Posted by Dale Buss on November 28, 2013 10:20 AM
Sales of almonds and almond products are going nuts around the world, and Blue Diamond is both driving and benefiting from the surge: Its branded consumer business in North America, for example, increased by 30 percent to $469 million in the fiscal year just ended.
Overall, at least four factors are benefiting the global almond trade even though this year's crop was basically flat in California, which accounts for about 80 percent of global supply: good news on health, consumers' retreat from soy milk, a rising consumption boom abroad, and Blue Diamond's branded efforts.
Evidence continues to mount surrounding the healthful properties of nuts, such as a new study keyed by Harvard that shows a link between nut consumption and longer life. Meanwhile, as more American consumers abandon soy milk as their chief non-dairy alternative, almond-milk sales (such as Blue Diamond's Almond Breeze line) have picked up most of the slack—and actually began outselling soy milk in overall US sales earlier this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 07:09 PM
It's World Toilet Day again, but this is no occasion for bathroom humor. Lack of sanitation is one of the biggest scourges in the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines, and it's a broad global problem every day as well. Celebrities ranging from Bill Gates to Matt Damon are tweeting today just to let us know how seriously they take the observance.
The fact is that an estimated 2.5 billion people, or about one in three global denizens, doesn't have access to a toilet or to sustainable sanitation. That means, according to one measure, more people have cell phones than have an adequate toilet. In India, the United Nations said, about 1.1 billion people—about half the population—defecate in the open.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 15, 2013 10:54 AM
As palm oil production continues and demand grows, the most vulnerable tropical habitats worldwide are systemically being destroyed. But after an outcry from consumers and activists, some of the biggest consumers of palm oil are making it their business to implement more sustainable production.
The 2013 edition of WWF’s Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard ranks Ecover, Ferrero, IKEA, REWE, United Biscuits and Unilever as the leaders in the uptake of sustainable efforts.
Earlier this week, Unilever made a transformative move by announcing that all of the palm oil it buys—about 1.3 million tons a year for use in Dove soap, TRESemmé and Flora margarine, among others—will come from traceable sources by the end of 2014, allowing the world’s biggest user of palm oil to guarantee that the oil is coming from environmentally safe and legal suppliers.
The Anglo-Dutch CPG giant has crossed swords with environmental activists for sourcing the oil from plantations involved in mass deforestation in Malaysia and Indonesia, but the brand has vowed to consciously source its product in the future. "The first step in this whole journey is to know where the stuff is coming from," Marc Engel, Unilever's chief procurement officer, told the Wall Street Journal.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 13, 2013 04:54 PM
The global luxury market is set to see its slowest growth this year since 2009, with the Asian market in particular contributing to the slump. French luxury brands Gucci and Louis Vuitton, for example, recently reported drops in Chinese sales as consumers showed a preference for "logo-free" clothing and accessories.
In a turn of events, it's the US that is expected to be a strong luxury market over the next five years, according to a new study by Departures magazine in association with Ledbury Research. Top luxury CEOs ranked North America as the most important growth market, followed by East Asia, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central/South America. Despite China's blistering economic growth in recent years, it is actually the US that created 94 percent of the world's new millionaires over the past year, according to Credit Suisse.
But some of the more intriguing recent data regarding the global luxury market may be coming out of India. A new report published by the Confederation of Indian Industry and IMRB International, a market research firm found that over the past three years, the Indian luxury market has grown around 15 percent, with the highest interest in luxury products as opposed to luxury services. Driving that growth is India's "Closet Consumer."Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 11, 2013 03:23 PM
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have been doubling down on emerging markets, despite feeling tremendous pressure to grow their business in developed regions such as the United States and Europe. And PepsiCo just made a massive US$5.5-billion commitment to expand its operations and sales in Mexico over the next seven years.
CEO Indra Nooyi announced that PepsiCo and its partners plan to double their current production capacity in India, to ramp up distribution infrastructure especially in rural markets, to boost its collaborative program with Indian farmers, and to continue to expand the range of foods and beverages in its current India portfolio of eight brands.
"India is a country with huge potential and it remains an attractive, high-priority market for PepsiCo," Nooyi said in a statement. "We believe we've only scratched the surface of the long-term growth opportunities." In a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Nooyi also couldn't resist a playful dig at her biggest competitor, telling reporters that the Pepsi brand is "more youthful" than rival Coca-Cola.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2013 07:02 PM
SABMiller India Enforcing Road Rules
Driving around India during the holiday season may get a bit noisy if SABMiller has its way. The company is handing out whistles so folks can make themselves heard to anyone who is breaking the rules of the road as part of its “Respect the Road” campaign.
“‘Respect the Road’ is India’s biggest don’t drink and drive campaign on the digital platform,” the company said. “Going beyond highlighting the perils of drunk driving, the Facebook page of the campaign will now also highlight dangerous and risky road behavior leading to road accidents and fatalities. The page will showcase whistle creatives and images of people blowing whistles at traffic offenders. The objective is to involve people and encourage them to participate in this campaign to address the issue of road safety.”
The campaign also includes a partnership with Piquor, a social-enabled photobooth installed in one of New Delhi's hotspots where night time revelers can snap a photo in the booth to make a pledge toward the campaign.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 5, 2013 01:26 PM
If Harley-Davidson knows one thing, it's heavy metal. The iconic manufacturer of road warriors has been building heavy bikes for decades, but facing a new era of personal transportation and some new competition, the brand is looking to strip some excess weight to make it a better fit for more global markets.
Harley is changing its look to appeal to a younger, more international demographic. After all, the company expects to make 40 percent of its revenue from outside the United States by next year. To help boost those numbers, it has debuted it first lightweight bikes—the Street 500 and Street 750—at events in Kansas City, Mo., and in Milan.
"(It) fills a need for people who want to identify with a brand but have a motorcycle that is less intimidating, and more inviting,” said Matthew S. Levatich, Harley's president and chief operating officer, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This bike is easier to ride and easier to learn how to ride."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 11:07 AM
Even Apple is becoming vulnerable to the things that afflict most other companies. Its profits and margins slid despite selling 33.8 million iPhones in its September quarter, and the tech icon signaled a more challenging than usual holiday selling season ahead as well as slower going in China.
Apple stock slid after CEO Tim Cook on Monday outlined what Reuters called "unremarkable quarterly numbers" that prompted some disappointed investors to cash in on the stock. Apple has slid overall by more than 10 percent in the last year as concerns have grown about everything from its current slate of new products—such as the two new iPhones and iPads—to what it might or might not have up its sleeve for the future.
The company's main products, the iPhone and iPad, have been under increasing competitive pressure from rivals including Samsung and Amazon that sell cheaper devices that run on versions of Google's widespread Android operating system, USA Today noted. Even Nokia is reporting record Lumia sales, while BlackBerry this week saw a renewed sense of hope after its free BBM messaging app netted over 20 million downloads in its first week. All of that "has Wall Street scouring Apple's quarterly results for any sign the company is dropping prices at the expense of profit margins."Continue reading...