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PepsiCo Backs Away From Claiming Products Are “Natural”

January 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo is the latest company to ditch the labeling claim “natural” in some products to avoid angering litigious consumers who strongly believe “natural” products should contain no synthetic or GMO ingredients. Because the FDA hasn’t yet imposed a definition of natural, companies have been mostly free to apply the claim on products, setting off waves of lawsuits. To sidestep the problem, PepsiCo is gradually replacing “natural” with “simply” on packages. “Simply Natural” Frito-Lay potato chips are now “Simply”, though it hasn’t changed the ingredients. “Natural Quaker Granola” is now “Simply Quaker Granola”. Other companies that have made similar changes in labeling include Ben & Jerry's and Breyers ice cream products and Campbell Soup’s Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers.
Candice Choi, "PepsiCo rebrands 'Natural' products with 'Simply'", The Big Story, January 24, 2014, © The Associated Press
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PepsiCo
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Velveeta Manufacturer Recalls Product Because Of Labeling Error

January 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Truitt Brothers Inc., a Kentucky company that manufactures Velveeta products for Kraft, has recalled a product because ingredients made from soy – a potential allergen – were not stated on the labels. The product – Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Singles Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac – was  shipped between May 2013 and January 2014. It has not been associated with any illnesses, according to Kraft.
"Velveeta Recall Issued Over Mislabeled Products", Associated Press, January 22, 2014, © HuffPost Business - AOL Money & Finance
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Kraft Foods
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Moving Organic “Dabblers” To Committed Organic Devotees

January 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Sixty-four percent of grocery shoppers are organic “dabblers” who buy pricey organic foods only occasionally, mostly dairy for babies and toddlers, according to a consumer research firm.  Organic food companies want to turn those lukewarm organic buyers into committed customers by offering products that will appeal to older kids and adults. It’s a pressing issue: organic food sales have increased 11 percent a year since 2009, but sales are leveling off. So, to get people to buy organic milk – beyond toddlerhood – Organic Valley, for example, may try marketing "grab and go" milk in small bottles. Organic snack company Late July saw its sales triple when it added multigrain chips in adult flavors to its crackers and sandwich cookies line.
Sarah Nassauer, "Organic Food: Not Just for Kids", The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company Inc
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Other
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North America
United States of America

Kellogg India Begins Integration Of Pringles Brand Into Product Line

January 22, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg’s, which acquired the Pringles brand of stacked potato chips from Procter & Gamble in 2012, will begin distributing the brand in India this year. The move means Kellogg's India is expanding its presence beyond breakfast cereals, where it has a 60 percent market share. The breakfast cereal market in India is valued at 7 billion rupees ($113 million). Pringles potato chips are currently sold by different distributors in the country.
Viveat Susan Pinto , "Kellogg's to distribute Pringles in India", Business Standard Ltd. , January 22, 2014, © Business Standard Ltd.
Domains
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Kellogg
Other
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

Though A Debatable Issue, Whole Foods To Ban Use Of Sludge-Based Fertilizers By Its Growers

January 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The safety of sludge (AKA biosolids) – the byproduct of processing municipal waste, including human body waste – as a fertilizer is a debatable issue. But Whole Foods Market, perhaps influenced by anti-sludge activists, has decided it’s definitely bad for customers, and for business. Anti-sludgists say biosolids are loaded with heavy metals and pharmaceuticals that render fertilizers toxic and dangerous. Scientists who have studied biosolids, however, disagree, saying they offer big environmental benefits. At any rate, a new produce rating system being launched by Whole Foods in September will bar its growers from using biosolids. The company acknowledges that none currently use the stuff on their fields.
Eliza Barclay, "Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?", Report, NPR, January 21, 2014, © NPR
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

CPG Companies Getting Deeply Involved In Mobile Advertising

January 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Mobile ad network InMobi said “deep engagements” by more than half of the leading CPG brands worldwide drove mobile ad spending up by 175 percent last year. Unilever, one of InMiobi’s top clients, is especially involved in mobile advertising: at least eight brands are using the company’s services, which include media, creative, ad delivery, consumer insights, research data, and technology platforms. According to Atul Satija, who manages InMobi’s operations in Asia Pacific and Japan, CPG companies are increasingly adopting a mobile-first strategy to engage consumers.
"InMobi sees CPG mobile ad spends grow 175% in 2013", News release, InMobi , January 21, 2014, © InMobi
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Singapore

Ancient And Exotic Foreign Grains Capture Foodies’ Attention

January 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Among the emerging food trends on display at a recent San Francisco fancy food show were some exotic grains seeking to fill the vacuum left by the decline in popularity of plain old white bread. Quinoa, buckwheat, teff and sorghum continue to intrigue consumers. But also  more obscure offerings like freekeh, a roasted green wheat from the Middle East with a nutty, smoky flavor. One bakery at the show featured ready-to-cook freekeh blends: apricot and raisin, herb and currant, and mushroom and herb. Also on the radar: an ancient Italian cereal grain known as faro or emmer, high-end ramen noodles, and Peruvian corn snacks called cancha.
Elizabeth Weise, "Ancient, Peruvian cuisine are hot food trends", USATODAY , January 21, 2014, © Gannett/USA Today
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Other
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United States of America

KitKat Boutique Opens In Japan, Features Hundreds Of Flavor Varieties

January 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is opening a boutique in Tokyo, Japan, devoted to showcasing the hundreds of flavors of the KitKat candy bar available in that country. According to the KitKat global brand manager, “KitKat is close to being a cult product in Japan,” so it’s not surprising that the company would take advantage of a marketing opportunity by launching a specialty boutique. KitKat varieties available in the country are regionalized, and may include Purple Potato, Cinnamon Cookie, European Cheese, Bean Cake and Wasabi. The sticks  can be made from pale green, pink or lilac chocolate. KitKat Kobe Pudding has a citrusy custard pudding flavor and is only available in Kobe.
"The world’s first ever KitKat boutique opens in Japan", Nestlé, January 17, 2014, © Nestlé
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FOOD COMPANIES
Nestle
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Japan

Hain Celestial Buys U.K. Rice Company

January 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products marketer Hain Celestial has acquired 40-year-old British rice products company Tilda Limited. Tilda is credited with introducing basmati rice, which can only be grown in the foothills of the Himalaya mountains, to the Western world. Tilda generated $190 million in net sales in 2013. Hain says it plans to grow the Tilda brand further using its distribution platform in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Tilda brand comprises more than 60 dry rice and ready-to-heat products. 
"A Leading Global Rice Brand Expands Branded Grocery Product Offerings into Middle East, North Africa and India and Further into Specialty Ethnic Channels", News release, Hain Celestial Group, Inc., January 13, 2014, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
United States of America
Europe
Middle East- Africa
India
United Kingdom

High Court To Consider Juice Labeling Dispute Between Pom Wonderful, Coca-Cola

January 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A dispute between juice company Pom Wonderful and Coca-Cola over juice content labeling has made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which recently granted a writ of certiorari to hear the case. Pom first accused Coca-Cola in 2008 of misleading consumers into thinking its Pomegranate Blueberry juice consisted mainly of pomegranate and blueberry juices. In fact, according to Pom Wonderful, the Coca-Cola beverage contains only 0.3 percent pomegranate juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice. The rest is apple and grape juices. Coca-Cola says its labeling abides by FDA regulations.
Josh Long, "Supreme Court to Hear Coca-Cola, Pom Wonderful Spat", Food Product Design, January 13, 2014, © Virgo Publishing, LLC.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Consumer Watchdog To Sue Three Food Giants Over “Natural” Product Claims

January 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A consumer food safety watchdog is getting ready to sue several big food companies over their “natural” product claims. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Kraft’s Crystal Light “Natural” lemonade and iced tea mixes “contain several decidedly unnatural ingredients”, including the artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame-potassium, several artificial colors, a factory-produced texturizer, and the controversial preservative BHA. Notifications of pending litigation were also sent to Smart Balance about "unauthorized and illegal claims" on its Blended Butter Sticks and Abbott Laboratories for “deceptive and misleading practices” regarding its Ensure Nutrition Shakes, CSPI said.
"Lawsuits Loom for Three Major Food Companies", Center for Science in the Public Interest, January 08, 2014, © Center for Science in the Public Interest
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FOOD COMPANIES
Kraft Foods
Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

General Mills Removes GM Ingredients From Cheerios

January 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An “avalanche” of food companies is likely to follow the lead of General Mills in removing genetically modified (GM) ingredients from its iconic cereal brand, Cheerios, according to industry observers. The company stresses that it did not buckle under pressure, but instead simply acknowledged what consumers wanted. General Mills will substitute non-GM cornstarch and sugar. The change does not affect other varieties of the brand, including Honey Nut Cheerios. An industry analyst says the company is "testing" the market on a brand that is relatively easy to rid of GM organisms. The main ingredient of Cheerios – oats – cannot be genetically modified. Both Whole Foods Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant have pledged to reduce GM content in their products.
Mark Guarino, "No more GMOs in Cheerios. Will a lot more foods go GMO-free now?", The Christian Science Monitor, January 03, 2014, © The Christian Science Monitor
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
General Mills
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Owner Of Godiva Chocolates To Buy U.S. Candy Maker DeMets

January 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The Turkish owner of Godiva Chocolates is acquiring the 116-year-old U.S. firm DeMet's Candy Company, creator of Flipz chocolate pretzels and Turtles covered nut clusters, for $221 million. DeMet’s was acquired in 2007 from Nestle SA by Brynwood Partners, a private U.S. equity firm. Yildiz Holdings AS, owner of the Godiva chocolate brand, is Turkey’s largest  food group. As part of the deal, Brynwood will also sell two U.S. factories. The transaction is expected to close this month.
Engredea News & Analysis , "Godiva buys DeMet's Candy", New Hope 360, January 02, 2014, © Penton Media
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
EMEA
United States of America
Middle East- Africa
Turkey

Brooklyn’s New Whole Foods Market Is About As “Green” As A Grocery Can Get

January 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The newly opened Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, N.Y., may be an example of how eco-friendly stores could be built in the future. The 56,000-square-foot facility is 60 percent more energy efficient than requried by building codes, thanks to an array of advanced technologies. These include a combined heat-and-power system designed to keep the store operating even in a power failure. The store uses highly efficient and zero-ozone depleting refrigeration equipment and high-efficiency lighting and daylighting to illuminate the store. On-site renewable energy features include 324 kilowatts-worth of solar canopies over the parking lot that will supply about 20 percent of the store's electricity.
Kit Kennedy, "Whole Foods opens one of nation’s most energy-efficient markets", GreenBiz , January 02, 2014, © GreenBiz Group
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FOOD COMPANIES
Retailers & Private Label
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

New Snack Subscription And Delivery Service Unveiled By General Mills

December 31, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills has launched a snack delivery service – “Nibblr” – that offers 59 portion-controlled snack varieties shipped by the U.S. Postal Service to subscribers. Subscribers control what they get, how often, and can cancel anytime. The service is available in the continental U.S.; snacks are delivered weekly, biweekly or monthly. Nibblr snacks – packed four to a box and sold for $5.99 each – include nuts (Clusters Last Stand), fruits, chocolate and a variety of flavors, including curry, chili pepper and chai (Chai It You’ll Like It).
"General Mills rolls out subscription snacks by mail", Nick Halter, December 31, 2013, © American City Business Journals
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FOOD COMPANIES
General Mills
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Mondelez Sells Snackwell’s Business To Private Equity Fund

December 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez Global has sold its Snackwell’s cookies and snacks business to Back to Nature Foods Company, LLC, owned by private equity fund Brynwood Partners. Back to Nature was created as a joint venture by Mondelez and Brynwood in 2012. SnackWell's was launched by Nabisco in 1992 as a line of reduced-fat and fat-free cookies and crackers. The brand's reduced-fat products include Creme Sandwich Cookies, Devil's Food Cakes, Fudge Pretzels, Yogurt Pretzels, and Popcorn products in portion control sizes. Terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.
"Back to Nature Foods Company, LLC Acquires the SnackWell's Business from Mondelez Global LLC", News release, Brynwood Partners, December 30, 2013, © Brynwood Partners
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Kraft Foods
Other
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

USAID Partners With Companies To Provide Relief To Battered Philippines Community Stores

December 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
America’s humanitarian aid agency has partnered with Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola to help the Philippines province most severely affected by the highly destructive super typhoon Haiyan. The company partnership with the USAID will establish in Leyte new community stores and rehabilitate  damaged or destroyed store located in public markets. The organizations will also ease store owner access to micro-financing loans other “interventions”. To date, the U.S. has provided approximately $86.8 million in emergency funds for critical relief supplies, life-saving assistance and protection of vulnerable populations.
"USAID, P&G and Coca-Cola Announce Partnerships to Aid Grassroots Entrepreneurship in the Philippines Recovery Effort", News release, Procter & Gamble, December 19, 2013, © Procter & Gamble
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
Asia-Pacific
United States of America
Philippines

Coca-Cola CEO Says Key To Success In India Is To Accept It “As Is”

December 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The Coca-Cola Company has been operating in India since 1950 and though there have been some rough patches, “business is thriving,” according to CEO Muhtar Kent. India is one of Coca-Cola’s top ten markets and has “enormous potential”. One of the keys to this success has been a realization that the company’s growth depends on the growth and success of the country as well. For Coca-Cola, that meant recruiting and training staff who were already knowledgeable about the Indian retailing culture. It meant sourcing more products locally. And it meant doing business on India’s terms, adjusting to its culture and economic needs, and helping it attain its goals.
Muhtar Kent , "Thinking outside the bottle", McKinsey & Company, December 10, 2013, © McKinsey & Company. Published by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
Coca-Cola Company
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
India

The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Is Dead: Long Live The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger!

December 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
People often wonder why some popular items on fast-food menus seem to hang around for a few months, then disappear, only to re-appear later. According to industry experts, it’s not a haphazard phenomenon, it’s a deliberate strategy, “a way of keeping customers salivating for your food”. For example, the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger was launched at Wendy’s last July, only to be replaced in October by the Bacon Portabella Melt. But there’s a serious strategy at work here: reintroduce a popular item several times or more as a limited-time offer to fill the six to ten marketing windows that pop up during the year. So look for the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger again next year.
Mary Vanac, "Benching pretzel bun part of the plan for Wendy’s", The Columbus Dispatch, December 07, 2013, © The Dispatch Printing Company
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Campbell’s Cooks, Bakers Identify Hot Culinary Trends For 2014

December 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company’s Culinary & Baking Institute (CCBI) has published a list of major culinary trends for 2014, including sophisticated sweets, savory yogurt and bolder burgers. The CCBI – a network of Campbell’s chefs, bakers and culinary professionals – identifies and categorizes food topics that may have the greatest on the food industry. The group follows the trends as they evolve through six stages, from the discovery phase (e.g., fine dining restaurants and cultural hot spots) to universal appeal and international availability. Among the other top trends for the coming year: Brazilian cuisine, food waste awareness, fresh juices, and beverage-Inspired flavors.
"2014 Campbell Culinary TrendScape Report", Report, Campbell Soup Company, December 04, 2013, © CSC Brands, L.P.
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FOOD COMPANIES
Campbell's
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Sales In Emerging Markets Are Slowing, Unilever CEO Warns, Due To Fragile Economies

December 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Many countries in so-called emerging world markets need to implement “structural reforms” to deal with their underlying fragility, Unilever CEO Paul Polman said recently. Unilever expects an economic slowdown in emerging markets will dampen second half sales, and could last as long as five years. The company gets more than half of its revenues from countries like India and China, where underlying sales rose at a relatively slow 3.2 percent in the third quarter, the weakest in four years. Sales rose five percent in the first half of the year. “Emerging markets are clearly decelerating, but will always grow faster than the developed world,” said a Swiss analyst.
Albertina Torsoli , "Unilever CEO Says Emerging Market Slowdown to Last for Years", Bloomberg, December 03, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
Latin America
Europe
China
India
Brazil
Russia

Teaching Young Business People About Sustainable Growth Is Goal Of Unilever Partnership

December 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Introducing principles of sustainability to young business people and entrepreneurs is the goal of a partnership between Unilever and a nonprofit organization that focuses on transformational change in the workplace and the world. Three pilot conferences are planned in the U.S., South Africa and India under the sponsorship of Unilever and NGO Net Impact. The meetings include  presentations from young intrapreneurs (people driving change within corporations) and entrepreneurs, followed by Q&A and break-out sessions. The objective of the events is to provide young people with practical ideas and tools “for driving sustainable growth within their business environment”, according to a Unilever exec.
"How fresh business thinking is inspiring young minds", News release, Unilever, December 03, 2013, © Unilever
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FOOD COMPANIES
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
EMEA
Asia-Pacific
United States of America
Europe
Middle East- Africa
India
United Kingdom
South Africa

Guidelines Issued For Sustainable Production Of Beef

November 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A global industry program has issued a set of guidelines to help members produce beef sustainably. The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform says the guidelines are the most comprehensive developed for beef production to date. They include sustainable farming systems, economic sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability. They also require achievements in each area of beef cattle production. Members of the SAI include major beef users, including McDonald’s and Unilever.
"McDonald’s, Unilever ‘Beef Up Sustainability’", Environmental Leader, November 27, 2013, © Environmental Leader LLC
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
Unilever
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe

Nestlé Continues To Replace Old Ice Cream Freezers With Eco-Friendly Models

November 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
As part of a commitment to use only environmentally friendly refrigerants, and phase out damaging hydrofluorocarbons, Nestlé announced that new commercial ice cream freezers in Europe would use only naturally occurring substances. Eco-friendly refrigerants include carbon dioxide, ammonia, water, air and hydrocarbons like propane and isobutane, none of which harm the ozone layer. The new ice cream freezers also reduce energy consumption by more than a third. The company has invested more than $264 million to replace synthetic refrigerants with natural alternatives in more than 92 percent of its industrial refrigeration systems.
"New Nestlé freezers to help tackle climate change", News release, Nestlé, November 27, 2013, © Nestlé
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Nestle
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe

Key Trends That Will Dominate The Food And Beverage World Of 2014

November 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert predicts that ten trends will dominate the food and beverage world in 2014.The underlying current of the trends is the ever-changing relationship of health-conscious consumers with merchants, brands and food generally. At the top of the trend list is the emergence of the “IndieWoman”: a “major food influencer”. There are 31 million of them and they spend $50 billion a year on food and beverages. They are aged 27 and older, live alone, have no kids, are active socially, concerned about career growth and love to shop. Other trends focus on healthy snacking, loyalty to brands involved in social causes, reliance on smartphones when grocery shopping, etc.
"Supermarket Guru Predicts Social Shopping, Healthy Snacking And Millennials Will Shape Consumer Trends In The New Year", News release, ConAgra Foods, November 21, 2013, © ConAgra Foods, Inc
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FOOD COMPANIES
ConAgra
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Popular Handheld Ice Cream Product To Hit Store Shelves In Time For Holidays

November 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
British ice cream manufacturer Fredericks Dairies announced that it has expanded distribution of its Terry’s Chocolate Orange 3-Pack to convenience and grocery stores in time for the holidays. Fredericks, recently acquired by R&R Ice Cream, became the top handheld ice cream product following its launch with a national retailer in 2012. The product combines vanilla ice cream with a chocolate orange sauce covered in milk chocolate with real orange oil. The 3 Pack is set to roll out across the U.K. and Ireland at a suggested retail price of £3.39.
"Terry’s Chocolate Orange expands Ice Cream distribution for Christmas", Food & Drink Innovation Network, November 08, 2013, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

U.S. Equity Firm Buys Jenny Crag Brand From Nestlé

November 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. private equity firm has acquired the North American and Oceania Jenny Craig weight management businesses from Nestlé. The French brand was not part of the sale. Jenny Craig was launched in 1983 and acquired by Nestlé Nutrition in 2006. North Castle Partners, a private equity firm based in Connecticut, invests in high-growth, middle market businesses. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
"Nestlé sells Jenny Craig in North America and Oceania", News release, Nestlé, November 07, 2013, © Nestlé
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FOOD COMPANIES
Nestle
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
Asia-Pacific
United States of America
Australia
New Zealand

Is P&G Getting Ready To Divest Its Pet Food Brands?

November 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble may be on the verge of divesting its pet food brands, Iams and Eukanuba, according to industry observers. The main reason would appear to be “underperformance” and a lack of “fit”, says Leon Loewenstine of Riverpoint Capital Management. A possible purchaser would be Del Monte Foods, which just sold off it6s consumer brands business and wants to build its own pet food business, which includes brands Meow Mix, Kibbles ’n Bits, Milk-Bone and 9Lives. Pressure to divest underperforming products is increasing for P&G, whose stock could take a hit unless investors see some efforts to streamline.
Rachel Richardson, "Pet food not P&G’s Bag? Why P&G might shed pet food", Cincinnati.com, November 05, 2013, © news.cincinnati.com/Gannett
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FOOD COMPANIES
Procter & Gamble
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Hain Celestial Reports Strong Sales, Revenue Growth In September 2013 Quarter

November 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hain Celestial Group, Inc. reported its net sales grew 33 percent to $477.5 million in the quarter ending September 30, 2013, compared with the $359.8 million net sales in the same quarter of 2012. Earnings per diluted share from continuing operations rose 36 percent to $0.57, the company said. In the United States, the company said first quarter sales rose 23 percent to $312 million, helped in part by strong sales from its Ella’s Kitchen and BluePrint brands. Sales in the UK reached $114 million, while sales in the Rest of the World segment reached $51.5 million.
"Hain Celestial Announces Record First Quarter Fiscal Year 2014 Results", Hain Celestial, November 05, 2013, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Unilever Unveils Home Water Purifier In Pakistan That Removes Viruses, Bacteria Cheaply

November 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever Pakistan has introduced a home water purification device that works without using electricity or gas. The new Pureit water purifier instead uses sustainable “Unilever proprietary technology” to provide safe and clean water, according to the company. The purification technology takes water through five stages using a “Programmed Germ Kill Technology” to remove harmful bacteria and viruses and provide “odorless natural tasting water” for about two cents a liter.
"Unilever launches Pureit Water Purifier in Pakistan", Unilever, November 04, 2013, © Unilever
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Unilever
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Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Pakistan

A List Of One-Time Counter-Cultural Companies Now Owned – Ssshhh! – By Big Corporations

October 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A lot of consumers think Burt’s Bees, a maker of natural personal care and skin care products, is a small homespun business toiling away in Durham, N.C. But it isn’t, and hasn’t been since 2007 when Clorox bought the company for nearly a billion dollars. Business Insider takes a look at more than a dozen of these once-small, counter-cultural companies selling “natural” products to a loyal following but are now operating, perhaps a little clandestinely, within large corporations. Included are Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Unilever), Seeds of Change (Mars), Cascadian Farm (General Mills), Kashi (Kellogg), Boca Foods (Kraft), Lightlife Foods (ConAgra), Odwalla (Coca-Cola), Tom’s of Maine (Colgate-Palmolive), Body Shop (L’Oréal), Naked Juice (Pepsi), Dagoba Chocolate (Hershey’s), and Energy Brands (Coca-Cola).
Kim Bhasin and Patricia Laya , "13 Small 'Natural' Brands That Are Actually Owned By Giant Corporations", Business Insider , October 30, 2013, © Business Insider, Inc.
Domains
FOOD COMPANIES
ConAgra
General Mills
Kellogg
Kraft Foods
Other
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Change In Leadership At Heinz Leads To End Of Ketchup Relationship With McDonald’s

October 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s is so peeved at a top management change at H.J. Heinz Co. – purveyor of, among other comestibles, ketchup – that it is severing its 40-year business relationship with the company. Heinz will no longer supply ketchup to McDonald’s worldwide, and it is unclear which of Heinz’s competitors – Hunt’s, Del Monte, or someone else -- will pick up the slack. McDonald’s made the decision when it learned that Bernardo Hees, former CEO of rival Burger King, had been named CEO at Heinz. The change in ketchup suppliers will have little impact on the U.S. market. Only Pittsburgh and Minneapolis restaurants use Heinz ketchup.
Lisa Baertlein, "Ketchup changeup: McDonald's dropping Heinz after CEO change", Reuters, October 25, 2013, © Thomson Reuters
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FOOD COMPANIES
Other
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United States of America

Sharing Data Helps Suppliers, Retailers Solve Inventory/Replenishment Problems

October 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A study of retailer/supplier shared data finds “compelling ROI benefits”, including the fact that an increasing number of companies are standardizing on a single approach or technology. At a recent webinar that discussed the study’s findings, executives at Safeway and Kraft shared a case study that focused on Kraft product inventory at the grocery retailer, especially the problem of weekend out-of-stock inventory. Putting their heads together, the companies, along with RSi, were able to predict out-of-stocks by item by store. A one-week test of Planters Peanuts led to a reduction of out-of-stocks by 2.67 percent and an overall sales increase of 38 percent, as well as new inventory and replenishment management strategies.
"Kraft, Safeway Reap Benefits from Data Sharing", Consumer Goods Technology, October 22, 2013, © Edgell Communications
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FOOD COMPANIES
Kraft Foods
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Pepperidge Farm Extends Its Line Of Puff Pastry Shells

October 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Pepperidge Farm has introduced a miniature version of its Puff Pastry Shells designed to be used in making bite-sized appetizers. The pre-formed, ready-to-bake Puff Pastry Cups take 20 minutes to “rise” in the oven and can be filled with a variety of ingredients, both sweet and savory. The company’s puff pastry lineup also includes Sheets, Shells and Turnovers. A Web site, PuffPastry.com, provides how-to videos, special offers, and a monthly newsletter. Puff Pastry Cups are sold in 24-count packages for about $4.00.
"Pepperidge Farm Adds Bite-Sized Pastry Cups to Its Popular Puff Pastry Line", News release, Pepperidge Farm, October 21, 2013, © Pepperidge Farm
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Waitrose Has Big Plans For Sales Growth Over Next Decade

October 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
One of the smaller of the U.K.’s chain grocers, Waitrose, is challenging itself to increase annual sales by 300 percent over the next 10 years. The company plans to invest £300 million annually to open 20 new stores a year while building its online business. The goal is to take its annual sales from £5.3 billion to £15 billion by 2023. The company says it has been outperforming competitors like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda for more than four years by as much as seven percent, offering value, “aspirational quality”, and innovative products.
Christopher Williams, "Waitrose targets £15bn sales in 10 years", Telegraph.co.uk, October 20, 2013, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Retailers & Private Label
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Brand Marketers Need To Adjust To Evolving Customer Expectations

October 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Customer expectations are changing globally, presenting significant challenges for brand marketers whose organizations may not have not changed in 20 years, but will definitely need to change to grow in the next few years, according to a Marketing Week study. The study looked at marketers who felt they did worse than competitors (underperformers) and those that did better (overperformers). From their experiences, researchers devised five rules to guide marketers who want to position brands for growth through 2020. At the top of the list: decide the purpose of the brand. Overperformers are much more likely to know why their brand exists: 84 percent say they are proud of their brand’s purpose, compared to 72 percent of underperformers.
Jonathan Bacon, "A guide to brand survival", Marketing Week, October 17, 2013, © Centaur Communications Ltd
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PepsiCo
Unilever
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Increased Traffic Drives Profit Growth At Chipotles, Despite Rising Costs

October 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Chipotle fast-casual Mexican restaurants have experienced higher traffic and thus higher sales and profit over recent fiscal quarters, but the company is still set on raising prices three to five percent to offset higher ingredient prices. Part of the cost inflation problem lies in the company’s decision to replace genetically modified ingredients in its menu items with non-GMO ingredients. But the costs of other ingredients have risen as well, including tomatoes, corn, tomatillos, dairy and chicken. The costs of food, beverages and packaging rose 21 percent, accounting for 33.6 percent of total revenue. Nevertheless, profit in the third quarter rose 15 percent.
Julie Jargon and John Kell, "Chipotle Profit Jumps 15% as Restaurant Traffic Rises", Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Big Advertisers Finally Warm Up To Mobile Platform

October 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Advertisers have conquered their reluctance to spend money on mobile ads. Expenditures on mobile ads for everything from soap to salad dressing jumped by 66 percent in the first half of 2013, from $1.8 billion to $3 billion. Unilever’s senior media director for North America calls mobile advertising a “no brainer” now because of the growing time spent by consumers on smartphones and tablets. Mondelez International Inc., marketer of snacks like Nabisco cookies and Trident gum, says it will allocate 10 percent of its global marketing budget to mobile.
Suzanne Vranica and Christopher S. Stewart, "Mobile Advertising Begins to Take Off", The Wall Street Journal, October 09, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Unilever
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Companies Turn Captcha Web Security Code Boxes Into Ad-Based Games

October 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Heinz and Reckitt Benckiser have started to replace the ubiquitous Web security code boxes known as Captcha with online games and ads on their U.K. sites. Captcha boxes are used to verify human interaction and foil automated Web robots. Because the robots have become much more sophisticated, the Captcha boxes have become more complicated – and more frustratingly difficult for site visitors. In the new version, visitors spend about 15 seconds on a game in which they either fill a virtual sandwich with Heinz Salad Cream or clean a dirty penny using  Reckitt Benckiser’s Cillit Bang. The games were developed using Future Ad Labs PlayCaptcha advertising platform.
Sebastian Joseph, "Heinz and Reckitt Benckiser gamify 'hated' Captcha verification system", Marketing Week, October 08, 2013, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Heinz
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Unilever Shifts Managers Around In South Africa, China

October 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Peter Cowan, a South African native and former senior vice-president of Unilever Philippines, is the new head of Unilever South Africa. Cowan replaces Marijn van Tiggelen, who will become executive vice-president of Unilever North Asia in China. Unilever South Africa has more than 3,000 employees in the country in two offices and five factories. Cowan joined Unilever in 2011 when Unilever acquired the U.S. cosmetics and consumer goods firm Alberto Culver. Unilever has maintained a presence in South Africa for more than a century, marketing brands such as Sunlight, OMO, Lux, Knorr, Vaseline, Shield, Sunsilk and Flora.
"New boss takes over Unilever South Africa", Independent Online (South Africa), October 08, 2013, © The Mercury/Independent Online
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Unilever
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Get Involved, Make A Difference In The World, Unilever Head Tells Young Business Leaders

October 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In a speech whose main theme was the importance of responsibility, Unilever CEO Paul Polman urged 1,200 young business leaders to go beyond the sustainability efforts of their companies and make a positive impact on global society. Governments and institutions cannot address the issues facing society, Polman said, unless individuals take responsibility for making a positive impact. People need to get involved, exert more pressure on leaders in order to “create the world we want”. That means “going beyond corporate social responsibility and becoming a force for good”. Polman addressed delegates from 190 countries attending the One Young World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"CEO urges young leaders to embrace responsibility", News release, Unilever, October 05, 2013, © Unilever
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Unilever
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Worldwide
Middle East- Africa
South Africa

Consumers Around The Globe Ready To Spend On Branded Products

October 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Companies with well-recognized, popular brand name products could find significant marketing opportunities among consumers in developing countries, according to a survey of 23,000 consumers in 20 countries. After five years of economic gloom, consumers in these countries and in the developed world are willing to spend more of their income on known brands. Two-thirds of consumers in affluent economies expect to trade up to more expensive goods and services in the travel, large home appliance and housing industries. Fifteen brands rank in the top 30 for both boomers and millennials. Twenty-nine brands appeal to only one or the other. The top-30 list for millennials includes newer companies and older brands that have positioned themselves for younger consumers
Christine Barton, "The Resilient Consumer: Where to Find Growth amid the Gloom in Developed Economies", The Boston Consulting Group, October 03, 2013, © The Boston Consulting Group
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Cadbury-Schweppes
Coca-Cola Company
Heinz
Kellogg
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Nestle
PepsiCo
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EMEA
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Canada
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McDonald’s Unveils More Nutritious Menu Options

September 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
McDonald’s announced it is adding healthier meal options on menus in 20 of its largest markets as it acknowledges the changing tastes of American consumers. The company, which is also looking to expand its customer base, said it would stop marketing less nutritious offerings to children, and would offer more fruits and vegetables on the adult-oriented selections. The 20 markets account for about 85 percent of sales, domestically and overseas. The company’s goal is to attract health-conscious consumers with meals that are lower in fat, salt or sugar content than its traditional burger-and-fries options.
Stephanie Strom, "With Tastes Growing Healthier, McDonald’s Aims to Adapt Its Menu", The New York Times, September 26, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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Gartner Names Unilever Top European Supply Chain

September 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Industry researcher Gartner Inc. has named Unilever the best supply chain in Europe in its Top 25 rankings. Industries covered in the rankings include the automotive, chemical, consumer products, life science and retail sectors. According to Gartner, this is the second year in a row that Unilever earned the top spot, “demonstrating supply chain excellence and leadership year over year”. Other companies in the top five were Inditex, H&M, Nestlé, and BASF.
Will Green, "Unilever named best supply chain in Europe", Supply Management, September 26, 2013, © Supply Management
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Unilever
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EMEA
Europe

Pretzels Take America By Storm

September 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The food industry has apparently decided that the American consumer’s craving for pretzels is boundless. According to researcher Mintel, a record 160 pretzel products were introduced in 2012, up from 60 four years ago. Successful entries in the market include Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, Dunkin’ Donuts Pretzel Roll Roast Beef Sandwich, Sonic’s Cheesy Bacon Pretzel Dog, and a slew of others. Another research firm says pretzel bread is the fastest-growing sandwich bread: between 2011 and 2012 there was a 36 percent rise on sandwich menus. The reason for pretzel mania, experts say, is not just its flavor: pretzels are lower in fat than other breads and pastries. Expect pretzels to show up in a widening variety of food products in the near future.
Bruce Horovitz, "Pretzel mania spreads from fast food to every food", USA TODAY , September 26, 2013, © USA Today
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Solazyme To Provide Tailored Algal Oils To Unilever

September 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
California-based bioproducts company Solazyme, Inc. has signed an agreement to supply sustainably produced tailored algal oil to Unilever for use initially in its beauty products. The agreement covers jointly developed tailored oils, produced in a Brazil manufacturing facility. The initial supply will be at least 10,000 metric tons. Delivery is planned to begin in early 2014. Unilever expects to purchase the full volume within twelve to eighteen months. A Unilever executive said the company expects  tailored oils technology to provide “sustainable competitive advantage across many categories and brands”.
"Solazyme and Unilever Sign Commercial Supply Agreement for Tailored Algal Oil", News release, Solazyme, September 25, 2013, © Solazyme
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Unilever
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Latin America
United States of America
Brazil

Wonder Bread Brand Is Revived By Flowers Foods

September 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Flowers Foods of Thomasville, Ga. – described as a central player in the restructuring of the $37 billion bread production industry – has put an iconic brand of sliced white bread back on store shelves. It took 10 months, but Wonder Bread, acquired from  Hostess Brands in July, is once again being sold in grocery stores in the Flowers distribution network. The company acquired 20 bakeries, 36 warehouses and the Wonder Bread, Merita, Home Pride, Butternut and Nature’s Pride brands from Hostess in a $355 million deal. Flowers says it’s not worried about recent shifts in consumer bread preferences. But analysts say the brand –- “one of the worst-performing of the last 10 years” – will be fighting an uphill battle for market share.
Dale Buss , "Wonder Bread Returns to Store Shelves with New Owner, Old Look", Brandchannel, September 25, 2013, © Brandchannel
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Patent Issued For Making “No-Bake” Granola Bars

September 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills scientists have been issued a U.S. patent for a method of making a “no-bake” granola or snack food product that reduces waste and boosts processing efficiency. The no-bake products resulting from the process – granola bars, clusters, cereal, instant hot cereal and snacks – have a “toasted appearance and flavor”, according to the patent document. The process involves mixing ingredients – grain, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc. – at high temperatures, adding a sweetener, then cooling to room temperature. The resulting product is not sticky and requires no further drying or processing.
"No bake granola product and methods of preparation", Free Patents Online, September 24, 2013, © FreePatentsOnline.com
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General Mills
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United States of America

FDA Approval Of Whole Grain Health Claim For Type 2 Diabetes Is Hardly A Ringing Endorsement

September 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has approved a petition from U.S. food makers for a qualified health claim linking whole grain food consumption with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, despite an analysis of scientific studies that revealed “very limited credible evidence” of such a link. Nevertheless, one of the petitioners, ConAgra Foods Inc., said it was “thrilled” by the FDA decision, noting that the agency “is confirming that whole grains … can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.” Actually, the decision means that foods containing whole grains may carry the following claim: “Whole grains may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, although the FDA has concluded that there is very limited scientific evidence for this claim.”
"ConAgra Foods – Maker of 100% Whole Grain Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn and Ultragrain Whole Wheat Flour – Applauds FDA Approval of Qualified Health Claim", News release, ConAgra Foods, September 24, 2013, © ConAgra Foods, Inc
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ConAgra
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United States of America

Frito-Lay To Use Facebook, Super Bowl Video Contest, To Expand Doritos Brand Globally

September 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Frito-Lay is expanding its marketing focus globally for the Doritos brand this year by centralizing the brand's worldwide Facebook presence. The strategy to grab more snack market share involves broadening the company’s eighth annual Crash the Super Bowl video contest by accepting submissions from around the world for the first time. For the Facebook contest, consumers will submit fun video spots. Two of them will be chosen for broadcast during Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014.
Christopher Heine, "Doritos Is Going Global for This Year's Super Bowl", Adweek.com, September 23, 2013, © Adweek
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PepsiCo
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Worldwide
North America
United States of America
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