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Unilever Relies On Mobile Marketing And Consumer Trust To Grow Business

February 17, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is combining mobile marketing and consumer trust to help drive future growth, according to North American division president Kees Kruythoff. Speaking at a panel discussion during the Food Marketing Institute Midwinter Conference in Miami, Kruythoff said digital marketing can help marketers restore consumer trust. He also said companies can accomplish this by “being authentic” and by “giving back to society.” Millennial consumers are the strategy's primary target, the executive said.
John Karolefski, "Unilever Aims to Engage Shoppers via Mobile, Trust ", CPG Matters, February 17, 2015, © CPG Matters
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Unilever
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Unilever Cambodia Retains Riverorchid As Media Buying And Planning Agency

February 6, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever re-appointed Riverorchid as the agency in charge of media planning and buying for all of the consumer goods company's brands in Cambodia. Three media agencies reportedly took part in the account review, including Phibious and Cream Communications. In 2013, Riverorchid lost seven Unilever brands, but retained the Cambodian media business.
"Unilever re-assigns Riverorchid for Cambodian media duties", Mumbrella Asia, February 06, 2015, © Mumbrella Asia Pte Ltd.
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Unilever
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Cambodia

Tea, Water Brands Become Billion-Dollar Sellers For Coca-Cola

February 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Company announced that three more of its beverage brands have attained billion-dollar status. Gold Peak, Fuze Tea and I Lohas all exceeded $1 billion in sales in 2014. Gold Peak and Fuze Tea joined Japan’s billion-dollar green tea brand, Ayataka, as the company’s largest brands in the global ready-to-drink tea category. The water brand I Lohas, launched in 2009, is now the top immediate consumption mineral water brand sold in Japan, the company said.
"The Coca-Cola Company Grows Roster of Billion-Dollar Brands to 20", Seeking Alpha, February 05, 2015, © Seeking Alpha
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Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
Asia-Pacific
United States of America
Japan

McDonald's Japan Reports Wider Net Loss For 2014

February 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald's Holdings, operator of McDonald's Japan, reported a group net loss of 21.84 billion yen, or $190 million, in 2014, compared with 5.14 billion yen in 2013. Revenue dropped 14.6 percent to 222 billion yen during the period, compared with 260 billion yen in the previous year. Moreover, sales fell 38.6 percent in January 2015, compared with sales in January 2014. Several food safety-related scandals hurt the company's revenue performance, according to company executives and market observers.
RJ Whitehead, "Scandals prompt McDonald’s Japan to report first loss in over a decade", FOODnavigator-asia.com, February 05, 2015, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Other
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Asia-Pacific
Japan

Campbell Targets Younger Soup Buyers With New Organic Line

February 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Though Campbell Soup Co. has been selling organic soups under the Wolfgang Puck label for several years, it only recently launched a line of Campbell’s brand organic soups it hopes will attract younger soup buyers and boost soup sales. Six soups, including Chicken Noodle and Creamy Butternut Squash, comprise Campbell’s organic line. According to a Campbell spokesman, the move to create a Campbell brand organic soup line taps into the trend of organic food going mainstream. The company gained expertise in organic products with the acquisition of Wolfgang Puck soups, Bolthouse Farms, and Plum Organics baby food. Campbell’s research shows that 53 percent of Americans between ages 18 and 29 want to include organic foods in their diets.
Annie Gasparro, "Campbell Organic Soups Broaden Push Into Fast-Growing Natural Foods", The Wall Street Journal, February 05, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Campbell's
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Mondelez Partners With FLOCERT To Verify Social And Sustainability Impact Of Cocoa Life Program

February 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International partnered with global certification organization FLOCERT to verify cocoa volumes and commercial transactions for the company's Cocoa Life program. Valued at $400, Cocoa Life and FLOCERT will use a customized version of the FLOTIS reporting system to confirm the volume of sustainably grown and traded cocoa. It will also verify Cocoa Life premium payments made to farmer organizations. Focused on impact and independently verified, Cocoa Life will rely on the partnership to verify its supply chain, fulfilling its verification framework requirements. A research team from the Harvard University will evaluate the program's impact.
CGT Staff, "Mondelez Partnership Supports Healthy Supply Chain", Consumer Goods Technology, February 04, 2015, © Edgell Communications
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Other
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United States of America

FMCG Product Awards Suggest Big Trends For 2015

February 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Brand Genetics identified nine FMCG trends for 2015 from the recent consumer product innovation awards. The awards were based on voting by 10,000 consumers in the U.K., but Brand Genetics says the trends are global. Among the key trends defining FMCG products are: convenience (“the mega-trend of 2015”); “on-the-go”; products offering health benefits; indulgence that is also “good for you”; the continued rise of private label brands; products “made for me”; a premium experience even from mass market brands; the increasing popularity of fruit as a sugar replacement; and tech-enhanced products.
Andrew Christophers, "FMCG / CPG Consumer Trends 2015 - Product Innovations of the Year", Brand Genetics, February 04, 2015, © Brand Genetics
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Other
Unilever
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United States of America

Despite Food Safety Setback, Yum Brands Believes In China’s Potential

February 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Though Yum Brands has cut ties with the company that supplied its Chinese KFC locations with tainted meat, consumers remain wary. The company operates 4,800 KFC restaurants and 1,600 Pizza Huts, so a slow rebound from the disaster will be costly. It took Yum more than a year to recover from a similar publicity problem that occurred in 2012 when a Chinese media outlet accused local KFC suppliers of “cramming extra antibiotics into their chickens”. Yum CEO Greg Creed said the company firmly believes in the long-term potential of the Chinese market and expects to open at least 700 new units there.
Charles Riley, "Yum's China fiasco shows danger of food scandals", CNN Money, February 04, 2015, © Cable News Network. A Time Warner Company
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Other
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Asia-Pacific
China

J.M. Smucker Agrees To Buy Big Heart Pet Brands

February 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
J.M. Smucker Company said it has agreed to acquire Big Heart Pet Brands, the largest independent manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of high-quality, branded pet foods and pet snacks in the United States. Expected to give J.M. Smucker several advantages, including capacity for further growth, expanded scale and strategic balance for its existing portfolio of brands, the deal also offers strategic benefits, including a presence in the pet food and snacks segment and a leading position in the pet snacks market. Based in San Francisco, Big Heart Pet Brands has almost 2,500 employees and owns a range of brands, such as Meow Mix, Milk-Bone, and Kibbles 'n Bits. For its fiscal year ending May 3, 2015, the company is expected to have net sales of about $2.3 billion and EBITDA of around $450 million.
CGT Staff, "Smucker to Acquire Big Heart Pet Brands for $5.8B", Consumer Goods Technology, February 03, 2015, © Edgell Communications
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Other
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Yogurt Competition Spurs Innovation In Marketing

January 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Yogurt maker Chobani is joining competitors Dannon and Hain Celestial in “reinventing” yogurt products to appeal to specific categories of consumers. These include toddlers, children, women, men and vegans. A recent Chobani launch, for example, comes packaged in child-friendly pouches and contains nuts, chocolate and quinoa. Chobani Kids and Tots products feature Disney and Marvel characters and flavors like strawberry, banana, chocolate, watermelon and grape. Adult-targeted products include increased fiber and protein, as well as steel-cut oats, quinoa, chia, buckwheat and amaranth, and real fruit.
Monica Watrous, "Slideshow: New products from Chobani, PepsiCo, Kellogg", Food Business News, January 30, 2015, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO.
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Kellogg
PepsiCo
Geographies
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United States of America

Unilever Assigns Global Search Account To Omnicom's PHD Unit

January 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever awarded its global search account to advertising agency Omnicom's PHD unit. PHD, for its part, assigned its digital marketing division Resolution Media to handle the search account. Also, Unilever began a review of its ₤3 billion global media account.
Arif Durrani, "Unilever appoints PHD to global search", Campaign Live, January 29, 2015, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Unilever
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom
Netherlands

Unilever Appoints Big Sync Music As Provider Of Music Services For Brands

January 26, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever signed a music licensing deal with specialist music agency Big Sync Music. Covering the consumer goods company's lineup of brands, the deal will include provision of music strategy, creative music search, and amplification. Launched in 2013, Big Sync Music has provided its services for hundreds of projects involving Unilever's brands, such as Persil, Dove, and Lynx.
Coral Williamson, "Unilever partners with Big Sync Music", Music Week, January 26, 2015, © NewBay Media
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Unilever
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
United States of America
Europe
United Kingdom

Unilever Set To Review Global Media Account, Reports Say

January 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is reportedly planning to review its global media buying and planning business. The packaged goods company conducted its last review in 2012, something it tends to do every three years. According to sources familiar with the planned review, Unilever has invited the incumbent agencies to participate. In 2014, Unilever said it spent $8.3 billion in global advertising, including about $1.4 billion in agency and production fees.
Alexandra Bruell, "Unilever to Review Massive Media Buying and Planning Account", Advertising Age, January 22, 2015, © Crain Communications
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Unilever
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom
Netherlands

Wegmans Lowers Sugar Content Of Own-Brand Products

January 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Regional supermarket chain Wegmans announced its plan to reduce the amount of sugar added to its private label products. Driven by the retailer's desire to help customers “eat healthier,” the initiative also involves changing the formulation of own-brand bottled sauces to cut their sugar content, as well as other products sold under its brand. Also, Wegmans launched smaller-portion sizes of its bakery products, such as mini croissants and mini sweet rolls.
Cathy Jett, "Wegmans reduces sugar in its private label products", The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Virginia), January 22, 2015, © Fredericksburg.com
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FOOD COMPANIES
Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

New Biscuit Factory In Bahrain Is Part Of Mondelez’s Supply Chain Overhaul

January 20, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International says demand for biscuits (cookies) in the Middle East and Africa has been so strong that a new manufacturing plant in the region was warranted. The company recently began construction of a $90 million biscuit factory in Bahrain to keep up with double-digit growth in demand for its Oreo, Ritz and TUC biscuits. The new factory is part of the company’s plan to revamp its supply chain globally to meet demand, reduce costs and improve productivity. The company expects $3 billion in gross productivity savings, $1.5 billion in net savings and $1 billion in incremental cash during 2014 to 2016 from the new plan. Full commercial production at the Bahrain plant is scheduled to start early next year.
"Mondelez International Lays Cornerstone for Construction of $90 Million Biscuit Plant in Bahrain", Food Ingredients 1st, January 20, 2015, © CNS Media
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Other
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EMEA
Middle East- Africa
Bahrain

Problems In Emerging Markets Stifle Unilever’s Financial Performance

January 20, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said weak performance in emerging markets adversely affected fourth quarter sales, which were lower than expected by analysts. Underlying sales rose 2.1 percent, though analysts were expecting a 2.6 percent increase. Unilever’s decision to destock its products from Chinese store shelves as a reaction to the slower economy there led to a 20 percent slide in sales. Full year sales growth also came in slightly below expectations at 2.9 percent. The company blamed problems in emerging markets – 60 percent of Unilever’s sales – for the tepid financial performance. Besides the slower Chinese economy, problems included weakening currencies, sanctions on Russia, and fierce price competition among European retailers.
Graham Ruddick, "Unilever claims it has 'good relations' with Tesco despite accounting scandal", Telegraph, January 20, 2015, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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FOOD COMPANIES
Retailers & Private Label
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Unilever Reports Lower Turnover In 2014

January 20, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever said underlying sales grew 2.9 percent in 2014, compared with the previous year, with volume rising 1.0 percent and price expanding 1.9 percent. However, turnover decreased 2.7 percent to €48.4 billion, which included a negative currency impact of 4.6 percent. Core operating margin rose 40bps, at current exchange rates, while free cash flow reached €3.1 billion after €0.8 billion of tax on disposal profits. Also, core earnings per share rose 11 percent at constant exchange rates, or 2 percent at current exchange rates to €1.61.
"2014 Full Year and Fourth Quarter Results", Unilever, January 20, 2015, © Unilever
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Unilever
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Worldwide
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Europe
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Netherlands

Kellogg’s Expands Low-Cal Snack Line

January 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Beset by softening sales in its breakfast cereals line, Kellogg’s continues to expand its snack offerings that use the cereals as a foundation. The company recently introduced two 100-calorie snacks that are cousins of its Special K cereals. Special K Chewy Snack Bars are made with “chocolaty chunks”, salted pretzels, real fruit pieces, chewy rolled oats and rice crisps. Special K Brownies, with three grams of fiber, are made with real cocoa, “chocolaty” or caramel chips, and topped with “chocolaty fudge”.
"Special K Unveils New Chewy Snack Bars And Brownies For Smart And Delicious Snacking", News release, Kellogg's, January 15, 2015, © Kellogg Co.
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Kellogg
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Unilever Recognized As One Of Best Places To Work Worldwide, LinkedIn Says

January 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer goods company Unilever was ranked as the world's third most desirable place to work, according to a study by professional networking site LinkedIn. Unilever CEO Paul Polman said his company, which receives about 2 million job applications each year, has become a magnet for jobseekers because “it is considered a place of purpose.” Polman also said his company saw a 65 percent increase in job applications from college students in the United States, compared with 2013. Unilever's employee engagement scores rose 12 percent after Polman started as CEO.
Rick Wartzman, "What Unilever shares with Google and Apple", Fortune, January 07, 2015, © Time Inc.
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Unilever
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
United States of America
Europe
United Kingdom
Netherlands

Asda, Sainsbury's Cut Bread Prices As UK Retail Price War Continues

January 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailers Asda and Sainsbury's are cutting the prices of bread products they sell, as part of the companies' use of price-cutting to drive sales and gain market shares. Asda said it plans to invest £300 million in the first quarter of 2015 to reduce prices of 2,500 products the company considers as favorites of consumers. For its part, Sainsbury's invested £150 million to reduce prices of 700 products in supermarkets.
Bronya Smolen, "Supermarkets reduce bread prices in ongoing cuts", BakeryInfo.co.uk, January 07, 2015, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Tesco Makes UK Checkout Lanes Chocolate-Free

January 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Tesco said it has removed sweets and chocolates from checkouts at all company-owned stores in the UK. In 1994, Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from the checkouts at its larger stores. Its latest move means no sweets and chocolate products will be on display at about 2,000 Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores across the country. According to the company, its decision to make its checkout lanes free from sweets and chocolates is part of its efforts to “help customers live healthier lives.”
"Sweets and chocolates removed from all checkouts from today", Tesco PLC, January 01, 2015, © Tesco
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Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Weetabix Targets Kids With Ad Campaign That Emphasizes Fruit Toppings

December 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
British breakfast cereal Weetabix has launched an ad campaign targeting children who need to eat a more nutritious breakfast, especially one that includes Weetabix and fruit. British kids aged 4 to 10 eat only half of the recommended five fruits a day. Weetabix biscuits are low in salt, sugar and fat, high in fiber (from 100 percent wholegrain wheat) and a source of protein. The new ad campaign features “Weetabuddy” characters (e.g., Tropicolin, Senor Sultana & Blue Barry) that are fruit-based to help increase children’s fruit intake at breakfast. A company spokesman says the idea is to reassure moms that Weetabix is a healthy breakfast and remind kids that “Weetabix is a lot of fun”.
"Weetabix Launches New Campaign to Get Kids Excited About Breakfast", The Food & Drink Innovation Network, December 30, 2014, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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Other
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EMEA
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German Discount Grocer Aldi Expands In Florida

December 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Florida newspaper report says discount supermarket chain Aldi will open a new store in Jacksonville and has filed plans for a store in Middleburg. The expansion follows the recent opening of a store in St. Augustine. Aldi’s store there offers more than 1,300 commonly purchased items sold under Aldi brand names. Prices are roughly half of what traditional supermarkets charge for comparable products. Stores are usually smaller than supermarkets, products are displayed in open cartons, and shoppers are encouraged to use their own shopping bags. Aldi has about 60 stores in 45 Florida cities, including Ocala and Daytona.
Kristen Cloud, "Aldi Expanding In Northeast Florida", The Shelby Report, December 30, 2014, © The Shelby Report
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FOOD COMPANIES
Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

M&A Activity In Food Industry Reflects Consumer Eating Trends

December 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
According to Mergers & Acquisitions magazine, acquisition activity last year in the food industry tended to reflect health-conscious consumer eating trends. Investors and buyers focused on better-for-you products and frozen foods companies. Five transactions stood out especially in 2014: the $165 million Hillshire Brands acquisition of frozen food company Van’s Natural Foods; the $860 million acquisition of Flagstone Foods (nuts and private-label healthy snacks); Hormel Foods’ $450 million purchase of CytoSport Holdings, maker of Muscle Milk; General Mills’ acquisition of organic foods maker Annie’s Inc. for $820 million; and Ajinimoto’s purchase of Quality Holdings LP, which makes frozen foods, for $800 million.
Allison Collins, "6 Notable Food Deals of 2014", Mergers & Acquisitions, December 30, 2014, © SourceMedia
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General Mills
Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Nestle Funds Research Into The Impact Of Nutrition On Genetics

December 29, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé says it will contribute about $22 million to a six-year research effort involving scientists in the U.K., Switzerland, New Zealand and Singapore targeting the relationship between eating behaviors and genes. The company said the idea is to further understanding of the influence of nutrition and genetics at the beginning of life, and in future generations. One goal is to improve nutrition and reduce risk factors of pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes.
"Nestlé boosts research into cutting-edge maternal nutrition and epigenetics", News release, Nestlé, December 29, 2014, © Nestlé
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Nestle
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Worldwide
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Europe
New Zealand
Singapore
United Kingdom
Switzerland

New U.K. Bio-Energy Plant Converts Feedstock Into Electricity To Make Nestle Candy

December 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A year-old U.K. bio-energy plant built by Clearfleau for Nestlé’s Fawdon confectionery factory is converting 200,000 liters of feedstock a day into renewable energy. The feedstock includes wash waters from the site and 1,200 tons of residual biproducts and ingredients a year. The biogas produced is fueling a combined heat and power (CHP) engine that produces 200 kilowatts of electricity used to make candy. Residues from Fawdon, the former Rowntree factory, used to be discharged into the sewer or fed to pigs in the locality.
Meghan Sapp, "UK biogas company producing energy from Nestle’s manufacturing waste", Biofuels Digest, December 24, 2014, © Biofuels Digest
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Nestle
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Worldwide
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Europe
United Kingdom

Unilever Receives Sustainability Honors From South Africa And United Nations

December 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever South Africa received the Investment Promotion Award from the country's Department of Trade and Industry. Given on behalf of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the award recognizes the company's contribution to sustainability with its “sustainable and water neutral investment” at its Durban factory. One of the company's factories in KwaZulu-Natal region, the Indonsa factory manufactures a number of brands, including Aromat, Knorr, and Rajah.
Marc Mcilhone, "SA: Dti presents award to Unilever", African Brains, December 23, 2014, © The Brains Network Ltd.
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Unilever
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EMEA
Middle East- Africa
South Africa

Unilever Drops Labeling Suit Against Maker Of Egg-Free Mayonnaise

December 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever, which makes the Hellman’s brand of mayonnaise, has dropped a month-old lawsuit against a three-year old company that markets “Just Mayo”, a mayonnaise-like product that contains no eggs. Unilever alleged that Hampton Creek’s product violates U.S. food labeling rules that require mayonnaise products to contain eggs. Hampton Creek’s product contains plant-based ingredients that substitute for eggs and other proteins. Unilever said it is dropping the suit so Hampton Creek “can address its label directly with industry groups and appropriate regulatory authorities”. Hampton Creek just received $90 million in venture capital funding from Silicon Valley and Asian investors.
Tim Bradshaw, "Unilever ends egg-free mayonnaise lawsuit", The Financial Times, December 19, 2014, © The Financial Times Limited
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Unilever
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Asia-Pacific
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United Kingdom

Grupo Bimbo Acquires Canadian Snack Company

December 18, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Canada Bread Company, a recently-acquired subsidiary of Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, is buying Vachon Inc., the bakery division of Canadianfood company Saputo, Inc., for $120 million in cash. Canada Bread executives say no changes are planned for Vachon, which produces a line of venerable snack cakes for the Quebec market. Saputo says the sale of the bakery unit, which accounted for only two percent of sales, will allow the company to focus on its much larger dairy business. The deal is the latest in a string of Grupo Bimbo acquisitions stretching back five years, and totaling more than $5 billion.
David Kennedy, "Saputo’s snack cake business bought up by Mexican-owned Grupo Bimbo", Financial Post, December 18, 2014, © National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
Canada

McDonald’s Finds Early Success With Beacon-Based Marketing

December 18, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s and beacon platform provider Piper announced that franchises in the Columbus, Ga., area are testing beacon- and location-based offers/notifications on iOS smartphones using the iBeacon framework and other devices. According to Piper, 18,000 offers have been redeemed, driving McChicken sales up eight percent, and McNuggets sales up 7.5 percent from November. Piper runs a beacon network that sells the Bluetooth hardware and software necessary for beaming location-based offers.
Jordan Kahn, "McDonald’s increases sales by beaming offers to smartphones in iBeacon pilot", 9to5Mac, December 18, 2014, © 9TO5MAC
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Other
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United States of America

Food Companies, Schools Implement Humane Treatment Policies Covering Farm Animals

December 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An alliance of six of six large U.S. school districts (Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Orlando, Fla.) earlier in December pledged to abide by chicken procurement guidelines that proscribe purchase of chicken that has been treated with antibiotics, raised on feed containing animal by-products or kept in overcrowded cages or coops. Panera Bread, Carnival, Campbell’s, and other big companies have all banned the use of confining gestation crates for pigs. Since 2005, Unilever has required cage-free eggs for Hellman's mayonnaise. California has the strictest humane treatment requirements for egg-laying hens, veal calves and pregnant pigs, though national standards remain elusive.
Heather Clancy, "Panera Bread extends commitment to animal welfare", GreenBiz.com, December 17, 2014, © GreenBiz Group
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Slicing And Dicing Holiday Cooking Behaviors

December 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Big food companies have gotten very sophisticated about gathering data, then categorizing – and marketing to – consumers who cook and bake. Passionate Kitchen Masters, according to Campbell Soup, “get really excited about the holidays”, unlike “Uninvolved Quick Fixers” who aren’t into cooking, instead snacking their way through the day. Campbell uses its six categories of cooks to fine-tune the marketing message, especially during the holidays. It now markets its Swanson products, for example, using a more inspirational and less prescriptive theme. Campbell found that for any kind of cook around Christmas, “it’s really about being inspired”.
Sarah Nassauer, "What Does Your Fridge Say About You?", The Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Campbell's
General Mills
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

General Mills To Debut New Cereals, Snacks And Yogurts In 2015

December 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills will be unveiling 50 new products in the breakfast cereals, yogurt and snacks categories in 2015. The company said the biggest innovation in the first half of its fiscal year was the addition of more cinnamon to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. In the second half, the company is bringing back French Toast Crunch, and introducing Cheerios Ancient Grains and Chex Gluten-Free Granola Mix. In the yogurt category, the company is introducing protein-rich Yoplait Greek 100 Whips, “with the lightness of a whipped mousse”. In the snacks area, the company will unveil Nature Valley Nut Crisps in flavors like salted caramel peanut.
Bridget Christenson, "New products deliver on taste", News release, General Mills, December 16, 2014, © General Mills Inc.
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General Mills
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United States of America

Yoplait Regains Some Lost Ground In The Great American Yogurt War

December 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
In recent years, struggling General Mills has had to reduce costs by closing factories, cutting jobs and scaling back production in response to sagging consumer demand. But it is battling back on one front at least: yogurt. The Greek yogurt boom, led by brands like Chobani, knocked the stuffing out of Yoplait sales and market share. But the product is on the comeback trail, and may provide the only sweetness in the company’s otherwise sour financial performance. Yoplait sales have inched up – the first rise in years. Researcher Nielsen says Yoplait now has about 24 percent of the U.S. yogurt market.
Annie Gasparro, "General Mills Whips Yoplait Into Shape", The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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General Mills
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Worldwide
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United States of America

Quaker Upgrades Cereal Line With Steel-Cut Oats, More Protein, “Super Grains”

December 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo subsidiary Quaker Oats has modernized its line of breakfast cereals. A new three-minute steel-cut oats version – 27 minutes faster cooking than regular steel-cut oats – comes in regular flavor, as well as fruity and spicy flavors, and features “real fruit pieces and spices”. The company also added a higher protein cereal, Protein Instant Oatmeal, available in banana nut and cranberry almond flavors. Lastly, its new Real Medleys Super Grains cereals contain fruit and nuts, oats, wheat, barley, rye, quinoa and flax, in banana walnut and maple pecan raisin flavors.
"Quaker Oats Delivers New Innovations to Help Fuel Consumers' Mornings", News release, Quaker Oats, December 11, 2014, © Quaker Oats
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PepsiCo
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Taco Bell To Test International Markets – Again

December 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
With the domestic fast food business sagging, Taco Bell is looking to international markets to boost sales of its “Mexican-inspired” cuisine. The company’s same-store sales grew only three percent in the U.S. in the last fiscal quarter. It has franchises in 26 countries, but only 250 restaurants. The new plan is to expand to 1,550 restaurants, including new franchises in the U.K., Korea, Chile, India, Poland, Japan, Thailand and Peru. Owner Yum Brands, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut, already operates in those countries. Taco Bell’s track record overseas is not that impressive. The company closed all U.K. locations by the mid-1990s and failed in Japan after launching in the late 1980s.
Venessa Wong, "Taco Bell Wants to Make 'Mexican' the Next Global Fast Food", Bloomberg Businessweek, December 10, 2014, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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KFC Launches PR Campaign In China To Prove Its Operations Are Hygienic

December 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
After a food safety scare at one of its Chinese suppliers, KFC has invited fried chicken lovers in the country – the biggest market for parent company Yum Brands -- to come and see for themselves that the restaurant chain maintains high standards of hygiene. The problem arose when a TV report alleged that workers at a KFC chicken supplier were adding expired meat to products. Customers can book a tour showing employee hand-washing, clean cooking oil, safe chicken raising practices, and use of purified water.
Alexandra Harney, "KFC calls on Chinese diners to inspect its kitchen", Reuters, December 10, 2014, © Thomson Reuters
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Old Breakfast Cereal Brand Dabbles In “Ancient Grains”

December 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A breakfast cereals expert notes that General Mills – ever “attuned to what’s hot and trendy” – will in January introduce “Cheerios + Ancient Grains”. As the dry cereal market declines in step with the practice of sitting and eating breakfast, General Mills is betting “these allegedly ancient ingredients” – quinoa, Kamut wheat and spelt --  will breathe new life into a fairly ancient (introduced in 1941) brand. Ancient grains cookbook author Maria Speck says spelt, for example, isn’t really more ancient than oats, but it’s harder to find. She acknowledges that General Mills could be on the right track with its new Cheerios version, but she’d rather see people cooking their own dishes using whole grains, ancient or otherwise.
Dan Charles, "Fringe No More: 'Ancient Grains' Will Soon Be A Cheerios Variety", National Public Radio, December 08, 2014, © National Public Radio
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After Nutellasagna, What’s Next? Maybe Hershey’s Spaghetti

December 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Brooklyn, N.Y., bakery has taken an Italian culinary staple – lasagna – into a new dimension. Keeping the flat lasagna noodles, but discarding the tomato sauce, cheese, etc., Rubicelli’s has created a new dessert, “Nutellasagna”. Besides the buttery noodles, Nutellasagna features cannoli custard, a whole lot of the hazelnut/chocolate/palm oil spread Nutella, crushed roasted hazelnuts and chopped chocolate, topped with marshmallows. The idea started as a joke, an attempt to create a truly “ridiculous” dessert, but the joke backfired when the dish became wildly popular and sold out in a flash. The treat will be available during the Christmas holidays by the full- and half-tray ($65, serves 10 to 15 hipster gluttons).
Mike Pomranz , "Meet ‘Nutellasagna,’ the Over-the-Top Dessert Lasagna You Have Been Waiting For", Food and Wine, December 04, 2014, © Time Inc. Affluent Media Group
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Nestle To Buy Only Eco-Friendly Freezers To Store Its Ice Cream

December 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Non-toxic fluor-containing coolants used in the world’s freezers have worked well for more than half a century, but the environment has paid a price: they depleted the ozone layer and contributed to climate change. Manufacturers are turning back to naturally occurring substances, including carbon dioxide, ammonia, water and air as well as hydrocarbons (e.g., propane and iso-butane) that are harmless to the ozone layer and have no effect on climate change. Nestlé announced that beginning in January 2015, every new horizontal chest freezer it buys to store ice cream will use these natural refrigerants rather than synthetic refrigerants.
"Environmentally efficient freezers for cool ice cream", News release, Nestlé, December 04, 2014, © Nestlé
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Unilever CEO Paul Polman Most Powerful In Corporate PR, PRWeek List Says

December 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever CEO Paul Polman was the powerful man in PR, according to the PRWeek's Power Book list of the most important people in the PR industry.  Although considered by some observers as a surprise choice, Polman's “budgetary power,” as well as the scope of influence he has had on strategies and agenda setting, convinced the selection committee of his prominent role in the market. PR executives on the list included Finsbury co-founder Roland Rudd, FTI consulting senior managing director John Waples, and Maitland CEO Neil Bennett. Unilever SVP of global communications Sue Garrard was also on the corporate list.
"PRWeek Power Book: Unilever boss Paul Polman named most powerful PR player", PRWeek, December 04, 2014, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Unilever Chief’s Determination To Get Back To Core Values Is Paying Off

December 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever CEO Paul Polman believes his job since 2009 has been to “understand the values” of the 150-year-old company that made it successful in the first place, and to keep applying those values in all strategic decisions related to growth. His approach has worked after years of marginal growth. Even during the global recession the company grew rapidly and posted record profits. Among the main emphases: selling the company’s 400 brands in emerging markets; stressing environmental and social goals while working to double sales; and nurturing employees to be successful. “And then you see what this enormous energy is that you can unleash,” Polman says.
Geoff Colvin, "From high-minded to high value", Fortune.com, December 04, 2014, © Time Inc.
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Supermarkets' Price War Gifts UK Consumers With Lower Food Prices

December 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Food prices are falling in the UK, due to an ongoing supermarket price war, providing British consumers a reason to smile as the 2014 holiday season starts. For the first time in eight years, food prices are declining as supermarkets compete for shoppers' money. Data from the British Retail Consortium revealed overall food costs dropped 0.2 percent in November 2014 compared with the same month in the previous year.
Szu Ping Chan, "Supermarket price war triggers first food price fall in eight years", The Telegraph, December 03, 2014, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Unilever Believes Global Economy Will Improve In 2015, Thanks To Recovery In Emerging Markets

December 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever CEO Paul Polman said he expects the world economy to improve in 2015. Despite the current slowdown, many emerging markets still have the potential for “healthy growth,” Polman said. A weaker economy in China, India, and Brazil drove Unilever sales down to its lowest levels in five years, according to the company. Polman said, however, his optimism was driven by the International Monetary Fund's forecast for a slightly higher global growth in 2015.
"Unilever upbeat on future growth in emerging markets", Independent Online, December 03, 2014, © Independent Online
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Heinz Opens High Tech Baby Cereal Factory In Southern China

December 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Heinz announced the opening of a $70 million 80,000 square meter baby cereal factory in China’s Guangdong Province. The company says it’s the largest such factory in the world, and is the seventh Heinz manufacturing facility in the country. The state-of-the-art factory is a showcase of advanced technologies, including drum dryers, powder handling systems and packaging machinery from global companies like Andritz Gouda, GEA Group, and Bosch. The technologies will not only speed production, they will ensure the most stringent quality controls, the company said, completely isolating allergens, from raw material storage to the production process.
"Heinz Opens State-of-the-Art Infant Cereal Factory in China", News release, Heinz, December 02, 2014, © H. J. Heinz Company
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U.K. Research Center To Work With Unilever On Design Innovation

December 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is partnering with the U.K.’s Northumbria University to research new ways to meet the company’s packaging, water use and energy sustainability goals. Northumbria’s new “design-led innovation center” will keep Unilever abreast of the latest academic research and thinking on innovative designs that would serve to reduce its environmental footprint while doubling its business.
Lucy Whitehouse, "Unilever partners with British university to strengthen innovation", Cosmetics Design, December 02, 2014, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Hindustan Unilever Admits Guilt In Legal Metrology Case

December 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever pleaded guilty of violating India's Legal Metrology Act and Rules. Arising from an advertisement published by the company on August 25, 2013, the case saw Inspector of Legal Metrology BP Dhumal complaining before the Judicial Magistrate against HUL for its failure to indicate the net quantity of the product advertised. Judge RA Malakolikar ruled HUL should be fined Rs4,000, the minimum for such offense.
"Hindustan Unilever pleads guilty for violating Legal Metrology rules", Moneylife Digital, December 02, 2014, © Moneylife Group
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Top CPG Companies Go To Court To Stop Smaller Rivals From Stealing Market Share

December 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Big CPG companies are filing lawsuits in federal courts against smaller competitors as a means to stop losing market shares. Cases such as Unilever's October 31, 2014, lawsuits against Hampton Creek, maker of the Just Mayo brand; Procter & Gamble Co.'s January 2014 lawsuit against Hello Products; and Nestle's May 2014 case against Blue Buffalo came after the CPG giants were not satisfied by actions taken by the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Some market observers believe these large companies are using the courts to bully their smaller rivals. Unilever and the other companies, however, claim they went to court as a last resort after their smaller rivals refused to play fair.
Jack Neff, "Losing Market Share, Big Three CPGs Shift Battle to Court", Advertising Age, December 01, 2014, © Crain Communications
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Unilever Includes Indonesia In Global Brand Campaign

November 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever included Indonesia in the company's “Project Sunlight” global corporate social responsibility campaign. First launched in 2013, the initiative includes 30- and 60-second TV commercials featuring speeches civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Gandhi and young activists campaigning to end hunger. Unilever chose Indonesia as one of the pilot areas for the campaign because of the company's CSR history in the country, Unilever global brand vice president Paul Nevett said.
Byravee Iyer , "Why Unilever chose Indonesia for its mega corporate brand campaign", Campaign Asia , November 27, 2014, © Haymarket Media Ltd.
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L'Oreal, Nestle End Joint Venture Inneov

November 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal and Nestle announced their agreement to terminate their joint venture Inneov by the first quarter of 2015. Established in 2002, Inneov sells cosmetic nutritional supplements sold in pharmacies. However, the brand failed to grow as expected by the joint venture partners. In 2013, Inneov posted sales of €52 million.
"L'Oreal and Nestle announce the project to end their joint venture Inneov", L’Oréal, November 27, 2014, © L’Oréal
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