corporate citizenship

Danone, Unilever Rank High on Global Nutrition Index

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2013 03:38 PM

Danone, Unilever and Nestlé top the list in the first edition of the global Access to Nutrition Index as the three best global brands offering products that address obesity and poor nutrition.

The report reviews 25 of the world's major food and beverage manufacturers across corporate nutrition-related policies, formulation of healthier, affordable products, informative nutrition labeling and responsible marketing.

"Obesity and undernutrition affect billions of people and threaten a global health catastrophe,” said Inge Kauer, Executive Director of ATNI. “The Access to Nutrition Index is an urgent call to action for food and beverage manufacturers to integrate improved nutrition into their business strategies.” 

The Index, developed by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, a non-profit with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, ranked the top 10:Continue reading...

sip on this

New York's Big Soda Ban Overturned; Bloomberg Vows to Appeal

Posted by Shirley Brady on March 11, 2013 09:22 PM

It was doomed to fail, writes the Guardian. Even New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg acknowledged, "When we began this process, we knew we’d face lawsuits." He added, "When you adopt a groundbreaking policy, special interest will sue. That's America."

So the overturning by New York State judge Milton Tingling of Bloomberg's proposed ban on sugary beverages above 16 ounces, which was due to go into effect on Tuesday before being dismissed as "arbitrary" and "capricious" by Tingling, didn't come as a complete surprise.Continue reading...

sustainability

Whole Foods Commits to Full GMO Transparency

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 11, 2013 12:57 PM

The United States is currently the world's largest market for genetically modified organisms (GMO)—foods including soy milk, soup and breakfast cereals (made with soybeans), corn and other biotech crops manipulated to make them more resistant to insects and pesticides. 

The debate over GMO labeling for organisms genetically engineered by introducing changes into their DNA structure continues to grab the attention of consumers and brands, exacerbated by the November 2012 defeat of Prop 37, a mandatory labeling initiative introduced on the California ballot. Large corporations including PepsiCo and Monsanto spent millions of dollars against Prop 37 and it was defeated. 

Now Whole Foods Market is picking up the gauntlet and committing to full GMO transparency. Whole Foods—which made the announcement at the Natural Products Expo West—has committed to labelling all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores that contain genetically modified organisms by 2018.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Heineken Star Rises, Brangelina Wine a Sell-Out and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 05:07 PM

Heineken’s Star Bottle Arrives Stateside with New Campaign

Heineken’s new taller, sleeker and starred bottle is already available in 170 countries and is now being rolled out in the United States with a new “Arrive Big” ad campaign featuring the brand’s “Man of the World” in such exotic locations as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Lagos, Nigeria and New York City. In each location, the protagonist finds himself in prickly situations at various clubs, yet somehow ends up with the girl and the beer (and an #arrivebig hashtag, to boot) in the end.

“Our priority is to ‘break the mold’ in beer marketing with cinematic, sophisticated ads that feature our ‘Man of the World,’ a progressive, cultured guy, who is inventive in any situation,” said Colin Westcott-Pitt, vice president of Heineken, in a press release. Heineken doesn’t go so far as to pull a New Coke move and break the mold inside the bottle, of course.Continue reading...

chew on this

Fast Food Chains Reboot Brands with New Images, Ads and Products

Posted by Dale Buss on February 21, 2013 02:02 PM

With American consumers still hesitant to spend on restaurant meals, the biggest QSR chains keep trying new tactics in what has become a bruising battle for shares of a stagnant U.S. market.

No. 3 Wendy's has just rolled out a new campaign that will spread its new logo and brand design to everything from product packaging to its stores to crew uniforms. No. 2 Burger King has switched ad agencies (after the plastic-faced King creeped everyone out) and is debuting a set of light-hearted new TV commercials that also emphasize new products. Last but not least, No. 1 McDonald's is attempting to reinvigorate a new-product pipeline that generated mostly disappointments last year.

Wendy's said its new logo will begin appearing on Monday in advertising, on product packaging and crew uniforms, in new restaurant signage and menu boards and in digital assets. "Wendy's brand transformation is re-energizing all of our touch points with consumers," said Emil Brolick, CEO, in a press release. "We're transforming our brand — from bold restaurant designs to innovative food that consumers want, to improved customer service."Continue reading...

brands under fire

New Zealand Ready—but Waiting—to Follow Australia’s Lead Against Smoking

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 21, 2013 11:48 AM

Australia’s smokers had to start purchasing cigarette packs with extremely graphic images on the front last December, which did not sit well with the world’s Big Tobacco companies, whose lawyers have been set loose to try and repeal the Aussies' anti-smoking efforts. Now, New Zealand is ready to enact a similar effort that will remove branding from cigarette packages and sell them with plain wrapping.

New Zealand, however, won’t push forward with the practice until it sees how all that legal wrangling works out for its larger neighbor.

“This announcement demonstrates that the New Zealand government recognizes the significant international trade issues with standardized packaging and will not implement it until the pending international legal challenges to Australia’s law are resolved,” Philip Morris said in a statement. “There is no credible evidence that standardized packaging will lower smoking rates, but strong evidence that it will jeopardize jobs, benefit the black market for cigarettes, and is a breach of international trade rules that have already made Australia’s policy subject to WTO action.”

The WTO actions were set in motion by a few nations that happen to be—surprise!—big producers of tobacco: Ukraine, Zimbabwe, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Indonesia.Continue reading...

cola wars

Pepsi Does the Harlem Shake, Coca-Cola Reveals Marc Jacobs-Designed Cans

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 12:56 PM

Coca-Cola has spent plenty of bucks on making iconic ads in the past, but its latest 60-second spot is coming from a low-priced source—a fan of the brand—while the company just revealed a trio of new cans designed by global creative director Marc Jacobs. The details on the latest moves in the cola wars: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...

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