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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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Sales Of Sustainable Cocoa-Based Confectionery Products To Reach $9 Billion

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of cocoa-based products that feature labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest alliance will reach $8.9 billion in 2017, according to Euromonitor, and are expected to grow 1.3 percent through 2020 because certification schemes build consumer confidence in cocoa-related products. Chocolate confectionery products make up the bulk of total sales of cocoa products that carry sustainable trade and farming labels. “Without investment in sustainable production, the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain,” a Euromonitor analyst said.
Douglas Yu, "Chocolate Confectionery Contributes Most to Value Sales of Sustainable Cocoa Products: Euromonitor", ConfectioneryNews.com, June 29, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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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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Lawmaker Attacks GMO Food Labeling Law Because Of “Massive Loophole”

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) issued a statement sharply criticizing recently passed federal legislation purportedly designed to make it easier for consumers to determine if their foods contain GMOs. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard has a “massive loophole,” the congressman wrote, because it allows food companies to use an electronic label – a “QR code” – to disclose GMOs. Blumenauer said that means only people with “ample time” and smartphones that can read the codes can tell if there are GMOs in their food products. The USDA has asked for public comment on how to implement the law. [Image Credit: © Office of Rep. Earl Bluenauer ]
Earl Blumenauer, "You Deserve To Know What’s In Your Food", News release, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, June 28, 2017, © Rep. Earl Blumenauer
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Advanced Card Technology Ensures Food Safety, Prevents Waste

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, getting food to the table devours 10 percent of the U.S. energy budget, half of U.S. land, and 80 percent of fresh water. But 40 percent of the food in the U.S. – $150 billion a year – is never eaten. Natures Frequencies is well aware that the biggest concern of U.S. consumers who ponder whether – and when – to throw out food is safety.  With that in mind, the company developed the Food Freshness Card, a laboratory- and commercially-tested technology to keep food fresher longer. The card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs, encoding information on a substrate. It helps assist with freshness all along the food chain, from farm to retailer to the home. The card recently won the United Fresh Innovation Award for the best new food safety solution. [Image Credit: © Food Logistics ]
"The Food Freshness Card: The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2017 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", News release, Nature's Frequencies, June 28, 2017, © Nature's Frequencies
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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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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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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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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.
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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Arthritis Patients Who Frequently Eat Fish Experience Reduced Symptoms

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. clinical study involving 176 rheumatoid arthritis patients who completed food frequency questionnaires found that those who ate fish at least twice a week had lower disease activity, including fewer swollen or tender joints. In fact, the more fish patients ate, the lower the levels of disease activity were. The researchers believe fish consumption lowers levels of inflammation that lead to arthritis symptoms.
Sara K. Tedeschi et al., "The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis", Arthritis Care & Research, June 26, 2017, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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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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Olive Oil Protects Memory, Learning Ability

June 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. and Italian researchers have determined in an animal study that extra virgin olive oil, a major component of the Mediterranean diet, protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil reduces brain inflammation but most importantly activates a process known as autophagy, the process by which cells break down and clear out intracellular debris and toxins. The researchers now plan to see whether olive oil added to the diet after the onset of brain disease will stop or reverse it.
Elisabetta Lauretti et al., "Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy", Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, June 26, 2017, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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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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Bakeshop Attracts National Attention With Its Zany Products

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A four-year-old bakery in Rockland County, N.Y., has built a following among locals, celebrities and professional athletes with its “wildly flavored” cupcakes and personalized celebration cakes. Denise Byrnes’ Caked Up bakeshop has created a national business specializing in over-the-top, delicious, concoctions like maple bacon cupcakes and French toast-flavored cupcakes. The shop has baked celebration cakes for Kevin Durant, Odell Beckham Jr., and Rihanna. It attracted the attention of Dunkin' Donuts – and major social media exposure and national orders – when it created an homage to the chain's doughnuts. To what does the shop owe its success? Byrnes says the staff is “just a bunch of fatties thinking of fun things to put out there." [Image Credit: © Caked Up Cafe ]
Joanna Prisco, "Rockland Bakery a Favorite of Celebs Rihanna, Kevin Durant, OBJ", USA Today, June 23, 2017, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC
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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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Chefs Show That So-Called Ugly Produce Is More Than Just Edible

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thirteen chefs from around the U.S. recently tackled a food waste-related challenge: how to transform 300 pounds of wonky or ugly produce – otherwise bound for the landfill – into enticing and delicious appetizers, salads, main dishes, sides and desserts. Their cache of dreadful edibles included purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots, all salvaged from local farms. The dinner the chef teams prepared was the highpoint of a three-day sustainability "boot camp" run by the James Beard Foundation.  The organization is on a mission to cut the estimated 571,000 tons of food waste generated annually by U.S. restaurants and food service providers by one third. [Image Credit: © USAF ]
Lela Nargi, "Is It Really So Offal? 'Ugly Food' Boot Camp Entices Chefs and Diners", National Public Radio, June 23, 2017, © npr
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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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Coca-Cola Brasil Debuts New Versions Of Fruit Juice With Less Sugar

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s Brazilian subsidiary has unveiled newly reformulated versions of the Del Valle Frut fruit juice. The new versions contain added vitamin C, and 40 percent less sugar. Available in the Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Rio Grande do Sul markets, the brand is now sold only in 450 ml packaging. [Image credit: The Coca-Cola Company]
"Brazil: Coca-Cola Brasil launches new formula Del Valle Frut juice", Esmerk, June 22, 2017, © Esmerk Oy
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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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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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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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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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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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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.
"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. [Image Credit: © Tesco ]
"Tesco simplifies customer service operations", News release, Tesco, June 21, 2017, © Tescoplc.com
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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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3M Assay For Detection Of Foodborne Pathogen Approved By Health Canada

June 21, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Canada’s public health agency has approved an advanced system for fast detection of the dangerous foodborne bacteria Listeria in a broad range of foods. The system, developed by the 3M Food Safety division, meets Health Canada’s requirements for detection of Listeria in environmental samples, dairy products, ready-to-eat and raw meats, fish and seafood, and fruits and vegetables. Using standard enrichment medium, the next generation assays for Listeria and Listeria monocytogenes provide a time-to-result after 24 hours of enrichment. The molecular detection assays are now included on Health Canada’s guide of official methods used to determine compliance with government standards and guidelines.
"3M's Next Generation Molecular Detection Assay for Listeria Approved and Published by Health Canada", News release, 3M, June 21, 2017, © 3M Canada Company
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Marks & Spencer Experiments With Laser-Coded Fruits, Vegetables

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British retailer Marks & Spencer has begun selling avocados labeled with lasers. The idea is to eliminate the need for paper stickers, and save 10 tons of paper and glue annually. M&S hopes other retailers will adopt the technology, not only for labeling avocados, but other fruits and vegetables. The lasered label includes the shop logo, best before date, country of origin and barcode entered at checkout. The intense light of the laser discolors only the top layer of the fruit, and does not affect the fruit itself. 
Katie Morley, "Avocados with Laser-Printed Labels Go On Sale at M&S in Bid to Cut Paper Waste", The Telegraph, June 20, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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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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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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Don’t Want To Eat Ugly Carrots? Then Drink Them!

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Two Australian entrepreneurs have come up with a spirited answer to the problem of ugly carrots. Often discarded, either by farmers or grocers, the wonkier of the orange roots end up in the landfill or as animal feed. But two farmers’ wives – their husbands’ Queensland farms produce 350 million carrots a year – have turned the unwanted cracked, marked, or just weird looking ones into vodka. With technical advice from a local winemaker, the two learned to reduce the carrots to "a sort of carrot soup stock" when it is distilled. The stock is then infused through a shiraz grape base. Each bottle contains 20 percent carrot. “We tell people to garnish their drinks with carrot sticks," Alice Gorman said. [Image Credit: © Alice Gorman / ABC ]
Jessica Hinchliffe, "Carrot Vodka the Latest Approach to Reduce Food Waste by Spirited Vegetable Growers", ABC, June 19, 2017, © ABC
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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. [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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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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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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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.
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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Heirloom Grains, Old-Fashioned Milling, Inspire Chicago Bakers, Distillers

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A small but growing cadre of grain farmers, bakers, distillers, and restaurateurs in the Chicago area are devoted to growing, milling and using ancient, heirloom and organic grains. These devotees have returned to the old way of making bread – no steel roller milling, thank you – in which the local miller grinds all the whole grain – fiber-rich bran, flavorful germ and starchy endosperm – to make flour for the town’s bakers. It has resulted in some high-quality and nutrient-dense, albeit expensive, loaves being sold in local shops. It has also resulted in development of a local vodka made from organic soft red winter wheat and organic rye, milled in-house: “a sipping liquor, with weight and a mild, grainy sweetness.”
Laura Levy Shatkin, "Grain Geeks Push Local, Heirloom Trends", Chicago Tribune, June 19, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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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.
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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True Fruit Abandons Heat Pasteurization

June 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Fruit cup producer True Fruit is now using high pressure processing technology instead of the traditional heat pasteurization process that required the use of artificial preservatives, colors and flavors in making its grapefruit fruit cups. The new technology preserves the flavor of the grapefruit cups as well as the nutrients. It also means the product is now able to gain non-GMO certification, “which is critically important to consumers." True Fruit products are available in 7 oz. and 64 oz. packages in most major U.S. and Canadian markets. [Image Credit: © true fruit ]
"true fruit Packs On The Pressure", News release, true fruit, June 18, 2017, © true fruit
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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.
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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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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Some Of The Advantages Of The Amazon-Whole Foods Deal

June 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Amazon has been tiptoeing into the huge consumer grocery business since it launched its AmazonFresh home delivery service in 2006. The acquisition of Whole Foods Market, with its 460 physical stores, accelerates the move, and offers benefits to bother companies. It is probable that the deal will mean Whole Foods’ Instacart delivery service will be replaced with an Amazon version that adapts Prime Now and AmazonFresh. As to pricing, Amazon is also likely to use its scale and efficiencies to help relieve pricing pressure on Whole Foods. And Amazon could also use Whole Foods’ partnerships with suppliers to lure them to the Amazon platform and take advantage of Amazon’s 300 million customer accounts. [Image Credit: © Whole Foods Market ]
Michelle Grant, "The Implications Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods", Blog entry, Euromonitor International, June 16, 2017, © Euromonitor International
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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. 
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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Millennials Push Beverage Makers Toward Clean Label

June 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Millennial generation is driving the clean label trend as they seek drinks that are authentic and healthful, in particular natural, organic and non-GMO. Their preferences are also driving a trend toward premiumization because Millennial consumers are willing to pay a higher price for these characteristics. The result is that beverage manufacturers are asking flavor suppliers for ingredients that reflect Millennial preferences, especially certified organic, non-GMO, natural – and “true-to-nature” – and allergen-free flavors to mention on their labels. [Image Credit: © Ocean Spray Cranberries ]
Amanda Del Buono, "Millennials, Clean Labels Impact Beverage Flavor Selection", Beverage Industry, June 16, 2017, © BNP Media
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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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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.
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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