Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Breaking News

Food and beverage consumer packaged goods companies are always making headlines, and this week has been no exception. Here’s a round-up of the news CPG movers and shakers have made in recent days.

PepsiCo Poised for 49% Gain Imitating Kraft Breakup – Will PepsiCo follow in the footsteps of Kraft Foods and split its beverage and snack businesses? Signs may be pointing to yes, as the shares for the world's largest snack-foods maker and second-biggest soda producer fell 9.7 percent – a decline of almost $11 billion in market value – in the past year.

PepsiCo formalizes snack, drink units' combination – On the other hand, rumors of a split could be just that, as PepsiCo announced last week that its top food and beverage executives in the Americas have joined forces to forge better working ties between the snack and beverage businesses. In addition to forming the council, PepsiCo has created a global snacks group to improve its portfolio of snack food brands.

Coca-Cola Cuts Price on 8-Pack of Mini Cans – In other soda news, Coca-Cola lowered the price on its smaller 7.5-ounce cans, making an 8-pack of the drink less than $3. Currently, consumers can find Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta Orange, and Seagram's in the smaller packaging. No more wasting fizzy beverages, and they're cute to boot!

Can Food Industry, Governments Work Together to Fight Obesity? – Government and CPG companies came together this week in New York at a meeting of the International Food and Beverage Alliance. Representatives from Bimbo, Coca-Cola, Ferrero, General Mills, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever united to discuss ways to further improve the nutrition of foods. So far, thousands of products have been reformulated by companies in the alliance, and progress has already been made in cutting trans fats and salt.

Ralcorp rejects ConAgra Foods buyout offer again – It seems as though Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. and ConAgra Foods won't be getting together anytime soon. Ralcorp, which owns Post Cereals, rejected the latest takeover offer from ConAgra Foods – a $5.17 billion proposition. Ralcorp has rejected several bids from ConAgra since March, including turning down a $94-per-share offer last month.

Kellogg Seeks Agency For Big-Budget Brand Assignment – Turning to public relations news, Kellogg Company is seeking agency aid for its broad communications campaigns for its various brands, which includes a variety of cereals, cookies, and crackers. Fees are undisclosed, but sources claim the work is worth as much as $4 million. After two years of difficulty, the nation's largest cereal maker is looking to regain market share from General Mills.

Arch West, retired Frito-Lay marketing man behind Doritos, dies at 97 – In sadder news, Arch Clark West, inventor of Doritos passed away on September 20. Interestingly, his family plans to sprinkle Doritos at his October 1 graveside service in Dallas.

Are you seeing additional headlines pertaining to the food and beverage CPG industry dominating the news? Let me know what you've seen lately.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

Fall officially gets underway on Friday, September 23, but according to grocery stores, autumn is already here! While some farmers are warning of a pumpkin shortage this year, food manufacturers are gearing up with new, limited edition pumpkin items to ring in this cool and colorful season.

Nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger – pumpkin pie spices that scream fall and can be found in your favorite seasonal products this time of year. Just ask Kellogg's! The company recently introduced Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, the perfect single serving of one of fall's most popular pastries.

Little Debbie couldn't let the season arrive without its version of a quintessential autumn treat. The snack maker's Pumpkin Muffins are a welcome addition to the company's standard muffin lineup.

Looking for a chilly choice on warm Indian summer nights? Try Edy's Slow Churned pumpkin-flavored ice cream. The taste of fall come alive in this creamy concoction, worthy of a break from raking.

Thanks to both Nestlé's Coffee-mate and International Delight, watch the leaves fall every morning as you enjoy a splash of pumpkin pie creamer in your coffee.

Of course, if you're out and about, stop at one of the many eateries offering the flavor of the season. Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte is always a crowd favorite, with customers waiting all year for the beverage of the season.

Just a few more weeks until we know if Dairy Queen will offer its annual Pumpkin Pie Blizzard.

Jamba Juice, on the other hand, has already announced the comeback of its Pumpkin Smash Smoothie.

What pumpkin-flavored foods do you look forward to this time of year? Drop me a line and tell me all about your favorite seasonal treats!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Breakfast Club

September is National Breakfast Month! With summer a distant memory, kids heading back to school, and the weather getting cooler, breakfast is definitely the most important meal this month. Check out these creative recipes from top food and beverage consumer packaged goods companies to spice up your mornings through September and all year long.

Smoothies and coffee drinks are a good way to start your day. Coffee-mate's Coffee Breakfast Drink has the right mix of coffee, protein, and calcium, while Nesquick packs a flavor punch with its rich French Vanilla Mocha. Looking for something totally different? Try Nabisco's recipe, a Super Newton Smoothie chock-full of Fig Newtons.

For those seeking a more traditional route, these recipes will help you turn off that alarm and get out of bed:
And finally, think outside of the box with these creative twists on traditional breakfast foods:
What foods get you out of bed? Leave a message and tell me how your morning meal gets you moving, and enjoy September - National Breakfast Month!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wonder Women

Forbes' list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women is here, and ranking among influential females like Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey are consumer packaged goods leaders making a difference in the industry.

PepsiCo Chief Executive Indra Nooyi tops the list at number four. Leading the company since 2006, the Yale University graduate directs the largest food and beverage business in the country, with almost $60 billion in annual revenues and approximately 300,000 staff worldwide. Nooyi's work is cut out for her the coming year; Pepsi slipped into third place behind both Coke and Diet Coke in 2010 market share within the soft drink category.

Coming in at number ten, Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods, is now charged with successfully dividing the company into a global snacks business with an estimated $32 billion in revenues, and a North American grocery business with an estimated $16 billion in revenues. The world's second largest food maker employs 127,000 employees in 170 countries.

Earlier this month, Denise Morrison became the twelfth CEO in the Campbell Soup Company's 142-year history, earning her the number 80 spot on Forbes' list. With more than 35 years of CPG experience and eight years at Campbell's, Morrison has what it takes to turn around lagging sales; She plans to put salt back in to 31 previously reduced-sodium soups in the company's portfolio.

Within retail organizations, two women stood out as top leaders in the field: Jin Sook Chang, Co-Founder and Chief Merchandising Officer at Forever 21, and Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of TJX Companies, landed on the list at numbers 39 and 73, respectively.

Who are your choices for top female business executives? Take a look at other awards earned by top CPG and retail companies and leaders and leave your thoughts!