General Mills plans to invest in "four businesses with tailwinds" this year, including Haagen Dazs ice cream, snack bars, Old El Paso and natural and organic products, according to COO Jeffrey Harmening. Recent innovations include Pillsbury Mini Chocolate Cake Bites, new ice cream stick products and an upcoming line of Annie's organic whole milk and fruit yogurt.
PepsiCo will update the labeling on its Naked Juice line within the next eight months, a move that includes naming ingredients in order of how prominent they are in the drink and clearly indicating whether each flavor is a fruit juice, fruit and vegetable blend or a smoothie. "Our No. 1 priority is always the consumer who buys our Naked juices and smoothies," said PepsiCo's Nora Quartaro.
Canadian meat business Maple Leaf Foods will acquire Lightlife Foods, known for its plant-based meat substitute products, for $140 million. "The acquisition of Lightlife provides Maple Leaf with a leading market position and brand in the United States in a category that is outpacing growth in the broader packaged foods sector," said Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain.
J.M. Smucker is seeing robust growth in its premium coffee brands, and aims to build on that momentum with new product launches. "We are right in the middle right now of launching an at-home Dunkin' cold brew kit," said Steve Oakland, vice-chairman and president of the company's US Food and Beverage unit.
Beverage distribution firm Saccani Distributing Co. has won a contract to carry Boxed Water in its 21-county Calif. service area. Saccani also distributes soft drinks, water and juice in the region.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has proposed placing a tax of two cents on every ounce of sweetened beverages, including soda, energy drinks and ready-to-drink coffees and teas. The tax would be levied on beverage distributors, and the proceeds would be used to fund educational initiatives.
Cold brew coffee offerings can be found in classic glass bottles, beer bottles, milk cartons, cans, boxes and more, allowing brands to flex their creativity but potentially generating confusion. "I think it's getting to the point where it makes it more difficult for the shopper to make sense of all the options in front of them," says Nucleus Maximus founder Adam Spriggs.
Bartenders care about accurate pours, speedy preparation and the ability to easily grab and hold a bottle, which can make them less likely to carry uniquely-shaped bottles that don't fit in the rail well or don't support a speed pour.
Owens-Illinois is helping Marston's Brewery cut the amount of glass it uses in its Wychwood line by some 772 tons annually through a glass bottle redesign. "Fortunately, glass is already the most sustainable packaging material they can use and we are constantly improving our processes to offer an even better bottle," said O-I's Paul McLavin.
Momentum Recycling is opening a bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in Boulder, Colo. that can process 49,000 tons of glass bottles each year, which the company projects will more than triple the state's glass recycling rate from 6.25% to 21.65%.
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