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Water Is The Key Component Of A Healthy Life, Survey Finds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

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

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

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

Rebecca Smithers, "Starbucks introduces 'latte levy' of 5p on single-use paper cups", The Guardian, July 10, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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Coca-Cola Readies Seed-Based Breakfast Drink For Belgian Consumers

July 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A Belgian newspaper reports that Coca-Cola has developed a plant-based, lactose-free breakfast drink at a lab in Brussels. AdeZ is a reworking of the brand name Ades – short for Alimentos de Semilla (“foods based on seeds”) – a popular South American line acquired last year. The product being developed for the Belgian market comprises six flavors formulated with seeds, nuts, and fruit. It will debut in August.
Alan Hope, "Coke lab in Anderlecht working on breakfast soft drink", The Brussels Times, July 04, 2018, © The Brussels Times
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“Frankenfoods” Stitch Together Fast Food Items That Customers Already Love

June 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Reporter Paul R. La Monica says the trend toward “Frankenfoods” – “gimmicky culinary concoctions” – began eight years ago (“arguably”) with KFC’s calorie-packed Double Down sandwich comprising bacon, cheese, and sauce held together by two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread. The trend continues today, the latest example being the Dunkin' Donuts contrivance known as donut fries: crispy pieces of doughnut dough dusted with cinnamon sugar and served in a French fries-style box. Other examples include Burger King's Whopperito, Mac and Cheetos, Nacho Fries, Doritos Locos Tacos, bacon shakes, and chicken rings. More are on the way. The idea, La Monica notes, is “to generate buzz with creations that often combine things people already like.”[Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]

Paul R. La Monica, "Why fast food chains sell Frankenfood", CNN Wire, June 28, 2018, © Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company.
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Europe’s Food Safety Agency Agrees With Unilever: Black Tea Improves Attention

June 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced that it is the first company to earn a positive scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that validates the claim that black tea improves attention – “the ability to concentrate on, filter, and utilize incoming sensory information,” according to Unilever scientist Amelia Jarman. The company conducted three studies with volunteers who drank either black tea, tea-flavored water or colored water. After drinking black tea, attention scores were higher. One of the company’s studies showed that the stronger the tea, the higher the attention scores. The European Commission will review the EFSA opinion to determine whether Unilever will be granted exclusive rights to use the health claim for five years.
"Unilever receives positive opinion on health claim for tea from the EFSA", Unilever, June 26, 2018, © Unilever
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Cut Back On Plastic Packaging, Leading Manufacturers Hear From As You Sow

June 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

As You Sow, a nonprofit group representing 25 investment companies managing more than $1 trillion in assets, has called on Nestle SA, PepsiCo Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and Unilever NV, to reduce their use of plastic in packaging of their products. Signed by investment managers, including Hermes Investment Management and Impax Asset Management, the initiative calls plastic packaging damaging to the environment. Companies should reveal their annual use of plastic packaging, establish goals for reducing plastic packaging, and exert efforts to recycle plastic packaging, the group said.[Image Credit: © Emilian Robert Vicol]

Emily Chasan, "Investors Demand Nestle, Pepsi and Others Cut Plastic Use", Bloomberg, June 22, 2018, © Bloomberg LP
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The Power Of Digital Is Driving Coca-Cola’s “Consumer-Centric” Strategy

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

At the Consumer Goods Forum in Singapore recently Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey emphasized his company’s commitment to a digital and ecommerce future when he noted that digital will put Coke products “within a click’s reach of desire.” He cited as evidence what’s happening in China, where there are four times as many mobile users as in the U.S., and “rapid and exponential growth” in digital technologies is driving change in Asia’s beverage industry. Quincey said the strategy of creating a consumer-centric product portfolio is based on making Coke products a part of peoples’ lives by offering the brands they want in the package sizes they prefer. Digital tools will make that happen.

"Coke should be ‘within a click’s reach’ of consumers, CEO says", FoodBev.com, June 15, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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McDonald's In The UK To Phase Out Plastic Straws

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

McDonald’s in the UK will start using recyclable paper straws later this year, with plastic straws withdrawn completely next year. The company in the UK uses some 1.8 million straws each day, and the move follows a two-month trial at certain UK restaurants. It also follows a similar announcement by UK supermarket chain Waitrose. McDonald’s in other countries, including France, Norway, Sweden and the US, are expected to run trials later this year in their own efforts to find schemes to eliminate plastic straws.[Image Credit: © Manfred Richter ]

Adam Vaughan, "McDonald's to switch to paper straws in UK after customer campaign", The Guardian, June 15, 2018, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Coca-Cola Ponders Bid For GSK’s Horlicks Malted Beverage Brand

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola may be looking to solidify its commitment to India as it contemplates a bid for children’s malted drink brand Horlicks, marketed in India by pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, which has a 72.5 percent stake. Nestlé and Kraft Heinz are also thought to be considering a bid for the 145-year-old $3.3 billion Chicago-based brand. Coca-Cola is committed to offering more healthful beverage options in India beyond soft drinks and expects to invest $1.7 billion there through 2023 developing region-specific juices made from native fruits. 

"Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Kraft Heinz eyeing GSK’s Horlicks – reports", FoodBev.com, June 15, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Korean Makeup Brand Offers An Array Of Products With The “Scent Of A Coca-Cola”

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Although the connection with its “total beverage company” strategy is little more than a scent, Coca-Cola is nevertheless expanding into cosmetics in a limited-time venture with a Korean beauty brand. The connection in fact is literally a specific bouquet: the brand’s new lipsticks, lip tints, lip glosses, foundation compacts, powders, and eye shadows – many tinted in red, pink, and coral – are all redolent of Coke. The packaging also captures the Coca-Cola look of red and white, and the lip glosses “have a super cute, candy-striped wand,” according to British news website Metro. The products are being sold in South Korea, but are also available online

Lisa Bowman, "Coca Cola launches limited edition makeup line in South Korea", Metro, June 14, 2018, © Associated Newspapers Limited
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Coca-Cola’s E-Commerce Chief Sees Synergy Between Sales Reps, E-Tail

June 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Sales reps at many companies see e-commerce as a threat to their sales and commissions But Coca-Cola’s system of training and customer segmentation makes e-commerce an asset to sales reps, according to Marta Dalton. For low-volume customers, online buying makes good sense because it only costs $3 to acquire a customer (compared to $50 to $80 to bring in a new customer through a sales call). The real value of e-commerce to a sales rep is the reduction in time wasted on grunt work, freeing the rep to focus on selling, rather than paperwork. E-commerce helps sales reps in areas such as: scheduling appointments; accessing support before, during and after sales calls; and tapping into communication channels that provide B2B services like print, e-mail, search, and social.

Mark Brohan , "Coca-Cola makes e-commerce work for sales reps", Digital Commerce 360, June 08, 2018, © Vertical Web Media LLC
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Advanced Store-Shelf Audit Technology Gives Coca-Cola Speedy Competitive Intelligence

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola is one of the biggest CPG companies that is replacing “old school and time-consuming” manual store shelf audits with advanced digital tools. The company is using technology from start-up Trax that merges image recognition, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze smartphone images of store shelves to provide timely insight into fast-changing consumer buying patterns. According to Coca-Cola, it used to take a month to collect shelf data manually, and another three months to organize it – way too much time to react to competitive challenges. Using the new technology cuts time and costs, allowing store shelf audits to be conducted every two months instead of twice a year. The company is testing the technology in three of its nearly 70 North American bottlers/distributors that “serve as its regular eye on the ground.”

Andria Cheng, "CPG Brands Are Leveling The Playing Field By Bringing This Digital Tool Into Brick-And-Mortar Retail", Forbes.com, May 31, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Nestlé Waters Acquires Majority Stake In Welsh Bottled Water Company

May 31, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

The founders of Wales-based bottled water company Princes Gate Spring Water Ltd. believe they have found “the best partner in Nestlé Waters” to grow their 27-year-old business. Nestlé Waters has acquired a majority stake in the company, hoping to further exploit growing demand for bottled water in the U.K. Founded by two brothers on land farmed by generations of their family, the company sells Princes Gate spring water in the retail and out of home (OOH) channels and under other brand names.  It is one of the few U.K. bottling facilities that are 100 percent self-sufficient, thanks to renewable energy from an onsite wind turbine.

"Nestlé Waters acquires majority share in Princes Gate Spring Water Ltd", Nestle, May 31, 2018, © Nestle
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Traditional Dairy Products Have An Image Problem, But It’s Solvable

May 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Alternatives to cow’s milk made from soy, rice, oats, and other plant-based ingredients, are catching on big with consumers, mainly because of smart marketing by producers. The result is that sales of liquid milk slid 3.5 percent in the five years ended in 2017, while dairy alternatives – still a tiny slice of the $600 billion dairy market – grew four percent. The shift is due to a perception by consumers that dairy alternatives are more healthful, and more eco-friendly, than cow’s milk, though experts say there is no evidence of that. But some traditional milk brands have bucked the trend. Coca-Cola’s premium Fairlife milk has grown by touting its ingredients: more protein and calcium, less sugar and lactose. Other dairy companies could follow suit by emphasizing innovation, “premiumization,” new packaging with, label transparency about sourcing, and clear statements about humane treatment of dairy animals.

Lauren Hirsch , "Milk may need a makeover: Alternatives to dairy are increasingly winning over consumers", CNBC, May 29, 2018, © CNBC LLC
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Coca-Cola Company
Other
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United States of America

JAB Holdings Acquires U.K.-based Sandwich Shop Chain

May 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

German family-owned investment group JAB Holdings will acquire the 530-store U.K.-based sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger from private equity group Bridgepoint for $2 billion including debt. Bridgepoint paid $486 million for the chain ten years ago. The purchase price is about 15 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, the people said. Annual sales are about $1.2 billion. 

Javier Espinoza and Arash Massoudi in London, "Deal-hungry JAB to buy Pret A Manger for £1.5bn", The Financial Times, May 29, 2018, © The Financial Times Limited
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Nestle
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Chilean Dairy Company Unveils Children’s Probiotic Drink In Recyclable Box

May 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Chilean dairy producer Soprole has launched a probiotic beverage for children packaged in an 80 ml recyclable Tetra Pak cardboard box. Uno Colación is available in strawberry and multi-fruit flavors in the country’s main supermarkets. The drinks are low in sodium, and sugar- and fat-free. Tetra Pak says this is the first time its container has been used in Chile. The Aseptic 80 ml Slim, designed for children's consumption, is easy to carry and drink from, and is with recyclable cardboard from FSC certified forest sources. Soprole and Nestlé dominate the Chilean dairy market.

Stephen Daniells, "Soprole works with Tetra Pak to launch new probiotic format for children", Beverage Daily, May 24, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Latin America
Chile

Food, Beverage Companies Wrestle With New Economic, Competitive Monsters

May 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Investors are not yet convinced that America’s cereal, soda, and soup companies know how to adapt to the changing food and beverage preferences of today’s consumers. The consumer staples segment of the S&P 500 has slid 13 percent this year, the worst performance in 10 years. Small consumer goods companies grabbed market share from large brands between 2011 to 2016, the first time in 50 years. Sales growth is slowing while oil, freight, raw material, steel, and aluminum costs climb. The pricing power of the big companies is disintegrating as consolidation takes over in the retail and grocery industries, consumer allegiances fade, and cheaper digital advertising lure shoppers. Companies are turning to acquisitions to stem the tide, but acquisitions tend to raise corporate debt and dent profits. And all of this is happening as higher interest rates loom on the horizon.

Nathaniel Meyersohn, "Trouble in Big Food: America's cereal, soda and soup companies are in turmoil", CNN Wire/CNNMoney, May 21, 2018, © Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company
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Coke Unveils Lower-Sugar Variants In Its Simply Juice Line

May 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola’s Simply Beverages unit announced expansion of its juice product line with the addition of more healthful, lower-sugar varieties of orange juice and lemonade. The new orange juice variants – Simply Light Orange Pulp Free and Simply Light Orange with Calcium & Vitamin D – have about half of the sugar and calories of the original Simply Orange. Simply Light Lemonade and Simply Light Lemonade with Raspberry have 75 percent less sugar and less calories than Simply Lemonade. The move represents another step toward the goal of marketing more healthful beverages outlined in Coca-Cola’s 2017 Sustainability Report, which revealed a commitment to reduce sugar in more than 400 drinks.

Collin Huguley, "Coca-Cola continues low-sugar push with new healthier line of juices", Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 21, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Nestlé Waters Debuts RTD Sparkling Tea Products Under Sanpellegrino Brand

May 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Nestlé Waters believes it can make the most of its Sanpellegrino customer base while expanding to new audiences with the launch of an RTD subcategory comprising a “flavor-packed, premium sparkling tea experience," dubbed Sanpellegrino + Tea. The range of organic, low-calorie sparkling teas includes Limone + Tea and Pesca + Tea flavors. The brand was launched in Canada in March and recently in the U.K. as a component of a brand awareness campaign this year featuring digital engagement, experiential and sampling activities, in-store merchandising, and print ads.

Lucy Britner, "Nestlé Waters' Sanpellegrino + Tea - Product Launch", Just-drinks.com, May 18, 2018, © Just-drinks.com
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Sales Of Protein Beverages, Including Waters, Are On The Rise

May 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

RTD beverages that contain protein are seeing sales increase to meet demand from health-conscious consumers seeking to conveniently boost intake of the nutrient. Different brands of protein-rich drinks offer various functional benefits, including energy, refueling, rehydration, satiation, sports nutrition, and meal replacement. A growing subcategory of protein drinks is protein water, including those containing WPI, a concentrated clear protein source. Protein water is represented by several brands and companies: BiPro Protein Water from BiPro U.S.A;  Chicago-based Protein2O, with two product lines; Bolthouse Farms (Campbell Soup Co.) B Strong and B Balanced beverages;  Gatorade protein shakes (PepsiCo); and JoeFroyo Functional Cold Brew coffee with caffeine, probiotics, and protein. Protein sources include milk protein isolate, whey, pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and collagen peptides.

Donna Berry, "Beverage makers capitalizing on the power of protein", Food Business News, May 17, 2018, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Nestlé Waters NA Hopes New Packaging, Flavors, Will Lure Buyers To Sparkling Water

May 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

In an interview, Nestlé Waters NA brand business director Sam Martin said the decision to revamp its sparkling water portfolio – Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka, Poland Spring, and Zephyrhills – with new flavors and packaging was based on perceived opportunities in the market. Though sparkling water has been on a torrid growth ride in recent years, household penetration has reached only 16 percent. Perrier is selling well in plastic bottles and glass but, according to Martin, adding cans to the portfolio represents “a really big unlock for the consumer.” In addition, Perrier has successful core flavors, but new flavors (like pomegranate lemonade) will attract new buyers. The basic strategy is to convince consumers of the benefits of sparkling waters “by entering through the lens of our existing business with them.”

DSN STAFF, "Q&A: Nestlé Waters focuses on sparkling water with redesign, new flavors", Drug Store News, May 16, 2018, © Drug Store News
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Coca-Cola Weathers Several Storms Since 2013 To Find Smoother Sailing

May 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A number of “qualifications” – particularly restructuring costs, currency ups and downs, and ongoing bottler refranchising – make Coca-Cola’s five-year financial performance a little cloudy. But an analysis by just-drinks reveals “modest, if not spectacular, growth” globally. Among the highlights: a gradual shift in emphasis in global product mix due to evolving consumer trends; the success of RTD tea and coffee, packaged water, and sports drinks; overall market share gains in major regions, fueled by a rising global middle class, increased urbanization, and higher spending on personal consumption; an increase in billion-dollar brands to 20; and a reduction to three percent of volume from company-owned bottlers thanks to refranchising in China and the U.S. through 2016 and 2017 that led to lower sales (down 15 percent) but higher margins in a brand-led but less capital-intensive operation. 

Nigel Huddleston, "The Coca-Cola Co Performance Trends 2013-2017 - results data", just-drinks.com, May 15, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Coca-Cola HBC Posts Healthy 1st Q Results, Notably In Energy Segment

May 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) posted a 4.5 percent increase (FX neutral) in first quarter sales to $1.6 billion along with a 2.3 percent increase in volume. The company is looking forward to a healthy second quarter as Russia hosts the two weeks-long FIFA World Cup matches beginning on June 14. The first quarter rise in sales came despite continued economic weakness in Nigeria and Russia, which are both likely to improve in 2018. Volumes of the company’s carbonated soft drink portfolio increased by 2.8 percent year-on-year, water grew 0.9 percent, but juices slid two percent. The energy drinks segment soared nearly 27.8 percent in volume, with continued strong performance from Monster.

Olly Wehring, "Coca-Cola HBC upbeat on 2018 - Q1 2018 results", just-drinks.com, May 11, 2018, © just-drinks.com
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Coca-Cola CEO: Innovation Is The Key To Becoming A “Total Beverage Company”

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey is a strong advocate of innovation and experimentation to quickly take advantage of market opportunities. Creating new products, and pushing existing products into new markets, are the underlying concepts behind the “total beverage company” slogan. It’s the reason why the company has tinkered with its line of traditional cola beverages as it expands into dairy, juice, and plant-based drinks, energy drinks, water and sports drinks; and RTD tea and coffee. But this is not just innovation for the sake of innovation, Quincey recently noted, but “in the service of the consumer, in the service of wondering what will connect and engage with the consumer.” The flip side of experimentation, of course, is acknowledging failure and being willing to “kill the zombies.”

Rachel Arthur, "Coca-Cola on innovation: ‘We’ve got to be willing to kill the zombies’", Beverage Daily, May 10, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Keeping Coke Relevant In Nepal

May 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola’s country director for Nepal Ambuj Deo Singh says Coke has remained pretty much the same during its 132-year history but has also managed to be relevant in his country, and in many others. Relevance, he notes, comes from talking to consumers about their needs “in the language that they want us to speak.” An example is the recent ad campaign (“Coke Kham Russia Jam”), which “relates to everyone here in Nepal” because it is associated with momo (a type of dumpling). Coca-Cola is also associated with the festival of Dashain, celebrating human relationships. Singh says the company is planning to introduce new products, such as juices, in the near future. Plans also include making Kinley available nationwide and expanding the distribution base.

"‘Staying locally relevant under global vision is Coca-Cola’s mantra for success’", Onlinekhabar, May 10, 2018, © Onlinekhabar.com
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NutraBolt’s Cellucor C4: A Hybrid Energy And Sports Performance Drink

May 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Texas-based fitness nutrition company NutraBolt is positioning its Cellucor C4 On The Go Carbonated beverages as healthier functional alternatives to conventional energy drinks. The company hopes to exploit the continuing rebound in the energy drinks market, especially among products with reduced sugar. Sugar- and calorie-free Cullucor C4 Carbonated, sold in 16-ounce cans, is positioned as a convenient extension to Cellucor’s C4 pre-workout powder, and somewhere between a sports performance and energy beverage. The company emphasizes the product’s hydrating and energizing effects – supported by clinical research – thanks to ingredients like 200 mg of caffeine anhydrous, CarnoSyn beta-alanine, BetaPower betaine, citrulline malate, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, vitamins B6 and B12. The beverage is available nationwide for $29.99 per 12-pack at GNC and Vitamin Shoppe locations, gyms, convenience and grocery stores, and online.

Mary Ellen Shoup, "Cellucor C4 On The Go Carbonated aims for positioning between sports performance and energy drink segments", Beverage Daily, May 09, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Panera Rolls Out Delivery Program Nationwide

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Panera Bread is expanding its food delivery service nationally to 897 cities and 43 states via the Panera app or website. The company said its products will be available for lunch and dinner to officers, hospitals, college campuses and, in participating markets, to homes.According to CEO Blaine Hurst, "Delivery is fueling our next phase of growth.”Panera is using its own delivery drivers in the expansion – it has hired 10,000 so far – and says it has already created 13,000 jobs. Digital sales at Panera comprise online, app and kiosk orders and represent 30 percent of total company sales. Deliveries are possible with orders as small as $5 menu purchase plus tax and a $3 delivery fee in most markets. The company operates 2,076 bakery-cafes in 46 states and in Ontario, Canada.
"Panera Bread Unveils National Delivery Service", GlobeNewswire, May 08, 2018, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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Cannabis Company Harvest One Acquires Dream Water

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Canadian cannabis company Harvest One has acquired the natural sleep aid Dream Water (Miami, Fla.) for $27 million. According to Dream Water executives the deal will allow the company to exploit “synergies in the commercial cannabis and sleep aid markets.” The company expects to develop product lines that include the non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol (CBD), found in the cannabis plant, that purportedly has several health benefits, including as pain and anxiety relief. After closing the deal, Dream Water USA and Dream Water Canada will be consolidated and become a subsidiary of Harvest One called Dream Water Global.

Martín Caballero, "Dream Water Acquired by Canadian Cannabis Co. Harvest One", Bevnet.com, May 08, 2018, © Bevnet.com
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Starbucks, Nestlé Sign Global Coffee Marketing Alliance

May 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Seattle-based Starbucks and Nestlé announced a global coffee alliance to expand the reach of Starbucks brands in consumer packaged goods (CPG) and foodservice. Starbucks will gain access to millions of homes around the world “through the reach and reputation” of the Swiss food company.  Nestlé will spend $7.15 billion for the right to market and distribute Starbucks coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Starbucks Reserve, Teavana, Starbucks VIA, and Torrefazione Italia, combining its international distribution network with the cachet of one of the most visible names in the coffee marketplace. Nestlé will benefit from Starbucks name recognition and 28,000 coffee shops as it seeks to boost its own products, including Nespresso and Dolce Gusto, in the U.S. market.
"Starbucks and Nestlé Form Global Coffee Alliance to Elevate and Expand Consumer Packaged Goods and Foodservice Categories Around the World", Business Wire, May 07, 2018
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Coca-Cola Packaging In Japan Boasts Uniquely Japanese Styles

May 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s packaging in Japan always features the characteristic logo and red color, but in recent years has also been distinguished by “bits of distinctively Japanese flair.” Collectible beverage bottles often salute popular tourist attractions (e.g., Tokyo, Kyoto, Yokohama, Shinto shrines, cherry blossoms, etc.). But a newly-released batch features characters and scenes from the world of anime, the country’s unique style of hand-drawn and computer animated cartoons. The new 250 ml bottles, available in stores ($1.14), vending machines ($1.37) and other locations only on the island of Shikoku, are decorated with images of Megumi, Chiwa, and Mao, all characters from the anime television series “Ohenro” (“pilgrims”).
Casey Baseel, "Coca-Cola releases special anime-design bottle just for Japan", SoraNews24, May 07, 2018
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Polish Relaxation Brand Tranquini To Enter U.S. Sparkling Water Market

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
European “de-stressing” beverage brand Tranquini announced a marketing and sales management agreement with N.J.-based based Cascadia Managing Brands to help the company expand its presence in the U.S. Tranquini sparkling beverages are made with cane sugar, green tea extract, theanine, lemon balm, chamomile, and lavender that the Warsaw-based company says are “scientifically proven to achieve a de-stressing effect without drowsiness.” The drinks contain no artificial colors or preservatives and only natural flavors. According to the three-year-old company, relaxation beverage sales is a $242 million market in the U.S. Tranquini is available in more than 30 countries, including Canada.
"Tranquini Partners with Cascadia Managing Brands", Bevnet.com, May 04, 2018
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NEXT Nutrition Debuts Fizzique Line Of Protein-Rich Sparkling Waters

May 4, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Protein powder company NEXT Nutrition has branched into beverages with the launch of the Fizzique line of flavored sparkling protein water. The company uses a patented technology that blends whey protein and sparkling water to create a clear beverage. Each 12 oz can contains 20 g of whey protein, 80 calories, and a little caffeine. The products – strawberry watermelon and tropical limon – are available on the company’s website and on Amazon, and in Florida specialty retailers. Distribution deals will help expand the brand to more than 1,000 stores in the specialty channel within the next few months, according to former Olympic sprinter and founder David Jenkins.
"Fizzique Launches Sparkling Protein Drink", Bevnet.com, May 04, 2018
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Coca-Cola India Launches Fortified Drink Powder At Reduced Price Point

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India has introduced an affordable water-soluble beverage powder in a bid to attract consumers to the company’s products. At 7¢ a packet, the price of Minute Maid Vitingo harkens back to the days when the company sold bottles of Coca-Cola at 7¢ apiece. The price was discontinued in 2004. Coca-Cola President T. Krishnakumar said the low price of the orange-flavored beverage fortified with micronutrients would expand the market “to the segment which cannot afford most of the packaged beverages.” Vitingo was launched at 4¢ a packet in 2010 with the help of non-governmental organizations and self-help groups and targeted consumers in rural areas of the country. Vitingo’s main competitors are Glucon-D from Kraft Heinz, and Glucose-D from Dabur India.
Sounak Mitra, "Coca-Cola unveils Vitingo at Rs5 in bid to boost reach", Livemint, May 03, 2018
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Detroit Area Benefits From Tyson Foods, Flashfood Food Waste Initiative

May 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Tyson Foods has partnered with Toronto, Ont.-based Flashfood Inc. in a Detroit area pilot program that lets shoppers buy quality surplus food items at a discount rate. The Flashfoodbox program involves other services – nonprofit Forgotten Harvest, Michigan Farm to Freezer for processing and packaging, and AxleHire Inc. for shipping – but the core is the Flashfoodbox. The boxes are ordered online or via the Flashfood app and are delivered directly to customer homes. Weekly, biweekly, or monthly subscriptions come with a 10 percent discount. At $44.99 a box, customers get about five pounds of protein, including meat, and nearly 10 pounds of rescued vegetables and fruits, enough to prepare 14 meals at less than $4 per plate. [Image Credit: © Flashfood Inc.]

Tyler Clifford, "Companies partner to reduce food waste in Detroit", Crain’s Detroit Business, May 02, 2018, © Crain Communications, Inc.
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Coca-Cola’s 1st Quarter Revenues Flat Year-Over-Year

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) posted a first-quarter profit of $1.8 billion on revenue of $2.9 billion, flat versus the prior year’s first quarter, or up one percent on a comparable and currency-neutral basis. earnings per share were $0.30 on a reported basis, or $0.40 on a comparable basis. Volume was down 2.5 percent on a comparable basis. The cost of sales rose $1.8 billion and operating profit decreased 12.5 percent to $224 million. Volumes for sparkling brands decreased one percent, Coca-Cola trademark brands decreased two percent, but Coca-Cola Zero Sugar reported a growth of 8.5 percent. Sparkling flavors and energy brands increased by one percent. CEO Damian Gammell said the results reflected a “continued focus on improving our in-market execution” but were adversely affected by “unfavorable weather, customer challenges, and the effect of some of our brand realignment decisions.”
"Coca-Cola European Partners reports flat revenues in Q1 2018", Cost Sector Catering, May 01, 2018, © Cost Sector Catering
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