The Hershey Co. is seeing success after partnering with Microsoft to develop an artificial intelligence solution to a longstanding production variability issue that impacted product weights. The confectioner's production machines are now able to auto-adjust factors such as temperature and pressure up to 240 times a day to make sure that the product that goes into the package is the correct, advertised weight.
Coca-Cola has long been associated with inclusivity as part of its brand messaging, which stems from the firm's belief that companies need to stand for something. "Andy Warhol said it well: The great thing about Coke is that everyone can afford one," said CEO James Quincey. "That is part of the Coke brand."
Cornell University's on-site dairy brand will develop a flavor inspired by ice cream lover and former Vice President Joe Biden. Cornell Dairy will have the university's students vote on the flavor's name, with nominees that include "Bits n' Biden" and "Uncle Joe's Chocolate Chip."
Instagram is giving brands triple the amount of engagement of Facebook, and celebrities are getting 3.6 times more engagement, per SocialBakers. The research analyzed hundreds of millions of posts to both platforms.
Despite having thousands of product lines in its portfolio, Nestle uses a startup mindset adapted from Silicon Valley firms like Google to keep its innovations fresh and on-trend, said Pete Blackshaw, vice president of digital and social media. The company has created a digital acceleration team to develop new ideas internally, and uses alliances with other firms to forge external innovations, such as its recent Amazon partnership, which marries Alexa voice automation technology with Nestle recipes.
Over 14% of Americans say they eat five or more snacks a day, confirming that snacking is taking place more than ever before in the US, the latest IRI data indicates. Smoothies are seeing the biggest growth in the snacking category, followed by refrigerated appetizers, snack rolls, snack-sized produce, baked cakes and doughnuts.
The market for energy and sports drinks is continuing to grow, new research from Packaged Facts indicates. Sales of sports and energy beverages reached $25 billion last year and have achieved a 7.1% annual growth rate since 2012, the company said.
Coca-Cola United is opening its doors for a closer look into its bottling processes. The company, which recently gained territory in the Atlanta metro area, is being featured in a series of four videos that tell the story of its 700 bottle per minute production facility and its distribution system.
Soda taxes are hurting sales for Philadelphia-based retailers, and Jeff Brown, who owns several ShopRite and Fresh Grocer locations in the area, has seen business fall by 15% as shoppers leave the city to avoid paying the soda taxes. He has emphasized the taxes on his price tags to show shoppers exactly how much the new levies are driving up prices on each beverage.
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