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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
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Nestle
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
France
Switzerland

Kellogg’s Bets Some Of Its Breakfast Fare Can Succeed As Anytime Snacks

November 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Breakfast cereal companies like Kellogg are having to adjust to a new fast-moving, eat-on-the-go culture. Sagging boxed cereal sales – a two percent drop in the 3rd quarter -- have forced Kellogg’s to expand its product horizons beyond mornings. One possibility is a rebranding into anytime snacks. Kellogg’s is spending a lot of marketing dollars trying to convince people, for example, that its Pop-Tarts brand, once strictly a breakfast toaster pastry, is actually great for lunch or late-night snacking. According to PR Daily, Kellogg’s brand managers view Pop-Tarts as a “stepping stone to a massive expansion and rebranding campaign” that will include crackers, chips and other non-morning snacks.
Ronn Torossian, "How Kellogg's is positioning itself for a rebranding win", PR Daily, November 25, 2014, © Ragan Communications, Inc.
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Kellogg
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Worldwide
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United States of America

Hormel Turns In Record Sales, Profits For 4th Q And Fiscal Year

November 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel Foods Corporation posted record fourth quarter and full year financial results, including a nine percent increase in earnings per share during the quarter on $2.5 billion in sales (a nine percent increase). For the fiscal year, EPS was up 14 percent to $2.23 on sales of $9.3 billion (a six percent increase).  CEO Jeffrey M. Ettinger said refrigerated foods and Jennie O Turkey brand were able to capitalize on “growth of value, added sales and higher meat commodity prices to lead the way”.
"Hormel Foods Achieves Record Fourth Quarter And Full Year Results", Earnings release, Hormel Foods, November 25, 2014, © Hormel Foods Corporation
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New Coca-Cola Life Fits Today’s Health And Wellness Trend

November 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola believes the health and wellness trend is a permanent phenomenon that is having a profound effect on consumers, and consequently on food and beverage companies. Coca-Cola North America President J. Alexander M. Douglas told analysts recently that Americans want fresh and natural food. The company’s new reduced-calorie soft drink, Coca-Cola Life, fits well with that trend. Its formula “tastes great” right now, but is evolving and will eventually have even fewer calories and better flavor. Douglas said the company will keep working on it until “it’s the perfect Coca-Cola for people who are looking for more natural ingredients and natural positioning”.
Eric Schroeder, "Health and wellness trend tees up opportunity for Coca-Cola", Food Business News, November 21, 2014, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide

Unilever Announces $120 Million Expansion Plans In Philippines

November 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever plans to invest $120 million over a six-year period to expand its manufacturing operations in the Philippines, as well as adopt sustainable programs under the company's inclusive business model. Data released by the Philippines' Board of Investments revealed the company proposes to allot $90 million for the purchase and installation of manufacturing equipment, which includes the adoption of new technologies to improve production capacities 30 percent by 2020. At present, Unilever's Philippine production capacities stand at 100,000 tons.
Bernie Magkilat, "Unilever sets $120-M expansion in PH", Manila Bulletin, November 16, 2014, © Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation
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Unilever
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Philippines

McDonald’s Admits Candy-Flavored Broccoli Was A Flop With Kids

November 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s has acknowledged that it tested – unsuccessfully -- bubble gum-flavored broccoli for kids. Flavor is apparently not the only problem kids have with the vegetable, according to the company, which is under pressure to make its kids menu more healthful as it also seeks to revive sales. A company spokesman would not disclose how the gum flavor was added to the broccoli, nor would it say if it was trying other ways to make vegetables more attractive to children. "We're always looking at new food innovations and recipes that will appeal to our customers."
Aimee Picchi, "Why McDonald's created bubble gum-flavored broccoli", CBS News, November 14, 2014, © CBS Interactive Inc.
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Other
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Pizza Hut Makes Risky Bet Its Expanded Menu Will Boost Sales

November 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Pizza Hut’s decision to double its menu offerings to jump start slumping sales has attracted a lot of attention, but it is a risky strategy for the company and its franchisees. The main worry is that offering so many new pizzas and topping combinations will increase ingredient and preparation time costs, as well as franchisee training costs. The new pizzas are time-consuming to make and the ingredients pricier. If the new, more expensive, offerings catch on among the target audience of millennials, then it will all be worth it. Pizza Hut is confident, however, and a spokesperson said franchisees have been “extremely supportive of the changes”.
Kate Taylor, "Inside Pizza Hut's radical move to double its menu", Fortune, November 14, 2014, © Time Inc.
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Other
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Unilever Launches First TV Branding Campaign In United States, Works Against Child Hunger

November 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever launched its first TV branding campaign in the United States. Featuring TV ads created by WPP's Ogilvy & Mather agency, the campaign highlights speeches by Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and young people campaigning against hunger. Unilever, through its Project Sunlight sustainability initiative, aims to eliminate child hunger in partnership with Feeding America. At the same time, the campaign aims to raise consumers' awareness about the company, its sustainability efforts, and its various brands.
Jack Neff, "Unilever Takes Corporate Branding to TV for First Time", Advertising Age, November 10, 2014, © Crain Communications
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Unilever
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

New Pizza Hut Menu Debuts Soon

November 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
On November 19, Pizza Hut will introduce a new menu, a new ordering system and a new logo. The menu will feature 11 new signature pizzas, six new sauces, 10 crust flavors and four "drizzles". It’s a strategic gamble, according to industry experts: keeping up with the times by offering “bold new flavors”, avoiding irrelevance, all while keeping current customers happy. (Old favorites -- Stuffed Crust, Meat Lover’s and Supreme -- will still be on the menu.) After a taste preview with other media members, Time food writer Josh Sanburn gave a positive review. He said the new offerings taste – “thankfully” – better than they sound. “The Cock-a-Doodle Bacon," he asks. "Why?”
Josh Sanburn, "What Pizza Hut’s Radical New Menu Actually Tastes Like", Time, November 10, 2014, © Time
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Other
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Hain Celestial Sales, Profit Booming

November 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Despite stiffer competition in the natural and organic foods segment, Hain Celestial Group posted strong financial results for its 2015 first quarter. This included a 35 percent rise in revenue to $631 million, a 31 percent rise in adjusted earnings per share, and a 51 percent rise in U.K. sales over last year. According to CEO Irwin Simon, 23 of its brands experienced double-digit growth during the quarter. Acquisitions also paid off, including the remaining stake in Hain Pure Protein, Basmati rice producer Tilda, Rudi’s Organic Bakery and other brands. “Our business continues to benefit from strong growth trends in the organic and natural, better-for-you segment of consumer packaged goods," Simon said.
"Hain Celestial Announces First Quarter Fiscal Year 2015 Record Net Sales and Adjusted Earnings Per Share", News release, Hain Celestial, November 06, 2014, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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Other
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Linear TV Marketing Is Not Dead Yet, But Programmatic Tech Is Changing Things

November 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s chief marketing officer says the advertising industry is experimenting with programmatic (i.e. interactive, mobile, etc.) technologies for linear TV, and will eventually make the shift, but that shift is a long way away. According to Keith Weed, the industry is trying to figure out how to “simplify the complexity” of merging entertainment, content and marketing. The idea is to move from the broadcast model of “marketing to people” and toward “marketing with people”, applying increasingly sophisticated programmatic technologies. For a marketer, Weed says, “the moving picture [of TV] is alive and well [though] being part of a mobile platform is very exciting.”
Natalie Mortimer, "Unilever CMO Keith Weed warns programmatic TV must be treated with respect", The Drum, November 06, 2014, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Unilever
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EMEA
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United Kingdom

Wal-Mart Aims To Make Organic Food Affordable For All Consumers

November 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores is expanding the range of organic foods it is selling in the United States. Moreover, the world's largest retailer aims to sell organic food products at the same prices it sells non-organic food items. At present, most organic food products cost at least 25 percent more than their non-organic counterparts. Wal-Mart said it will partner with organics supplier Wild Oats to keep prices low. Today, Wal-Mart accounts for more than 90 percent of Wild Oats' sales, “democratizing organic to the masses” in the process.
Andrew Martin, "Wal-Mart Promises Organic Food for Everyone", Bloomberg Businessweek, November 06, 2014, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Other
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Despite Keen Competition In Organic Retail, Whole Foods Reports Solid Profits

November 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market posted 4th quarter earnings of $128 million, an increase of 5.7 percent ($0.35 a share) on revenues of $3.26 billion (up 9.4 percent over 2013). The strong profit report comes in the face of increased competition in the organic sector from mainstream supermarket and retail grocery chains. Whole Foods acknowledged the tougher competitive environment, but said “no one offers the shopping experience we offer”. Company CEO Walter Robb said Whole Foods embraces a “higher standard” that gains and retains customers.
"Whole Foods Market Reports Fourth Quarter Results", Whole Foods Market, November 05, 2014, © Whole Foods Market, Inc.
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Retailers & Private Label
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

UK Retail Prices Drop Faster In October 2014

November 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Retail prices in the UK declined 1.9 percent in October 2014, compared with the same month in 2013, according to the British Royal Consortium. Prices for food products inched up 0.1 percent, compared with a 0.3 percent in September 2014. Grocery stores implemented deep discounting, data showed. Consumers are enjoying low prices, thanks to a decline in global food prices over the past half year, according to Nielsen analyst Mike Watkins. Also, UK's leading supermarkets have been engaged in a growing price war, driven by discount retailers, such as Aldi and Lidl.
Andy Bruce, "UK shop price decline quickens in October: BRC", Reuters, November 04, 2014, © Thomson Reuters
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Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Coke Shifts Ad Budget Priorities To Reflect New Emphasis On Social, Digital

November 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The Coca-Cola brand in Australia is relying on innovative digital and social media marketing techniques to attract and retain teenagers, a move that might be bad news for mainstream ad media, including television. Digital and social media ad campaigns totaling $10 million replaced TV during the summer to tout Coke’s six new can colors and a smaller (250 ml) can. The campaign included special YouTube videos, interactive shopping center ads, Coke can-dispensing bus shelter panels and other techniques designed to draw in teenagers and form a relationship with Coca-Cola. The company’s ad budget for innovation is now much higher than the 10 percent it used to spend, while the 70 percent budgeted for traditional media is much lower.
Lara Sinclair, "Coke aims to connect with teens through innovation", The Australian, November 04, 2014, © News Limited
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Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Australia

Australian Pizza Company Involves Customers In Marketing With Mobile App

November 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises in Australia – a multinational franchise of America’s Domino’s Pizza Inc. -- is experimenting with social media marketing using a mobile app that allows customers to design their own pies, market them, and even keep a slice of the sales, which can vary from $0.22 to $2.86. The campaign that involves the Pizza Mogul app appears to be a success. According to the company, thousands of customers have signed up. Whether it contributes to the bottom line won’t be known until financial results are released in February 2015.
Ross Kelly, "Domino’s Pizza crowdsources its menu", Market Watch, November 03, 2014, © MarketWatch, Inc.
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Other
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EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Australia
Japan
New Zealand
France
Netherlands

Unilever Replaces Trans Fats In Spreads With Plant-Based Oils

November 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Vegetable oil-based spreads were once marketed as a healthier alternative to butter, but have fallen into disrepute because partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) create harmful trans fats. Though PHOs have been removed from major spread brands, consumers still see them as highly processed and less natural than butter. To boost the image of spreads, Unilever is removing ingredients that consumers don’t recognize and replacing them with “plant-based oils that you would find in avocados or walnuts”. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, for example, is being advertised as a “delicious blend of plant-based oils, purified water and a pinch of salt”.
Elaine Watson, "Unilever reboots buttery spreads: ‘We know that the perception of artificiality is our biggest barrier’", FOODnavigator-usa.com, November 03, 2014, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Unilever
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United States of America

Stevia-Sweetened Coke To Launch in Australia, New Zealand

November 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola will introduce its stevia-sweetened Coke beverage in Australia and New Zealand in 2015. Coca-Cola Life, already introduced succcessfully in the U.S. and several South American countries, contains 35 percent less sugar than regular Coke. According to the company, the launch of Coca-Cola Life is “another positive step in fulfilling the business commitment made in July 2013 to offer more lower kilojoule options”.
"Coca-Cola Life sweetened with stevia to launch in Australia and NZ in 2015", Australian Food News, November 03, 2014, © Australian Food News
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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Australia
New Zealand

Danone Continues Investment In African, Asian Suppliers

November 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Yogurt maker Danone is investing another €278 million ($347.5 million) to push its stake in Morocco's main dairy company, Centrale Laitiere, to nearly 91 percent. The move is seen as an attempt by Danone to reduce its supply dependence on slow-growth Europe. The company recently invested $550 million in a Chinese milk powder producer, acquired Africa’s top dairy producer, Brookside, and bought a 49 percent stake in a West African producer of frozen dairy products and juices.
Dominique Vidalon, "Danone pays 278 million euros to raise Centrale Laitiere stake", Reuters, November 03, 2014, © Thomson Reuters
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Danone
Other
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Worldwide
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East- Africa
China
France
Morocco

Danone Acquires Stake In Chinese Baby Formula Maker

October 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
French yogurt maker Danone has paid $550 million for a 25 percent stake in Chinese baby formula producer Yashili International Holdings. According to analysts, the investment in Yashili strengthens Danone's association with Yashili's largest shareholder, China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd., China’s largest dairy firm, whose stake in Yashili will be diluted as a result. The investment also reduces the chance of Danone pursuing other large acquisitions, such as the rumored takeover of Mead Johnson Nutrition Group, which also manufactures baby formula.
Adam Jourdan et al., "Danone bolsters China presence with $550 mln baby milk deal", Reuters, October 31, 2014, © Thomson Reuters
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Danone
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Worldwide
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Europe
China
France

HUL Partners With India's Leading E-commerce Firms, Expands Online Retail Efforts

October 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever Ltd is collaborating with retailers, such as Kishore Biyani's Big Bazaar, and online retailers, including Amazon and Flipkart, to sell the FMCG company's products through their online stores. Although electronic commerce is fast growing in India, FMCG products are not among the country's top 5 categories in the online retail market. Nevertheless, leading FMCG brands, such as PepsiCo, Kellogg, and HUL, have begun partnering with online retailers.
Sapna Agarwal, "HUL strengthens e-commerce efforts ", Live Mint, October 28, 2014, © HT Media
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

Nestle Reorganizes To Deal With Sluggish Sales Growth, Especially In Europe

October 26, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
In a major global reorganization, Nestlé is setting up a business excellence division and expanding the European operations zone to counter slow sales growth. Operations in North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey and Israel will move from the Asia, Oceania and Africa zone into the Europe zone. Nestlé’s overall sales growth target for the first half of 2014 was between five and six percent, but reached only 4.7 percent. Europe generated nearly 20 percent of the company’s $96.9 billion in revenue in 2013, but has been Nestle's weakest sales performer so far this year. The new business excellence unit will focus on greater business efficiency and a stronger bottom line.
John Revill, "Nestle Reorganizes Business Units", The Wall Street Journal, October 26, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Nestle
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Switzerland

Unilever Paints Gloomy Picture Of World Economy

October 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Though Unilever has been ringing alarm bells about the worsening world economy for some time, it now acknowledges the situation is gloomier than it once thought. Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Huët says the company’s sales are sagging in every product category – including personal care, food, refreshment and household care – all over the globe. The glum assessments are echoed by policy makers. The International Monetary Fund trimmed its growth forecast by 0.002 percent while warning of the possibility of Europe re-entering a recession. China’s third quarter economy grew at the slowest pace in five years. “We are in a tougher environment. There is no other way to put it,” Huët said.
Simon Zekaria, "Unilever Surprised by Extent of Global Slowdown", The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Unilever
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Worldwide
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Europe
China
United Kingdom

Aldi Launches Affordable Range Of Organic Foods In UK

October 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Discount retailer Aldi launched in the UK an affordable line of organic products the company claims will let customers save 25 percent on their typical organic purchases. According to the company, the budget organic food range will include potatoes, carrots, broccoli and onions. Other product lines will feature fresh meat, convenience foods, including ready-to-eat meals, beers, and wines. Scheduled for launch over the next months, all product lines will be available by January 2015, the company said.
Mike Stones, "Aldi launches new organic range in upmarket bid", FOODmanufacture.co.uk, October 22, 2014, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Retailers & Private Label
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United Kingdom

Rising Prices For Nondurable Goods Create Very Dissatisfied Customers

October 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers of household nondurable products – especially food and beverages, but also other categories – have been stung by rising prices, a fact registered in deteriorating customer satisfaction scores. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, dissatisfied customers are more reluctant to buy and become less loyal to brands. Companies respond by offering deals and price discounts, which leads to brand switching, lower profit margins and volatile revenue streams. Customer satisfaction with food manufacturers dropped 2.5 percent to a score of 79 on a 100-point scale. Satisfaction with shampoo, soap, toothpaste, detergents, and cleaning products fell percent to an ACSI score of 82.
"ACSI Nondurable Products Report 2014", American Customer Satisfaction Index, October 21, 2014, © American Customer Satisfaction Index
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Campbell's
General Mills
Heinz
Kraft Foods
Nestle
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United States of America

McDonald’s Profit Continues To Sag As It Works To Become More “Relevant”

October 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s stock dropped after the company posted a 30 percent drop in third quarter profit and significant declines in restaurant traffic globally. CEO Don Thompson acknowledged the company, which serves 70 million customers a day, has some image problems – is it still relevant? -- especially in an era of growing consumer interest in fresh, unprocessed food. To help solve the problem, Thompson said McDonald's is simplifying menus, tailoring food to local tastes, offering custom burger and sandwich options, rolling out mobile services, and launching a social media "dialogue" with customers.
Lisa Baertlein, "McDonald's CEO acknowledges image problems after tough results", Reuters, October 21, 2014, © Thomson Reuters
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Consumer Pressure On Flavor Companies Mounts

October 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer and environmental groups have asked the FDA to take a closer look at the currently self-regulated flavors industry to make sure so-called natural and artificial flavors are really safe. Consumer watchdog scientists argue that if the stuff is so safe, why is it so secret? The global flavor industry is pegged at about $23.91 billion, up 19 percent from $20 billion in 2000, about half of which is for food, the other half for fragrances. The Flavors and Extract Manufacturers Association says it has found around 3,000 different flavors to be safe, and most are used in minute quantities. FEMA companies worry that disclosing their ingredients even in such small amounts, would spur more consumer complaints, something flavor companies would like to avoid. Nevertheless, consumer concern about the safety of ingredients is increasing steadily.
Candice Choi, "Natural and artificial 'flavors' fuel food industry but remain a mystery", Startribune.com, October 09, 2014, via Associated Press, © Associated Press/StarTribune.com
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Coca-Cola Company
Other
PepsiCo
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

HUL Appoints JP Morgan Executive As Independent Director

October 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever Limited appointed JP Morgan India CEO Kalpana Morparia as an independent director effective October 9, 2014. A member of her company's Asia Pacific Management Committee, Morparia is also an independent director on the boards of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited, Bennett Coleman & Company Limited, and several other companies.
"HUL gets a new independent director in Kalpana Morparia", indiantelevision.com, October 09, 2014, © Indiantelevision.com
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

ADM Completes Acquisition Of Wild Flavors, Forms New Business Unit

October 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) has completed the acquisition of Swiss-German natural ingredients company Wild Flavors Gmbh. It will create a new business unit headed by Greg Morris, president of ADM’s North American Oilseeds Processing unit. The new unit, to be called Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients, will be a reportable segment beginning Jan. 1. The all-cash transaction is valued at $3 billion. ADM also will assume about $125 million of debt. The new unit will include the Wild business and current ADM product lines: specialty proteins, emulsifiers, edible beans, natural health and nutrition, soluble fiber, polyols, and hydrocolloids.
Jeff Gelski, "ADM to form new ingredients unit after Wild acquisition", BakingBusiness.com, October 01, 2014, © Sosland Publishing Co.
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Other
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North America
EMEA
United States of America
Europe
Germany
Switzerland

Pepsi Joins Coke In Experimenting With Online-Only Soda Marketing

October 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The latest version of the 120-year-old soft drink once known as Pepsi-Cola will be sold exclusively by online retailer Amazon.com. Pepsi True, sweetened with sugar and stevia, is a mid-calorie soda that will launch in mid-October to compete with mid-calorie Coca-Cola Life, also sweetened with sugar and stevia. Coke is marketing another of its soft drinks, Coca-Cola Surge, exclusively online. Analysts say introducing new beverages online is a “good move”, because online sales will “build scale” in the market before expanding to traditional retail outlets. Sales of diet sodas are sagging as consumers grow more concerned about soft drink consumption and obesity.
Tripp Mickle, "New Pepsi Goes to Amazon", The Wall Street Journal, October 01, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Domains
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PepsiCo
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Study Names Top Five Brands In Digital Gifting

September 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A benchmarking study by Retail Systems Research (RSR) on the digital gift card industry has found that the brands with the highest overall scores across verticals, and therefore the most comprehensive omni-channel digital gifting offerings, are Sephora, Starbucks, Home Depot, Best Buy and Dunkin’ Donuts. RSR focused on differentiating capabilities in making its selections, including both mobile and social experiences, "to reflect the evolving use of digital gift cards in omni-channel commerce". RSR took notice of retailers’ prioritization of gifting as a whole, the ability to digitally “thank” a gift giver, and integration with loyalty and marketing programs.
"RSR Research’s Fourth Digital Gift Card Benchmark Study Identifies Brands That are Perfecting the Omni-Channel Gifting Experience", News release, RSR, September 30, 2014, © RSR
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Other
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North America
United States of America

Acquisition Could Give WhiteWave Leadership Of Plant-Based Foods Market

September 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Euromonitor has given its stamp of approval – “a sensible move” – to WhiteWave Foods’ acquisition of SO Delicious Dairy Free for $195 million. Colorado-based WhiteWave, launched when Danone spun off WhiteWave Alpro two years ago, holds a 13 percent market share in non-dairy milk alternatives with its Silk and Alpro brands. The acquisition of SO Delicious will expand WhiteWave’s presence in the health and wellness arena because health-conscious American consumers are very familiar with SO Delicious’s vegan, GMO-free plant-based foods. The acquisition creates an opportunity for WhiteWave to establish a lead in plant-based foods.
Diana Cowland, "WhiteWave’s Acquisition of SO Delicious Dairy Free Should Cement its Lead in Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives", Euromonitor International, September 24, 2014, © Euromonitor International
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Nestle Partners With Bill Gates Charity To Improve Milk Production In East Africa

September 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has partnered with a Bill Gates charitable organization to boost productivity and quality of life among East African dairy farmers, including those in Ethiopia and Kenya. Small rural farmers in the region rely on milk as a key source of income, calories and nutrients. Collection and transportation of the milk to chilling stations, however, is inefficient and often leads to spilling or spoilage. Under the two-year partnership, Nestlé and Global Good will apply technology and innovation to improve production. They will also provide 3,000 specially designed milk containers known as “Mazzi” to help small farmers maximize the quantity of the milk they sell.
"Nestlé, Global Good partner to help East Africa small dairy farmers", News release, Nestlé, September 22, 2014, © Nestlé
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Nestle
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Middle East- Africa
Ethiopia
Kenya

Unilever's €150 Million Investments Highlight FMCG Market's Growth Potential In Nigeria

September 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s €150 million investments in Nigeria highlighted the growth potential of the fast-moving consumer goods market in the country. CEO Paul Polman said the investments demonstrate his company’s confidence in Nigeria’s economic directions and of Unilever’s commitment to contributing to the economy “by creating jobs and wealth”. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the manufacturing industries accounted for 9 percent, about $46 billion, of the country’s gross domestic product. Analysts said the growing middle class, an increase in disposable income, the country’s population of 170 million, and a high number of young people are driving growth in the FMCG segment, which contributed half of that amount, according to Real Sector Watch.
Odinaka Anudu, "Unilever’s €150m investments in 3 years underline FMCG potential", BusinessDay Online, September 22, 2014, © A BusinessDay Media Ltd.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Middle East- Africa
Nigeria

Whole Foods Market Adopts Several Steps To Improve Business

September 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Retailer Whole Foods Market is adopting several strategies to improve its business and increase sales. Shares of the company’s stock have fallen 33 percent in the past year, as sales suffer after large retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Kroger, expand their organic businesses. To help reverse the trend, Whole Foods plans to adopt Apple Pay mobile payments system. Also, the company partnered with Instacart to deliver groceries in under an hour in 15 cities and with Wine.com to launch the WFM Wine Club, a wine subscription program. Whole Foods also plans to upgrade its mobile app by adding loyalty rewards, order-ahead features, and Apple Pay; the company will also launch a marketing campaign in October 2014.
Ashley Lutz, "Whole Foods Is Making 6 Changes To Improve Business", Business Insider, September 22, 2014, © Business Insider Inc.
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Big Food Broadens Pledge To Restrict Ads For Unhealthful Foods Targeting Kids

September 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance, an 11-member coalition of industry giants, has pledged to the World Health Organization that it will expand voluntary restrictions on ads targeting children featuring sugary drinks, or salty and fatty foods. The IFBA, whose members include Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Mondelez, McDonald’s and Unilever, first agreed to restrict advertising aimed at children in 2009. The broader agreement now covers the use of licensed characters, movie tie-ins and celebrities that appeal to preteens in marketing campaigns. The standards will be fully implemented by 2016.
Russell Parsons, "Food and drink giants commit to further ad restrictions as WHO ramps up pressure", Marketing Week, September 22, 2014, © Centaur Communications Ltd
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Tesco Sells Purple Carrots In The UK

September 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Tesco is selling the Purple Bushytops variety of carrot in stores across the UK. With flecks of orange, these purple carrots are sweet and need not be peeled, according to the retailer. Also, they offer consumers additional health benefits, as well as anti-inflammatory effects and anti-oxidants. Produced by twins Toby and Oliver Bartlett, the Bushytop carrots are sold as a bunch and come with their foliage intact.
"Tesco turns back time with the launch of purple carrots", Tesco PLC, September 19, 2014, © Tesco
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Kraft Foods “Follows The Consumer” Using Big Data And Social Media

September 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Food marketer Kraft is using the latest information technology advances – especially Big Data and digital marketing – to better understand its customers and to better reach them. Big Data allows Kraft to use massive computing power to gather and analyze all the information being generated internally and externally. It then applies the insights gained to make sure its “center store” product line “follows the consumer”. Kraft is using the newfound insights to target Millennials, Hispanics, tech-savvy shoppers and others through social media, de-emphasizing more traditional ad media.
Dale Buss, "Kraft Using Big Data and Digital Marketing", CPG Matters, September 17, 2014, © CPG Matters
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Asda Joins Gluten-Free Guarantee Campaign Of Coeliac UK

September 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Asda joined the Gluten-free Guarantee campaign of Coeliac UK, the national charity organization for people with celiac disease. As part of the agreement, Asda committed to sell eight core items of gluten-free food across all its stores in the country. The eight gluten-free staple food items are “white bread, pasta, cereal, flour, cereal bars, rolls, crackers, and one other bread”. Aside from Asda, other retailers, including Waitrose, Tesco, and Marks & Spencer, have also recorded advances in meeting the requirements for the Gluten-free Guarantee program.
"Coeliac UK announces ASDA as the first supermarket to sign up to the gluten-free guarantee in all its stores", Coeliac UK, September 15, 2014, © Coeliac UK
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General Mills Expands Further Into Healthful Foods With Annie’s Acquisition

September 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
With its breakfast cereals business sliding, General Mills has decided to increase its presence in the natural and organic foods aisle. The company announced it is buying Annie’s Inc., maker of pastas, snacks, snack and meal kits, dressings, condiments and frozen foods. General Mills will pay $46 a share in the all-cash deal, a 37 percent  premium to the closing price before the deal was announced. General Mills has been making acquisitions to increase its portfolio of health foods for more than a decade.
Julie Jargon, "General Mills to Buy Natural Foods Company Annie's", The Wall Street Journal, September 08, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Hormel Sees Gold In International Markets And New Food Categories

September 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel has decided that it’s traditional American product line – bacon, Spam, chili, pepperoni, etc. – is not multicultural, healthful or portable enough to sustain growth plans, especially in international markets. To succeed overseas the company is modifying its product portfolio through strategic acquisitions and a new launch (Natural Choice) to include ethnic flavors, health and wellness, and portability. New product categories include peanut butter (Skippy), Mexican food (MegaMex Foods and Wholly Guacamole), sports nutrition (CytoSPort) and snack wraps (REV). International sales have increased from $146 million in 2005 to $500 million this year, thanks to expansion of Spam and fresh pork products overseas, and the success of Skippy peanut butter in China.
Monica Watrous, "Hormel homes in on four growth drivers", Food Business News, September 05, 2014, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO.
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Swiss Businesses Suffer Fallout From Russia's Conflict With The West

September 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Swiss trading companies’ business operations in Russia are adversely affected by the country’s trade war with Western European countries and the United States. Already in a decline due to a depreciating ruble, the Russian market turned for the worse following the West’s sanctions over Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Fragrance manufacturer Luzi, for example, is finding it difficult to collect payments from customers after banks stopped doing business with Crimea following its annexation by Russia. Switzerland’s exports to Russia dropped 6.3 percent in the first half of 2014, according to the Swiss embassy in Moscow, while exports to Ukraine declined 8.5 percent in January–May. Big Swiss corporations operating in Russia, such as Swatch, Sulzer, and Holcim, said they have yet to experience disruptions to their business.
Matthew Allen, "Swiss traders feel the pinch in Russia", swissinfo.ch, September 05, 2014, © swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR
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Whole Foods Follows Through On Price Cutting Strategy

September 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Bloomberg report on grocery shopping trends in Manhattan found that a sample shopping cart at Whole Foods was cheaper than carts at several competitors. The finding is in line with the company’s strategy to shed its image as the “Whole Paycheck” grocery retailer. The sample basket containing 97 items totaled $391.39 at Whole Foods, compared to New York City chains Fresh Direct ($398.44) and Gristedes ($458.84). But the Whole Foods cart cost more than Fairway Market’s, which came in at $347.10.
Leslie Patton, "Whole Foods Plays Bargain Grocer in Manhattan", Bloomberg, September 04, 2014, © Bloomberg L.P.
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How Will ConAgra Recover From Failed Ralcorp Deal?

September 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Wall Street analysts believe it’s time for ConAgra’s board of directors to take a closer look at the struggling company, a year and a half after the soured $6.7 billion acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings. The purchase greatly increased its debt, and turned ConAgra from a branded foods marketer to a hybrid with increased revenue from private-label foods sold under supermarket names. Earnings performance has been so dismal since the deal that CEO Gary Rodkin has decided to step down. Rumored options on the table include breaking up the $14 billion company and selling it piecemeal, or simply divesting Ralcorp and getting back to ConAgra’s core business.
Tara Lachapelle, "ConAgra’s Ralcorp Flop Invites Breakup Talk: Real M&A", Bloomberg, September 03, 2014, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Häagen-Dazs Makers Will Not Use Synthetic Vanilla Flavoring

September 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The makers of Häagen-Dazs ice cream say they will not use vanilla flavoring produced synthetically, though the FDA is expected to approve its safe use in food production. Synthetic biology (“synbio”) vanilla flavoring is made with artificial DNA and genetically engineered yeast. Use of lab-produced synbio vanilla would reduce farm land devoted to vanilla bean production. But advocacy groups say synbio yeast and algae feed on sugar, which would lead to increased sugarcane production. In addition, synbio organisms, which can reproduce, would be impossible to recall if released into the environment. Nestlé makes Häagen-Dazs ice cream in Canada and the U.S., and General mills makes it outside North America.
"Haagen-Dazs Won’t Use Synthetic Vanilla", Environmental Leader, September 03, 2014, © Business Sector Media, LLC
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Nestle Says Nespresso Brand Will Be Carbon Neutral Within Six Years

August 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
As part of a half-billion dollar sustainability initiative comprising several commitments, Nestle’s Nespresso coffee brand has promised complete carbon neutrality within six years. Other “Positive Cup” commitments include: a pledge to source all Grand Cru coffees sustainably in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan; a pledge to help coffee farmers achieve high certification standards in water management, biodiversity and fair treatment of workers; a plan to expand the capacity to collect and recycle used aluminum coffee capsules; and a promise to further reduce the carbon footprint of the company by 10 percent.
"Nespresso Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2020", Environmental Leader, August 28, 2014, © Business Sector Media, LLC
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Keurig Stock Gets A Boost From Kraft Foods Coffee Deal

August 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A multiyear licensing, manufacturing and distribution deal under which Kraft Foods will supply Maxwell House, Yuban and McCafe coffee brands for Keurig’s home brewing system sent Keurig shares to record highs on August 21. Keurig stock, which jumped 13 percent to $133.36 after the announcement, has risen 77 percent this year. Kraft will provide coffees in various portion pack sizes, including K-Cup packs that make a single cup of coffee. Keurig is also working with Coca-Cola Co., which owns 16 percent  of the Vermont-based company, on a system for producing cold beverages.
Leslie Patton, "Keurig Soars After Deal to Bring Kraft Coffees to Machines", Bloomberg Businessweek, August 22, 2014, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Hain Celestial Reports Strong Revenue Numbers For 4Q And FY 2014

August 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. said net sales rose 24 percent for its fiscal year 2014, while operating free cash flow tripled to $143 million for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2014. For the fourth quarter of FY 2014, net sales increased 26 percent to $583.8 million, while GAAP earnings per diluted share from continuing operations rose 32 percent to $0.70. Adjusted earnings per diluted share from continuing operations increased 39 percent to $0.90. Adjusted operating income was $73.9 million, or 12.7 percent of net sales during the period.
"Hain Celestial Announces Highest Quarterly And Fiscal Year Net Sales In The Company's History", Hain Celestial, August 20, 2014, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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Americans Love Breakfast, But Not Cereal

August 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
One should not conclude from the continuing slide in breakfast cereal sales that American no longer eats breakfast. Market researcher Nielsen says breakfast is more popular than ever. Egg sandwiches, sausages, cereal bars, pastries, etc., are all catching up to breakfast cereals (still an $8.5 billion industry). Key reasons for the trend: less interest in fiber and more interest in protein. Interest in non-GMO foods is up 67 percent in the past five years, while interest in gluten-free foods and foods without corn syrup has soared. What’s left? “The gluten-free, unsweetened, high-protein, non-GMO egg”. General Mills says “significant product innovation” eventually will rescue it from the sales malaise: it is looking closely at yogurt and snacks.
Eric Chemi, Braulio Amado, Shawn Hasto , "Mikey Doesn't Like It: How Cereal Is Missing the Breakfast Boom", Bloomberg Businessweek, August 20, 2014, © Bloomberg L.P.
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McDonald’s Restaurants In Moscow: Pawns In A Larger Geopolitical Game?

August 20, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Russian food monitoring agency that has a history of banning food from countries out of favor with the government has closed four McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow because of “sanitary violations”. In the past, the agency has prohibited wine from Georgia and dairy products from Belarus after they sought closer relations with western nations. Recently the agency outlawed canned vegetables, fruit, fish, juice and certain beer and vodka from Ukraine. McDonald's said it was trying to figure out what it needs to do to get the restaurants re-opened “as soon as possible".
Alec Luhn, "Russia closes McDonald's restaurants for 'sanitary violations'", The Guardian, August 20, 2014, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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