Coca-Cola plans to leverage the growth in consumer and business-to-business e-commerce by digitally transforming the retailer ordering process and increasing opportunities for consumers to order beverages when ordering food, said CEO James Quincey. The latter "actually has been relatively prosperous for us because we, obviously, have a very high share and strong relationships with customers," said Quincey.
Explorer Cold Brew has netted $1.5 million from a seed round that will help the brand expand its portfolio and e-commerce capabilities, said founder Cason Crane. The direct-to-consumer concentrate brand was founded during the pandemic and allows consumers to customize the caffeine strength of their coffee drinks, said Crane.
The global functional beverage market is poised to grow 3.2% compounded annually with the pandemic driving more consumers to boost their immunity and pivot away from less-healthy beverage options, according to a Kerry white paper. Functional brands can improve their appeal by backing up claims with scientific research, the paper noted.
Acosta & The Core Group Form CORE Foodservice CORE Foodservice will be the strongest, most progressive foodservice agency in North America. The new business brings together industry-leading capabilities from both agencies and provides solutions for the foodservice industry's new operating environment. For more information, click here.
American Beverage and World Wildlife Fund are urging Congress to establish a national extended producer responsibility program because the US recycling system is broken, write ABA president and CEO Katherine Lugar and WWF senior vice president of Private Sector Engagement Sheila Bonini. An EPR program would help eliminate hard-to-recycle materials and promote a circular economy, they write.
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David Olesnevich, IBM Watson Advertising's head of product, discusses the value of using artificial intelligence ad creation to determine consumer targets and test messaging. He uses the Ad Council's COVID-19 vaccine campaign as a best practice example, and columnist Michelle Greenwald notes, "AI-powered creative takes the guesswork out of advertising with more actionable, diagnostic information, within the context of brand campaign big ideas."
Plant-based food makers won $4.4 billion in funding over the past decade, according to the Good Food Institute, nearly half of it last year alone, as growing consumer interest in flexitarian diets drove demand and innovative startups and later-stage companies improved existing products and developed new ones. "Part of the reason so much money has flooded in was that the Beyond Meat IPO has drawn a lot of people to the space," veteran investor Peter Bodenheimer said.