Best Global Green Brands 2014

brand news

Brand News You Can Use: AstraZeneca, Coca-Cola, News Corp. and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 2, 2014 09:14 AM


Brands to Watch

Apple, Facebook lead Big Tech brands fighting data requests as White House panel calls for big data reforms to protect privacy.

AstraZeneca rejects raised bid by Pfizer as "inadequate."

Avon reaches settlement of bribery probe.

Bayer eyes Merck’s OTC consumer business.

Burberry officially has a new CEO in Christopher Bailey as Angela Ahrendts takes retail reins at Apple.

Coca-Cola pressured by Warren Buffett on executive pay.

Exxon sticks with Russia drilling despite geopolitical tensions.

Fiat faces tough turnaround in Europe.

GM recalls 50,000 Cadillac SUVs, returns to bankruptcy court to fend off suits.

News Corp. acquires Harlequin Books for HarperCollins.

Below, news on brand innovation, culture, and more:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Walmart, Abercrombie & Fitch, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2013 09:20 AM

In the News

Walmart posts mixed results, expects "challenging" quarter; earnings report also discloses $73M expenses related to foreign bribery probes.

Microsoft to Google: We need APIs to fix YouTube app.

Abercrombie & Fitch signs Bangladesh safety agreement as deadline passes for Gap deal.

Apple defends brand (but not Steve Jobs) in US book price-fixing suit.

Boeing and GE hunt for engine defect in 777s.

Campbell Soup uses digital marketing to target Millennials.

Capri-Sun targeted by German ad watchdog for misleading marketing.

Cisco profit is boosted by services.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: YouTube, Amazon, Pfizer and more

Posted by Dale Buss on May 6, 2013 09:15 AM

In the News

YouTube close to launching paid subscription channels, reports say. 

Amazon launches first Android app-store in China, ahead of Google

Pfizer lets bashful buyers get Viagra online.

Al Jazeera America plans to open Detroit bureau.

Asustek plans to make small Windows 8 tablets.

Audi considers doubling production at Mexico factory under construction.

Berkshire Hathaway provides peek at era after Buffett.

BuzzFeed takes steps to expand foreign news.Continue reading...

chew on this

Looking to Squeeze Profits, Pouch Baby Food Brands Eye Adults on the Go

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 10:25 AM

Babies, toddlers, and kids love ‘em, so why shouldn’t adults? At least that’s what a few manufacturers of packets filled with pureed fruits and vegetables are thinking.

Happy Family, Buddy Fruits, and GoGo squeeZ “are experimenting with larger portion sizes, simpler designs and sophisticated flavors like cranberry or açaí,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Those aren’t flavors that the diaper set would likely be interested in, but for adults who spend a lot of time in their cars and on the go, squeezable food may have found itself a receptive marketplace. They are certainly popular with babies, even though the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry isn’t a big fan.

Plum Organics reports that “sales of pouch-style baby food more than doubled in the last three months, while baby food in jars and tubs was down 15%,” the Journal notes. Benjamin Punchard, senior global packaging analyst at Mintel, tells the paper that 40 percent of new baby food products or flavors introduced last year came in pouches, up from two percent in 2007.

And why not? Baby foods are a $1.5 billion industry and the pouches help extend the lifespan of the products. “It’s allowing us to age up,” said Maureen Putman, chief marketing officer for the Hain Celestial Group, maker of organic brand Earth’s Best, according to the Tennessean. “Where moms may have stopped baby food at 9 to 12 months, the pouches have really helped extend the shelf life of baby food. We see growth for a long time to come.” Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, iPhone, Carnival and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 09:00 AM

In the News

BlackBerry shows new signs of life as co-founder sells stake.

Apple challenges iPhone trademark loss in Brazil.

Carnival tries to cruise away from brand disaster as passengers mull legal options.

ABC, NFL and Call of Duty get top marks for consumer engagement.

Airbus drops lithium-ion batteries from latest jet.

Applebee's expands test of Express Lunch service.

Best Western focuses on its people, not perks, in new campaign.Continue reading...

brand take over

Buffett Adds Heinz to Stable of Brands in $23 Billion Deal (With Help From Brazil)

Posted by Dale Buss on February 14, 2013 01:01 PM

Warren Buffett may finally have met a deal that satisfies his appetite. In agreeing to buy H.J. Heinz Co. in partnership with 3G Capital for $23 billion (or $28 billion including debt assumption), the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has acquired a stable of globally popular brands owned by a staunchly resilient company in an economically dependable business.

In fact, the famed Oracle of Omaha told CNBC this morning, he has been ogling Heinz since 1980. "This is my kind of deal and my kind of partner," he said. "Heinz is our kind of company with fantastic brands."

Those brands include not only Heinz ketchup, the "bread and butter" of the portfolio of the Pittsburgh-based CPG giant, but also Ore-Ida, Lea & Perrins sauces, and Classico pasta sauces. Heinz products are sold in more than 200 countries.

Even more important to Buffett, Heinz and its brands have been great performers in a tough industry even during the Great Recession, and over the last 12 months its stock already has risen nearly 17 percent. Berkshire and 3G agreed to pay $72.50 a share, about 20 percent above Heinz's closing price on Wednesday. On Thursday, the stock climbed about to about the acquisition price.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AA/US Airways, AB InBev, Heinz to Buffett, Time Inc. and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 14, 2013 08:45 AM

In the News

American Airlines and US Airways to create the world's biggest airline with $11 billion union.

AB InBev will sell Corona unit to salvage Modelo takeover, as Pernod Ricard is open to Jose Cuervo talks.

H.J. Heinz Company enters agreement to be acquired by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

Time Warner rumored to eye Time Inc. split and talking to Meredith about buying magazine brands.

Adidas unveils new global brand strategy with Boost product push.

American Express and Yahoo accused of stealing travel service idea.

Angry Birds parent Rovio slings into advertising.

Apple promises to fix iOS Exchange bug, fights activist shareholder Einhorn.

Barclays agrees to stop speculating on food prices.

Barnes & Noble warns of lower 2012 sales and Nook concerns.

Boeing looks at interim 787 fixes.

BT sticks by Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (charged with murdering his girlfriend), for now.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

P&G Earnings: Bob McDonald's Good Day at the Office

Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2012 01:12 PM

Chalk this up as a "black"-letter day for Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald, as the company beat analysts' forecasts with its quarterly profit and P&G stock rose to its highest level in four years. After several months of unrelenting pressure on McDonald over the company's less-than-stellar performance, no one would blame him for enjoying the rest of the afternoon.

McDonald has been battling slipping sales, market share and margins in many of P&G's brands with newly hatched plans to cut costs, renew product innovation, and narrow the focus onto key markets, products and countries. He's also being prodded by critics such as hedge-fund investor Bill Ackman, who's got a $1.8-billion stake in the company and wants changes fast, and the P&G executive retiree who wrote a 13-page letter of complaint that he sent recently to McDonald. And it didn't help that Warren Buffett this week commented that "the jury is out right now" on the company.

Yet in announcing per-share earnings of $1.06 for the fiscal first quarter that beat last year's $1.01 a share and analysts' expectations of a 96-cent quarter, P&G appeared to benefit from progress in all of McDonald's key areas of concern, including boosting productivity and widening gross margins.Continue reading...

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