Product developers at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division are seeking a balance between flavor and nutrition by researching new and different ingredients for its snack foods. By considering items such as legumes, tubers and pulses, Frito-Lay aims to deliver its innovations to consumers without sacrificing taste, company executives say.
In today's socially connected world, it's consumers -- not brands -- that are in control of product messaging, said Linda Eatherton of Ketchum's food and beverage practice. Whereas the previous way of marketing highlighted brands' spotless images, companies must now demonstrate the steps they are taking to improve before they can gain permission to enter consumers' lives, she said.
Seven is rolling out a sparkling water line in four flavors, two of which are based on popular cocktail ingredients. "I felt like in the sparkling water category there was room for a [product] that had a little bit more than just the natural essence or a more singular flavor focus," said founder Tyler Merrick.
A-Treat is returning to store shelves in four flavors -- cream, sarsaparilla, black cherry and birch beer -- after fans weighed in about their favorites on social media. The company is tipping its hat to A-Treat's heritage by delivering the throwback flavors in glass bottles with a new, vintage-inspired logo.
The Kellogg Company plans to use its Postharvest Loss Reduction Program to help farmers reduce spoilage and education initiatives to help consumers conserve food. Other strategies outlined in Kellogg's vision for food waste reduction include cold storage facilities like the one being supported by TechnoServe in Kenya.
Japanese Kit Kat fans can now customize their own Kit Kat packaging at a vending machine in Kyoto. Nestle Japan said that other vending machines may be deployed in the future if the Kyoto machine proves popular with consumers.
Walmart is hoping to drive customers to its stores through a series of unique private-label innovations that bend commonly held assumptions about food and flavor. Through the work of food scientists at its Culinary and Innovation Center, the company has developed such unheard of treats as grapes that taste like cotton candy and Tropickles -- tropical fruit-flavored pickles -- sold under the Great Value brand.
Storck USA has debuted a new marketing campaign for its Merci chocolate brand. The campaign includes social media ads and TV commercials that remind viewers to thank "people that make an impact on our everyday lives," said Kelly Cook, vice president of marketing.
The Cheesecake Factory opened its first Canadian location last week in a Toronto mall that draws 18 million annual visitors. Calls for reservations began coming in when news of the planned restaurant broke last spring, and the chain's popularity with Canadians visiting the US has the company confident of success, said spokeswoman Alethea Rowe.
Post Holdings CEO Robert Vitale foresees a more competitive cereal market next year, and the company is preparing by outlining several key expectations for 2018. The firm will finalize the last stage of merging Post Foods and MOM Brands, integrate Weetabix into the North American market and "continue to deliver taste and value propositions that enable us to defend our share," Vitale said.