Best Global Green Brands 2014

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New Mondelez Joint Venture Could Grind No. 1 Nestle's Coffee Beans

Posted by Dale Buss on May 9, 2014 10:37 AM

Mondelez International has created a new global player in the burgeoning coffee market by merging with Amsterdam's D.E. Master Blenders. While a potentially strong scale play for Mondelez and its coffee brands, the new player can be expected to make life more difficult for industry leader Nestle.

In joining its coffee portfolio with the Dutch giant, Mondelez is creating a new company called Jacobs Douwe Egberts that will be based in the Netherlands. The combined company will oversee coffee brands including Gevalia, Tassimo, Senseo, Douwe Egberts, Pilao and, outside of the U.S., Maxwell House.

"Jacobs Douwe Egberts will leverage the rich histories of both companies, combining our complementary geographic footprints, portfolios of iconic brands and innovative technologies to offer more people around the world more access to high-quality coffee and allowing the company to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in a highly attractive market," Pierre Laubies, CEO of D.E. Master Blenders and prospective CEO of the combined company, said in a statement.Continue reading...

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Starbucks Enlists Seattle's Best Coffee Brand in UK Coffee War

Posted by Dale Buss on May 6, 2014 02:48 PM

Starbucks continues to adjust to new realities in the important U.K. market. Not only will it be paying more taxes there following a public outcry, but now the icon of American "lifestyle" coffee brands is bringing its less-expensive Seattle's Best Coffee marque to Britain.

The arrival of Seattle's Best in the UK appears aimed at shoring up Starbucks' performance against less-expensive coffee competition from McDonald's and other quick-service restaurant brands. Starbucks sales fell in fiscal 2014 in the U.K. for the first time since Starbucks entered the market in 1998. In a cost-cutting move, the company has been closing some of its 550 British outlets that aren't profitable due to expensive rents.  

"We chose to launch Seattle's Best Coffee in the U.K. because we know Brits love their coffee," Simon Hillier, Starbucks European foodservice director, told the Independent. The cheaper brand offers an "everyday range" of coffees for "coffee-on-the-go consumers." Those consumers will have to search a bit to find the Starbucks-owned SBC, however.Continue reading...

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MilkPEP Ditches Iconic Milk Mustache and "Got Milk?" Tagline

Posted by Dale Buss on February 24, 2014 04:47 PM

After nearly 20 years, the milk mustaches were kind of drying up—in their effectiveness, at least. So MilkPEP has finally ditched its iconic "Got Milk?" campaign in favor of a new positioning that pursues the theme du jour for much of the American CPG business these days: protein.

"Milk Life" is the new tagline of advertising for the US Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), which borrowed the "Got Milk?" theme from the California Milk Processor Board and then made it iconic by slapping milk mustaches on hundreds of celebritries, ranging from Frankie Muniz to Heidi Klum, in print ads, billboards and TV commercials.

"We want to make sure that milk is relatable, relevant and meaningful to Americans," said Julia Kadison, interim CEO of MilkPEP, in a statement. "We love that 'Milk Life' has a powerful double meaning: It's about wringing every last drop out of every single moment, and it represents a way of living where milk helps power you to be your best."Continue reading...

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New Nespresso Machine Brews High Hopes for Nestle in US Single-Serve

Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2014 01:26 PM

Nestle believes it's finally got the hardware to mount a serious drive at becoming the same kind of major presence in the US single-cup coffee market that it is in Europe.

The new $299 VertuoLine from Nestle's Nespresso brand will produce American-style large cups of coffee as well as Nespresso's traditional espresso blends. Nestle hopes the 8-ounce offerings will better appeal to US tastes than its European-influenced emphasis on espresso, which has kept Nespresso from getting much of a foothold in the United States against Green Mountain's K-Cups.

Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nestle Nespresso, described VertuoLine as a "game changer" that would revolutionize the most successful segment of the North American coffee market and change home brewing.Continue reading...

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Coca-Cola Results Continue to Slide While PepsiCo Gets Crunch from Frito-Lay

Posted by Dale Buss on February 18, 2014 04:52 PM

Coca-Cola's disappointing new financial results have underscored the important difference between Coke and PepsiCo: The latter has its Frito-Lay snack operations to drive sales increases and profitability while the soft-drink business, for both Pepsi and Coca-Cola, continues to unravel.

Still largely dependent on soft-drink sales, Coca-Cola reported a decline in fourth-quarter revenue and profits today, largely because of what seems now to be an inexorable decline in demand for its traditional Coke products in North America and no great lift overseas. PepsiCo recently reported similar struggles with soft-drink volumes but was buoyed by snack results.

North America soft-drink volumes declined by 1 percent, leading Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent to call the year "marked by ongoing global macroeconomic challenges." He also said that Coke is looking to "restore momentum" in 2014.Continue reading...

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Is Dumb Starbucks Brewhaha a Tempest In a Teapot? (Update: Mystery Solved)

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 10, 2014 02:47 PM

Not since The North Face sued The South Butt has the world seen a case pitting the free speech right of parody against the rights of a trademark holder.

Dumb Iced Coffee, Dumb Frappuccinos and Dumb Brewed Coffee—with the option of picking up a disc of the latest Dumb Jazz Standards—are just a few of the products awaiting customers at the new Los Feliz, Calif. cafe, "Dumb Starbucks." Is it a real thing or an an artist's statement about Starbucks? And if it is the latter, does the artist know it's 2014 and not 2004?

Customers waited for hours over the weekend to sip on free Dumb Iced Coffee and Dumb Frappuccinos in the curious "Dumb Starbucks," its interior decorated to match a typical Starbucks, with a "Dumb" menu and all. But the new shop situated next to a laundromat in a Los Angeles neighborhood was sure to make clear that it is not in fact a Starbucks. According to a posted FAQ statement, the cafe-as-art says, "Dumb Starbucks is not affiliated in any way with Starbucks Corporation. We are simply using their name and logo for marketing purposes."Continue reading...

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PepsiCo Continues to Parts Ways with Stevia's Natural Positioning for Big Investment in Mtn Dew

Posted by Dale Buss on January 21, 2014 05:42 PM

Indra Nooyi said it long ago: Stevia is suspect in some beverages. And lo and behold, now the Gatorade brand has agreed with the PepsiCo CEO and decided to jettison two varieties of the iconic sports drink that were sweetened with "natural" stevia.

At the same time, Pepsi Beverages is more than happy to fuel the continued growth of a beverage brand that is arguably on the complete opposite end of the healthfulness spectrum of PepsiCo drinks: Mtn Dew, which is receiving significant new marketing investment for its Kickstart and Diet Dew lines.

It turns out that PepsiCo withdrew Gatorade G Naturals and G2 Naturals last November because the drinks didn't resonate with their core consumer group of athletes. The drinks had been launched around three years ago with great promotion of their "natural flavors and ingredients," as part of a much broader overhaul of Gatorade's product line that largely has worked out well.Continue reading...

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MilkPEP Campaign Taps Olympic Athletes to Boost Chocolate Milk's Image

Posted by Dale Buss on December 16, 2013 02:43 PM

Focusing on chocolate milk as an athletic-recovery drink has been one of the best things the US fluid-milk industry has done since pasteurization. And now MilkPEP, the marketing arm of American diary processors, is putting the tasty treat at the center of a new Olympics-themed promotion campaign.

"Built With Chocolate Milk" enlists partnerships with the US men's hockey and women's ski-jump teams as the Sochi Winter Olympics nears in February. Part of the "Refuel: Got Chocolate Milk?" campaign that the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP) initiated recently, the chocolate-milk effort won't rely on the group's famous "Got Milk?" mustache gimmick but, instead, will focus on the scientifically verified efficacy of chocolate milk for athletes.

"Our new Built With Chocolate Milk advertising highlights how chocolate milk helps the world's best athletes and everyday athletes, alike, recover after exercise," Miranda Abney, a marketing director for MilkPEP, told reading...

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