Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2013 01:53 PM
Groupe Danone purchased Happy Family brands for its expertise in organic baby food, for sure. But another, less-appreciated target in the transaction announced today was the American startup's command of the mommy-blogger market.
Happy Family and its parent Nurture "are very linked to moms," Agnes Danthonay, spokeswoman for the Paris-based parent of Dannon USA and the world's largest yogurt maker, told brandchannel. ''They have the biggest network of [mommy bloggers] within the United States, and that's something we really looked at: How can we better use social networks to gain proximity with consumers?"
Danone signed a deal for a 92 percent stake in Happy Family mainly because of its strong position as one of the originators of mainstream organic baby food in the US market. Happy Family nearly quadrupled its revenues over the last three years, to $62 million last year, in part by extending its product line and brands to include squeezable pouches of fruit purees that are even meant for adults.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 04:39 PM
Coca-Cola took one step back a few years ago by acquiring large pieces of its bottling operations. Now the company plans to take two steps forward by handing back big chunks of its bottling system to selected independent bottlers as part of Coke's overall creation of a national bottling and distribution system that will give it far more control over sales, distribution and balancing of its brands.
Specifically, Coke disclosed a rough framework for handing off distribution in certain geographic areas to five established, independent bottlers either through an outright sale, a swap of territory or other arrangements. Closings, after more negotiations, are expected by year-end.
"We are intent to make the necessary changes in the format and architecture of production to achieve ... a coast-to-coast, nationally run production system," Coke CEO Muhtar Kent said on Tuesday's earnings call, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Under the new arrangements, the bottlers will be able to take part in that model by purchasing trucks, coolers and other equipment to distribute the products in their territories, the newspaper said. The national model also will enable Coke to be more responsive to large customers like Walmart because the company can make centralized sales and marketing decisions. PepsiCo similarly concentrated its bottling operations three years ago but Coke has moved first on the next step.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 05:31 PM
Nike and Oakley drop paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorious following steroid allegations during girlfriend's murder investigation.
Costco CEO addresses Tiffany suit for alleged trademark infringement in all-company email (exclusive).
Starbucks expands India footprint to seven stores as company tests video chat drive-through ordering and expands Starbucks Evenings concept to Washington's Dulles airport.
Carnival cruiseship fire blamed on fuel line leak.
China vows to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations.
Disney's Hong Kong Disneyland theme park finally turns a profit thanks to Toy Story attraction.
Amway quietly builds brands and racks up sales.
BP prepares to go to court over Gulf spill.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 4, 2012 03:33 PM
The siren song — or is that a moo? — of dairy drinks continues to draw America's soft-drink giants deeper into investments in milk-based products. Coca-Cola has today announced an equity investment in a new company that has been formed to market Core Power, a dairy-based recovery brand that the company began distributing a few months ago.
In fact, Coke said, through the newly created Fair Oaks Farms Brands, it plans to help "drive growth and expansion of Core Power and to create an innovative portfolio of brands and products that feature the value-added nutrition of dairy." Fair Oaks Farms and Select Milk Producers, Coke's partners in the new venture, came up with Core Power, and the high protein recover shake brand is run by former Coca-Cola executive Steve Jones.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM
The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.
But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.
Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.
In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on August 20, 2012 02:57 PM
Having shored up its flagship brand globally with the marketing momentum provided by its London Olympics sponsorship, Coke this fall will turn its attention to a category where it has been lagging -- even behind thirst-slaking archrival PepsiCo: ready-to-drink tea.
Fuze, a better-for-you juice brand that Coke acquired in the same era of diversification that landed it Vitaminwater several years ago, is becoming the recipient of Coke's decision to go harder after the fast-growing mainstream RTD tea segment in the U.S. market when its 20-year-long joint venture with Nestle to market Nestea in the U.S. comes to an end at the beginning of next year.
Independent Arizona leads the rising market with about a 40 percent share, followed by PepsiCo which fields the Brisk brand, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Nestea. Coke would like a much bigger share of tea drinkers than has so far been afforded by its homegrown Gold Peak refrigerated brand and its acquisition of organic-tea expert Honest Tea a few years ago. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 24, 2012 04:43 PM
New Yorkers were girding for a showdown Wednesday between Mayor Bloomberg and the opponents to his proposed ban on 16-ounce or bigger soft drinks. A mid-afternoon public hearing was scheduled to debate the measure, which still needs approval by the city Board of Health — appointed by the mayor — to take effect.
The ban's opponents could always sue or appeal to the state legislature (or not, judging by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recent remarks), but the "hundreds" of people who gathered on the steps of City Hall on Monday to oppose the ban, organized by a American Beverage Association coalition called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, would rather put a stop to Bloomberg's legislation before it goes into effect.Continue reading...