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Big Food Agrees To Clarify Food Expiration Labels

October 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fifty of the biggest players in the food industry, led by Campbell, Walmart, Kellogg, and Nestlé, are changing their expiration labels exclusively to “Use By” over the next three years. That means that by 2020, consumers will not have to deal with confusing labels that say “Sell By,” “Display Until,” or “Best Before.” The companies, all members of the Consumer Goods Forum Board, unanimously approved the change after concluding that confusing labeling that leads to premature disposal is one of the leading causes of food waste around the world. About 40 percent of food that is bought in the U.S. is thrown out often unnecessarily. About 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted annually around the world, contributing to eight percent of greenhouse gases. [Image Credit: © General Mills ]
Leanna Garfield, "Walmart and Nestlé are spearheading a Massive Change in Food Expiration Dates", Business Insider, October 26, 2017, © Business Insider Inc.
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FOOD COMPANIES
Nestle
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Worldwide

Coke CEO Quincey Says Continued Downturn In Revenues Is Due To Refranchising

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola revenues slid 15 percent in the third quarter, while organic revenues were up four percent. CEO James Quincey said revenue has been down recently because of the bottler refranchising program. The company is selling off its bottler operations, so it no longer has income from that source. This decline in revenues will continue for several quarters into the future because of this. “To put it simply,” Quincey said during an internal interview, “we’re transforming into an organization that is smaller in revenue, but larger in terms of profit margin and more acutely focused on innovation, brand-building and creating a stronger, even more consumer-centric portfolio.”
"Q&A: Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey on Q3 2017 Results", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, October 25, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Revenue Sags In 3rd Quarter, But Still Beats Wall Street Forecasts

October 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola beat Wall Street estimates for third quarter revenue and profit, turning in an EPS of $0.50 (expected $0.49) on revenue of $9.08 billion ($8.72 billion expected). CNBC noted that the surprising numbers showed the company’s ability to buck negative trends, especially the consumer shift away from sugary soft drinks toward more healthful beverages. The company accomplished this by focusing on price hikes, selling more expensive products, and pushing newer products, like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Net revenue was $9.08 billion, 15 percent less than a year ago, and reflected its ongoing refranchising efforts. Net income grew to $1.45 billion from $1.05 billion a year ago.
Lauren Hirsch , "Coca-Cola tops estimates, backs full-year outlook", CNBC.com, October 25, 2017, © CNBC LLC
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Coca-Cola Company
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Clean Snacking Trend Will Boost U.S. Candy Market

October 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Packaged Facts forecasts a comeback for the sluggish U.S. candy market, thanks to the commitment by the industry’s biggest players to “clean snacking.” Both Hershey and Mars have announced commitments to “responsible ingredient sourcing” and “natural flavors.” Sales of candy products in the U.S. will surpass $41 billion by 2020, about 60 percent of which will come from chocolate candy sales. Packaged Facts defines “clean snacking” as a “balanced approach to nutrition” that includes snacks and sweets in moderation. [Image Credit: © Hershey's ]
Douglas Yu, "Nestlé, Hershey, Mars’ Shift to Clean Snacking Fuels US Candy Market Rebound: Packaged Facts", ConfectioneryNews.com, October 24, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Sandy Douglas To Leave Coca-Cola NA After Three Decades

October 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
James L. Dinkins will take over the helm at Coca-Cola North America on January 1, 2018, replacing Sandy Douglas, who announced his retirement as of March 1, 2018, after 30 years at the company. Dinkins now serves as head of the Minute Maid Business Unit and chief retail sales officer. In an internal interview, Douglas said he was especially proud of the company’s nearly-completed refranchising campaign, calling it “an enormous project.” Dinkins said his mission will be to continue “following the consumer” by accelerating innovation, expanding the product portfolio, fostering an entrepreneurial culture, and building capabilities, especially in the digital area, to better serve consumers.
"New Leadership for Coca-Cola North America: A Conversation with Sandy Douglas and Jim Dinkins", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, October 22, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Kraft Heinz Acquires Suntory’s Cerebos Food And Instant Coffee Business

October 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd. (SBF) announced it has agreed to sell its Cerebos food and instant coffee business in Australia, New Zealand, and Asian Home Gourmet Singapore, to Kraft Heinz for $223 million. The sale, expected to close in early 2018, does not include Suntory’s fresh coffee business. Cerebos’ food and instant coffee business includes food brands such as Fountain, Gravox, Saxa, Foster Clark’s, Gregg’s, Bisto, Raro, and Asian Home Gourmet.  Product categories include sauces, gravies, herbs and spices, salt, condiments, Asian sauces, desserts, and cooking ingredients.
"Suntory Sells Cerebos Food & Instant Coffee Australia/NZ Business to Kraft Heinz", News release, Cerebos, October 19, 2017, via Medianet, © Cerebos
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Danone Posts Solid Sales Growth In 3rd Quarter

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consolidated sales rose 16.6 percent in Danone’s third fiscal quarter to $7.64 billion, with especially strong performance in Specialized Nutrition and Early Life Nutrition China. New Danone like-for-like sales growth was 4.7 percent in the quarter, which reflects a 0.4 percent increase in volume and a 4.3 percent rise in value. As to guidance, the company still expects to deliver double-digit recurring earnings per share growth of more than 12 percent. It is also looking for overall like-for-like sales growth between four and five percent by 2020, including healthy like-for-like sales growth above five percent for EDP NORAM, Specialized Nutrition, and Waters, and a like-for-like sales growth of between three and four percent for EDP International.
"Danone Q3 Sales Climb, Backs FY17 View; Sets 2020 Objectives - Quick Facts", Nasdaq, October 17, 2017, © The NASDAQ, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Debuts New Line Of Vitaminwater Drinks

October 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new range of Vitaminwater performance drinks for athletes contain electrolytes from natural sources, including coconut water and sea salt, and are sweetened with cane sugar. Vitaminwater Active drinks also contain the antioxidants vitamins C and E, as well as vitamins B5, B6, and B12. The new line will be available in a limited number of convenience and grocery stores – including 7-Eleven, Target, and HEB – through the end of the year. A national rollout will begin in 2018.
"Vitaminwater Active: Coca-Cola launches range of sports drinks", FoodBev , October 17, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Company
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Coke Exec: The Online Shopper Today Expects A Lot More

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Coca-Cola executive says online customers have grown impatient, demanding, and bored, as their expectations become “higher and higher” when it comes to service. Coke’s global customer director Simon Miles told a recent grocery industry meeting that companies need to up their game to meet shopper expectations, which can be summed up in one word: “free” (or close to it). That presents a lot of challenges in terms of logistics, supply chain, and products. Online grocery selling will evolve into two streams: auto-replenishment of boring but essential basics, and service-orientated ways to lure shoppers into buying products they may not have previously considered.
Victoria Craw, "Coca-Cola Global Customer Director Says Online Shopping Has Failed to Inspire Consumers", News.com.au, October 15, 2017, © News Limited
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Nestlé Deletes Image Of Cross From Greek Yogurt Packages

October 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Breitbart news website reports that both Nestlé and German supermarket chain Lidl have removed a tiny cross from a Greek church image that appeared on Greek yogurt packaging so as “not to hurt sensibility of other religions.” The cross appeared in a representation of the Greek Orthodox church on the island of Santorini. German supermarket chain Lidl also edited out the cross on images of the same church used on packages of its Eridanous brand Greek-style yogurt. In both images, the cross was removed from the blue dome of the old church.
Thomas D. Williams, "Nestlé Removes Christian Cross from Greek Yogurt Packaging", Breitbart, October 15, 2017, © Breitbart
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Nestle
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EMEA
Europe
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Greece

FMCG Start-Ups In India Rely On Innovation, Pluck

October 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The biggest hurdles for India’s start-up FMCG companies as they battle industry giants for market share are capital, retail shelf space, distribution, and marketing. They sometimes make strides through pure luck, but innovation and persistence are the most reliable vehicles to success. In its early days RAW Pressery, for example, an online marketer of cold-pressed juices, adapted Mumbai’s dabbawala hot-lunch delivery system based on bicycles and rail transport to deliver its juice products. Dabbawalas were able to deliver 50,000 purchases in three hours. Four years later, the company’s fleet of 25 refrigerated vehicles delivers its own juices as well as products for other brands. The end result is that RAW Pressery and other aggressive start-ups are able to peel off market share from bigwigs like Unilever, Nestlé, and others.
Supraja Srinivasan, "Battleground FMCG: How Consumer Product Startups are Battling Roadblocks to Stand Out Amid Giants", The Economic Times, October 13, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Nestle To Build Infant Formula Factory In Russia

October 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé announced it is spending $31 million to build an infant formula plant at its 14-year-old Vologda facility in Russia. The new factory, operational by 2019, will help strengthen the company’s position in Russia’s infant formula market, while supporting exports to neighboring countries. Nestlé’s overall strategy is to invest in high-growth food and beverage categories such as coffee, pet care, infant nutrition, and bottled water. It operates eight factories in Russia.
"Nestlé Invests CHF 30 Million in Infant Formula Plant in Russia", News release, Nestlé, October 12, 2017, © Nestlé
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Nestle
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Negative Short-term Factors Depress ThaBev’s Nine-Month Financials

October 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A number of trends and events have combined to depress both alcoholic and nonalcoholic product sales of Thailand-based food and beverage company ThaiBev. Nine-month sales slid six percent to $4.3 billion, thanks to sluggish economic growth; a year-long mourning period that depressed beer sales after the death of King Bhumibol last October; a new alcohol excise tax; and a sugar tax on sweetened drinks. Company execs are optimistic about the coming year because of strong fundamentals and growth from neighboring countries. The company hopes to further growth by expansion into the food business.
"ThaiBev Looks to Food and Abroad for Growth after Sales Dip", Reuters, October 11, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Cambodia
Laos
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Cargill Launches Native Starches As “Clean Label” Food Ingredients

October 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food and agriculture multinational Cargill has launched a line of functional native starches to be used as “clean label” food and beverage ingredients. The new starches, offered under the SimPure brand, are designed to provide greater processing tolerance, and longer shelf life and storage stability. The ingredients will allow food manufacturers to meet consumer demand for “label-friendly products with great taste and texture," the company said. SimPure 99560, the first product in the SimPure portfolio, can replace modified starches in frozen-ready meals, without compromising taste, texture, or appearance.   [Image Credit: © Cargill ]
"Cargill Introduces SimPure Functional Native Starches to Address Consumer Demand for Label-Friendly Products", News release, Cargill, October 10, 2017, © Cargill
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Amazon Angers India’s Big Retailers With Unapproved Gift Coupon Scheme

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Big retail chains in India are crying foul over what they feel was a sneaky tactic by Amazon to steal their customers using gift coupons distributed via ITC, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola products. The tactic – dubbed “below the belt” and “ambush marketing” – infuriated Big Bazaar, Hyper-City, Star Bazaar, Walmart-owned Best Price Modern Wholesale, and others. The brands involved in the Amazon campaign include ITC’s Yippee Noodles, Nestlé’s KitKat chocolate, and Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Fanta soft drinks. The stores have since removed products carrying the coupons. A D-Mart executive criticized the brands for not talking to his company first. Amazon downplayed the ruckus, calling the campaign a normal promotional activity.
Ratna Bhushan et al., "Big Retailers like ITC, Nestle & Coca-Cola Cry Foul over Amazon’s ‘Ambush’", The Economic Times, October 09, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Coca-Cola Company
Nestle
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India

Aldi Plans To Build ₤75-Million Warehouse In UK

October 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailer Aldi plans to invest ₤75 million to build a distribution center in Bedford, England, to support the company's growing network in the UK. Aldi said it remains committed to expansion plans in the UK retail market despite reporting its third year of declining profit. By 2022, the retailer expects to have 1,000 stores in the country from its current 726 locations.
Polina Ivanova, "German retailer Aldi to build 75 million pound UK distribution centre", Reuters, October 09, 2017, © Reuters
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Lidl Sees Share Of Shopper Traffic Drop In US

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Months after opening its stores in the US in June 2017, German discount retailer Lidl saw its share of store visits declined, according to an analysis by location-based data firm inMarket. Local rivals, including Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart, have recovered much of market share they lost when Lidl after Lidl opened its first nine US stores in June 15. Lidl grabbed 11 percent of customer visits to traditional grocers in nine markets in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, inMarket data revealed. Lidl's share of traffic fell below 8 percent in August, inMarket revealed.
Heather Haddon, "Lidl Stores Gain Little Traction So Far in U.S.", The Wall Street journal, October 08, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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India's Parle Agro Prospers In Fizzy Drinks Despite U.S. Competitors

October 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
India’s Parle Agro beverage company is doing well in the fizzy drinks segment with its mango brand Frooti Fizz despite strong competition from leader Coca-Cola Maazi and Pepsi’s Slice. CEO Schauna Chauhan Saluja says Frooti Fizz now reaches 320,000 outlets, while Appy, its first fizzy drink launched 12 years ago, has been growing at more than 20 percent annually for the last five years. Parle Agro’s sales rose 16 percent in 2016-2017. "We are a 3,000 crore [about $461 million] company now, and in the next five years we aim to become a 10,000-crore beverages firm," says Saluja.
Nevin John, "Thirsting to Improve", Business Today, October 08, 2017, © Living Media India Limited
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'Supermarket' Startup Seeks To Go Storeless

October 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Farmstead believes it can reinvent the supermarket model by eliminating its physical structure altogether. The San Francisco based startup has a series of micro-warehouses stocked with a range of local farm produce and grocery products and uses AI to predict a customer’s future needs based on their initial order. The selection is then delivered to the customer. Farmstead claims to have made over 15,000 deliveries in the Bay Area and has raised $2.8 million from venture funds. [Image Credit: © Farmstead] 
Dan Orlando, "Startup Believes it Can ‘Reinvent’ Supermarket Model", Supermarket News, October 05, 2017, © Penton
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Anheuser-Busch InBev Sheds Majority Interest In Coke’s African Bottler, CCBA

October 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has completed the transfer of its majority interest in Coca Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the largest Coke bottler in Africa, to Coca-Cola Co., which will continue working to refranchise the company. AB InBev had owned 54.5 percent of CCBA, formed in 2016 by combining the African non-alcoholic ready-to-drink bottling interests of SABMiller plc, Coca-Cola, and Gutsche Family Investments. Coca-Cola has a conditional agreement to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador, and Honduras.
"The Coca-Cola Company and AB InBev Complete Transition of Majority Ownership in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa", News release, The Coca-Cola Co., October 04, 2017, © Coca-Cola Co.
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Wal-Mart Buys NYC-based Last-Mile Delivery Service Parcel

October 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart said it has acquired Parcel, a technology-enabled, last-mile delivery service company specializing in perishable and non-perishable products in New York City. Operating 24/7, Parcel relies on technology, a fleet of leased vehicles, and employee-based workforce to rapidly sort, load, and deliver products to customers. Wal-Mart said it plans to use Parcel to deliver packages to customers in New York City.
"Walmart Announces the Acquisition of Parcel, a Technology-Based, Same-Day and Last-Mile Delivery Company", Walmart, October 03, 2017, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Coca-Cola Launches “New Beginning” Campaign For Schweppes

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Schweppes brand of mixers led the U.K. market with a 32.6 percent share in 2016, but is feeling competitive pressure from Fever-Tree and private label products. To grow market share Coca-Cola is pulling out all the stops in a 15-month campaign to reinvigorate Schweppes with a “new beginning.” Campaign features a re-design of the bottle and a nearly $9 million ad effort targeting U.K. TV, movie theaters, special events, digital, and sponsorship of a TV talk show. The company is also launching premium mixers (Schweppes 1783), mainly in pubs and bars, with flavors like golden ginger ale, salty lemon tonic water, cucumber tonic water, and floral tonic water.
Leonie Roderick , "Coca-Cola overhauls Schweppes in bid to ‘future proof’ the business", Marketing Week, October 02, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Coke Acquires U.S. Rights To Mexican Sparkling Water Brand

October 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mexico-based Arca Continental, one of the biggest of Coca-Cola’s Latin American bottlers, confirms that it has purchased the U.S. rights to mineral water brand Topo Chico for $220 million. The deal was forged by Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit that focuses on “smaller, high-value brands” that don’t make soda, such as Honest Tea and ZICO coconut water. Most of Topo Chico’s U.S. sales – about 70 percent – are in Texas. Coca-Cola continues to expand its non-soda product lines as consumers seek more healthful beverage options, including sparkling waters, which is a $2.3 billion market in the U.S.
Jill Cowan, "Coca-Cola buys Texas cult favorite sparkling water brand Topo Chico for $220 million", Dallas News, October 02, 2017, © The Dallas Morning News Inc
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Coca-Cola Company
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Mexico

Wal-Mart Aims For High-End Market With Jet.com

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is repositioning its Jet ecommerce unit toward the high-end market, as part of the retailer's efforts to compete with online rival Amazon. Acquired by Wal-Mart for $3.3 billion in 2016, Jet plans to sell apparel from online retailers bought by the retail giant in the previous year. Also, Jet plans to introduce a new line of private-label food and grocery items.
Sarah Nassauer, "Wal-Mart Tries to Take Jet.com Upscale", The Wall Street Journal, September 28, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Nestle: Detailed Knowledge Of Consumers Makes Digital Marketing Very Precise

September 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider told investors recently that digital marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. In fact, it involves developing and using region- or even country-specific Internet marketing tools. As an example, the company’s cross-matching of its own Nescafe customer data with China’s Alibaba consumer data – a 460 million-record database – has made targeting in that country “three times more effective.” The personalization encompasses ad banners on computer screens and delivery of free nutritional product samples. As the “push” model of marketing fades, Schneider said, all you need now is a consumer's phone number or e-mail address to “really target specifically to the needs of that person.”
Jeff Gelski , "Nestle taking country-specific digital approach", Foods Business News, September 28, 2017, © Sosland Publishing Company
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Nestle
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Discount Retailers Aldi And Lidl Have US Retailers Against The Ropes

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
German discount retailers Lidl and Aldi are expected to grow faster than their local competitors in the US market. By offering limited variety of products at very low prices, Lidl and Aldi are winning a price war and expanding their shares of the retail market. Operating in the US since the 1970s, Aldi has 1,700 stores across the country, while Lidl began its expansion in the East Coast in June, and opened its 30th store in September 2017. Also, by offering private-brand products, the German retailers can offer discounts ranging from 35 percent to 40 percent, compared with their rivals.
Alina Selyukh, "Discount Grocers Aldi And Lidl Give U.S. Stores A Run For Their Money", National Public Radio, September 27, 2017, © npr
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Retailers & Private Label
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United States of America

Restaurants Struggle To Find Antibiotic-Free Beef, Pork

September 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It’s complicated, according to fast-food chains that would like to sell more antibiotic-free pork and beef products. A lot more of the chains – 14 of the top 25 – have committed to serving antibiotic-free chicken, and would like to expand to pork and beef, but it’s not easy, according to an advocacy group report. Because cows and pigs live longer, they are more likely to need antibiotics to treat sickness. On top of that, the beef and pork supply chain is huge compared to that for chickens. The advocacy groups gave Panera and Chipotle "A" grades for efforts to curb antibiotic use in most of the meat they serve. At least two million Americans become sick and 23,000 die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the CDC.  [Image Credit: © Agricultured ]
Samantha Bomkamp, "Restaurants Make Gains in Antibiotic-Free Chicken, But Not on Beef, Pork", Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Califia Farms Expands Production Capacity With Venture Capital Help

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Venture capital firm CapX Partners helped fast-growing beverage company Califia Farms negotiate a lease on expanded production facilities at its bottling plant in Bakersfield, Calif. The true lease structure facilitated the procurement of two new bottling and pasteurization lines. Flexible financing of the investment resulted in tripling output capacity at the plant. CapX said it was happy to “help the company keep up with demand and continue their global expansion.”
Richard C. Bollinger, "Califia Farms Grows with $15 Million Lease from CapX", News release, CapX Partners, September 26, 2017, © CapX Partners
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Unilever Joins Better Than Cash Alliance's Push For Digital Finance

September 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever announced a collaboration with the UN-based group Better Than Cash Alliance, which promotes digital payment as a means of supporting women and smallholder farmers. Part of Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan, the consumer goods company's deal with the organization signals its commitment to move away from cash as a payment platform for its value chain. According to Better Than Cash Alliance, digital modes of repaying loans have enabled farmers to reduce payment losses and collections costs, as well as “improved transparency and efficiency.”
"Unilever Joins Better Than Cash Alliance, Embraces Digital Finance Across Value Chain", Sustainable Brands, September 26, 2017, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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Unilever
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Worldwide

L’Oreal And Nestle To Face Ownership Options For French Cosmetics Group

September 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The death of heiress Liliane Bettencourt, whose family owns 33 percent of L’Oréal, will likely force key investors to address the company’s ownership structure. Nestlé SA, which owns 23 percent, agreed with the Bettencourts not to increase stakes in L’Oréal, but this agreement expires in six months.  Nestlé could then purchase a controlling share in L’Oréal but is more likely to sell its stake, a move that would force L’Oréal to accept wider (and potentially hostile) ownership or opt to invest further funds in the company, boosting earnings per share but reducing funds available for acquisitions.  For Nestlé, the resulting 24 billion euro windfall brings a dilemma. It could payout funds to appease shareholders and especially its activist investor, Third Point, or use the funds to double down on its currently lackluster food and nutrition business.
Andrea Felsted et al., "A Historic Moment for L'Oreal... and Nestle", Bloomberg Gadfly, September 22, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Nestle
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EMEA
Europe

Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Vision Goes Global

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As Coca-Cola continues its rebranding efforts in the U.S., expanding the corporate mission and product line beyond Coke, the company is also reminding itself and its stakeholders (i.e., Wall Street investors) of the value it has built among communities across the country over the decades. It is now extending this new vision beyond U.S. borders. Its similar “We are more than the Coke you know” campaign has started running in the Coca-Cola FEMSA division, the Latin American bottling arm based in Mexico City that reaches other markets, including the Philippines.
Dale Buss, "Coca-Cola Renew: “We Are Coca-Cola—And So Much More”", Brandchannel, September 21, 2017, © Interbrand
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Coca-Cola Company
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Lithuania Reports Big Differences In Major Food Brands Sold there

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A study by tiny Baltic country Lithuania shows that the foods sold by major brands there are very different from those sold in Western and Eastern Europe, and more expensive. A government agency sampled 33 food products: 23 differed in composition, taste, color, and consistency. For example, the Nestlé ice tea brand Nestea sold in Lithuanian grocery stores contains more additives than the Nestea sold in Dutch supermarkets, the State Food and Veterinary service (VMVT) reported. Activia yogurts in Lithuania have fewer strawberries than those sold in Germany. A similar study by the Slovak government found significant quality differences in the same products sold in Slovakia and Austria. A spokesman for Coca-Cola Baltics, which makes Nestea, said the company changes product recipes to fit local tastes.
"Lithuania sets off alarm bells over quality of international brands' foods", BNN, September 21, 2017, © BNN-NEWS.COM
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Coca-Cola Company
Danone
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Lithuania

Nestlé’s Deals With U.S. Communities Result In Mostly Free Water Worth Billions

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is the biggest bottled water supplier globally in terms of sales, ahead of Coca-Cola, Danone, and PepsiCo. In 2016, U.S. bottled water sales reached $16 billion, up nearly 10 percent from 2015, outpacing soda sales as consumers increasingly seek convenience and healthful options, and worry about tap water safety. Nestlé dominates by accessing U.S. water sources spring by spring – at very low cost – promising communities jobs and new infrastructure in exchange for tax breaks and access to the scarce resource. The company pays a municipal rate for the water, or a nominal extraction fee. ($200 in Michigan.) Nestlé battles grass-roots resistance – “it rankles many because the natural resource gets hauled out of local watersheds for private profit” – with legal action.
Caroline Winter, "Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 21, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Nestle
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Tesco Own-Label Suppliers Commit To Food Waste Transparency

September 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Major own-label food suppliers to British supermarket chain Tesco have agreed to start publishing their food waste data within the next year. CEO Dave Lewis called the commitment by 24 of the company’s biggest suppliers “pivotal.” Lewis said he believed that many other suppliers and retailers would follow suit in the next weeks and months. Suppliers were apparently influenced by a WRAP organization report in March that showed investments in curbing food waste earned positive returns. For every £1 invested in reducing food waste, WRAP reported, half the business sites had at least a £14 return. WRAP is a nonprofit organization whose vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. [Image Credit: © Tesco ]
Ian Quinn, "Tesco CEO Hails Waste Agreement with Two Dozen Suppliers a 'Pivotal Moment'", The Grocer, September 21, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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FIFA Video Game Star Endorses Coke In New Video Ad

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has landed an endorsement from Electronic Arts virtual soccer star Alex Hunter, who is making a comeback with Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy after a lackluster stint with the English Premier League. A FIFA video goes behind the scenes when the spot – based loosely on the iconic Mean Joe Greene Coke ad of the late 1970s – is filmed with some digital age updates. The company will place the video in social media using paid ad support and show it on Coke's Times Square billboard.
E.J. Schultz, "Coke Inks Endorsement Deal With Fictional 'Virtual Athlete' From FIFA Video Game", Advertising Age, September 20, 2017, © Crain Communications
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Food Industry Giants Seek Label Standardization Within Three Years

September 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An organization that represents 400 consumer goods manufacturers and retailers in 70 countries has proposed that food date (viz., "sell by," use by," etc.) labels be standardized and streamlined globally within three years to help customers reduce the amount of edible food thrown out by households. The “Call to Action” from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a Paris-based group with offices in Tokyo and Washington, D.C., requires retailers and food producers to focus on numbers of labels, inclusion of expiration dates for perishable items and food quality indicators for non-perishable items, and educating consumers on what date labels mean. The CGF includes companies like Tesco, Kellogg, Walmart, Campbell Soup, Bimbo, Pick n Pay, Nestlé, Carrefour, and Unilever. [Image Credit: © Consumer Goods Forum ]
"Companies Commit to Simplify Food Date Labels Worldwide by 2020, Reducing Food Waste", The Consumer Goods Forum, September 20, 2017, © The Consumer Goods Forum
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Campbell's
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Japan
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Nestle Releases Smaller Packets Of Cocoa-Malt Beverage In East Africa

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé is launching a smaller version of its cocoa and malt beverage Milo in Africa in a powder form that is easier to dissolve. The new sachet product, available for Sh10 (Kenyan shillings), is designed to appeal to the lower end of the market for such drinks. Milo will also be available in 100-, 200-, and 400-gram packages that will retail at Sh200, Sh380 and Sh650 respectively.
"Nestle eyes lower end market with Sh10 Milo", Business Daily, September 19, 2017, © Nation Media Group
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Kroger’s New Mission: No Food Waste, No Hunger

September 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Kroger Co. has embarked on a new corporate mission to reduce food waste and hunger in the communities where its stores operate by 2025. CEO Rodney McMullen noted that 42 million Americans struggle with hunger while 72 billion pounds of food end up in landfills every year. Kroger's Zero Hunger-Zero Waste plan includes commitments to: establish a $10 million innovation fund to address hunger and food waste; speed up food donations to provide three billion meals by 2025; donate not just food, but also balanced meals; and advocate for public policy solutions to address hunger and shorten lines at food banks, and lobby governments on programs for recycling, composting and sustainability. [Image Credit: © Kroger ]
"Kroger Announces Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan", News release, Kroger Co., September 19, 2017, © Kroger Co.
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Revamped Headquarters Reflect Coca-Cola’s New Corporate Mores

September 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has worked with international architect Gensler to renovate its 60-year-old headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. The idea was to provide workspaces that promote creativity, productivity, and engagement for the 13,000 employees who work there, and to visually represent the company’s transformation to a “true total beverage company.” Gensler and the company came up with a “Mainstreet Experience,” creating communal space out of the ground floors of six buildings and physically linking the buildings into a network. The 350,000 square feet of office space now features conference rooms, cafes, lounges, treadmill desks, sit-stand workstations in communal areas, soft seating, and two acres of outdoor space with patios and courtyards.
Diana Budds, "Coca-Cola’s Headquarters Have A Refreshing New Look", Fast Company Design, September 18, 2017, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Time For Coca-Cola To Spread The Word About Its Product Line, Community Roots

September 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola recently took its rebranding and refranchising campaign to national TV with an ad on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast billing itself as the “total beverage company” with local community roots and an ever-expanding array of beverages. The new ad talks about a revamped Coca-Cola company whose 68 independent U.S. bottlers have deep connections in local communities. The TV ad will be bolstered by print ads in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. Partners & Spade is doing the creative work, joined by Perfect Sense Digital on digital and UM for media buying.
E.J. Schultz, "Coca-Cola's Corporate Brand Campaign Moves Beyond Soda", Advertising Age, September 17, 2017, © Crain Communications
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Coca-Cola Company
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Nestlé Buys Majority Stake In High-End Coffee Roaster, Retailer Blue Bottle Coffee

September 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Global coffee producer Nestlé has purchased a majority stake in Oakland, Calif.-based Blue Bottle Coffee. The high-end specialty coffee roaster and retailer operates coffee shops – 55 by the end of the year – in major U.S. cities and in Japan, and has launched super-premium RTD and roast and ground products, sold online and in retail stores. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Nestlé coffee brands include Nescafé and Nespresso.
"Nestlé acquires majority interest in Blue Bottle Coffee", News release, Nestlé , September 14, 2017, © Nestlé
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Danone Spends Millions To Prepare Evian Bottling Plant For Growth

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a move to facilitate increased production capacity and product growth, Danone is spending €280 million ($335 million) to modernize the Evian bottled water plant in Evian-les-Bains, France, by 2020. CEO Emmanuel Faber said the company, pressured by investors to produce better returns, expects sales to continue double-digit growth rates in the U.S. as consumers spurn sugary soft drinks and governments use taxation to discourage sugar consumption. Euromonitor forecasts a global bottled water market of $230 billion by 2021, an increase of 16 percent. Modernization of the Evian plant is expected to boost annual output capacity to two billion bottles, from current 1.5 billion.
Dominique Vidalon, Pascale Denis, "Danone eyeing solid Evian sales thanks to modernized plant", Reuters, September 12, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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New Generation Of Sports Drinks Isn’t Afraid Of Trying Avant Garde Ingredients

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo’s Gatorade and Coca-Cola’s Powerade account for about 94 percent of the $8 billion U.S. sports drink market. But, like their cousins in the soft drink market, these and other brands are grappling with the consumer trend away from sugary beverages. The sports drink giants are also battling pesky upstarts in tune with modern science, offering a new generation of high-tech, all-natural hydration solutions that actually taste good without the sugar. The basic mission of sports drinks is to replace electrolytes – sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc. – lost in exercise. But they also need to taste good. To accomplish that, some new generation brands are experimenting with ingredients like vegan cane sugar, monk fruit extract, stevia, and dextrose.
Larissa Zimberoff, "Sports Drinks Makers Are Waging an $8 Billion Thirst War", Bloomberg, September 12, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Coca-Cola Company
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PepsiCo
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Evian Certified As Carbon Neutral In U.S., Canada

September 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s bottled water brand Evian, sourced from a French Alpine spring, announced it has been audited and certified by the nonprofit Carbon Trust in the U.S. and Canada as a carbon neutral product. The certification marks a major step toward a goal of reaching worldwide carbon neutrality by 2020. To help reduce its carbon footprint, the brand uses environmentally friendly trains and ships to deliver product to North America. In addition, all Evian bottles and caps are fully recyclable; the company expects all packaging to have an average of 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by the end of 2017 in North America.
"Evian Achieves Carbon Neutrality in the U.S. and Canada", News release, Danone, September 12, 2017, © Danone
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Danone
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Danone Product Strategy For India Includes Dairy, Protein, And Baby Food

September 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone, which launched operations in India in 2010, has been successful using a process called “Indovation” to introduce products, especially dairy, suitable to Indian tastes, including Mishti Doi yogurt, and Chaas and Lassi yogurt-based beverages. According to General Manager Rodrigo Lima, the company plans ten new products in 2017-2018, including recent launches Protinex Grow, Protinex Tasty chocolate, Greek yogurt, and global baby food brands Aptamil and Neocate. The educational ad campaign for protein supplement Protinex was based on the finding that protein is mainly “missing” in the daily diets of Indians. The campaign used TV, print, radio, and social media to get the message across to Indian consumers.
Dolly Mahayan, "Danone's big India bet: 10 new products lined-up: Rodrigo Lima, MD", exchange4media.com, September 11, 2017, © exchange4media.com
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Particle Accelerator Technology Leads To Food Waste Savings

September 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Technology used in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator is being used by supermarkets like the U.K.’s Morrisons chain, to curtail food waste. An algorithm developed by Michael Feindt of the AI firm Blue Yonder not only predicts the activity of quarks, it accurately predicts supermarket stock needs so they can reduce the amount of unsold food that ends up in landfills. The Blue Yonder system’s efficiency savings come close to 30 percent, Feindt says, a considerable achievement considering that British supermarkets tossed 235,000 tons of food into the waste bins in 2015. [Image Credit: ©   Blue Yonder]
Ben Chapman, "How Supermarkets Use Particle Physics to Save Thousands of Tonnes of Food Waste", Independent, September 11, 2017, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Stevia Increasingly Finds Its Way Into Big Food’s Reformulations

September 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers concerned about obesity and diabetes are more attentive to healthful dietary and fitness regimens. The trend, along with a spate of governmental levies on sugar, has inspired food and beverage companies to reformulate products. Among the new ingredients being used is the natural low-calorie sweetener stevia. Since 2012, new food with stevia has increased 57 percent; drinks are up 161 percent. In the second quarter of 2017, new product launches using stevia rose 13 percent year on year, researcher Mintel found. It was widely used in new carbonated soft drinks and juices, which represented nine percent of worldwide launches containing stevia in that period. Big suppliers using the ingredient include Coca-Cola, Danone, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever.
Daniel Selwood, "War on sugar drives continuing growth for stevia lines", The Grocer, September 09, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Despite A History Of Flops, Starbucks Continues To Tinker With Food

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coffee shop chain Starbucks hasn’t had much luck selling food – cake pops, truffle mac and cheese, avocado toast, etc. – along with its ever-popular coffees. It’s been a bit of a logistical problem – stores don’t have kitchens – but also a cultural one: customers are conditioned run in grab a cup of joe, and leave. But now it is testing, at a few stores in Chicago and home base Seattle, what it calls a sushi burrito, though it doesn’t contain raw fish. The chicken maki roll comprises cooked chicken, pickled cabbage, and avocado, rolled in sushi rice and wrapped with seaweed. The biggest hurdle? The so-called “classic California burrito with a twist” just isn’t a hot meal.  [Image Credit: ©   Starbucks]
Abha Bhattarai, "Starbucks Wants To Sell You a Sushi Burrito with Your Frappuccino", The Washington Post, September 08, 2017, © The Washington Post
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E-Commerce Start-Up LifeAid’s Brands Appearing In Stores In Western U.S.

September 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fast-growing LifeAid Beverage Co. says it will use the cash it raised in two recent funding rounds to help it expand further from e-commerce into traditional retail. The company’s products are now being sold in the natural and conventional grocery channel, including Safeway stores in the Southwest U.S., and in stores in its Southern, Houston, Portland, Denver and NorCal divisions. The company’s 2016 revenue was $12.8 million; the three-year growth rate was 1,903 percent. The company’s line of "better-for-you" supplement blends include FitAid, FocusAid, PartyAid, TravelAid, GolferAid, FitAid Fuel Pouch, and a limited channel distribution product FitAid Rx.
Martín Caballero , "LifeAid Making Gains In Transition to Retail", BevNET.com, September 08, 2017, © BevNET.com
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Non-GMO Certification Is Mostly Meaningless, But Could Harm Farmers Globally

September 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez International, whose Nabisco unit produces Triscuit snack crackers, is so far unfazed by the huge social media backlash that greeted its announcement regarding certification by the Non-GMO project. Applied across the entire line of Triscuit products, the certification was termed “pandering to ignorance and fear” by critics. A Forbes contributor took the criticism further, panning the Non-GMO Project itself for failure to say anything meaningful about a product or its ingredients on their labels, including whether it is healthful, environmentally sound, or whether the workers and farmers who produced it had good working conditions. “Slapping a no-GMOs claim on a product might be an easy way to capitalize on a popular trend,” she says, but it could lead to consumer rejection of genetically engineered farming, which would adversely affect farmers across the globe. [Image Credit: © Triscuit.com ]
Kavin Senapathy, "Stop 'Pandering To Ignorance And Fear': Consumers Speak Out Against Triscuit's Non-GMO Label", Forbes, September 06, 2017, © Forbes Media LLC
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