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New Coke App Uses AI Technologies To Modernize Vending Machine Use

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s innovation chief Greg Chambers (left) says a new AI-powered app debuting soon will allow customers to order, and get, two drinks from vending machines equipped with special circuitry. The app will debut in late July at U.S. universities and in Australia and New Zealand. With the app, customers can order a Coca-Cola drink from multiple selections for themselves and a friend using a colorful touchscreen. The drinks will then be available on the vending machine. With AI technologies, “My goal is to push boundaries and push the brand forward,” Chambers says. [ Image credit: © Michael O' Donnell / Venture Beat  ]
John Brandon, "Coca-Cola reveals AI-powered vending machine app", Venture Beat, July 11, 2017, © Venture Beat
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Coca-Cola Installs Blow-Molding Machine At Canadian Bottling Plant

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Canada has expanded the production capacity at a Montréal bottling plant with a $23.2 million state-of-the-art blow-molding machine, one of the first to be installed at a Coke facility in North America. Coca-Cola and Canadian government officials said the increased production capacity reinforces the company’s commitment to Canada and helps strengthen the Canadian economy. [ Image credit: ©  Coca-Cola Company ]
"Coca-Cola Canada invests $23m in Montréal blow-molding line", FoodBev Media, July 11, 2017, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Panera Bread Fights Back In Face Of Stiff Starbucks Competition

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Feeling the pressure of increased bakery competition from Starbucks, Panera Bread announced it is beefing up its delivery staff across the country. The St. Louis-based company will hire 118 people to deliver its products in the Seattle, Wash., area, home of Starbucks. The move is part of an overall plan to hire up to 10,000 delivery people. Starbucks became a major competitor of Panera after the purchase of La Boulange Cafe and bakery five years ago. American consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with all types of delivered food. [ Image credit: © Wikimedia  ]
"Panera gets out ahead of Starbucks in delivery, looks to hire 118 in Seattle area", Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle, Washington), July 11, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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“Well-being” Snack Biscuits Unveiled By Mondelez

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Mondelez has launched a “well-being” snack biscuit brand called Vea. The savory biscuits are made from new recipes and contain no artificial ingredients, colors or flavors, no trans fats, and are non-GMO Project Verified. Flavors include Thai coconut,  Tuscan herbs, Peruvian sweet potato and Greek hummus. Mondelez says the wholesome Vea brand is a key element of its plan to become “the global leader in well-being snacks.” Products are available now in U.S. and Canadian food stores. [ Image credit: © Mondelez International  ]
"Mondelez Introduces New Brand of Health Products", News release, NACS, July 11, 2017, © NACS
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French Patisserie Company To Expand Its Franchises Across U.S.

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After establishing 48 successful franchise patisseries in eight U.S. states since 2012, Le Macaron French Pastries is expanding the franchise opportunity to metropolitan areas across the country. The company offers more than 20 flavors of macarons, in addition to seasonal flavors, as well as French pastries, gelato, coffee, cakes, and éclairs. The company says it hopes to sign 70 locations by the end of the year, in cities like Boston, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh and Washington, D.C. Potential franchisees can expect to invest initially $59,900 to $99,000 for a cart, and $126,000 to $353,500 for a traditional café. [ Image credit: © Le Macaron French Pastries  ]
"Le Macaron French Pastries Sweetens Up Market with National Franchise Opportunities", News release, Le Macaron, July 11, 2017, © Le Macaron French Pastries
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Coca-Cola India Launches Lower-Priced Brands Of Aerated Drinks

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is launching a line of cheaper aerated beverages in India, dubbed “Kinley Flavors.” The new line includes jeera (cumin), lemon and orange flavors and will compete with the 200+ domestic fizzy drinks – 12 percent of the aerated drinks category in the country – in terms of taste and price: they are 35 to 40 percent cheaper than the company’s Coke, Sprite, and Fanta brands. [ Image credit: ©  Coca-Cola Company ]
Sandhya Dangwal, "Coca-Cola To Launch New Indian Flavours Jeera, Lemon And Orange; Priced 35-40% Cheaper Than Coke & Sprite", India.com, July 10, 2017, © India WebPortal Private Limited
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Coca-Cola Redesigns Its Minute Maid Juice Packaging

July 10, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has given a new look to its Minute Maid brand of juices with the help of British graphic designer Taxi Studio. The new visual identity features black as the main color, though each category of juice – essentials, refresh, nutri and delight – has its own color. Taxi Studio said the colorful graphics are meant to distinguish Minute Maid products from the “hyper-real” imagery on competing juices. [ Image credit: © Minute Maid / Coca-Cola Company  ]
Aimée McLaughlin, "Minute Maid rebrand, by Taxi Studio and Coca-Cola", Design Week, July 10, 2017, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Woolworths Supermarkets Will Not Range New Coca-Cola No Sugar In Australia

July 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s largest supermarket chain has refused to stock Coca-Cola’s recently introduced Coke No Sugar beverage. Euromonitor says the refusal by Woolworths reflects market saturation of low-calorie cola carbonates and the increasing health consciousness of consumers. Woolworths accounted for 40 percent of sales in the A$85 billion (US$67 billion) supermarkets category. More than two thirds of soft drink sales went through supermarkets last year. Without Woolworths, Coca-Cola No Sugar will have a tough time in Australia. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
Sara Agostino, "Coca-Cola No Sugar Faces Setback as Australia’s Largest Supermarket Chooses Not to Range the Product", Blog entry, Euromonitor International, July 06, 2017, © Euromonitor
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Nestle Waters Launches New Perrier Flavors In U.S.

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters has added two new flavors to its U.S. family of Perrier sparkling waters. Watermelon and strawberry flavors will be added to the current line of lime, orange and pink grapefruit. All flavors, which are sugar-free and zero calories, are packaged in 8.45-ounce slim cans and 16.9-ounce PET bottles. The promotional campaign for the new flavors will include a N.Y. tasting studio and events conducted in collaboration with the Live Nation entertainment company. [ Image credit: © Perrier  ]
"Nestle Waters' Watermelon and Strawberry Perrier Sparkling Waters - Product Launch - video.", Just-Drinks, July 07, 2017, © Aroq Limited
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Six Firms Were In The Hunt For Whole Foods Market Last Spring

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon.com wasn’t the only company considering buying Whole Foods Market last April and May, although it did end up the successful suitor. Four private-equity firms and two companies were also in the hunt, including supermarket operator Albertsons, according to financial disclosures Whole Foods made to investors. The companies started contacting Whole Foods in mid-April, shortly after activist investor Jana Partners LLC took an almost nine percent stake in the natural foods grocery chain. [ Image credit: © Wikipedia  ]
Heather Haddon, "Albertsons Among Six Firms That Vied for Whole Foods", The Wall Street Journal, July 07, 2017, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Campbell Acquires Oregon-based Natural And Organic Foods Company

July 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Company announced it is paying $700 million in cash for Pacific Foods of Oregon, a fast-growing producer of natural and organic broths, soups, and shelf-stable, plant-based beverages and meals. Campbell said the purchase of the “natural foods industry pioneer” fits well with its philosophy of “real foods.” The company reported approximately $218 million in twelve-month net sales as of May 31, 2017. Campbell said it will use its expertise and resources to expand Pacific's distribution, boost marketing support for brand building, and invest in R&D and the supply chain. [ Image credit: © Pacific Foods  ]
"Campbell to Acquire Pacific Foods to Expand in Faster-Growing Health and Well-Being Categories", News release, Campbell Soup Company, July 06, 2017, © Campbell Soup Company
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Romanian Coca-Cola Bottler Upgrades To High-Speed Production Equipment

July 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola HBC Romania has spent $8 million to upgrade its bottling line at the Timisoara (Romania) plant. The high-speed production line boasts a maximum production capacity of 90,000 units an hour, amounting to more than two million a day. The bottling plant is also energy-efficient, consuming only 410 kW/h, and 1.1 liter of water per beverage unit. The production line uses an innovative filling system developed by Krones, a European provider of technologies for making beverages and packaging. The company said the investment demonstrates its long-term commitment to the local market. [ Image credit: © Coca-Cola HBC Romania  ]
"Coca-Cola HBC Romania invests EUR 7 million in the Timisoara factory. The first high-speed dose bottling line in Romania has a capacity of 90,000 doses per hour", Nineoclock.ro, July 05, 2017, © Nineoclock
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Lax USDA Enforcement Of Organic Standards Is Hurting Small Organic Dairies

July 5, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amish farmers in a small town in Iowa have been practicing organic agriculture, including milk production, for nearly 20 years. Their livelihood is being endangered by big dairies that claim to be producing organic milk, but really aren’t. Organic milk is supposed to come from grass-fed cows. But big dairies supplement with grain, which boosts milk production. That in turn lowers the wholesale price of organic milk – by 33 percent over the past year –  which hurts the Amish dairies that follow organic standards strictly. As much as 15 percent of their milk is being sold at the same price as regular milk or just dumped onto the ground. A major part of the problem is lax enforcement of organic standards by the USDA, the small dairies charge. Even when the agency has caught big dairies violating the rules, there have been few if any fines. [ Image credit: © USDA  ]
Peter Whoriskey, "Amish Farmers Square Off Against Big Organic in Milk Battle", The Washington Post, July 05, 2017, © The Washington Post
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British Smoothies Company Sees Sales, Profit Soar

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola-owned smoothies and juice company Innocent Drinks (London, U.K.) has surpassed $387 million in annual sales. The company bounced back from a $902,000 loss in 2016 to an $11 million profit after it redesigned packaging and reformulated its products. More than half of its annual revenue now comes from outside the U.K. Sales in France rose 49 percent, in Germany sales were up 34 percent. CEO Douglas Lamont said further growth beyond the U.K. will make Innocent Drinks Europe's “favorite healthy drinks company.” [ Image credit: © Innocent Drinks  ]
"Innocent Drinks breaks £300 million annual sales barrier as taste for super-smoothies grow", Express.co.uk, July 04, 2017, © Express Newspapers
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Why Coke’s “Pool Boy” Ad Won An Award At Cannes

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Neuroscience analysis firm Neuro-Insight analyzed brain responses in 100 men and women viewing Coca-Cola’s award-winning “Pool Boy” ad. The humorous ad, which won a Bronze Lion for creativity at Cannes, shows a brother and sister eagerly competing to rush a bottle of Coke to a pool boy, only to find that their mother had already beat them to it. Neuro-Insight’s analysis of participants’ brain waves showed that an entertaining, dynamic narrative “effectively and emotively communicated the Coca-Cola brand.” [Image Credit © Coca-Cola Company]
Casey Kudrenko , "Applying neuroscience to Cannes-winning work: Coca-Cola Pool Boy", Adnews.com.au, July 04, 2017, © Yaffa Media
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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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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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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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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
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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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Kellogg
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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