Best Global Green Brands 2014

chew on this

CPG Brands Whack Calories, But Some Critics Won't Give Them Their Due

Posted by Dale Buss on January 9, 2014 02:58 PM

Apparently you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't—at least if you're a consumer packaged goods company. That's one of the big lessons of the reaction to this week's announcement that CPG companies have more than quadrupled the goal in their pledge to reduce the total calories contained in their products over the last five years.

Critics quickly wondered whether the companies should be getting credit, or just American consumers who've been making "better" eating choices. But more on that later.

The total calories in products sold by 16 of the nation's largest food and beverage companies—ranging from Coca-Cola to PepsiCo, General Miils to Kellogg, Kraft to Nestle —dropped by 6.4 trillion from 2007 through 2012, according to an independent evaluation funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Yahoo, Alibaba, McDonald's and more

Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 09:23 AM

In the News

Yahoo overhauls its advertising platforms as Mayer puts on a show at CES

Alibaba integrates its payment service with China's Sina Weibo.

McDonald's looks to use sustainable beef by 2016.

Airbus names new US chief.

Amazon makes it difficult for new hires to stick.

Barnes & Noble promotes Nook head to CEO.

Bentley sees steady luxury sales in 2014.

BlackBerry renews its vows to the smartphone keyboard.

Boeing must slash costs of building Dreamliner.

Comcast halts erosion in video subscribers.Continue reading...

chew on this

Balance Bar Hopes to Whet Appeties with 'Anti-Resolutions' Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on December 23, 2013 10:42 AM

The traditional weight-loss business is struggling, which may have created a new opportunity for a non-traditional participant. Balance Bar has launched an "anti-resolutions pledge" campaign for would-be dieters that asks them to skip their annual strenuous and demanding January promises that so often end in failure.

Owned by NBTY since last year, the nutrition-bar brand—one of the creators and original major players in the segment—is touting The Balance Bar Pledge, which it calls "an anti-resolutions pledge that encourages people to skip the tradition of setting overly ambitious and sometimes-unachievable goals and instead make one small step each month that supports their health, wellness and overall happiness."

Of course one of those presumed steps is to buy and eat the 20 varieties of Balance Bar's nutrition energy bars. But the brand also offers advice from "lifestyle expert Laurel House, kown as TheQuickieChick," such as taking May to "surround yourself with motivating people" and "taking care of your body" in August.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Hilton, Green Mountain, A&E and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 12, 2013 09:20 AM

In the News

Hilton raises more than $2.3 billion in biggest-ever hotel IPO.

Green Mountain introduces college-branded K-Cup brewers.

A&E rebrands Bio as Lifestyle Network FYI.

American Airlines signs big jet deals with Bombardier and Embraer.

Aramark prices IPO at high end.

Avon halts rollout of new order-management system.

Barnes & Noble sees chairman book $40 million loss on company stock sale.

Boeing gets new offer from machinists in Washington on 777X factory.

ExxonMobil presses to be able to export US oil.

Ford board is said to want answers from CEO Alan Mulally about his future.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Pope Francis, Lululemon, Vice and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2013 09:15 AM

Time names Pope Francis its Person of the Year.

Amazon delivery drones hit legal snag.

Barclays to end London bike sponsorship.

Chick-fil-A tests ordering app.

Costco misses estimates and boosts discounts.

Discovery Communications mulls bid for Scripps Networks, owner of Food Network and HGTV.

GM decides to halt vehicle manufacturing in Australia in 2017.

Gannett adds USA Today to local papers. Continue reading...

brand strategy

Global Slowdown Forces Unilever to Axe Thousands of Products, Employees

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 02:47 PM

Maybe the glum economic view in Europe is souring the perspectives of CPG-company CEOs there. Or maybe they're the ones most looking at the global economy without rose-colored glasses these days. In any event, both Unilever and Nestle have announced significant new moves that will bring about big new skinbacks in their portfolios—and marketing.

Unilever stunned followers of the company by announcing that it aims to cut the number of individual products it sells by a whopping 30 percent by the end of next year so that it can become more efficient and navigate a global economic slowdown that it admits it was slow to confront, according to Reuters.

As a result, the Anglo-Dutch maker of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Lipton tea, Knorr soups and Dove personal-care products—among many other brands—is cutting about 2,000 jobs, including about 800 alone in marketing, and will continue to adjust its portfolio.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sears, Nike, Spotify and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 6, 2013 09:14 AM

In the News

Sears files to spin off Lands' End as company's struggles disenchant investors.

Nike features Man-U's Wayne Rooney in ads for new soccer ball as spokesman LeBron James hinders efforts to market his own new shoe.

Spotify introduces free mobile music service.

Dell offers employee buyouts to cut costs.

Electronic Arts refocuses to fix Battlefield bugs.

Ford pulls off lavish global launch of new Mustang and promises a convertible too, while company scion says CEO Alan Mulally isn't leaving next year.

GM may pull production out of Australia soon.

Hershey introduces Jolly Rancher in India.

Honda uses dealer cash incentives to push for better December than last year.

JCPenney discloses SEC peek into its finances.

Jaguar Land Rover plans Brazil output beginning in 2016.

NBC surveys feedback on The Sound of Music live telecast that featured tight integration with Walmart ads.

Nestle continues streamlining with sale of 10-percent stake in Givaudan flavor house.

Nissan crafts promotional car-design experience based on digital goggles.

Quiznos slows into a financial crisis.

Tesla dodges bullet aimed at its plan to sell in Ohio.

Unilever plans to cut SKUs by up to 30 percent and slash marketing headcount by 12 percent.

The Big Game

Nestle Plans to Debut Super Bowl Sensation as Rival Mars Awaits Category Tilt

Posted by Dale Buss on November 29, 2013 10:28 AM

Super Bowl fans have enjoyed lots of classic matchups over the years. Packers-Chiefs in the first one. Jets-Colts. Patriots-Giants. Volkswagen-Hyundai. Pepsi-Coke.

But they’ve never seen two candy-brand heavyweights slug it out with advertising in the Big Game—until this season's upcoming Super Bowl, that is. Nestle plans to inject its new Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups into Super Bowl XLVIII advertising on February 2 on Fox, and Candyland is atwitter with the possibilities for creating a new in-game category rivalry with Mars.

Hershey has dominated the peanut butter-cup business for decades with Reese’s, so new competition in that segment even from another confection that relies on peanut butter—Butterfinger—will be faced with that stranglehold. That’s exactly why Nestle has decided to use America’s largest advertising platform to introduce its new player.Continue reading...

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