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Coca-Cola To Fund Search For Solutions To Citrus Greening Disease

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
With nearly all commercial orchards in Florida infected with citrus greening, a bacterial plant disease caused by an insect, Coca-Cola company announced it is funding collaborative research between Bayer and a nonprofit citrus research organization to find solutions to the problem. A Bayer crop scientist said unless such a solution is found, the Florida citrus industry could be dead within 10 to 15 years. Researchers will try to identify biological disease control solutions, or compounds that control the plants’ immune defenses. Bayer will have the rights to development and commercialization of any discoveries that result from the research.
Journey Staff, "Coca-Cola Supporting Research Partnership to Combat Citrus Greening", News release, the Coca-Cola Company, August 23, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Unilever Tests High-Tech Direct-To-Consumer Marketing Scheme

August 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever’s Hellman’s mayo brand is working with the Quiqup on-demand delivery app and platform in a direct-to-consumer marketing test. Users will be able to choose a recipe, then have all of the ingredients delivered to their door within an hour. Hellman’s is betting that consumers will appreciate the free time provided by the service. Quiqup, a member of the Unilever Foundry’s network of start-ups, developed the concept that is targeted at Millennial shoppers in London who are likely to make “impulse purchases.” [Image Credit: © Quiqup ]
Jennifer Faull, "Unilever’s Hellmann’s to deliver ‘Impulse’ Groceries in First Direct-To-Consumer Tests", The Drum, August 23, 2017, © Carnyx Group Ltd
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Unilever
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Kind Expands Into Fruit Bite Market With Premium, All-Fruit Products

August 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Snack bar company Kind LLC is entering the $2.3 billion fruit snacks market with gummy fruit bites containing no added sugar. As established food companies have struggled to grow, Kind has managed to ride the healthful snacks wave using natural ingredients and transparent packaging to $1 billion in annual sales. Kind’s fruit bites are made with real fruit – apples, strawberries, pineapples and mangoes – and only fruit. No other ingredients are listed on the packages. The products will be available nationally in coming weeks at the premium price of $4.99 a box. General Mills is the category leader, controlling about 21 percent of the market. [Image Credit: © Kind ]
Craig Giammona, "Kind Targets Big Food's Sugary Fruit Snacks in New Product Push", Bloomberg, August 22, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Coca-Cola India’s Frozen Snack Line To Debut In 4th Quarter

August 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India says it has been testing its Beverage Plus range of whipped frozen fruit snacks in select areas of Bengaluru, Karnataka, and will launch them officially by the end of the year. The company says the snacks, made from locally-sourced fruits, are not pure beverages. They will be initially available at institutional locations, including movie theatres and vending carts at shopping malls. A Deloitte India analyst said Coca-Cola’s “interesting play” here signals not only an entry, and perhaps further expansion, into the frozen segment, but also a plan to “bring more fruit-based products, such as fruit nutrition bars" to the market. The country's ice cream and frozen desserts segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent through 2021 to reach $2.65 billion.
Sounak Mitra, "Coca-Cola India Widens Portfolio to Include Whipped Frozen Fruit Snacks", Live Mint, August 21, 2017, © HT Media Ltd.
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Nestlé Waters Denies Lawsuit’s Claim That Poland Spring Is Not Spring Water

August 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A federal lawsuit filed in the Connecticut district charges that Nestlé Waters NA’s Poland Spring Water is not actually spring water but is pumped from ordinary well water in Maine and doesn’t meet the FDA definition of spring water. The suit includes claims for breach of contract and fraud and asks unspecified damages for violations of state laws of New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. The suit says at least one of the company’s largest volume groundwater collection sites supplying as much as 99 percent of Poland Spring Water is near a current or former refuse pit, landfill or petroleum dump site. Nestlé Waters says the suit is “without merit and an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain,” adding that “Poland Spring is 100 percent spring water.”
Patricia Hurtado, "Nestle's Poland Spring Is Common Groundwater, New Suit Alleges", Bloomberg, August 20, 2017, © Bloomberg Finance L.P.
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Walmart Opens New Battlefront In War Against Amazon

August 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has launched something of an air war against arch-rival Amazon. The Arkansas-based retailer has applied for a patent for its version of a floating warehouse – a “gas-filled aerial transport and launch system” – a similar version of which Amazon patented more than a year ago. And like Amazon’s version, Walmart’s could launch sorties of drones to deliver purchases to nearby homes. Walmart’s dirigible airship would hover at up to 1,000 feet in the air, contain multiple drone launching bays, and be computer- or pilot-operated remotely. Proponents of the airborne warehouses say they would cut online order fulfillment costs for “the last mile” to a customer’s house. [Image Credit: © Walmart ]
Matthew Boyle, "Walmart Applies for Patent for Blimp-Style Floating Warehouse", Bloomberg, August 19, 2017, © Bloomberg LP
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Monster Reports Records Sales, But Investors Sniff At Growth Rates

August 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Energy drink maker Monster Beverage’s second quarter financial report disappointed Wall Street by failing to deliver double-digit gains in revenue and profit, though it did turn in an impressive performance. CEO Rodney Sacks hailed the fact that gross sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time. Net sales, however, fell short of the expected 10 percent growth, achieving only 9.6 percent to $907.1 million. Profit rose 21 percent to $222.6 million, or $0.39 a share, but the consensus forecast had been $0.40 a share. As to individual business units, Monster Energy drinks grew 9.7 percent in its top line from a year ago; strategic brands, including some acquired energy-drink brands, grew 10.6 percent; and American Fruits & Flavors brands – the "other" segment – declined six percent from a year ago.
Dan Caplinger, "Monster Beverage Falls Flat Despite Record Sales", The Motley Fool, August 17, 2017, © The Motley Fool
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Vietnam’s Non-Alcoholic Drinks Market Overrun By Foreign Providers

August 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Vietnam’s $4 billion non-alcoholic beverage market has been taken over by foreign suppliers, according to an industry report. The Vietnam Beverage Association says foreign competition has leapfrogged past domestic providers, who find it difficult to compete because of a lack of working, equity and human capital. Foreign companies now control 80 percent of both the bottled water and RTD tea markets. Pepsi’s Aquafina has a 40 percent market share; Nestlé’s La Vie controls 30 percent. In the RTD sector, Suntory Beverage & Food maintains a 30 percent market share and plans to expand further with an $87.5 million investment in new factory lines that will boost production capacity by 60 percent.
"Competition Heats Up in the Vietnam Soft Drink Market", VietnamNet Bridge, August 15, 2017, © VIETNAMNET Bridge
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Judge: Plaintiff In Added-Sugar Suit Against Kellogg Has An Adequate Case

August 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A federal judge in California has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Kellogg, agreeing essentially with the plaintiff that most of the claims made by the company about the nutritional value and wholesomeness of its breakfast cereals seem to be refuted by the fact that they contain “excess added sugar.” Judge Lucy Koh dismissed five of the claims because she agreed they were essentially harmless advertising “puffery.” But she allowed claims regarding 24 other products to move forward because “these products contain at least one statement that the court found was not pre-empted, non-misleading, or puffery as a matter of law." The case is Hadley v. Kellogg Sales

Company.  [Image Credit: © Kellogg ]
Matthew Renda, "Kellogg Can’t Duck Class Action Over Cereal Labels", Courthouse News, August 15, 2017, © Courthouse News Service
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Danone May Be Takeover Target

August 14, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Danone’s U.S.-listed shares climbed seven percent on August 14, after Bloomberg reported that activist hedge fund Corvex Management had accumulated a $400 million stake in the French food company. One analyst suggested in a note to investors that Kraft Heinz and PepsiCo might be suitors. Corvex’s Keith Meister believes Danone shares are undervalued. Its stock slid 1.41 percent over the last year. There is no talk yet, however, of a proxy battle or management shake-ups at the company, which produces yogurt, baby food, nutritional solutions, and bottle water.
Angelica LaVito, "Danone Shares Climb after Takeover Rumors, Activist Investor Interest", CNBC, August 14, 2017, © CNBC LLC
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Danone
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Plan To Increase Royalty-Free Draw Of NZ Spring Water Sparks Debate

August 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Chinese-owned company has stepped into a big puddle of controversy in New Zealand with an application to draw as much as 580 million liters of spring water – royalty free – for bottling and selling in China. Commercialization of spring water is a prickly issue a month ahead of national elections. The leader of the country’s labour party is promising to crack down on royalty-free use of limited water resources. Creswell NZ Ltd., a subsidiary of Nongfu Spring, currently draws two million liters of water a year for bottling.
Matt Shand, "Chinese Company Seeks Consent to Draw 580 Million Litres of Pristine Spring Water", Stuff, August 13, 2017, © Fairfax New Zealand Limited
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Uni-President Plans To Enter Premium Instant Noodles In China

August 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Taiwan-based food conglomerate Uni-President Enterprises Corp. president Alex Lo told financial reporters recently that the company hopes to carve out a niche selling high-priced instant noodles, including Expert of Soup and Man Han Feast, in China. The company already sells instant noodles and beverages in China through a Hong Kong subsidiary. Instant noodle sales account for 30 percent of the company’s total sales, while beverages account for 60 percent. Expert of Soup sells for about five yuan ($0.75) and Man Han Feast sells for 18 yuan. Low-priced instant noodles sell for about 2.5 yuan in the Chinese market.
Kuo Chia-erh, "Uni-President to Focus on Pricey Noodles in China", Taipei Times, August 12, 2017, © The Taipei Times
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British Soft Drink Makers Lower Sugar Content To Evade New Tax

August 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners CEO Damian Gammell said 40 percent of its U.K. product line has already lowered sugar levels enough to dodge the country’s new sugar tax. Only the flagship energy brand Monster and full-sugar Coca-Cola products – "essentially Coke Red and Monster Green" – remain taxable because of sugar content. The taxable threshold for soft drinks in the U.K is 5 grams of sugar per 10 centiliters (~3.4 fl. ounces). The tax rate for drinks with more than eight grams is £0.24 (29¢) a liter. Several British soft drink manufacturers have reformulated their beverages to avoid the tax. Fanta Orange and Sprite now have a third less sugar, bringing them under the threshold.
Andy Morton, "Coke, Monster to Be Only Brands Left in UK Sugar Tax Firing Line - Coca-Cola European Partners", Just-Drinks, August 11, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Coca-Cola Company
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New Colas Capture China’s Attention

August 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Among the novel beverages on store shelves and on online shopping sites in China these days is a Pepsi brand that fizzled out two years after it debuted in the U.S. in 2002. Still popular in the Philippines and Indonesia, berry-flavored Pepsi Blue is gaining traction as a new product in China, where some younger buyers use it to braise chicken wings. Other new products being marketed in the Asia-Pacific region include: sugar-free, calorie-free, Coca-Cola Plus with fiber; ginger- and cherry-flavored colas; colorless coffee (Clear Coffee); transparent lemon tea; and barley grass yogurt.
Li Anlan, "Fickle Consumers Ditch Coconut for Colas", Shanghai Daily, August 10, 2017, © Shanghai Daily
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Coca-Cola Company
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HBC Reports Healthy Sales Increase In First Six Months Of 2017

August 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The CEO of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC), which operates in 28 countries, reported a 5.7 percent increase in the first six months (ended June 30) of fiscal 2017, despite low single-digit volume growth in Nigeria. Dimitris Lois said a mid-teens price increase in Nigeria, and another planned increase, will affect sales. The company is optimistic about sales in Russia, thanks to economic improvements that will “filter through to consumption.” In terms of product lines, Lois said there were “very strong plans” for the sparkling and juice categories, “including additional SKUs to address price points,” and for Fanta, including a new ad campaign.
Jenny Eagle, "Coca-Cola HBC Net Sales Grow 5.7% Despite ‘Softness’ in Russia and Nigeria", BeverageDaily.com, August 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Coca-Cola Company
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Middle East- Africa
Greece
Russia
Nigeria

Health Consciousness Leads List Of Trends Affecting Beverage Makers

August 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Beverage manufacturers are responding to a number of consumer trends in the U.K. this year, not the least of which is health consciousness. Governments and nutrition advocates globally have thoroughly demonized sugar, and brands have responded appropriately. PepsiCo responded with Naked Juice and the Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line. The company’s zero-sugar Pepsi Max was rebranded to Pepsi Zero Sugar in the U.S. Coca-Cola rebranded and reformulated Coke Zero to make Coke Zero Sugar. Red Bull introduced several exotic zero-sugar flavors targeting younger consumers. Other trends affecting beverage companies include drinks with functional ingredients, demands for sustainable packaging, and a significant increase in young teetotalers in the U.K., Europe and the U.S.
Kasia Kossakowska et al., "Health-Conscious Millennials Turn to Zero-Calorie Drinks", BeverageDaily.com, August 10, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Coca-Cola Company
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Recycling Instructions Added To Nestlé Waters NA Bottles

August 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA says it is putting “How2Recycle” instructional labels on its 16-ounce U.S. bottled water brands, including Pure Life, Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Ozarka, and Arrowhead. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a membership-based collaborative comprising businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies, created the “How2Recycle” label in 2012. The label is used by more than 65 brands and retailers, and can be found on thousands of products.
"Nestlé Waters North America Launches New Recycling Labeling across all Major U.S. Bottled Water Brands", News release, Nestlé Waters NA , August 09, 2017, © Nestlé Waters NA
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High Temps In China Trigger Free Sprites From Coca-Cola

August 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola China’s promotional partnership with the weather app MojiWeather as already paid off handsomely for the company, which provides free Sprites to consumers who retrieve QR codes from the app when the temperature hits 35ºC (95ºF). The company has already handed out more than 10 million cups of the beverage in the campaign. More than two million thirsty Chinese have stopped by McDonald's for a free Sprite, driving up single-serve sales in July by 23 percent compared to a year ago.
Andy Morton, "The Coca-Cola Co Hot Weather Promotion Adds Shine to China’s Sprite Sales", Just-Drinks, August 09, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Coca-Cola Company
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British Tonic Water Maker To Tackle A Market That Spurns Gin

August 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Fever-Tree’s Asia-Pacific business confirms that the U.K. exotic tonic water maker will expand its operations to China, following a successful venture with a Hong Kong-based wine importer. Fever-Tree has seen its sales jump 77 percent to $32.8 million in the first six months of 2017, due largely to the ballooning popularity of gin-and-tonic cocktails in the region. The Chinese market may be tougher to crack, however, given that gin accounts for only three percent of alcoholic beverages consumed in the country. The growth of distribution and market share in Hong Kong and Macau is due partly to a strategy to extend its product line to include mixers suitable for dark and aged spirits. These types of liquors account for 80 percent of premium spirits consumed in Hong Kong, and 90 percent in China.
Natalie Wang, "Fever-Tree Sets Sights on Chinese Market", Drinks Business, August 09, 2017, © Union Press Ltd
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Hong Kong

Coke Unveils Huge Times Square 3D Robotic Billboard

August 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Company has extended its century-old tradition of using large signs to advertise its products in urban landmarks and settings. It recently unveiled the world’s first and largest – certified by Guinness World Records – 3D robotic billboard in New York’s Times Square. The 68-ft. by 42-ft. billboard consists of 1,760 independently moving and choreographed LED screens that will be seen by 300,000 passersby daily. The company was among the first to advertise with painted wall murals in the 1890s, moving on to neon billboards in the 20th century.
Jay Moye, "Coca-Cola and Fans Celebrate World’s First 3D Robotic Sign in Times Square", News release, Coca-Cola Company, August 08, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Mexico’s Cane Sugar Version Of Coke Is Building A Loyal Following

August 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola bottled in Mexico has captured the attention, and loyalty, of some U.S. Coke lovers because it is more “natural tasting” than the regular stuff. Sold in smaller bottles, and available in an increasing number of stores, including Costco, Mexican Coca-Cola is made with cane sugar, rather than the purportedly unhealthful high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The upsurge in sugar cane-based Coke, however, is not just due to personal sweetener preferences. Engaged in a trade war with the U.S., Mexico is protecting its cane sugar industry by discouraging import and use of HFCS, including in Coca-Cola.
Vera Hogan, "Have You Tried Mexican Coca-Cola?", TCTimes.com, August 08, 2017, © Tri-County Times
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Coca-Cola Company
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Acquisition Of KFC Eateries Will Accelerate ThaiBev’s Long-Term Goals

August 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The growing appetite for fried chicken in Asia convinced beer and rum maker ThaiBev to acquire more than 240 KFC restaurants, as well as locations under development, in Thailand for $340 million. Company founder Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s long-term strategy is to generate half of its revenue from other countries and from nonalcoholic beverages.
Craig Giammona, "Thai Beer Company to Buy KFC Restaurants in Fast-Food Push", Bloomberg, August 08, 2017, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Some Restaurants Spurn Food Delivery

August 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A major trend in the foodservice world is home delivery of meals to people who don’t want to dine out, but also don’t want to cook. It represents a total of 1.7 billion restaurant transactions a year. Some restaurants, however, have said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” A main reason is fear that the meals won’t arrive in time to eat warm. Casual dining chain Texas Roadhouse doesn't do delivery, and even encourages competitors “to do as much delivery as they can so they can deliver lukewarm food to their people." Besides quality and temperature concerns, though, the company worries about staff preparing delivery orders at peak dinner times, when dining rooms are packed.
Samantha Bomkamp, "Delivery is the Hot Dining Trend, but it's Not for Every Restaurant. Here's Why.", Chicago Tribune, August 08, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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Papa John’s Now Offers Gluten-Free Pizza – With A Warning

August 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Pizza chain Papa John's has begun offering gluten-free crust made from "ancient grains," including sorghum, teff, amaranth and quinoa. Gluten is found only in wheat, rye, and barley. However, the company warned that though its manufacturing procedures prevent contact with gluten – the crust is prepared in a separate, gluten-free facility before shipment to stores –pizza dough can be exposed to gluten during the in-store, pizza-making process. So, the company said, the new gluten-free crust should not be eaten by customers with serious gluten intolerance, such as those with Celiac disease. [Image Credit: © Papa John's ]
Lindsay Rittenhouse, "Papa John's Just Unveiled This New Gluten Free Pizza to Appease the Millennial Generation", TheStreet, August 07, 2017, © TheStreet, Inc.
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With Little Caesars Pizza Pick-up Machine, Shy Customers Can Avoid Humans

August 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Little Caesars pizza chain has made it much easier for recluses, hermits, and other introverts – in Tucson, Ariz., for now – to buy pizza without seeing or talking to a store employee. The company’s Pizza Portal machine lets pick-up customers avoid lines, snatch their pizzas, and escape without human interaction. To make use of the machine, customers need to download an app to order and pay for the pizza. CEO David Scrivano says, "It's all about convenience, in and out in seconds, no line, no wait." The company plans to add about one hundred of the machines in the U.S. in 2018. [Image Credit: © Little Caesars ]
Kellie Ell, "Little Caesars Unveils Pizza Portal, Letting Customers Grub and Skip Human Interaction", USA Today, August 07, 2017, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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Coke India Plugs Perceived Gaps In Kinley Offerings With Flavored Waters

August 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India hopes to gradually step its customers up from Kinley plain water to a new range of flavored aerated Kinley beverages. The lemon, orange and a jeera-based flavored drinks will be test-marketed in several states and regions.
Vinay Kamath and Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "Coke to extend Kinley to aerated beverages", The Hindu Business Line, August 03, 2017, © The Hindu Business Line
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Coca-Cola Company
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Asia-Pacific
India

Head Of Coke’s India Business Sees Broader Portfolio As Key To Growth

August 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s India business says there is a serious opportunity in sparkling beverages, but the company needs a broader product portfolio to appeal to the country’s divergent range of consumers (viz., “not exactly middle class,” middle class and affluent). To meet their needs, says T. Krishnakumar, Coke will expand segmentation and create “appropriate brands” for each consumer category.
Vinay Kamath and Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, "‘Our goal is to be among the top five markets for Coke globally’", The Hindu Business Line, August 03, 2017, © The Hindu Business Line
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Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Crowdsourcing Project Seeks Alternative Plant-Based Sweeteners

August 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Searching for “newer, better ingredients,” Coca-Cola has launched two crowdsourcing initiatives to enlist the help of individuals and scientists in finding an effective sweetener other than currently used stevia and monk fruit.
Jay Moye, "Coca-Cola Launches Crowdsourcing Challenges to Find Next-Generation Sweetener Innovations", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, August 03, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Coca-Cola Company
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Some Chicago Merchants Confused By New Tax On Sugary Sodas

August 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Walgreens recently angered Chicago customers by mistakenly applying new – as of August 2 – “sweetened beverage tax” to purchases of La Croix sparkling water. The controversial penny-per-ounce tax hikes price of 2-liter bottle of soda by 68 cents.
Kelly Bauer, Linze Rice, Alisa Hauser and Mina Bloom , "LaCroix Lovers Angry After Walgreens Wrongfully Taxes Their Drink (Again)", DNAinfo, August 02, 2017, © DNAinfo
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New Marketing Head At Boxed Water To Focus On Millennials

August 2, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Rob Koenen is the new chief marketing officer at Michigan-based Boxed Water, a producer of sustainably packaged water. Koenen has held marketing and other executive positions at UGG Brand, Wolverine Worldwide and Land O'Lakes. Koenen’s mission is to expand marketing and consumer connections, especially with Millennials.
"Boxed Water Welcomes Rob Koenen as Chief Marketing Officer", News release, Boxed Water, August 02, 2017, © Boxed Water
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Management Shuffle At Dr Pepper Snapple Group

August 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Company has elevated Andrew Springate to the newly-created post of chief marketing officer; Jason Butter will take over as general manager of the Coca-Cola Affiliated Sales Organization (CASO). Top marketing and promotion executive Jaxie Alt will head human resources.
"Dr Pepper Snapple Group Announces Leadership Appointments", News release, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, August 01, 2017, © Dr Pepper Snapple Group
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Coke India Replaces Brand Website With Digital Magazine

August 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In an effort to bring “untold editorial gems” about India’s consumer experience with Coca-Cola, the company unveiled a digital magazine that replaces an earlier brand website. Content of the "brand journalism" endeavor includes articles, infographics, blogposts, pictures, and videos packed with songs from Coke Studio, behind-the-song stories, fun facts, company and brand trivia, and recipes.
"Coke tries out 'brand journalism'; Brings e-magazine 'Journey' to India", Afaqs! News Bureau, August 01, 2017, © afaqs!
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Coca-Cola Company
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Asia-Pacific
India

Pure Life Bottle Water Gets Promotional Shot In The Arm In U.S.

July 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA has launched an ad campaign featuring national TV, new packaging, POS displays, digital and social media promos, etc. Goal is to increase awareness in the U.S. while driving home the importance of water for healthy living.
"Nestle Pure Life Purified Water Unveils New Global Campaign to Inspire a Healthier and Brighter Future", News release, Nestlé, July 31, 2017, © Nestlé Waters NA
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Nestle
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Dunkin’ Donuts Offers High-Octane Monster Energy Punch

July 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts has partnered with Monster Beverage to launch Dunkin’ Energy Punch, powered by Monster Energy, in strawberry and blue raspberry flavors. The drinks were introduced in March in the Northeast and Florida, and recently in Riverside, Calif. A 16-ounce can of Monster Energy contains 160 mg of caffeine, while a 14-ounce cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee has 210 mg or caffeine. A quart-size cup of Dunkin’ Energy Punch sells for $4.29 in Riverside Dunkin’ Donuts shops.   ][Image Credit: © Fielding Buck / Press-Enterpise (Calif.]
Fielding Buck, "Dunkin’ Donuts ramps up the energy level with Monster punch", The Press-Enterprise, July 29, 2017, © Press Enterprise
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New Coke Ads Deliver Recycling Message Through Animation

July 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A new Coca-Cola stop-motion ad showing in the U.K. uses more than 1,500 recycled Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Smartwater and Honest Tea bottles and cans to get across the notion that the packaging is not only recyclable, it is recyclable over and over. The pun-packed ads, created by Ogilvey & Mather Berlin, tell of a romance between a Coke Zero Sugar bottle and a Fanta bottle who are separated, but continuously re-united, via recycling. The ads, to be shown in movie theaters and on social media platforms throughout the summer, are expected to reach 35 million Britons by the end of the year.
Simon Gwynn, "Coke dishes out verbal pun-ishment in quirky animated love story encouraging recycling", Campaign Live UK, July 29, 2017, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Coca-Cola Company
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Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

IHOP Ad Blitz Touts Three New Doughnuts

July 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A couple of inspirational sources drove creation of IHOP’s latest treat: the sweet-and-savory French toasted donut, available in bacon and maple, strawberries and cream, and apple fritter. The first inspiration was feedback from customers themselves on social media channels. The second was the company’s monitoring of food trends, especially breakfast trends. And the third was chef Nevielle Panthakys own creativity. The new doughnuts are being introduced with a media ad blitz, including TV, online social platforms, digital, and the arrival of the IHOP food truck in New York City. [Image Credit: © IHOP ]
Katie Richards, "How IHOP Chose Its Latest Menu Item, the French Toasted Donut", AdWeek, July 28, 2017, © AdWeek
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Starbucks Spends $1.3B To Buy Out All Chinese Joint Ventures

July 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks says it is demonstrating its commitment to the Chinese market by unifying all stores in the country under a “full company-operated structure.” The company is spending $1.3 billion to buy out all its joint ventures – 1,300 in eastern China, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, the fastest-growing market in terms of store count outside the U.S.
Staff Writer, "Starbucks Buys Out All Joint Ventures in China for US$1.3bn", Marketing Interactive, July 28, 2017, © Marketing Magazine Online
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Danone’s First Half Financials Are Encouraging

July 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Yogurt producer Danone posted first half financials that beat analyst expectations, despite a slowdown in sales in the second quarter. Operating profit in the first half was $2 billion, up 7.3 percent over the same period a year ago. Sales in the half year totaled $14.3 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent. The company sees growth speeding up in the next half-year for all segments. Improvements are expected in its water business in China, where growth was 0.8 percent in the first half, compared to single-digit growth elsewhere, and double-digit growth for Evian in the U.S.
Andy Coyne , "Danone - analysts largely upbeat following results", just-food.com, July 28, 2017, © just-food.com
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PepsiCo Partners With Recycling Advocate

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
PepsiCo is collaborating with and funding the nonprofit Recycling Foundation’s efforts to increase recycling rates through local and national work. Less than half of recyclables in U.S. homes are being collected: 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year. The Recycling Partnership has helped more than 400 local communities improve curbside recycling for 17 million households. Last year, PepsiCo announced it would strive to redesign all its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025, and to partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates. [Image Credit: © PepsiCo ]
"PepsiCo Joins the Recycling Partnership", News release, PepsiCo, July 27, 2017, © PepsiCo, Inc.
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Dunkin’ Donuts Experiments With Simpler Sandwich Menu

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
It has been five years since Dunkin' Donuts began serving “bakery” sandwiches, including ham and cheese, turkey, cheddar, and bacon, to boost food sales after the day's breakfast crunch. Now CEO Nigel Travis says customers are buying breakfast sandwiches all day long, so there may be no need for the other sandwich fare. The company is testing a simplified menu devoid of non-breakfast sandwiches, in the hope of attracting more customers. Same-store traffic once again slipped in the second quarter, compared to last year. Though it was the fifth straight quarter traffic has fallen, higher spending per visit pushed up sales by 0.8 percent. [Image Credit: © Dunkin' Donuts ]
"Dunkin Testing Removal of Non-Breakfast Sandwiches", Killeen Daily Herald, July 27, 2017, via Associated Press, © The Associated Press/Killeen Daily Herald
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Former Beverage Industry Execs Join Protein2o

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Two former PepsiCo and Gatorade execs have joined the protein-infused water brand Protein2o to help it become a leader in the low-calorie protein beverage market. The company, which recently secured $4 million in venture funding, comprises a five-SKU line of products formulated with whey protein isolate and 60-70 calories per 16 oz. bottle. Sold mainly in grocery, club, drug and convenience stores in the Midwest, the brand is available nationally at Rite-Aid and will soon be sold nationally at CVS stores. CEO Bob Kral said the addition of former PepsiCo executive Andy Horrow (president) and former Gatorade president Sue Wellington (board chairman) to the management team is “an incredible opportunity” for the company.
"Protein2o Adds Gatorade Vets, $4 Million in New Funding", News release, Protein2o, July 27, 2017, © Protein2o
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Coke CEO Quincey Hopes For “Test And Learn Mentality”

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told analysts in a conference call that his company needs “greater curiosity” or it might grow complacent and fall behind the competition. Coca-Cola has “the answer to some things,” but needs curiosity – a “test and learn mentality” – to respond to change. To grow, the company needs “the courage to try new things.” Quincey said he was happy with the latest financials – a “strong performance” – that showed a 16 percent drop in net revenues mainly due to the ongoing overhaul of the bottler network. He said Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has turned in double-digit global volume growth that should continue in the U.S.
Leonie Roderick , "Coca-Cola: We need more courage to become a growth-orientated business", Marketing Week, July 26, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Consumer Watchdog Accuses Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Of “Greenwashing”

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand continues to “greenwash” its products, advertising them as “all natural” though they are contaminated with herbicides. The association recently sent samples of Ben and Jerry’s top-selling ice-cream brands to an independent testing lab for analysis. The lab found that 10 out of 11 samples tested positive for Roundup (glyphosate and AMPA) herbicide contamination. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate or AMPA. Testing of nationally-distributed organic ice cream brands found that three out of four tested negative for Roundup contamination. The Whole Foods' 365 brand was found to be contaminated with glyphosate. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
Ronnie Cummins, "Only One Out of 11 Popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Tested Negative for Cancer-Causing Herbicide Glyphosate", AlterNet, July 26, 2017, © Independent Media Institute
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Wells Fargo Worries About Bai’s Healthy C-Store Growth

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Market data suggest that Bai’s antioxidant infusion beverages are doing well in the C-store channel. But Wells Fargo wonders whether the growth – sales were up 53.8 percent over last year during the four weeks ended July 15 – might come from distribution gains since its acquisition by Dr Pepper Snapple Group. That observation casts a bit of a shadow on the numbers, and leads Wells Fargo to suggest in a note that Bai “may not generate sufficient returns to justify its rich ($1.7 billion) price tag.” [Image Credit: © Bai ]
Elaine Watson, "Was the $1.7bn price tag Dr Pepper paid for Bai justified?", FoodNavigator-USA.com, July 26, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Coke Zero Sugar Hits Store Shelves This Month With Heavy Promotional Acitivity

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s renamed Coke Zero product, now known as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, has arrived in the U.S. after a year of test marketing. The company says the new version has an improved recipe and flavor, as well as a new package “that looks more like Coca-Cola.” The package features the red Coca-Cola disc against the black background familiar to Coke Zero fans, prominently displays the “zero sugar” claim. The packaging changes also support the “One Brand” single trademark strategy. Coke Zero Sugar will hit stores beginning this month, supported by a marketing campaign involving television, digital, radio, outdoor, social media and retail advertising.
"Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Launches in U.S. with New and Improved Real Coca-Cola Taste", News release, The Coca-Cola Company, July 26, 2017, © The Coca-Cola Company
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Restructuring Of Coca-Cola’s Bottling Network Pinches Sales, Profits

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said disappointing sales and profits in the first six months of 2017 were due to ongoing bottler refranchising efforts as the company transitions to a “total beverage company.” Overhaul of the bottler network – including nearly-completed refranchising in North America and divestiture of bottling operations in Germany, China, and South Africa – led to a 37 percent drop in net sales and volumes for the company’s bottling investments. Overall, the company experienced a first half decline in net sales of 14 percent. Net profits slipped 48 percent to $2.6 billion. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Company ]
Andy Morton, "The Coca-Cola Co H1 2017 net sales plunge on bottler overhaul - results", just-drinks.com, July 26, 2017, © just-drinks.com
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Cott Corp. To Divest Its Beverages Unit

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canadian beverage manufacturer Cott Corporation is selling its Cott Beverages business to Dutch firm Refresco, an independent bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers and A-brands. The purchase price is $1.25 billion in cash; Cott Beverages generates approximately $1.7 billion in revenues. The company said the sale would allow it to focus on its water, coffee, tea, and filtration businesses, growing organically and through acquisitions. The company manufactures carbonated soft drinks, shelf stable juice and juice-based products, energy drinks, a range of waters, new age beverages, ready-to-drink teas, freezables and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages. Refresco has production facilities in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S.
"Cott Announces Agreement to Sell Its Traditional Beverage Manufacturing Business to Refresco in All-Cash Transaction", News release, Cott Corp., July 25, 2017, © Cott Corporation
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Nestle Japan: Brand-Boosting Movies Drive Market Penetration For Older Products

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Nestlé Japan marketing chief says the company is welding marketing to entertainment by producing long-form movies that increase brand engagement on older products and “communicate your brand’s values and worldview” in ten or 15 minutes. Since 2010, the company has used the Nestlé Amuse media platform to compile a Theater section for brand videos that has attracted five million registered users. Masafumi Ishibashi says the company will continue to employ traditional TV and other mass media ads for new product introduction. But for brands like Nescafé and Kit Kat that everybody recognizes, the new long-form movie is the best way to deepen market penetration. [Image Credit: © Nestlé Japan ]
Shin Osada, "Nestle Japan CMO Masafumi Ishibashi on brands as publishers", Digiday, July 25, 2017, © Digiday
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Diversification Of Beverage Lines Is Answer To Declining Sugary Drink Sales

July 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Shoppers are turning to lower-calorie beverages – sparkling and enhanced waters, bottled water, coffee, and tea – in droves, at the expense of higher-calorie sugar-sweetened sodas and fruit drinks. Industry publication Beverage-Digest reports that soda consumption in the U.S. dropped to a 31-year low last year. But beverage giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola long ago saw the trend and began diversifying with bottled water, teas, sports drinks, and other higher-growth beverages.
Leo Sun, "A Foolish Take: American Soda Consumption Plunges to a 31-Year Low", The Motley Fool, July 24, 2017, © The Motley Fool
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Coca-Cola India Has Adapted To New Retail Landscape - Krishnakumar

July 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s India business says his company, one of the oldest in the world, has been able to overcome the inertia that often accompanies tradition and heritage by changing its business strategy when necessary to connect with consumers. This has meant expanding beyond a one-brand identity. According to T. Krishnakumar, consumer behavior in India has changed along with changes in retail. Mom-and-pop stores have evolved into a complex environment of more organized and larger-format stores. Today’s “hyper-productive” consumers are interested in traditional and local products, as well as new cultures and senses. Technology creates opportunities for companies, but it also heightens consumer expectations of brands. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola India ]
Ruhail Amin, "Coca-Cola's India mission is to grow beyond a single-brand company: T Krishnakumar", exchange4media.com, July 24, 2017, © exchange4media.com
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