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U.K. Supermarket Chain Experiments With Smart Food Label

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is testing an advanced labeling technology to help customers avoid tossing edible food in the waste bin before its time. The company sticks a color changing label to packets of its own brand sliced ham. The smart label changes from yellow to purple the longer the packet has been open. It is sensitive to temperature as well, because an open pack of ham has a relatively long fridge life when kept below 5º C (41º F). The new label is being used on ham packages in all 601 stores and will be expanded to other foods if consumers like it. [ Image credit: © Sainsbury's  ]
Lauren O'callaghan, "Sainsbury’s Launch Colour Changing LABEL on Ham Packets to Reveal When Meat is OFF", Sunday Express, July 04, 2017, © Express Newspapers
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Pizza Hut’s Japanese Customers To Have A Quick, Secure Ordering Solution

July 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
MasterCard has partnered with Pizza Hut to integrate the Masterpass digital payments technology into the pizza chain’s mobile ordering application. The two companies are launching the initiative in Japan, where time-pressed customers will be able to order pizzas quickly, securely and easily by safely storing credit card information, as well as delivery addresses, in their Masterpass account. Ordering pizzas will require only three clicks on a smartphone, the companies said. [ Image credit: © MasterCard  ]
"MasterCard, Pizza Hut Partner on Digital Payments Solution in Japan", Digital Market Asia, July 03, 2017, © DMA
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Nescafe Targets Younger Mexican Coffee Drinkers With Coffee Shops

July 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestle coffee brand Nescafe has opened its fourth coffee shop in Mexico City, and is now analyzing the possibility of expanding to more, larger shops in the country. A Nescafe Mexico executive indicated the shops, which require an investment of about $55,000 each, are part of a long-term strategy to attract younger consumers. [Image credit © Nestlé Nespresso]
"Mexico: Nescafe to inaugurate new coffee shop in Mexico City during July 2017", Milenio, July 02, 2017
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Nestle
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North America
Mexico

Flavored Water Brand’s Summer Marketing Campaign Targets British Millennials

July 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s flavored water brand Volvic has launched a summer marketing campaign in the U.K. that targets health-conscious Millennials who want something other than plain water. The $3.9 million multichannel “Let It Out” campaign, focusing mainly on the Volvic Touch of Fruit and Volvic Juiced varieties, includes a package refresh, large social media presence, and TV ads on the E4 network’s shows How I Met Your Mother, The Inbetweeners, and 2 Broke Girls. [Image credit © Volvic]
 
 
"Volvic targets millennials with 'Let It Out' campaign", The Grocer, July 01, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Hain Celestial On The Block?

June 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural foods company Hain Celestial may soon be on the auction block. After successfully steering through an accounting review that worried investors and depressed stock value, top execs disclosed to a Jefferies Group analyst that they are open to takeover offers or other strategic changes. Shortly thereafter, Engaged Capital said it had accumulated a nearly ten percent stake in Hain Celestial and was prepared to jettison most of the board members and push for a sale of the whole company, or of part of it. Though the accounting review ended without any substantial changes being made, the Securities and Exchange Commission is continuing its own probe. Hain stock is down about 30 percent since the SEC investigation began. [ Image credit: © Hain Celestial  ]
Tara Lachapelle, "Organic Foodmaker Hain Looks Appetizing", Bloomberg Gadfly, June 30, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Coke’s Summer Ads Feature Youth-Oriented Labels

June 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s new summer “Share a Coke” ad campaign in China features bottles designed to attract the country's youth. Decorated with symbols and phrases used routinely by young people, the bottles are known as “code bottles.” Campaign unveils 37 distinct labels that show emoticons, numbers, characters and graphics. One code is the number 521, used by Chinese youth to say “I Love You.” Two films featuring the special bottles will be shown on social media platforms and TV. One stars celebrity Lu Han, who has 32 million social media followers. [ Image credit: © Coca-Cola Co.  ]
Lucy Britner, "The Coca-Cola Co lines up "Share a Coke" push in China", just-drinks global news, June 30, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Nestlé Waters Boosts Production Capacity To Meet Market Demands

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Taking advantage of the growing consumer interest in health and wellness – a trend that has negatively affected the sugary beverage industry – Nestlé Waters is investing in increased production capacity for its products. The company is building a 100,000-square-meter factory near Perrier’s source in Vergèze, southern France. The new plant will have five bottling lines producing two billion bottles of the sparkling water annually within three years. The company recently completed a $79 million upgrade to its bottling plant in Breinigsville, Pa., including three high-speed bottling lines producing Nestlé Pure Life purified bottled and sparking water products. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons  ]
"Nestlé Waters invests 200m euro in Perrier bottling plant in France", Foodbev.com, June 29, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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As India’s GST Takes Effect, Coca-Cola Launches Cheaper Drink Brands

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola sales in India have slowed down as cheaper regional brands chip away at its share of the $2.2 billion market. But India’s new goods and services tax (GST), which went into effect on July 1, is pushing up prices on aerated beverages by as much as 40 percent. Coca-Cola India says the GST will give it “more maneuvering space” as it launches a range of lower-priced aerated drinks to compete with the approximately 50 cheaper – by as much as 20 percent – regional brands. [Image Credit © Coca-Cola India]
John Sarkar, "Coke to offer cheaper soft drinks to take on smaller cos", Times of India, June 29, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Tonicorp Doubles Dairy Production Capacity In Ecuador

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Tonicorp, a joint venture of Coca-Cola and its largest Latin American bottler, Arca Continental, has opened a new $100 million dairy plant in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The plant will double the production capacity of Tonicorp to 150 million liters of dairy products a year. The plant is a facet of Arca’s plan to significantly expand its share of the high value-added dairy and functional nutrition market in Latin America. Tonicorp produces yogurt, milk, gelatin, hydration beverages and ice cream. A Coke executive said the new plant would enable further innovation in its product portfolio and in “new market segments as well, as a ‘total beverage company.’” [Image credit ©  Tonicorp]
"Arca Continental and Coca-Cola Boost the Dairy Industry in Ecuador", Business Wire, June 29, 2017, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Judge Rules Against Coca-Cola In “No Added Sugar” Lawsuit

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A federal judge in California ruled late last month that a proposed false advertising lawsuit involving Coca-Cola fruit juice brand Odwalla could continue. The plaintiff in the case alleges that Odwalla’s label claim that it contains “no added sugar” is false. But Odwalla argues that FDA rules allow the “no added sugar” claim if the food it resembles – non-carbonated drinks with any amount of fruit juice – normally contains added sugars. The plaintiff says the Odwalla product is really meant to resemble only pasteurized pure squeezed 100 percent orange juice. The judge ruled that Odwalla had failed to establish that fruit juices generally contain added sugars. [Image Credit © Odwalla]
Emily Field, "Coca-Cola Can't Squeeze Out Of 'No Added Sugar' Juice Suit", Law360, June 28, 2017, © Portfolio Media Inc.
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Big Companies Ponder How To Evaluate Nonfinancial Assets

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The nonprofit Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism is leading an effort to establish a consistent framework for informing investors about nonfinancial activities that also give companies value. These may include such things as workforce training, environmental impact, and creation of intellectual property. Chief executives of more than 20 companies and investment funds, including PepsiCo and Nestlé, and asset managers Vanguard, Fidelity and Schroders, are involved in the project.  [ Image credit: © Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism ]
Chloe Cornish, "Global groups join forces to prove value beyond financial results", The Financial Times, June 28, 2017, © The Financial Times Limited
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Nestle
PepsiCo
Unilever
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Companies Test New Ride-Share Marketing Program

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Customers of ride-share companies like Uber will now be able to purchase, or sample for free, an array of products – snacks, electronics, health and beauty items, etc. – available through the Cargo Systems mobile website. Cargo provides a box to ride-share drivers that can be installed in their cars. Customers order products on Cargo’s website, the products are delivered to the driver, and the driver hands the products to the customers in transit. Brands like Mars, Kellogg's, Michel et Augustin, Emergency Stain Rescue and Leaders Cosmetics USA have products in the boxes. Cargo says drivers can earn an extra $1,500 a year in tips and review-based bonuses by selling products or distributing free items. [ Image credit: © Uber  ]
Robert Williams, "Mars, Kellogg's Test Drive Cargo's Ride-Share Product Box", Mobile Marketer, June 28, 2017, © Industry Dive
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Coca-Cola’s Analytics Center In Pune, India, To Shut Down

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As part of Coca-Cola’s global streamlining and belt-tightening mission, the company is closing a seven-year-old analytical services facility in Pirangut, Pune, India. The facility supported operations in India, South Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Eurasia and the Middle East. It was one of six such centers around the world. The work done at the center will be shifted to its bottling companies and to third-party analytics centers in India. [Image source: Coca-Cola Company]
Ratna Bhushan, "Coca-Cola to shut down Pune analytics centre", The Economic Times, June 28, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd
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Coca-Cola’s “Bridge” Program Seeks To Commercialize Promising Technologies

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola shut down its Founder’s Program of investing in innovative start-ups earlier this year. Instead, the company is now focusing on The Bridge, a technology “commercialization” program launched three years ago by innovation chief Alan Boehme and program general manager Gabby Czertok. The initiative has looked at 30 start-ups, many of them based in Israel, has approved 90 pilot projects and 27 licensing agreements. It has partnered with Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting and will soon add Mercedes-Benz. The Bridge technology portfolio includes Byond, a content management system for virtual reality; and Curiyo, an in-app content delivery search service for users. [ Gabby Czertok, image credit: © Gabby Czertok / Linked-in  ]
Jonathan Shieber , "Coca-Cola has built a commercialization ‘Bridge’ to startups worldwide", Tech Crunch, June 28, 2017, © Oath Inc
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Nestle Reviews Its Market Categories, Growth Opportunities, Acquisition Approach

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a review of its capital structure and priorities as it seeks to put in place a value creation model based on profitable growth, margin improvement and capital efficiency. It will emphasize high-growth food and beverage segments – i.e., coffee, pet care, infant nutrition and bottled water – and high-growth geographic markets. As part of its review, the company is taking a close look at its U.S. confectionery business, and at growth opportunities in consumer healthcare. It will also take “a more disciplined approach to acquisitions.” [Image Credit © Nestlé]
Amie Tsang, "Morning Agenda: Nestlé Plots a New Course", The New York Times, June 28, 2017, © The New York Times Company
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Nestlé To Focus More On High-Growth Businesses, Less On Packaged Foods

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé SA this week sketched out a strategic future that seems to veer away from packaged foods. After investor Daniel Loeb, who has a 1.25 percent stake in the company, asked for some big changes, Nestlé said it would spend more on its high-growth businesses, including bottled water, coffee, infant nutrition and pet care, and would consider consumer healthcare acquisitions. Industry analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy predicted that Nestlé would divest its frozen foods, ice cream and pizza businesses over the next three to four years. [ Image credit: © Nestlé SA ]
Brian Blackstone, "Is Food Giant Nestlé Turning Away From Food?", The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Pressure Builds In EU To Stop Marketing Sugary Drinks To Kids

June 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Consumer advocate Foodwatch France is urging Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) to stop marketing the Capri-Sun juice beverage to children because of its high sugar content. The organization is opposed to the use of cartoon characters to advertise foods and beverages that are “too sweet or contain added sugar.” Capri-Sun contains only “12 percent fruit juice concentrate” and “19 grams of sugar” per serving. CCEP says it does not market to children under 12 years of age. [Image source: Capri-Sun]
David Burrows, "Coca Cola partners urged to stop marketing Capri-Sun drink to kids", Food Navigator, June 27, 2017, © William Reed Business Media
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Hangzhou Wahaha Group Buys Smart Beverage Vending Machines From DeepBlue

June 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest beverage vendor is taking a step beyond FMCG toward automated retail with the signing of a 10-year contract with DeepBlue Technology to buy a million TakeGo smart vending machines. The machines use DeepBlue’s quiXmart payment system, as well as machine vision, biometric identification, and deep learning. The machines automatically assign items picked up by customers to a digital shopping cart. Customers are charged using Alipay when they exit. [ Image credit: © DeepBlue Technology / People's Daily Online ]
Du Xiaofei , "Wahaha Group eyes next-generation vending machines", People's Daily Online, June 27, 2017, © People's Daily Online
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Nestlé Waters Expands Home Delivery Capabilities

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters North America is taking advantage of the growth in “consumer engagement” with its digital channels by expanding its ReadyRefresh online beverage shopping and delivery service. The company’s new 10,000-square-foot branch in Denver, Colo., will make it easier to fulfill water and tea orders submitted on its mobile-friendly website. The company expects to grow its two-truck fleet in the Denver area to 30 to serve customers within a radius of 50 miles. The service operates a fleet of 2,100 Nestlé-branded trucks, and is available to homes and businesses in 23 states. [ Image credit: © Nestlé Waters North America  ]
Mary Ellen Shoup , "Nestlé Waters North America sees increased demand for ReadyRefresh online delivery service", Beverage Daily, June 26, 2017, © William Reed Business Media
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Nestle
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Coca-Cola European Partners Links With Theme Parks On Promo Campaign

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is running a theme parks promotion across its range of carbonated beverages from July 1 through October 19.  The on-pack promotion offers customers a £25 ($32.55) discount on full-price tickets and a one-ride Fast Track pass to Merlin Entertainments Group theme parks Alton Towers or Thorpe Park. According to the company, this is Merlin’s best ever discount. The offer will appear on 330 ml cans and six and eight can multipacks of Fanta, Sprite and Dr Pepper classic and zero variants. [ Image credit: ©  Alton Towers / Merlin Entertainments ]
"Coca-Cola hosts theme park promotion", Convenience Store, June 26, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Thomas’ Unveils Blueberry Swirl Bread

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Thomas’ baked goods brand has added a new variety to its Swirl Bread line. The limited edition – through September – Blueberry Pancake Swirl Bread has a suggested retail price of $3.99 and will be available in select regions of the U.S. at grocery stores and other food retailers. Thomas’ is owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA. [ Image credit: © Bimbo Bakeries  ]
"Thomas' Launches Limited Edition Blueberry Pancake Swirl Bread", News release, Bimbo Bakeries USA, June 26, 2017, © Bimbo Bakeries USA
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Sprite Unveils Music Video Featuring Celebrity Hip-Hop Endorser

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola brand Sprite has debuted its inaugural music video featuring Vince Staples’ recording of “Rain Come Down,” his second single, as Staples (left) launches the new album Big Fish Theory. Sprite endorser Staples also stars in a new television commercial for the Summer Sprite Cold Lyrics Series featuring several hip-hop artists. [ Image credit: © Coca-Cola Company  ]
"Sprite Drops Its First-Ever Music Video for Vince Staples’ New Single “Rain Come Down”", News release, Coca-Cola Company, June 23, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Want A Tan? Slather On Coppertone, Drink The Coke

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has warned people who use its cola beverage to speed tanning that the beverage offers no protection from harmful UV rays. “It’s a drink!” the company exclaimed on its website. The trend began with Australian entertainer Peter Andre, who said he soaked himself in Coke before sunbathing. Andre’s endorsement notwithstanding, a Canadian dermatologist says there is no scientific proof at all that Coke helps people tan faster and in fact is a dangerous practice. [ Image credit: © 
Dani-Elle Dubé, "People are using Coca-Cola as tanning lotion and experts are worried", Global News , June 23, 2017, © Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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Danone’s “Manifesto Brands” Show Commitment To Healthy, Sustainable Eating

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
French dairy company Danone wants to convey its “One Planet, One Health” commitment to a positive food future through all of its brands. The company’s “manifesto brands” – from yogurt to mineral water – will reflect its alliance with consumers who want to re-establish a connection to their food, creating “food sovereignty,” in the words of CEO Emmanuel Faber. He says the idea is “a pretty radical new approach to support people in their choice for healthier and more sustainable eating." [Image credit: Danone]
Charlotte Rogers , "Danone on why it’s repositioning as a ‘manifesto brand’", Marketing Week, June 23, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Hain Celestial Reports Healthy Financial Numbers

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products company Hain Celestial posted an adjusted profit of $192.9 million on net sales of $2.9 billion for fiscal 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2015, and 13 percent on a constant currency basis, compared to fiscal 2015 sales of $2.6 billion. Sales figures were buffeted by $69.2 million in foreign exchange fluctuations over the prior year. For the first nine months of fiscal 2017, the company reported flat net sales of $2.1 billion over the prior year, but a four percent increase on a constant currency basis. Sales were affected by $96.2 million from foreign exchange rate movements over the prior year. CEO Irwin Simon said the company accomplished “substantial cost-savings, enhancing customer-centric, go-to market initiatives and fueling innovation.” [ Image credit: © Hain Celestial ]
"Hain Celestial Announces Financial Results and Expands Strategic Plan to Deliver Enhanced Shareholder Value", Earnings release, Hain Celestial, June 22, 2017, © Hain Celestial
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Langrock Named CFO At Hain Celestial

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Organic and natural products company Hain Celestial has named James M. Langrock as executive vice president and chief financial officer to succeed Pasquale Conte, who is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Langrock, who joined the company in November 2015 as senior vice president, finance and treasurer, has more than 25 years’ experience at companies like Monster Worldwide, Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Division, Symbol Technologies, and Citibank. [ Image credit: © Linked In  ]
"Hain Celestial Appoints James M. Langrock Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer", News release, Hain Celestial, June 22, 2017, © Hain Celestial
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Greenpeace Targets Coca-Cola – And Plastic Bottles – In Social Media Campaign

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Greenpeace has launched a Twitter initiative that turns Coca-Cola’s summer marketing campaign into an anti-plastic bottle promotion. The organization blames Coca-Cola, among other plastic bottle users, for clogging the waterways and shores of the world.  Coke’s summer campaign puts exotic beach locations on its bottles – the very same containers “that are polluting the beaches and rivers of many of these holiday hotspots.” Greenpeace is asking followers to photograph Coke bottles found on shores or in the water and Tweet the images using two special hashtags as a way to get Coke “to stop choking our oceans.” [ Image credit: © Pixabay  ]
Louisa Casson, "Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy = a gift for the End Ocean Plastics campaign", Greenpeace.org UK, June 22, 2017, © Greenpeace
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DPS’s Lain Hancock Replaces Bai Founder Ben Weiss

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dr Pepper Snapple Group has promoted human resources head Lain Hancock to CEO of Bai Brands. Bai founder and CEO Ben Weiss has left the business. Hancock has held several management jobs with the company's supply chain organization, including continuous improvement, manufacturing and procurement. Weiss started Bai in 2009 in the basement of his Princeton, N.J., home. [ Image credit: © Dr Pepper Snapple Group  ]
"Dr Pepper Snapple Group Names Lain Hancock CEO Of Bai Brands", News release, Dr Pepper Snapple Group , June 22, 2017, © Dr Pepper Snapple Group
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Large Firms Tell How They Eradicated Forced Labor In Supply Lines

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has published a report containing case studies from 12 member companies describing how they got rid of forced labor in their supply chains. CGF says forced labor is an endemic social problem in global supply chains and cannot be solved by one company alone. The Cola-Cola Company, Unilever, Nestlé S.A. and Tesco all shared their experiences in dealing with the global $150 billion problem. [ Image credit: ©  CGF ]
Emma Jane Cash, "Industry giants unite to eradicate forced labour in global supply chains", Food Navigator, June 22, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Company
Kellogg
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Unilever
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Burger King: No More Human Antibiotics Use In Chicken Supply By 2019

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Restaurant Brands International, parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, announced that it will end the use of antibiotics important to human medicine in its chicken supply by the end of 2018. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 11 of the top 15 U.S. restaurant chains have now committed to some level of “responsible antibiotics use” for their chicken supplies. Nearly half of the U.S. chicken industry has either made a no-antibiotics commitment or is already using responsible practices, NRDC said. [ Image credit: © NRDC  ]
Kate Slusark Kiely, "Burger King to Clean Up Antibiotics Practices in Chicken Supply by 2018", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council, June 22, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Unilever Continues To Realign Agency And Ad Tech Relationships

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever and British advertising/PR firm WPP announced they are investing in mobile creative management platform Celtra. The move furthers Unilever’s goal of boosting and applying creative technology innovation while reducing associations with ad agencies. As Unilever gets more involved in data and ad tech it has cut the costs and complexities of advertising across its 400+ brands. Celtra has been providing top brands with the ability to connect operational data, creative, advertising and analytics. The company has worked for several years with Unilever and with WPP’s Mindshare. [ Image credit: © Celtra  ]
Alison Weissbrot , "Unilever And WPP Stake A $15 Million Claim In Celtra – A Clear Sign Of The Agency/Client Relationship In Flux", AdExchanger, June 21, 2017, © AdExchanger.com
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Netherlands

General Mills Hires Ivan Pollard To Manage Marketing, Media Planning

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola marketing veteran Ivan Pollard was named chief marketing officer by General Mills, effective in July. Pollard will head up the company’s global marketing and media planning operations, responsible for marketing strategies, connection planning, and building organizational capabilities globally. As senior vice president of Coca-Cola strategic marketing in North America, Pollard developed strategies to effectively spend the company’s $2 billion media budget. Pollard has also worked for Naked Communications, BMP (now DDB Needham), and Wieden+Kennedy. [ Image credit: ©  Wikipedia ]
"Veteran Marketer Ivan Pollard Joins General Mills as Global Chief Marketing Officer", News release, General Mills, June 21, 2017, © General Mills Inc.
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General Mills
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Tesco Merges Two Customer Services Offices

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British grocery chain Tesco is consolidating its Customer Engagement Centers (CEC) into one office located in Dundee. As part of the consolidation, it is closing the CEC in Cardiff by February 2018. The company said it expects the move to simplify customer service while maintaining quality through phone, email, and social media operations. Closing the Cardiff CEC will affect 1,100 workers, but Tesco expects to create 250 new positions at the Dundee office. [ Tesco CEC Dundee, image credit: © Tesco  ]
"Tesco simplifies customer service operations", News release, Tesco, June 21, 2017, © Tescoplc.com
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Coke-Branded Clothing Available In Argentina

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola in Argentina has teamed up with a youth-focused fashion brand to create limited edition Coke brand tee shirts and jumpers. Rever Pass will sell the clothing at its stores. The companies plan to offer Coke-branded hats, coats, footwear and beach towels at a later date. [Image source: Rever Pass]
"Argentina: Coca-Cola and Rever Pass launch limited edition clothing products", America Retail, June 20, 2017, © Esmerk Oy
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Coca-Cola Company
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Argentina

Nestle Takes Part In Freshly’s New Expansion Funding Round

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé USA announced it is taking a big step into the burgeoning, $10 billion direct-to-consumer ready meals business in the U.S. with the investment in one of its leading companies. New York-based Freshly operates in 28 states, delivering meals to homes weekly. Nestlé is the lead investor in Freshly’s new $77 million funding round that will help pay for the company’s construction of an East Coast kitchen and distribution center in 2018, as it prepares to expand to nationwide service. [ Image credit: © Freshly  ]
"Nestlé USA Acquires Minority Interest in Freshly", News release, Nestlé, June 20, 2017, © Nestlé USA
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Nestle
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Amazon’s Target In Whole Foods Deal Is Ultimately High-Margin CPG

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon’s deal with Whole Foods Market certainly threatens low-profit-margin – around two percent annually – retail grocers like Krogers. But Amazon’s real target is not the stores: it’s the profitable products on their shelves. In other words, it’s the higher-profit-margin – 16 percent annually – consumer packaged-goods (CPG) companies that should be worried. Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive have grabbed large market shares because of an economic and distribution model – economies of scale, lower prices, and acres of store shelf space – that is now breaking down, thanks to Amazon. Its Amazon Basics brand, already gaining market share in diapers and batteries, could be extended to other high margin categories, and move into Whole Foods stores. That’s a significant threat to the CPG giants. [ Image credit: © Colgate-Palmolive  ]
Conor Sen, "Amazon's Real Target Isn't Whole Foods. It's Everything You Buy.", Bloomberg, June 20, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Sprite Summer Promo Features Rappers’ “Cold Lyrics” On Cans, Bottles

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola announced it is displaying “cold-inspired lyrics” from six rappers on 16-ounce Sprite cans and 20-ounce Sprite bottles this summer. They will be available for a limited time in convenience retail and other retail stores in the U.S. Rappers featured include Vince Staples, Lil Yachty, DRAM, Vic Mensa, Kamaiyah and Kap G, chosen because of “their unique perspective and reputation for staying true to themselves.” [ Image credit: © Coca-Cola Company  ]
"Sprite Refreshes Fans With Cold Lyrics From Hot Artists This Summer", News release, Coca-Cola Company , June 19, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coke Ad Campaign Speaks To Young Chinese In Their Special “Code”

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New Coca-Cola bottles – known as “code bottles” – targeting young Chinese were introduced as part of a summer ad campaign produced with the McCann Worldgroup Shanghai agency. The bottles are decorated with emoticons and phrases used routinely by young people in China. The campaign is bolstered by two films -- one with celebrity Lu Han (left) -- featuring the code bottles. They will run on social media platforms and TV. [ Image credit: © Coca-Cola Company  ]
Angel Tang, "Coca-Cola’s new packaging in China targets young segment", Marketing Interactive, June 19, 2017, © Marketing-Interactive.com. Lighthouse Independent Media Pte Ltd
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Hong Kong-Based Coke Franchisee Is Optimistic About Business With China

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola franchisee Swire Pacific Chairman John Slosar says business with China has been very successful over the past two decades. The company will continue to invest there, while maintaining business ties with Hong Kong and Taiwan. Located in Hong Kong since the 1870s, Swire Pacific has prospered since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997 and began operating under the "one country, two systems" policy. Slosar is bullish on both Hong Kong and China, noting that Swire will expand its real estate, airline and beverage investments. "I'm sure the next 20 years will also have a lot of great opportunities for us," he said. [ Image credit: © Swire Pacific Ltd.  ]
Torrance Wang , "Interview: Swire Group to continue investing in China with confidence: chairman of HK-listed Swire Pacific", Xinhua, June 19, 2017, © XINHUANET.com
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Nestle Begins To Re-Invent Itself

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Six months after becoming Nestlé’s CEO, Mark Schneider is determined to reshape its business portfolio and product line, divesting those that are under-performing, while boosting profitable or high-potential ones, including health foods, coffee, pet food. Key goal is setting the company on a firm growth trajectory. Hoping to shed its confectionery business, company last week put Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy brands on the block, though it says it is still committed to chocolate. Analysts suggest possibility company will take close look at other underperforming businesses, including Herta processed-meat brand, U.S. frozen foods, ice cream or pizza. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
Corinne Gretler and Thomas Mulier Bloomberg, "Nestle's 'quiet man' CEO moves to ease its sweet tooth", The Toronto Star, June 19, 2017, © The Toronto Star
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Coca-Cola Shuffles Management In India As It Prepares For Growth

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In a renewed quest for growth, Coca-Cola is strengthening its position in strategically important Indian market, sixth largest by volume. Move focuses heavily on shuffling of management both at Coca-Cola India and bottling arm Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages. Key changes include transfer of VP Shehnaz Gill from New York to become head of operations in India, and appointment of North American bottling exec Christina Ruggiero as CEO of HCCB. Gill’s new job reflects company preparation for “an integrated national market” expected with implementation of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July. [ Shehnaz Gill, image credit: © Coca-Cola Company  ]
Ratna Bhushan , "Thirsty for Growth, Coke Changes its India Mix ", Economic Times (E-Paper Edition), June 19, 2017, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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Energy Drink Marketers Look To Women To Grow Brands

June 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Smart, targeted advertising to young British males has boosted sales of sports and energy drinks packed with sugar and caffeine to $1.7 billion, the energy segment accounting for lion’s share. Sector can’t depend on young guys for growth, however, hence need to broaden advertising themes beyond alcohol, fast cars, women, video games and music. New targets include older, more affluent shoppers, and women. Advertising to latter mainly emphasizes no- or low-sugar, and zero-calorie variations, a tactic applicable to mainstream beverage marketing as well. [ Image credit: © Purdey's  ]
Daniel Selwood, "Something for the ladies? Energy drinks category report 2017", The Grocer, June 17, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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In-House Food & Drink Venture Capital Units Are Here To Stay

June 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Innovative start-ups in the food and beverage industry represent a major challenge to larger players as consumers look toward “alternative” brands. That’s why companies like Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, and Danone have launched in-house venture capital units. The move provides a way for big companies to show commitment to innovation beyond traditional R&D, while helping fast-growing fledgling brands. It’s a trend that is very likely to continue, according to Richard O'Gorman of The Netherlands' Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund. [ Image credit: © Pictures of Money  ]
Richard O'Gorman , "A business case for investing in food & drink startups", The Grocer, June 17, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Campbell's
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Kellogg
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Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Signals A Major Economic Trend

June 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The recently announced acquisition of Whole Foods Market by Amazon is an indicator of a fact well-known by retail analysts: both Amazon and Walmart are trying to be like the other. Amazon is establishing brick-and-mortar bookstores and buying 460 grocery store locations. Walmart, through its recent acquisition of Jet.com and other moves, is strengthening its online presence and infrastructure. But the larger picture is that the retail industry is undergoing consolidation among a few big companies whose resources stretch globally, whose access to sophisticated supply lines, and advanced marketing and delivery technologies, gives them major market advantages over smaller competitors. This consolidation is happening in other industries, including banking, airlines and telecommunications. And it’s creating a real economic gulf between two groups of workers: those employed by the prosperous new super companies – and those employed elsewhere.  [ Image credit: © Wikimedia Commons  ]
Neil Irwin , "The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy", The New York Times, June 16, 2017, © The New York Times Company
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Tesco Reports Sales Grew In 1Q Of FY 2017-2018

June 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
UK retailer Tesco reported like-for-like sales grew 1.0 percent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017-2018, marking the company's 6th consecutive quarter with positive like-for-like sales growth. In the UK, like-for-like sales grew 2.3 percent, driven by 2.7 growth in like-for-like sales in food. Also, customer transactions rose 1.3 percent, which means an increase of 10 million from the previous year. According to the company, its overseas sales performance during the period was affected by its move to stop its bulk selling business in Thailand.
"Tesco First Quarter Trading Statement 2017/18", Tesco, June 16, 2017, © Tescoplc.com
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Amazon-Whole Foods Merger Shakes And Rattles The Retail Industry

June 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Drug Store News outlined several key points to keep in mind now that Amazon plans to acquire Whole Foods Market. The $13.7 billion acquisition, awaiting approval by regulators and shareholders, will have major repercussions for retailers that sell groceries, beauty products and health products. A few of the key takeaways: both companies benefit from a merger. Amazon extends its beachhead into grocery sales, while Whole Foods gets a rich uncle. The entire retail industry knows now that it’s no longer business as usual: witness the stock slides of Target, Walmart, Kroger, Costco, and Supervalu. The acquisition furthers Amazon’s metamorphosis into a true omnichannel business, thanks to the addition of 460 brick-and-mortar stores. [ Image credit: ©  Amazon.com ]
David Orgel, "Amazon and Whole Foods: 5 things to know about the blockbuster deal", Drug Store News, June 16, 2017, © Drug Store News
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Unilever Hopes To Sell Margarines-Spreads Unit By End Of Year

June 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Reuters reports that Unilever CFO Graeme Pitkethly expects to shed the margarine and spreads business by the end of the year via an auction that would take place in the fall. The decision to divest margarines and spreads was taken after Kraft-Heinz launched an unsuccessful takeover bid last February. Pitkethly said if the company doesn’t get its asking price it will move to “demerge” the business, which could take longer. Sources told Reuters the sale could net $7.6 billion. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
"Unilever to Start Auction of Spreads Business in the Autumn", Reuters / The New York Times, June 15, 2017, © Reuters / The New York Times Company
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Wienermobile Hits The Road To Showcase Nitrate-Free Dogs

June 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After a year of experimenting, Kraft’s Oscar Mayer brand of hot dogs announced it has gotten rid of added nitrates and nitrites. The only remaining traces of those compounds are found naturally in celery juice, an ingredient used in processing. The product also contains no artificial preservatives or by-products. To make sure Americans know about the changes, Oscar Mayer has launched a summer Wienermobile campaign. The hot dog-shaped vehicles, driven by “HotDoggers,” will travel the U.S. distributing samples. [ Image credit: ©   ]
S.A. Whitehead, "Oscar Meyer Teaches an Ol' Dog New, Nitrate-Free Tricks", QSRWeb, June 15, 2017, © Networld Media Group, LLC
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All Whole Foods Market Stores To Carry Honest Tea’s Sport Line This Year

June 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Bethesda, Md.-based Honest Tea said its organic Honest Sport line of beverages will be available at all 1,000 Whole Foods Market locations later this year, thanks to the grocer’s aggressive store expansion. The beverage maker was purchased by Coca-Cola in 2011 and continues to focus on the mid-Atlantic market, though co-founder Seth Goldman is looking at new geographic markets for "much deeper distribution." The beverages won't be distributed via Coke's red trucks for at least a year. [ Image credit: © Honest Tea  ]
Sara Gilgore , "Honest Tea's sport drink lands big national expansion deal ", Washington Business Journal (District of Columbia), June 14, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Coca-Cola Company
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Kraft’s Ingredients Unit Rebrands As Kraft Heinz Ingredients

June 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Now that the food ingredients unit of Kraft Heinz has absorbed the Heinz products into its portfolio, it has rebranded itself. Kraft Heinz Ingredients will introduce itself to the food ingredient industry at IFT17 in late June. Company reps will distribute samples of Kraft Cheeses and Barbecue Sauce to attendees and will demonstrate how the company can help food manufacturers’ with any applications that involve cheese, dairy, confectionery, condiments and sauces. [ Image credit: © Kraft Heinz  ]
"Kraft Food Ingredients is Now Kraft Heinz Ingredients", News release, Kraft Heinz, June 14, 2017, © Kraft Heinz
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Kraft Foods
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