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Andrea Illy: adapting a family business to a multinational world
JULY 20, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Rachel Sanderson.

*The coffee group chairman argues his style of capitalism is good for business, workers and the consumer*

Andrea Illy, third generation heir of the Illycaffè dynasty, last year struck an alliance with investment group JAB Holdings to produce and distribute Illy coffee capsules...he makes it clear that he does not intend to sell the closely held family company..... “It is a very simple principle about preserving our freedom,” he says of his and his family’s decision, one....Freedom is a word that comes up frequently in conversation with Mr Illy.....who espouses a sort of pick-and-mix version of capitalism, resolutely refusing to focus only on sales and profits. Illy argues his style of capitalism is not charity but good business.......Illy has paid its growers on average 30% more over market value for decades in order to maintain its supply of top Arabica beans. “....The company is rooted in the border city of Trieste....which is also ingrained in the nature of the family......globalisation and increasing competition in the coffee sector has forced Illy to adapt. Staying closely held does not work any more. Co-opetition is his new mantra."“It is like the way to adapt in the savannah. If you do not want to be prey to the big lion, you live in a tree.”"

Part of that adaptation has been the deal with JAB, which allowed Illy coffee capsules to be produced and distributed in supermarkets globally, something that Illy could not do alone......The global coffee industry has become increasingly like the beer tie-ups of the 1990s, with big groups such as JAB and Nestlé snapping up smaller companies. Illy has risked being squeezed between these behemoths and the microroasters emerging as the hip caffeine hit for millennials and Gen Z.....Bigger groups have circled Illy for years. Mr Illy says the family chose JAB because it had the technology he wanted and accepted a licensing agreement rather than an equity one.....To build its global presence, Mr Illy is now looking for a retail partner in the US to help launch Illy coffee bars in the world’s largest coffee market. He says he could even sell a slice of equity. But he is very specific who it would be to: a private financial investor, not an industrial group.....there have been other adaptations. Three years ago, Illy hired an outside chief executive — Massimiliano Pogliani, a former executive at Nestlé’s Nespresso — for the first time since the company was founded in 1933 by Mr Illy’s grandfather, Francesco. Mr Illy has also built a board including executives from clothing group Moncler and Italian cosmetics group Kiko...... studies show that family businesses often fail in the third generation. The move to hire outside management and governance comes as studies also show that family-owned, professionally-run companies are among the best performing in the long term. ......Mr Illy sees these alliances as the only way for a family business model to thrive and to not have to cede control to a multinational when “complexity is becoming too big for a single person to manage”.
.....good stewardship is good business......The Illy family is a supporter of arts and culture, including Trieste’s annual sailing regatta, the Barcolana, where hundreds of boats race across the bay. Mr Illy says this creates a virtuous circle: the more attractive Trieste becomes, the more talented people Illy can attract to work for it and the more visitors come to the city and raise its brand profile........A portrait of his father Ernesto hangs opposite his desk. “I put the painting there to ask him to control what I do,” Mr Illy says.

What, then, has he learnt from his family? “Society is made by the private sector, mostly. And if you want to improve society then we need to be able to pursue long-term goals which are beyond profitability, and then you have to be free and accountable only to yourself,” he says.

Three questions for Andrea Illy
Who is your leadership hero? I have three: Muhtar Kent, former chairman of Coca-Cola; my father; Sebastião Salgado [the photojournalist].

If you were not a CEO/leader, what would you be? A neurosurgeon.

What was the first leadership lesson you learnt? My father asked me when I turned 14 years old where I wanted to go to school. Do you want to start a journey to be a leader or do you want to have fun? I chose the first option and as a result chose boarding school in Switzerland over a local school at home. There I learnt about discipline and hard work but also about the power of a charismatic leader from my headmaster.
alliances  boards_&_directors_&_governance  climate_change  coffee  coopetition  dynasties  family  family_business  family-owned_businesses  financial_buyers  heirs  high-quality  Illycaffè  investors  JAB  licensing  Nestlé  premium  private_equity  privately_held_companies  stewardship  sustainability  the_counsel_of_the_dead  virtuous_cycles 
july 2019 by jerryking
Plant-based ‘meat’ craze drives demand for yellow peas
JULY 3, 2019 | Financial Times | by Emiko Terazono.

The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea.....From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods including burgers, bacon, tuna and yoghurt...The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself — which is plentiful, boosted by Chinese curbs on Canadian imports in the wake of the Huawei row, and a move by India to place tariffs on pulses — but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace........companies are received just 25% of their pea-protein orders as suppliers diverted the shipment to other buyers....in the face of increased demand....locking down supplies had been front of mind. “We’ve started building up a stockpile. Everyone else is doing it as well.”....Yellow peas, a pulse or dry edible seed that is part of the legume family alongside soyabeans, lentils and chickpeas, have become the protein source of choice for many food companies as consumers are turning away from soyabeans......there is no exchange-based market for pea protein isolate and prices are hard to track,... demand is so strong that buyers have struggled to secure long-term supply deals. “For companies that want to lock in prices for the remainder of 2019 and 2020, there is reluctance from their suppliers to guarantee higher quantities at lower prices,”...Beyond Meat has signed a three-year contract for its pea protein with Puris, adding to a supply agreement with Roquette, which expires at the end of the year. .....Ripple Foods, a California start-up that produces pea-protein based milk, has seen sales double every year since it launched in 2016. The company, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, contracts farmers to grow yellow peas and then processes its own pea protein. That insulates Ripple from price swings.....taking Ripple out of the pea protein market...An increasing number of food and ingredient companies have invested in the pea protein sector over the past few years. Cargill.... backed Puris at the start of last year, putting in $25m and launching a joint venture.

New plants to produce pea protein are expected to get up and running over the next year. Roquette is building a processing plant in Manitoba, Canada, while Verdient Foods of Saskatchewan, a plant protein group backed by James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of the film Titanic, is also planning new capacity.

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Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  Cargill  food_tech  legumes  Nestlé  plant-based  pulses  Puris  proteins  Ripple  Roquette  soybeans  stockpiles  supply_chains  supply_chain_squeeze  Tyson  Verdient 
july 2019 by jerryking
Cashew foie gras? Big Food jumps on ‘plant-based’ bandwagon
MAY 18, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leila Abboud in Paris and Emiko Terazono in London

* Boom in meat and dairy substitutes sets up ‘battle for the centre of the plate’
* Nestlé recently launched the Garden Gourmet's Incredible burger in Europe and plans to launch it in the US in the autumn in conjunction with McDonald’s.
* Burger King has partnered with a “foodtech” start-up to put meat-free burgers on their menu.
* Pret A Manger is considering a surge in its roll-out of vegetarian outlets as it looks into buying UK sandwich rival Eat.

A change is afoot that is set to sweep through the global food industry as once-niche dietary movements (i.e. vegetarians, then the vegans, followed by a bewildering array of food tribes from veggievores, flexitarians and meat reducers to pescatarians and lacto-vegetarians ) join the mainstream.

At the other end of the supply chain, Big Food is getting in on the act as the emergence of plant-based substitutes opens the door for meat market disruption. Potentially a huge opportunity if the imitation meat matches adoption levels of milk product alternatives such as soy yoghurt and almond milk, which account for 13% of the American dairy market. It is a $35bn opportunity in the US alone, according to newly listed producer Beyond Meat, given the country’s $270bn market for animal-based food. 

Packaged food producers, burdened with anaemic growth in segments from drinks to sweets, have jumped on the plant-based bandwagon. Market leaders including Danone, Nestlé and Unilever are investing heavily in acquisitions and internal product development.

Laggards are dipping their toes. Kraft-Heinz, for example, is investing in start-ups via its corporate venture capital arm and making vegan variants of some of its products. Even traditional meat producers, such as US-based Tyson Foods and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, are diversifying into plant-based offerings to remain relevant with consumers.......“Plant-based is not a threat,” said Wayne England, who leads Nestlé’s food strategy. “On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity for us. Many of our existing brands can play much more in this space than they do today, so we’re accelerating that shift, and there is also space for new brands.” .....a plethora of alternative protein products are hitting supermarket shelves... appealing to consumers for different reasons....(1) reducing meat consumption for health reasons... (2) others concerned about animal welfare...(3) concern over agriculture’s contribution to climate change......As Big Food rushes in, it faces stiff competition from a new breed of start-ups that have raced ahead to launch plant-based meats they claim look, taste and feel like the real thing. Flush with venture capital funding, they have turned to technology, analysing the molecular structure of foods and seeking to reverse-engineer versions using plant proteins......Not only are the disrupters innovating on the product side, they are rapidly creating new brands using digital marketing and partnerships with restaurants. Big food companies, which can struggle to create new brands, often rely on acquisitions to bring new ones onboard.....Aside from the quality of the new protein substitutes, how they are marketed will determine whether they become truly mass-market or remain limited to the margins of motivated vegetarians and vegans. The positioning of the product in stores influences sales, with new brands such as Beyond Meat pushing to be placed in the meat section rather than separate chilled cabinets alongside the vegetarian and vegan options.....Elio Leoni Sceti, whose investment company recently backed NotCo, a Chile-based start-up that uses machine learning to create vegetarian replicas of meat and dairy, believes new brands have an edge on the marketing side because they are not held back by old habits. 

“The new consumer looks at the consequences of consumption and believes that health and beauty come from within,” said one industry veteran who used to run Birds Eye owner Iglo. “They’re less convinced by the functional-based arguments that food companies are used to making, like less sugar or fewer calories. This is not the way that consumers used to make decisions so the old guard are flummoxed.”...Dan Curtin, who heads Greenleaf, the Maple Leaf Food's plant-based business, played down the idea that alternative meats will eat into meat sales, saying the substitutes were “additive”. “We don’t see this as a replacement. People want options,” he said. 

 
animal-based  Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  brands  Burger_King  CPG  Danone  diets  digital_strategies  food_tech  hamburgers  Impossible_Foods  Kraft_Heinz  laggards  Maple_Leaf_Foods  McDonald's  meat  Nestlé  new_products  plant-based  rollouts  shifting_tastes  start_ups  tribes  Unilever  vegetarian  vc  venture_capital 
may 2019 by jerryking
The Missing Piece in Big Food’s Innovation Puzzle
April 1, 2019 | WSJ | by By Carol Ryan.

.......In truth, they are becoming reliant on others to do the heavy lifting. Specialist food ingredient companies like Tate & Lyle and Kerry Group work with global brands behind the scenes to come up with new ideas. These businesses can spend two to three times more on innovation as a percentage of turnover than their biggest clients.

One part of their expertise is overhauling recipes. Ingredients companies can do everything from adding trendy probiotics to taking out excess sugar or gluten. Nestlé got a hand from Tate & Lyle to remove more sugar from its Nesquik range of flavored drinks, while Denmark’s Chr. Hansen helped Kraft Heinz switch from artificial to natural colors in the U.S. giant’s Macaroni & Cheese......Another service food suppliers offer is coming up with successful innovations to help revive sales. Nestlé’s ruby chocolate KitKat, which has become very popular in Asia, was actually created by U.S. cocoa producer Barry Callebaut, for example.

=============================================
See also, "For innovation success, do not follow the money"
07-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Michael Schrage "There is
no correlation between the percentage of net revenue spent on R&D
and the innovative capabilities of an organisation – none,"...Just ask
General Motors. No company in the world has spent more on R&D over
the past 25 years. Yet, somehow, GM's market share has
declined....R&D productivity – not R&D investment – is the real
challenge for global innovation. Innovation is not what innovators
innovate, it is what customers actually adopt. Productivity here is not
measured in patents granted but in new customers won and existing
customers profitably retained..
customer_profitability  Big_Food  brands  flavours  food  foodservice  health_foods  healthy_lifestyles  ingredients  ingredient_diversity  innovation  investors  Kraft_Heinz  large_companies  Mondelez  Nestlé  new_ideas  R&D  shifting_tastes  start_ups  Unilever 
april 2019 by jerryking
Jeff Bezos’ family office invests in Chilean plant-based food start-up
March 1, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leila Abboud in Paris.

The family office of Jeff Bezos is among the investors in a $30m funding round for a Chile-based start-up that uses machine learning to create vegetarian alternatives for animal-derived products such as mayonnaise and ice cream.

Four-year old NotCo on Friday announced the financing round led by The Craftory, a fund co-founded by consumer industry veteran Elio Leoni Sceti, as well as Bezos Expeditions.....The funds will be used to finance product development and help NotCo expand to Mexico and the US later this year. It sells its plant-based mayonnaise, which is made with chickpeas, in grocery stores in Chile......NotCo has developed a software platform that analyses the molecular structure of foods, such as beef or milk, so as then to derive combinations of plant-based alternatives that most closely resemble the original in taste, colour, and texture. The technology seeks to map the similarities between the genetic properties of plants and their corollaries in animals, so as to more accurately mimic the properties.....“The potential is massive because NotCo is not just a meat-replacement company or a milk-replacement company,”.....The technology can be applied to all foods derived from animals,” he said, adding that if successful, the opportunity was there to create a major food company to compete with the likes of Nestlé and Danone......the approach of analysing the molecular structure of foods to engineer vegetarian versions of meats, cheeses and dairy products is similar to that of US-based start-up Just Inc, formerly known as Hampton Creek.....The company changed its name after a series of setbacks, including an alleged food safety issue that led to it losing distribution at retailer Target. Nevertheless, Just Inc is well-funded; it has said that it has raised $220m from investors.....Venture capital investors have been pouring money into start-ups to create plant-based or lab-grown alternatives to traditional meat and dairy. Impossible Foods — which is backed by Bill Gates and Alphabet’s GV, formerly Google Ventures, among others — has raised $387.5m,
Chile  Chileans  Danone  family_office  flexitarian  food  Jeff_Bezos  machine_learning  Nestlé  plant-based  start_ups  vegetarian  vc  venture_capital 
march 2019 by jerryking
Nestlé: Betting on big brands
July 2, 2018 | | Financial Times | Ralph Atkins in Zurich and Scheherazade Daneshkhu i
Nestlé  brands  coffee  CEOs 
july 2018 by jerryking
An unusual family approach to investing
May 30, 2018 | FT | John Gapper.

JAB’s acquisition of Pret A Manger resembles private equity but with a long-term twist.

Warren Buffett’s definition of Berkshire Hathaway’s ideal investment holding period as forever. ....Luxembourg-based JAB, owned by four heirs to a German chemical fortune, takes a family approach to investing. It is unusual in that this holding company seeks to retain its portfolio companies for at least a decade. These include Panera Bread, Krispy Kreme and Keurig Green Mountain coffee, which it merged with Dr Pepper Snapple in an $18.7bn deal in January 2018. This week JAB acquired the UK sandwich chain Pret A Manger for £1.5bn, continuing its buying spree of cafés and coffee, mounting a challenge to public companies such as Nestlé.

**These companies are acquired not to be traded but to be invested in and expanded.**

JAB is an innovative combination of ownership and investment in a world that needs challengers to stock market ownership and private equity. It is family controlled, but run by veteran professional executives. When it invests in companies such as Pret A Manger, it deploys not only the Reimann family’s wealth but that of other entrepreneurs and family investors.......Some of the equity for its recent deals, including Panera and Dr Pepper, came from funds raised by Byron Trott, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker best known for being trusted by the banker-averse Mr Buffett. Mr Trott’s BDT banking boutique specialises in advising founders and heirs to corporate fortunes, including the Waltons of Walmart, and the Mars and Pritzker families.

This is investment, but not as most of us know it. By definition, the world’s companies are mostly controlled by founders and their families — only a minority become big enough to be floated on stock markets and need to disclose much of their workings to outsiders. Family fortunes also tend to remain as private as possible: there is little incentive to advertise how much wealth one has inherited......As [families'] fortunes grow in size and sophistication, more of the cash is invested in other companies rather than in shares and bonds. That is where JAB and Mr Trott come in.

Entrepreneurs and their families tend to be fascinated by their own enterprises and bored by managing their wealth. But they want to preserve it, and they often like the idea of investing it in companies similar to their own — industrial and consumer groups that need more capital to expand. It is not only more interesting but a form of self-affirmation for the successful....Being acquired by JAB is appealing. The group turns up, says it will not take part in an auction but offers a good price (it bought Pret for more than its former owner Bridgepoint could get by floating it). It often keeps the existing executives, telling them they have to plough their own money into the company, and invests in long-term growth provided the business is efficiently run.

This is more congenial than heading a public company and contending with a huge variety of shareholders, including short-term and activist investors. It is also less risky than being bought by 3G Capital, the cost-cutting private equity group with which Mr Buffett teamed up to acquire Kraft Heinz. While 3G is expert at eliminating expenses it is less so at encouraging growth.
coffee  dynasties  high_net_worth  holding_periods  investing  investors  JAB  long-term  Nestlé  Pritzker  private_equity  privately_held_companies  Unilever  unusual  Warren_Buffett  family  cafés  Pret_A_Manger  3G_Capital  discretion  entrepreneur  boring  family_business  heirs 
may 2018 by jerryking
Big brands lose pricing power in battle for consumers
Save to myFT
Anna Nicolaou in New York and Scheherazade Daneshkhu in London 2 HOURS AGO

The product manufacturers are being squeezed by the big retailers — notably, Amazon and Walmart, which together sell $600bn worth of goods a year. Walmart has long put pressure on suppliers to cut prices. Amazon’s rise has exacerbated the “deflationary impact”, Société Générale says, creating a “much tougher environment in the US”. After Amazon bought Whole Foods in June, the price war grew more intense in groceries, pushing prices to historic lows that punished producers. 

Brand loyalty has suffered in the process. Equipped with the tools to compare prices online instantly, and bombarded with more choices, shoppers are growing more likely to opt for cheaper and discounted products — particularly in categories such laundry detergent and shampoo. To keep their spots on store shelves, brands are having to accept lower prices......Former Amazon employees say the company’s algorithms scan prices across competitors in real time, automatically adjusting its own so it can offer the lowest price. While most big brands have wholesale agreements with Amazon, third-party sellers are prolific on the site, complicating price control further. A 34oz bottle of P&G’s Pantene Pro-V Shampoo & Conditioner was listed by 10 different sellers — nine of them third parties — on the shopping site.

Amazon’s dominance makes it difficult for brands to abandon the platform, or try to sell directly on their own websites. “You have 200m customers on Amazon. If you walk away, there’s 200m people who are going to just buy from your competitors,” says James Thomson, a former Amazon manager who consults brands. “You’re probably not going to win.”

“This is a pretty dire situation,” he adds. “If brands are worried about meeting quarterly targets, they can’t afford to lose Amazon sales.”

Still, “the retailers have nothing to gain by pushing [consumer products makers] into bankruptcy”,
......Consumer goods companies have responded to the pricing pressures by aggressively cutting costs, led by the “zero-based budgeting” model of 3G Capital,
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  CPG  pricing  price_wars  shareholder_activism  Amazon  P&G  Nestlé  win_backs  price-cutting  Nelson_Peltz  shifting_tastes  Colgate-Palmolive  upstarts  Unilever  zero-based_budgeting  3G_Capital  e-commerce  Mondelez  Big_Food 
february 2018 by jerryking
Nestlé aims to bottle appeal of artisan coffee
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 | FT| Arash Massoudi, Tim Bradshaw, Scheherazade Daneshkhu and Ralph Atkins
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  Nestlé  coffee  millennials  cafés  Big_Food  niches 
november 2017 by jerryking
Benevolent Bacon? Nestle And Unilever Gobble Up Niche Brands - WSJ
By Saabira Chaudhuri
Sept. 7, 2017

The global packaged-food industry is facing fierce competition from a burgeoning number of small, but high-growth food and beverage brands. These brands have struck a chord with consumers looking for locally produced or more healthy, natural choices.

Amid this shift, sales from traditional players have flagged, spurring consolidation, cost cutting and restructuring.

Unilever fended off an unsolicited takeover by Kraft Heinz Co. earlier this year. Activist investor Dan Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund in June disclosed a major stake in Nestlé, calling for changes in strategy to improve shareholder returns. In response, the two consumer-goods firms have focused on cost cutting and promises to boost dividends, while going on the hunt for nimbler food and beverage brands with the potential to accelerate growth.

‘We’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins.’
—Nestlé USA Chief Executive Paul Grimwood
Nestlé’s deal to buy Sweet Earth comes less than three months after it bought a stake in subscription-meals company Freshly, which sells healthy, prepared meals to consumers across the U.S.

Moss Landing, Calif.-based Sweet Earth bills itself as a natural, ethical, environmentally conscious company that substitutes plant proteins for animal ones in meals like curries, stir fries, breakfast wraps, burgers and pasta. Founded in 2011, Sweet Earth is available in more than 10,000 stores in the U.S. It is stocked at independent natural grocers, as well as bigger chains like Amazon.com Inc.’s Whole Foods, Target Corp. , Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

“We’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins,” said Paul Grimwood, chief executive of Nestlé’s U.S. arm. Plant-based food, as a sector, is growing at double-digit percentages rates, Nestlé said.
Big_Food  brands  CPG  emotional_connections  Unilever  niches  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  Nestlé  shifting_tastes  start_ups  large_companies  Fortune_500  plant-based  healthy_lifestyles  high-growth  gazelles 
september 2017 by jerryking
Hard sell for the ad men
| Financial Times |

Consumer goods groups are cutting costs amid slowing growth – the advertising industry is first to feel the pinch
CPG  cost-cutting  shareholder_activism  advertising  Big_Food  advertising_agencies  P&G  bots  marketing  budgets  Unilever  ABInBev  Mondelez  WPP  Interpublic  brands  Nestlé  slow_growth 
august 2017 by jerryking
The High Cost of Raising Prices - WSJ
By Andy Kessler
July 30, 2017

The more prices rise, the more customers bolt. It’s like running up a down escalator and never getting to the top. With the stock market hitting highs just about every day, investors need to be wary of companies that raise prices to make their numbers. These stocks make for spectacular sell-offs on even the slightest earnings miss......I had a friend who worked at General Electric for decades. He told me that in strategy sessions with his management, Jack Welch would constantly berate them, saying, “Any idiot can raise prices.” Except he used a stronger word than idiot to coax them into squeezing out costs, adding features, improving services and generally delighting customers. Contrast this with Berkshire Hathaway . Vice Chairman Charlie Munger found that with See’s Candies “we could raise prices 10% a year and no one cared. Learning that changed Berkshire.” .........There’s a long list of price bumpers. Walk down any supermarket aisle. Kellogg’s prices constantly snap, crackle and mostly pop. Procter & Gamble toothpaste sizes shrink faster than my cavity count, always less for the same price. Now private-equity firms are circling P&G. Same for Nestlé . Expect rising beer and liquor prices soon....Empires are lost on rising prices. Until recently, rather than innovate in mobile or cloud computing, Microsoft kept raising the price of its Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. Tablets and phones ate their lunch. Fees rose at eBay until Amazon took its growth away. .........Increasing prices attracts others to attack your market. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos warns: “Your margin is my opportunity.”....Competition solves much of this problem. Investors love protected businesses, but eventually relentless price increases kill them all. Consumers are the kangaroo at the bar in the old cartoon: The bartender says, “Say, we don’t get a lot of kangaroos in here.” The kangaroo replies, “No, and with these prices, I can see why!” Call me a kangaroo, but I prefer to invest in companies that lower prices and offer more.
Andy_Kessler  pricing  price_hikes  drawbacks  margins  Charlie_Munger  CPG  shareholder_activism  P&G  Nestlé  Kellogg  Jack_Welch  GE  large_companies  cost-cutting  Amazon  Jeff_Bezos  staying_hungry  delighting_customers  high-cost 
july 2017 by jerryking
From Diaper to Soda Makers, Big Brands Feel the Pinch of a Consumer Pullback - WSJ
By Sharon Terlep, Jennifer Maloney and Annie Gasparro
April 26, 2017

Some blamed the weak start of the year on higher gas prices, bad weather and other external factors, while other executives pointed to shifting consumer tastes. Analysts say some big brands, such as Gillette and Yoplait, are losing ground to upstarts. Overall purchases of consumer packaged goods in the U.S. declined 2.5% in unit terms in the first quarter, according to Nielsen.....consumers are cutting back purchases, aggressively seeking deals and drawing down supplies at home. At the same time, he said, a growing affinity for beards has played a big part in driving down razor sales, which contributed to a 6% organic sales decline for P&G’s grooming unit....PepsiCo, like big food rivals Kraft Heinz Co. and Nestlé, is struggling as consumers shift away from diet sodas and processed foods to fresher and healthier options. It has launched new products, such as a premium bottled water brand, to adjust to the shift.....For food and nonfood staples, big brands are struggling more than the overall industry. The 20 largest consumer packaged goods companies last year had flat sales while smaller ones posted sales growth of 2.4%, according to Nielsen.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., meantime, has been reducing inventories and slashing prices as it fights to compete with Amazon.com Inc. and European discounters moving into the U.S. Those cuts are eating into its own profit and, in turn, leading the world’s biggest retailer to put pressure on its vendors.........The dynamics are driving tough choices for companies as they are forced to decide between reducing prices and ceding market share. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co. have been shrinking packages and raising prices.
Amazon  Big_Food  brands  Coca-Cola  CPG  Fortune_500  Gillette  hard_choices  healthy_lifestyles  Kraft_Heinz  large_companies  Nestlé  P&G  PepsiCo  pullbacks  price-cutting  price_hikes  shifting_tastes  supply_chain_squeeze  upstarts  volatility  Wal-Mart  Yoplait 
april 2017 by jerryking
A Seismic Shift in How People Eat - The New York Times
By HANS TAPARIA and PAMELA KOCHNOV. 6, 2015

....Consumers are walking away from America’s most iconic food brands. Big food manufacturers are reacting by cleaning up their ingredient labels, acquiring healthier brands and coming out with a prodigious array of new products. ....Food companies can’t merely tinker. Nor will acquisition-driven strategies prove sufficient, because most acquisitions are too small to shift fortunes quickly. ....For legacy food companies to have any hope of survival, they will have to make bold changes in their core product offerings. Companies will have to drastically cut sugar; process less; go local and organic; use more fruits, vegetables and other whole foods; and develop fresh offerings. General Mills needs to do more than just drop the artificial ingredients from Trix. It needs to drop the sugar substantially, move to 100 percent whole grains, and increase ingredient diversity by expanding to other grains besides corn....a complete overhaul of their supply chains, major organizational restructuring and billions of dollars of investment, but these corporations have the resources.
abandonment  food  foodservice  brands  supply_chains  innovation  shifting_tastes  Nestlé  Perdue  Tyson  antibiotics  trends  Kraft  supermarkets  fresh_produce  OPMA  consumer_behavior  General_Mills  iconic  consumers  McDonald's  ingredient_diversity  seismic_shifts  new_products  Big_Food 
november 2015 by jerryking
How Can Big Food Compete Against Fresher Rivals? - WSJ
By ANNIE GASPARRO
Updated July 12, 2015 1

it is a two-part problem. No. 1, the consumer and competitive marketplace is definitely shifting. For example, quality has evolved beyond just good ingredients, preparation and packaging. Basic quality is a given now; many consumers are looking for something extra: less mass-produced, natural, local.

No. 2, iconic food companies and their mature brands are not responding effectively. Large, established food companies and their brands are being managed as portfolios of revenue and profit streams with a short-term financial orientation, and not as companies that produce food products. Small companies, on the other hand, are being created and managed by people with a food orientation and passion.
CPG  Kraft  emotional_connections  Nestlé  Coca-Cola  food  Pepsi  Big_Food  trends  Kellogg  passions  gourmet  foodies  decreasing_returns_to_scale  shifting_tastes  small_business  SMB 
july 2015 by jerryking
The Big Mystery: What’s Big Data Really Worth? - The CFO Report - WSJ
October 13, 2014 | WSJ | By VIPAL MONGA.

“Data is worthless if you don’t know how to use it to make money,” said Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Co. Information on individual users loses value over time as they move or their tastes change, she added. That makes data a perishable commodity and more difficult to value at any given moment.
massive_data_sets  valuations  data  Kroger  monetization  Nestlé  P&G  Nielsen  perishables  commodities  shifting_tastes 
october 2014 by jerryking
A Food Fight in the Produce Aisle - WSJ.com
October 20, 2011 | WSJ | By SARAH NASSAUER

A Food Fight in the Produce Aisle
Since Fruits and Veggies Have 'Farm Fresh' Image, Other Groceries Want to Sit Alongside Them
fresh_produce  grocery  supermarkets  Kraft  halo_effects  Supervalu  Winn-Dixie  Kroger  Campbell_Soup  Nestlé 
april 2013 by jerryking
Nestlé bites into new market
December 15, 2006 | WSJ | Deborah Ball and Jeanne Whalen.

Acquisition from Novartis will provide entrée to pharma-like foods in the hopes of making medical-nutrition products taste good. Nestlé SA is betting on nutritionally engineered feeds for people with cancer or diabetes or for the elderly who struggle to keep on weight, in an unusual strategy for a maker of grocery-store food brands....Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company in terms of sales, hopes to expand the types of diseases it targets, while also tapping Novartis's relationships with hospitals, doctors and nursing homes. In turn, Nestlé’s expertise in flavours and packaging can help improve the taste and look of clinical nutrition items.
Big_Food  brands  Nestlé  cancers  aging  diabetes  nutrition  health_foods  flavours  packaging 
august 2012 by jerryking
Sweet Talk -
01.20.03 | Forbes.com |Matthew Swibel,

Uster reps, mostly former pastry chefs, drop in on former students with new recipes, product demonstrations and advice on kitchen redesigns. It's this sort of customer support--reminiscent of the "detailing" drug companies do with doctors--that brought Uster to $20 million in sales, from baking chocolate, tarts, candied fruits and pastries.

By such means the Swiss-born Braun, a former food consultant, intends to double sales by 2005. That assumes a growth rate of 9% per year on existing products and $14 million from a new line of frozen foods including Danishes, cakes and hors d'oeuvres. He'll have to claw his way there: Kraft Foods (nyse: KFT - news - people ) and Nestlé import their own European chocolate labels; there are scores of other scrappy distributors. Even at $40 million in sales, 23-year-old privately held Uster would still be but a crumb in the $8-billion-a-year U.S. wholesale market.
entrepreneur  frozen_foods  chocolate  desserts  Kraft  Nestlé  confectionery_industry  baked_goods 
july 2012 by jerryking
"Ploughing with the former foe."
Lucas, Louise. "Ploughing with the former foe." Financial Times 10 May 2012: 14. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 13 May 2012.
Document URL
http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.torontopubliclibrary.ca/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA289150219&v=2.1&u=tplmain_z&it=r&p=STND&sw=w
NGOs  SABMiller  Unilever  palm_oil  Nestlé  agriculture 
may 2012 by jerryking
globeadvisor.com: The hunger game
April 27, 2012 | Report on Business | ERIC REGULY.
Bill Gates's recipe for boosting world food output may fatten Big Ag's bottom line, but what about small farmers?

The International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The problem is that there is ample evidence that the yield gains GM seeds produce are somewhere between overblown and negligible in many cases, and that GM foods have unknown effects on human and animal health because they haven't been subjected to long-term independent studies.

Problem: Smallholder farmers in developing countries who supply offshore corporations won't necessarily grow the diversity of crops needed by local populations. And farmers who depend on one crop are more vulnerable to financial ruin if a new disease, fungus or pest hits. Many small farms also don't earn enough income to pay for GM seeds and specialized crop-protection goop to go with those seeds.
billgates  Gates_Foundation  genetically_modified  Eric_Reguly  agriculture  productivity  farming  Monsanto  philanthropy  Nestlé  P&G  smallholders 
april 2012 by jerryking
Nestlé to Buy Pfizer's Infant-Nutrition Unit - WSJ.com
April 24, 2012 | WSJ | By DANA CIMILLUCA, JONATHAN D. ROCKOFF and ANUPREETA DAS.
Nestlé  Pfizer  infants  China  dairy  Danone 
april 2012 by jerryking
How to feed 9 billion people: the future of food and farming
By Jonathan M. Gitlin | Published about a year ago.

Professor Beddington began by giving a brief overview of the report, also entitled The Future of Food and Farming, stating that the case for urgent action in the global food system is now compelling, and denying the "foul slander that I've been buying wheat futures to drive the price up." Although he was able to inject some levity, it is a deeply serious and somewhat worrying issue.....we need to stop romanticizing small farmers. The solutions to future food production can't and shouldn't be an either-or between them and large agrifarms. She claimed that big food companies' objectives do align with sustainability needs, but they're villainized unreasonably. Nestlé benefits from adopting small farm techniques that decrease contamination, and farmers benefit from stable access to customers.
agribusiness  agriculture  Big_Food  climate_change  cost_of_inaction  demonization  farming  food  Nestlé  smallholders  sustainability  villains  volatility 
april 2012 by jerryking
Big Food giants want to save us from junk food. Really. - The Globe and Mail
Feb. 25, 2011 Globe and Mail Eric Reguly

The potential problem with the food processors’ elevated interest in
farming is that, through sheer bulk, they can shape local economies and
environments in their favour. Strong demand for a single crop could lead
to the loss of crop diversity. Local regulations designed to protect
the public interest, such as non-privatized water supplies, could be
compromised, particularly in developing countries with weak governments.
And Big Food could use its clout with farmers and retailers to displace
locally grown foods with its own processed foods.

Big Food is going to get bigger as it exploits every inch of the value
chain, from farm to pharmacy.
Nestlé  Kraft  Coca-Cola  food  Eric_Reguly  Pepsi  farming  agriculture  Big_Food  developing_countries 
february 2011 by jerryking
Selling Health Food to China - WSJ.com
DEC. 13, 2010 | WSJ | By LAURIE BURKITT . MNCs Use
Traditional Ingredients in Market Battle. ...In China, where diabetes,
cancer and other chronic illnesses are on the rise, people are growing
more health conscious, creating a fast-growing market for companies
selling health foods. Food-product giants such as Nestlé SA and PepsiCo
Inc. have begun introducing foods that have a traditional Chinese
folk-medicine twist. Among the ingredients the MNC's are using:
wolfberry plants, chrysanthemum teas and tremella, a fungus commonly
thought in China to help improve the skin, strengthen bones and control
weight. In 2009, sales of wellness foods and beverages in China
increased 28% from 5 yrs. earlier to $1.5 billion, driven by the elderly
and women, according to Euromonitor International, a mkt-research firm.
The figure is small compared with the category's $162 billion in U.S.
sales last year, but the world's biggest food companies are eager to
cash in on the growing Chinese market.
health_foods  China  multinationals  Nestlé  Pepsi  wellness 
december 2010 by jerryking
Nestlé Plans Indian Center to Tap Low-Income Market - NYTimes.com
By HEATHER TIMMONS
Published: September 22, 2010
The Swiss food giant said Wednesday that it would open its first
research and development center in India, where it plans to use local
ingredients and spices as well as low-cost Indian research and
engineering to make products for India and the rest of the world....Like
many other Western companies, Nestlé is expanding in emerging markets,
where fast-growing economies and young populations mean an increasing
number of people can afford nonessential consumer goods. Nestlé expects
to get 45 percent of sales from emerging markets by 2020.

“We have to understand the consumer” in India and know how he or she
cooks, Mr. Zimmermann said. The company’s new research center will be
staffed mostly by Indians and will develop new products relying on
Indian cuisine, traditional ingredients and spices, he said.
India  Nestlé  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  R&D  emerging_markets  low-income 
september 2010 by jerryking
Nestlé’s ‘floating supermarket’ sets sail | |
June 18, 2010 | FT.com - Beyond Brics | By Dom Phillips in Belém
Nestlé  Brazil  consumers  food  supermarkets  boating 
june 2010 by jerryking
Social-Media Sites Become War Front for Nestlé - WSJ.com
MARCH 29, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By EMILY STEEL.
Nestlé Takes a Beating on Social-Media Sites & Greenpeace
Coordinates Protests Over Food Giant's Palm-Oil Purchases.
Greenpeace  Nestlé  palm_oil  social_media  public_relations  Facebook  twitter 
march 2010 by jerryking
Adding Zest to Recipes on Labels - WSJ.com
MARCH 18, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By MIRIAM GOTTFRIED.
Test Kitchens Update Recipes. Some of the most beloved American dishes started as back-of-the-package recipes, designed in corporate test kitchens to sell more cans of soup, bags of noodles and boxes of cake mix. Campbell, for example, says 30 million "Green Bean Casseroles," a recipe created in 1955, are made using its cream-of-mushroom soup between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. America's increasingly sophisticated palate, influenced by TV cooking shows, celebrity chefs and gourmet ingredients, presents a problem. Food companies need to figure out how to update their recipes to entice today's more ambitious cooks to use products that might otherwise sit on the shelf for months. The recipes must make cooks feel like they're doing more than just adding eggs to a mix, but not use so many ingredients to require a special trip to the store. If they get too trendy, they risk alienating
their core consumers.

Flip to Michael Fedyna
recipes  Nestlé  food  Kraft  grocery  consumer_goods  Campbell_Soup 
march 2010 by jerryking
Googling Growth - WSJ.com
APRIL 9, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by CHRIS ZOOK. Rapid
shifts in markets and technologies are forcing companies of all sorts to
change direction faster than ever. Many management teams are tempted
by "big bang" solutions: dramatic, transformative mergers or aggressive
leaps into sexy new markets. The success rate for major, life-changing
mergers is only about one in 10. For most companies, reinvention of a
core business doesn't have to involve such high levels of risk. The
solution lies in mining hidden assets -- assets already possessed but
not being tapped for maximum growth potential.
One way to open management's eyes to hidden assets is to identify the
richest hunting grounds, usually camouflaged as hidden business
platforms, untapped customer insights, and underused capabilities.
accelerated_lifecycles  Apple  assets  Bain  big_bang  business_models  Chris_Zook  core_businesses  customer_insights  GE  growth  hidden  high-risk  iPODs  latent  life-changing  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  moonshots  Nestlé  Novozymes  rapid_change  reinvention  resource_management  Samsung  success_rates  transformational  underutilization 
february 2010 by jerryking
Weak Links in the Food (Supply) Chain - WSJ.com
JUNE 24, 2008 WSJ article by BEN WORTHEN. Talks about makers
of software systems that oversee centralized inventory, warehousing and transportation planning.
food  software  Papa_John's  Nestlé  supply_chains  Ben_Worthen  logistics  weak_links 
february 2009 by jerryking
Up the Ladder, Step by Step - WSJ.com
Nov. 26, 2008 WSJ book review by Philip Delves Broughton of
"There's No Elevator To the Top" By Umesh Ramakrishnan.

He describes meeting the chairman of Nestle, who complains that his
rivals are no longer Mars or Pepsi but telephone companies. "Five years
ago seventy percent of the pocket money of kids was to buy chocolates,
ice cream; now eighty percent is in telecom," the Nestle boss tells Mr.
Barrault. "Can you imagine the impact for my business?"
book_reviews  career  Managing_Your_Career  discretionary_spending  leadership  CEOs  Philip_Delves_Broughton  competition  Theodore_Levitt  Nestlé  Pepsi  mobile_phones  confectionery_industry 
february 2009 by jerryking

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