Hershey is seeking ways to spur impulse buying behaviors in a retail environment that increasingly side-steps the all-important checkout line. With an increasing number of purchases taking place at self-check and via mobile and online shopping sites, the confectioner is experimenting with virtual reality tools to replicate the in-store shopping experiences that trigger the sweet indulgence purchases that help drive the company's bottom line.
Nestle, Unilever, Dole, Tyson Foods, Driscoll's and McCormick and Co. are among a group of nine food firms working with IBM to develop new ways to improve their supply chain operations using blockchain technology. Participants in the effort believe that blockchain, which brings together data from every step in a food's supply chain, can be used to ship food more efficiently, as well as help ensure the safety of the global food supply.
Beef and poultry producer Cargill has invested in Memphis Meats, a startup that grows "clean meat" from cultured, self-reproducing animal cells. "For people who want a product from an animal welfare perspective, we want this to be there for them," said Sonya Roberts, head of growth ventures in Cargill's meat unit.
Freshpet CEO and GMA board member Billy Cyr shared insights on the challenges facing the CPG industry in his address at the first stop on GMA's nationwide "Grocery Manufacturers Power America" tour. He stressed how improved infrastructure, a skilled labor force, a streamlined permitting process and a transnational regulatory framework could be key to helping CPG producers grow efficiently.
Revenues from Philadelphia's soda tax have fallen 15% short of expected targets, as residents travel outside of the city to purchase sweetened beverages. City officials had projected $46 million in revenues from the levy, but soda purchases in the city have fallen by 55%, leaving only $39.3 million in revenue generated by the taxes since they went into effect on Jan. 1.
Evolution Fresh has seen a three-year pattern of sales increases during August and September for its Defense Up juice line, which includes ingredients that are said to boost immunity. "Our Defense Up is a great juice for back-to-school or overall because it is satiating and nutritious and delicious, can be taken on the go and it is great for immune health," said Evolution Fresh's Anne Williams.
PepsiCo is renewing its agreement with European licensing partner IMG, which has yielded several product launches, including branded clothing, giftware and other merchandise aimed at fashion-forward millennial shoppers.
Although some large brewers are seeing a negative impact from a generational marketing trend that favors wine and spirits, millennial customers are still in the market for a wide variety of craft beers, Rich Duprey writes. "[T]he beer industry, well, the craft beer industry anyway, has never been healthier," he writes.
Glass packaging manufacturer O-I has unveiled a new bottle design with an asymmetrical neck meant to facilitate better pouring for craft beers. The MyPour bottle is already in use by several South American breweries, including Brazilian brewers Bodebrown and Von Borstel.
Gallo has expanded the distribution footprint of its Apothic Dark red wine blend, which will appear on Tesco shelves in the UK this month. American consumers can already buy the variety, as well as other beverages in Gallo's Apothic line, on Amazon.
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