Posted by Abe Sauer on November 22, 2013 02:52 PM
China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.
This week: Bloomberg blunder… Tesco's turtle headache… more marketing "freedom"… back to 1989's KFC Shanghai… Mercedes sales… alternative fuel… "lifestyle cities"… Sony… L'Oreal… e-commerce meets m-commerce… "China's Oscars" get branded… Guangzhou Auto Show… and more.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2013 04:02 PM
Bakery-cafe Panera Bread has had a rough go at it lately, with its extensive menu turning out to be a hard sell. So the fast-casual restaurant is hoping further investment in one of its simplest offerings pays off.
In partnership with coffee provider Disant Lands Coffee, the restaurant is launching four varieties of its cafe coffee in K-Cup form, following in the footsteps of cafe rival Starbucks. The four flavors—dark roast, light roast, Colombia, and hazelnut crème—are the same ones served up at the chain’s more than 1,700 locations, according to Food Business News. The effort will bring the Panera brand into Supervalues, Save Marts, Hy-Vees, Dierbergs, and select Winn-Dixie locations across the country.
"Our customers appreciate the level of care we put into our menu, like our commitment to fresh coffee, on the hour, in every bakery-cafe," said Stephanie Crimmins, vice-president of Panera Bread. "With Panera Single-Serve Cups we are offering them the same fresh coffee experience in their own kitchen."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 18, 2013 12:41 PM
Starbucks still can’t find a way to stop a New Hampshire coffee company from selling Charbucks coffee products, even after more than a decade of legal wrangling. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday “that Black Bear Micro Roastery may continue selling ‘Charbucks Blend,’ ‘Mister Charbucks,’ and ‘Mr. Charbucks’ coffee.”
Starbucks took Wolfe’s Borough Coffee to court 12 years ago, but Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier wrote Friday that Starbucks had not proved that consumers would be confused in the slightest by the “blurring of the brand,” Reuters reports.
To help prove its case early on, Starbucks surveyed 600 people who said their “number one association of the name ‘Charbucks’ in the minds of consumers is with the brand ‘Starbucks.’” The survey wasn’t used in court, though, because it was ruled to be “fundamentally flawed.” The results weren’t definitive, either. Only 4.4 percent said “Starbucks” or “coffee house” when asked what kind of establishment would sell a product labeled Charbucks. However, 39.5 percent thought of “Starbucks” or “coffee” when the word “Charbucks” was mentioned.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 1, 2013 05:12 PM
Tyson and 7-Eleven are breaking a wishbone on the hope that they can create a new paradigm for prepared-chicken sales: putting Buffalo chicken bites and other treats near the cash registers in convenience stores.
The long slump in supermarket spending has been tough on Tyson's chicken as on many other brands, so the $33 billion, Arkansas-based poultry giant is looking for some greener pastures for selling its birds, especially in higher-margin ready-to-eat forms.
Meanwhile, c-store chains and oil companies that offer food at their gas stations are looking for ways to diversify their offerings. 7-Eleven, for example, looks like it's finally getting serious about offering better-for-you foods and beverages at many of its stores alongside energy drinks, sugary sodas, salt-and-fat-laced snacks, and calorie-laden candy bars.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 23, 2013 10:47 AM
"Food waste" is being recognized increasingly around the globe as a key issue that impinges directly on sustainability and hunger, and more companies are moving to harvest the low-hanging fruit available in an attack on the problem.
Tesco is the latest. The UK's dominant grocery chain just disclosed the enormity of the food wasted in its own operations and its initial steps aimed at reducing the problem, which should have an actual effect—and endear Brits who are rightly concerned about all the food they squander.
The chain's research revealed that 40 percent of apples are wasted, with just over a quarter of that waste occurring in the home. The same fate awaits a quarter of grapes, with the majority occurring in the home, and one-fifth of all bananas.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 18, 2013 03:47 PM
7-Eleven is a longtime favorite late-night stop for soda, beer, candy, Slurpees, cigarettes, and snack food—an offering that has helped it become the world’s largest chain of convenience stores. But now the brand is looking to change its tune to get more in-line with offerings that appeal to Millennials and women.
One transformation has already been completed, as last month the chain began stocking its US stores with healthier snacking options including roasted edamame, organic trail mix, veggie chips and a variety of dried fruit and nut blends that are displayed in a whole new health section of some of its stores.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on October 16, 2013 03:02 PM
In little more than a year, some retail shelves may actually be able to identify consumers who are most likely to purchase certain snacks, thanks to Mondelez International. The $35 billion global foods giant, which spun off from Kraft Foods just over a year ago with a name intended to evoke "delicious world," markets such snack brands as Cadbury, Certs, Oreo, and Trident.
In 2015, the company plans to introduce "smart shelves" with sensors designed to detect the age and sex of consumers. Then, advanced analytics will associate the right type of snack product with each consumer, and a video display will target consumers with appropriate ads and promotions.
Mondelez wants to place its smart shelves as close as possible to the point of sale—right near the checkout aisles to track and possibly encourage last-minute impulse buys. Mark Dajani, the CIO of Mondelez, told the Wall Street Journal, "When people walk by, it's a missed opportunity. We must know how the consumer behaves in the store. ...Knowing that a consumer is showing interest in the product gives us the opportunity to engage with them in real-time."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 27, 2013 06:33 PM
Food waste is a huge problem in America and globally, with up to 40 percent of perfectly good food being trashed in the US, according to a study by Harvard and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Yet there's a lack of nutritious food in US inner cities and elsewhere.
So the ex-president of Trader Joe's is trying to put supply and demand together to create a new form of food retailing. Doug Rauch plans to open a new market, the Daily Table, in Dorchester, Mass., early next year to sell "repurposed" food as is, and in lightly processed form like a fast-food restaurant.
"It's [an] idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities," he told NPR, using food that "is, to a large degree, either excess, overstocked [or otherwise] wholesome food that's thrown out by grocers ... at the end of the day because of the sell-by dates. Or [it's from] growers that have product that's nutritionally sound, perfectly good, but cosmetically blemished or not quite up for prime time. [So we] bring this food down into a retail environment where it can become affordable nutrition."Continue reading...