Lawsuit Alleges Nestlé Misled Shoppers about GMOs
Nestlé sold products labeled as having “No GMO Ingredients” with genetically modified organisms, alleges a federal class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles.
According to press reports, the company is also accused on designing a special seal on its product packaging to trick shoppers into thinking that its products were certified by the non-profit Non-GMO Project, which validates products.
“In other words, the No GMO Ingredients seal of approval is nothing more than [the] defendant touting its own products,” the lawsuit says. “As a result of this deceptive label, consumers paid a significant premium to purchase a non-GMO product to avoid the well-known health and environmental risks associated with GMO products.”
CPGs Shuffle CEOs
Just over half of the 39 CPG companies in the Fortune 500 changed CEOs in the last two and a half years, according to Russell Reynolds Associates. Six of the world’s ten biggest food firms, including Nestle, Mondelez International and Kellogg Co., have replaced their CEOs in the past three years.
Analysts say boards are looking for relatively young CEOs who can use data like technology executives and cut costs like private equity investors, Reuters reported. Traditional food giants have lost ground to smaller brands that have done a better job selling online and connecting with millennials on social media.
Shoppers Want More Details about Grocery Products
More than 7 in 10 shoppers want to find out more about the grocery products they buy than they are currently able to get with traditional on-package labels, according to a national survey by Atomik Research. These shoppers want to go beyond the ingredients listed on the label to get information on what the ingredients do and why they are in the product.
These survey findings underscore the importance of a new digital tool – known as SmartLabel that enables consumers to get easy access to this extra, detailed information about the products they use and consume. Nearly 28,000 food, beverage, personal care, household and other products throughout food retail stores are now using SmartLabel.
“Consumers see retailers as a trusted source of information about the products they buy, and this education campaign aims to show consumers how they can use QR codes and other digital disclosure methods to seek a closer connection to the foods they eat and the products they apply,” said Mark Baum, chief collaboration officer and senior vice president for industry relations at the Food Marketing Institute.
Brick and Mortar is Alive and Well
Brick and mortar grocery stores have stabilized their status despite consumers’ use of other channels, according to the U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2018 report from the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). “Consumers do shop across channels and banners, but still recognize the supermarket’s central role in meeting and defining their grocery shopping needs.”
Lucas Darnell, FMI’s Director of Member Relations and Advocacy for Eastern U.S. reports that grocery spending and shopping trips remain steady. Shoppers report spending an average of $109 per week, which is consistent with years past. Despite in-roads made by online grocery shopping, the average shopper reports approximately 1.5 shopping trips to a brick-and-mortar grocery retailer per week. This is consistent with the trend of the past six years. In fact, those who shop online are making more trips (1.6) to a brick-and-mortar grocery retailer per week, he wrote in a recent blog.
Germany Dominates Vegan New Product Development
Germany has grown into a leading force in the so-called “vegan revolution. New research from Mintel shows that Germany has retained the top position as the country with the highest percentage of global vegan food and drink launches, accounting for 15 percent of global vegan introductions between July 2017 and June 2018.
Globally, 5 percent of all food and drink products launched between July 2017 and June 2018 were vegan, while 11 percent were vegetarian. While the number of vegetarian launches has been relatively stable over the past few years, vegan launches more than doubled in the past five years, growing by 175 percent from July 2013 to June 2018.
In Germany, vegan claims are almost twice as frequent as vegetarian ones. Fourteen percent of all food and drink launches appearing on the market between July 2017 and June 2018 carried vegan claims, while only 8 percent featured vegetarian claims.
“In recent years, consumers around the world have increased their intake of plant-based foods and Germany is no exception,” said Katya Witham, Global Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel. “Our research shows that stricter plant-based diets like veganism are still niche, while a much higher percentage of consumers are embracing ‘flexitarianism’. The majority of consumers are not giving up meat; they are making room for more vegan products as part of ‘flexitarian’ dieting, opening opportunities for plant-based food and drink innovation. Moreover, the rapid growth of vegan products in Germany also reflects the rise of ethical consumerism, especially among younger consumers.”
Integrating Multi-Touch Attribution Models for CPG Brands
Today’s marketers face the significant challenge of measuring the impact of online impressions, offline activity and purchases. CPG brands are often at a distinct disadvantage, given that an estimated 95 percent of purchases are made offline and lower-priced CPG products make it harder to justify the investment required for accurate measurement.
However, through the convergence of advanced data, advertising technology and media, CPG marketers can tap into a hybrid of multi-touch attribution (MTA) and cross-channel measurement to gain actionable campaign insights, even for lower price point, high-frequency consumer purchases. Marketers who take advantage of these unique in-flight optimization opportunities may be able to improve their return on advertising spend by 80 percent, according to a new report from IRI.