Nestle is planning to expand its plant-based portfolio due to pandemic-related meat supply chain disruptions prompting consumers to try plant-based alternatives, said CEO Mark Schneider. "We want to lead in many of the segments and we'll go as far as the market will take us," added Schneider.
Procter & Gamble has launched Bounce Pet Hair and Lint Guard dryer sheets, which are twice as large as the original Bounce variety and have triple the hair-resisting ingredients, as pet adoptions have surged during the coronavirus pandemic. Brand research has found 70% of pet owners are seeking pet hair solutions, according to Shivani Kanneganti, P&G's North America fabric care senior brand director.
Kraft Heinz significantly increased engagement on Twitter last week for its Bagel Bites brand by asking "How should a dog wear pants?" as part of its "Pizza on a Bagel -- We Can All Agree With That" campaign. Last week was National Dog Week, and the campaign started last month with 15-second spots aiming to inject levity into the polarized social media landscape.
Consumer demand for wellness solutions is driving Bolthouse Farms' debut of Superfood Immunity Boost late next month, said chief customer officer Phil Kooy. The beverage blends echinacea with cranberry and elderberry juice in a 52-ounce bottle, and Bolthouse will adopt the multi-serve size for five other "nutrient-dense" beverages, Kooy added.
Calories consumed per person from beverages such as carbonated soft drinks, juices and sports drinks declined 5.6% from 2014 to 2019, according to a Beverage Calories Initiative report from the American Beverage Association. "America's beverage companies are introducing more choices with less sugar and smaller portion sizes than ever before -- you can see these changes in the beverage aisle and it's encouraging consumers to reduce sugar in their diets," said Katherine Lugar, ABA president and CEO.
Naio Technologies started testing the latest version if its vineyard robot, Ted, in July. The company took feedback from about 20 growers who were using an earlier version of Ted to make improvements such as increasing engine power and speed and adding a tool holder in the center that makes it possible to use two tools at the same time.
Startup Grain Discovery has created an app designed to ease grain purchases and sales, with a live marketplace where buyers and sellers can make deals in real time. "By allowing live pricing, and an industry-first instant contract confirmation, we're eliminating missed marketing opportunities and tedious jobs like juggling calls and manual paperwork," Grain Discovery CEO Rory O'Sullivan said.
Parents getting innovative about socially distanced trick-or-treating include Luke Keyes of Austin, Texas, who developed a candy-distributing robot and candy-shooting cannon, and Andrew Beattie of Cincinnati, who has built a candy chute out of an Amazon shipping container. "I like trick-or-treating a little more than Christmas because at Christmas you give gifts to your friends and family; Halloween, you give gifts to everybody," said Keyes.
Sales of folding carton packaging in North America are projected to increase at a 5% compound annual rate through 2024, according to Technavio. Mergers and acquisitions and consumer demand for more sustainable packaging will drive the growth.
The National Confectioners Association is against guidance from a federal beverages and added sugars subcommittee that aims to lower recommended sugar intake from 10% to 6% of total daily calories. "There was no new data raised in the committee hearings that would support [the change]," said Christopher Gindlesperger, senior vice president of public affairs and communications.
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