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Period: January 15, 2017 to February 1, 2017
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Burger King’s Parent Company Promises To Get Rid Of Antibiotics In Chicken

Restaurant Brands International, parent company of Burger King and donut chain Tim Hortons, has announced plans to reduce antibiotic use in its chickens. The company, which has been under pressure for months from public health advocates, has now updated the “responsibility” page of its website to explain the new commitment to curbing the use of antibiotics “deemed by the World Health Organization as ‘critically important’ to human medicine." The changes will be implemented in the U.S. this year and in Canada next year.

"Burger King, Tim Hortons to curb antibiotics used in chicken", Reuters, December 29, 2016

Starbucks Puts Food Waste To Good Use In New Line Of Lattes

Starbucks has introduced a new latte line that not only tastes good but is eco-friendly. The new espressos are flavored with a syrup made from the husks of coffee cherries that are normally discarded when the beans are harvested. The company uses the syrup to flavor the Cascara line – the Spanish word means “husk” or “shell” – that is subtly sweet with hints of maple and brown sugar without being fruity. 

"Good to the Last Drop! Starbucks Unveils New Latte Made with the WASTE of a Coffee Plant - and It's Surprisingly Delicious", Mail Escapes, January 06, 2017

Amazon Making Progress With Prestige Skin Care, Provides Rich Content To Engage Consumers

Amazon continues to build out its offering across new categories and its Amazon Luxury Beauty store shows it will be a contender in premium segments. The company recently added a page targeted at prestige shoppers - Amazon Professional Skin Care -that provides a range of ‘tools and kits to help you develop a complete daily care regimen.’ Amazon offers simple to use filters (shop by concern, expert advice…) along with videos and educational features that engage consumers. Color cosmetic players have for a while offered rich and engaging content but skin care brands have lagged and Amazon is moving to plug the gap - content on the Amazon page exceeds what is available at retailer websites and many beauty blogs.  It also looks to be winning over large brands that were previously dismissive. Elizabeth Arden recently became an official distributor on Amazon’s Luxury Beauty store, a move that will give the online retailer credibility.

"Amazon Makes Strides in Skin Care", L2 Daily, January 09, 2017

Canadian Shoppers Buying Less, Making Fewer Trips To Retail Stores, Study Shows

Consumers in Canada are shopping less, with trips to the retail store per household dropping 2 percent in the year ending October 1, 2016, according to Nielsen. Data from the market research firm revealed 22 percent of Canadian consumers showed concerned about rising food prices. Results of a review of major channels in the country showed spending per trip for grocery and mass merchandisers dropped 1 percent from $51.6 and $63.3 to $51.2 $62.5, respectively. At present, consumers spend an average of $8,492 per year across all retail channels in consumer packaged goods.

"How Canadian Retailers Can Address The Shrinking Consumer Basket", Nielsen, January 09, 2017

Alibaba Plans To Acquire Department Store Chain Intime Retail Group

Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is leading a group of investors seeking to acquire department store chain Intime Retail Group Co. for as much as $2.6 billion. Through the proposed partnership with traditional retailers, Alibaba founder Jack Ma seeks to create a new business model for the online and offline retail markets. Alibaba believes that its “superior computing power,” experience selling billions of dollars of goods online, as well as its strong relationships with government and leading brands will enable it to succeed.

"Jack Ma Bets $2.6 Billion He Can Revamp China Retail Sector", Bloomberg Technology, January 11, 2017

Filipino Cuisine Will Be All The Rage In 2017 In The U.S.

Food trend watchers might be right at last about Filipino cuisine being the next big thing. Using Google as a key metric, searches for “Filipino food” have doubled since 2012. Searches for the term “lumpiang” – it’s a crunchy Filipino spring roll – have gone through the ceiling (up 3,350 percent). Food writer Kate Krater is certain Filipino food will be a phenomenon in 2017 for several reasons, including the fact that a “marquee restaurant” – Bad Saint in Washington, D.C. – landed in the No. 2 spot on Bon Appétit’s annual Best New Restaurant list for 2016. A high-profile chef (lvin Cailan) has become a Filipino food champion. And Filipino-style restaurants are popping up all over the U.S 

"Filipino Food Is the Next Big Thing—Again", Bloomberg Pursuits, January 12, 2017

Asda Offers Cheapest Grocery Prices In UK, Which? Report Shows

Asda is the UK’s supermarket with the lowest prices in 2016, according to a new Which? research from the Consumers’ Association. Per the report, Asda’s basket of 80 items, which include Dolmio sauch, Nescafe Gold Blend, and Warburton bread, cost an average of £154.14. Morrisons was the second cheapest at £160.19, followed by Sainsbury’s with £162.11 and Waitrose with £172.27. Results of the monthly comparisons also revealed that Asda was consistently cheaper than its rivals.

"Asda cheapest supermarket of 2016", Which?, January 13, 2017

Carrefour Announces Plans To Expand E-Commerce And Acquire Tecno Stores

As part of its expansion moves in markets across Europe, Carrefour announced plans to expand its e-commerce operations in Belgium. Steps the company plans to take include increasing the number of pickup points from the present 84 to 184 by the end of 2017. Also, the retailer plans to extend its collaboration with bpost to expand coverage of its home delivery service in the country. Carrefour said it also will do a test run of the bringr-enabled home delivery service launched by bpost. In addition to e-commerce expansion, the company also plans to acquire nine Tecno stores from Tecno Kempen.

"Carrefour Belgium growing store base and online", Retail Analysis, January 13, 2017

7-Eleven’s New Pizza Strategy: If You Put It On A Round Crust, They Will Come

Some 7-Eleven stores will be offering ready-to-eat breakfast pizzas topped with “everyone’s favorite breakfast foods.” The breakfast pizzas feature a choice of smoked bacon, breakfast sausage, hickory-smoked ham, scrambled eggs, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and peppered cream gravy on top of a biscuit crust. The novel pizzas will be sold in a two-slices-for-$2 offer, or as whole pizzas for $5.55. Pizzas have done well at 7-Eleven since they were introduced several years ago. The company expects that “a breakfast pizza will prove to be as popular with the a.m. crowd as our other pizzas are for lunch and dinner."

"7-Eleven Has Egg-cellent Idea, Adds Pizza for the Morning Crowd", PR Newswire, January 17, 2017

Alpecin Launches Retail And Online Channels In China

Dr. Wolff is now selling its Alpecin line of shampoos in China. According to the company, it entered the China market in April 2016 to help ease Alpecin shortages in Germany and provide Chinese consumers with convenient and safe channel for buying the anti-hairloss shampoos. Alpecin products are available in more than 2,000 Watsons stores across the country, as well as on e-commerce site Tmall.

"Alpecin Opens Official Retail Channel in China Helping to Cool Down Massive Product Demand from Chinese Cross-Border Shoppers in Germany", PR Newswire, January 17, 2017

Four Trends Expected To Drive Mexico's Retail Market In 2017, Study Reveals

In 2017, four significant trends are forecast to affect the retail market in Mexico, according to Euromonitor International. Data from the market research firm revealed the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar will have a major impact on the local retail industry, while the expansion by retailers and banks of financing with interest-free months could encourage consumer spending. Mexico's leadership in mobile internet retailing in Latin America is expected to help drive retail sales. Also, expansion moves of local retailers, including Soriana's acquisition of Comercial Mexicana stores and Femsa's purchase of convenience stores and pharmacies to expand its retail network, are forecast to influence future market directions.

"Retail in Mexico: Four Trends To Watch In 2017", Euromonitor International, January 18, 2017

Grocery Chain Partners With Company That Sells “Wonky” Produce

A Midwestern grocery chain has decided its customers are ready for “ugly” – and cheaper – fruits and vegetables. All 242 stores in the Hy-Vee Inc. family have begun to sell what is sometimes called “wonky” produce that is usually discarded because it is misshapen. Hy-Vee is working with large produce company Robinson Fresh and will offer Robinson’s Misfits line of imperfect produce. Misfits produce is sold at a lower price, benefiting customers while helping to reduce produce waste.

"Hy-Vee introduces 'ugly' produce to fight food waste", News release, Hy-Vee , January 18, 2017

Carrefour Reports Strong Sales Growth In 4Q And Full-Year 2016

Carrefour reported total sales, including petrol, rose 3.7 percent to €27.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Also, total sales grew 2.1 percent to €103.7 billion in the full year, compared with the previous year. Excluding petrol, the retailer posted total sales of €85.7 billion, an increase of 3.3 percent from the previous year. International sales rose 4.9 percent in the full year, with Other European Countries posting an increase of 2.0 percent, while Latin America showed a strong growth of 13.5 percent.

"Carrefour 2016 4th Quarter and Full Year Sales", Carrefour, January 19, 2017

Ahold Delhaize Posts Strong Sales Numbers In 4Q And Full-Year 2016

Ahold Delhaize reported consolidated net sales jumped 54.5 percent to €15.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Corresponding pro forma net sales were at €15.5 billion. Net sales grew 2.8 percent on a pro forma basis, at constant exchange rates and adjusted for week 53 in 2015, the company said. For the full year 2016, pro forma net sales rose 3.4 percent to €62.3 billion.

"Ahold Delhaize Trading Statement Fourth quarter and Full year 2016 ", Ahold Delhaize, January 19, 2017

Cookies Containing Galactagogues Have Become Big Business

A first-time mother who was struggling to produce enough breast milk to feed her newborn was advised to eat cookies that contained extra galactagogues (i.e., ingredients that increase milk flow). The functional cookies worked, but weren’t particularly palatable, and that gave Jennifer Acuna a business idea. Several years later, the business she launched has been successful enough to move from her kitchen table near Harrisburg, Pa., to a 2,400 square-foot bakery. Lactation cookies, brownies, and granola laced with galactagogues have become serious business. Buy Buy Baby and Babies 'R' Us sell bake-at-home mixes. Common galactagogues include oats, flax meal, fenugreek, and brewer's yeast.

"Cookies and Milk: Meet the Kitchen Table 'Momtrepreneurs' Who Used Their Own Breastfeeding Woes to Corner the 'Lactation' Foods Market", Mail Online, January 19, 2017

Tesco Hires Mindshare Veteran As First Media Manager

Tesco said it has appointed Mindshare's chief client officer Nick Ashley as the retailer's first head of media. Reporting to Tesco's group brand director Michelle McEttrick, Ashley will oversee the company's media operations across brand, food, mobile, banking, and general merchandise.

"Tesco hires Mindshare's Nick Ashley as first head of media", Campaign Live, January 19, 2017

Rick Gomez Named Target’s Chief Marketing Officer

Rick Gomez, a four-year veteran of Target Corporation, was named the company's chief marketing officer. While at Target, Gomez managed the marketing of the baby, kids, style and wellness product categories, and was instrumental in extending and deepening customer research. His primary task now will be to oversee marketing and media strategy, creative, marketing communications, customer research, loyalty, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility efforts. He will report directly to CEO Brian Cornell.

"Target Names Rick Gomez as Company's Chief Marketing Officer", News release, Target Corporation, January 19, 2017

Advanced Store Shelf Technology Seeks To Personalize Shopping At Kroger Stores

Supermarket chain Kroger has begun experimenting with in-store shelf-based sensor systems that detect shoppers via their smartphones and apply analytics technology to customize product offers. Dubbed the “digital shelf edge” project, the initiative is a facet of the company’s plan to automate and personalize shopping to battle online competition from Amazon.com Inc., Walmart’s Jet.com unit and others. E-commerce in traditional food and beverage stores accounted for $1 billion in sales in 2014, less than 0.2 percent of the $670 billion market. Sensors have been installed in 14 stores near the company’s Cincinnati headquarters. 

"Kroger Tests Sensors, Analytics In Interactive Grocery Shelves", The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2017

Whole Foods Plans To Open A 365 Store In Brooklyn

Organic food retailer Whole Foods Market Inc. plans to open a 365 by Whole Foods Market store in Brooklyn. According to the company, the Brooklyn store would be the first in the Northeast. Whole Foods launched the store concept partly in response to public perception of the company as selling overpriced products.

"Whole Foods Plans to Bring Millennial-Focused Store to Brooklyn", Bloomberg, January 20, 2017

UK Fashion Retailers Shift Spending From High End To Online

UK's leading fashion retailers are shifting their capital spending from the high street to online shopping. During the holiday season, online shopping was the leading sales growth driver for the sector. Marks & Spencer is spending money on apps, its online store, and logistics. Department store operator John Lewis said it was reducing staff bonuses in order to invest in its online operations.

"UK High Street Retailers Race to Keep Up with Online Demand", Reuters, January 22, 2017

Whole Foods Market Awards Media Planning Account To MediaCom

Whole Foods Market awarded its national media planning and buying account to MediaCom. Worth about $60 million, the account covers all aspects of media planning and buying, including search, social, and data. At least six agencies participated in the competitive review of the account.

"Whole Foods Market Hires MediaCom for Media Planning, Buying", Advertising Age, January 23, 2017

Kroger Announces Plan To Hire 10,000 New Permanent Employees

Retailer Kroger Co. said it plans to hire 10,000 new workers for its supermarket businesses. According to the company, it added more than 12,000 jobs to its total workforce in 2016. Also, the company said it has created more than 86,000 permanent jobs in the past eight years.

"Kroger Family of Stores Hiring 10,000 Employees", Kroger, January 23, 2017

Kroger Names Clontz President Of Mid-Atlantic Division

Kroger Co. said it has appointed Jerry Clontz as president of the retailer's Mid-Atlantic division, replacing Joe Fey who is retiring from the company effective February 10, 2017. Fey has been with Kroger for 44 years, starting as a meat clerk in 1972. Clontz joined Harris Teeter as a bagger in Marion, North Carolina, in 1971.

"Kroger Announces Retirement of Joe Fey, Names Jerry Clontz President of Mid-Atlantic Division", Kroger, January 24, 2017

E-Retailers And CPG Manufacturers Need To Prepare For Strong Growth Now

E-commerce today accounts for only a small portion of consumer packaged goods (CPG) sales, with the food and beverage sector lagging somewhat behind non-food. But both sectors are set for strong growth, according to IRI. Over the next five years, CPG e-commerce will average 10 percent of industrywide sales. Digital is expected to play a major role in influencing that sales growth, and will drive as much as 77 percent of all retail sales generally, representing about $2 trillion. E-retailers are rapidly laying the groundwork for growth, with Amazon leading the way. Meanwhile, CPG manufacturers could grow online sales by up to 150 percent by building a strong online presence and earning shopper awareness.

"Build, Drive and Earn E-commerce Growth for Retail Success", Report, IRI Worldwide, January 24, 2017

Sales Boost From All-Day Breakfasts At McDonald’s May Have Been Only Temporary

As same-store sales at McDonald’s sag, some observers conclude that all-day breakfasts are losing their drawing power, at least in the U.S. Earnings beat Wall Street estimates last quarter, but sales fell 1.3 percent. Does the giant fast-food company have an ace up its sleeve to pull financial performance out of a tailspin? Technology, including touchscreens and mobile ordering, may help. But analysts aren’t sure how long that will take to pay off, especially in the face of a nationwide restaurant slowdown. European financials are brighter: same-store sales ticked upward by 2.7 percent, easily beating analysts’ predictions of a 1.4 percent increase. Profit was $1.44 a share globally in the period, beating predictions by 0.03 percent.

"McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Push No Longer Fueling Growth", Bloomberg, January 24, 2017

London Restaurant Chain Tests Produce Preservation Technology

A new technology that could cut down on food waste is being tested in a small chain of London restaurants. The innovation is essentially a small rectangular filter sheet that is placed on or next to fresh fruit and vegetables to absorb ethylene gas produced by ripening produce. (Ethylene is also used commercially to speed the ripening of green tomatoes, bananas, etc.) Canteen restaurants hopes the technology will extend the shelf-life of its produce and reduce the amount that is routinely tossed away after over-ripening.

"London Restaurant Canteen Trials New Food Waste Technology to Keep Food Fresher for Longer", Evening Standard, January 25, 2017

Walmart Readies Hollywood-Theme Ads For Oscars Broadcast

Walmart is launching three 60-second advertisements created for broadcast during the Academy Awards on ABC. Marking the retailer's first appearance during the event, the ads are based on a Walmart receipt featuring bananas, paper towels, batteries, scooter, wrapping paper, and video baby monitor. Walmart is working with movie directors Antoine Fuqua and Marc Forster and filmmaking partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

"Walmart Goes Hollywood, Tapping Star Directors for Oscars Campaign", Advertising Age, January 26, 2017

Consumer FMCG Spending Growth Continues In China, Report Says

Consumers in China bought 2.2 percent more FMCG products during the 12-week period ending December 2, 2016, compared with the same period in the previous year, according to Kantar Worldpanel China. Data from the market research firm showed online spending grew 50 percent during the period, which includes the Double 11 festival. For the four-week period ending December 2, 2016, ecommerce penetration grew to a record 20.5 percent, driven by Double 11 festival spending.

"China’s ecommerce grows by 50%", Kantar Worldpanel, January 27, 2017

Tesco Promotes Yogurt Made With Wonky Fruit

U.K. grocery retailer Tesco has teamed up with organic dairy Yeo Valley to launch a new yogurt in its Left-Yeovers line containing wonky – but delicious – apples and custard. The Left-Yeovers yogurt range was created to prevent food waste by using surplus misshapen fruit from the Yeo Valley storerooms that would otherwise be taken to landfills. It also raises money by donating 10 p from each sale to food distribution charity FareShare. The initiative is part of Tesco’s strategy to reduce food loss “from farm to fork.” 

"New Tesco and Yeo Valley partnership creates a yogurt with a mission", News release, Tesco, January 30, 2017

Wal-Mart Replaces ShippingPass Delivery Service With Free Shipping

Wal-Mart is replacing its ShippingPass two-day shipping service with free two-day shipping for purchases worth at least $35. One of the significant online-retail-related changes made by Marc Lore since Wal-Mart bought Jet.com in 2016, the new shipping service will cover more than 2 million products. Wal-Mart designed ShippingPass to compete with Amazon's Prime shipping service.

"Wal-Mart scraps Amazon Prime competitor in favor of new free shipping tactic", CNBC.com, January 31, 2017

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