Kroger has launched its Culinary Innovation Center in Cincinnati to focus on prepared food innovation and position itself as part of the restaurant industry. The center will allow the company to test recipes for use in its meal kits, delis, in-store bistros and its Kitchen 1883 restaurant concept.
Kellogg has introduced two new flavors to its Cheez-It Duoz line, which combine Cheez-It crackers with either cheddar pretzels or caramel popcorn. "As food mashups become more popular, we're excited to launch two Cheez-It Duoz varieties that pair our favorite cheesy, crunchy crackers with two salty snacks to create new satisfying snacking experiences for everyone," said Cheez-It Marketing Director Jeff Delonis.
Randy Papadellis will step down from his role as president and CEO of Ocean Spray Cranberries effective July 1. The company has named Chief Growth Officer Bobby Chacko its new president and chief operating officer effective immediately as it continues to work on a CEO succession program.
Danone will sell 14% of Japanese company Yakult, parting with a $1.9 billion stake in order to provide improved returns to shareholders. The deal will be finalized in March, after which Danone said it would discuss its plans for the proceeds.
Oreo is hoping to entice consumers with its new augmented reality game, "The Great Oreo Cookie Quest." As with "Pokemon Go," the game uses object recognition technology to lead players on a mobile scavenger hunt to collect points, which they can enter to win a trip to Africa or California.
TreeHouse Foods is undergoing a strategic review of its snacks unit, which includes right-sizing the distribution network and placing a stronger focus on large-scale strategic customers, said CEO Sam Reed. In addition, Reed said that the company has narrowed its CEO search to a handful of candidates and that the selection process is still moving along.
Unit sales in the hot cereal and oatmeal category rose 1.7% in 2017 versus the prior year, according to data from IRI. Brands such as Quaker Oats and Bob's Red Mill have launched innovations in the space to capitalize on a growing interest in healthy whole grains.
After bringing in more than $2 million in retail sales during its first year on the market, Celsius Heat is gaining nationwide distribution via 7-Eleven stores. The energy drink, which is enhanced with L-Citruline, comes in seven flavors, two of which will be available in the c-store chain.
PepsiCo has built its viral Uncle Drew video spot for Pepsi Max into a full-length feature film that's set to hit theaters in June. PepsiCo's Creators League studio partnered with Temple Hill Entertainment and Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment to get the "Uncle Drew" movie, which stars NBA player Kyrie Irving, into theaters.
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