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Nestlé Continues China Expansion, Opens Two Factories

July 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé opened two new factors in China as part of its expansion of its business in the country by growing its range of local and global brands. Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke attended the opening of the Nescafécoffee factory in Shandong Province and the Yinlu Foods factory in Anhui Province. Part of Nestlé’s joint venture with China’s leading manufacturer of ready-to-eat peanut milk and ready-to-eat rice congee, the Yinlu Foods factory created more than 2,000 new jobs.
"Nestlé continues to grow its business in China with opening of two new factories", Nestlé , July 11, 2013, © Nestle
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China

Tenth Indonesia Palm Oil Processing Plant Will Help Unilever Achieve Sustainability Goals

July 11, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has broken ground on the construction of a Rp 1.4 trillion ($140.4 million) palm oil processing plant in the Sei Mangkei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in North Sumatra (Indonesia), its tenth plant in the country. The new plant, expected to be fully operational in 2014, will be run by the PT Unilever Oleochemical Indonesia subsidiary. Unilever in 2010 set a goal of sourcing 100 percent of the palm sustainably by 2015. The target was reached in 2012. Company officials say the new plant will help Unilever achieve a new goal of purchasing all palm oil sustainably from certified, traceable sources by 2020.
Andrew McDougall, "Unilever breaks ground on Indonesia plant for sustainable palm oil", Cosmetics Design , July 11, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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The Twinkie Is Dead, Long Live The Twinkie!

July 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hostess Brands declared bankruptcy last year, laying off 18,000 workers nationally. Many observers said the demise of Hostess was due to unstoppable trends of the “real food”  movement. But after it was acquired and reorganized by two private equity firms this year, Hostess announced it would once again offer Twinkies, Cupcakes and DingDongs, albeit more efficiently through warehouses rather than directly to stores. Rabobank drew four lessons from the relaunch of the Twinkie brand that may apply to the entire snack cake market: the strength of iconic brands such as Twinkie; recognition that there is room in the diet for sweet indulgence; the dangers in messing with a winner; and opportunities available to expand the snack cake market.
"Rabobank Report: The Return of the Twinkie – Naughty but Nice?", News release, Rabobank, July 10, 2013, © Rabobank
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Taste, Health, Convenience Are Watchwords For General Mills’ 200 New Products

July 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills took the wraps off its product innovation plans for this year, providing details on more than 200 new items being introduced gradually worldwide. According to the company, the products are designed to meet the needs of consumers who are demanding better taste, enhanced nutrition and convenience at a good value. Among the new products are Vanilla Chex cereal and Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares in the U.S.; Liberte Greek yogurt in the U.K.; Yoki Kit Facil convenient dinner kits in Brazil; and pint-sized Haagen-Dazs Secret Sensations ice cream in Europe.
"General Mills to unveil global innovation lineup of 200 products launching this summer", PRNewswire , July 09, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Unilever Launches Rail-Enabled Green Express Sustainable Logistics Program

July 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever launched its Green Express sustainable logistics initiative as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions across its supply chain. As part of the program, Unilever will ship its products by rail instead of using the road network. With its initial stage launched in Italy, with the company’s Green Express train making its first ice cream delivery, the project is part of Unilever’s sustainable living plan.
"Unilever takes to rail logistics for supply chain carbon gains", Edie.net, July 08, 2013, © Edie.net
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New Malaysian Factory Will Help Meet Growing Demand For Nestlé’s Ready-To-Drink Beverages

July 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
With demand on the rise in Malaysia for its ready-to-drink beverages, Nestlé is investing about $49.9 million in the construction of a factory in Shah Alam that will open in 2014, providing 160 new jobs. The factory will produce  Nescafé, Milo, and Nestlé Low Fat Milk. The new factory will have several sustainable design features, including a rain water recovery system and  ultra-high-temperature (UHT) processing with built-in heat recovery to reduce energy consumption.
"New Nestlé factory to meet growing demand for ready-to-drink beverages in Malaysia", News release, Nestlé , July 08, 2013, © Nestlé
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Mobile Software Solution Helps HUL Reach Out To India’s Rural Customers

July 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is implementing an enterprise resource planning solution in India that will improve the efficiency of its Project Shakti rural distribution initiative. The project employs 48,000 volunteers (Shakti ammas) to visit rural villages not served by the regular HUL network. The low-cost mobile solution provides updates on promotional and discount offers and is designed to work offline. Shakti ammas link up with the HUL server once a day to take and bill orders and manage inventory. According to the company, the distribution system in the villages helps build brands and creates category usage for "bottom-of-the-pyramid" consumers.
Meghna Maiti , "HUL reaches out to rural markets with ERP software", Mydigitalfc, July 07, 2013, © Financial Chronicle
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Coca-Cola Launches 250ml Can In UK

July 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Great Britain introduced a 250-milliliter can variant of its Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, and Coca-Cola Zero soft drinks. Part of the company’s efforts to provide consumers with more choices in beverage sizes, the 250ml can will be rolled out nationwide in mid-July 2013. Following the company’s introduction of the 375ml PlantBottle plastic bottle, the 250ml can is part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to help combat obesity in the UK.
"Coca-Cola Launches 250ml Can", Coca-Cola , July 05, 2013, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Heinz Partners With MadeForMums To Launch Baby Weaning App

July 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
HeinzBaby partnered with parenting website MadeForMums to launch the Baby Weaning App, a mobile application designed to help moms in weaning their babies. Designed to help parents prepare easy-to-cook, healthy baby foods, the app includes 193 healthy weaning recipes, a 26-week daily meal planner, and 106 expert articles. Baby Weaning App is available for iOS devices.
Phil Tottman, "Heinz and MadeForMums give birth to mobile health scheme", Mobile Entertainment, July 05, 2013, © Intent Media
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Heinz
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Danone’s New Product Coding Technology Aims To Save Money For Loyal Shoppers

July 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s strategic goal of linking advanced technology with “smart saving” for consumers has come to fruition in the form of a new product code system that allows shoppers to use their smartphones to connect to the company’s loyalty program. Each package of Danone yogurt carries a unique code that, when activated by smartphone, can lead to significant savings on product purchases. The new system generates 60 million different codes a month at a printing speed of 300 meters/minute (18 km/hour). The system was developed and launched in Spain at a cost of €1million.
Bill Bruce, "Danone Spain implements one of Europe's biggest unique codes projects", FoodBev.com, July 05, 2013, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Unilever Closes Public Offer For HUL Shares

July 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever PLC announced the closure of its public offer to increase its stake in Hindustan Unilever Limited on July 4, 2013. During the offer period, HUL shareholders tendered 319,699,278 shares with total value of about 191.8 billion Indian rupees or €2.45 billion. Based on the volume of shares tendered, which represent about 14.8 percent of HUL, Unilever would increase its stake from 52.48 percent to 67.28 percent. Payment for tendered shares will be completed by July 18, 2013, when Unilever will assume full ownership of the shares tendered and accepted during the open offer, which was first announced on April 30, 2013.
"Unilever PLC announces closing of open offer to increase its stake in Hindustan Unilever", Unilever, July 04, 2013, © Unilever
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Nestle Says It Will Cut Prices of Infant Formula In China

July 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestle said its Wyeth Nutrition unit will sell infant formula products at lower prices in China following local authorities’ investigation of foreign companies for alleged price fixing. Wyeth Nutrition plans to cut infant formula prices by 11 percent on average, with the some price cuts going as high as 20 percent. Nestle also said Wyeth has been cooperating with China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the agency spearheading government investigation into the foreign vendors’ pricing practices.
Dean Best , "CHINA: Nestle to cut infant formula prices amid probe", just-food.com, July 03, 2013, © just-food.com
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Pepsi Still To Remove Cancer-Causing Chemical From Products, CEH Study Shows

July 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
More than a year after promising to remove the chemical 4-methylimidazole (4-Mel) from the caramel coloring it uses for its products, Pepsi still uses coloring with high levels of the cancer-causing chemical, according to tests conducted by the Center for Environmental Health. CEH through an independent laboratory it has commissioned conducted 4-Mel testing on Coke and Pepsi products from California and other states. Results showed that Pepsi products bought from outside California contain levels of the chemical that are 4 to more than 8 times higher than California’s safety levels. CEH says industrial production of caramel coloring creates 4-Mel as a by-product; however, changes in the manufacturing process can cut or remove the chemical without changing the coloring.
"One Year Later, Pepsi Still Contains Cancer-Causing Food Coloring", Center for Environmental Health, July 03, 2013, © Center for Environmental Health
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Coca-Cola Company
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Amazing Grass Partners With Whole Foods Market To Support Vitamin Angels

July 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Amazing Grass, the leading manufacturer of plant-based, organic, and whole-food green powder supplements in the U.S., partnered with Whole Foods Market and nonprofit organization Vitamin Angels to help reduce child mortality. Seeking to help undernourished women and children gain access to micronutrients, the Healthy You(th) campaign will donate part of revenue from Amazing Meal and Green SuperFood products purchased at Whole Foods Market stores to the Vitamin Angels Alliance, Inc.
Engredea News & Analysis , "Amazing Grass partners with Vitamin Angels", Newhope 360, July 03, 2013, © Penton Media
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Kraft Cheese Likely To Prevail In Lawsuit Against Retailer Cracker Barrel, Judge Issues Injunction

July 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman issued a preliminary injunction barring Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. from selling products under the Cracker Barrel brand in stores and outlets other than its traditional channels. His action was based on the court’s finding that Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, which filed a lawsuit against CBOCS, is likely to succeed in proving its unfair competition and trademark infringement allegations. Court records revealed that Kraft Foods has sold more than $1 billion worth of cheese products under the Cracker Barrel brand for almost 60 years in various retail outlets. John Morrell & Co.’s contract with Cracker Barrel to sell meat products under the CBOCS name prompted Kraft Foods’ lawsuit.
Josh Long , "Kraft Cheese Wins Round One in Cracker Barrel Lawsuit", Food Product Design, July 03, 2013, © Virgo Publishing, LLC
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Heinz Fine Tunes Its Line Of Packaged Meals For Toddlers

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Heinz announced it is revamping its line of toddler tray meals, adding three new flavors and a new package design targeting older toddlers (18 to 24 months). The Little Kids brand will now have Tomato & Mozzarella Pasta Shells, Pasta Bolognese, and Chicken & Sweetcorn Risotto flavors. The current Little Kids line includes products nutritionally formulated for toddlers as young as 12 months. “Working closely with our nutritionists, and tracking global trends, we identified that toddlers have key stages of development between one to three years that need to be met,” a Heinz U.K. marketing manager said.
"Heinz relaunches toddler range", Food & Drink Innovation Network, July 02, 2013, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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Top Execs At HUL Rewarded For Company’s Strong Numbers

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hindustan Unilever has rewarded its top executives for the company’s solid financial performance in 2012-13. CEO Nitin Paranipe’s salary and benefits rose by about four percent to $1.69 million, while CFO Sridhar Ramamurthy’s went up 87 percent to $995,000. The total compensation and reward package for top executives at the company is designed to be competitive within the industry – to “catch up with the rest of the market” – and tied strongly to performance. It is also “a way to create exit barriers” for its strongest performing managers.
Meghna Maiti , "HUL gives hefty pay hikes to CEO, EDs after robust growth", mydigitalfc.com, July 02, 2013, © Financial Chronicle
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Unilever
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India

Brands Must Become “Force For Good”, Unilever Marketing Head Says

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Because of global political and economic uncertainty and turmoil, and serious environmental concerns, marketers need to adjust their thinking about their business models and brands, Unilever’s chief marketing executive said recently. Keith Weed said global marketers need to become a “force for change and for good” as they pursue growth goals – for example, by “promoting how we can consume differently” for the sake of future generations. Brands should be more sensitive to movements for social and environmental change, including sustainability, he noted.
Alex Brownsell, "Unilever marketing chief Keith Weed warns brands must become a 'force for good'", Marketing Magazine, July 02, 2013, © Haymarket Media Limited
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Unilever
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Herbalife Restructures To Become More Vertically Integrated

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Responding to increased consumer demand for higher quality and safer dietary supplements, and to the proliferating global array of supplement product regulations, Herbalife has decided to vertically integrate its operations. That means a greater reliance on in-house manufacturing, and a lesser reliance on contract manufacturers. The company is building or acquiring factories here and abroad, and reorganizing its management team to better handle a vertically integrated structure. The company hopes to bring 65 percent of its manufacturing in-house by 2015, and has already invested $200 million in the transformation over the last few years.
Sean Moloughney, Editor, "Herbalife’s Strategic Transformation", Nutraceuticals World, July 02, 2013, © Rodman Media
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Nestlé Fails To Convince UK ITO It Owns Trademark For Chocolate Bar Shape

July 2, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé failed to register the shape of the four-finger KitKat chocolate bar as a trademark with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office. Since 2006, Switzerland-based confectionery manufacturer Nestlé has been engaged in a legal battle with Mondelez-owned Cadbury for the right to the chocolate bar’s shape across the European Union. However, the UK IPO’s decision to uphold Cadbury’s appeal against Nestlé’s national trademark application goes against the latest EU Community Trade Mark Office’s ruling that the four-finger shape should be exclusively for Nestlé’s product.
Simon Nias, "Nestlé foiled by Cadbury as KitKat trademark battle reaches UK", Marketing Magazine, July 02, 2013, © Haymarket Media
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BASF To Demonstrate Its Health Ingredients At IFT Expo

July 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Global chemical company BASF will display its line of health food ingredients – including an omega-3 powder for bread – at the upcoming Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo. The company will demonstrate foods and beverages fortified with plant sterols, vitamins, caffeine and conjugated linoleic acid in its showcase “kitchen”. Among the foods and drinks to be demonstrated are iced teas filtered with Divergan for stability and clarity; cupcakes with Spongolit aerating emulsifiers for cake texture and volume; and Lamequick whipping concentrates for  smooth, appealing icing.
"BASF unveils top-selling food ingredients at IFT 2013", News release, BASF, July 01, 2013, © BASF Corporation
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Coca-Cola, Britvic, Other Soft Drink Companies Join UK's Industry Sustainability Initiative

July 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched the Soft Drinks Sustainability Roadmap, with half of the country’s leading soft drink manufacturers and suppliers, such as Coca-Cola and Britvic, among its first partners. Aimed at reducing the soft drink industry’s environmental footprint, the study will also come up with recommendations on how to make the industry more environment-friendly. Based on analysis by consulting firm Best Foot Forward, the roadmap determined the country’s soft drink industry supply chain accounts for 4.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. It also highlights the industry’s five key impacts on the environment, such as growing and processing of fruit and sugar and packaging materials.
"Coca-Cola, Britvic Join Soft Drink Sustainability Roadmap", Environmental Leader, July 01, 2013, © Environmental Leader LLC
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Barry Callebaut Concludes Purchase Of Cocoa Ingredients Provider

July 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Cocoa and chocolate products company Barry Callebaut announced it has finalized the acquisition of the cocoa ingredients division of Petra Foods, a Singapore-based company. The acquisition makes Barry Callebaut a fully integrated manufacturer of chocolate products. The acquisition of Petra’s cocoa ingredients unit broadens the company’s offerings to industrial chocolate, outsourcing and gourmet customers, expands its sales volume in emerging markets, and adds cocoa processing and powder blending expertise as well as “a deep understanding of Asian and Latin American markets”.
"Barry Callebaut successfully closes acquisition of the Cocoa Ingredients Division from Petra Foods", Barry Callebaut , July 01, 2013, © Barry Callebaut
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EnWave, Hormel Foods Sign Licensing Deal For Dehydrating Technology

June 28, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
EnWave Corp. said it has licensed its Radiant Energy Vacuum dehydrating technology to Hormel Foods Corp. As part of the licensing agreement, EnWave and Hormel Foods have agreed to long-term royalty rates, expanded global market rights, and the use of EnWave’s nutraDRIED trademark on packaging of Hormel Foods products. EnWave is also supporting Hormel Foods’ testing of the technology by leasing the food company a large pilot-scale nutraREV manufacturing unit that will be operational in summer 2013.
"EnWave Signs Commercial License with Hormel Foods Corporation", EnWave , June 28, 2013, © EnWave Corporation
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Innovation And Right Message Are Key To Improved Cereal Sales, Says General Mills CEO

June 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills CEO Ken Powell says his company has done well in the battle against declining U.S. breakfast cereal sales, thanks to brand innovation and marketing execution. Powell says it’s especially important to get the marketing message right. The key to stabilizing sales of the Cheerios brand, according to Powell, was the refreshed message: Cheerios is healthy for you. Breakfast cereal sales have been steadily dropping for the last ten years, with consumption declining one percent a year. General Mills posted a two percent drop in U.S. sales during fiscal 2013 for its Big G cereals (i.e., Cheerios, Chex, Fiber One, Wheaties, etc.) though retail sales overall rose one percent.
Kacey Culliney , "US cereal decline can be beaten if you're clever, says General Mills CEO ", Bakery and Snacks, June 27, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Kellogg Launches New Frozen Food Products From Kashi And Eggo Brands

June 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Kellogg Co. expanded its frozen food range by launching Kashi brand's Moroccan Minestrone and Savory Chicken Noodle frozen soups and Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto and Three Cheese Ravioli steam meals. Also, the company's Eggo brand launched the Chocolatey Chip Muffin Wafflers. Combined with Kashi 7 Whole Grain Orzo Pasta, the Moroccan Minestrone Soup also features vegetables, including zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, and onions. Kashi Savory Chicken Noodle Soup comes with white meat chicken and a blend of carrots, onions, celery, kale, red quinoa, and whole grain bow tie pasta.
"Kellogg Introduces New Frozen Foods From Kashi®, Eggo®", Kellogg, June 27, 2013, © Kellogg Co.
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Hormel Launches Spam Meat Product That Comes In An Easy-To-Open Plastic Tub

June 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Hormel Foods launched the Spam Chopped Pork and Ham meat product in an easy-to-open plastic tub. Designed to complement rather than replace the brand’s current 200-gram and 340-gram canned varieties, the new product is expected to let the company expand its canned meat business. First of its kind in the market, the meat that comes in a plastic tub is aimed at both older consumers who have found it hard to open canned variants and younger consumers who do not have lots of experience with buying canned meat products. Once opened, the packaging can be resealed and kept in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
"New Easy Open Lightweight Tub Is Launched By Spam", The Food & Drink Innovation Network, June 26, 2013, © Food & Drink Innovation Network
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General Mills Reports Strong Sales Growth In FY 2013, Boosted By International Business

June 26, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills reported net sales grew 7 percent for fiscal 2013, with segment operating profit growing 6 percent. Earnings per share was $2.79, with adjusted diluted EPS at $2.69. Profit growth was recorded by all three of the company's operating segments for the year: U.S. Retail, International, and Bakeries & Foodservice. Yoki Alimentos in Brazil and Yoplait International contributed 6 points to the company's net sales growth, General Mills said.
Maerenn Jepsen , "General Mills global net sales increase to $17.8 billion", General Mills, June 26, 2013, © General Mills Inc.
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DuPont Opens Innovation Center In Johnston, Iowa

June 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont opened its Johnston Innovation Center in Johnston, Iowa, its second innovation center in the United States and 12th around the world. Focusing on the company's science and technology capabilities in the food, agriculture, and energy segments, the facility also highlights the latest in DuPont's technology, applications, and products developed to address food security, energy, protection and other urgent challenges facing today's world. Its innovation centers empower DuPont to make use of its global science capabilities to create local solutions aimed at addressing the market's most important concerns and needs, according to company chairman and CEO Ellen Kullman.
"Inclusive Innovation in Action: New DuPont Innovation Center Launched in Iowa", DuPont, June 25, 2013, © DuPont Pioneer
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Plans Under Way To Overhaul Unilever’s Online Data Collection Policies

June 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever says it is responding to growing consumer concern that personal data collected by brands on social media Web sites is being misused. The company plans to clarify and simplify its policies on the controversial issue by implementing an easy-to-understand privacy compliance program covering the collection of personal data online. A Unilever attorney said companies are required by regulators to explain privacy policies in complicated documents that few people bother to read. General counsel Jamie Barnard said regulators need to reduce the “red tape” involved in data protection to achieve more compliance. And it may “help boost innovation in digital marketing.” 
Ronan Shields, "Unilever to simplify data privacy comms to head off consumer concerns", Marketing Week, June 25, 2013, © Centaur Communications Ltd
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Cargill's Program Supports Sustainable Palm Oil Production In Malaysia

June 25, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Cargill partnered with Malaysia-based social enterprise Wild Asia and international nongovernment organization Solidaridad to launch a sustainability support program for independent smallholder oil palm growers in the country. One of the first programs in the country aimed at promoting sustainable palm oil production by establishing partnerships with independent smallholders, palm oil dealers, mills, and refiners, the initiative will offer technical assistance, training, and capacity building to more than 2,500 oil palm smallholders. It also supports the government’s sustainability objectives for the industry, especially the small producers.
"Cargill launches innovative oil palm smallholder sustainability program in Malaysia", Cargill , June 25, 2013, © Cargill, Incorporated
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Solazyme, Roquette Dissolve Joint Venture

June 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Solazyme, Inc. and Roquette Frères, S.A. announced they have agreed to dissolve their joint venture, Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals, LLC. Expected to be completed in the coming weeks, the termination agreement arose from the disagreement between the parties over commercial strategy and timeline for the manufacture and marketing of joint venture products. After the termination of the joint venture, Solazyme said it intends to speed up the commercialization of its lineup of microalgal food ingredients.
"Microalgae Innovator Solazyme and Global Starch Producer Roquette Agree to Dissolve Joint Venture", Solazyme, June 24, 2013, © Solazyme
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Five Guys, Shake Shack Launch UK Operations, Trigger Burger War In The Country

June 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S.-based burger restaurant chains Five Guys and Shake Shack are launching their business in the UK with the July 4, 2013, opening of their respective first stores in Covent Garden in London. Setting up to compete with local burger chains, such as Byron, with each other and with industry giants, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, the companies plan to expand across the country. Carphone Warehouse Group PLC founder Charles Dunstone owns 50 percent of Five Guys’ UK business.
Richard Vines , "Burger War as Five Guys, Shake Shack to Open in London", Bloomberg, June 24, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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PepsiCo Launches Muller Yogurt Brand Across The U.S.

June 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo Inc. is rolling out its Muller yogurt brand across the U.S., expanding its lineup of healthy foods in response to growing market demand. With declining consumer demand for traditional soft drinks, PepsiCo sees growth potential in the yogurt segment. As part of its yogurt business strategy, PepsiCo partnered with Germany-based dairy company Theo Muller Group, with the joint venture opening a yogurt plant in New York. By combining Muller’s industry expertise with PepsiCo’s marketing and distribution strengths, the partners hope their venture will prosper in a very fiercely competitive market, which is valued at $7 billion by market research firm Euromonitor International. Although Euromonitor forecasts market growth to slow down to 5.9 percent for the next five years, U.S. consumers still eat significantly less yogurt than their European counterparts.
Martinne Geller, "Yogurt: the new Pepsi challenge", Reuters, June 23, 2013, © Thomson Reuters
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Consumer Goods Companies Plan Higher Price Increases In India

June 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer goods companies in India are likely to raise the prices of their products much higher than the usual seasonal increase. As they factor in the effects of the depreciation of the rupee on imported products and components, manufacturers are forecast to increase prices of LED televisions, laptop computers, and home appliances by 5 percent to 10 percent. Also, prices of imported food products, including cheese, pasta, sauces, and fruits, are also likely to rise. Even entry-level, locally made products, such as refrigerators and CRT TVs, are expected to become more expensive by at least 5 percent, according to Videocon chief operating officer CM Singh.
Writankar Mukherjee, "Consumer goods cos may hike prices of imported products, components by 5-10%", The Economic Times, June 21, 2013, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Unilever
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India

Coconut Spills Over The Water Category Into Other Products

June 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Innova says 21 percent more products contained coconut or coconut flavor in 2012 than in 2011, an indication that coconut has spilled over into other categories besides water. That includes frozen novelties – e.g., Nestlé Dreyer’s non-dairy, non-fat pops available in banana and pineapple flavors – and sports drink mixes. To capture attention in a saturated market, sports drinks mixes containing potassium-rich coconut also offer some extras, like pulp and probiotics, as well as different formats and flavors. Coconut water, meanwhile, is being used in vodka cocktails, whipped toppings and smoothies for kids.
Monica Watrous, "Slideshow: Coconut water gets a refresh", Food Business News, June 21, 2013, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO
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BUAV Reveals Animal Experiments By Food Companies

June 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, the Campaign to End All Animal Experiments, released the results of its research showing some of the world's leading food companies are conducting animal tests. Data presented by the BUAV revealed Yakult, Danone, Nestlé, Unilever, and other food companies have conducted animal experiments to identify health benefits of some foods aimed at developing "super foods". Animals subjected to experiments included mice, rats, rabbits, and pigs, the organization claims. For example, Yakult researchers starved rats for 20 hours then force-fed with probiotic bacteria to determine whether the company's probiotic yogurt drink can protect humans from stomach injury, and Unilever scientists killed and examined pregnant rabbits and their fetuses to study the use of African shrub Hoodia gordonii as an ingredient of a weight-reduction product.
"BUAV condemns cruel animal experiments by major food companies to prove ‘health benefits’", BUAV, June 21, 2013, © BUAV
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New Convenience Foods Require Home Cooks To Do A Little Work

June 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Food companies have determined that many women, and increasingly more men, enjoy cooking dinner at home but often don’t have the time. They reluctantly turn to boxed or frozen convenience foods. But now companies are developing packaged meals – e.g., Kraft’s new Recipe Makers products – that require the cook to do a little of the work. In its consumer research, Kraft showed women versions of convenience foods that required adding either one or two sauces. The women preferred the two-sauce version because the added steps made the product feel more like homemade. A Kraft researcher said women wanted to spend at least 15 to 30 minutes peeling, chopping or doing other meal preparation "to have it count”.
Sarah Nassauer, "The Art of Almost Homemade", Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc
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Company Sees Rapid Growth In Take-N-Bake Franchising Model, Retail Exposure

June 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The franchise unit of Noble Roman’s Pizza says it has added five stand-alone take-n-bake franchise agreements in the last two weeks to the 11 already under development or construction. In addition, the company now has 1,625 license agreements with retail grocers selling the company’s take-n-bake pizza. Noble Roman offers cook-at-home traditional hand-tossed style pizza, Deep-Dish Sicilian pizza, Super Thin pizza, and breadsticks with spicy cheese sauce. "Take-n-bake continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of the pizza industry," said CEO Paul Mobley.
"Noble Roman's Take-N-Bake Franchise Concept Continues to Expand", News release, Noble Roman, June 18, 2013, © Noble Roman
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Nestlé Announces Own Non-Melt Chocolate

June 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced a temperature-tolerant chocolate it had developed by adding little or no sugar or polyols to the chocolate core. Nestec, the Swiss food company's R&D subsidiary, said it added humectant liquids to a "tropicalized shell", which can be as thick as 5 percent to 20 percent of the product's thickness. By keeping concentrations low, Nestlé said it was able to avoid the grittiness or the waxy feeling in the mouth normally caused by humectants. Food-grade humectants that are suitable for making this chocolate include propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, and polyols, such as glycerol.
Oliver Nieburg , "Nestlé’s answer to non-melting chocolate", Confectionery News, June 18, 2013, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Campbell Soup Acquires Danish Cookie Company

June 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Co. said it has agreed to acquire Kelsen Group A/S from private equity firm Maj Invest and other investors. Based in Denmark, the company manufactures baked snacks sold in 85 countries worldwide, with Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk among its major brands. With established distribution networks in Asian, South American, Middle East, and African markets, Kelsen is a market leader in the assortment segment of the sweet biscuits market in Hong Kong and China, where it has been exporting high-end Danish butter cookies for more than 20 years. Campbell Soup plans to operate Kelsen as a standalone Denmark-based company.
"Campbell to Acquire Kelsen Group to Expand Its International Presence and Drive Baked Snacks Growth in China", Campbell Soup, June 17, 2013, © CSC Brands, L.P.
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Del Monte Corp. Announces Plan To Sell Canned-Food Business

June 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Del Monte Corp. said it is planning to sell its canned-food business, which has made it popular among consumers, to focus on manufacturing products for dogs and cats. Acquired for around $4 billion by a group of private-equity investors led by KKR &Co., Del Monte operates a canned-food business that generates about $1.8 billion in sales annually, or about half of the company's total sales of $3.7 billion in 2012. Centerview Partners and Morgan Stanley were reportedly hired to market the canned-food unit, which is likely to be priced around $2 billion.
DANA MATTIOLI and MIKE SPECTOR, "Del Monte Canned-Food Business Is Up for Sale", Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2013, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Purina Acquires Pet Adoption Site Petfinder

June 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Pet food manufacturer Nestlé Purina announced it will acquire the 17-year-old pet adoption site Petfinder. Purina brand manager Michael Kotick says the company has no immediate plans to alter the Petfinder platform, but acknowledges that the goal is to eventually transform the site into a content-marketing and community-building vehicle that would offer location-based services, nutritional expertise and heightened socialization. Petfinder, owned by Animal Planet parent Discovery Communications, has been involved in 22 million pet adoptions. Its mission dovetails with Purina's, according to Kotick: the company invests $30 million annually in pet welfare. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Sonya Chudgar, "Nestle Purina to Buy Petfinder", Advertising Age, June 10, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Snack-Bar Brand Kind's Growth Driven By Product Quality, Company Founder Claims

June 10, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
New York City-based snack-bar brand Kind reported it has grown into a $125 million company in 2012. Company founder Daniel Lubetsky claims although Kind puts much emphasis on corporate social responsibility and on social marketing, his company's growth has been driven mainly by the quality of its products and the health benefits they offer. For example, Kind's Fruit and Nut bars come with whole nuts and all-natural ingredients, as well as good-tasting additions, such as honey. Another variant, the Kind Plus bar, comes with antioxidants, protein, fiber, or omega-3. Shea Marketing president Rick Shea believes Kind's growth has been due to a "combination of factors including great product quality, effective social and guerilla marketing". 
E.J. Schultz, "It Pays to Be Kind: Snack-Bar Brand is Making a Profit -- And a Difference", Advertising Age, June 10, 2013, © Crain Communications
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Nestlé Targets Affluent Women With New Still Water Product

June 9, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters North America is rolling out nationally a new brand of premium bottled water aimed at affluent, eco-conscious women. Resource, first sold in Whole Foods grocery stores in 2009 and introduced in California in 2012, is a noncarbonated, noneffervescent (i.e., still) water targeted at the “stylish, higher income woman”. The company, with about a third of the U.S. market for bottled water, also owns the San Pellegrino and Perrier brands. Environmental groups commended Nestlé for using 50 percent recycled plastic in the Resource bottles, something that “all beverage companies should emulate”.
Andrew Adam Newman, "Nestlé Adds Premium Brand in Still Water Arena", The New York Times, June 09, 2013, © The New York Times Company
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Royal DSM Partners With Other Organizations To Provide Nutrition Interventions

June 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dutch life sciences company Royal DSM says it will help provide nutrition interventions to 50 million children under the age of two, as well as pregnant and lactating women, by 2020. The company expects to reach these people through existing public-private partnerships with the World Food Programme, Vitamin Angels and World Vision International. According to the company, two billion people globally do not receive the necessary levels of vitamins and minerals that allow them to develop to their full mental and physical potential.
"DSM to contribute to new 2020 global nutrition target", News release, Royal DSM, June 08, 2013, © Koninklijke DSM N.V.
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Dunkin' Donuts Redesigns Stores, Aims To Make Customers Stay Longer

June 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. began a redesign of its branches into café-style stores that mirror design elements of Starbucks Corp.'s coffee shops, including earth tones and jazz background music. Industry observers say the company's stores could use the improvement, with the doughnut store chain tied for the second-lowest atmosphere score among beverage and snack shops, according to a 2012 survey conducted by Nation's Restaurant News magazine and WD Partners. Dunkin' has opened around 90 branches featuring the revamped decoration, with the number expected to hit 600 by end of 2013. Other chains are also revamping their stores, with Wendy's Co., for example, installing flat-panel TVs, fireplaces, and cushioned seats. Starbucks' capital expenditures for fiscal 2013 will be around $1.2 billion, with two-thirds of the money going to refurbishment and improvement of cafés and construction of new stores. 
Leslie Patton, "Dunkin’ Donuts Adds Jazz to Get Less Pit and More Stop", Bloomberg, June 08, 2013, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Target Broadens Natural/Organic Offerings Under New Brand

June 8, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Target, joining other big supermarket and retail chains in efforts to upgrade the image of house brands and boost grocery sales, is launching an array of natural and organic products under the brand Simply Balanced. The Simply Balanced brand is an extension of similar products currently offered under Target’s Archer Farms brand. Organic foods account for only ten percent of overall grocery sales, Target says, but are growing at double the rate of conventional groceries. The company’s plan is to increase its organic food offerings by 25 percent by 2017.
"Target plans an organic, natural grocery brand", USA Today, June 08, 2013, © The Associated Press
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Egg And Bacon In A Glazed Donut? At Dunkin’ Donuts It’s A Breakfast Hit

June 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin' Donuts recently launched the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich as a permanent addition to its menu. The sandwich is a sugar-and-fat-lover’s dream meal: a fried egg and two slices of bacon slapped between two halves of a glazed donut. It weighs in at 360 calories. The company also celebrated National Donut Day (June 7) with the unveiling of Summer Fruit Donuts in two flavors: lemonade with a lemon filling and lemonade bark topping, and key lime with key lime filling and graham cracker topping.
"Dunkin' Donuts Celebrates National Donut Day With Free Donut Offer And The Launch Of The Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich ", News release, Dunkin' Donuts, June 07, 2013, © Dunkin' Donuts
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Nestlé, Mars Charged In Chocolate Price-Fixing Scheme In Canada

June 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Canada’s Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency, has filed criminal price-fixing charges against chocolate producers and distributors Nestlé Canada Inc., Mars Canada Inc., and ITWAL Limited, a national network of independent wholesale distributors. The Bureau said it uncovered evidence that the companies conspired, agreed or arranged to fix prices for chocolate products. Three executives of the companies were also charged with criminal activity. Hershey Canada was targeted in the investigation, but cooperated with the Bureau. It will plead guilty later this month in exchange for leniency.
"Charges Laid in a Price-fixing Cartel in the Chocolate Industry", Competition Bureau, June 06, 2013, © Canada.gc.ca
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