Winn-Dixie's newest renovated store in Tampa, Fla., is one of five new formats the company will roll out to cater to different demographic groups in the markets it serves, said Ian McLeod, CEO of parent Southeastern Grocers. The revamped Tampa store stresses organic and local foods to compete with nearby Publix GreenWise, Whole Foods and The Fresh Market stores.
Consumers are increasingly demanding bolder flavors and hotter spices in their snack foods, according to several flavor forecasts. Millennials, who snack more than previous generations, are looking for authentic international flavors such as Indian tikka masala and Korean barbecue.
Beverages with a mushroom component are finding a market based on the strength of their health claims and on their flavor appeal, especially for consumers following plant-based diets. Sales for products containing Reishi mushrooms surged 91% over the last year, SPINS data indicates, and many manufacturers are adding mushrooms to beverages such as tea, lemonade and protein drinks.
Executives at PepsiCo are moving to a mobile-first marketing strategy focusing on measurable, data-driven results and dynamic creative, said Adam Harter, PepsiCo's vice president of cultural connections. "If someone calls a meeting to review creative for a campaign that doesn't have a mobile component, that meeting gets cancelled," he explained.
ConAgra is rolling out a new line of Slim Jim Turkey Sticks to take advantage of millennial shoppers' growing desire to purchase poultry-based proteins. The products will hit stores this December in barbecue, habanero and original flavors.
The market for children's bottled water is expected to grow by 7% annually over the next five years, said Esther Renfrew of Zenith International. The appeal of bottled water for manufacturers may lie in pricing, which is 20-50% higher for waters marketed to this demographic.
Entertainer Justin Timberlake has been named Bai Brands' first chief flavor officer after making an investment in the company. Timberlake is a longtime fan of the brand, which projects revenue of $300 million this year, and he will contribute to the company's marketing and product development efforts.
The Kellogg Co. has joined forces with Mistica Foods to create chicken bites coated with Cheez-It breading for the ready-to-cook market. The product is already on the shelves at Wal-Mart locations nationwide and will roll out to other grocers over the next few months.
Gay Lea Foods will acquire Stirling Creamery in a deal that will bolster the Canadian firm's Ontario butter and cheese business and help expand the Canadian dairy market, said Gay Lea CEO Michael Barrett. Gay Lea will continue Stirling's current customer and supplier relationships when the deal closes on Nov. 1.
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