Posted by Dale Buss on July 22, 2014 04:12 PM
Campbell Soup already has tried just about everything in its efforts to jump-start growth in the last few years under CEO Denise Morrison. And now the packaged-goods giant says it's going to try more of just about everything in a bid to finally get over the stagnation hump—and supercharge revenues by 20 percent to become a $10 billion company within the next five years.
Morrison plans to reach that goal with a flurry of new products, greater leveraging of Campbell's recent acquisitions and the likelihood of more acquisitions ahead to counter the slow-growth "new normal" in the US packaged-goods industry and to pick up the company's uneven recent efforts to spur new organic growth.
She and other Campbell executives told an investor conference this week that, among other things, they plan a blitz of more than 200 new products in 2015 that will include protein bars and shakes to capitalize on the protein trend, the first organic varieties of Campbell Soup including flavors such as chicken tortilla and garden vegetable, and a new range of V8 flavors that seek to seize on the juicing trend with varieties such as Purple Power, a veggie blend with beets.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 27, 2014 10:37 AM
Chipotle, which markets itself as selling “Food With Integrity,” has rolled itself a burrito full of bad PR recently due to it importing its grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef from Australia instead of the US, where it says the product is in low-supply.
But the claims by the quick-serve restaurant aren't going over well with Texas ranchers. Texas Agriculture commissioner Todd Staples wrote an open letter to Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells that decries him for his “misguided and irresponsible declaration that the meat from Australia is somehow more 'responsibly raised' than meat produced by Texas ranchers," Adweek reports. "Steve Ells should get together with Texas beef industry leaders to have a real discussion about 'meating' their needs.” He goes on to encourage those who dine at Chipotle to “push Mr. Ells” to work with his organization.
As Beef Magazine puts it, “(Ells) insinuates that traditional beef is full of hormones and antibiotics, and sourcing beef that has been raised with “integrity” is incredibly difficult in the US, which couldn’t be further from the truth.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 23, 2014 10:40 AM
It took 10 years for Honest Tea to sell its first 112 million beverages as a savvy but slowly growing startup out of Bethesda, Md. But since Coca-Cola purchased its first interest in the organic-tea innovator in 2008, Honest Tea has sold 888 million units.
That totals one billion bottles, and co-founder and TeaEO Seth Goldman and his crew celebrated the landmark sale this week.
Many of those were sold last year alone, when Honest Tea achieved $112 million in sales. Along with rapidly accelerated sales—thanks to a vastly expanded distribution footprint and retail presence around the United States—there have been lots of other changes at Honest Tea since Coke took a minor share and, especially, after the beverage giant acquired the company in 2011 as part of its continuing experimentation with healthy-beverage segments.
Goldman still runs the company, and Honest Tea is sticking to its tried-and-true formula of low-calorie, organic teas and other beverages with authentic ingredients. But now he’s got the resources to stretch the brand into segments and categories where it couldn’t manage to go until it came under Coke’s ownership—and even a little cushion to fail occasionally.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 16, 2014 05:54 PM
Let’s face it—we are now destroying our oceans in the same way we have desecrated our soil and air.
Greenpeace's eighth-annual seafood sustainability report, Carting Away the Oceans, exposes the sourcing and sustainability efforts of 26 major retailers—not all of which scored well.
Roundy's, Bi-Lo, Save Mart and Publix failed on their seafood sourcing and sustainability efforts completely, and Kroger, the fifth-largest food retailer in the world, is cited as selling the most Red List species of any U.S. grocery chain for the third consecutive year.
Whole Foods and Safeway, however, topped the ranking guide.
“When Greenpeace started ranking America’s retailers on seafood sustainability in 2008, every company failed,” said James Mitchell, Greenpeace Senior Oceans Campaigner. “We’ve seen huge improvements since then, yet grocery giants like Kroger are still stocking too many threatened Red List species, which are often caught using highly destructive fishing methods.”
Greenpeace credits Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for not stocking Bumblebee, Chicken of the Sea or StarKist’s tuna, all caught through destructive fishing methods such as the use of artificial floating objects that attract young tuna to the sea's surface.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 6, 2014 07:37 PM
Since 1985, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and a slew of their friends have been rocking out at Farm Aid in the hopes of helping family farms. Now someone new has joined the fight to help smaller farms from disappearing from the US: big business.
Locally sourced organic fruits and vegetables have become desired by many Americans as society’s continued pressure to go green has now affected even the largest retailers. Whole Foods has just announced that it will add $15 million more to the $10 million it has already doled out in low-interest loans to local growers working on such projects as “biodynamic farming, non-GMO animal feed, and pollinator health, as well as more sustainable packaging,” Mediapost reports. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Whole Foods’ program has handed out 184 loans to 155 companies since its inception in 2007.
Walmart is doubling the number of locally grown fruits and vegetables it offers before the end of 2015. Locally sourced meat and seafood as well as locally sourced produce placed first or second on the lists of 1,300 professional chefs that were voting on 2014’s most important trends, according to the National Restaurant Association. In shorter terms, local is the new black.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2013 02:47 PM
It may be the last food store where you'd expect to find something healthy to eat. Clogged with energy drinks, candy bars, glazed doughnuts, bags of fat-saturated and salty chips, sugary soft drinks, and beef jerky, the whole point of a convenience store is to satisfy the immediate cravings of a hungry consumer with easy-to-ingest offerings that also offer high margins to the retailer.
Until now, that is. C-store leader 7-Eleven has dabbled with healthier offerings before, but now the Dallas-based chain says that it's devoting an entire section of some of its stores to healthy snacks including roasted edamame, organic trail mix, veggie chips and a variety of dried fruit and nut blends, according to Food Business News.
"Better-for-you is one of the fastest-growing segments of the snacking category," noted Rebecca Frechette, a vice president of merchandising for 7-Eleven, according to the publication.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 22, 2013 02:40 PM
The "new normal" in grocery shopping has presented Whole Foods Markets with a new dilemma: how to tap into the increasingly promotional appetites of its financially stressed target demographic without diluting the exclusivity and cachet of a brand whose nickname has become "Whole Paycheck."
Whole Foods leadership is tackling that challenge carefully, both emulating the discount tactics used by traditional supermarkets at the same time that it does so only selectively, at least for now.
"The recession was a wake-up call for us," Co-CEO Walter Robb told the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, he said, "People are stuck in the past about what Whole Foods is in the marketplace."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 7, 2013 05:03 PM
Target is going organic with a new store brand, Simply Balanced. The first products will include drinks and snacks as the big-box retailer expands its grocery selection, much of which is already marketed as a generic alternative to national name brands.
Amanda Irish, senior director of Target’s store brands, said the new line is in response to the growing popularity of organic foods, and they will amp up selections in that category by 25 percent by 2017, eventually including about 250 products priced in line with Target's Archer Farms and national brands. Target also offers a store brand called Market Pantry, priced about 10 to 30 percent cheaper than national name brands of which 50 percent of products are organic and three-quarters are free of genetically modified ingredients. Target is hoping to eliminate GMOs from that line by 2014.
"Groceries tend to have lower profit margins for Target than other parts of its business," notes the AP, "but the retailer has nevertheless been touting its groceries in recent years as a way to attract more shoppers and become a 'one-stop' shopping destination. Last year, groceries and pet supplies accounted for 20 percent of Target’s overall sales. That’s up from 16 percent in 2009."Continue reading...