Amazon has plans to open up to six of its Amazon Go concept convenience stores in the coming year, according to reports. Seattle and Los Angeles are reportedly in the running for locations of the store, with Amazon identifying three possible sites in its hometown of Seattle.
General Mills will pay approximately $8 billion to acquire natural pet-food producer Blue Buffalo Pet Products. "In pet food, as in human food, consumers are seeking more natural and premium products," said General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening.
Coca-Cola aims to drive growth via innovations, sharing ideas between global markets as well as mergers and acquisition activity, said CEO James Quincey. "The next five years will be some of our best five years," he said.
J.M. Smucker is bringing two new product lines to market: Jif Powerups, a peanut-based snack line debuting in May, and a premium coffee brand called 1850. The coffee line will offer K-Cups and bagged products starting in April, as well as ready-to-drink coffees rolling out this summer, marking Smucker's first major product in the bottled-coffee space, said CEO Mark Smucker.
Kellogg is launching a program called "Deploy for Growth," which will focus on new growth pillars to drive the company forward for the long term. "We're going to bring the same relentless focus to a growth agenda that we brought to reducing our cost structure in recent years, and we're going to deploy our resources behind growth via investment, via M&A and via improved capabilities and execution," said CEO Steven Cahillane.
Hershey Chairman John Bilbrey will retire from the board this spring, with lead independent director Charles Davis to take over the role. Bilbrey has served as president and CEO of the company in the past.
Fox Searchlight Pictures is making a movie about Richard Montanez, the man who created Flamin' Hot Cheetos while working as a janitor at Frito-Lay. Montanez was inspired to pitch his idea, which was inspired by elotes, or grilled Mexican street corn, to company executives after then-CEO Roger Enrico encouraged all of Frito-Lay's employees to "act like an owner."
Bell Flavors & Fragrances has announced three executive changes, including the promotion of Kelli Heinz to vice president of marketing. The company has also promoted John Kocis to director of analytical services and Susan Payton to director of customer and administrative services.
Mondelez is deploying a four-pronged strategy for the future that involves fresh innovations, expanding its power brands into new categories and markets, strengthening its e-commerce business and sharpening execution, said CEO Dirk Van de Put. "More than ever, we need to put the consumer at the center of everything we do, and we need to execute with excellence every day in every store," he said.
Coca-Cola is bringing its Georgia Peach and California Raspberry Coke flavors to store shelves this week in single glass bottles and four-packs. The launches represent the first new flavors for the Coca-Cola line since the 2002 debut of Vanilla Coke.
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