Nestle has acquired a minority stake in US online meal-kit service Freshly, the latest investment a packaged food major has made in the category. The world's largest food maker did not disclose the size of stake it has bought in Freshly but said it was "the lead investor in the $77mln round of new funding" that was announced by Freshly on Monday.
The country's Court of Appeal ruled that the chocolate treat, created in 1935 and marketed with the slogan "Have a Break, Have a KitKat", is not distinctive enough in shape to warrant a trademark. Nestle had argued that the shape of the famous snack was iconic and deserved protection. The ruling is the latest twist in a decade-long UK chocolate wars saga between Nestle and the US Mondelez International, maker of Cadbury chocolate. Nestlé originally registered the three-dimensional shape of its four-fingered chocolate bar in 2006 with Cadbury applying to cancel the registration, a claim it won in 2012.
The way shops advertise different types of food can have a big impact on the quality of your diet , according to a new RAND Corporation research, a US nonprofit institution. Studying people who live in areas considered to be food deserts, researchers found that more frequent shopping at convenience and neighborhood stores and being younger, male, without a college degree and receiving government food assistance were associated with greater intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars and discretionary fats. Being older, male and having a college degree were associated with eating more fruits and vegetables.
Food group Nestle has confirmed it aims to grow underlying sales by 2-4% this year after growth slowed in the first quarter, hit by weak consumer demand for packaged foods and a deflationary environment. Underlying "organic" sales growth at the maker of Buitoni pasta and Maggi soups slowed to 2.3 percent in the first quarter, from 3.9 percent in the year-ago period that included one more trading day and an earlier Easter, the group based in Vevey on Lake Geneva said in a statement on Thursday. This was in line with forecasts in a Reuters poll. Consumer goods groups face challenges as increasingly health-conscious consumers often prefer fresh produce to packaged foods.
The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, saw sales volume growth picking up to +3.5% in the second quarter (first quarter -0.4%), leading to a topline growth for the first six months of fiscal year 2016/17 of +1.4% to 946,782 tons. This contrasts with the -2.1% decline of the global chocolate confectionery market during the same period (Nielsen, Aug 2016-Jan 2017). "Markets are difficult everywhere, particularly in confectionery in the United States," Chief Executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique told reporters on a call on Wednesday, adding he expected to see an improvement in Europe this year and expected the good momentum for the company to continue.
Switzerland has extended a ban on Brazilian meat to 21 processing plants from four as part of Europe-wide safety measures, Swiss authorities said on Sunday. EU veterinary experts recommended reinforced checks on imports of meat from Brazil on Friday after an investigation began there into bribery of food inspectors. The moves are in response to a scandal that emerged last weekend, in which authorities in Brazil suspended over 30 government following allegations that some of the country’s biggest meat processors have been “selling rotten beef and poultry for years”.
The Hungarian government is allegedly backing out of a draft bill that would ban the use of what it calls “totalitarian symbols” for commercial purposes. It will go to extreme lengths to achieve its goal, which may have consequences for Heineken, because the brand’s iconic red star is a target. Under the bill symbols such as the swastika, the arrow cross, the sickle and hammer and the red star would be banned for commercial use 30 days after it is approved by Parliament. Violating the ban after January 1, 2018 would constitute a criminal offence. Anyone in breach of the proposed law could face a fine of 2bn forint (€6.5m) and two years’ jail.
Last week a team of civil society organisations, included swiss Pro Specie Rara, Swissaid and Public Eye, started a public appeal to politicians and demand that effective prohibitions are put in place to stop the granting of patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding. The protest is targeted at patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2016 to the brewing companies Carlsberg and Heineken. The patents claim barley derived from conventional breeding, its usage in brewing beer and the beer produced thereof. However, the patents are simply based on random mutations in the plant's genome.
Nestlé Austria has announced plans to close its production facility in Linz by March 2018, as part of an 'ongoing evaluation' of its portfolio. The factory, which has been operating for nearly 140 years with an output of roughly 6,000 tonnes of food products, has been effected by changing consumer trends which have affected demand. The factory in Linz specialised in products for its business to business division. On 7 March, the management informed the plant's 127 employees of the decision, and is collaborating with the Works Council and employee representatives to find 'socially acceptable solutions'.
High-end Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company Lindt & Sprüngli grew at a faster pace than the overall chocolate market last year, according to the company’s latest financial results. Although the group is at the top end of the market, which would give it some margin for manoeuvre on prices, the race to cut costs within the industry still took its toll.
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