
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India
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American Food Giants Pledge To Reduce Food Waste

December 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Fifteen of America’s biggest food companies have committed to the U.S. government’s goal of reducing food waste by half over 14 years. The USDA and EPA last September joined countries around the world in setting the goal, which spotlights increased global awareness that humans need to stop wasting food. Among the companies participating as the first “U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions” are Walmart, PepsiCo, Conagra, Kellogg, General Mills, Sodexo, Campbell Soup, Ahold USA, Bon Appetit, and Unilever. According to an analysis by ReFED, businesses could generate $1.9 billion in profit annually by adopting food waste tracking and analytics to prevent food waste, right-sizing portions, and improving inventory and cold chain management. [ Image credit: ©  USDA ]
JoAnne Berkenkamp, "What Smart Businesses Know About Food Waste", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council, December 14, 2016, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Campbell's
ConAgra
General Mills
Kellogg
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New Executives At Hain Celestial Units

December 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products company Hain Celestial Group has named top executives for its Pure Protein Corporation, and its U.S. and U.K. units. The company appointed Gary Tickle as chief operating officer of the U.S. unit, along with Jay Erskin as chief supply chain officer and Jamie Fay as CFRO. James Meiers is the new CEO of Hain Pure Protein Corporation, and James Skidmore is the new CEO of Hain Celestial United Kingdom. Tickle most recently served as CEO of Nestlė Infant Nutrition North America.
"Hain Celestial Announces Executive Appointments", News release, Hain Celestial, December 07, 2016, © Hain Celestial
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McCormick Predicts Exotic Flavor Trends For 2017

December 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Spice marketer McCormick & Co. issued its annual flavor predictions for home cooks and restaurants, this year highlighting five emerging trends plus a new seasoning blend, baharat. The fragrant, Eastern Mediterranean mix of spices (cumin, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, etc.) can be used with soups, tomato-based sauces, and chicken dishes. The five flavor trends include: skhug, a hot sauce made with Thai bird eye chilies, cumin, cardamom, coriander, garlic, parsley, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice; espelette pepper from the Basque region of France; shakshuka seasoning, a blend of

smoked paprika, cumin, pepper, cayenne, turmeric and caraway; ashe-reshteh soup made with beans, herbs, turmeric and flat noodles; and peppercorns mixed with sweet ingredients like dates, dragon fruit and strawberries.
"What to Taste in 2017: McCormick Predicts the Future of Flavor", News release, McCormick & Co., December 06, 2016, © McCormick & Co.
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McCormick
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Meal-Kit Start-Ups Feel The Pressure From Established Food Companies

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The meal-kit delivery market is still tiny: only three percent of consumers surveyed said they’ve ordered the kits. Nevertheless, investors in 2015 spent $403 million on meal-kit and grocery delivery start-ups. It’s a different story this year, however, as investment has totaled less than $178 million, and six delivery firms have closed or restructured. Industry analysts think a key reason for the change is competitive pressure from packaged foods and commodity meats companies with deep pockets, like Tyson Foods, Campbell Soup and Hershey. They are muscling in on the nascent meal- and grocery-delivery business, partnering with online couriers to reach consumers looking to simplify the preparation of food. They are also trying to change the growing perception that their food products aren’t as fresh or high-quality as those offered by the meal-kit companies.
Kelsey Gee, "Big Food Battles Meal-Kit Startups for Dinner-in-a-Box", The Wall Street Journal, December 05, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Campbell's
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United States of America

Snack Maker Goes Direct-To-Consumer With Holiday Cookie Website

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The maker of Oreo cookies hopes to take advantage of the growing number of U.S. consumers buying food and beverages online. Mondelez launched a website this month to sell holiday Oreo tins for $19.99. The site lets customers send cookies to friends using only a mobile number or e-mail address. The technology was developed by a 60-person in-house e-commerce team – tasked with generating $1 billion in e-tail sales by 2020 – after Mondelez found last year that the cost of outsourced e-commerce development and management cut into profits. The company’s new technology will be used to sell other products online in the U.S. and abroad. Whether food manufacturers can succeed at online direct-to-consumer brand marketing without Amazon’s logistical clout remains to be seen.
Craig Giammona, "With Amazon Looming, Oreo Maker Dives Deeper Into Online Retail", Bloomberg Technology, December 05, 2016, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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General Mills
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McDonald’s Plans To Get A Bigger Share Of The Upscale Coffee Market

December 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The coffee business is flourishing in the U.S., but not so much at fast-food eateries. While coffee sales at café-style outlets rose 10 percent in 2015, sales went up only 3.3 percent at burger restaurants. McCafe generates $4 billion a year in U.S. sales, but McDonald’s wants to crack the upscale espresso, latte and mocha market. It will revitalize the eight-year-old McCafe offering with more special deals, a variety of seasonal beverages and increased marketing of the coffee rewards program. In addition, following in the footsteps of rival Starbucks, McDonald’s will make greater efforts to source its coffee beans from sustainable growers.
Leslie Patton, "McDonald’s Revamps Its $4 Billion McCafe Brand", Bloomberg, December 05, 2016, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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P&G Wins FMCG Market Penetration Contest In China In 2016

December 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by Kantar China finds that Procter & Gamble and two big Chinese dairy firms had the greatest penetration of the Chinese fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market in 2016. Eighty-eight percent of urban families bought at least one item from Inner Mongolia Yili and China Mengniu Dairy, a total of 146 million Chinese families living in cities. P&G’s market penetration reached 93.4 percent with its lineup of dozens of FMCG brands like Crest, Head & Shoulders and Oral B. Fourth on the list was Swiss-based food manufacturer Nestlė, followed by Tinyi Holding’s Master Kong, an instant noodle brand.
Celine Ge, "P&G, Yili and Mengniu Top Brands in Reaching Chinese Consumers, Survey Finds", South China Morning Post, December 02, 2016, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
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Nestle
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Procter & Gamble
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China

Sugar-Related Innovation Could Help Sweeten Nestle’s Chocolate Sales

December 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Swiss food company Nestlė SA may have found “the Holy Grail of food innovation,” according to a Bloomberg analyst: a way to reduce the sugar content in chocolate by as much as 40 percent. The innovation may give a much-needed boost to the firm’s sagging confectionery product line and provide a competitive edge over rivals Hershey, Mondelez, and Mars. Nestlė’s technology mavens aren’t saying much about the innovation, other than to suggest that the process is like making hollow sugar crystals that dissolve faster and stimulate the taste buds quickly. Shareholders shouldn’t expect a quick turnaround in the company’s chocolate sales, which so far this year are down 10 percent. ]
Andrea Felsted, "Nestle's Willy Wonka Moment", Bloomberg Gadfly, December 01, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Nestle
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Ingredion To Distribute Sweetener Company’s Products Globally

December 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Stevia-based sweetener maker SweeGen has named multi-industry ingredients provider Ingredion as its exclusive global distributor except in China, where distribution rights will be non-exclusive. Ingredion will begin distribution of California-based SweeGen’s products in February 2017 in the U.S., and will expand gradually internationally as regulatory approvals are secured. SweeGen's zero-calorie sweeteners are made by a proprietary process using pure stevia leaf extract. Illinois-based Ingredion says the sweeteners have a clean, sugar-like taste suitable for use in a variety of foods and beverages.
"Ingredion and Sweegen, Inc. Announce Agreement for Ingredion to Distribute Sweegen's Stevia Sweeteners", News release, Ingredion, December 01, 2016, © Sweegen
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Other
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Unilever Applies Zero-Based Budgeting To Adjust Operational Margins

November 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever says it is further applying zero-based budgeting to reset its operating margin goals. The new target for the “core operating margin” will be between 40 and 80 basis points a year from 2017 to 2019. The company’s current goal is annual growth of 20 to 40 basis points. CFO Graeme Pitkethly said the company will continue to improve the mix of the business with “margin-accretive innovation” and a focus on margin in the ice cream and home-care categories. Zero-based budgeting cost savings and savings from organizational changes should be about €1 billion by 2019.
Dean Best, "Unilever Sets New Margin Target with Help from Zero-Based Budgeting", Just-Food, November 30, 2016, © just-food.com
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Unilever
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McCormick To Buy Italian Flavorings Manufacturer

November 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Spice manufacturer McCormick & Co. announced it is acquiring Italian flavorings company Enrico Giotti SpA for a cash payment of approximately $127 million. Based in Florence, Giotti’s annual sales are about $56 million. The company manufactures natural flavors, aromatic herbal extracts, and concentrated juices. McCormick CEO Lawrence E. Kurzius said the acquisition of 88-year-old Giotti will “add greater scale to our already substantial industrial segment business in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region."
"McCormick Announces Acquisition of Enrico Giotti SpA", News release, McCormick & Co., November 29, 2016, © McCormick & Company, Inc.
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McCormick
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
United States of America
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Italy

Swiss Chocolate Maker Plans 100% Sustainability In Supply Chain By 2025

November 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Chocolate and cocoa product manufacturer Barry Callebaut has launched a comprehensive strategy – “Forever Chocolate” – to tackle what it calls “key sustainability challenges” in the chocolate supply chain by 2025. The company acknowledged that despite its ongoing efforts, only 23 percent of the cocoa beans it sources are from sustainability programs. The goal is to get that level to 100 percent over the next 10 years. The strategy comprises other related goals: eradication of child labor from the supply chain; lifting more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty; and becoming carbon and forest positive.
"“Forever Chocolate”: Barry Callebaut targets 100% sustainable chocolate by 2025", News release, Barry Callebaut, November 28, 2016, © Barry Callebaut
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Other
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Switzerland

Mondelez Signals Importance Of E-Commerce To Its Growth Plans

November 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The departure of chief media and e-commerce officer Bonin Bough has led to organizational changes that affect Mondelez’s e-commerce and marketing strategies. Jeff Jarrett will now head global e-commerce under chief growth officer Tim Cofer, who said the move demonstrates that e-commerce is “a key priority and growth pillar” and signals the company’s strong belief in the value of direct-to-consumer channels. The e-commerce team will have complete responsibility and accountability for its revenue, margin and operations. According to Cofer, the goal is to build an e-commerce snacks business worth $1 billion by 2020.
Jennifer Faull, "Mondelez Separates E-Commerce from Marketing Following Bonin Bough Exit", The Drum, November 28, 2016, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Cargill Expands Poultry Processing Operations In Asia-Pacific Region

November 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Increasing customer demand in Thailand for Cargill’s chicken products has spurred the Minn.-based company to spend $50 million expanding its poultry processing facilities in the country. Cargill Protein Southeast Asia, which employs 13,500 workers in 14 locations in Thailand, said the expansion will create 1,400 new jobs. Construction on the addition to a current factory has begun, and the larger facility should be operational early in 2018. Through joint ventures, Cargill recently opened a poultry processing plant in the Philippines and a fully-cooked chicken production facility in Indonesia.
"Cargill Invests $50 Million to Expand Poultry Processing Operations in Thailand", News release, Cargill, November 24, 2016, © Cargill, Incorporated
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Other
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Asia-Pacific
Indonesia
Philippines
Thailand

Dr Pepper Snapple Takes Strategic Step Away From Soft Drinks

November 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In a move that signals a strategic decision to diversify its product line away from sugary soft drinks and toward healthful beverages, Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) said it will acquire Princeton, N.J.-based Bai Brands, LLC. Bai’s better-for-you product lineup includes high-growth premium antioxidant infused beverages such as Bai Bubbles, Antiwater, and Cocofusions. The cash price of $1.7 billion includes a tax benefit of about $400 million financed through new unsecured notes and short-term commercial paper. DPS invested in Bai in 2015 and has been a distribution partner since 2013. DPS CEO Larry Young said the relationship with Bai “contributed greatly” to its allied brand portfolio in the last six years.
"Dr Pepper Snapple Group To Acquire Bai Brands, LLC", News release, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, November 22, 2016, © Dr Pepper Snapple Group
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PepsiCo Continues To Expand Product Line Beyond Soft Drinks

November 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Looking to extend its line of healthful beverages while reducing reliance on flagging soft drinks, PepsiCo confirmed it is acquiring a California maker of fermented probiotic and kombucha drinks. PepsiCo – whose CEO recently referred to carbonated beverages as “a thing of the past” – has been a minority owner of KeVita for nearly four years. KeVita offers 24 flavors of Sparkling Probiotic Drink, Master Brew Kombucha and Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic. PepsiCo has been increasingly investing in non-soda drinks, including bottled water, ready-to-drink teas, and probiotic juices. Fortune magazine estimates KeVita’s worth at around $200 million.
Karlene Lukovitz, "PepsiCo Acquiring Probiotic Beverage Maker KeVita", Media Post, November 22, 2016, © MediaPost
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PepsiCo
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Unilever Africa Replaces Four Directors Who Resigned Recently

November 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Four board members in Unilever’s East & West Africa unit resigned within a month of each other this fall and were replaced almost immediately. Moses B. Amao (customer development director), Joseph Nee-Amahtey Hyde, Franklyn Manu, and Charles Alexander Cofie all resigned effective in October and November. Unilever did not specify the reason for the resignations in a letter to shareholders. The four were replaced by Edward Effah (Fidelity Group), Edith Dankwa (Business Times Africa Magazine), Philip Sowah (Afriwave Telecom Ghana) and Joseph Z. Amuna, supply chain director, Unilever Ghana.
Vivian Kai Lokko, "Unilever appoints new board members after four resign", Citifmonline, November 21, 2016, © citifmonline.com
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Unilever
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Turkey

Juice From “Wonky” Fruits Is Good For Consumers And The Environment

November 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ugly, misshapen fruit – deemed unsaleable by producers and grocers – is being diverted away from British landfills and into recyclable bag-in-box containers by a new company known as Wonky Fruit. The short-term goal of the British company is to save 300 tons of malformed fruit by April 2017 and turn it into “the most sustainable juice brand in Europe.” If successful, the initiative would reduce fruit waste by 70 percent. According to the company, its low carbon footprint juice boxes do not require refrigeration, and are compact and easy to transport and store. The juice itself is all natural, free of “nasties” such as powders, oils, infusions, or acids.
"Cardiff, United Kingdom: Wonky – Drinks that Give Wonky Fruit a Chance! Help us to Save 300 ", News release, Wonky Fruit, November 21, 2016, © Wonky Fruit
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Walmart Posts Solid 3rd Quarter

November 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart posted a $0.98 EPS on total revenue of $118.2 billion, an increase of 0.7 percent, for its fiscal 2017 third quarter. Net sales at Walmart International were $28.4 billion, a decline of 4.8 percent. Globally, on a constant currency basis, e-commerce sales and GMV increased 20.6 percent and 16.8 percent, respectively, representing continued acceleration. U.S. comp sales were up 1.2 percent, thanks to a traffic increase of 0.7 percent. Consolidated operating income dropped 10.4 percent, mainly because of ongoing investments in people and technology, as well as currency exchange rate fluctuations. CEO Doug McMillon said the third quarter was solid and the company was positioned well for the fourth quarter and the holiday season.
"Walmart reports Q3 FY17 EPS of $0.98", Earnings release, Walmart, November 17, 2016, © Walmart Stores, Inc.
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British Grocery Chain To Use Special Packaging To Improve Potato Shelf-life

November 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Sainburys will soon be using special packaging that keeps potatoes from turning green and bitter. The fully opaque and breathable bags prevent exposure to light, the main cause of greening. Too much light triggers the release and buildup of a chemical known as solanine. Potatoes are the most commonly wasted vegetable in the U.K., where 730,000 tons are trashed by households annually. Sainsburys is certain the new packaging will improve the shelf-life of spuds. The new packaging is one of the food waste solutions under the company’s “Waste less, Save more” initiative.
Tony Corbin, "New Sainsbury’s Packaging Tackles Potato Discolouration", Packaging News, November 17, 2016, © Packaging News
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KFC Still Slow To Board The Antibiotics-Free Chicken Bandwagon

November 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Following calls by the World Health Organization and the U.N. General Assembly to reduce globally the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, the Natural Resources Defense Council has strongly urged one American food company in particular to support the urgent cause.  The nation’s largest chicken restaurant chain, KFC, has been largely silent about the use of antibiotics among its suppliers. Forty percent of America’s chicken is produced by companies with antibiotics stewardship commitments or programs. KFC could easily tip that past the 50 percent mark if it pledged to use only antibiotics-free chicken by a certain deadline. But KFC “hedges and stalls” as competitors, including Chick-fil-A, commit to antibiotics-free chicken.
Lena Brook, "A Great Week for KFC to Kick Its Antibiotics Addiction", Expert blog entry, NRDC, November 15, 2016, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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New Las Vegas Location Signifies Taco Bell’s Aggressive Expansion Plans

November 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Calling it the “ultimate expression of the Taco Bell brand and lifestyle,” Taco Bell has opened restaurant 7,000, this one on the Las Vegas strip. Accompanying th new restaurant is a new logo, the first revision in 25 years. The company said the new eatery and logo signify a growth plan goal of becoming a $15 billion brand within six years. The company hopes to add 2,000 more restaurants and 100,000 new jobs in the time frame. The Las Vegas location becomes the fourth Taco Bell Cantina facility to open, following Wicker Park Chicago, SOMA San Francisco and Austin, Texas, and the first of its kind to offer 24-hour service.
"Taco Bell Goes All-In on its Brand Evolution", News release, Taco Bell, November 14, 2016, © Taco Bell
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Bai Brands Launches Low-Cal Sodas

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage company Bai Brands, partly owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, has launched five carbonated drinks sweetened with low-calorie stevia and erythnitol. The new five-calorie beverages gibe nicely with the beverage industry trend – pushed by health advocates – of no- or low-calorie products. The Bai Black line includes traditional soda flavors like cola, root beer and citrus. Bai also makes teas, flavored and enhanced waters and fruit-flavored carbonated drinks. Carbonated soft drink consumption in the U.S. fell to a three-decade low in 2015 on a per-capita basis, as health-conscious consumers reject sugary beverages. It’s really a case of running away – not from sodas – but from sugar.
"Dr Pepper-Backed Bai Brands to Introduce Sugar-Free Sodas", Advertising Age, November 10, 2016, © Crain Communications
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Unilever China Wins Sustainability Award From British Chamber Of Commerce Shanghai

November 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever China won the Sustainable Business Award of British Business Awards 2016. Created by the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai in 2008, the Awards highlight and promote “excellence in innovation, enterprise, and endeavor in the British and Chinese business communities.” Among the criteria of the award are the presence of “identified vision and set of values” and integration of sustainability in business strategy and practices in the country.
"Unilever Wins Sustainable Business Award of British Business Awards 2016", PR Newswire, November 10, 2016, © PR Newswire
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Fans Of Toblerone Chocolate Bar React Bitterly To Change In Shape And Weight

November 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British customers of candy and snack maker Mondelez International reacted bitterly on social media when the company responded to rising ingredient prices – cocoa, for example – by changing the shape of the Toblerone chocolate bar. It didn’t take long for fans to notice the change: the distinguishing gaps between the peaks had been widened. The alteration meant a reduction in weight from 170 grams to 150 grams, without a corresponding reduction in price. One customer wondered how the maker of a chocolate bar “very well known for its distinctive shape” would try to save money by changing that shape?
Saabira Chaudhuri, "Mind the Gap: Toblerone Customers Feel Short-Changed by Shape Change", The Wall Street Journal, November 08, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Fluid Ads Wins Top Honors In Competition For “Next Big Thing” In Ad Technology

November 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever and marketing/advertising expo Ad:tech conducted a contest during the early November event to determine “The Next Big Thing” in advertising technology. The winner among 15 finalists was Fluid Ads, which demonstrated a technology that allows brands and agencies to create HTML5 multi-shape, multi-device ads in a matter of seconds. The technology was able to deliver in real-time 480 dynamic ads in five minutes – more than one a second. Product Director Dan Cohen created a dynamic campaign for Unilever food spread Marmite by shifting the messages and images to target different days of the week and times of the day.
"Fluid Ads – Winners of ad:tech and Unilever's Next Big Thing 2016", News release, Fluid Ads, November 07, 2016, © Fluid Ads
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Brexit, Pound Value, Put Pressure On Retail Grocery Prices

November 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Food retailers in the U.K. may be using Brexit and the drop in the pound to justify price hikes. Data collected by Mysupermarket.com show that U.K. supermarkets are charging a lot more for Unilever products than a year ago, and the trend is not slowing. Stores whose prices have risen include Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, and Tesco. But there is less evidence that Asda’s prices on Unilever products have risen very much, mainly because Asda, owned by Walmart, benefits from the U.S. retailer’s massive buying power. For its part, Unilever, which has consistently warned that Brexit would lead to price increases, said raising prices for retailers is “never done lightly” and it is absorbing most cost pressures itself.
Sean Poulter , "After Marmitegate, More Price Rises from Unilever: Firm Blames Impact of the Brexit Vote as Price of Products Including PG Tips and Persil Surges", Daily Mail, November 07, 2016, © Associated Newspapers Ltd.
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New Food Dyes Are Natural, But Tricky To Use

November 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Even after decades of FDA endorsement of artificial food dyes as safe, consumers in recent years have grown increasingly skeptical. Food companies have been listening. Many – including big firms like General Mills, Taco Bell, Kraft Heinz, and Mars – have begun using substitute dyes that are more natural, derived from fruits, vegetables, and spices. The FDA recently approved a request from Mars to use spirulina (blue-green algae) to create blue tones. Food technologists, however, are wrestling with the fact that natural colorings – from turmeric, beets, paprika, annatto seeds (from the achiote tree), etc. – are very heat- and acidity-sensitive, more expensive, and have to be used in larger quantities.
Maia Welbel, "Food Corporations Phase Out Artificial Colors", The Student Life, November 04, 2016, © The Student Life
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Sprouted Grain Bakery Acquired By Specialty Food Company

November 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Lancaster Colony will acquire Cudahy, Ohio-based wholesale bakery Angelic Bakehouse, which specializes in non-GMO sprouted grain baked goods. The company’s owners, who bought the 40-year-old Cybros bakery in 2009, will continue in their current roles at Angelic, and hope to participate in strong growth and expansion. A representative of specialty foods maker Lancaster Colony said the company is very happy with the purchase because of Angelic’s “terrific lineup of on-trend bakery products.”
Lori Fredrich, "Angelic Bakehouse Acquired by Ohio-Based Lancaster Colony", OnMilwaukee, November 03, 2016, © OnMilwaukee.com
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Whole Foods Market Posts Strong Sales Growth In FY 4Q 2016

November 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market, Inc., reported total sales grew to a record $3.5 billion for the fourth quarter ending September 25, 2016. During the period, comparable store sales declined 2.6 percent, with net income at $88 million, or 2.5 percent of sales for the quarter. According to the retailer, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization were $276 million, or 7.9 percent of sales, with return on invested capital at 13 percent. Cash flow from operations were at $352 million, with the company investing $195 million in capital expenditures. Also, the company returned $44 million in quarterly dividends to shareholders and repurchased $15 million, or 0.5 million shares, of common stock.
"Whole Foods Market Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2016 Results", Whole Foods, November 02, 2016, © Whole Foods Market
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Major Management Restructuring At Whole Foods Market

November 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market is eliminating its co-CEO management structure in favor of a single chief, naming John Mackey to the position. Walter Robb will remain as co-CEO until the end of December. After that, he will remain a director and continue to serve as chairman of both Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. The company also announced that CFO Glenda Flanagan will retire from the role after 29 years at the end of fiscal 2017 (Sept. 2017), but will remain an advisor.
"Whole Foods Market Announces Changes to Leadership; Eliminates Co-CEO Structure; Appoints John Mackey CEO ", News release, Whole Foods Market, November 02, 2016, © Whole Foods Market
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New Products, Novel Marketing From Hormel Bacon

October 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel unveiled new bacon products that include low-sodium sea salt and double smoked varieties. The new offerings come in 16-ounce single packs, 24-ounce stack packs and 9.5-ounce fully-cooked packs. The company says additional flavors in the “Black Market” family will be available soon. An innovative marketing gimmick involves the opportunity for users to experience the new products in virtual reality by visiting www.BlackLabelBacon.com on a smart phone and positioning the phone in front of their eyes.  The virtual reality experience includes a Dark Woods, a Volcano, a Salty Sea and the darkness of Outer Space where bacon can be purchased.
"Hormel Black Label Bacon Introduces the Black Market", News release, Hormel Foods, October 31, 2016, © Hormel Foods Corporation
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Fast-Food Giant Is Doing Well Financially, Despite Flat Traffic

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
After four straight years of declining traffic, McDonald’s Corp. is still trying to figure out how to lure more customers into its restaurants. The company nevertheless reported third quarter revenue and profit that beat estimates, thanks in part to increases – as much as 3.3 percent – in same-store sales in international markets, including the U.K. and Germany. But U.S. sales rose a mere 1.3 percent. Executives told a recent meeting of franchisees that building a sustainable business involves progress in three key areas: sales, guest counts and cash flow. “And today we are making uneven progress,” according to a memo summarizing the meeting. The biggest disappointment is progress in growing guest counts.
Leslie Patton, "McDonald’s Turnaround Fails to Get More Customers in Door", Bloomberg, October 26, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Nestle’s Refrigerated Pasta Brand Commits To Non-GMO Ingredients

October 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Refrigerated pasta and sauce brand Buitoni has committed to non-GMO ingredients, a move that parent company Nestlé says is the “next step” in a strategy of making their foods simpler, and more transparent to consumers. Buitoni’s products are already free of artificial colors and flavors, and are now certified as non-GMO by third-party verifier SGS. Nestlé said last summer it would only use "kitchen cupboard" ingredients that consumers "know and trust" in its Stouffers frozen meals, and would remove artificial colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup and GMO ingredients from six of its ice cream brands in the U.S.
Katy Askew, "Nestle's Buitoni Removes GMOs", Just-Food, October 25, 2016, © just-food.com
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Dannon To Award Two Research Grants For Microbiome Studies

October 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Yogurt company Dannon will award two $25,000 grants to fund undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate research into the impact of yogurt and probiotics on the human gut microbiome. The grant program is now in its fifth year, having awarded $100,000 to four postgraduate researchers in the previous four years. The company said earlier awardees have “made strides in the interdisciplinary fields of biology, health sciences, nutrition, yogurt and probiotics.” The program is accepting applications until February 15, 2017.
"Leading Yogurt Company Challenges Students to Unearth New Data on the Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics with $50K Grant Program", News release, Dannon Company, October 19, 2016, © Dannon Company
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Retail Grocers Need To Stay Focused On The Importance Of Innovation

October 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Many big food companies are working hard to innovate, constantly refreshing their product offerings, hoping to satisfy consumer appetites for new and exotic foods and flavors. Kraft Heinz, for example, recently added Aioli Mayonnaise and Korean Barbecue Sauce to its product line. But the problem, according to the Kraft Heinz Europe president, is that grocery retailers are putting limits on the array of products they offer shoppers, to the point that supermarkets are “in danger of becoming too ‘manicured’ and reminiscent of ‘libraries’.” Matt Hill said retailers should not lose focus on the need to innovate in the food industry.
Jennifer Faull, "Supermarkets Will Feel Like Dull Libraries if Bosses Don’t Support In-Store Marketing From FMCG Brands, Warns Kraft Heinz", The Drum, October 18, 2016, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Tesco Settles Pricing Dispute With Unilever

October 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco and Unilever have settled their pricing dispute caused by the drop in the pound's value following the country's vote to leave the European Union. Before settling the dispute, Tesco suspended sales of some Unilever products on its online store. Industry sources revealed that Unilever had demanded 10 percent increases in the prices it charges the country's big 4 supermarkets for a wide range of products.
James Davey and Martinne Geller , "Tesco, Unilever settle prices row after pound's Brexit dive", Reuters, October 14, 2016, © Reuters
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Unilever Posts Strong Sales Growth In 3Q 2016

October 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever reported sales grew 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. At constant exchange rates, sales increased 3.4 percent. For the first nine months of the year, sales grew 4.2 percent, with price up 2.8 percent and volume up 1.3 percent. Sales in emerging markets grew 7.2 percent, with price up 5.5 percent and volume up 1.6 percent. At constant exchange rates, sales rose 4.7 percent, while turnover, at current rates, dropped 1.8 percent.
"Unilever Trading Statement Third Quarter 2016", Unilever, October 13, 2016, © Unilever
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Tesco Removes Unilever Products From Online Store Following Price Dispute

October 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco has removed dozens of Unilever brand products from its online store following a dispute between the companies over prices. Worsening tensions between suppliers and retailers, the disagreement highlights the adverse economic impact of the UK's exit from the European Union. Unilever has been working to raise the prices of products it supplies to the country's big 4 supermarkets by about 10 percent, claiming it needs to recover losses caused by higher cost of imported materials. Grocers, however, are opposing Unilever's demands for higher prices, saying some of the products are actually made in the UK.
"Tesco pulls Unilever goods from website over price row", Reuters, October 12, 2016, © Reuters
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Mobile Ads Work Hand-In-Glove With TV To Increase FMCG Purchase Intent

October 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An advertising experiment that involved the Pond’s skin cream brand has confirmed that TV ads supplemented and reinforced by mobile ads are more effective in delivering “an experiential element” that improves purchase intent. Unilever worked with InMobi and Mindshare to test the hypothesis that multi-screen ad campaigns – TV plus smartphone – would be more effective than just TV alone in moving the skin cream product. The hypothesis proved correct: the mobile ad boosted purchase intent by 50 percent and interest in the product by 15 percent when the mobile ad was seen after the TV commercial.
Charlotte McEleny, "Synching mobile ads to TV creative improves purchase intent, finds Unilever", The Drum, October 11, 2016, © Carnyx Group
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National Advertisers Seek Multicultural Help In Improving Marketing

October 10, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The trade group that represents companies that spend a total of $300 billion a year on national brand advertising announced an alliance of senior “thought leaders” from the African American, Hispanic, Asian, and LGBT communities to develop a blueprint for multicultural marketing in the U.S. The Association of National Advertisers says the new Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) would facilitate brand marketing to diverse racial and cultural groups. Among the specific goals of the AIMM: share multicultural marketing examples; drive ROI, primarily through marketing effectiveness; disseminate best practices of multicultural and diverse demographic segments; and through a robust communications program; and create unique marketplace experiences providing insights into the multicultural arena.
"ANA Forms New Multicultural Marketing Alliance", News release, Association of National Advertisers, October 10, 2016, © Association of National Advertisers
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Ardent Mills Displays Flour Innovations At Baking Industry Show

October 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ardent Mills recently exhibited at a major baking industry exposition, where it featured some of its newest grain-based industry solutions. Among the showcased innovations were a line of clean label flours containing no bleach, bromate or other additives, grown and ground the old-fashioned way. The company showed an array of ancient grains and new heirloom wheats that included quinoa, organic spelt and triticale. Also displayed: sprouted wheat and new sprouted wheat blends, and new blends made with Sprouted Wheat Ultragrain High Performance that offer whole grain nutrition, gluten strength, higher absorption, and lower formula costs.
"Ardent Mills Introduces New Products, Highlights Portfolio of Premium Multi-Use Flour, Organic Flours and Grains at the IBIE Show in Las Vegas", News release, Ardent Mills, October 07, 2016, © Ardent Mills
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Amazon Settles On Flat Monthly Fee For Online Grocery Delivery Service

October 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The online grocery shopping service AmazonFresh is now cheaper for Prime members. The service, originally priced at $299 per year, later shifted to a $7.99 per delivery scheme, but is now being offered at $14.99 a month to Amazon Prime subscribers. AmazonFresh is now live in the Boston area, in addition to Baltimore, Seattle, major cities in California, the New York metro area, northern New Jersey, the Philadelphia metro, Northern Virginia, Stamford (Conn.), Trenton (N.J.) and London (U.K.). Customers can order by 10 a.m. for same-day delivery by 6 p.m., or order by 10 p.m. for delivery by 6 a.m. the following day.
Sarah Perez, "AmazonFresh Drops to $14.99 Per Month for Prime Members", Tech Crunch, October 06, 2016, © AOL Inc.
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McDonald’s Joins Environmental Group In Promoting Sustainable Coffee Farming

October 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s has enlisted the help of Conservation International in reaching a goal of serving only sustainable coffee by 2020. The goal is a nod to the growing interest among consumers in knowing where their food comes from. But there’s a practical consideration as well: to make sure it has a sufficient supply of high-quality coffee for the long run. Helping coffee farmers furthers that goal. Conservation International’s mission is to transform the coffee industry, which has been under stress because of climate change and fungal disease. Sustainability is a key part of that mission.
Leslie Patton, "McDonald’s Is Moving to Sustainable Coffee in Latest Menu Change", Bloomberg Market, October 05, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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