chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM
The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.
But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.
Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.
In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...
divide and conquer
Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 16, 2012 11:09 AM
Look at the current M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) scene in U.S. business and you'll see signals, especially in the food industry, that big conglomerates are falling out of favor:
- In June, Sara Lee jettisoned its famous name, splitting the company into two units: Hillshire Brands, focusing on mostly meat products, and D.E. Master Blenders 1753, a European maker of coffees and teas.
- Last week, the country's largest dairy company, Dean Foods, said its Whitewave unit, which accounts for about 40 percent of Dean's operating income, would split from the company and file an IPO. Whitewave produces Horizon Organic milk and the Silk brand, which includes soy and almond milk, products that have been growing faster than Dean's regional milk brands.
- In October, the giant Kraft Foods will split the company in two, separating its U.S. business (Kraft Foods Group) from its international snack foods business (Mondelez International).
Corporate breakups are on the rise, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, which reports that there were 19 U.S. corporate public company spinoffs in 2011 vs. 16 in 2010. Eleven spinoffs have already been finalized in 2012 and thirteen more have been announced. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 09:02 AM
American Airlines faces record safety penalty, tests hotel baggage delivery service.
Amazon sees pay-off from locker service, looks to acquire more patents.
Apple shelves "Genius" TV campaign, puts former designer on the stand against Samsung and plans to beef up security.
AT&T sees 20,000 employees go on strike.
Bank of America brings discounts to bank statements.
Chiquita seeks new CEO as Undercover Boss star exits.
Chrysler’s Dodge pulls out of NASCAR.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 1, 2011 11:00 AM
No matter that California actually leads the nation in milk production now. It just wouldn’t have much “news” value to say that a California family has switched from dairy to drinking soy milk!
So White Wave, masters of the Silk brand of soy milk (and almond milk and coconut milk), decided to pick on Wisconsin instead. After all, it is “America’s Dairyland.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 29, 2011 11:45 AM
Silk is a brand phenomenon. The first refrigerated soymilk, Silk went from zero market share in 1996 to 85% market share in 2003, and remains at the top spot today. Read our brand profile about Silk's rise to become the leading soymilk.
When Silk first muscled its way into the dairy case, it was an oddball product that few could have predicted would become so popular. Now, Silk's maker, White Wave Foods (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the giant Dean Foods) wants to make waves again by encouraging U.S. dairy milk drinkers to switch to soymilk.
Its new "Silk for Milk 10 Day Challenge" campaign sets its sights squarely on the dairy milk market — even though White Wave also produces the Horizon brand of organic milk.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 10, 2010 09:00 AM
Apple's iPhone threatens domestic brands Samsung and LG in South Korea.
Atkins Nutritional Holdings is sold (yet again), this time to a private-equity firm.
Boeing faces increased federal scrutiny of its 757 airliners.
Borders loss widens as sales drop.
Dean Foods pays $30 million to settle Vermont antitrust suit.
Domino’s looks overseas to drive growth in 2011.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2010 09:00 AM
Amazon girds for hacktivists attack today as WikiLeaks cyberwar rattles prospective targets.
Apple's iPad makes inroads with medical companies.
Borders’ bid for Barnes & Noble raises questions about future of book retailing.
Crayola expands from crayons to digital.
Dean Foods faces challenges to dairy empire.
Dr Pepper Snapple expands Sun Drop soda.
F1 moves to greener engines to gooses sponsorships.Continue reading...