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tech innovation

Google Lends Digital Expertise to UK Grocers' Corporate Citizenship Efforts

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 5, 2014 03:02 PM

Food waste is an enormous global problem, which is why UK grocer Sainsbury’s is partnering with Google in its latest effort to get consumers to upcycle their leftovers.

Google created an interactive banner ad that uses voice recognition to generate simple recipes made of otherwise wasted ingredients, modeled after and in support of Sainsbury's Food Rescue tool to eliminate kitchen waste. Desktop users can input ingredients via keyboard, while mobile customers can click on the expandable banner and speak up to nine ingredients into their device for an instant range of 1,200 choices from simple snacks to dinner party options.

The idea for the interactive banner came from Google data that showed search queries for terms related to “leftovers” increased one-third in the last year, with about 64 percent coming from mobile. The ad and tool are an extension of the retailer's ongoing commitment to stopping food waste. “We have a role to play in helping reduce food waste around the country,” Sainsbury’s head of brand communication, Mark Given, told Marketing Week.Continue reading...

health fallout

Faced with Labeling Legislation, CPGs Struggle to Brand Non-GMOs

Posted by Dale Buss on June 4, 2014 06:02 PM

Non-GMO products may be to CPGs what EVs are to the auto industry: Mainstream consumers still just aren’t sure whether or why they should need them.

Mandatory GMO labeling proponents continue to chalk up victories in the US, especially in the Northeast. Vermont became the first state to mandate such labeling, which will take effect in 2016 and for the first time would align a US jurisdiction with more than 60 other countries that require labeling of genetically-modified food organisms.

Meanwhile, according to The Huffington Post, more than two dozen other states are considering mandatory labeling of such GMO foods, though some states are knowingly waiting out their peers before they make a move themselves. Supporters of GMO labeling legislation gathered at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Wednesday to announce they had the backing of a majority of state lawmakers; and such a bill is reported to be inching closer to consideration by the New York legislature.

But there are some major obstacles standing in the way. For one thing, so far, while a devoted cadre of activists are highly concerned about GMO content in the American food supply, most Americans still pay the issue little heed. One reason, a new study suggested , is that non-GMO labeling on retail products is inconsistent and confusing.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Squeezed by the Competition, Tesco Hopes Customer-First Approach Works

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 4, 2014 04:23 PM

The UK's biggest retailer, Tesco, is going through its roughest patch in decades, dogged by the rise of discount chains like Lidl and Aldi and consumers opting to shop online as opposed to in-store. 

In the fourth quarter of 2013, sales in the core UK business dropped 3 percent from the same period the year before, but things got even worse in the first quarter of 2014, with sales falling 3.8 percent compared with the previous year's numbers. According to Kantar Worldpanel data, Tesco has lost more than one million customer visits per week, worth an estimated £25m ($41.9 million) in sales—a staggering exodus that led to a 29 percent fall in market share, its largest drop in at least 20 years.

No wonder investors are starting to wonder if CEO Philip Clarke has the right plan to get the once-dominant retailer, which fell 16 percent in brand value according to brandchannel parent Interbrand's latest Best Retail Brands report, back on track.Continue reading...

nation brands

Oz Marketing: Australia Pitches Itself as a Foodie Destination

Posted by Sergio Brodsky on May 19, 2014 06:22 PM

We Aussies know that our fair nation's tucker is more than "throwing another shrimp on the barbie," kangaroo meat and Pavlova—and now we've got the backing of the federal government to help spread the word overseas.

As promised last year, Tourism Australia is now rolling out its Restaurant Australia global marketing campaign, a $10 million AUD effort to help pitch our country as the food-lover's paradise we know it is.

As you might expect, the food-focused push promotes Australia’s great produce, local cuisine, and award-winning wine brands accompanied by spectacular locations inviting tourists to the “world’s largest restaurant.” Size is important but it’s not what really matters. When the Australia Trade Commission developed Brand Australia it used “Australia Unlimited” as its central nation-branding idea, which was too vague to define what the nation stands for. Food and wine, however, are proving to be a much more appetizing idea.Continue reading...


Safeway, Albertson's Combine to Take On Fast-Changing Grocery Industry

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 03:20 PM

Cerberus is buying Safeway and blending it in with the Albertson's supermarket chain it already owns. But the transaction seems more like the end of an era rather than the beginning.

That's because the intended $9 billion merger of Albertson's and Safeway will be a play meant largely to shore up the combined operations defensively against sea changes that have been sweeping the food-retailing business that simply don't favor traditional chains such as the two that Cerberus will own.

The rise of grocery availability at Walmart, Target and other discounters; the spread of dry goods through drug stores and dollar stores and other new formats; the rising popularity of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and their organic, natural, locally-produced and private-label ethos; the fact that online CPG sales finally seem to be gaining traction; and the strength of club stores in the grocery trade—all are conspiring against the merger of two of the long-time giants of the business.Continue reading...

health matters

Activists Reel In Huge Retailers That Promise Not to Sell GMO Salmon

Posted by Dale Buss on March 7, 2014 10:58 AM

Instead of pressing retailers to remove a GMO food from their shelves, activists are trying to head off genetically-engineered salmon at the river mouth by getting retailers to commit not to sell a biotech-altered fish even before it's commercially available.

So far, Kroger, Safeway, Target, Trader Joe's, H-E-B and other major food retailers have pledged not to sell a GMO salmon produced by AquaBounty Technologies even though it looks like the FDA is about to approve its sale in what would be the federal government's first clearance to a genetically-modified animal for human consumption.

The largest grocer in the US, Walmart, hasn't weighed in yet, and its size can often tip the balance in such matters.Continue reading...

brand partners

Kraft, Taco Bell Amp Up Grocery Store Partnership with New Products

Posted by Dale Buss on March 6, 2014 03:38 PM

If you can't get to one of Taco Bell's 5,500 locations during any of the four "day parts" the chain has recognized, now including breakfast, then there's another way for you to solve your craving for all things Bell: stop at your local supermarket.

Kraft has been partnering with Taco Bell since 1996 to offer Taco Bell-branded products in the grocery aisles, now totaling 28 different items ranging from sauces to "dessert kits" that require only the addition of ice cream, according to Advertising Age.

Now Kraft and the chain are turning up the heat on their collaboration this week by launching four new products: two dinner kits and two seasonings. The Taco Bell Ultimate Taco Night Kit, for example, comes in two varieties—Cheesy Taco Grande and Steak & Cheese Soft Taco Kit, both featuring Kraft's Velveeta cheese (which isn't offered in Taco Bell products in restaurants).Continue reading...

brand extensions

SELF Builds Out Lifestyle Brand with New Frozen Foods Line

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 26, 2014 10:57 AM

With the print business in survival mode, it's no surprise that Conde Nast, one of the world's largest publishers of magazines, is looking for new branding opportunities. 

One print brand ripe for extension is SELF magazine, which just launched its own line of frozen meals in 2,900 stores in 37 US states, including Kroger, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods under the SELF Healthy Kitchen brand. 

“It should be easy to be healthy, and that’s why we’ve created SELF Healthy Kitchen," said Lucy Danziger, SELF editor-in-chief in a press release. “Our point of difference is that these meals will be both delicious and good for your body. Health-minded consumers looking for convenient, economical ways to eat better will love every bite!”

SELF’s editors teamed up with award-winning Chef Calvin Harris’s Benevida Foods to create the new line that features eight entrées such as Southwest Style Chicken Enchilada with Rice and Sweet Potatoes, Three Cheese Lasagna with Beef and Marinara and Steak with Portobello Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce, with single-serving meals averaging $4.99.

“When you enjoy a SELF Healthy Kitchen meal, you can trust that you’re eating quality ingredients because I sourced them myself,” said Chef Calvin Harris in the press release. “This is food that will not only make you feel good, but you’ll feel great about feeding to your family.”Continue reading...

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