Top 10: CPG companies take precautions against coronavirus and 3 new Cheez Balls flavors

As with most of the news this week, coronavirus made headlines in the CPG industry as well with several consumer packaged goods manufacturers banning or limiting global business travel for employees due to the outbreak, making it the most-read story this week. Nestle asked workers to avoid domestic travel if possible until March 15 and L'Oreal taking similar measures until March 31. Coca-Cola has temporarily halted travel to and from Italy and the Asia-Pacific region for business that can be conducted via telecommunications.

News covering the CPG industry overall dominated this week’s top 10 with numerous stories announcing new products and packaging making the list. Among them were new pretzel products from Campbell Soup's Snyder's of Hanover brand, protein shakes with oats from Premier Protein and two sous vide-cooked beef lines from Verde Farms. Kraft Heinz's Planters Cheez Balls line also saw three new flavor additions.

Popular packaging news included brands such as M&M's and Hershey using emerging packaging options to meet consumer demand for convenience and to improve sales. In the beverage space, PepsiCo is testing sustainable packaging alternatives with its Pepsi and Sierra Mist brands in Sacramento, Calif. -- rings made from molded pulp and secondary paperboard will be used for six-packs of mini cans.

In foodservice, the most-read stories this week covered Wendy’s new breakfast menu, which it expects will generate 6% to 8% of total sales over the next year, executives said. In addition, news about the storms in Tennessee and their effect on area restaurants also caught readers’ eyes, as did Golden Corral’s announcement that it will redesign 100 restaurants this year.

Food retail stories that made this week’s list covered Giant Food Stores’ new name after a century of carrying its existing name, and news that Amazon appears to be eyeing the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill., for a new brick-and-mortar grocery.

Check out the complete list of this week’s top 10 most-clicked stories in SmartBrief's food and beverage briefs:

  1. CPG companies restrict travel due to coronavirus 
  2. Campbell Soup, Kraft Heinz, more launch new products 
  3. Giant Food Stores changes name, unveils new logos 
  4. Wendy's will roll out new breakfast program next week 
  5. How Hershey uses packaging trends to boost visibility
  6. Conagra unveils product debuts for several brands
  7. Tenn. storms take a toll on area restaurants
  8. PepsiCo pilots sustainable packaging options
  9. Golden Corral courts a new generation of customers
  10. Report: Amazon planning new grocery in Illinois

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