First up, as rumors of the acquisition of Campbell Soup by Kraft Heinz gather momentum, analysts have weighed in with their thought.
Carolina Alfero, research analyst at Euromonitor, told FoodNavigator-USA that the deal “could make sense” if Kraft Heinz is going after Campbell for its snack portfolio rather than its canned soup business, which experienced declining sales of 7% in Q1 2018, falling from 35% of its overall business to 27%.
Campbell has a solid position in the better-for-you snacking category with its acquisition of Snyder’s Lance for $6.1bn and its ownership of Pepperidge Farm. After the Snyder’s Lance acquisition, Campbell’s snack and biscuits product portfolio grew 50% and currently represents more than 45% of its net sales, Alfero added.
Gary Stibel, founder and CEO of the New England Consulting Group (NECG), added that the move would be “brilliant” and a way to give Campbell a stronger international position putting it on a path to growth for the struggling company.
Another acquisition to note was Sensient Technologies snapping up Vancouver, Canada-based Mazza Innovation Limited to strengthen its “seed to shelf” business strategy to innovate across the value chain for natural and organic ingredients.
Mazza’s patented solvent-free clean extraction technology expands current extraction capabilities to deliver “pure and clean” color, flavor, functional nutraceutical, and other ingredients.
Originally developed by Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Mazza, a researcher with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Mazza recognized that the unique extraction technology would address the growing demand for 'clean and pure' ingredients.
“Mazza’s novel technology enables valuable components of plant materials to be targeted and gently removed simply using water,” Jeremy Thompson, global head of strategy & innovation, for Sensient Flavors & Fragrances. “It complements well Sensient’s already extensive capability in solvent free extraction and adds to our broad range of botanical flavor extracts under the Sensient Natural Origins brand.”
The last of our US stories focuses on PepsiCo’s new innovation group, called The Hive, to boost the performance of its most promising new products.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi described the group as “a business within a business, a small, entrepreneurial sort of agile group that’s thinking about the new age consumer that loves discovery brands, while allowing the big brands to thrive in the overall mothership.”
“If I look back especially the last five years of beverages, we have had some spectacular new products which for any small start-up company would have been a blockbuster,” she said.
The Hive will look to nurture promising new products in the most suitable way.
For all those looking at the rise of plant-based formulations, Innova Market Insights sees lupin, hemp, and flaxseed as ingredients with potential.
“In the move to offer something new, we are starting to see an increasing variety of non-soy plant-based ingredients, including cereals such as rice, oats and barley,” said Lu Ann Williams, Innova’s director of innovation.
“We also noticed an increase in nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts and macadamias, as well as coconut and more unusual options such as lupin, hemp and flaxseed.”
Staying in Europe, encouraging results of a new survey of 300,000-consumers found that the NutriScore food labeling system is best in encouraging healthy food choices, especially among younger shoppers and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
A number of food manufacturers and distributors have signed up to the voluntary scheme, including Auchan, Leclerc, Intermarché, Fleury Michon, Danone, and McCain.
The new survey was conducted by E.Leclerc and found that consumers with access to NutriScore nutritional information bought healthier products compared to the competing NutriMark logo or no logo at all.
The Nutriscore has already been rolled out across the retailer’s private label Marque Repère mobile app and now appears on the pages for more than 3,000 products (out of a total of 5,400 which includes personal care and household items).
Moving to China, a new report from consultancy firm Askci Consulting has outlined the opportunity in the “booming” Chinese beverage sector, which saw profits rise 25.2% in the first five months of this year.
This spectacular performance has attracted new players into the field: Pagoda, which is originally into the business of growing and selling fruits, has forayed into non-fruit concentrate (NFC) juices in May under the brand “Hou Guo Zi”.
Chu Cheng Company, another China fruit farm, is also rumored to launch their NFC products by end of this year.
The last of this week’s “seven” is news from India, and Nestlé India launching a new range of breakfast cereals – NESPLUS – tailored to local tastes.
The new NESPLUS breakfast cereals comprise a combination of wholegrain and multigrain, and aim to offer more high-quality healthy breakfast options for Indian consumers.
"NESPLUS is specifically designed for the Indian consumer and offers Vitamin D, Calcium, B-Vitamins, Iron, Folic Acid and Fibre, making it a great addition to the breakfast table,” said Suresh Narayanan, chairman and managing director, Nestlé India.
NESPLUS is also said to remain crunchy in warm milk.