Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 28, 2013 11:27 AM
In what seems like impeccable timing, Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke delivered a sustainability-focused keynote at the annual City Food Lecture in the U.K., ultimately challenging the accusations made about the company in a damning Oxfam report earlier this week.
The speech, which focused on the escalating perils of water scarcity, outlined that fresh water overuse poses a serious environmental, political and social hazard. Water is an issue near and dear to his heart, as the Swiss company is the world's No. 3 producer of bottled water, and looking to expand in water-constrained markets such as China.
“It is anticipated that there will be up to 30% shortfalls in global cereal production by 2030 due to water scarcity,” he said. “This is a loss equivalent to the entire grain crops of India and the United States combined.” What's more, he added, “We could produce what we produce today with half the water we use.”
In his address, Bulcke cited his company’s reduction of water usage by a third with 1,200 agronomists working with Nestlé to better manage its water use. Bulcke also commented that consumer acceptance of misshapen fruit and vegetables is necessary to cut waste of food products, as well as spoke out against the fuel industry for using food crops to create biofuels.
Bulcke also took the opportunity to further address the horse meat crisis affecting retailers such as IKEA and manufacturers in Europe, a crisis that compelled Nestle to pull some food products off store shelves last week. “Widespread fraud is being committed by a few across Europe. I understand that many consumers and many of you in the industry feel misled, I feel the same. This should not happen, it is unforgivable. We have let our consumers down.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 27, 2013 03:26 PM
We may live in an increasingly virtual world, but often it's what happens at live tech trade shows that sets the tone for what is to come. Such was the case with the flurry of major product announcements at January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
This week's Mobile World Congress (MWC13) in Barcelona, Spain has been just as interesting, albeit for different reasons. One couldn't help but notice, for example, Samsung everywhere and Apple nowhere. Coming off its recent glitzy Super Bowl campaign with Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen and Oscars ad campaign starring Tim Burton, Samsung had a dominant presence at MWC13, debuting the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet as a competitor to the iPad Mini, touting its Android-powered Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II smartphones and proclaiming that it would double tablet sales from a year ago.
Samsung also aligned itself with the show introduction of Intel's Tizen, a new mobile operating system expected to challenge Google's Android. This could potentially put Samsung, which will launch Tizen-based phones this summer, on a collision course with Google, since Samsung currently makes more Android-based devices than any other manufacturer.
Of course, collision courses are nothing new for Samsung, the Korean behemoth that leads the world in cellphones.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 29, 2013 02:04 PM
Reebok is expanding its push in India, with large marketing campaigns, new products and tie-ins to big national sports stars.
The move comes as analysts say India, with more than 1.2 billion people, is ripe for market expansion. The India market research firm RNCOS found that the “Indian sports apparel market was set for annual growth of around 34% during the 2010-14 period.”
Seems like it’s a good time for Reebok to capitalize, especially since another report found that 15- to 24-year-old Indians labeled Reebok owner Adidas “the nation’s second ‘most exciting’ brand behind soft drinks giant Coca-Colas.”Continue reading...
in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on January 25, 2013 10:59 AM
After spending the first couple years of his tenure falling short of expectations, Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald now sees a big ray of sunshine — in the form of P&G's second fiscal quarter earnings report. Earnings and sales were well ahead of forecast thanks to the chief's recent aggressive actions to boost brand performance and cut costs.
Consumer and retailer response to new products such as Tide Pods and a high-price version of Pantene shampoo has been promising. P&G said it held or grew market share in businesses representing nearly 50 percent of sales in the October-December quarter. In the U.S. market, it met that pattern in businesses representing nearly 60 percent of sales.
The case of Tide Pods, an important new product, is an example of what P&G is aiming for. Marketing has been able to persuade some customers, even cost-conscious ones, that the premium-priced innovation, which is coming up on its first anniversary, is worth the higher outlay.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 23, 2013 05:45 PM
Unilever's recent sale of its Skippy peanut butter brand in North America was just one indication of how slow-growing food businesses have begun to weigh down the global CPG giant.
Today's earnings report underscored that difficulty for Unilever: Fourth-quarter sales of Ben & Jerry's, Knorr soups and other Unilever food brands rose only 1.3 percent as consumers in debt-laden U.S. and Western Europe markets continue to pare back their supermarket purchases.
On the other hand, Unilever's business in Asia, Africa and Latin America demonstrated enough strength that the company was able to report an overall 5.4 percent rise in net profit for the period. In those markets, its revenues accelerated in home and personal-care items such as surface cleaners, soap and deodorant.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2012 12:07 PM
Executives at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, were already having a bad week, with its holiday-heightened labor dispute on the current cover of Bloomberg Businessweek and brisk business making Bushmaster rifles the #1 assault rifle in America criticized in the wake of the Newtown, CT, school massacre. Still, at least the Mexico bribery scandal that besmirched its corporate reputation earlier this year, when a New York Times investigation was published, was dying down. Until Tuesday night.
That's when the New York Times' follow-up to its April expose was published online, with the headline, "How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs in Mexico." After examining thousands of documents and talking to local officials and Walmart's own executives, the latest chapter in the NYT expose concludes, "An examination by The New York Times found Wal-Mart de Mexico to be an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited."
The story is featured on the New York Times homepage today, smack in the middle of the gun debate raging among its readers, editors, writers and the population at large — a debate in which Walmart's brand is also involved as America's largest seller of guns, and the Sandy Hook rifle, in particular.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2012 01:19 PM
Intending not to let rivals outdistance it in emerging markets, Volkswagen may launch a new low-cost brand by about 2015. Surprisingly, one of the world's best small-car makers so far has lacked a major presence in important emerging markets such as India and Southeast Asia.
Now Volkswagen reportedly is aiming for a price range of $6,500 to $12,900 for the budget cars, which may include a minivan, wagon and small sedan. They would be aimed at the BRIC nations and also, perhaps, Europe. "We're regularly looking at new segments and interesting markets which also include so-called budget cars," Volkswagen Group America spokesman Eric Felber commented to Reuters. "But a decision has not been taken yet."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 25, 2012 04:14 PM
Most start-ups would leap at the chance for investment and the opportunity to work with a global branding powerhouse to jumpstart their dreams. Now entrepreneurs in Brazil will have that very chance.
PepsiCo on Monday announced the next phase of its digital incubator program, which is setting up shop in Brazil with an open call for entrepreneurs and university students in the country to submit ideas for its PepsiCo10 program.
For the first time in the initiative's three-year history, it's looking to emerging markets for innovation and the big ideas in technology across four categories: business sustainability, entertainment, mobile and retail.Continue reading...