Coca-Cola is finding fresh ways to build strong consumer relationships as part of its innovation strategy, said Chief Financial Officer John Murphy. "The role of innovation is to find ways to make that relationship stronger and to make it authentic. Vending is a great example of a platform that can do that, particularly in the digital world," he said.
Sales of carbonated soft drinks rose 3.6% over a four-week stretch ending Dec. 1, according to a Wells Fargo Securities analysis of Nielsen data. Also seeing growth were energy drinks, sparkling flavored water, ready-to-drink coffee and bottled water, but sales of sports drinks and chilled juices decreased during the period.
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey is suggesting that the company may not acquire as many brands going forward as it did this year. "We've got to absorb the ones we've invested in in 2018, but experience will tell you that they just don't come up at that sort of rhythm," he said.
The chilled kombucha and fermented drink category grew over 31% in the past year, according to data from SPINS. GT's Living Foods, KeVita and Health-Ade were the leading kombucha sellers, but other brands are making gains in the category.
Starbucks has debuted the Brewed Refill Tumbler, a stainless steel reusable mug that sells for $40. Fans who buy the 16-ounce cup can refill it for free every day throughout January with a grande hot coffee or tea -- but specialty drinks are excluded from the promotion.
A Pew Research study has found that after years of steady gains, social media has edged out newspapers as a news source for adults in the US this year. The survey reveals that 20% of adults access social media for news, topping the 16% for newspapers, although TV remains the leading source.
The recession, recovery and growing wealth inequality have fueled changes in the way consumers shop for food, according to The Hartman Group's recent report on low-income and value-oriented shoppers. Food sellers can better serve these customers by taking time to understand the way they plan, shop and dine, writes Laurie Demeritt.
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